Monday, January 28, 2013

Meatloaf Panini

 I made my B & T meatloaf yesterday and had a couple of slices left over.  What to do, what to do????
Why not a panini??? The meatloaf has all the makings for a great panini anyway, I"ll just need to pick up a few more ingredients and I'm good to go!  Off to the store to pick up some sourdough bread, muenster cheese and a large sweet onion.  That's all you'll need!

 To caramelize onions, slice one extra large sweet onion (or as many as needed) as thinly as possible.  Coat a medium sized frying with a thin even coating of olive oil. (2-3 Tablespoons should do it.)  Heat pan to medium, when oil is hot, add the onions and lower heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes, sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt over onions evenly. Continue to cook on low for another 1/2 hour, stirring as little as possible. This is when they will start to caramelize and turn golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

That's really the hardest and most time consuming part.  After those onions are ready, just layer up that sandwich.  I used sourdough because it's my favorite.  Start by putting down your cheese, next the slice of meatloaf and top it off with a pile of onions.  Butter up your grill or butter both sides of the bread and your on your way to bliss!  Tangy tomatoes, pieces of bacon, sweet onions, ooey gooey melted cheese on crunchy sourdough bread.  What more does one need??

Pop them in some hot oil and reduce the heat to medium, stir occasionally.

Add the tsp of salt, and let simmer for at least a 1/2 hour, until golden brown.

Ready to take off the heat.

Get out all your ingredients.

1.  Cheese  2.  Meatloaf  3.  Onions

Butter the grille, and get that panini on the heat!

Flatten her out....

Remove from heat when golden and crispy...

Plate her up and dig in......

Monday, January 21, 2013

Downton Abbey Blueberry Buttermilk Scones

 Monday night has to be my favorite night of the week. I put on my ugly fluffy robe, my equally ugly slippers, make a cup of tea, grab a scone and settle in for one hour of pure enjoyment.  "Downton Abbey"

 That's right....for one hour I will be transported back in time to England circa 1920.  I'll be having tea with the Crawley Family.  Maybe tonight I'm Lady Mary, Lady Sybil, or possibly Cora, (The Countess of Grantham) . I'm sure as heck not going to be Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, though I probably most resemble her while I'm in this robe. 

 To ease my way into the transportation, these yummy blueberry buttermilk scones are a must. Crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, bursting with blueberry's and dripping with lemon glaze.  Here I go.........Ahhhhhhhhh....



Yup.... That's me. 

 Hey.... which one are you looking at?

 ~I'm the one on the right, not the one with the purple hat~

  (Photo ITV)





  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2  Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1  Stick Cold Butter, Diced
  • 1 Whole Large Egg, Lightly Beaten 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Butter Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh or Frozen ( Thawed)  Blueberries



For Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 tsp Lemon Extract ( make sure to use extract, not lemon juice)

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Set aside.



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add the butter and mix with two forks or a pastry cutter until butter is the size of peas.  In a separate bowl combine the egg, lemon zest and buttermilk until blended.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, add the blueberries, stir just until blended and holds together to form a dough. ( it will be sticky).  Place the dough onto a parchment covered cooking sheet and shape into a 6"circle.   Cut in eight equal triangular shaped pieces. Separate each piece slightly so they will cook evenly.

Cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.  Cool for 15 minutes then drizzle with glaze.

Print Me

Mix dry ingredients.

Cut in the butter.

Add wet ingredients to dry.

Mix until it holds together and forms a nice dough. Fold in the blueberries.

Place on parchment paper and shape into a 6 inch circle.


Cut and separate into 8 even triangles.

Into the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Drizzle about 1 Tablespoon of glaze per scone.  Let dry. I know you probably want to eat one right now... Ohhhhh, go ahead, no one's looking....

Now go find that show, it's on demand!

An Evening Inspired by Downton Abbey WGBH Studios, Boston.. February 28, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Italian Meatball Soup

Anyone who knows my husband knows that he loves anything with a "red" sauce on it.  I mean anything....He's the only person I know that orders spaghetti and meatballs in a seafood restaurant.  I know... gross, right???
This Italian Meatball Soup literally takes about 15 minutes to make if you have precooked your mini-meatballs or you buy the frozen kind. The frozen meatballs at the Market are actually pretty good, but of course homemade meatballs are always a better choice. Serve it with a big loaf of crusty Italian bread or biscuits,  a side of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and watch all your troubles melt away....

 Prep Time:  5 minutes
 Cook Time: 10 Minutes
 Servings:  8


  • 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil ( enough to cover bottom of pan )
  • ½ cup Onions, Diced
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • ½ cup Celery, Diced
  • 1 pound of pre-cooked mini meatballs ( store bought or your own)
  • 14 ounces, Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 14 ounces,  Tomato Sauce
  • 6 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 cup Corn, Frozen
  • 1 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/2  tsp Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup Uncooked Pasta, Small Shells
  • Parmesan or Romano Cheese, to sprinkle on soup (optional) 
  • 3/4 Ground Beef
  • 1/4 Ground Pork
  • 1 large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Italian-Style Bread Crumbs  or Fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 Tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil- For Drizzling Over Meatballs

For Meatballs:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork , egg, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, dry Italian Seasoning, and salt.  Mix thoroughly until combined. Roll each meatball into bite size mini balls. Place rolled meatballs on a large cookie sheet or pizza pan (with sides).  Drizzle the meatballs with olive oil and roll them around to make sure they're evenly coated.  Cook meatballs in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until browned.  Remove from oven and drain on a paper towel.

For Soup:

 In a large pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, onion and celery, saute for about 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for about another minute.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, mini meatballs, corn and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add pasta. Cook until pasta is done (about 10 minutes).
Serve with a sprinkle of cheese if desired.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Don't you get sick of those bottled salad dressings?  I know I do... Go to your fridge, grab a bottle and turn it around.  I dare you to... The list of ingredients is a mile long and you'll need to google search most of the words if you want to know what that are.  Xathan Gum? Phosphoric Acid? Dextrose? Citric Acid? Sodium Benzate? I could go on and on.....And the diet dressings??? FORGETABOUTIT.....
Sorry, but I don't think I need to put any of those strange chemicals ( or what ever they are) in my body especially when it only takes a few minutes to make my own dressing.
Here is a spicy chipotle recipe I came up with about 10 years ago after multiple experiments.  For me it had to have just the right amount of hotness, sweetness, saltiness and creaminess and this one does!
Hope you give it a try.
P.S..... if your not crazy about the hotness factor, start out with just one chipotle in adobo sauce and go from there.  Personally... I like it hot, the hotter the better!  

Creamy Chipotle Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning or chili spice mix   ( store bought or my recipe)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chicken broth
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3 whole chipotle chile peppers, canned in adobo sauce ( small can found in the stores Mexican food section )
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For dressing, in a medium sized bowl, food processor, blender or Magic Bullet, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Print Here

All the ingredients you need .

Into my Magic Bullet.

Make some magic..

Looking Good!!!

Give it a taste... you're not going to believe how great it is...

Cool thing about the Magic Bullet... it comes with a lid so you just have to pop it into the refrigerator!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

B & T Meatloaf

Bacon and Tomato Meatloaf 

One of my favorite go to meals is...meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas, I mean... who doesn't love that.. right???  Today I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite ingredients in my meatloaf which are bacon, sun dried tomatoes and cheese.  Instead of wrapping raw bacon on the top like you see in most recipes, I pre-cooked it, chopped it up and mixed it inside.  The outcome was amazing!  Crunchy bacon, tangy bites of sun dried tomatoes and melted cheese in every bite.  

Seriously... you've got to try this! 



Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings


  • ¼ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream ( Or Light)
  • ⅓ cups Dry Stovetop Stuffing Mix
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 clove Garlic, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Chef Blend Six Italian Cheese Mix (Shredded, Sargento)
  • 5 pieces Bacon, Cooked And Chopped (5 Slices Should Equal 1/4 Cup When Chopped)
  • ¼ cups Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 1 pound Ground Beef Or Ground Turkey Or Meatloaf Mix

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, add ketchup, cream, stuffing mix, egg, salt, garlic and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Add the bacon and tomatoes and stir. Add the meat and gently mix it into the rest of the ingredients with your fingertips. Do not over mix. Just mix until it’s lightly blended.
Spray a standard size loaf pan with cooking spray. Shape your meatloaf to fit into the loaf pan. Cook in a 350 F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Print Me

Here's what you need for the meatloaf

Add Ketchup to mixing bowl.

 Add light cream.


     Add Stuffing Mix.

The beauty of this .... it's already flavored with the perfect

amount of spices....


  Add whole egg.


  Add salt.


 Add Chopped Garlic

  Add Grated Cheese and mix thoroughly.

Here comes the good part, chopped bacon....

    This parts not bad either.... chopped sun dried tomatoes

  Give it a good mix before the meat goes in.

    Add your ground meat.

        Gently mix with your finger tips.

       Spray your loaf pan!!!

 Form into a loaf and place in pan.


   Pop into your preheated oven!