Category Archives: Recipes

Nice Cans

The time is finally upon us.  Time to break out your pressure canner and make good wholesome magic for your family.  One of the best things about this ritual is that all winter long you will to enjoy the fresh tastes of summer. Your dishes will pop believe me.  A fun addition to feeling like your grandparents is a lower carbon footprint.  With all the draught and heat we have had this season you know getting food to your table will cost more.  Now more than ever is a wonderful time to take advantage of any local resources you may have in the way of tasty harvest.

Canning isn’t rocket science its really quite easy. However it will require you to have a great deal of patience if nothing else.  Oh yeah a mind for paying attention to detail works to ones advantage while preserving food.  I can recall not long ago when finding supplies for this lost art was a chore. Now it seems we are seeing more and more of these reappear in hardware and grocery stores.  It could arguably be one of the more positive things about losing annual household income. In recent years as the economy tightens so have of our minds keen on getting the most for our family on what we can afford.  Canning done right can be an investment in your winter season. I still marvel in the simplicity in pressure canning and how it takes no preservatives what so ever to preserve natures’ perfection

 Here is what you will want to do.  Sterilize 14-16 quart ball jars.  In a separate pot boil water and drop in the lids.  I canned corn this time which requires a pressure of 11 at 55 minutes.  This applies to those at 2000 feet or lower.   You will need to invest in a pressuer canner as hot water bath will only work on fruit and tomatoes.  I have been using the same Presto one I bought at our local Hardware store.  For the 90 bucks it pays off for sure.

Shuck, Blanch, and then cut corn off cob into a bowl.  Then ladle in corn leaving a solid 1-2 inches. Then pour water from the blanching into the jar a cup plus is good here.  Be sure to use a knife or something to run the air bubbles out and ensure you have enough water in the jar.  Be sure you have covered the goods with water.  Not doing so will result in a real bummer come February trust me. No one likes corn the color and taste of dirt.  When you tighten the bands on the lids go easy and let the pressure canner do it’s thing.  So just a quick snug no need to be He-Man here. 

Once you’ve hit you’re the 11 P.S.I. start to back the heat down.  After about 45 minutes turn off the heat and watch the pressure drop when the tab drops be careful and lift lid AWAY from you.  You need canning tongs (in Pic with cans)to remove jars so be sure to acquire these prior to attempting this.  Let sit on a towel over night, they are done.  I love the sound of the jars sealing Tknock! Times 7 so sweet a sound! 

Next up Tomatoes!  Hope you enjoyed the photos from our local farm.  Buy local, save farms, eat well and as always Have Fun!

Twitter Dinner for Two?

This is a fun and easy recipe for a very tasty dinner that will leave them thinking you worked for hours.  It only takes 30 minute start to finish.  This dish has a fun side that has the sweet flavor of summer using abundant produce such as farm fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes. 

You can use skin on, bone in chicken or boneless skinless as I did here.  I should also share that both of these dished are a result of reading and watching cooking shows. The chicken dish is from  Every Day food magazine.  A Martha Stuart publication.  If you follow me on twitter you may remember a tweet of two about trying it.  I did make some changes-additions however. I believe recipes are like general directions, but it’s up to you to make your own trip an adventure.  So enjoy the journey and take chances.

 The Tuscan Green Beans are without question my favorite way to eat green beans.  Funny enough I just thought of three other ways to enjoy the veggie that keeps on giving.  (Homer Simpson moment, mmm green beans.)  This dish I first made after seeing it done on the show Extra Virgin with Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Network.  Again I have made some changes but I like to give credit where credit is… well whatever he has a boat load of credit any way and he never responds to my obviously overtly fan based tweets. Don’t worry Team Daddy life is more than winning the who has the most celebrity followers on Twitter game.  

Please take a moment and help someone you love enjoy this dinner.  You will find it is easier to make than a bunch of imaginary friends on twitter and much better on the ego too. 

Thanks for stopping by and as always HAVE FUN! 

Your friend The Daddy Adjustment.

 Chicken, pre heat oven 425  Mix in bowl, 4 oz or so of goat cheese, hand full of rinsed pepperoncini peppers diced, handful of fresh thyme chopped, a drizzle of olive oil.  2 chicken breast cut with a paring knife.  One inch cut with a nice pocket inside the breast.

Stuff with filling.   In a cast or oven safe pan with lid sear on both sides over medium heat.  Then cover and bake in oven for 20 min or till you hit the 160 mark.  This time I had thick breasts from Costco so it took an extra 3 mins.  Hold on Homer Simpson again ah thick breast.  Easy Daddy this is a family Blog!  Tip #1, that pan is friggin hot!!! Use mits. Tip#2 use tooth picks if the chicken blows out as I had to do.

Green beans, just sauté a little chopped onion garlic in some heated Olive oil cut cherry tomatoes in half once onions run clear drop in tomatoes and salt.  Bleed them a bit and drop in green beans.  They will end up steaming through and will be done about the time your chicken has set for a few after pulling it out.  Oh yeah be sure to flip the chick and let it sit in the pan for a few after pulling it out of the oven.

Get Nurished for Father’s Day

Hey Team Daddy! Hope you are getting super excited for your BIG weekend.  I have never before thought about being a dad on Father’s day. Here is a very simple summer recipe that I have adapted from a few different old Italian standards.  I thought to post it as I made it in 30 minutes today after my Nephew came over to help me move old couches out of the basement so I can wash the walls and steam clean the carpets. Man do I know how to celebrate my first Father’s day or what.  I’m not complaining, I am actually excited to get this stuff done. So make something good and fast so you can keep going…Lots more fun to come very soon, please stay tuned and HAVE FUN!! 

Just skin 4 turkey sausages and brown.  Put cooked sausage in bowl save to the side.  Then drop in one red pepper, a piece crumpled cooked turkey bacon, half red onion, and two cloves garlic chopped.  Run clear and deglaze with a bit of white dry wine like a Pino G.  Then add a lb. or so of halved cherry tomatoes. (I used yellows ones here) sprinkle with salt sauté 10 minutes until a nice sauce develops.  Drop in a can of rinsed white beans a little hot pepper flakes and some cooked andante pasta and finish with a quick drizzle of extra virgin and fresh grated pecorino cheese and garnish with parsley.  Manga Papa!

Pizza or Peace-zza?

Greetings’ Team Daddy, hope you are enjoying this wonderful day.  I trust the weekend was filled with joy and togetherness.   “How’s that?” why am I so cheery, its Monday? Take it in a notch? No thanks. Someone amazing once said “There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so others feel more comfortable around you”.  So we are not going to play that game today.  However I will play another game with you.  It’s called Lets’ fantasize about Friday instead of being present to the doldrums’ of Monday. Before all of you who recently just finished Siddhartha get concerned allow me to share one of my secrets to inner peace…PIZZA!  That’s right!  Now is a great time to plan your family fun Friday night feast.  Just like the feeling of a once valued lottery ticket that was sure to change your family’s life now transformed into crumped up dreams, tossed in the trash.  A back to work Monday can resemble that empty, lost feeling.  Again how do we overcome this Team Daddy? PIZZA! 

Pizza has always been a comfort food for me.  I think it will always be my favorite.  I have a lifetime prescription to Prilosec to prove it. Here in New EnglandFriday Night is Pizza night.  Seeing that I am a patriot it pleases me to believe that Friday is Pizza night in America!  I am lucky to have been brought up around here as some of the nation’s best are close by.  New Haven has some pretty old reveries that continue today to divide families and friends. All the way up interstate 91 which should be known as the pizza corridor.  You can find some awesome pies’ first secret? The water plain and simple.  You can’t make good doe with fluoride and other things like that in the water. Second, healthy competition.  You can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a half dozen pizza shops.  But who’s complaining?. 

I do enjoy making our own pizza from scratch.  It is WAY cheaper and really a lot of fun. My wife and I are always thinking of new creations to try out. We are really looking forward to when our daughter can help and enjoy the gift of Friday night pizza.  You know I fancy myself a foodie and amateur chef, but if you were to peel back all the layers of my adult pallet you would find a core made up of fresh bread, melted cheese covered in salty meats and veggies. 

The present is always the best time to be in a wonderful mood.  Having trouble?  Just start planning your next Friday night its only 4 days away!  Here is a work in progress recipe to give you a hand.  Be peace-zza full and Have Fun!  

Red Sauce Recipe:

1 can of peeled plum tomatoes drained and pureed.  1 clove of minced garlic, and a handful of fresh oregano salt and pepper to taste. Put ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook together for a few minutes.    

Try different fun toppings. Pepperoni, cheese, and Goat cheese, red onion basil and turkey bacon pictured

This Pizza Doe recipe is courtsy of Gabrele Corcos from Extra Virgin.  I have tried many but this one works best.  Ialso do not use bread flour just normal.  If you dont have a mixer dont worry it still works out fine.  The Prep Time: 30 min / Inactive Prep: 1.1/2 hr / Serves:4

 1(.25-ounce) package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)

4 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup bread flour. Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed.  Once the yeast mixture is nice and bubbly and looks like foamy beer, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. Using a dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments.
 
Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.  I make 2 pizzas with this recipe

Yes I like carrots

Just testing out Daddy’s fresh carrot baby food recipe. Yum I believe it is simple yet complex.

Home Made Baby Food Made Easy

 

                                                               

Here is my “wicked complicated baby food apple sauce recipe”

Half dozen organic local apples.

Water to cover apples

A Pot

                                                                              

 

Ready?  Peel and core apples.  Put apples in pot cover with water.  Boil till soft.  Then purée with a food processor or wand.  Cool and jar.  The heat will seal it just fine and will keep in the frige for a couple weeks no problem.  Don’t worry it wont last that long anyway as your baby will demand that he or she eats some every day.  By the way it’s a HUGE money saver and tastes incredible! 

 Have Fun!!                                                              

Restaurant inspired Asian chicken and spinach penne

I have been thinking of cute or catchy tittles for this recipe for days now…”Go either way pasta” No that’s sounds weird.  I know how about “two tastes that taste great together”? Wait I think that’s been used before.   “Surprise chicken spinach penne”?  Ok this is getting lame already.  Whatever you want to call this dish it is generally a crowd pleaser.  It was inspired by a local restaurant’s signature dish. Knowing the owner, it was, going to be a difficult recipe to get my hands on. So I improvised.  The recipe that follows is the result of that attempt. It is only my second attempt and i admit it really is a work in progress. That being said it came out pretty darn good both times.  

A few things I did wrong.   1. Don’t be a dork and marinate you’re chicken early so all the moister is drawn out.  2. Pay no mind to that thinly sliced procucitto, (photo only) it was a bad idea.  There was already going to be plenty of salt in this meal.

So if you’re feeling undecided about what kind of food you want to have for dinner, perhaps you could go either way Chinese or Italian.  Why not go both ways and meet in the middle with a fusion dish that is surprising fun to cook and even more fun to eat!

Ingredients:

.One box penne

.One Lb. Chicken breast cut into peices. 

.One table spoon olive oil

.One box frozen spinach

.2 cloves garlic chopped or diced

.3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

.3 tablespoons flour

.2 cups half and half

. One cup grated pecorino cheese

. One cup teriyaki sauce

.1/4 cup of chicken stalk

Heat oil in skillet and cook chicken till brown, then add spinach and the ¼ cup of chicken stalk cook about 5 minute on medium and set aside. At the same time boil your pasta and drain set aside.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter and garlic over medium heat and add flour and whisk for up to 2 minutes.  Then slow whisk in the half & half and slowly bring to a boil constantly stirring.  It will get thick in about 5 minutes.  Now it’s time for the teriyaki sauce and the pecorino cheese to be whisked in.

Once smooth add all ingredients to the big pot.   Pasta, sauce, spinach, and cook together for a minute or until it’s all sticking together.   Serve garnished with a little fresh parsley.  Enjoy! And as always have Fun!!

Parade Sausage Peppers & Onions

Parade Sausage Peppers & Onions 

This type of weather makes me think of street food, and parades!  New England warm spring afternoons were made for Sausages, Peppers, And Onions!  Here is a simple, fun way to make your own outdoor food fest for you and yours. 

Ingredients: 

One red onion sliced

Half White onion sliced

3 cloves garlic sliced

2 precooked turkey bacon strips

Nice pile sweet peppers sliced

Cup or so chicken stock

Shake of hot pepper flakes

Shake of oregano 

8-9 Sausage links of your choice.  I used an organic Caprice chicken one from Costco with basil and tomato and was very pleased.

Heat a little olive oil and a bit of water in a Pan.  Drop in Sausages. Cover and steam heat for about 5 or so minutes   Drain most of the liquid out and fry sausages till brown.    Set aside for later, in that same pan drop in onions, peppers, garlic, bacon pieces, and drizzle with olive oil and sauté till clear.  Deglaze with the chicken stock and scrap pan bits and reduce.  Also at that time add the paste and all other ingredients and stir together.  Bring to a slight boil and reduce heat.  Bring sausages back in the pan and simmer on low for an hour or more.  When the sauce looks right serve that stuff!!!! If possible consume with beer outside with the ones you love.

 

 

 

 

Canning the colors of summer

While holding my daughter yesterday we were looking out the window when we saw a wonderful red cardinal in our back yard.  His bright red color and sharp black markings cut an almost high definition scene against the pure white, glitter snow beneath him. It’s March here in New England and it is the first time we have had snow in our yard all year or at least since the 14 inches in October that nocked our whole area dark for over a week.  Super fun by the way with a 7 month pregnant wife.  

Watching the cardinal, it made my mind drift to summer and all the colors that go along with some of my favorite activities. Growing, canning and eating food, delicious fresh food, like the cardinal we humans need the real thing too. Watching him forage for something to eat it had me remember simple fresh ingredients make the BEST food.  That’s my cardinal rule.  

So it’s March with snow on the ground Daddy A.  What Gives?  I tell ya what gives…Canning it gives all year long my friend. One long day or so in the summer will result in the best tasting food all winter long.  Want to smash your carbon footprint to pieces? Try canning; just imagine the resources it takes to bring that can of imported tomatoes from Italy to your table.  The fruit from the sun of your back yard or local farmers market will be better I guaranty it.  You will want to start with a bushel or maybe just a half to get your feet wet, and cans too.  Tomatoes, apples, can be done with a simple hot water bath.  Anything else you will want to invest in a pressure canner.  I have a great one I got at ACE for under $100.  It will allow you to do other foods that require more pressure and time. 

The smell that envelopes your home when you crack one of these cans in the dead of winter is like pure summer sun.  We can a bushel of sweet corn every year and when we make our corn chowder it pops with that summers’ sweet corn flavor. Nice!

 There are no real preservatives associated with canning.   It is just water and a little salt, or lemon juice. That’s it.  As far as healthy eating goes, and saving money over all on excellent food.   I haven’t found a better way to nourish my family.  I also get to take pride in being a local hero supporting our local farms.  No Farms, No Food.  No Food?  Oh No!

So I think I am going to start planning out my garden, come up with a good plan for doing something more with all the other stuff I grow.  Hey what are you going to grow?  Why not think of canning this year?  Now is a great time to start.  I will do a follow up with some step by step, but until then feel free to ask any questions on the subject.  

The cardinal flew away looking for his mate with the bright beak, but not without leaving us with his little gifts…The cardinal rule.  Be grateful for what food lies at your feet! 

Feeling Saucey? (Fried mac & cheese with homemade suace recipe)

I feel lucky today!  My baby slept 12 hours!!! Last night.  I feel like my old self today.  Mommy and I even stayed up for 2 whole hour’s baby free.  We watched Boardwalk Empire episodes on DVD and I drank like 4 beers.  So in the spirit of fun, here is a neat recipe that will entertain the young ones and the rest of you weary eyed parents on these last days of winter. This is a fun one for everyone. 

Below is a follow up to my Snowblind Mac & Cheese recipe from last week.

Really it is my favorite part of making that dish.  The next day for lunch or an easy after work dinner it’s a crowd pleaser…  I make a quick simple homemade red-pizza sauce for dipping, and with the Italian bread crumbs and it is a completely different taste from the night before.

I would also like to credit Alton Brow from the Cooking Network for being the inspiration to this fried Mac recipe however; as always I have made some changes.

The Sauce recipe is mine.  And now yours too!!  Enjoy!!!!

Sauce Ingredients

  1. One can pealed Italian tomatoes.
  2. One teaspoon fresh or dry oregano.
  3. One clove minced garlic.
  4. Third of a red onion chopped.
  5. Two shakes of red pepper flakes.
  6. Drizzle of olive oil or so.
  7. (Optional) piece of already cooked turkey beacon or pancetta chopped

Sauce directions:

In a sauté pan heat up oil med to med high, drop in onions and garlic.  Try to sauté and not fry, no browning the garlic.  If you’re a meat person drop in the bacon or pancetta.  Once onions run clear, sprinkle in red pepper flakes, oregano, and any basil for that matter.  Open and drain tomatoes and mash.  Or better yet a quick food processer of blending wand really rocks for this.  Add all together and bring to a quick light boil and back down and simmer for 15 min or up to an hour. 

Fried Mac Ingredients

  • Leftover baked macaroni and cheese, refrigerated for at least overnight
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 ounces water
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying, preheated to 375 degrees

Directions:

Cut refrigerated macaroni and cheese into slices or bite size pieces. Season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge each piece through the flour and gently tap off excess. Dip in the egg wash and then coat with the bread crumbs. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes so the crust can set. Very carefully drop into the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet fitted with a rack and rest for 2 minutes before serving.