Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

The Recipe

4 boneless Pork Tenderloins - approx. 1-1/2" Thick
12 slices of Bacon
Ground Black Pepper

Pat pork loins dry and season on all sides with pepper to taste. (The black ground pepper works well with the Bacon!)

Wrap each loin in 3 slices of Bacon. Season if desired and place in slow cooker.

Do Not Add Any Liquid. You will be amazed at how much juice will be produced.

Cook for approx. 6 hours on High.

Transfer Pork to a baking sheet and broil turning each side so the bacon becomes nice and crisp.


Notes: This recipe works well with thick cuts of pork including the Picnic/Butt cuts. Season to your taste. Did not season pork with salt due to saltiness of bacon.

Tony's Spicy Roni - Homemade Chicken Rice-A-Roni

The Recipe

2 oz Angel Hair Pasta in 1/2"-1" pieces
1 cup Long Grain Rice
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 Chicken Bouillon cubes
2-1/2 cups Water
3 Tbsp butter

Microwave water and bouillon cubes for one minute and stir to dissolve.

Melt butter in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and rice and cooking and stirring until the pasta becomes golden. (Do not let it burn!)

Mix in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Gently add water and stir.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.


Just a quick and easy recipe for making a great side dish. Don't want it spicy, eliminate the cayenne pepper.

It's best to let it sit for about 10 minutes after cooking to let it completely absorb all the water.


Crispy Baked Drumsticks & Wings

The Recipe

Preheat Oven to 300F degrees

1-1/4 Tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Optional)

Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then coat the skin of each drumstick.

Arrange on a raised rack over a sheet pan. This will allow air to circulate to obtain a crispier skin.

Bake for 30 minutes then raise oven temperature to 425F degrees, bake for an additional 45-60 mins.

About 50 mins in the average, keep an eye on them and get them as crispy as you like.

This is a very simple and easy way to bake drumsticks with a crispier skin, this also works very well for wings. The baking powder helps to dry out the skin (don't bread the exposed meat if you can). Adding the Cayenne Pepper is optional to make them spicy and provide some heat.


For WINGS: Since chicken wings are covered completely in skin, you can toss them in the bowl all together at once to coat them. It's best if you snip the tips off the wings. After baking, toss wings in a bowl with your favorite Wing Sauce. Quite frankly, they are awesome as is and never last to be sauced nor to get a picture taken. My Apologies! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Piccolini with Mushroom & Tomato Ragu

The Recipe:

1 carrot, grated
1 onion, minced
1 stalk of celery, grated
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 lb Piccolini Pasta(Mini Farfalle)
1/2 cup grated cheese (e.g. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino)

Garlic Powder, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Nutmeg, Salt, Black Pepper
(See "Notes" below for more information on spices.)

Heat onion, celery & carrot in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook about 5 mins and then add mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper and about 1/2 of the spices. Cook about 10 more mins or until veggies are translucent and soft.

Pour in wine and deglaze pan allowing alcohol to evaporate.

Add tomatoes, sugar and remaining spices. Mix well, bring to light boil and reduce to simmer, cooking for an additional hour, stirring occasionally.

Cook pasta, drain and add to pan, mix well and stir in cheese. Enjoy!


- For spices, 1/2 tbsp of Oregano, 1 tsp Rosemary,
   1 tsp Thyme and a good pinch of crushed red pepper & nutmeg were used.
   Fresh garlic can be used instead of 1 tbsp of garlic powder.
   Season according to your taste.

- I purposely chop some of the mushrooms with my wooden spoon when cooking. It's helps make it more of a "Ragu".

- The remaining stubs after grating the carrot and celery were chopped and thrown into the frying pan. You can chop additional amounts and add if desired.

- The celery had nice leaves so they were chopped and also used.

- The sugar helps to cut some of the acid from the tomatoes and adds a little sweetness.

- Use whatever wine you enjoy drinking or have open. White will work just as well or omit it all together. Vegetable broth can be used instead. It's all about the flavor.

- I've made this omitting the onion for onion-allergic guests. And it came out just fine!

- Farfalle/Piccolini is the same as "Bow-Tie" Pasta.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sloppy Joe and Cornbread Bake

The inspiration for this receipe came mainly from two things. The first being I've been on the hunt for quick & great tasting recipes and came across Sloppy Joes in my cookbook du jour; The Best 30-Minute Recipes by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated.

Secondly, incorporating cornbread, which I both love and was stolen from another recipe, Skillet Tamale Pie which was on the page before. After I read the Skillet Tamale recipe, I knew it wasn't for me but I liked that it was topped and baked with cornbread. And so the journey begins...

The Sloppy Joe's: I use the recipe from America's Test Kitchan as a base but modified it by using ground turkey. I also added more of slightly heaping 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, because I wasn't adding in the Tabasco. Additionally I added a tad more garlic & brown sugar. Just make sure the sloppy joes aren't too dry as you'll want some good moisture to go with the cornbread.

The Cornbread: I've made tons of cornbread from scratch and quite frankly, I still find myself going back to the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. It's cheap, fast and I love the flavor as it's a sweeter mix and goes well with the robust sloppy joe's.

The recipe is simple.

1) Make your favorite sloppy joes.
2) Put the hot sloppy joe mixture into a 9x9 baking pan
3) Make your favorite cornbread mix.
(A box of Jiffy Cornbread Mix works well).
4) Bake according to cornbread directions
(usually takes a little less time so watch it carefully)
5) Enjoy!

It turned out AWESOME! We liked it so much I'm going to make it in bulk and freeze some 2-portion containers for weeknight meals.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Spitzad - Zucchini, Onions, Tomatoes & Yellow Squash

This is one of those great summer dishes that I would like to share. My mother made this dish a lot in the summer while growing up and it's one of the few vegtables dishes that Mark actually loves. I'm not really sure how it's spelled, so I spelled it like it's sounds.

It's great to make when the bounty of tomatoes, zucchini and squashes are at their peak. It's definitly versatile allowing for many variations. It's an excellent side dish. It goes great over rice and with pasta.

Get the frying pan going over med-high heat. Add 2-4 tablespoons of your favorite oil. Start with the onions, then zucchini/squash and finally the tomatoes. As you cut them, put them directly into the hot frying pan and let them start cooking in the oil. After vegetables are done, chop up herbs to your liking and add to vegetables reserving some for the end. Add salt and pepper to your taste cover and stir every 15 minutes or so. Keep it covered, allowing some steam to escape, but let it retain some of it's juices, especially when serving it over rice. After about 40 minutes or until veggies are cooked, remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese reserving about tablespoons. Mix gently and top off with reserve cheese. The basic recipe consists of:

1 med Zucchini sliced into 1" pieces
1 med Yellow Squash
- sliced into 1" pieces
1 med-large onion cut in 1/2
- cut into 1/2" verticle slices
3 cups of tomatoes
- quartered
4 tbsp Fresh Basil chopped
3 tbsp Fresh Italian Parsley chopped
1 tbsp italian seasoning (dried)
1 cup of grated cheese, parm. reggiano, locatelli, etc all work well.

Use any combination of herbs you want. I found that the dried Italian Seasoning works well when used with fresh herbs.

The day I made this, I used 2 green squash (in picture above) and 2 yellow squash, one very large "sweet" onion and about 3/12/ cups of tomatoes. It also refrigerates very well and never tried freezing it. For it's simplicity, you gain something that is very healthy and tasteful. I like to serve it with a my egg & cheese pasta, but that's for another time.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Skillet Lasagna

On a recent episode of America's Test Kitchen, they demonstrated an effective method of making Lasagna on the stove in one pan, hence, skillet Lasagna. After watching the episode (and specifically this segment) a second time, I was off to the store to gather up the ingredients. Even though I love lasagna, it can be quite the time consuming process to put together! (Nothing still beats a lasagna layered with homemade pasta sheets!) I used the Barilla lasagna sheets but they used regular lasagna noodles in the show.

I think Mark will agree with me, this dish came out absolutley delicious! It made so much that I was even able to freeze some for a future meals! The recipe is available on the America's Test Kitchen website. If you are looking for a fairly quick way to make a very tasty lasagna, I highly recommend this recipe! Finire di mangiare! (Eat Up!)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tony Makes Kalyn's Egg "Muffins"

I've been intrigued by this recipe for quite some time. There was some Canadian Bacon that had to be used up so I thought it would be a great time to make: Kalyn's Egg "Muffins".

When shopping one day, I happened to find silicon cupcake pans that were actually on sale. There was no issue of them being released from baking. Kalyn had mentioned in a later post about theese muffins that she wouldn't make them in any other type pan.

I mixed in a chopped scallion and chopped candian bacon and some grated cheddar and Asiago cheeses along with salt and pepper and they came out Eggalicious!!!! And it's great for a Low-Carb Diet! :-) Thanks Kalyn!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Hot Cross Buns

I saw these in the supermarket yesterday while grocery shopping and just had to buy them as they reminded me of my childhood and I thought they'd be a nice treat this weekend. These have the taste I remember but someone must have found some of those green fruits they use in Fruitcake at Christmas time and thought that they would be good mix in with these. (They're not, they ruined it and I picked them out).

When researching the significance of this pastry which always appeared around this time of year when I was a child, the book of Dates and Meanings of Religious & Other Festivals, hot cross buns:
"used to be kept specially for Good Friday with the symbolism of the cross, although it is thought that they originated in pagan times with the bun representing the moon and its four quarters."
Helfer Pastries online states:

Hot Cross Buns are made with sweet, yeast-raised dough, raisins, currants, cinnamon and other spices. They are finished with roll icing in the shape of a cross, to remind us of the death of Jesus and the victory of His Resurrection!
Hot Cross Buns are mainly associated with Good Friday than Easter Sunday.

Bella Online had the following to say about their pagan origins:

Their origins lie in pagan traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon. During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the icing cross. In 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday.
In years that followed, many customs, traditions, superstitions, and claims of healing and protection from evil and were associated with the buns. In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was banned in England, but the popularity of Hot Cross buns continued. Queen Elizabeth I passed a law banning the consumption of Hot Cross Buns except during festivals such as Easter, Christmas and funerals.


Saturday, March 18, 2006


A Recent Book Purchase ...

... and the Carmel Sauce from Williams-Sonoma was excellent on Valentine's Day when warmed and served with sliced apple and pound cake!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cheese Me!

My staple of cheeses that I like to keep on hand!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Favorite Winter Dinner

Sweet Potatoes, Apples & Onions with Chicken-Apple Sausage

This was so good, I thought I'd share! I whipped this up pretty quick tonight while I was on the phone with Dee. (Love and Miss you!)

I also made an awesome variation of the classic mac 'n cheese, which I will also share!

More To Come . . .