Yes, it currently feels like July in Southern New Jersey. It’s a little frustrating having to get the next size up for Baby Blue in summer gear because he’s busting out of his…summer clothes. However, one thing is for sure~ In just a few weeks, the weather will be getting cooler, and the days shorter. Aside from all the perks of Fall weather (including dressing Blue in denim overalls, plaid shirts, socks and shoes), I’m looking forward to cooking hearty, comfort foods, in an oven. Today, I’m sharing my favorite fall recipes, that I’ll hopefully be making sooner, than later!
The other night, I made a paisano spread that was to die for! Fresh seeded Italian Bread, my Olive Oil mixture (fresh garlic, herbs, Pecorino Romano, and EVOO), Olives, Pepper Shooters, Fresh Mozzarella, and Roasted Red Peppers. Scott stuffed olives with blue cheese and made me the BEST Dirty Martini EVER! It was the perfect little Italian-Fest for a simple night at home.
To this day, I have never had meatballs, outside of my mom’s and grandmother’s meatballs, that I could say were memorable and delicious. I’ve been to Italy, where I thought I would experience authentic Italian meatballs, that were truly unforgettable. But, they just didn’t compare to the meatball recipe that has been in my family for years. This recipe originated from my ancestors in Naples, Italy.
My mom originally made this recipe, and before that I had absolutely zero interest in salisbury steak. My only experience was serving it, as a waitress, in a diner, to maybe one out of a thousand patrons. Needless to say, it didn’t look very appetizing. I didn’t understand the concept of a salisbury steak. Was it a glorified burger? A miniature meatloaf? Why is it called steak, if it’s made with ground meat?
There are so many things I love about a Shrimp Fra Diavolo Sauce. It’s typically spicy, with tomatoes, and shrimp or lobster. The flavor is intense. And, the sauce is simple to make.
Fra Diavolo is an Italian phrase that is translated to “From the Devil”. It is documented that it was a nickname given to Michele Pezza, a famous Neapolitan guerrilla leader, who resisted the French occupation of Naples (Early 19th century). How it ended up defining this particular sauce is a bit ambiguous.
Pignoli Cookies, also known as pine nut cookies, are my father’s favorite Italian Cookie. I never cared for them, as I typically gravitate towards your standard American baked goods. Brownies. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Apple Pie. But, since it was Father’s Day, this past weekend, I decided to make Pignoli Cookies, as a surprise, for my Dad.
One of my favorite things about summer is having access to beautiful, fresh, and colorful produce! I don’t crave veggies nor salads, as much, in the winter months. For obvious reasons. I also feel that dinner is so much more enjoyable in the summer. Scott and I try to grill and dine outdoors, as often as possible, throughout the summer months. Typically, Scott prepares our meat or fish entree, on the grill. So, I have ample time to prepare the most delicious, summer side salads.
Believe it or not, there was a time that I didn’t care much for Chicken Marsala. Perhaps it was due to a bad experience, that I can’t even remember. Sometimes, all it takes is a party invitation, with just one thing on the menu, to force you into trying something, again. And, wouldn’t you know. I actually love Chicken Marsala! I can now say, from experience, that it’s all in the way it’s made.
I’m doing something new, on Instagram. I’m allowing my followers to make recommendations for my Food Demos. It’s a win-win. Because I’m showing them what they want to see, and they’re giving me ideas on What to Cook for Dinner. Last week, someone suggested a Bolognese Sauce with Pasta. I hadn’t made it in such a long time, and I’ve been missing Italy and the delicious authentic meals I had there, with Scott. So, I made this, last night, as authentic as I could remember. It came out DELICIOUS!
Last night, I attempted to create a gluten free sweet potato gnocchi, but ended up with a sweet potato pancake. As I told Scott, good thing I had a back-up plan. These Asian Grilled Chicken Kabobs came out so delicious, they definitely made it to my future recipe book. I created a marinade for the chicken and left it in the fridge for a few hours. This is a super easy summer recipe that will make you the star of any barbecue!