Holiday Rib Roast and Loaded Potatoes

In my family the holidays bring multiple generations into the kitchen. Like many clans, we have a handful of favorite holiday dishes that are made without fail each year. Pistachio-Crusted Rib Roast and Loaded Baked Potatoes are among my family’s favorite Christmas recipes. While the dishes may sound fancy, they are surprisingly simple to make. Follow the recipes carefully and you too can celebrate the holidays with these scrumptious seasonal eats: PISTACHIO-CRUSTED RIB ROAST Ingredients: 1 beef rib roast (2 to 4 ribs), small end, back bone removed (6 to 8 pounds) 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped 1/4 … Continue reading

Easy Easter Potluck Recipes

Who brings filet mignon to a potluck? To me potluck contributions must be two things: easy and affordable. These factors are critical, especially when you are making a dish that will help feed 20 plus people. If you are planning to attend an Easter party this year consider making the following potluck classics. They are a snap to prepare, travel well and are relatively inexpensive: BAKED CHICKEN SALAD Ingredients: 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 2 cups chopped celery 2 cups mayonnaise 3/4 can condensed cream of chicken soup 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained 2 tablespoons fresh … Continue reading

Comfort Foods: Meat and Potatoes

Continuing with our “Comfort Foods” theme, today I am focusing on the classic combination of meat and potatoes. There are some people who don’t go a single day without ingesting at least one meal that features a hearty helping of meat and potatoes. For these individuals the combo screams comfort. While I make a concerted effort not to serve meat and potatoes for dinner every night, I do admit that the combo brings back fond memories of my childhood. The following recipes were some of my favorites: CLASSIC MEATLOAF Ingredients: 2 pounds ground chuck 1 envelope dry onion soup mix … Continue reading

What to do with Leftover Super Bowl Snacks

Sunday’s Super Bowl was one for the history books. It’s not every year that viewers are treated to a nail biter that’s actually worth watching, but this year’s match-up between Arizona and Pittsburgh delivered. Ironically, the action of the field kept some from devouring my friend’s Super Bowl spread. Last night she called complaining about major leftovers. My suggestion: Put the snacks to good use in recipes that can be served as part of weeknight meals. You can use up leftover chicken to make a spicy Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip and boring baked potatoes can transformed into Kicked Up Potato … Continue reading

Make Your Own Christmas Feast

What are you serving for Christmas dinner? With such an auspicious occasion to celebrate you might consider giving Chef Boyardee a break for the night and instead whip up the following festive dishes for your family. It’s a fancy meal fit for a king, but you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen preparing it. SHRIMP WITH HOMEMADE COCKTAIL SAUCE Ingredients: 32 to 40 medium to large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails intact Cocktail sauce (recipe below) 1 fresh lemon, sliced Parsley sprigs for garnish Directions: Spoon cocktail sauce into martini glasses. Place 8 to 10 … Continue reading

Low-Fat Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Believe it or not there are some Americans who don’t believe in stuffing themselves with buffet’s worth of calories on Thanksgiving. I don’t happen to be one of them. However, I am related to a very svelte sister-in-law who eats her entire Turkey Day meal from a single salad bowl. Whereas, this is not a practice I personally embrace, I certainly understand the method behind her madness. When you are hosting a house full of people with differing tastes and eating habits, it’s nearly impossible to please everyone. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to offer a few dishes that appeal … Continue reading

Bloody Bites for Your Halloween Buffet

Oh, the wonders of ketchup. The tangy condiment can go a long way to creep out guests at a Halloween party (though, not to the point where mini ghosts and goblins won’t happily gobble up gory-looking goodies). The trick to these Halloween treats is to make them as tasty as they are gruesome to look at. You can start off with some Bloody Baked Potatoes (courtesy of the Food Network) and then serve up a slimy snake sandwich. Both make boo-tiful additions to your Halloween buffet. BLOODY BAKED POTATOES Ingredients: 4 baking potatoes 3 balls fresh mozzarella, diced 2 tablespoons … Continue reading

Autumn Recipes: O is for Orange

Decorating with fresh pumpkins isn’t the only way you can infuse your home with the color of the season. Plump fresh oranges piled high in a vase with vibrant yellow lemons can sweeten up any dining room or kitchen table. Incidentally, oranges can also brighten up several dishes that begin with the letter “O” including oatmeal, orzo and okra (sautéed with a squeeze of fresh orange juice). If your family loves oranges consider making the following recipes that spotlight the healthy and versatile fruit: ORANGE AND LEMON INFUSED MASHED POTATOES Ingredients: 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh … Continue reading

Autumn Recipes: H is for Ham

Ham and bananas… they are among my preschooler’s favorite foods, regardless of the season. However, I would have never dreamed of pairing the two in a casserole. That is, until I saw Food Network chef Paula Deen do so with her usual aplomb on TV a few months ago. I swear that woman can make dirt look good enough to eat. Deen’s Cheesy Ham and Banana Casserole is a hit in my home (mainly due to the crushed potato chips that dot it) and is the prefect dish to pass at a fall potluck. It also makes for a wonderfully … Continue reading

Graduation Potluck: Fruit Muffins and Hearty Ham Bakes

My daughter is not even in school yet so graduation day is a long ways off. However, my friend’s daughter is graduating from eighth grade in a couple of weeks and to celebrate she is hosting a brunch following the morning ceremony. For a variety of reasons (not the least of which is the fact that she has six other children and most of the people attending the party are very close friends and family members) she decided to make the brunch a potluck. Which means I had to find recipes to make that could be doubled (or tripled) and … Continue reading