This is about as easy as it gets!  The chicken cutlets don’t take a lot of time to cook and the broccoli is ready in minutes!  I love the way broccoli looks after it cooked.  If it is sautéed correctly, this beautiful bright green vegetable looks scrumptious!

You have to be very careful with the timing!

Take it off the heat as soon as it turns that radiant color because it will continue to cook after you take it off the stove.  Nothing is more unappetizing to me than dark green, sad looking broccoli, so be careful and follow the directions!

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Ingredients for Broccoli
Rinse broccoli and dry it very well. Drying thoroughly helps to keep it crisp.
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, chopped very small
1/2 onion, chopped
Juice of 1 small lemon
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Todays Hint:  Just to let those of you who do not like the stems of the broccoli, I have a suggestion.  Peel the stems like you would peel a carrot. Taste!!  It is amazing how different the stems taste when they are peeled!  They are sweet and delicious!  You might change your mind and use them from now on!  Maybe even use them as a snack!

Add olive oil to pan. When heated, add onions, a little salt and pepper (save some for later).

Cook onions until they are translucent about 8 minutes.

Add lemon, red pepper flakes and garlic.

Cook garlic only one minute. It is important that you do not burn the garlic.  Remember you have other ingredients to add and the garlic will continue to cook.

Now add the broccoli, and some more salt and pepper.

Mix ingredients well.

Cook until broccoli turns bright green about 10 minutes. Immediately take the pan off the heat. The broccoli will continue to cook after you take it off the heat. You want the broccoli to be crunchy, not soft and mushy. Taking it off the heat when it turns bright green will ensure that you have the perfect consistency and a beautiful side dish.

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Ingredients for Chicken Cutlets
6 small boneless chicken thighs
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp. Kosher salt
2 tbsp. pepper
3 cups bread crumbs
3 eggs
1/2-cup olive oil.
Set oven to 350.

Mix flour, garlic powder onion powder, oregano, basil salt and pepper together in a plastic bag. Shake well to mix.

Make sure chicken cutlets are dry.  Drop them into bag and shake well.

Beat eggs into bowl.

Place bread crumbs onto a paper plate.

Drop each cutlet into egg bowl, then into breadcrumb mixture. Make sure cutlets are evenly coated with bread crumbs

Heat olive oil in pan medium heat until sizzling. Drop cutlets into pan.

Each cutlet should take about 5-7 minutes to brown.  Set your timer.

Do not crowd cutlets in pan. Do it in batches if you need to.

When you get to the second batch watch carefully.  The oil is very hot the second time around, and the cutlets may take only 3-4 minutes to brown. You need to watch them so they do not burn.

Take chicken cutlets out of pan and place them on paper plate or board covered with paper towels. Let them sit a while to absorb the oil.

Place in aluminum pan and put in oven for 20 minutes. Set your timer!!

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It’s that simple!


The most important cooking skill to have is timing! I have acquired many timers throughout the years to make sure that nothing is over or under cooked. The timers with the long ring are my favorite because the ring continues long enough to redirect my attention back to the meal I am preparing. When you are preparing 4-5 dishes at once, you find that it’s easy to forget!

My kitchen is especially busy during Thanksgiving because I host 40-45 guests at my home. Timing and organization are critical and I frequently use 4-5 timers simultaneously during those insane days leading up to any family get-together. I always set the timer with a piece of paper under it that says specifically what the timer is for to organize the preparation process.

To avoid overcooking your meals, there are two things you must remember!

1. When cooking meat and especially fish, if the recipe tells you to take it out at a specific temperature, do not wait until it reaches that temperature in the oven. Take the meat or fish out when it reads 10 degrees below what the recipe directs. The recipe tells you the temperature it should be when fully cooked. However, it will continue to cook outside of the oven and your dinner will be dry if you follow the recipe instructions verbatim!

2. If a recipe calls for a specific time to cook any meat/poultry/fish, always set your timer for 1/2 hour or 20 minutes less. If it needs more cooking, set your timer to 5 minutes increments to make sure that you do not overcook! Remember to take it out before the meat/fish is fully cooked and give it time to cook outside of the oven.

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It’s that simple! Thank you Simone!

 


This recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten. What a gift! It is great for any brunch or it can be used a a side dish. I made it for Fathers Day this year as a side because I wanted to take pictures and prepare it for my blog. It worked just as well! I had also used it for my Mother’s Day brunch but no one complained! Everything about it is scrumptious! When it is finished it looks light and fluffy. This is so easy and a crowd pleaser every time. You really must try it!

Today’s hint: When cracking eggs, I tap them lightly on the counter into a separate bowl first. This way if any egg shells fall into the bowl you can scoop them out easily. If the egg shell is difficult to remove, try using a larger piece of egg shell to remove it. Works every time!

Ingredients for Smoked Salmon Frittata
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 extra-large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, such a Montrachet, crumbled
1/2 pound fresh smoked salmon, chopped
3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Sauté the onion in the butter in a 10 inch oven proof omelet pan over medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

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In a large bowl, beat the eggs.

Add the heavy cream,  goat cheese smoked salmon, scallions, dill, salt and pepper and combine.

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Pour the mixture over the onions and place the omelet pan in the center of the oven.

Bake the frittata for about 50 minutes, until it puffs up and a knife inserted in the middle of the frittata come out clean.  Serve hot directly from the pan.

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It’s that simple! Enjoy!

 


Herb Garden

It is summer! When I first started getting ready to start this blog, it was Spring! It took longer than I thought to get this up and running. But it still is not to late! Time to push your sleeves back and get into the garden!

Even if you have little experience gardening, growing herbs is an easy, rewarding endeavor. Nothing tastes as good as something you have grown!

I must confess, I do not have a green thumb when it comes to gardening. I have tried to grow tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables with little success. Okay, maybe I once got 12 grape tomatoes and they were delicious. But that was about it. Never a good outcome for me!

However, I have been successful at growing herbs in containers for many years. It is pretty easy.

You can grow your herbs in pots on the patio, or the deck right next to your kitchen. Make sure you buy pots that are deep enough for the roots to grow. The pots need to have good drainage. If your herb roots sit in the water for too long your herbs will die.

You can buy your favorite herbs from your local garden store. Most grocery stores sell them now, as well. Some of the herbs, like thyme, chives, and mint, are perennial, which means they will grow back again every spring.

Next step is to find an organic potting mix. Potting mix is better than potting soil, as potting soil tends to be heavy and have poor drainage. An organic potting mix is a much better choice since it is higher quality, lighter and will give your herbs the drainage they need.

You are going to have to replant the herbs in a larger pot. Make sure to place rocks at the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage prior to pouring in the potting mix.

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I promise you they will grow beautifully if you just remember to water them!

You must pick a spot where the herbs will get plenty of sun during the day. Herbs originated in the Mediterranean region and other areas of the world that have very hot climates; herbs are sun worshipers.

There is nothing more rewarding and fresher than cutting the sprigs of your home- grown herbs and adding them to your summertime meals and salads!

Start growing now! You will be so glad you did!

Once you have grown your own garden, there’s a trick to keeping the herbs fresh in the refrigerator and ready to use. This trick works just as well for store-bought herbs during winter months.

Rinse and wash well, then let them dry thoroughly.

Once they are dry, layer 2 paper towels and sprinkle water to wet the paper towels a little, but not entirely.

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Place the herb in a single row on top of the paper towel.

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Roll up the paper towel with the herb inside.

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Place in plastic bag, but do not close the plastic bag!

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Write the name of the herb on the plastic bag and refrigerate until you need it.

Remember also, that when a recipe contains a dry herb ingredient, if you choose to use a fresh herb instead, you will have to use twice as much of the fresh herb than you would the dry herb.

Try it! I think you will be surprised by how easy it is to have fresh herbs throughout the year!

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It’s that simple! Good Luck! (Thank you Simone!)

 


I love lemons as you can see from my blog’s banner picture. They are my go to ingredient for almost everything I cook. I buy them regularly at the grocery store (lots of them!) and always have fresh lemons in my house. When people in the grocery store see me purchasing 15 lemons at a time, they think I’m going to make lemonade! I tell them that I use lemons in most of my recipes.  Green tea with fresh squeezed lemon is my daily drink. As a child, I remember eating lemon halves, much to the disapproval of my mother (she used to roll her eyes)! Old habits die hard and I still love them to this day (although I no longer eat them whole)!

Todays Hint: Cut lemons lengthwise. This makes them much easier to squeeze. Add a little lemon to anything–pasta sauces, salad dressing, marinades and all vegetables that you are roasting or sautéing- almost any recipe. It really adds a tangy kick and extra freshness to the dish.

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This recipe is as easy as it gets! Fast and on the table in minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Ingredients for the Salmon
(2)½ pound center cut pieces of a good organic salmon (keep in mind that you can use ANY type of fish, but the cooking times will change)
Juice of 1 lemon
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blend, Blackend Redfish Magic

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Place salmon in baking dish or aluminum dish (to cut down dishes to wash)

Squeeze lemon juice on salmon

Sprinkle Salmon with seasoning blend. The more you sprinkle on, the spicier it will be. It is a mild spicing, so if your family does not like it too spicy, a little is fine.

raw salmon

Place pan in oven.

For medium rare bake 20 minutes.

For medium well, bake 25 minutes.

Set the timer for 20 minutes for medium rare pieces, then reset timer for 5 minutes for medium well pieces.

Ingredients for Corn
2 bags frozen corn
6 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 handfuls basil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Juice of ½ lemon (or more if you would like)
1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Melt butter in skillet.

Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Add corn, basil, salt and pepper.

Mix ingredients well. Then stop mixing corn for about 2-3 minutes. You want corn to brown and caramelize.

Stir again and keep repeating until corn is nicely browned all over.

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Another Hint: If you have a gas stove top, put aluminum foil around all the burners you are not using. This protects other burners from getting dirty and cleanup is so easy!!!

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It’s that simple! Enjoy! (Thank you, Simone!)