Aunt Sandra’s Stuffing

My Aunt Sandra’s Stuffing

5 lbs onions

6 or more cloves of garlic

1 lbs white button mushrooms

1 box sourdough bread stuffing mix

1 bunch fresh dill

2 eggs

Chicken stock

Basil

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Cut onions into small pieces and saute with a drop of olive oil. Cook for until transluscent and add chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Saute for another 5 minutes then set mixture aside.

Cut mushrooms into quarters. Either reusing the same pan or in a new pan add more olive oil and saute with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms get juicy.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the box of stuffing mix, mushrooms, and onion mixture. Add 2 eggs, chopped dill, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together using hands. Add a splash of chicken stock to keep the mixture moist. Taste the mixture- it should taste how it will be once cooked. Adjust seasoning as needed.

In a large baking dish, sprinkle some olive oil on the bottom of the pan. Spread the Stuffing mixture in the pan. In a 350 degree oven, let the mixture bake for anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. The longer you let it bake, the crunchier the top will become.

 

 

This stuffing recipe is extremely delicious. My Aunt Sandra has been making it for as long as I can remember. It easily feeds 30 people. It is moist and full of flavor and very savory. Goes well with anything served at Thanksgiving dinner!

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Roasted Root Vegetables

Happy Thanksgiving!

Above is a photo of part of my family’s Thanksgiving dinner spread. Directly to the right of the turkey is the roasted root vegetables I made. It is super easy to make and is great for feeding many people. Another great thing is that you can easily pick and choose what you put into the dish.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Baby carrots

Parsnips

Small red potatoes

Whole garlic cloves

Rutabaga

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Parsley for garnish

Use as much of each vegetable as you desire

Cut all bigger vegetables into 1 inch chunks. Spread throughout a roasting pan and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss vegetables. Roast in oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until tender. Garnish with parsley.

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Greek Shrimp & Couscous

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Ingredients

·         1 (10-ounce) package couscous

·         2 teaspoons olive oil

·         1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined

·         1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes  with green pepper and onion, drained

·         1/2 cup Greek black olives, pitted and chopped

·         1 tablespoon dried mint leaves

·         1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         Salt  and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan, cook couscous according to package directions. In a separate pan, add olive oil and shrimp. Add tomatoes, olives, mint, garlic and herb seasoning, and oregano. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes to cook shrimp and heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour over couscous and serve.

Recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/greek-shrimp-and-couscous-recipe/index.html

This was very delicious and simple. I made this dinner with my roomate and we both enjoyed it. We used a can of diced tomatoes but not with peppers and onion. As a side dish we had roasted broccoli which is very simple.

Broccoli:

Cut broccoli into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle EVOO and sea salt or kosher salt over broccoli and put in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done to your liking (personally, I think it is best when it is slightly burned).

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Easy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

·         1 pound dried penne

·         2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

·         3 cloves garlic, sliced

·         1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

·         3 tablespoons olive oil

·         3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

·         2 lemons, juiced

·         1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.

Remove pasta to a large bowl. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix. Before serving top with Parmesan.

Found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/down-home-with-the-neelys/easy-lemon-pasta-with-chicken-recipe/index.html

By far this recipe is one of the easiest I have ever made. I did a few things differently than the recipe calls for. First off, I sliced the chicken before cooking it so each individual piece would cook a bit faster. I also used a few tablespoons of EVOO to cook the chicken. I did not have any garlic cloves so I used some garlic powder, which worked fine. On the same note I did not have any fresh parsley so I used dry parsley. Using dry seasonings makes this an easy dish to pull together without having to go to the grocery store. A nice way to make this dish a little healthier is to use whole wheat penne which also adds a nice flavor. Lastly, I added a package of frozen spinach to add some green to the dish. Microwave a package of frozen spinach, wring out any water, and add to the olive oil mixture before adding the pasta. Overall this was a super delicious and easy dish to make!

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Baked Shrimp Scampi

Very rich and delicious, baked shrimp scampi is a treat. This recipe has a lot of butter in it, so if you prefer you can substitute half of the butter with olive oil (which is what I did). Also, save yourself the trouble of peeling the shrimp and buy already peeled and de-veined shrimp. This dish was very delicious and can be served with pasta or rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

I found this recipe at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/baked-shrimp-scampi-recipe/index.html

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Banana Bread

Ingredients

·         1 cup granulated sugar

·         8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

·         2 large eggs

·         3 ripe bananas

·         1 tablespoon milk

·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

·         2 cups all-purpose flour

·         1 teaspoon baking powder

·         1 teaspoon baking soda

·         1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Spread slices with honey or serve with ice cream.

Banana bread is super yummy and loved by all! This recipe is very simple and easy to follow. Make sure to mix the dry ingredients well before adding to the creamy mixture. Also, I like to add semi-sweet chocolate chips which makes the banana bread extra delicious! Depending on your oven baking time will differ, but I usually need to keep it in for an hour and 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe can be found at:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/banana-bread-recipe/index.html

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Flank Steak with Red Wine Sauce

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 1/2 cups dry red wine

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (2 pound) flank steak or tri-tip steaks

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the wine. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces by half, about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Strain the sauce into a small bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids in the strainer. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steak generously with salt and pepper. Cook the steak to desired doneness, about 8 minutes per side for medium-rare (the steak will shrink as it cooks). Remove the skillet from the heat and let the steak rest in the skillet for 10 minutes.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and slice it thinly across the grain. Divide the steak slices among 6 plates, drizzle the sauce over the steak, and serve.

This recipe can be found in Giada De Laurentiis book Giada’s Family Dinners. It was somewhat time consuming because of the various steps, but well worth it. I made this recipe with one of my roommates, and we decided we did not want to discard the solids in the sauce. Rather than having a thin au jus type of sauce, we had a chunky sauce. Though the sauce was thicker, it was still very delicious (and if you like onions it is worth saving the solids!). Flank steak is a treat, and this recipe is a wonderful way to prepare it!

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Chicken Baked with Red Onions, Potatoes, and Rosemary


2 red onions, each cut into 10 wedges

1 1/4 lbs new potatoes, not peeled

2 bulbs garlic, separated into cloves, but not peeled

salt and pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

about 5 sprigs rosemary

1 (4lb) roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs, rubbed with sea salt to crisp the skin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the vegetables and garlic in a single layer over the bottom of a huge roasting pan so that they will crisp and brown beautifully. Season with salt and pepper, pour over the oil and balsamic vinegar, and add the rosemary, leaving some sprigs whole and stripping the leaves off the rest. Toss the vegetables with your hand and tuck the chicken pieces in among them. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked through

This recipe comes from the cookbook Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry. The recipe is extremely delicious and flavorful. It was very easy to prepare because everything cooks together in one pan. This recipe is also great because it goes with most vegetables. For this dinner I made sautéed spinach and roasted asparagus. I used chicken thighs which were very moist, and rubbing salt on the skin made it perfectly crispy. I highly recommend this recipe, as I am sure my friends who I prepared it for would agree!

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Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

·          4 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each)

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

·         4 teaspoons paprika

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         1/2 teaspoon black pepper

·         2 egg whites

·         1/2 cup skim milk

·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·         4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

·         Olive oil cooking spray

·         1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)

·         3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

·         2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed, about 25 to 30 seconds. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. (You will wind up with about 1 1/3 cups toasted crumbs.)

In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

This recipe was WONDERFUL! I honestly think this is one of the most delicious dinners I have ever made! It was simple and so rewarding. To make things simpler, rather than making my own bread crumbs I bought Italian style Panko bread crumbs. Though they are seasoned I still added the seasoning from the recipe. A tip for breading the chicken: use one hand as a wet hand, and the other as a dry hand. This means only touch the egg with one and the flour and bread crumbs with the other. Also, I did not add milk to the egg mixture. Lastly, I used 2 cups of shredded mozzarella rather than the amount in the recipe. Highly recommended, this is a must-make recipe!

Recipe found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/chicken-parmesan-recipe/index.html

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Greek Baked Chicken in Yogurt

I went home this weekend and Meemah (my grandmother) bought be a cookbook! The book is called Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry. Just looking through the book got me very excited because so many of the recipes sound wonderful! The first recipe I made is as follows:

Greek Baked Chicken in Yogurt

4 large chicken breasts, skin removed

salt and pepper

olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

16 oz greek yogurt

2 large egss, beaten

2 tbsp all purpose flour

2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

leaves from 2 to 3 mint sprigs, torn

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. preheat the over to 350 degrees F. season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and quickly brown them in a couple of tbsp of olive oil over medium heat- you just want a good outside color, not to cook the chicken through. remove these and set aside. saute the onion in the same pan- ass a little more oil if needed- until soft and just turning golden.

2. combine yogurt, eggs, flour, feta, dill, mint, and garlic in a large bowl and mix well.

3. lay the onion and the chicken in the bottom of an overproof dish into which everything will fit snugly. spread the yogurt mixture evenly on top and sprinkle with parmesan.

4. bake for 45 minutes. the yogurt will have set, and the chicken should be cooked through.

This was a very interesting recipe to try. I love Greek food, so I was really excited to make some myself. First off, I used 4 oz of Feta, which I don’t believe made too much of a difference. The dish came out great. I will admit at first when I saw it I thought visually it looked gross. But when I and my friends dug in, it was surprisingly good! I am used to having Greek food with regular yogurt, not baked. The yogurt topping on the chicken gets a very interesting texture, which took me a few bites to get used to. Overall, I really enjoyed this dish and would make it again! As a side dish I made sauteed spinach which went great because spinach is used in a lot of Greek food!

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