Easter Sunday

From todays’ Daily Word:

“The eternal light of Easter morning lifts my spirit to new heights.
 

“I am a spiritual being engaged in a human experience. As such, my individual spirit is resurrected when I use faith and forgiveness to dissolve negative energies and attitudes that have been slowing me on my spiritual path.

“I am the light, and the kingdom of God is within. Recognizing this, I dissolve thoughts in consciousness that would deny my worthiness for personal resurrection. I AM a whole and perfect expression of infinite spirit, here in human form to create—choice by choice—the new dimension of consciousness that Jesus demonstrates through his Easter manifestation.

“As it is for me, so it is for the world. I affirm that the energy of resurrection is lifting all people to new “dimensions of love, appreciating deeply the true unity of all life.”

I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.—John 20:17

Easter flowers I bought for my wife:

 

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Easter Sunday flowers I bought for my wife.

 

Sunday In The Park

Sunday in the park down the street from where I live.

Mittineague Park, West Springfield, Massachusetts. Sunday, October 1, 2017.

 

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Pasta Primavera

Returning home from a long weekend at a 50th wedding anniversary, my wife suggested I make something simple for dinner, pasta primavera.

Indeed simple—-and delicious, especially because the vegetables are roasted!!!

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I used Banana Peppers from my garden)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and cut into thin strips (my addition)
  • 2 ears of fresh corn (Remove the husks and the silk from the corn and cut the kernels off as close to the husk as possible) (my addition)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
  • 1 pound Tagliatelle pasta (I used fresh pasta from RANA.)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet (I used a large cast iron pan), toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat.  Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10–15 minutes, about 20–30 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

 
 

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Spicy Chicken Orange Ginger Meatballs

These spicy chicken orange ginger meatballs are so delicious!

Ingredients
  • For the meatballs
  • ¼ c. milk
  • ½ c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 
1½ lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 
2 tbsp. green onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • 
1/4 tsp. salt
  • 
1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • I added 1/2 cup of leftover mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup of chopped leftover green beans—-and 1/4 cup red wine! OH! And I small carrot and celery stalk finely diced 🙂

 

  • For the sauce:
  • ½ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ c. granulated sugar or honey
  • ⅓ c. white or rice vinegar
  • ¼ c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk and panko breadcrumbs. Allow to soak for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, egg, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix together just until combined (overworking it will cause the meatballs to be dense).
  3. Shape into meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked throughout (internal temperature of 165).
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, sugar or honey, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. In a small bowl whisk together the cold water and cornstarch, add to the saucepan. Whisk until combined, continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Place the meatballs in serving dishes over hot brown rice and steamed broccoli. Add sauce. YUM!

Based on a recipe from Life Made Simple.

 

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I Give and Receive Light and Love

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The Very Best Burger

I have never bought a store-made hamburger patty. Never!

I like to make my own. Here is one with parsley, Parmesan cheese and Worcestershire Sauce topped with hamburger relish  and red onion sitting on an English Muffin. Doesn’t it look delicious?

And here is another topped with corn salsa! Do I hear an Ole!!!???

Oh, I have eaten store-made hamburger patties at graduation parties and summer barbeques. Once I even put a knife through my palm trying to separate a few frozen patties that were given to me as a gift. Some gift! They meant well and I was just dumb.

But a few weeks ago, I was in Big Y World Class Food Market and a “New Item” caught my eye. A simple but beautiful package of 4 hamburgers from Schweid & Sons, “The Very Best Burger,” “Fresh Custom Blend Ground Beef Burgers.”  Me, being an adventurer always ready and willing to try something new, picked up a package.

The first time I cooked 2 burgers for Susan and me, it rained and I was forced to bake them. I simply couldn’t wait another day to see if I liked these burgers.  I did. Delicious!

Here I served them on English Muffins, with Swiss Cheese, Banana Peppers, Ketchup and Relish. Sides of homes fries and carrot fries—-both seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning.

The second time I grilled the burgers. Always better on the grill!

Keeping it simple here. English Muffin, Hamburger Relish, Sliced Campari tomatoes. Delicious!

I definitely recommend the burgers from Schweid & Sons. Are they the very best burger? Who knows? Who cares? Give them a try. Fire up that grill. Open a bottle of wine. Bon Appetit!

And if you are looking for a Buffalo Burger, give D’Artagnan a try. I grill these all the time and love them! I also buy there bacon—no nitrates!

When Susan and I eat out and want a burger we enjoy the food at Shortstop Bar & Grill in Westfield, Massachusetts.

 

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Smoked Salmon, Arugula and Goat Cheese Frittata

Delicious!!!!!!!

Ingredients

  • For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 package of Smoked Salmon from Boston Smoked Fish Company, roughly chopped
  • For the Eggs:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the Topping:
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago cheese, finely grated (1/2 cup)

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove onions and add remaining tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Add potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Saute until they begin to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Return onions to skillet in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with basil and parsley.
  2. Heat broiler. Use a whisk to lightly beat eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in cream, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Cook, using a heatproof flexible spatula to stir and push egg from edges to center of pan so runny parts run underneath, until eggs are almost set (they should still be wet on top but otherwise set throughout), 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Drop dollops of goat cheese on top of frittata, distributing evenly and pressing down into eggs a bit with the spatula. Sprinkle evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil until frittata is set on top and has puffed slightly, and cheese is melted and golden, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  5. Gently run the spatula around the edges and underneath the frittata and carefully slide out of pan onto a plate. Slice into six wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart.

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Caper Stuffed Veal and Spinach Tomato Sauce

This is so delicious!!!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese (My addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 veal scaloppine (about 1 1/2 pounds in all)
  • Salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 15-ounce can) (Note: I used fresh assorted small tomatoes, halved)
  • 10 ounces spinach, large stems removed, leaves washed (I used 1 bag of fresh spinach.)

How to make this recipe

    1. In a small bowl, combine the capers, parsley, bread crumbs, anchovy paste, Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Use half for stuffing and half for sauce—my idea!
  1. Put the veal on a work surface and sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper over the meat. Put some of the stuffing near the bottom of each piece of veal. Roll the veal up loosely, enclosing the stuffing, and secure each piece with a toothpick.
  2. In a large deep frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the butter over moderate heat. Add the veal rolls to the pan and brown, in batches if necessary, for about 3 minutes. Remove.
  3. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the wine to the pan and cook, stirring to dislodge any brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes, stuffing, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Return the veal to the pan. Cover and continue to simmer, turning the rolls once, until tender, about 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the veal from the pan. Add the spinach to the sauce and simmer until the spinach wilts and the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the veal rolls and serve the rolls with the sauce. Serve over noodles (my idea)

Based on a recipe from Food & Wine.

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Red Lentil Soup with Peas and Ham

I had leftover ham from Easter and I wondered if I could find a lentil and ham recipe. I did at Food Network Magazine. So delicious!!!

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced ham (about 4 ounces) (Note: I used 2 cups diced ham)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (Note: I used 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (3 to 4 medium potatoes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (My homemade stock)
  • 1 cup dried yellow or red lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ham, onion and 2 tablespoons dill; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, potatoes, 1/2 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups water and the lentils; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the lentils begin to fall apart, 12 to 15 more minutes. Stir in the peas, yogurt and the remaining 1 tablespoon dill. Ladle the soup into bowls.

How To Find The Right Dog For You And Your Dog

How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie’s for sale. (Patti Page)

When I was a child I didn’t have a dog, but now that I have a dog, Freddy, a mini-labradoodle I am filled with child-like joy.

It was my wife’s idea to get a dog. Susan grew up with dogs. And had a dog of her own. When my daughter and son-in-law got a Goldendoodle puppy, Bella, the desire for a dog reared its puppy head again, so to speak. Danielle and Mike had visited with Bella a couple of days after Christmas 2012 and Susan was smitten. She wanted a dog, NOW. That’s me, Susan, and Freddy above.

This is Bella (above), Danielle and Mike’s Goldendoodle.

Susan went online and searched, mistakenly, for Labradoodles. Well, lo and behold, she found a breeder of Labradoodles in East Otis, MA. and she called. She spoke with the breeder and learned that a litter had just been born but all the puppies were called for already, except one. It was Freddy! Because of a recessive gene from his grandfather he turned out to be a mini Labradoodle. Well, that suited Susan even better as she preferred a smaller dog.

Freddy says, “They are totally focused on me.  The important thing is that they love me unconditionally.  Susan tells me that God loves me, too. I don’t know who that is. But, I do know that GOD is DOG spelled backwards. Wherever they are, I am. If they are at their desks, I am under their feet. When they are sitting on the sofa, I sit on their laps or beside them. They put a rug under the kitchen table, so that I can be comfortable when they are eating. We go out in the back yard several times a day. There is agility equipment, toys, balls, and Frisbees for me to play with and I have my own pool. They usually always take me with them wherever they go in their car.

“I have so much fun and Susan does, too! They say I am fast and smart and that I have the potential to be a champion.  We’ll decide whether to compete once I am more experienced. In the meantime, I am enjoying the classes and practicing at home. Susan and Bruce tell me they are proud of me and they want me to be the happy little dog, God, whoever that is, wants me to be. I sometimes think it would be fun to have a playmate, another dog in the house. I don’t know if Susan and Bruce are thinking of getting another dog, but I know this handy chart from PuppySpot would come in handy.”

Many thanks to my wife, Susan, who wrote much of the history of Freddy on her Blog, Stories About Susan.

And thanks to PuppySpot for contacting me about writing a Blog post for them. They write: “We are a community of dog lovers, committed to connecting the nation’s top breeders to caring, responsible individuals and families. We hold ourselves and our clients to the highest standards and aim to improve the life of each puppy, breeder and owner who joins our family.”

~~~

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