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That’s Amore

As a new wife, I have been cooking new recipes on a daily/weekly basis. My husband and I would often cook typical meals… pasta, chicken, brauts, steak, etc. but we were getting tired of the same ol’ recipes. My new favorite thing to do is go to the gym during my lunch break and run/walk while watching Giada at Home. (http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/) She makes cooking look so easy and fun. All of the recipes I have tried from watching the Food Network have come out surprisingly great! I would love to see some of you try these at home and let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by… more to come as I cook 🙂

Appetizer: Bruschetta 

Ingredients

  • 1 (32-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large French baquettes, sliced 1-inch thick (about 36 slices)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In the bowl of a food processor, add drained tomatoes, 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil and 2 cloves garlic. Pulse until smooth, but somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper.
On a baking sheet, line up baguette slices. Toast in oven for about 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Working quickly, rub the remaining garlic on the toasted side of each slice and then lay a piece of mozzarella cheese on top. Place bread back in oven and melt cheese slightly, about 45 seconds. Remove from oven and spread one tablespoon of the tomato mixture on each piece.
Place bruschetta on decorative platter and garnish with basil leaves.

Spicy Chicken Drumettes:

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 12 (11/4 pounds) chicken drumettes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Breading:

Directions

Chicken: Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper, to taste, and put in a 1-gallon size resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, curry powder and cayenne pepper until smooth. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the chicken and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Breading: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, and pepper.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour in enough oil to fill the pan about 1/3 of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 325 degrees F. (If you dont have a thermometer, a cube of bread will brown in about 2 minutes.) Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip off, and dredge in the flour mixture. Fry, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, until golden and cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the drumettes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
Arrange the chicken on a platter and serve.

Tip: Make sure you use a thermometer to take temperature of boiling water before putting in drumettes/chicken. PS: I used drumsticks and wings.

Mini Turkey Meatballs:

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground dark turkey meat
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 26 ounces Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce

Directions

Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce, about 3 cups. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Transfer the meatball mixture to a serving bowl. Serve with toothpicks.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

Tip: Probably one of my and my husband’s favorites! I used my own sauce to add to the meatballs.

Salmon with Herb Mustard Glaze:

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 lemon wedges

Directions

In a mini food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Grind the mustard sauce until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard to the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside mustard sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Tip: Dessert bought at store. Plastered pretty on a serving plate. Use lemon water to serve to guests, really healthy for everyone. Salad on table: lettuce, apples, cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese. A great summer salad! I did not broil the salmon, I baked it for about 25 minutes and added the sauce half way.

California- Style Shrimp Saladtweaked by me

This salad I watched while on the treadmill during lunch and from memory I made it, so there were a few items missing and used.

Buy the Romaine lettuce unchopped, cut half through so lettuce is still altogether and put on grill.
Also cut two zucchini in half and add to grill as well
Chop up an avocado in pieces as well as a tomato
Grill shrimp (add salt, pepper)
Chop everything up and add to a bowl, for dressing: olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
Delish. (Find actual recipe Here)

 Beef Kabob’s. 
Put together some of your favorite meat and vegetables to create a great dinner for two! Add salt and pepper to taste along with olive oil.
Tip: Try to stay away with cooking with butter. Some recipes you can not help but substitute with gluten free butter 🙂

 Shrimp, Scallop garlic and olive oil pasta


I pretty much winged this recipe while making dinner one night.

Personal recipe:
I put a few pieces of bacon in the oven to cook until they are almost done but still able to bend. Season the scallops with salt and pepper(and whatever other spice you want) let those cook in butter/oil or water for about 5 minutes..they do not take long to cook in general. When Scallops are done or if you want to just cook together add chopped onion, garlic, butter, oil in a skillet and cook until shrimp is done. I got 5 big scallops and cut them in half and then cut the bacon strips in half … once the bacon is cool enough to touch.. wrap the scallops and stick a tooth pick to hold … put those in the oven until the bacon is how you want it… the scallops are pretty much done anyway. Cook whatever pasta you like normally… I went with angel hair… drain and put back into pot… add chopped basil, lemon juice, oil, butter, garlic… i just poured in what the shrimp was cooking in. add more to taste and mix … then complete

Quick and easy desserts:

Jello and Whipped Cream

Apple crust
Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich
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