The title says it all! This past Sunday was a lazy, cold and windy day....perfect for barbecue! Well, not really but we braved the elements to enjoy some really good food. My husband and I picked up a loaf of garlic bread, vegetables for grilling and two New York strips...and we managed to grill them to perfection! I mean look at those grill lines...impressive...I know! Our skewers included onions, squash, mushrooms, jalapenos, tomatoes and shrimp...so delicious (see my post below about how to grill the vegetables.) I seasoned the steaks with salt, pepper, a gourmet burger spice and worcestershire sauce. Simple as that! GIve it a try sometime and hopefully you can have a meal as gorgeous as this one! We sure did enjoy it, and of course my two year old wouldn't even take a bite of anything, big surprise...oh well, maybe one day his palette will enjoy this type of food, but until then, I guess it is all for Mom and Dad!
You know what time it is...Friday! Today's meat-less meal is a really easy, really tasty one that has several great variations! This recipe is designed for the grill, but you can do the exact same thing inside in the oven (in case it is raining, or just unpleasant outside!)
Marci's Grilled Tilapia with Lemon Herb Sauce
and Grilled Vegetables
4 Tilapia Fillets (Catfish is equally good!)
Non-stick oil cooking spray
2 Lemons, exteriors scrubbed cleaned and rinsed
1/2 Teaspoon Dill
1/2 Teaspoon Rosemary
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Sage
1/2 Tablespoon Parsley Flakes
Salt and Pepper (To Taste)
Your Choice of Vegetables: Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Squash, Jalapenos
Heat your grill medium-high heat, around 350 degrees. Make sure you have an area/zone that doesn't have high flames. Cut all of the vegetables into 1/2" - 1" bite size chunks and thread them onto skewers. Drizzle Olive Oil over the skewered vegetables and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Place on grill, rotating often to make sure they aren't getting burned. Rinse the Tilapia fillets. Take 2 large pieces of tinfoil, lay one on top of the other and fold up all four sides, you are making a boat for the fish and sauce, make sure you seal the sides together really well, you don't want your sauce to leak out all over the grill. If you have large fillets, you may want to make 2 boats and put 2 fillets in each (you will have to pick up and transfer the boat.) Spray tinfoil with non-stick cooking spray. Place Tilapia in tinfoil boat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then sprinkle all of the herbs over the fillets, flip them over and season the other side. Slice the two lemons in half, squeeze lemon juice over all of the fillets, after you have done this cut the lemons into slices and place all over and around the fish in the boats. Place the tinfoil boat onto the hot grill, and cook (lid on) until the fish is white, totally opaque and flaky (I am not putting a cooking time, because it varies by grill and temperature.) Carefully remove tinfoil boat and discard lemon slices (save a few for garnish if you wish.) Plate fish, spoon extra sauce over the Tilapia, and serve with grilled vegetables on the side. Enjoy!
Once again it is Friday and I will be sharing a very healthy, delicious and easy recipe that is meat free! This recipe makes a ton of food and is great with a loaf of french bread or just crackers, lunch or dinner! This is one of my husband's favorite soups, personally I don't like soup to much, but this one is so chunky, I can get away with less liquid in mine, making it less like soup! I truly hope you love it!
Marci's Minestrone Soup
6-8 Large Servings
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (or oil of your choice, like Canola or Vegetable)
2 Large Carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 Stalks Celery, chopped into small pieces
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Sage
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
8 Oz. Frozen Green Peas
8 Oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach
8 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Can Italian Diced Tomatoes
2 Cans White Beans (I use Great Northern,) drained but not rinsed
1 1/4 Cups Small Tubular Pasta (Macaroni or Ditalini)
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Your favorite brand, I use either Louisiana or Tabasco)
Salt and Pepper (To Taste)
Heat oil in a very large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots and saute until tender about 7 minutes. Add Red Pepper Flakes, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Salt and Pepper until fragrant about 1 minute. Add Peas, Spinach, Vegetable Broth, Diced Tomatoes and Beans, cover and cook until it comes to a boil, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and add pasta, adjust heat if needed, simmer for about 10-11 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally making sure the pasta doesn't get stuck to the bottom. Right at the end add hot sauce, salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!
It's Friday again, and you know what that means...no meat! This week's installment involves a semi-hard recipe that I have reworked to make super duper easy! About a month ago I decided to fix Ricotta Manicotti with Tomato Sauce for my mother's birthday...well halfway into making the dish, I remembered why I don't fix this meal often...it is aggravating! So after some thought I figured out how to redo it...resulting in the same great taste, just so much easier to make. Roll up your sleeves and try this baby out for size!
Marci's Faux Ricotta Manicotti Roll-Ups with Tomato Sauce
1 box lasagna noodles
2 containers (15 oz each) part-skim ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 jars of your favorite already prepared tomato sauce
1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms of your choice
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper finely chopped
Chop all veggies, heat a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon oil, add mushrooms once oil is hot and saute until the mushrooms have darkened and softened to a good consistency. Remove mushrooms from pan, set aside to cool. Add chopped onions and bell peppers to the pan and saute until wilted and slightly browned, set aside. Cook pasta noodles just until it reaches al dente', drain and carefully remove lasagna noodles with tongs onto a plate (it is ok if some are broken.) While the pasta is cooking, mix together in large bowl the ricotta, 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of the Mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and cooled mushrooms. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large 9x13 baking dish, pour one of the jars of tomato sauce into the dish and add cooked onions and bell peppers, stir in well. Taking one lasagna noodle at a time (on a separate plate) using about 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta filling, evenly spread the mixture onto the noodle, and then starting at one end carefully roll up the lasagna noodle and place (seam down) into the baking dish with sauce. Repeat until finished (this should fill up the baking dish!) Once you are done with the lasagna roll-ups, pour over the other jar of tomato sauce (I only use half a jar, but it is up to you) and then top with the remainder Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. Bake until bubbly about 30 minutes, and cheese is nicely browned in spots. Enjoy!
Photo 1 shows the lasagna roll-ups once placed into the sauce.
Photo 2 shows the dish before it goes into the oven (we like cheese!)
Photo 3 - Missing - Sorry no photo, we were too hungry and I forgot to take a picture!
As many of you know we are in the Lenten season right now and many Catholics (and others) give up eating meat on Fridays. This always seems to pose a challenge for me (I am not sure why either) and I always struggle with "what to fix for lunch and dinner," of coarse there are the old reliable things: fish sticks, mac-n-cheese, tuna, grilled cheese and that is usually where my list ends. So this season my challenge is to fix new and delicious things for my family and it starts here! I will be presenting a new recipe each Friday for the remainder of Lent! Ready, set...let's go!
Before I start, two things:
1. I truly believe in the Rachael Ray way of cooking, don't measure things, eyeball and add to taste, this works perfectly for this recipe. Just don't put too much mustard!
2. How to boil eggs perfectly: Add eggs to pot, cover with cold water, place on stove and heat to boiling (lid off.) As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off heat, move pot to cool burner or trivet, cover pot with lid, set timer for 10 minutes. After timer goes off, carefully pour out hot water and refill pot with cold water several times (this stops the eggs from cooking.) Once eggs are cooled down to touch, either use them or place them in the refrigerator for later! Perfect every time!
Marci's Perfectly Delicious Egg Salad Sandwiches
4 Boiled Eggs
1/4 Cup Mayo
Sprinkle of Dried Onion Flakes
1 Teaspoon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Dill Weed
Dash Garlic Powder (To Taste)
Dash Salt and Pepper (To Taste)
Squirt of Lemon Juice
1-2 Peperoncini Peppers and Juice from Peppers (Secret Ingredient)
White Bread (It's just better tasting on white bread, but use whatever you prefer.)
Crack and peel eggs, place them in a bowl, crumble and break them up with a fork. Finely chop the peperoncini peppers, add to bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, stirring well, tasting every now and then to make sure you have the right taste. Serve on bread, or on a simple salad. Enjoy!
A feisty mom designing, sewing and blogging her way through everyday life!