Spaghetti?  Lasagne? Ravioli?  What is your favorite?  If you are like me you like it all.  Lots of sauce.  Lots of melted cheese.  Lots of flavor.  But for  some reason I don’t cook Italian very often.  That is why I chose the theme Mama Mia!  Let’s cook Italian! for this week’s Eating with Ellie theme.

I found a recipe for calzone in one cookbook.  A recipe for lasagne in another.  And then I ran across this recipe from Ellie for Chicken Parmeasan on line. Bingo!

Lots of ooey gooey melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.


Lots of flavor with the oregano, garlic powder, and paprika.  Lots of crunch from the seasoned breadcrumbs.  LOTS of crunch!


Who could say no that that?

This was probably the best Chicken Parm I have made.  AND it is healthy!  Pounded flat the chicken breast made a HUGE piece.   It was more than I could eat.  It was delicious!  And it was cooked in less than 30 minutes!  Big Plus.

The recipe is online at Cooking Channel TV.

And there are more Italian dishes visit Eating With Ellie.


aka QUICHE!  And it’s a good one.  AB gives the basics {Software} and then choices for the filling {Secondary Software}  And to make it super simple he suggested a frozen crust.  NICE!


Use a frozen {or fresh} crust .Mix together 2 large eggs, 1 cup half and half, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Distribute the “secondary software” over the crust.  {8 ounces of just about anything!}


I used cubed ham, spinach, sauteed onions, and Gruyere cheese.  If I had only had some mushrooms!

Place the pie on a cookie sheet and place partway into a 350 degree oven.  Carefully pour in the filling mix and slide the pie into the oven. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until it is still jiggly in the middle but set at the edges.

OH! MY!  Pretty much the best ‘refrigerator pie” I have made in a while.

AB also suggests combos like

  • cheddar with ham and spinach.
  • roasted chicken with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.
  • pepperoni with black olives and green peppers.

In other words – anything goes…

The recipe is from Good Eats: The Early years page 152.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Last week we were supposed to make a Curtis recipe that took 30 minutes or less.  I didn’t quite make it in time.  Although why I couldn’t find 30 minutes to make one simple dish is beyond me.

So here it is this week for the August I Heart Cooking Clubs Potluck.


barbeque chicken quesadillas

If you have some roasted chicken, and I did, this dish is ready in about 10 minutes.  Flour tortillas layered with Monterey Jack. roasted chicken, BBQ sauce and cilantro.  There was also Jalapeño pepper but I left that out.  NOT a fan! 

Simply put the fillings on 1/2 of the tortilla, place the quesadilla on a griddle and cook on each side for about 3 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the tortilla.  10 minutes, 12 minutes tops.  It was perfect for a quick lunch or supper when you are too busy to do something complicated.  Definitely a repeat.

I used an apple cider vinegar which added some kick with out the pepper.  Perfect!

The recipe is from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  Page 120

Want more potluck check out IHCC this week.

I was really REALLY wanting something spicy. And Indian.  Something from Madjur Jaffrey. (Fortuitous since it was Potluck week at IHCC!} Especially after having lunch with a friend the other day who just happens to be from India.  It was a wonderful meal: chapati, Aloo  Palak {Curried Potato and Spinach}, Aloo Mattar {Curried Potato and Peas}, Masaledar Cholay {Chickpas in spicy tomato gravy}Cashew Rice, and Gulab Jamun for dessert.  They sent me home with some Cashew Rice which was perfect with the  chicken with tomatoes and garam masala for this month’s Potluck.


      5 tablespoons vegetable oil


      3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds


      1 cinnamon stick


      6 cardamom pods


      2 bay leaves


      1/4 teaspoon peppercorns


      2 medium onions, finely chopped


      6-7 cloves garlic, finely chopped


      1 inch cube of fresh ginger, finely chopped


      28 oz canned diced tomatoes, or about 6 medium tomatoes, chopped


      About 3 pounds (1.3 kg) chicken pieces, skinned


      1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste


      1/8 – 1/2 cayenne pepper, or to taste


    1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Warm a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat for about a minute; add the oil and warm for another minute.  Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaves and pepper corns.  Stir once.

Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pot.  Stir occasionally until a deep golden brown (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomatoes and chicken pieces, salt and cayenne pepper.  Give the pot a good stir and bring the liquid to the boil.

Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is done through and tender.  (Stir the pot a few times during the cooking period, if you can.)

5.  Remove the cover and turn the heat up to medium.  Stir in the garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is somewhat thickened.  Taste the sauce and add salt if needed.

Lucky me! I had some fresh tomatoes from the garden to use.  This was tasty.  I would have liked it to be a little thicker but it was good.  I think next time I will add a little extra Garam Masala.

This is from Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking (page 99).

Check out what else is on July’s Potluck Table at  I Heart Cooking Club.

Well.  It seems like every time I open The Big Table I find another Chicken recipe that sounds too tasty to pass up.  While the method for cooking this one was, shall we say, different, the ‘sauce’ was outstanding!!

The reason I say the method was different is because the chicken is cooked twice.  Fried, then baked.  The ‘sauce’ is poured into the bottom of a roasting pan the fried chicken is then baked OVER the  ‘sauce’ on a wire rack.  I had to read the instructions a couple of times before I realized what Frank Reese was explaining.

Frank is a poultry farmer and comes from a long line of poultry farmers. His mother and grandmother used this dish to feed the groups who came to harvest in the spring and fall.  Fortunately he has pared the recipe down to feed 4 – 6 people rather than 30 or 40.


    2 cups AP flour {I really think 1 cup would be more than sufficient. That’s all I used.}
    1 tsp poultry seasoning {commercial or Frank’s recipe below}
    1 tsp Kosher salt
    1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp sweet paprika
    8 pieces chicken
    1 cup veggie oil or shortning
    2 Tbl butter
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325F.

Mix together the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mix shaking off the excess before placing on a wire rack.

Fry the chicken in the oil and butter mix in a cast iron skillet over medium until the chicken is golden brown.  This will probably take about 8 – 10 minutes.  It doesn’t need to be completely cooked as you will bake it as well.

Drain off the oil through a fine mesh strainer saving the brown bits.  Return the bits to the skillet, add the water, mix well, and simmer, whisking the whole time, for one minute.  It will become nice and thick.

Pour the milk and cream into the bottom of a roasting pan.  Add in the water/flour mix and stir to combine.  Place a roasting rack over the ‘sauce’ and place all the chicken on the rack.  {This is what I had to read over again to make sure I understood.}  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender.

I served the ‘sauce’ over rice but it would be equally good over some mashed potatoes.

The sauce/gravy was outstanding.  The flavor from the baking chicken dripped into the ‘sauce’ below and added another depth of flavor.  I did add just a smidgen of salt and pepper.

Frank’s Poultry Seasoning

    3 tablespoons dried thyme
    2 tablespoons dried rosemary
    2 tablespoons dried marjoram
    1 tablespoon dried savory
    1 tablespoon dried sage
    2 teaspoons celery seeds
    1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
    1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients.
The spice blend can be stored in an airtight
container for up to three months.

The recipe is on page 313 of One Big Table, the book I am using this month for Cookbook Countdown.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

One Big Table is full of what you could call every day recipes.  Favorite or ethnic dishes from everyday people around the United States. Many of the recipes I have marked are “out of the box’ for me but many are different variations of dishes I already make.  Like this one from Lonnie Holley in Harpersville, AL.  Lonnie is an artist whose work has been exhibited in several famous galleries or museums.  He says Jambalaya is a good thing to think about if you need to feed lots of people.  You can always add more rice.


2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 whole chicken legs, cut apart to make drumsticks and thighs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon fat
1 quart water
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Tabasco) {I used Crystal Hot Sauce}
2 cups white rice
6 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium. store-bought chicken broth .
4 Andouille sausages (about 1 pound), sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the spices in a jar and mix well. Use 1 tablespoon of this spice blend in a big bowl to season the shrimp and chicken. (The remainder can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.) {I made 1/2 the amount and used all of it.}
Cover and chill for an hour or two.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring constantly, until the shells are bright pink. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the water is reduced to half, about 15 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside. {I didn’t do this and just used all chicken broth instead. If you can find Seafood Broth, use that.}
Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Remove the chicken and shrimp from the refrigerator. Brown the chicken on all sides.
Add the onion, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and celery, one by one and stir after each addition. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the tomato, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add the rice and stir. Add 2·cups of the strained shrimp broth, if using, and the chicken broth to the rice. {If you are using just chicken broth use 6 cups.} Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp and sausage, salt, pepper, and the left over spice blend to taste. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes more, until the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately. (Recipe adapted)
While this was a little spicier than I expected even tho’ I decreased the amount of Cayenne to 1/4 of what was called for, it was quite tasty. I love the mix of chicken, shrimp, and sausage in the Jambalaya. Definitely a keeper.
This recipe is on page 626 of One Big Table.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Chicken has become a mainstay of our diet. We eat a lot of chicken so I am always looking for new ways to cook it. Especially tasty ways. This recipe from Donna Hay, our Featured Chef this month for I Heart Cooking Clubs, fits the bill perfectly.


Simply put this is a tasty chicken breast that is browned in a little oil and then baked a few more minutes on a pile of thinly sliced sweet potato that has been baked.  The slices are tossed with olive oil, crushed garlic and grated Parmesan before they are ‘crisped’ in the oven.

Donna calls for chicken breasts with the skin on, but I really don’t like them so I used a boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Worked just fine.

Unfortunately my sweet potato slices didn’t ‘crisp’ very well.  And then ‘browned’ long before they were supposed to be done.  But they were good with the garlic flavor and Parmesan cheese.

The recipe is from Donna’s new food fast (page 93).  In this book the recipes are broken down in to 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 30 minutes.  This one falls under the 30 minute list.  Quick and easy.

Check out the rest of the dishes from Donna Hay over at IHCC.

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