Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

This dish is Italian American and not Italian. Its name comes from a mistranslation of minestra maritata ("married soup"), which is called that because the meat and vegetables are well married. The original soup is much heavier than the American version. This is a great soup to make this time of year. It is hearty, but healthy. So if you are still on a honeymoon with your New Year’s resolutions, then make this delicious soup!

You will fall in love with this soup!

Servings: 6-8
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a mixing bowl, un-powdered latex gloves, a stock pot, a wooden spoon,
Time: Prep: 15 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes

Chicken meatballs
  •  ½ pound ground chicken
  • ⅛ cup bread crumbs
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons pesto
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  1. This is easiest to do with your hands. Put on latex gloves. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl and mix with your hands. Make small ½ inch meatballs.
  • chicken meatballs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion (¼ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot (½ cup)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup baby spinach leafs
  • 1 cup small pasta (I used ditali)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan + more for garnish
  • S&P
  1. Wash the spinach. Remove the stems and roughly chop.
  2. Wash the carrot. Dice the carrot, onion, and garlic.
  3. Heat the oil in the pot on medium high. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic. Allow to sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are clear.
  4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and pasta. Allow the soup to return to boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. The pasta should be firm (al dente) and the meatballs should be cooked through. Stir in the spinach and Parmesan cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  6. S&P to taste. Garnish with more Parmesan.

Chicken Meatballs

These meatballs are as tasty as any made of pork and beef. They are healthier because they are made from lower fat chicken and baked instead of fried. So you can enjoy your favorite food and stick to your resolutions to take better care of yourself.

Servings: 12 meatballs
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, a mixing bowl, un-powdered latex gloves, a baking sheet, foil
Time: Prep: 10 minutes Cooking: 35 minutes

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ⅛ cup milk
  • ⅛ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 egg
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°
  2. This is easiest to do with your hands. Put on latex gloves.  Combine all the ingredients,except spray, in the bowl and mix with your hands. Make golf ball sized meatballs.
  3. Cover the baking sheet in foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  4. Bake the meatballs for about 35 minutes. Check the largest meatball to see if it is cooked through.

You can drop these meatballs in sauce or soup. You can use them to make sandwiches or use them alone as an appetizer. You can cook the meatballs, allow them to cool, and place them in a single layer on a plate. Freeze them for about an hour and then freeze them for long term storage with a food saver system.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mudbug Chowder

Crawfish, or craw daddies, or crayfish, or mudbugs…these freshwater crustaceans have many names. The guy at the fish market called them miniature lobsters. They don’t go by that name. He was being pretentious or maybe flirting, I don’t know. I said, “Yeah, whatever. Give me two pounds of mudbugs.” We used to find these in the ditch behind our house. Their lowly station cannot be improved by calling them lobsters. However, their wonderful flavor cannot be improved upon because mudbug or not, these things are good.

Serves: 4-6
Time: prep: 15 minutes cook: 30
Hardware: measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a can opener, a large stock pot, sauce pan, a whisk, a wooden spoon

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 small onion (about 1 cup)
  • ½ small green pepper (¼ cup)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I like Zatarain’s)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1-15 oz can whole kernel corn-drained
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 pound cooked crayfish tails (you can buy these already boiled from the butcher)
  • S&P to taste
  1. Dice the bacon.
  2. Wash and dice the onion and pepper.
  3. Peel and cube the potatoes. Try to make the cubes the same size. This will allow them to cook evenly.
  4. Sauté the bacon, onions, and pepper in the pot on medium high. Cook for about 5 minutes. Every thing should be bubbling, but not browning.
  5. Stir in the stock, the potatoes, and the Cajun seasoning. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil over medium in the sauce pan until it begins to sizzle. Add the flour and stir constantly until there are no lumps and the flour is a nice buttery color. This should take about 2 minutes. (This is called a roux.)
  7. Slowly whisk the roux into the stock.
  8. Add the half-and-half, butter, drained corn, and crayfish tails. Cook until everything is heated through (about 5 minutes.)
  10. Season with S&P.

Offer your guests oyster crackers and hot sauce.