Friday, July 13, 2018

Mark's Idea for Sweet and Sour Thai Chicken....

Asian food always surprises me and I like that. I also like the fact that its easy to cook and its fast. For this dish you will need one package of chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on. You will also need one lemon, about 7-8 hand picked apricots, one fresh green zucchini, some spices and herbs along with a package of Lo Mein noodles. And, don't forget to pick up a bottle of sweet and sour sauce.

Begin by marinating the chicken in fresh squeezed lemon juice. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes. Next, season with paprika, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Lay the seasoned chicken thighs into a hot skillet of olive oil and brown on all sides. Once browned, reduce the heat and add half a bottle of sweet and sour sauce and 2 tbs of extra lemon juice mixed with a dash of low sodium soy sauce. Let this simmer (tossing in the washed apricots 'skin on') while you prepare sauteed zucchini and the lo mein noodles.

When things come together, put it all on a low lipped serving plate and enjoy!

... see you at the table

*Guest Blogger ~ Mark

Monday, July 9, 2018

Mark's Skillet Teriyaki Chicken...

Doesn't just about everything taste better ~ Teriyaki Style?

Well, maybe not everything but certainly chicken legs with the skin on. For this dish you will need: as many chicken legs per person as you will serve. One large lemon, a bottle of teriyaki sauce, a few dried herbs and spices, fresh green zucchini and potatoes as a side.

Begin by marinating the legs in fresh squeezed lemon juice and leave in fridge for about 20 minutes prior to cooking. When that time has finished, season the legs first with a drizzle of olive oil, topping them with a good shake of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, coriander and sea salt; or use a blend of seasoning called 'beer can chicken'. As for the dried herbs, use rosemary, mint and basil with dash of oregano.
Fry the legs in 3-4 tbs olive oil and coconut oil on med high until slightly blackened. Remove from the skillet, drain the skillet of the residue oil, wipe clean and place legs back in. Pour in half a bottle of teriyaki sauce and let bubble on low heat until your sides are prepared.

Microwave as many potatoes as you will need per person and saute sliced, cubed or diced zucchini in a bit of olive oil and a pat of butter.

For an additional side, slice fresh crisp cucumber, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and ranch dressing if you like.

*Guest Blogger ~ Mark

Friday, July 6, 2018

People tend to waste money and food! Teach your Child well...

Start teaching your children about money and food value early. It's important to help them understand the value of money and food. Starting around age 10, give them a few dollars every week to spend on a favorite snack or desert food and also an item that is healthy; not processed, not sugary and from one of the more nutritious food groups. * See food pyramid on the side bar on this blog.

Make their allowance dependent on the doing household chores (cooking and cleaning in the kitchen) and let them choose what they want to do instead of assigning work. They’ll soon learn that if they spend all their money on just a couple of things and then eat it all in one day or as soon as they get it, they won’t be able to afford any more until the next payday.

This strategy is to teach them about food value for money which is about frugality in making wise food choices and or using one food item a number of different ways. Start teaching them early about the importance of food groups and managing a balanced diet within a budget. 

This way, they won't waste food nor eat junk food and they will eat what they put on their plate and appreciate the value of it in terms of expense and nutrition for their mind and body.

*Source ~

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Eggplant Parmesan... An Italian Classic!

Delicious is just an Italian roadside eatery away...

Eggplant parmesan doesn't have to be difficult or done in the can do this dish on the stove in the skillet. One large eggplant is all you need along with some bread crumbs, tomato sauce and grated parmesan cheese.

Begin by soaking (washed and semi-peeled) sliced eggplant in a milk bath. Pat down both sides on a plate of seasoned bread crumbs (seasoned with dried herbs). Then gently pan fry in olive oil until browned on both sides. You will be surprised how quickly the eggplant soaks up the olive oil, so you may need to drizzle in some extra as you see it begin to disappear in the pan/skillet while the eggplant sizzles.

Once you have finished browning the long slices, remove from the skillet and set aside. Clean the skillet with a moistened paper towel and return to the stove top. Add your tomato sauce, from the jar is fine as long as its your favorite. Lay in your browned eggplant slices. Let them simmer for about 20-25 min on med heat. Then as a finale, generously top with shaved Parmesan cheese and simmer for another 15 min.

Prepare a bucatini pasta or salad as a side to this stove top lusciousness ...

~Tutti a Tavola!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Mark's Golonka "Pork Hocks" with Spices

Yes, it was such a good meal with 'fat' meat!!!

Don't fear the fat...Everybody knows that good fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. But fat from other sources serve a purpose when eaten in moderation. There are two broad categories of beneficial fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Pork really is the other white meat. Of course, the downside to this is that fat is what makes pork taste so good which explains why ham and bacon are far more popular than leaner cuts. In case you don't know, gently rendered pork fat 'lard' is really the closest substance to the natural oils in human skin. So, remember, there's no reason to fear fat because some fat in your diet is really good for you...your skin.

You will need to buy: Pork Hocks (as many per person as you need to serve).  Fresh green asparagus and pasta shells. First, you have to coat a glass dish with olive oil. Next, season the hocks with these dried herbs: paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, rosemary, mint, and sage.

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Place the hocks into the oven once the temperature is reached. Bake for about 40 minutes at 375 and then the next 60 minutes at 350 uncovered. While the meat slow cooks, boil the pasta in salted water until tender. Once tender, drain and add 2 pats of butter along with grated white cheddar cheese. Cook washed asparagus tips in olive oil on med. heat until slightly tender and then finish up on high heat to blacken.

 Enjoy Your Meal ~ Guten Apepetit!!!!

*Guest blogger ~ Mark

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Mark's Italian Veal Scallopini without the Veal???

Yes, you can make this dish without veal... just use pork or even turkey or soy if you are a vegetarian. I love this dish because its fast, frugal and delicious but that's because its brainy... like my mom and me.

For this dish you will need: either thin veal cutlets or you can use pork. Marinate in lemon juice about 20 minutes before cooking. After the marinate time has finished, pound each cutlet. Prepare a flour dip with herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano along with paprika and garlic powder.

Coat each piece front and back. Start a skillet with olive oil on high heat, lay in each coated cutlet. Brown in each side and then add 1/2 cup of roasted red pepper juice and about 1/4 cup of chopped roasted red pepper (from the jar). To that add 3 tbs of capers. Reduce heat and let simmer.

From time to time, add a bit of water so that the liquid is not consumed. And, also add a few pats of butter. Start pasta to boil. You can use either angel hair or pappardelle - wide egg noodle. When tender, drain and ladle onto a low lipped serving plate and top with cutlets and sauce.


*Guest blogger ~ Mark

Mark's Mostaccioli with Italian Sausage!

Mostaccioli is always a quick fix: fast and frugal and delicious. All you need is about 1 lb of good Italian sausage. Plus, large penne pasta or mostaccioli pasta along with canned or jarred crushed tomatoes and one whole onion.

Dice the onion fine and saute in olive oil. Push aside and add the Italian sausage, crumbled in (without casing).  Brown the sausage and then add one large can of crushed tomatoes and one med. size can. Stirring add all dried herbs: rosemary, oregano, mint and basil. You can also sprinkle in some garlic powder. Let this simmer while you prepare the pasta; boil in salted water.

Once pasta is tender, drain and stir into the sauce. Serve with a fresh green garden salad and some Italian bread.  Scoot on over and meet me on the terrace and we will have lunch!


*Guest blogger ~ Mark