Sally’s Secret Italian Tomato Sauce

Ok, the secret’s out now so enjoy! It’s a little tricky to share this one because it truly is a “Secret” when you never measure ingredients! But I think this should be close enough: • 1 Large Can crushed Tomatoes • 1 Large Can chopped crushed Tomatoes (with tomato chunks) • 1 small can tomato paste • oregano (use fresh if you have it, if not dried will do) • basil (use fresh if you have it, if not dried will do) • bay leaf • ¼ cup red wine • 3 cloves of Fresh Garlic-chopped fine (use garlic zoom […]

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Sally Cevasco’s Famous Apple Crumb Pie

First Published in the King Arthur Flour’s Catalogue in 1993 see original below with photo of Sally and her daughter Jenna Crust 1 Cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour ¼ tsp. salt ½ cup solid vegetable shortening 1 – 3 TBS. ice water (depending on how much you need to get it to stick together) Preheat oven to 350º F Put the flour and salt in a bowl big enough to work in half the shortening with your pastry blender. Put the remaining shortening in and blend ‘til it looks mixed, but lumpy. It’s OK to handle and mix at […]

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The Best Corn Chowder Ever!

The combination of cold weather setting in and the last of the fresh corn on the cob inspired me to make some corn chowder. Even I was pleasantly surprised at how great this turned out! This would also be a great basic soup to add oysters to or chicken or clams. Ingredients: • 1 ½ TBS. of butter • 2 strips of bacon (replace with ½ TBS additional butter for vegetarian option) • 1 small onion diced • 2 carrots sliced • 2 celery stalks chopped • 4 or 5 ears of fresh corn on the cob, cut from cobs […]

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Sally’s Special Pineapple Coconut Carrot Cake

(This is Sally Cevasco’s original recipe that was published in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook’s first publication) http://atastydish.com • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil • 4 eggs • 2 tsps. vanilla • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 2 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. salt • 1 TBS. cinnamon • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg • 2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots • 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple drained • 1/2 cup chopped nuts Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. […]

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Chicken or Veal Marsala

This is such an easy and fast dish to make but it will definitely impress your friends when you whip this one up! Ingredients: Fresh ground black pepper (I always buy the disposable grinders because they grind nice and course. Now they even have three settings on them so you can grind them finer if you like, too.) 1 cup Marsala wine (Many people don’t realize you can actually get this in grocery stores in states where they are not allowed to carry any alcohol. You’ll find it near the vinegar section.) 4 chicken cutlets sliced in half lengthwise then […]

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Turkey Dinner

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I know, I know, it’s not Thanksgiving or Christmas or even New Year’s Day so why in the world would I be making a Turkey dinner?

Because I just had a hankering for one! I only had a little bit of turkey back at Thanksgiving and didn’t get my annual dose I guess.

Preparing the turkey is easy. I like mine stuffed! So, I chop some onion and some celery and saute them in some melted butter. In this case I use a stick and a half (oh my!)

I know, it’s a lot of butter but come on, you only do this once a year right?

IMG_1089Turkey dinner ingredients

 

 

 

 

 

When the onion and celery have been sauteed for a few minutes they will turn translucent, then I added 2 bags of seasoned
dried bread crumb stuffing.

Stir that around for a couple of minutes coating with the butter mixture. I crack fresh black pepper into it

I like a lot of black pepper but you can season to taste. I then add 1 can of cream corn (I know that sounds strange but it really makes it tasty) and some chicken stock (I like stock better than broth in most cases
as it has more body and flavor IMHO (in my humble opinion).

I also season with some ground sage, crushed rosemary and crushed thyme. (again, this is to taste. Some like these seasonings and some don’t. Just don’t go too heavy on them as a little goes a long way)

As far as how much stock to add, you will have to decide because some like dryer stuffing and others like it moist. I tend to like it more moist so I added enough to make the bread crumbs sort of melt together.

Now it’s time to stuff the bird. If it was frozen you will need to have taken it from the freezer and left it in the frig for several days. It really takes a long time to thaw out. I prefer to use fresh turkey if possible.

stuffing for the birdstuffing the birdextra stuffing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had a little stuffing leftover so I put in a baking dish.

When I am prepping food earlier in the day for this dinner I usually peel the potatoes and put them in a pot of cold water so they are ready to go when the turkey gets closer to being done.

I don’t like to leave too many tasks for the last minute because I’ll be making the gravy and mashing the potatoes at the same time.

I like all the food to land on the table hot!

Let’s talk about gravy:

There are two ways that I make gravy. Remember that chicken stock I showed you earlier? Well, if I want to stretch the gravy a little further I will use some chicken stock. In this case I had some nice pan drippings to start with. I poured them into
one of these gravy fat separators like this:
Here’s a cool one you can get at Amazon:

good gravygravy rooster

This is a gravy rooster! I love it! Keeps the gravy piping hot

for the whole meal!

Gravy Roosters are a rare breed as I have only seen 2 in all my days

but they are worth hunting down.  LOL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I strained the gravy to get most of the fat out of it there wasn’t that much left of the drippings
so I put them into a frying pan and then I added a bunch of the chicken stock to it. I peppered it

This is when you can add some salt to if you like. You put it over a fairly high heat until it just starts to bubble.  I take a glass measuring cup and put about a cup of water in it and whisk in
enough flour to thicken it enough to make a runny paste. Now this is also according to taste.
For thicker gravy make the paste thicker, for thinner gravy make it thinner.

You can also flavor your gravies with something you can get at the store called “Gravy Master”

but I usually don’t use that. It gives it a rich dark color and more flavor if you find your gravy needs a boost.

Now right before I made the gravy I made sure the potatoes were cooked. I had turned on the flame under the pot and heated it to boiling. Then turned it down a little until they were fork tender.

I then melted 1 stick of butter in
a glass measuring cup (I know, more butter, but remember it’s once a year!) I add some milk (how much milk will depend

on how thick or thin you like your potatoes) to the butter and  I heat that up too.

(Remember I want everything to land on that table hot, this is why I heat them. Otherwise they tend

to cool the potatoes off before you can get them on the table). Once the potatoes are done I drain the water off and add my butter and milk mixture then take a hand beater and beat the heck out of them.

I use a hand mixer like this one and I really like it because the parts get stored with it and it eliminates that messy drawer thing and losing them.

This time I decided to roast some veggies to go with dinner. I cut some brussels srpouts in half and put them in a pan along with some fresh asparagus. I drizzled olive oil over the top of them and cracked some black pepper

and then added some fresh chopped garlic. My only mistake was starting them at the same time as
the asparagus roasted a lot faster so I would recommend giving the brussels about 15 mins. head start.

Asparagus and brussels sprouts

 

 

 

 

 

I popped these babies in right about the time we took the turkey out to rest.

By the way, you can’t always believe those poppers. This one lied! It popped

after only 2 hours in the oven and this turkey weighed over 13 pounds!

I left it in for another 2 hours and it was perfect! I did turn the heat down

a bit for the last hour.

Hint: if you like your outside skin dark and crispy like we do, don’t cover the bird

If you like it less dark and crispy you can cover it for the last hour and it won’t brown as much.

So here it is: Turkey dinner all on the table piping hot and boy was it delicious!

Turkey dinnerturkey dinner

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and don’t forget some great wine! This wine was a gift at Christmas and boy was it tasty!

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Tiramisu

Sally's Tiramisu

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

6 egg whites (whipped into stiff peaks)

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tubs (8.8 oz)  mascarpone cheese

1 cup strong black coffee

2 TBS. Marsala wine

3/4 cup Kahlua

About 2 1/2 pkges. (24 to a pkge) lady fingers

3 TBS. cocoa powder

1/3  Cup grated dark chocolate (optional, but who doesn’t love chocolate?)

Whip: Egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Mix: together the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, beating until they are creamy. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the mascarpone. The mixture should be thick and creamy.

Gently Fold: the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture by hand with a rubber spatula until evenly folded. (do not over mix)

Make: the strong black coffee in a jug or cafetiere, then mix with the Marsala and brandy in a bowl. Quickly dip the lady fingers in the coffee mixture.   They should absorb just enough liquid to flavor them without falling apart.

Arrange: some of the soaked lady fingers in the base of a large attractive glass serving bowl (I love the presentation in the Trifle Dish) or  individual serving dishes. Cover with a layer of the mascarpone mixture.

Continue: layering alternate layers of lady fingers and mascarpone, finishing with a top layer of mascarpone. Sift the cocoa powder over the top, then chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until set. The flavor improves if the coffee dessert is left overnight.

This served 11 with a little leftover.

Absolutely to die for!!!

Prep. time: 20 minutes, plus 3-4 hours chilling (better if left overnight).

Note: This is my version of this dessert. One thing that made it great was making sure the lady fingers were very moist when soaking them in all that booze! Just be careful while dipping them if using the soft lady fingers. They soak up the liquid

really fast!

Triflebowl

 

 

 

 

You can get the Trifle Bowl at Amazon here:

http://atastydish.com/triflebowl

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Fried Rice

Fried rice ready to eat

Fried Rice

Fried Rice Ingredients

Season with Soy Sauce and Oyster sauce to taste

 

 

 

 

Heat about 1/2 cup of oil over medium high heat

When hot, drop 2 eggs in and stir them around chopping them up as you stir

Eggs dropped in oil

 

 

 

 

 

Then add:

Chopped onion

Chopped celery

Chopped garlic

Fried rice beginning

 

 

 

 

 

And saute until translucent and tender

Add sliced carrots and broccoli flowerettes

Fried rice with broccoli and carrots

 

 

 

 

 

Saute until just tender crisp

Add  snow peas

Fried rice with broccoli carrots and snow peas

 

 

 

 

 

Then add cooked brown rice and baby bella mushrooms (sliced in half)

Add seasoning of cracked black pepper, soy sauce & oyster sauce

fried rice with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, brown rice and bella mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

Just stir and cook for a couple of minutes then top with the fresh chopped basil

fried rice topped with fresh basil

 

 

 

 

 

Serve with any roast meat or add cooked shrimp or cooked chicken to the fried rice for a one skillet dinner!

Fried rice topped with fresh scallions and roast pork dinner

 

 

 

 

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Potato-Leek Gratin

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I found this recipe in the November 2012 issue of the “Coastal Living” magazine.

Ok, so when I posted it on Facebook via Instagram I caught some serious backlash because it is not a “healthy” dish! My recommendations are 2 fold: 1) Don’t make it every day  2) Don’t eat the whole thing all at once!

2 TBS. butter (first bad ingredient)

2 leeks, sliced (and soaked in a bowl of cold water to remove all the grit)

3 garlic cloves (kind of counteracts some of the “bad for you” ingredients, just a little :-) )

1 TBS. chopped fresh Rosemary

2 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. cracked pepper

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, very thinly sliced (another not so great for you ingredient, but there are worse…stick around)

2 cups heavy cream (holy moly! Yup, this one is probably the worst in the bunch)

1 cup whole milk (bad ingredient again, only not as bad as the last one)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere Cheese (I don’t know, is aged hard cheese really that bad for you? I think even lactose intolerant folks can eat it if it’s aged long enough so it can’t be all bad, right?)

1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated parmesan cheese  (Not too terrible for you)

IMG_0890IMG_0891Potato Leek GratinBaked potato leek gratinAvocado with lemon juice and cracked pepperroas pork with potatoe leek gratin and sliced avocado

 

 

 

 

Ok, this was really yummy!

First let me mention again that I almost NEVER make a new recipe I find exactly the way it is written and if I do, I NEVER measure. Cooking is very forgiving and allows you to improvise, experiment,

and substitute without worry of ruining things. Baking is a science and must be precise or cakes don’t turn out, etc.

So get creative and have fun!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large, deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and garlic; saute 5 to 7 mins. or until tender. Stir in rosemary, sea salt, and pepper.

2. Add potatoes, cream, and milk to leek mixture in pan, stirring gently to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are barely tender.

(Do not overcook. Potatoes will be pliable, but not fully cooked)

3. Spoon half of the potato mixture into a lightly greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cut Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Top with remaining potato mixture; sprinkle with

remaining cheeses. (May be covered and refrigerated overnight. Let come to room temp. before baking)

4. Bake 20 to 30 mins. or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown. Garnish with rosemary if desired.

Makes about 8 servings.

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Fresh Mussels

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Fresh Plump Mussels

 

 

 

These babies were about as plump and tender as they come! And amazingly enough

I got them at the seafood counter in the grocery store. Usually I buy fresh seafood and fish from the specialty seafood store.

IMG_0703You just rinse them in cold water and discard any that stay open (if they are not live or they are dying it is best not to eat them)

Then put them in a large pot. Cover with white wine and add fresh basil and garlic.

Let the liquid boil for a few minutes until they are all wide open.

You can serve them with some melted butter and some crusty bread (for dipping into the wonderful sauce you just made) or

just eat them with the sauce.

DELICIOUS!!

And they are so inexpensive too.

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Venison or Beef Stew

beefstew

Venison or Beef Stew

This recipe makes a nice hearty stew with amazing flavor!

1 1/2 lbs meat (venison or stewing beef)

Olive oil

Flour

Paprika

Onion (chopped)

Bay leaf

Red wine

Beef Stock

Carrots, Potatoes, Fresh or Frozen Green Beans

Saute the chopped onion in a couple of Tbsp. of olive oil in a dutch oven (large pot) until limp and just starting to brown.

Trim the meat and cut into cubes (approx. 1 to 1 1/2 inches)

Then coat the meat pieces with flour

Add the floured meat to the hot dutch oven

Sprinkle generously with paprika

Saute until meat starts to brown (taking care not to let it start burning)

Add enough red wine and beef stock to cover completely with another inch or two above the meat

I use about equal parts wine to stock

Add Bay leaf

Cover and cook on low heat for about 3 hrs.

When the meat is very tender, add sliced carrots (about 3 or 4) and a few chopped potatoes (about 3)

Add fresh cut green beans or a small frozen package.

Allow to simmer on low until veggies are just crisp tender (maybe about 15 mins. on low)

Serve with or without a touch of sour cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken or Veal Marsala

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This is one of my very favorite meals! It’s so easy to throw together and very tasty!!

1 Package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4)

Fresh Thyme

Fresh Garlic (a clove or two to taste)

Marsala cooking wine (you can find this in the grocery store near the vinegars)

Fresh mushrooms (you can use button or baby bella or a combination)

Flour to coat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise.

Put between two sheets of wax paper

Beat the dickens out of it!!!!!! (until it is nice and thin)

Coat the chicken with flour

Slice the mushrooms

Pull of the thyme leaves then chop

Chop, slice or press the fresh garlic

Put oil in large skillet pan and heat until it sizzles when you put the chicken in

Let it sizzle on one side for a few minutes (maybe 4 or 5)

then turn it over and sizzle on the other side a few minutes

Pour the marsala in while it is still very hot

It will steam and bubble

Sprinkle mushrooms, garlic and thyme over the top

Let it reduce down just until there is a little thicker sauce around all the chicken

Pour chicken with sauce over some Jasmine rice.

Please comment and share below!

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Fried Oysters-Homemade

Fried oysters

Start with the freshest, plumpest oysters you can find.

 

Then lightly and gently coat them with corn flour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure not to squeeze them too tight. Then heat some canola oil in a large skillet. Make sure the oil is pretty hot (you can test it by putting just one in first to make sure it sizzles)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fry until a golden brown and turn. Then once they are browned on both sides you can scoop them out onto a paper towel to drain.

Serve with a spicy cocktail sauce and/or a good tarter sauce.

Please comment and share below!

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Salad

Salad

This is a wonderfully colorful salad that will be sure to please everyone!

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce: some romain and/or organic baby greens
  • burpless cucumber (the long thin kind)
  • 1 avacado (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 ripe tomato or several grape tomatoes
  • 1 celery stalk (sliced)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and sliced)
  • fresh blue cheese or fresh feta cheese (optional)

Wash and dry the lettuce if it has not been pre-washed

Break the lettuce and put it into the bowl

sprinkle the chopped vegetables over the lettuce

Serve with your favorite dressing!

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Homemade Chocolate Peanut Candies

holiday candy homemade

 

 

These Chocolate Peanut candies make a wonderful holiday gift.
It is really nice to present a friend or family member with something that
you have handmade and these little treats are very tasty too!

The hardest part of making these is putting the boxes together! I’m serious. They come flat in the package and it’s very difficult to pull them open and fold without tearing them.

Candy meltsPlanters unsalted dry roasted peanutschocolate candiesmelting chocolatechocolate peanut candieschocolate peanut candieschocolate peanut candies

 

 

 

 

 

candy boxescandy cupschocolate candycandies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients and packaging:

  • Candy Melts, light and/or dark chocolate (you can find these at Michaels or any cake and candy supply store)
  • Planters Unsalted Dry Roasted Peanuts (they must be unsalted or the chocolate won’t stick)
  • Candy cups (also found at Michaels or a cake and candy supply store)
  • Candy boxes
  • Stickers to seal the boxes

Melt one pack of the candy melts in a double boiler (or in a pot inside another pot with water underneath as shown in the photos)

Pour the peanuts into the melted chocolate (just mix them in until it is mostly peanuts and not much loose chocolate left)

Immediately spoon into little candy cups on a cookie tray being careful not to fill too full so they will fit properly in the boxes.

Chill in refrigerator or outside (weather permitting) for about an hour. Put them into the boxes and seal the boxes shut with the stickers.

chocolate peanut candies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please comment and share below!

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