Shrimp Salad

This is sure to make every shrimp lover smile! Perfect for a hot summer day.

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s shrimp salad and then we put our twist on it.

This can be made right in the Bowl you are going to serve it in! We use a large salad bowl.

1 cup red onion diced

Pour 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar over the onion and let it sit while you do the rest of the prep. Letting the onion sit in the vinegar takes the “bite” out of the onion

1 cup celery diced

1 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup fresh dill minced

Mix the dressing together

Add 2 lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off

Mix all together and Enjoy!

You can make this in the morning, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator and then it is ready to eat when you are home from your Summer Day of fun!

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the Wonderful Moms!

Keeping it chic and carefree on Mother’s Day, with a breezy brunch.

Fresh bagels and lox

Add some fresh scallions to cream cheese.

Red onions, tomatoes and capers to garnish.

Chick Pea, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta salad dressed with olive oil, red wine, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Baked Eggs (think a quiche with no crust)

This one has sausage, onions, potatoes spinach and cheddar. You can mix up the ingredients for this with whatever you like. Sometimes we use pancetta or bacon. Sometimes just all vegetables. Whatever you use sauté it first, except the cheese of course, than lay in the bottom of the pan. For a 9×13″ pan use 12 eggs and 1 cup of half and half mixed together then pour over the other ingredients. Salt and Pepper to taste of course. Fresh herbs are nice too. Sprinkle the cheese on. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour.

Fresh berries are always sweet and pretty

Alex with both her Grandmas at Lacrosse.

To Moms Everywhere, you’re the Best!

Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes are in season!! Yeah!!

These are amazing!! Taking the choke out can be a challenge but well worth the effort! We stuff ours with sweet Italian sausage, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, shredded mozzarella and seasoning then steam them in chicken broth.

Grandma Betsy and Alex trim the artichokes.

Tony scoops out the choke with a spoon.

Stuffing the artichoke

Alex takes over stuffing with crazy hair

Lauren going in for more… Buon Appetito!

6 stuffed artichokes:

Clean and trim and take the choke out of each artichoke

Sauté 6 Sweet Italian sausage squeezed out of its casing in a drizzle of olive oil. Sauté until sausage is cooked. Set aside to cool. And then chop the sausage into tiny pieces.

Mix sausage with 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs. 1 cup Parmesan cheese. 2 cups shredded mozzarella. Season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

Stuff the artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in pot with 4 cups of chicken broth. Steam until bottom leaves pull out easily. We steam in Dutch oven on stove top or covered with foil in a 350 oven. Either way it takes about 45 minutes.

Braciola

You can taste the love in every bite of this homemade Braciola!

Make sure you have time for this one! You need time in the morning to make the Braciola and the sauce. Then you can head out while it simmers. I put mine in a crockpot to simmer on low all day. We served this with homemade fettuccine. So delicious!!!

I like to make 1 and half Braciola per person so this recipe is for 4 servings.

6 thinly sliced pieces of beef, we used a sirloin for this. You want a lean beef without a lot of fat.

We place each piece of beef between two sheets of parchment paper and pound it with the flat side of a frying pan and then roll it with a rolling pin.

Tony rolling the beef so it tenderized and thin.

Season each piece on both sides with salt and pepper to taste and lay a piece of prosciutto on each piece.

Spread the filling on each piece of beef, we stuffed this with bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, spinach, parsley and seasoning (the filling recipe is below)

Roll the beef up and tie with butchers twine.

Brown each piece and place in the sauce to simmer on low for at least 5 hours.

Serve with Pasta and Enjoy!

Braciola Filling for your 6 Braciola

6 pieces of prosciutto

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup spinach, cooked and drained really well

1/4 cup parsley chopped

1 egg

Salt pepper and garlic powder to taste

Lay the prosciutto on each piece of beef.

Mix everything else together in a bowl.

Lay on top of the prosciutto.

Bueno Appetito!

Easter Cake

How sweet is this cake! Inspired from a Betty Crocker recipe.

Follow the directions on a package of butter yellow cake mix and bake 2 9″ inch circle cakes. Let them cool completely before icing! Shave off the tops of each cake if they are peaked with a serrated knife. Alex and I like to eat these of course so we hope they peak a bit!

You are going to need a lot of icing for this cake!! About 60 oz. so if you are not making it from scratch buy 5 12oz. Vanilla frosting. No judging if you are not making it from scratch! Let’s be real here! If you are making it from scratch use your favorite vanilla buttercream icing recipe, and make enough!

Divide the frosting into 4 bowls. You will need a lot more pink because you will frost the cake with that so use 30 oz of pink, 12 oz. orange, 12 oz yellow and 6 oz. blue for the little piping at bottom. Use food color to make the colors. Just add a drop at a time of the food color, a little goes a long way!!

Use the pink icing to ice in between the layers, and the outside of the cake. Then using 3 different star tips. Use the largest star tip you have and a piping bag pipe little pink swirls randomly around the cake. If you don’t have a piping bag use a plastic bag and cut a corner off for the tip to slide into. Then use a smaller tip for orange swirls. Then smaller for yellow. And then clean the smallest one and use again for the blue swirls at the bottom, or if you have a fourth star tip use that!

Decorate with bunny peeps and enjoy! We make this ahead of time and put it in the frig until Easter!

Spring Celebrations

We hope you enjoy these Spring Recipes perfect for any celebration! Enjoy the weekend!

I like to keep these menus simple and easy so you can enjoy your guests.

Keep the appetizers simple…

No matter the occasion, our dad always asks for potato pancakes aka latkes with sour cream and apple sauce!

We make them more like hashbrowns with very little breadcrumbs or Matzoh meal. Recipe below.

Roasted Lamb

Make sure you take the Lamb out of the frig an hour and a half before you want to put it in the oven so it can come to room temperature. This is a 5 lb. roast. Rub it with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, dry oregano, garlic powder.

Place it on a rack in a pan. For easy clean up I made a time foil rack by scrunching up tin foil into S shapes for it to sit on top of in my tin foil pan so I can toss it all when it is done.

Top with whole cloves of garlic. And Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. We like ours at medium. Definitely use a meat thermometer. Internal temperature should read around 135-140.

Don’t forget the tulips!!

Happy SPRING!!

Menu: Cheese platter and olives for apps.

Roasted Leg of Lamb, Potato Pancakes and Roasted Baby Carrots

Roasted Baby Carrots with Honey

Drizzle carrots with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Yum!

Potato Pancakes

In your food processor with the grater fitting, grate about 12 peeled large potatoes and 2 large onions. Put into a colander over a bowl and strain. Discard the dripping and pour into the bowl. Add two whisked eggs and a cup of breadcrumbs or matzoh meal. Mix. Heat up oil of choice, I use a combination of vegetable and olive oil. Make little pancakes and fry until crispy. I fry these a day or two before leaving them a little raw inside and then finish them off in the oven before eating. 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Home Made Pasta – Weekend 3 Parpadelle

Alex making the parpadelle

Parpadelle is a thicker pasta so we hand cut it after the pasta is rolled out. So make the dough, roll it out through your pasta machine. On our machine we rolled it out to the 8th setting. Then hand cut it into 1 1/2 inch width. Remember to lightly dust with flour so it doesn’t stick together after being cut.

We served the Parpadelle with a bolognese with sausage sauce. Recipe below.

Bueno Appetito!

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork

6 sweet Italian sausage links squeezed out of the casing (discard the casing). If you like it spicy use spicy sausage.

1 onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

3 carrots peeled and minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

Splash of red wine

3 – 28 oz cans of tomato sauce

1 Tbsp dark brown sugar

Salt, pepper, oregano to taste

1/4 cup basil chopped for garnish

Brown the chopped beef and pork, season with salt, pepper and oregano. Once browned transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and drain the fat.

In same pan brown the sausage. Season with salt and pepper and oregano. Try to break it up into the smallest pieces you can. Sometimes I have to take it out and chop it and throw it back in.

Make a well in the center of the sausage. Add olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots. Season to taste with salt, pepper and oregano. Let this sweat a bit and then add the garlic. Sauté until onions are transparent and add a splash of red wine. Turn up the heat and let the wine cook off. Add the tomato sauce. Add the beef and pork back in. Season again with salt, pepper and oregano if desired. Add the brown sugar. Mix it all together, turn down the heat and let it simmer on low for at least 2 hours. I often transfer to a crockpot if I need to leave the house and let it go on low until we eat.

Serve over any pasta.

Home Made Pasta

Weekend 2 – Fettuccine

We find that homemade pasta melts in your mouth! It is so delicious!

You already know how to make the pasta dough from our weekend one blog (you can look back if you need to). Now you can make any shape you like!

Our pasta machine has an attachment to crank out fettuccine and spaghetti.

Alex and Anthony making the fettuccine

Andy making fettuccine and Anthony making sure the pasta gets lightly dusted with flour so it doesn’t stick together.

We served with homemade Braciola – recipe to follow in another post!

Bueno Appetito!

Home Made Pasta

Three weekends of Home Made Pasta!!

Weekend 1 Ravioli!

Alex and Olivia filling the ravioli

Ravioli with Spinach Ricotta filling

Home Made Pasta

3 cups flour

3 eggs

Drizzle olive oil

Pinch of salt

Water if dough gets too dry

Make a well in the flour and add the eggs

Whisk eggs, drizzle olive oil and pinch of salt in also. Then slowly combine the flour into the egg mixture until the dough forms.

Tony and Anthony making the dough.

Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and Let the dough rest for half an hour. Then roll out so it can fit through your pasta you machine. We use a hand crank roller. You can use this recipe to make any type of pasta you want.

This recipe feeds the four of us so when we are feeding more people which we always are, we make more dough. We usually have at least 12 people so we make three of these doughs.

Tony and Philip rolling out the pasta.

Spinach and Ricotta Filling

2 cups ricotta

1 cup fresh spinach chopped

1 cup frozen chopped spinach cooked and drained very well

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

This usually makes a little more than we need for one dough but everyone likes to eat it while they are making the ravioli!

Bueno Appetito!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

We have been gone for a bit… our lives got so busy! But we are back now and promise to keep it Chic and Carefree!!

Xoxo

Alison & Lauren

What better way to get back into the swing of things than by Wishing all our Irish friends a Happy St. Patrick’s Day with a few of our Irish favorites!

Guinness Float

In the glass of your choice, we use a pint glass or tall ice cream sundae glass. Place 1 large scoop of vanilla ice cream, Lauren likes 2 scoops! Add a splash of Baileys Irish Cream over it if your have some. SLOWLY Pour Guinness over the ice cream, allowing the foam to settle, and then pour more to fill the glass. Top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce drizzles.

Corned Beef Hash with Eggs

We love corned beef sandwiches with spicy brown mustard and melted cheese! This is also a delicious way to enjoy corned beef and a great way use up any leftover corned beef and potatoes you may have.

2 tablespoons oil to fry potatoes and onions in – use the oil of your choice, we use vegetable oil for this. Plus 2 more tablespoons to fry your eggs.

2 cups diced potatoes (if they are already cooked throw them in with the onions, if they are raw they will need more cooking time)

1 medium onion diced

3 cups diced or shredded corned beef (or whatever you have leftover)

1 cup shredded cheddar

6 eggs

Salt and peppers to taste

Minced Parsley to garnish

In a large skillet cook potatoes, and onions until brown. If potatoes are raw start them cooking first, then add onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in corned beef and shredded cheddar. Let the cheese melt in.

In a separate pan cook the eggs sunny side up in oil. Slide the eggs onto the corned beef hash mixture, garnish with parsley and serve. We love this with a side of ketchup and hot sauce mixed together!

Sheppard’s Pie

Love in a casserole dish!

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

1 medium onion diced

4 carrots sliced or diced, whatever you prefer

2 cup cooked peas – we use frozen peas and cook them the way the package says

Sometimes it is easier to use the frozen peas and carrots mixture in which case use about 4 cups of that cooked. If you like less veggies in yours, use less

2 pounds ground beef

2 Tablespoons Roux – this is a cooked mixture of 1 tablespoon of butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour, cooked to make a roux. If you don’t know roux, get to know it!

1 1/2 cup beef stock

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 dried

2 cups shredded cheddar

Salt and pepper to taste

Top with mashed potatoes – make these however you like – you will need to use about 3 pounds potatoes. We love ours mashed with a stick of melted butter, 1 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup half and half and tons of salt and pepper

Sauce the onion and carrots (if using fresh) in the oil with salt and pepper, add the minced garlic a little bit later so it doesn’t burn. Sauté until tender. Transfer to the casserole dish and stir in cooked peas. In same pan brown the beef, season with salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the casserole dish. Discard the beef fat. In same pan add the roux, stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until thickened. Pour over the beef and vegetables in the casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes, sprinkle cheddar on top and bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

Enjoy!