Category Archives: dinner

Peanut noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

Don’t know the next time I’ll be cooking for anyone but in case the opportunity pops up, I’ll have to try this recipe from my mom:

1 lb. skinless chicken breast
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. minced garlic
1/8 t. ground red pepper
1 t. fresh ginger (I used powdered)
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 bag fresh vegetable medley, such as, carrots, broccoli, snow peas. 12 oz. bag

Cover chicken with water bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked through. Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Boil water for pasta and then cook for the time required, add the bag of vegetables and cook for another minute or 2. Drain pasta and vegetables but reserve a cup or so of the cooking water. Add the chicken to the pasta/vegetable mix. Whisk peanut butter, and rest of ingredients in a small bowl, toss with pasta mix…adding a little pasta water as needed. I added the entire cup. Enjoy..

Gym Jam

I went to the gym this evening! It was very strange moving my body for such a long duration. I am not used to activity. Somehow my body has retained some elasticity because I did pretty good in the Yoga class. There were very few positions that were too hard. It’s a shame I didn’t devote myself to Yoga earlier in my life because I do feel like I have a natural ability for it.

Last night I helped Pookie set up his digital receiver and antenna. I was pretty impressed with the reception and number of channels. I counted 20 stations. Not bad for a one time fee of $40.00.

Saturday night I made Chicken Tikka Masala. I was really happy with how it turned out. Compliments were received! Here’s the recipe.

READY IN 2 Hrs 20 Min


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers
  • +++++

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Bow-Tie Lasagna

I get a newsletter from a local Real Estate agent. It’s a real folksy-type of newsletter. There are recipes and house care tips among other items. The last newsletter had a recipe for Bow-Tie Lasagna and it looked really good to me. If I post it here, there is a much better chance I’ll make it.

Bow-Tie Lasagna
4 oz. bow tie pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz. soft-style cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1 clove garlic minced
15-1/2 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook pasta in boiling water for 10-12 minutes or just until tender.

Drain and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat wok or large skillet over high heat.

Stir fry ground beef and garlic until meat is brown. Pour off any fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and cooked noodles.

Spoon cheese and seasoning mix over meat and noodles. Do not stir.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken with Rice and Beans

I made this tonight and it was DELISH! Took 1 1/2 hours to prepare and cook.


* 1 tablespoon cooking oil
* 4 chicken thighs
* 4 chicken drumsticks
* 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
* 1 onion, chopped fine
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 cup bottled pimientos, drained
* 1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed black beans (from one 15-ounce can)
* 1 cup rice, preferably medium-grain
* 1 3/4 cups water
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
* 4 lime wedges (optional)


1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and add to the pan. Cook, turning, until well browned, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
2. Add the onion to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds longer. Add the tomatoes and pimientos, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Stir in the beans, rice, water, parsley, the remaining 11/2 teaspoons of salt, and the cayenne, and arrange the chicken on top in an even layer.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Turn the drumsticks and reduce the heat to very low. Cover and cook until the chicken and rice are just done, about 15 minutes longer. Serve with the lime wedges, if using.

A fruity red wine such as a merlot is best with this classic dish. If you can, try to find a bottle from a producer in Argentina or Chile, or open your favorite California merlot.

Don’t put Clearasil on your Baked Ziti

Friday night, Rob and I went to a fancy Italian restaurant where we had the most incredible meal. The salad was served warm with grilled eggplants sitting happily on top. Rob ordered Pumpkin gnocchi that just melted in the mouth. I ordered candy-shaped ravioli filled with bits of lobster and other shellfish. It was so yummy! I told Rob that we should try our hands at making dinner and he agreed. So last night, I made Baked Ziti. I didn’t follow my mother’s recipe. Instead I googled BAKED ZITI, hoping to find a recipe that contained both meat and ricotta. You’d think that would be pretty easy but it wasn’t. I must have been 5 or 6 pages into the search before I found this recipe. It was very easy and pretty quick. I have made an edit on the sauce and mozzarella amounts and because I changed the recipe a bit, I gave it a new, kick ass name. HOO HA!

Warm and Comforting Baked Ziti

1 lb Ziti, cooked
1 lb Hamburger, cooked
1 15 oz pk ricotta cheese
¼ c Parsley
½ c Parmesan cheese
1 Egg
1 c Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 – 2 jars Tomato Sauce of your choice

Mix ricotta cheese, egg, parsley and Parmesan cheese together. Carefully mix hamburger with this mixture. Add ziti. Mix in 3/4 of the sauce of your choice. Spread in a pan. Put the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Yield: 6 servings

As I made the made the main course, Rob grilled eggplants so we could try to duplicate the Eggplant Salad. He found that the eggplants really soaked up a lot of the Olive Oil which turns out wasn’t a good thing. Regardless, once they were cut into little squares and placed on the salad, I thought it was delicious and just as fabulous as the salad at the fancy schmancy Italian restaurant near Rob’s farm.

Dessert was Lemon Squares that I made from a mix. I think it was Betty Crocker. It was so easy and didn’t take more than a 1/2 hour to mix up. After our fabulous dinner we put Thunderbolt and Lightfoot into the DVD player. Our running commentary seemed to focus on whether the Jeff Bridges character was supposed to really be as gay as he seemed. Sadly, something was wrong with the DVD. It just froze and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get it to budge so we just turned it off and went to bed.

Today is my cousin Preston’s Christening. I am looking forward to seeing my cousins. Rob is coming along so he gets to meet the rest of my dad’s side. Should be interesting.

Pasta and EGG Sauce

My mother made a wonderful lunch this afternoon. It didn’t take her more than 15 minutes and it was DELICIOUS!

Here’s what she did:

She boiled tortiglioni (spiral) pasta

She emptied a jar of Paul Newman tomato sauce into a sauce pan and brought it to a boil.

In a bowl, she broke three eggs and scrambled them. (There were three of us so I guess she figured an egg for each)

Very slowly she drizzled the raw eggs into the boiling tomato sauce, stirring constantly. The eggs cooked in the sauce. Then she sliced a bunch of meatballs and put them into the sauce as well.

I’m sure you know what she did next. She drained the pasta, put it on plates and poured the sauce over it.

IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! Different from the usual spaghetti and meatballs but just as easy.

Give it a go!

Tomatoe Pie

Last week, Rick DeLorenzo gave us a DVD called Pie Eyed the Movie. It’s about Trenton-style tomato pies. Inside the jacket there was a recipe to make a tomato pie. I don’t know if it measures up to what Rick makes, but here is the recipe for all to try. If you are interested in buying Pie Eyed the Movie. click here.

Note: Tomato Pie is a type of pizza. It is not like apple pie with tomatoes.

Dough Ingredients:
.25 oz pkt active dry yeast
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup 110 degree water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine flous and salt and pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mis well with a heavy spoon. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.

Sauce Ingredients:
1 can plum tomatoes
(preferably packed in tomato juice rather than a thick puree)
2 medium garlic cloves
3 or 4 fresh minced basil
(or a shake or 2 dried minced basil – to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Empty contents of tomato can into mixing bowl and mash the whole tomatoes into smaller pieces so that the mixture is pulpy.

Add garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix. The sauce can be used immediately, but has a more refined flavor if covered and left in the refrigerator for about an hour. This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for about 1 hour if properly covered.

Preparation and assembly of your Trenton Style Tomato Pie

Dough mixture
Sauce mixture
Equal parts of grated Romano and parmigiana cheese to taste
Grated or slice mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees

Start with a ball of dough approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter or about the size of a medium fist. Roll it out to the size of the pan you are using. (a thin 16″ perforated aluminum pan is recommended) Roll the dough out uniformly to a thickness of approximately 1/16″ taking care not to make holes in the dough. (Sometimes holes are inevitable. If a hole does appear, just pinch the dough around it and close it up.)

Gently place the dough in the pan. You can either trim off the sides of the dough overlapping, or just roll it back until it fits into the pan. For a special treat, take some grated cheese and roll it in the overlapping dough. Brush on a very thin layer of olive oil. (infused oil is great, i.e. Basil, truffle, or garlic oil).

Spread the grated cheese blend around the sides of the dough and very lightly toward the middle. (The cheese and the sauce will gravitate to toward the center during cooking. This is the technique that will keep the tomato pie slice from “drooping” like pizza does)

Sparingly, ladle the sauce mixture around the pie. (Again, not too much in the center of the pie. It’ll spread out while cooking). Now, sprinkle or place the mozzarella cheese lightly over the top. Place pie in preheated oven for approximately 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, gently lift the edge of the pie and check if the bottom is browning. The pie should be a little crispy on the bottom. Don’t panic if the edges become a little brown. That’s good. When the pie is done, slide the pie out of the tray onto a dish or pan. Let it sit for about a minute.

Cut the pie across, then into small triangles.

Serve and enjoy!

Aglio e Olio

1 lb Angel Hair Pasta
2 tins of flat filet anchovies
1/4 cup olive oil or more depending on taste
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare Angel Hair Pasta according to package. In a small frying pan, sautee garlic in olive oil. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn, this is very important. The heat should be low. When the garlic is tender, empty anchovies into pan, oil and all, and heat. Use a fork or spoon to mash the anchovies. Add more olive oil as needed.

Once Angel Hair Pasta is drained, place back in pot. Pour anchovies, olive oil and garlic mixture over the pasta. Mix thoroughly. Serve in a big bowl.

Polly-O Speedy Ziti

1 pound ziti (or any large cut macaroni)
1 cup POLLY-O All natural Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 cups (16 oz.) of your favorite tomato sauce
6 oz. Polly-O Natural Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, diced or grated
4 oz. Polly-O Natural Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
1/4 cup (2 oz.) Polly-O 100% Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain. Combine ricotta and tomato sauce. Pour over macaroni and blend.

2. Add diced mozzarella, salt and pepper, toss to mix. Place in 2 qt. casserole, cover with thin slices of mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

3. Bake 15 minutes, uncovered, in preheated 2=350 degree F oven until lightly browned.

Makes 6 servings.

Easy Yummy Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup bread crumbs

squirt of ketchup
squirt of mustard
handful of bacon bits

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix all meat loaf ingredients well and place in a baking dish. Shape into a loaf.

Spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.