Asparagus Feta Quiche

I have random cravings all the time. No reason why, I just do. This past week, it’s been Quiche. I’m not an egg person by nature. I don’t like scrambled eggs, I don’t like omelettes. Poached eggs-yes! Love me some eggs benny! Quiche, however, it’s just a yummy vessel for fresh ingredients all baked in a delicious crust. I’m not an egg person. I’m a crust person!!! Pie crust or bust!

I didn’t bother to make by own pie crust this time around, although I could have. I had pre made pie dough in the fridge and honestly that stuff is just as good in my opinion.

In under an hour I made this Quiche, baked it, cooled it and ate it.

It’s that simple…. here’s how I made it

Asparagus Feta Quiche|

  • Pre made pie dough
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled herb Feta cheese
  • Fresh asparagus
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375

Roll out your pie crust and press lightly into your pie dish. Do not grease your pie dish. There’s enough butter in the crust itself and it will not stick.

Typically when I pre bake a pie crust I poke holes in the crust to prevent it from rising.

DON’T!!!

The eggs will run into the holes making your crust mush and the filling…. well. Your Quiche will look confused.

Instead, use baking beans to help the crust keep its shape.

Bake for 10 minutes before removing it from the oven to add your filling.

In a medium size bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.

When the crust is partially baked, add the whisked eggs and milk. Sprinkle the Feta around evenly. Top with asparagus in any pattern you’d like, I chose to place the spears around in a wheel pattern so every slice would have nice big pieces of asparagus. And it looks pretty.

Top the Quiche with a handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese and bake for 30 more minutes.

Once the Quiche is out of the oven, let it rest for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Then slice it up and enjoy!!! Mmm mmm mmm!

I think I liked it… 😉

Cheesy Easy Couscous Balls

Easiest side dish EVER!!!

What’s better than a little fried yummy bite that takes no time to make? Well… probably lots of things…But! these cheesy Couscous balls are REALLY yummy and very family friendly.

Making use of instant Couscous, that only takes 5 minutes to cook, and 15 minutes to cool before assembling them into ball shaped fritters- these are so easy even the kids can make them. Just help them with the frying!

Cheesy Easy Couscous Balls

  • 1 box of quick cooking Couscous (I prefer olive oil and garlic flavored Couscous)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1.5 c panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-1.5 c vegetable oil

Cook the Couscous according to the package directions. Cool. For at least 15 min or until you can handle it easily without burning your hands.

Add in the cheese. Stir to combine. The cheese will melt slightly and act as a binder for the Couscous.

Just like meatballs, roll the mixture into little balls and set aside.

In one dish whisk your eggs. In a separate dish add your panko bread crumbs and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.

Add oil to a frying pan or cast iron skillet and heat on high while you assemble the cheesy Couscous Balls.

Roll them one at a time in the egg and then in the bread crumbs, being careful to coat them completely.

Shallow fry them in the vegetable oil. They cook quickly- about 1-2 minutes per side. Then place them on a paper towel. This will help take away any extra oil. Season them with a pinch of salt while hot.

Yum! It didn’t take long for these to go!

Light but cheesy and crispy! A perfect side dish with a soup or salad!

Impress the fam- Pork Wellington

This dish came about partially by accident. Partially because I had been eyeing Beef Wellington on Pinterest since I was planning my holiday menus months ago. Mostly however, because my 10 year old saw puff pastry in our fridge and said “aw mom I don’t feel like eating chicken pot pie!!”

She was right. That is why puff pastry was in the fridge. Chicken pot pie was my original plan for dinner that night. She is not a fan of peas and even though, because of this, I omit the peas in my pot pie recipes she still gripes once in a while about the thought of them maybe, possibly, perhaps being in her dinner. She’s also one of those kids who doesn’t like her food touching. The meat has to be separate from her greens. The starch can’t be touching anything on the plate. She is a good eater but she has her quirks too.

Any how, no pot pie- no pot pie. What to make?

I had a pork tenderloin that I needed to use soon. I had mushrooms. The puff pastry. Pork Wellington! “Let’s wing it” I thought–and the outcome was absolutely scrumptious. My husband James even said “Sarah this tastes amazing!”

And that’s really all I needed to hear. I will be making this again. And again. And well probably forever cause it’s a winner!

Here’s how to make it!

Pork Wellington

  • 2-3lb pork tenderloin- plain or pre seasoned depending on your preference.
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 c of Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 4-5 slices of good provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 egg
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375

If your tenderloin is pre seasoned or marinated skip over salting it. Other wise season the pork generously with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron skillet on high. Add your olive oil and butter to the skillet and sear the tenderloin on ALL sides.

Once seared, set it aside to rest.

Sauté your shallot and mushrooms until browned and cooked completely, add more olive oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Next, add in your garlic and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, lay out the puff pastry. Spoon the mushroom mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving room at the edges. Top with parmesan and then provolone.

Then place the seared tenderloin on top of that and carefully wrap the puff pastry around it. Pinching the seams.

Turn the Wellington seam side down. Cut 3-4 slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Whisk your egg and brush over the top of the pastry. Garnish with chopped parsley and more Parmesan if desired and bake 30-35 minutes. Check at 25 min to be sure pastry isn’t getting too brown.

Let the Pork Wellington rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Meaty, cheesy, savory, doughy goodness!!!

I am pretty sure this recipe comes with a satisfaction guarantee!

Do yourself a favor and try it. You will thank yourself for it!

A Food Story & Tikka Masala Kabobs over Coconut Jasmine Rice

Early dinner = napping hubby + quiet kids.

This is not always the case, but it is today.

 So- I will enjoy the quiet time, sit here with basketball on in the background, a beer in my hand and write all about this yummy meal I just made.

Mommy time. Foodie time. 

It’s funny how much I love to cook actually…I never made a single meal before my husband and I moved into our first apartment together. In fact, the only meal I could muster up the confidence to make back then was Chinese pie…Sheppards pie. Hamburg, corn and mashed potatoes. How bad could it be? I thought…

My next thought- how the f*#% do you make mashed potatoes!!!??!

I lifelined a friend at the restaurant I worked at, at the time. 

Yes- I worked at a restaurant, I could afford my own apartment and I still didn’t have the slightest clue how to make mashed potatoes. 

Ironically, my dad was a great cook when I was growing up. I’m pretty sure my current cooking prowess happened completely through osmosis, because back then I was hardly interested in learning how to cook at all.

Anyway, my friend Suzy laughed and laughed when I called her at the restaurant to ask how to make mashed potatoes. I mean. I would laugh too! But being the good person she is, she eventually cleared her throat and politely walked me through the mashing of the potatoes. Wash, cut, boil, drain, butter, milk, season, mash. 

Duh….. I knew that!!! 

But for some reason I was so caught up in the fact that I didn’t “know how to cook” that my brain let out a huge fart and all common sense flew out with it. 

After all that, I was successful in the mashing of the potatoes and the entire Sheppards pie. At that point I decided I was a culinary master. 

Heh heh.. NOT!!

Back then, my idea of making an appetizer was to slice up a kielbasa, microwave the slices on a paper towel and decorate them with little dots of yellow mustard. 

Ghetto superstar. 

But as the years went on I got better. 

When our oldest was born, James and I sat alone in the hospital with our beautiful baby Gwenivere after all the visitors had finally gone home. We were ready to relax and clicked on MTV to watch the good old show “Wild n’ Out”.

As we watched, a nurse came in to check vitals as they always do. She took one look at the tv and had the nerve to say “you know… your baby is absorbing all that awful nonsense you are listening to right now!! You shouldn’t be watching that with her!”

I was mortified. James was pissed off. I mean-looking back it…how ridiculous?!

I should have requested a new nurse on the spot but I was a new mom and during the months to come her words stuck with me. 

After we had gone home from the hospital and had settled for a couple weeks, it was time for James to go back to work. 

My mom would come visit on her lunch breaks from time to time, but for the most part I kept to myself during the day. It’s what I wanted. 

We had kids very young and I was still learning how to deal with myself, never mind other people. 

So during the quiet hours of the day when I finally got Gwen to sleep on my chest, I would turn on the tv. 

It was then that I would hear the nurse’s voice scolding me for watching MTV. 

Hahaha! Makes me laugh just writing that! But it was true. 

Because of this- this is the point in my life when I discovered the Food Network.

Not my parents Food Network…the Emril years, as I like to call them- but a different era. Giada, Ina, Rachel’s 30 Minute Meals. IRON CHEF!!!

For hours and hours I would snuggle with baby Gwen and study the Food Network. 

People kept telling me- “you look so tired! Nap when the baby naps!” But I was hooked. So much so, that when I went back to working nights at the restaurant after James would get home from work, I spent my entire first pay check on food. 

I had copied down so many recipes from Everyday Italian. We couldn’t afford it at the time but all I wanted to do was make Giada de Laurentiis’ Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan. Or as my friend Bill would call it, mashed potatoes with grate parm fresh. 

I know, I know- again with the mashed potatoes… what can I say. I’m true to my roots. 

Anyway. I worked so hard on this meal. It didn’t come out perfect, but the process of cooking this, step by step from my notes (Yes. Notes. Pinterest wasn’t a thing back then. In fact, I believe I still had MySpace) was SO therapeutic. I felt like I was doing something meaningful. Something that at the end of a long day- consisting of only spit up, laundry, messy diapers and tears of hormones and fear of failing as a mother and girlfriend- THIS would comfort me. Something that I made. Just me, no one else, and I had succeeded at it.

I was hooked. To this day cooking is my thing. I may not be the best home cook in the world. I’m decent at best. I do come up with pretty delicious recipes and learning new ones is by far my most favorite hobby. 

My kitchen is my happy place. 

So even though my kids are “big” now, when they leave for an afternoon with James and I’m left to my own devices, you best believe that I’m cooking up something good!!

Today that was Cream Cheese and Chive Wontons with Tikka Masala Kabobs over Coconut Jasmine Rice.

Tikka Masala Kabobs over Coconut Jasmine Rice|

Serves 4

Prep time-15 minutes

Cook time-30 minutes 

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders
  • 8 skewers
  • 1 c tikka Masala simmer sauce
  • Salt and pepper

For the rice:

  • 1 c jasmine rice
  • 1.5 c water
  • 1/2 c Coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley 

Avocado and lime to garnish (optional)

If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak them in water for a few minutes before preheating your oven to 375. This way they won’t flame up in the oven!

Start by slicing your chicken into small bite size pieces. Skewer them and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking dish.

Season with salt and pepper.

Next take half of the tikka Masala sauce and brush both sides of your Kabobs. 

Bake at 375 for 30 min.

Meanwhile, bring your water and coconut milk to a boil. Add your rice, stir and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is creamy and fluffy. Depending on which brand of rice you buy, you may need to add a bit more liquid along the way. 

When the rice is done. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, lime, and soy sauce. 

Turn the rice onto a serving platter and place your Kabobs and garnishes on top. 

Heat the remaining tikka Masala sauce and drizzle over the top of the dish. 

A squeeze of fresh lime juice over the top of this dish is the perfect way to highlight all of the tikka Masala flavor. It has a hint of spices but is NOT spicy. 

The four of us devoured this meal!! And ALL of the Cream Cheese wontons I made with it! But I’ll save that recipe for another day!

The Best Crab Cakes-EVER

So these are amazing! Seriously. Everyone should make this recipe. Everyone. Period. Exclamation Point.

We’ve been battling a late winter storm here in New England. Wind gusts over 50 mph and 18″ of snow. 

We went from 50 degree weather and hardly any snow left to speak of to this…

Gross. Not my cup of tea. 

We have plans to breed our goats this spring and are looking at a late summer kidding. Piglets will be born soon and a good number of our seedlings have sprouted! I’m ready to plant the next few batches. 

Needless to say the snow and winds can stop any time now and I once again can’t help but cook foods that remind me of summer.

It gets me thru. 

I need my fresh and light foods. And maybe a margarita or two.

That helps too. 

I should preface the rest of this post by saying that there are a lot of ingredients in these decadent crab cakes, but the mixture is so delicious I’ve used it for crab cakes one night, and in crab melts the day after AND in cheesy crab stuffed mushrooms. Depending on how many you’re serving this recipe does make enough to do double or even triple duty. 

In my book that’s a total money and time saver and completely worth the effort!!

The Best Crab Cakes-Ever|

  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  • 2 cups of oyster crackers, crushed
  • 8 oz, lump crab meat (fresh no imitation meat)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp old bay seasoning 
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1-2 sunflower oil, or canola oil
  • A good pinch of salt and pepper 
  • 1/2 of a good cheese blend. I used asiago, Parmesan and cheddar. (Use your favorite)

Start by mincing your veggies! SautĂ© them in butter over medium high heat until the onions are translucent. 

Stir in the garlic powder, old bay and salt  and pepper, cooking for a minute longer.

Transfer the veggies into a mixing bowl and refrigerate for a few minutes to cool down before adding your other ingredients. 

Next crush up your crackers!

When your veggies have cooled, stir in your egg, crab, crackers and cheese. 

At this point you could make stuffed mushrooms OR add in your mayo!!

In a non stick skillet heat your sunflower oil. 

Form your Crab Cakes in 1/4 c measurements. Form them into balls and place in the hot oil, flattening the tops with your spatula to your desired thickness. 

Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until each side is dark golden brown and the center is warm but still creamy. 

I like to top these with a siracha mayo– just a tbsp or two of mayo mixed well with a tsp of hot sauce. 

Serve immediately!! They are seriously the Best Crab cakes I’ve ever had!

Eat these with a delicious Chicken Saltimbocca (I’ll post that recipe later)


Or be sure and try this delicious crab mixture in Cheesy Crab Stuffed Mushrooms!

Gwenivere’s Favorite Couscous 

Our oldest baby- Gwenivere Elizabeth, Gwen, G$- will be 11 in 6 weeks. I can’t believe how quickly time passes when I can still remember her as my little baby so clearly. 

Please notice her younger sister, Victoria, throwing a tantrum in the background. How dare I make her wear shoes on Easter Sunday?! 

They are complete opposites. Only 16 months apart but completely opposite. 

Tori is our comedian, a sweet old soul and cute as a button. A music lover like me…And she has daddy wrapped around her little finger. We love our Tori Tor. 

Gwen. My almost 11 year old, also an old soul takes things a little more seriously. She’s like a little mom. Always recognizing when help is needed. She’s been mature since the day she was born. 

I can recall the nurses at the hospital commenting on how alert she was. She always looked like she knew something you didn’t. 

She’s responsible. Eager to help me around the Homestead and man… has she grown up this past year. 

What is it that happens between age 10 and 11? She’s still my baby, but I can feel her slipping further and further into her own self. Not that, that’s a bad thing. 

It’s inevitable. Friends become MOST important, constant sports and dance classes. Band, school, studying (real studying too! Her homework is most often over my head) and some days, I feel like I’m just along for the ride. 

I try and remind my self to take mental pictures each day. I don’t want to ever forget this ride. I never want it to end. 

Birthdays have always been hard for me. Another year has gone by. 

Time. 

Time keeps me ever optimistic for the future but also reminds me that nothing lasts forever. And as a parent, that is the most important lesson my kids have taught me. Take nothing and no one for granted. The calendar is there to remind us of that. And my kids…their ever growing and changing minds and bodies are constant reminders of that. 

Luckily though. Their spirit remains the same and that is what makes my heart overflow each day. 

To my almost 11 year old. I love you. More than you’ll ever know. 


So as I’m crying in my kitchen over coffee, I’ll get to the point of this post and that is Gwenivere’s favorite meal! 

Mediterranean Couscous. Every year when the weather turns warmer, her birthday gets closer and this is the meal she asks for. The whole family loves it and I’ve been making it for years. 

In kindergarten, at a parent teacher conference, I had noticed a brightly colored board in Gwen’s class room. It listed all of the students names and their favorite foods. As I went down the list I saw only, pizza, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese… and then I got to Gwen.

Gwen- favorite food: Couscous and salmon. 

Yep! That’s my girl!!!

It’s also one of those perfect dishes to bring to a gathering, cook out, baby/bridal shower…I’ve brought this to all of the above and people are always asking for the recipe after they try it. 

So without any more gushing and reminiscing– I give you,

Gwenivere’s Favorite Couscous|

Serves a crowd, or is great for leftovers the next day!

45 min cook time

2 hours chill time 

  • 1 box, quick cooking Couscous
  • 1 1/4 c chicken broth
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs 
  • 1 medium size cucumber, seeded and chopped 
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 c chopped black olives
  • 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/2-1 c of store bought or homemade pesto 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Start by baking your chicken, seasoned with salt, pepper and a little paprika or whatever you’d like, at 375 for 35 minutes or until completely cooked thru. Then let it cool. Rotisserie chicken is absolutely fine here too and is a real time saver!

Meanwhile, cook your couscous according to the package directions in the chicken broth. Chicken broth gives it so much more flavor than just the water the box calls for. 

Fluff it with a fork and let it cool slightly before tossing it with a tablespoon or two of the prepared pesto. The oil in the pesto will keep the Couscous from clumping. Put the Couscous in a large bowl.

Next chop your veggies and add them to the Couscous. No need to stir yet.

Next, chop up your chicken! In a smaller bowl toss it with the remaining pesto. Don’t be shy here! Add as much as you’d like! It will only make the dish better!


Now it’s time to add the chicken to the Couscous and veggies, and then the feta!

Mix it all up and chill for at least two hours before serving! And then… enjoy 

Comforting Homemade Miso Soup

  
So this is a rather unconventional post for St. Patrick’s Day, huh?

Fret not… My corned beef and cabbage are in the slow cooker and my deviled green eggs are chillin in the fridge.  

   So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you! Have a beer or 5!! 
Back to the miso.

It’s taken me years to get this soup close to tasting like the real deal. 

There’s just nothing more comforting than the miso soup servered at a Japanese restaurant! It’s seriously one of my most favorite flavors in the whole world.

Here on the stead we usually eat meals made from what we grow, but it’s such a treat every once and a while to splurge, and treat ourselves to a meal off the beaten path.

Shiro Miso (white) comes from soybean paste. You can find it in the paste form along with sweeter versions that incorporate extract from the sweet potato along with the soybean paste.

Most grocery stores and co-op markets these days do sell “instant soybean miso”

They come in 1.05 oz packets and in addition to the miso, contain mackerel flakes and anchovy. If you decide to use the paste instead of the instant miso remember to buy fish oil as well or the soup will taste like its missing something. 

I highly reccomend buying the instant shiro miso. 

Miso is considered a probiotic food and will help to aid in digestive disorders with its many benificial bacterias that grow during the fermentation process. These are good bacterias. Don’t let that word scare you. 

Tofu, another great aid in digestion, is another common ingredient in Miso Soup. Tofu is not only glueten free but so so good for you as well.

Basically what I’m saying is. Take the time to look for new ingredients in your market. Not only is this soup amazingly comforting and delicious, it’s also good for you!

No brainer!

  Miso Soup|
10 minutes, serves 6

  • 6 packets (60 grams) instant Shio Miso
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 c extra firm tofu, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 scallion green onion, sliced thin
  • 1 sheet of nori, cut into 1/2″ pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 salt (optional) 

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt.

Cook the mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. 

When the water has come to a boil add your miso. Whisk until dissolved. Add in the tofu, scallion and nori. 

Simmer together for another 3-4 minutes. Taste for salt and enjoy!!

Just like being at your favorite Japanese steakhouse!  

   

Farmhouse Coq Au Vin

  Coq Au Vin.

The sound of this dish used to intimidate me. Classic French cooking was something I never dared to try. I assumed I would fail and never wanted waste such beautiful and fresh ingredients. 
Well. I’m here to tell you. This dish is not difficult to make. 

How could it be bad?! In translation Coq au vin means, rooster in wine.

Chicken. Wine. Winning already!

Not to mention all the delicious, farm fresh carrots, sweet potatoes and herbs. You really can’t go wrong with this one! 

The sauce is rich and aromatic. It provides a luscious, broth like consistency that keeps the chicken moist and full of flavor. 

Lots of people serve Coq Au vin with mashed potatoes but I really don’t think it needs it! The red wine broth is the perfect pairing for the hearty sweet potatoes. 

My 8 and 9 year old girls loved it too! It certainly sounds like a grown ups only meal, but I promise, the alcohol burns off during the cooking process and leaves everything tasting heavenly–perfect for everyone’s taste buds. Even the littles.

Farmhouse Coq Au Vin|

1 hour, serves 4

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast, or thighs if you prefer. 
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 c sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 c carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp of bacon grease (if you don’t keep this on hand fry up a few slices, reserving the grease and enjoying a little bacon snack!)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 1.5 c red wine (I used a Cabernet) 

Start by chopping all your veggies. 

In a large dutch oven or enameled cast iron pot, heat your bacon grease and a drizzle of olive oil over medium high. 

Add your onions, potatoes and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. 

 Next add in the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 

Add in a 1/4 cup of the vegetable stock, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let this simmer for 5 minutes to steam the veggies.

Remove the vegetables into a separate bowl. Add a bit more oil to the pot and place your chicken in. Season and cook for 5-8 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked throughout.  

 Meanwhile, stir the tomato paste in with your vegetable mixture.

Add them back in with the chicken, and slowly add the wine, the rest of the vegetable stock and the garlic. Place your bay leaves and thyme on top. Season with a bit more salt and stir everything together before bringing the dish to a boil. 

 After it has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, the sauce should reduce by 1/4. 

Your Coq Au Vin is now ready to serve!! 

It truly is a classic tasting meal, full of hearty flavors. Enjoy!! 

   

Decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil Panko Breading

  
Every once and while you just need to treat yourself to something so comforting and so decadent that you feel as though you just won the food lottery. 

My family absolutely couldn’t get over how delicious this was! It is a bit time consuming only because my recipe calls for 5 different cheeses… That’s right, 5 cheese lobster mac and cheese! 

It’s so rich and creamy and soooooo worth the effort! 

The best part– this is a one pot dish!!! Well, two, but I consider boiling store bought pasta to be a freebie! 

It might not be our typical meal here on the homestead but it’s nice to spoil yourself every so often with a dinner like this one!

Here’s how I make it:

Lobster Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil Panko Breading|

1 hour, serves 6-8

  • 1-1.5 lbs of lobster meat, cooked and separated into bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 3/4 c fresh grated mozzarella 
  • 3/4 c fresh grated Gruyere 
  • 3/4 c fresh grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 c fresh grated parmesan 
  • 4 oz Brie, rind removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 9 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg 
  • 3/4 c Panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 tsbp truffle oil
  • 10 oz. cavatappi pasta 

Bring a stock pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

Work to grate your cheeses, mince the garlic and chop the lobster meat. 

Add your cavatappi pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain when cooked to your liking and set aside.  

 

In a separate heavy bottom, 3 quart Dutch oven… I like to use my enameled cast iron. (Just choose a dish that can go from stove top to oven.) Melt three tbsp of butter over medium heat. 

Add in your cooked lobster meat and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Then remove the lobster and garlic from the pan and set aside. 

In the same dish, melt 2 more tbsp of butter. Add in your truffle oil and give it a quick toss. 

 
Add your breadcrumbs and toss to coat before scrapping them up and setting aside. 

 
Next, add 4 more tbsp of butter. Melt completely and whisk in your flour. Whisk continually for a minute or two until the flour is cooked and a thick paste forms.

Add your milk, one cup at a time, and continue to whisk to make a bechamel sauce. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to flavor the sauce. 

Once the sauce thickens, it’s time to add your cheeses! 

  
The sauce will be oooeey, gooey and amazing!

Stir in your cooked pasta and lobster mixture… 

 
Top with an even layer of your truffle oil bread topping and voila!! 

   
Cover, and keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve or, serve immediately. 

It is sinfully delicious!!!  

 

Steakhouse Potato Salad| Spring Fever Summer Food

  
I can’t get enough of this easy and flavorful potato salad! I’ve been making this one for years but it’s even better these days with the addition of our farm fresh, thick cut bacon!!

I’m over winter. I can’t stop thinking about warmer days, new livestock, new gardens… New life. 

After a few days of balmy temps…you’d consider 52 balmy, right? I was determined to whip up a lighter faire, and be done with the hot soups and winter casseroles… Something that says spring is here!

Is there anything better than burgers, dogs and potato salad!!? Mmm mmm Summer livin! 

This salad is so easy to make and packed with steakhouse flavor! 

It’s like a cool refreshing version of a baked potato bar all mixed up and delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need…

Steakhouse Potato Salad|

3 hours, serves 4

  • 4 c red potatoes, washed and cubed
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 c good ranch dressing 
  • 4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled 
  • 3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until fork tender.

Drain and rinse the potatoes under cold water and transfer to a mixing bowl.

Reserving half of the cheese and green onion for garnish, mix together all ingredients.

Garnish, cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. 

Potato salad always gets better with time. You want the potatoes to soak up all that extra flavor!

This is the perfect side dish for any  BBQ or if you just need a little taste of summer!