Archive for the ‘Entree’ Category

Grilled Pierogies and Kilbasa with a Grainy Mustard Sauce
This dinner was so satisfying and quick! The polish would be proud…I think. 😉
1 pound kielbasa, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 pound frozen potato-and-cheddar pierogies (do not thaw)
S&P to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat a grill to medium. Grill the kielbasa, turning, until marked, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Whisk the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil until smooth.
Toss the onion and pierogies with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, until the pierogies thaw and the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Turn the pierogies and onion and continue to grill, covered, until the pierogies are cooked through and the onion is tender, 4 to 6 more minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Slice the kielbasa into pieces and add to the bowl with the mustard dressing. Add the pierogies and onion and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. Using a large spoon or tongs, ransfer to a pretty platter and drizzle with what’s left in the bowl.

As the Polish would say – przepyszny! (don’t ask me how to say that)


Read Full Post »

Quick. Healthy. Loved by toddlers and tweens. A delicious leftover meal. You can’t go wrong with a curry like this one! If you’re scared to try it because you’re afraid your kids (or your “meat and potatoes” hubby) won’t like it, I encourage you to do so! The veggies I used in this one can be replaced with any veggie your family likes – green beans, snap or frozen peas, sweet potatoes, etc. Same goes for the meat. You can substitute shrimp, pork, beef, or tofu for the chicken. And once you buy the Thai red curry paste and fish sauce, you’ll have enough to make it at least 3-4 more times! It may even become a weekly staple. 🙂  Enjoy!


Weeknight Chicken Curry

Serves 3-4



2 Limes

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips

3 tbsp Peanut or olive oil for pan (or any cooking oil, really)

1/2 c shredded carrots

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into bite-sized chunks

3/4 c shelled edamame

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1-8 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1/3 c chicken broth (if you don’t have any, water will do)

1 tbsp fish sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cilantro, for garnish (or basil)

Steamed white rice, for serving (see how to make perfectly cooked rice here)



Grate zest from both limes and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.

In a large frying pan or wok, if you are fortunate enough to own one, warm your oil of choice. Add the chicken strips and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add your veggies to the pan and cook until tender. Transfer to plate with chicken.

To prepare the sauce, stir curry paste into the pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally. Add in reserved lime zest and juice.

Return chicken and veggies to the pan and give it a good stir to combine with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve atop steamed rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Weeknight Chicken Curry






Read Full Post »

If you are going to make this dish, you MUST make the polenta with it. It’s not something most people make that often, but it is SO yummy with this roast! (and super easy to make!) If you have leftover polenta, portion it onto squares of plastic wrap, let it cool, then wrap tightly and freeze in a gallon-freezer bag. Thaw and re-heat when you want to serve it again.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Red Wine and Root Vegetables

Serves 6



3/4 cup orange juice

3 T minced garlic

1/4 c plus 1 T tomato paste

1 t dried sage

3 1/2 lb boneless beef chuck roast

Salt and pepper

2 T unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 ribs celery, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

3 parsnips, finely chopped

1/4 c flour

1 c red wine

One 14-oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juices

1/4 low-sodium chicken broth

1 T honey

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, tied together with kitchen twine



In the slow cooker, mix together  1/4 cup of the orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and the sage. Add the meat and coat on all sides with marinade. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides.

Meanwhile, heat butter over medium-high heat in large saute pan. When melted, add all of the finely chopped veggies and the remaining 1 tablespoon minced garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup tomato paste and the flour and stir until the flour is no longer visible. Remove the pan from the heat and add the wine. Raise the heat to high and and stir until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, remaining 1/2 cup orange juice, broth, honey and rosemary and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Peytons4thBday 008

Using a potato masher, gently crush tomatoes and stir the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the meat in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low until very tender, about 10 hours. (If you don’t have 10 hours, cook on high for the first 2 hours, then lower heat to low and cook for an additional 5 – 6 hours. ) If possible, turn roast over halfway through to cook it evenly).

When done, discard rosemary sprigs and use a large spoon or ladle to skim the fat off the surface of the sauce. Remove meat from slow cooker and cut into chunks. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Return meat to the sauce and spoon meat and sauce over polenta (recipe below).

Slow Cooker Pot Roast Over Polenta

Lemony Polenta with Brown Butter and Parmesan

Serves 6-8



1/4 c unsalted butter

2 1/2 t salt

2 c medium-grind polenta (traditional, not instant)

3/4 grated Parmesan (plus more if you like it extra cheesy)

Zest of 2 lemons

1/2 t Black pepper



Heat butter in small saute pan over medium heat.  Cook until it melts and turns light brown, watching carefully, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and pour into a coffee cup. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring 8 c cold water with the salt to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, slowly add polenta while stirring.  Reduce the heat to low and stir frequently for another 5 minutes.  Cover the pot and allow it to cook until soft for another 20-25 minutes.  When done, stir in brown butter, Parmesan, lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Read Full Post »

Risotto is one of those dishes that I don’t make nearly enough! It’s super easy, family-friendly and you can make it a number of ways, depending on what you have in the fridge. So next time you’re in a pinch for dinner, here’s your answer! The asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes can be substituted with a number of things such as mushrooms (dried or fresh), peas, fresh herbs (mint, basil), shredded chicken, shrimp, lobster, crab, the list goes on and on!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Asparagus Risotto

Makes enough for 3-4 people as a main dish.

2 c chicken stock

3 c water

1/4 c butter, divided

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 c Arborio rice

1/3 c white wine (pour yourself a glass to have while you’re cooking! :))

1 bunch asparagus, rinsed well and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 c heavy cream

1/2 freshly grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste


Bring stock and water to boil in a small pot.  Simmer until ready to use. In large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until melted. Add onion and sweat until translucent. Add rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Add wine and stir until absorbed. (and take a sip of your wine while you’re at it!) Increase heat to medium-high and add 1 cup of the stock/water mixture. Stir until this is absorbed. Repeat this process, making sure to continue stirring, until there is only 1 cup remaining in the pot. Before adding this last cupful, stir in the asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. Now add the last of the broth and stir until rice is tender and creamy.

Stir in cream, about 1/4 c Parm and the rest of the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with with remaining Parmesan on top (add a little more if you’re a cheese lover like me!)

Sun-Dried Tomato and Asparagus Risotto


Read Full Post »

This is a delicious, quick, easy, dressed-up version of the Manwich method. 🙂

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Serves: 6

1 T grapeseed oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1/2 large green bell pepper, finely diced

1 1/2 lbs ground beef, chicken, or turkey

1 c tomato sauce

1/2 c ketchup

1 t chili powder

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T dijon mustard

1 T cider vinegar

1 T brown sugar

6 sandwich buns


Heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat.  Cook onion, celery, and pepper until softened.  Add ground meat and increase heat to medium-high.  Cook until no longer pink.  Stir in ¼ c water, tomato sauce, ketchup, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.

*Our family fave: Serve on toasted buns with shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top, dill pickle slices, and mustard.



Read Full Post »

I am uber picky when it comes to homemade mac ‘n cheese.  But, alas!  I have finally found a winning recipe, thanks to Ms. Paula Deen! I’m not quite sure why it took me so long to go to her for help in the first place, since she is the master of delicious, fattening recipes.  I made a few adjustments of my own.  Hope you like it as much as my family did!

Slow-Cooker Mac ‘n Cheese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves: 8 – 10  


2 c uncooked elbow macaroni

4 T butter

2 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 c sour cream

1-10 3/4 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup

1 t salt

1 c whole milk

1/2 s dry mustard

1/2 t black pepper


Boil macaroni until tender and drain. In medium saucepan, melt butter and mix in cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. In slow cooker set on low, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the beaten eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, dry mustard, and pepper. Stir well. Add drained macaroni and stir again. Cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.


*I like to make half for the slow cooker and make the other half in a gallon freezer bag, then label and freeze. When ready to cook the freezer portion, thaw completely, pour into your slow cooker, and cook for 3 hours.


Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/creamy-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/index.html


Read Full Post »

This chili brings the perfect amount of heat and smokiness.  Perfect for a cool Autumn day (which we lack down here in Florida and which I miss like crazy!) We had cornbread with it and it was delicious!

Pork and Pumpkin Chili with Kale and Pumpkin Crema

Serves 3-4


1 ½  lb boneless pork shoulder (pork steak works well too) cut into ½ inch cubes

6 oz beer


4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1 ½ t dried oregano

1 c canned pumpkin

½ c sour cream

2 T olive oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped

1 white onion, diced

2 T chili powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

6-7 kale leaves (or more), stems removed and roughly chopped

Lime wedges for serving


In a stock pot, combine pork, 1 ½ c water, beer, and a generous sprinkling of salt and bring to a simmer. Add chipotles and oregano. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix 3 T canned pumpkin with the sour cream and season to taste. Cover and chill.

Heat oil in skillet. Add tomatoes, poblano, onion, and a little shake of salt; cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add chili powder and garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes. Add remaining canned pumpkin and cook for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be quite thick.

Add tomato mixture to the pork and simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Add kale and cook for another 10 or so minutes, or until wilted and tender. Season chili to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop of pumpkin cream and a sprinkle of chili powder. Serve with lime wedges.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »