I have always found white rice to be very tricky to make. The ingredients have to be measured exactly and carefully, and the timing has to be perfect or it can easily burn. I finally found a friend who taught me how to prepare it. She helped me meticulously measure all the ingredients, and now I can make it with much less effort and worry.

This recipe is really quite simple. I love the addition of the orzo pasta, which gives this dish a luxurious texture and taste. The rice and pasta are cooked in chicken broth rather than water, which gives this dish an appealing depth of flavor. The ingredients in this recipe combine wonderfully and I will be adding this to my “short on time” recipe repertoire.

This recipe is courtesy of Allrecipes.com and, although they did not specify how many people it will serve, I will say 4-6. Your family is going to love this new way of enjoying white rice.

Ingredients for Sarah’s Rice Pilaf

2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked while rice
2 cups chicken broth

Melt the butter in a lidded skillet over medium-low heat.

Cook and stir orzo pasta until golden brown.

Stir in onion and cook until onion becomes translucent, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Mix in the rice and chicken broth.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

It’s that simple!


This recipe appealed to me because of its enticing combination of ingredients. It is a perfect recipe for fall.

The Brussels sprouts and onions are roasted, until they are beautifully browned and caramelized. Once the apples are added, the recipe takes on an entirely new, rich depth of flavor. Finally, it is topped with honey roasted pecans. The result is a fantastic, savory dish which exceeded my expectations. 

This is a simple recipe. The only thing you have to be very careful about is roasting the pecans. You really need to set your timer and be vigilant about checking them. They tend to burn easily if you are not careful. The honey roasted pecans add a layer of nutty, salty crunch. They are so delicious, you might find yourself popping one or two in your mouth! Just make sure to leave some for the Brussels sprouts.

When roasting the Brussels sprouts, check them as well, and remove them from the oven when the tops are browned, and the sides are still a beautiful shade of green. This will ensure that they are not overcooked.

This is a recipe that I will definitely be making again. It might even make it to my Thanksgiving menu next year!

This recipe is courtesy of The Meatball Shop cookbook and will serve 4-6 people who will be delighted with this different, delicious, new combination of ingredients!

Ingredients for the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Honey-Roasted Pecans

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. salt or to taste
2 baking apples, such as Braeburn or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
1 cup honey roasted pecans (recipe follows)
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Honey Roasted Pecans:

1 cup pecan halves
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325.

Place the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle on the honey, add the salt and toss to coat.

Roast, tossing every 5 minutes, until the pecans are deep brown, well roasted, and emit a strong, nutty aroma, about 20 minutes.

Remove pecans from the oven and allow to cool before using or serving.

For the Brussels Sprouts:

Preheat oven to 500.

Place the Brussels sprouts and onions in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. (I cheated and used an aluminum pan. Feel free to do the same. Easier clean-up!)

Add the olive oil and salt, and toss to coat.

Roast until the Brussels sprouts begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the apples, mix, and return to the oven. 

Continue roasting, turning every 10 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts and onions are fully cooked and tender and the apples are beginning to soften, about 20 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven, add the vinegar, and toss to incorporate.

Season with additional salt, if desired, and transfer to a platter.

Top with the pecans and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

It’s that simple!


Another weekday dinner to plan!

I did my research and found this wonderful recipe, courtesy of Giada De Laurentis.

This is one of my family’s favorite meals. It is simple and tasty. Who knew that “agrodolce sauce” could be so easy! It may sound intimidating, but trust me it is not! Agrodolce sauce is an Italian sweet and sour sauce. “Agro” means sour and “dolce” means sweet. It is made by cooking down, or reducing sweet and sour ingredients, such as the vinegar and honey in this recipe.  

You can serve it with rice or potatoes. Just make sure to put a little bit of glaze on anything you make with it, because it will be delicious on those as well.

Her original recipe was made with pork chops. Feel free to make it with those. I substituted chicken bottoms and it was was delightful.

Giada never disappoints. Her recipes are always dependable and fantastic.

Add this one to your list of “must make”. It really was wonderful! This recipe will serve 4 people who will love this delicious sauce!

Ingredients for the Chicken

1/4 cup of olive oil
3 chicken bottoms, (thighs and legs attached)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper

Ingredients for the Glaze 
(Agrodolce Sauce)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, pale green and white parts only, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (4 tbsp. cut into 1 inch cubes at room temperature
1 tsp, kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

In a heavy, oven-ready skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the red pepper flakes.

Place chicken bottoms (skin side down) in the skillet and set your timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, thighs should be golden brown. Turn thighs over and set your timer for an additional 7 minutes.

Place pan in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Take out of oven and set aside.

Glaze:

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, honey, garlic, scallions and rosemary to a boil over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally until honey has dissolved.

Simmer for 9 minutes (set your timer) until mixture is slightly reduced.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.

sweet sour sauce

Add salt and pepper.

Arrange the chicken thighs on a platter and drizzle with the glaze.

It’s that simple!


Passover is here again! I spend this holiday each year with my brother and his family in Florida. Spending time with my family and cooking for the holidays is a passion for me  that creates warm and wonderful memories.

We always seem to be cooking for a large crowd, which leaves little time for picture-taking and blogging. This year, however, I did want to include a recipe that my sister-in-law Shelley, had shared with me years ago for Passover. It originated several years back from Marcy Goldman (no surprise there) and has become a Passover staple ever since. 

This recipe is among one of my favorite Passover desserts.  It is a scrumptious cracker made up of caramel and chocolate on top of matzoh. You can use a variety of toppings such as peanuts, sesame seeds, banana chips, or anything that is kosher for Passover. It’s also a great way to use up leftover matzoh as well.

I like to keep it simple, so I use almonds, which are always a Passover favorite. It is simple to make and  everyone just loves it!

You do not need to celebrate Passover for this one! It is so good that it is addicting (hence the word “crack”).

Ingredients for Matzoh Crack

4-6 sheets of matzoh
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, cut into small pieces
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces brown sugar, firmly packed
12 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 vanilla bean 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Cover oven rack heavily with aluminum foil so caramel syrup will not seep through. 

Adjust oven rack to center position. 

Line a 12 – by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, or just simply use an aluminum pan.

Place matzoh side-by-side in the pan as close together as possible without overlapping them. Use matzoh pieces to fill in any gaps. Set aside.

matzoh uncooked in pan

Slice vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Set aside.

matzoh vanilla bean

In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine over medium-low heat stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.Once the margarine has melted, add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir to combine.

matzho butter, vannila sugar

Cook until mixture is a dark brown color and has begun to bubble, about 5 minutes.

matzoh caramel

Remove from the heat and pour over matzoh using a spatula to spread it evenly.

matzoh with caramel

Bake matzoh for 5-10 minutes or until margarine mixture begins to bubble and crackers begin to lightly brown. 

Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate morsels.

matzoh choco chips

Return matzoh to oven and bake for about 5-8 minutes or until the chocolate starts to melt.

Remove from oven and spread the chocolate evenly so all of the matzoh are completely covered. 

matzoh choco melted

You can add any other toppings now if desired.matzoh aldmonds

Refrigerate until chocolate sets and hardens. Sprinkle with salt and break apart into smaller pieces and serve.

It’s that simple!

 

 


Previously, I have written a blog for scalloped potatoes. We all love them and they are a wonderful dish to make for company.

I try not to write too many recipes with the same content, but in this case, I have made an exception, especially since both are from the same chef. These scalloped potatoes are just as, if not more outstanding as the other recipe. 

This recipe has been a family favorite for many years. I had forgotten all about it until our last family dinner. When it was presented, everyone was so excited, because it is after all, just plain scrumptious. The time has come to share it with all of you.

This recipe is dairy free, which makes it much lighter than most scalloped potato recipes that are loaded with cheese. You would never know the difference; it is just as delicious. Just remember to add a couple of layers of potatoes to get a substantial, beautiful dish. 

This recipe, courtesy of Kosher By Design, by Susie Fishbein, is a “must try”. It will serve 6-8 overjoyed people who will love it!

Ingredients for Scalloped Potatoes

6 tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
28 ounces chicken stock
9 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-slices
Freshly ground black pepper
Paprika

scalloped potato cut thin

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 9x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large pot, melt the margarine over low heat.

Turn the heat up to medium, add the flour slowly, stirring constantly.

Add the onions, mayonnaise, salt, and chicken stock. Stir until smooth.

Cook until the sauce thickens.

scalloped potatoes sauce in pan

With a ladle, place a layer of the sauce into the bottom of the pan.

Spread a layer of overlapping potatoes. Top with sauce.

scalloped potatoes layer sauce potato

Repeat, alternating with layers of potatoes and sauce.

There should be a total of three sauce layers and two potato layers, with sauce on top.

scallop potato fully layered in pan

Sprinkle the top layer with paprika and pepper.

scallop potato woth paprika

Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours or until golden.

It’s that simple!