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January 16, 2009

Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

Filed under: Side Dishes, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 2:12 pm

This is yet another successful recipe from my new Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot cookbook.  I promise to make more recipes from my other cookbooks!  I saw this recipe and knew that I wanted to try it because I haven’t had cauliflower in a long time.  I was in luck because cauliflower was on sale at the grocery store too.  This recipe was quite easy to put together once you’re done prepping the potatoes and cauliflower.

This turned out delicious too.  My husband and I would have had seconds but we were so full from the rest of our dinner!  I strongly suggest you make this for your next gathering or your family.  We have leftovers!  Enjoy!


Potato-Cauliflower Gratin

source:  Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot


2 cups Heavy (double) cream

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs fresh Thyme

salt and pepper

1 small head Cauliflower, separated into florets

2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup Fresh Bread Crumbs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 2-qt baking dish.  In a saucepan over high heat, combing the cream, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Bring to a boil, add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to low,  and simmer until the cauliflower is just tender and the sauce has thickened, 8-10 minutes.  Remove the garlic and thyme and discard.

Layer the potatoes in the prepared dish and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup each of the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower from the sauce and arrange in the dish.  Top with the remaining cheeses.  Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetables and sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake until the potatoes are just tender and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let it cool about 5 minutes before serving.



January 13, 2009

Baked Ziti with Prosciutto and Peas

Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Uncategorized — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:12 pm

This is yet another successful recipe from one of my new cookbooks.  I’ll be honest, the picture sold me!  I’ll make another confession, since I’m on a roll!  When I was little I would order off of menus based on the pictures.  I would read the menu but I would choose my meal by looking at the pictures.  As you can tell these menu’s were from Denny’s and the like!  I remember my Grandpa making fun of me for it later in life.  I guess at one point in my childhood I was a bit disappointed when my food did not look like it did in the picture! Hmm!  It also took a long time for me to figure out that the food you see in commercials is usually not real!  Well, shoot!  But, don’t you eat with your eyes first?  I still love looking through cookbooks, hence the blog, but I’m even more apt to make the recipe if there is a picture and it looks good!

This recipe reminds me of a kicked up version of Macaroni and Cheese.  The white sauce is very similar but instead of adding cheddar cheese you add Parmesan cheese.  I will definitely be making this again!  Be warned this makes enough for a crowd!  We are still eating this! Enjoy!


Baked Ziti with Prosciutto and Peas

source: Williams Sonoma Food Made Fast One Pot



ziti, penne or other tubular pasta ( 1 lb)

1/2 cup unsatled butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 cups Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen baby peas

1/4 lb Prosciutto or ham, chopped

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and butter a 2 qt baking dish.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions.  Drain, rinse under cold running water, and set aside

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming, and cook unitl the sauce is thick and creamy, 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, cheese, peas, and prosciutto.  Return the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta  and sauce to the prepared dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake until the bread crumbs and golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

January 2, 2009

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Filed under: Bread, Chicken, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:24 pm

Another successful meal from yours truly! This was my first attempt at making dumplings and I was a little nervous. I had heard the horror stories of dumplings turning out doughy or tough and many other undesirable outcomes! I was quite excited that these turned out even though I had to give them a few more minutes than the recipe called for.

This is another successful recipe from my new Food Made Fast: One Pot . I saw this in the cookbook and decided that it would be perfect for New Year’s Day. My husband and I started the day by being pretty lazy at our friend’s house and then moved the laziness on to our own house! We ended up meeting my sister-in-law and her husband and their 4 kids for a late lunch and then came back to lounge for a bit more. This recipe definitely is filling! I hope it makes great leftovers for lunch and maybe in a few days too!



Chicken Stew with Dumplings

source: Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: One Pot


1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces

salt and pepper

1/2 cup cut into to small pieces plus 2 TB butter

3 carrots, thinly sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 cups plus 2 TB flour

4 cups Chicken broth

1/2 cup baby peas

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk

2 TB fresh flat leaf Parsley


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt 2 TB butter. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, onion, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables begin to soften and the chicken is opaque, 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Gradually pour the chicken broth, add the peas, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the 1/2 cup butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs the size of peas. Add the milk and stir, then knead a few times until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough over the top of the boiling stew. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until the dumplings have nearly doubled in size, 7-10 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

December 30, 2008

Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Thai — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:10 pm

I will definitely be making this recipe again! This was delicious! I was a little apprehensive at first because I wasn’t too sure about how much taste it would have. I thought it would be a little bland but that wasn’t true at all. The coconut milk was great and added a fabulous sweet taste to the whole dish! It was also very filling. In all honesty, it has been quite a long time since I have had green curry, or at least, knowingly! The last time I had it was when I visited my cousins in London about 5 years ago. They had recently taken a trip around the world and while they stayed in Thailand they took a cooking class and their favorite recipe was Green Thai Curried Chicken. This recipe reminded me of that dish I had in London. I was surprised at how quickly this recipe all came together. I just hope my husband enjoys this meal as leftovers for his lunch tomorrow!


Chicken and Vegetable Curry

source: Food Made Fast: One Pot; Williams Sonoma


2-3 TB Thai Green Curry Paste

1 can Unsweetened Coconut Milk

1 cup Chicken Broth

2 TB sugar

2 TB Canola oil

1 lb Chicken breast halves (boneless, skinless), cut into 1- inch pieces

2 Zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 clove Garlic, minced

4 cups Baby Spinach

Juice from 1 lime


Steamed Rice (for serving)


In a bowl, stir together the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken broth, and sugar.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and saute until golden, 4-5 minutes. Add the zucchini and garlic and saute until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a plate.

Add the sauce to the pan, bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Return the chicken and vegetables to the pan and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and lime juice, season with salt, and toss to combine. Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the curry mixture and serve.

December 29, 2008

Baked Sausages with Herbed Beans

Filed under: Main Dish, Turkey, Uncategorized, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 2:14 pm

If you read my previous post, you know that I received several great new cookbooks for Christmas and my birthday. One that I’m already starting to read through is this great Williams Sonoma cookbook that my husband’s best friend and his wife gave to me. Thanks Pat and Sarah!

This is the first recipe from the cookbook. I used turkey sausage for the sausage that the recipe calls for. I thought this recipe was good but next time I will use less onions for my husband’s sake (he’s not a fan of onions, especially cooked). I also will pair this with some great toasted pumpernickel and whole grain mustard, as the recipe suggests. I did have to make one modification and cook this recipe in a pan that isn’t able to go in the oven when it was on the stove and then I transfered it to a baking dish that was oven safe. I long for a Dutch Oven!!


Baked Sausages with Herbed Beans

source: Williams Sonoma: Food Made Fast One Pot


2 TB Olive Oil, plus 1 teaspoon
Hot or Sweet Italian Sausages, sliced – about 1 lb (I used turkey)
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
Thyme – 2 TB fresh and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 cans Cannellini beans
1/4 cup tomato puree
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, between 5 and 10 minutes.
Transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the onion until softened. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the beans with their liquid and the tomato puree to the pot and cook until the liquid begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Return sausages to the pot.
In a small bowl, stir together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and 1 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and bake until golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.

December 20, 2008

Cornbread-and-beef skillet pie

Filed under: Beef, Bread, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 2:26 pm

I’ve been digging into my old Everyday Food magazine issues for recipe ideas and came across this one. This recipe turned out quite well considering some of the mistakes and changes we made. Tonight my husband volunteered (no I didn’t force him) to help with dinner. Unfortunately this time too many cooks spoiled the broth. I gave him the task of making the cornbread, sounds simple enough but he mistakenly added the extra flour that was reserved for my meat mixture. So I forget the flour and water for my mixture. The reason I forgot it was because I didn’t read on in the recipe and just assumed the rest talked about how long to cook the meat! Oops! All in all the recipe turned out just fine! We are eager to try this again, but this time we will be following the directions more closely.

I did make a few changes to the recipe. I omitted the mushrooms and replaced them with 2 red potatoes chopped into cubes. In the future I will follow the recipe and add the flour and water. I even found myself thinking that the meat mixture looked like it needed some water. I’m also tempted to add some garlic next time. One more change that I made was that I didn’t cook it in the oven in a skillet because I don’t have a pan that can go from the stove to the oven. I hope Santa heard me!!! So I transfered the mixture to a pie pan and baked it in the oven.



Cornbread-and-beef Skillet Pie

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart


Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 package (10 ounces) white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
  2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add peppers, onion, and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Raise heat to high; add beef and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons flour and 2/3 cup water; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Make cornmeal batter: Add sour cream and egg to reserved cornmeal mixture; stir just until moistened. Drop tablespoons of batter over beef mixture in skillet, 1 inch apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.


August 14, 2008


Filed under: Beef, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 11:26 am

This is another recipe that I grew up eating. Sorry, mom, I’m sharing all the family recipes. Don’t worry, the Apple Pie recipe is safe! This dish is one of my recipes I go to when I don’t know what to make for dinner. It is also a one pot meal. I usually serve this with corn. Nate likes to eat this all in one bowl instead of on a plate. It looks kind of similar to the Favorite’s Bowl (or something to that effect) at KFC. He tried it and deemed it gross. Back to my recipe! This dish is also great for leftovers a few nights later or for lunch. I like to “garnish” mine with Parmesan cheese.

Did anyone else grow up on something like this? What do you call it? Now that I think about it, this kind of looks like a home made version of Hamburger Helper (no thank you!).


source: My mom and Grandma


1 lb lean ground beef

1 can Dark Red Kidney Beans

Large Egg Noodles

2 stalks Celery, minced

3-4 TB Tomato Paste

1-2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 TB Chili Powder

1 small onion, chopped

1 can Diced Peeled Tomatoes

salt and pepper


Brown ground beef in large frying pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drain off all fat.

Add onion, celery, and garlic and stir. Add tomatoes and paste with 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle with chili powder. Mix. Add Kidney beans.

Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. You don’t want this to boil dry so keep an eye on it and add water if needed. Sprinkle dry noodles over top of hamburger mixture and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, then stir noodles into the mixture.

August 7, 2008

Pork Chops and Rice

Filed under: Main Dish, Pork — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:34 am

This meal has been cooked in my family for as long as I can remember. My grandmother and mom cooked it in an electric skillet, though I’m not sure why! Unfortunately I don’t have an electric skillet so a regular skillet will have to do just as well. My husband loves the rice in this dish. I think if I could just make the rice he would be completely happy! My favorite part of the dish is that it only gets one pan dirty for the main dish and the side dish. I usually serve this dish with a green vegetable.

Pork Chops and Rice

source: My mom and Grandma


2-3 pork chops (bone in or boneless)

1 cup rice (not minute rice)

3 cups water

1 small tomato

1/4 Green Pepper

1 small Onion

3 Beef Bullion cubes

2 TB Worcestershire sauce

2-3 dashes Tabasco Sauce

vegetable oil



Trim fat off of pork chops, lightly sprinkle Paprika on both sides and brown in lightly oiled large frying pan at medium heat. Remove from pan. Reduce heat. Add water to pan, add Bullion cubes and dissolve. Add Worcestershire and Tabasco. Stir in rice. Lay pork chops on top of rice. Lay one wedge each of tomato, green pepper, and onion on top of each pork chop. Cover. Cook on low heat for 40-50 minutes or until rice and chops are done. Don’t let the rice get too dry before the chops are done. You may need to add more water. Serve with a green vegetable.


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