VICTORY GARDEN

So…. we are in the middle of a pandemic. It is all so surreal, I have not known what to do with myself. I have been cooking a lot but the kiddos are like wild animals and start eating it all before I can take pictures for the blog. So, I decided to create a Victory Garden (Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United StatesUnited KingdomCanadaAustralia and Germany[1][2] during World War I and World War II. Wartime governments encouraged people to plant victory gardens not only to supplement their rations but also to boost morale.[3])

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Sunday Chefs french chicken cover page

French casserole Chicken – Supreme of Old Hen

This recipe brings back such fond memories of my childhood. It is not hard, but it is a bit time consuming. For some reason my late-father who loved to cook did not like to cook this. But he always made it for me on my birthday because he knew it was my favorite. It still is…. I have such wonderful memories of my birthday and this meal. I remember one time, he spent all day making it and we were all sitting at the table waiting for dinner. He liked to make a big deal out of the fact that he made it and was presenting it with a flourish, as he brought it to the table.

To be a good cook you have to have a love of the good, a love of hard work, and a love of creating” – Julia Child

Gluten Free Bagel Recommendation

So… I stumbled across these in the grocery store a while back and thought I would give them a try. O’Doughs Thins (Sesame Bagel Thin). I am glad that I did! Gluten Free products aren’t always the best, but these are really good. My husband requests them even though gluten is not an issue for him. I have tried the other flavors also and they are fantastic too. O’Dough’s Bagel Things are also vegan, kosher and trans fat free if you are looking for that. I just know they are fantastic and it is nice to find a bagel I can look forward too.

So if you are looking for a gluten free bagel, O’Dough’s is for you.

 

Spice and Wine cover pic

Spice and Wine Bistro – Trastevere, Rome Restaurant and Food Allergy Review

Spice & Wine Bistro located in the heart of Trastevere, Rome was a place we just wandered into one night when we were caught in the rain. I was a bit apprehensive as we had not done any research beforehand regarding the food allergies. I like to do research on the restaurants that we go to in advance about how they handle food allergies, so this was a gamble, but they took it all very seriously and were very helpful. (We have allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, carrots, cucumbers, legumes, soy, eggplant, zucchini and gluten) We were seated at a lovely table in the back corner and I felt the place was warm and inviting.

 

Every meal should be a small celebration – Fannie Farmer

The staff was lovely and attentive. We had a great time with them. If you head in the back they have this cabinet thing where they collect all the corks from the wine bottles and I just had to get a picture of it. The waiters jumped in and made the pictures great. We had the caprese salad, bruschetta, meatballs, spicy penne, cacio e pepe and carbonara. There were no complaints. In fact, my two older daughters dream about the spicy penne, they loved it so much.

I saw that there were bad reviews on TripAdvisor for this restaurant about the staff. My experience was the exact opposite. I gave them a good review on TripAdvisor. They were wonderful and fun. If I ever have the privilege of visiting Rome another time, I would go back there again, it was very good.

I think people should give them another chance, we had a great evening.

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Baking Tip – How to cut the perfect brownie.

I know this sounds silly, but ever since someone told me about this trick, I use it every time. As a parent of a child with food allergies, I always bring the snacks….so I make a lot of brownies. I tend to cook brownies a bit underdone on purpose, which is our family’s preference. The trick is to use a plastic spoon when cutting them. The edges come out perfect and clean and the brownies do not stick to the knife. It is miraculous. Give it a try next time you are making brownies or blondies, you will be amazed.

 

It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life – J.R.R. Tolkein

 

Carbonara

When the recipe card is as old and worn as this one, you know it’s good. Not even sure where I got the recipe, but it is a staple in this house. At my bridal shower, oh so many years ago, the guests all brought me a recipe, it might be from there. This is the ultimate pantry meal.

I split this recipe in two and make half with regular pasta and half with gluten free to accommodate my whole family. It is great both ways!

Life is a combination of Magic and Pasta – Federico Fellini

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked (regular or gluten free)
  • 1/3 lb. bacon
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper (I like it spicy, so I add a little more)
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup boiling pasta water
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Cook pasta Al Dente.

In large skillet over medium high heat. Saute bacon until it browns. Remove bacon and put aside. Drain the bacon oil and then add two tbsp. olive oil, garlic and red pepper. Saute two minutes. Add wine and reduce by half.

Beat eggs vigorously and stir in a ladle of pasta water. Drain the pasta and to bacon pan and remove from heat. Add egg mixture, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and toss until well combined and cheese has melted. Serve with extra cheese.

Allergens: Dairy, Egg, Wheat (can make gluten free)

Sunday Chefs jamblaya

Super Bowl Sunday!

My husband and I have a tradition of making Jambalaya on Super Bowl Sunday and we have become quite superstitious about it. I have recently finished a long battle against breast cancer and last year I was too sick to do anything. Too sick to cook, eat or even watch the game and the Patriots lost! Well this year I am cancer free and feeling good. So the menu for today is Jambalaya, corn bread, cheese steak calzones and homemade onion rings. Don’t worry there was a salad made so we could say there was something healthy! Lets hope it helps the Patriots in their battle against the Rams! If not, we will at least get a great meal.

It’s not whether you get knocked down, It’s whether you get up. – Vince Lombardi

Serve over white rice with a side of corn bread.

Sunday Chefs jamblaya

Jambalaya Recipe

Sunday Chefs
This easy and allergy friendly recipe never fails to impress.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, cajun
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Onion Large, chopped
  • 1 Green bell pepper Chopped
  • 3 Celery Stalks Chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves Chopped fine
  • 1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes No salt, undrained
  • 1.5 cups Smoked Sausage Fully cooked and chopped (Andouille or Chorizo)
  • ½ tsp. Dried Thyme Flakes
  • 1 tbsp. Parsley Chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Hot Sauce (red pepper based) or more if you like
  • 1 lb. Shrimp Uncooked, peeled, non-frozen and de-veined

Instructions
 

  • Saute the sausage in a large cast iron skillet or heavy pot on medium heat. Once browned remove the sausage and set aside. Add the onions, peppers and celery to the pot, saute for 2 minutes and add garlic. Saute for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the shrimp. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink and curled up.
  • (Even works great in the crock pot, just throw everything in and cook on low for 4-6 hours and add the shrimp in cook for another 20 minutes).
    Additions: Can substitute chicken for shrimp if you want. Okra
    Allergy information: Contains Shrimp. Nut Free, Peanut Free (depending on the sausage you use, so double check), egg free and dairy free.
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