Posts Tagged ‘olive oil’

We’ve got a great, easy and VERY tasty veggie dish!!  I will share my secret ingredient with you and when you make this for your kids… hubby… or boyfriend… they will jump up and down and beg for more!!!  I promise this!!

Let’s start with some yummy veggies.  

Yes, we can find these same veggies mostly year round, but they are far more plentiful at certain times of the year and if you have a garden, you probably grow most of them!  I don’t have a garden, I’ve tried… alas… it is not my calling to grow anything in the ground.

I like to get my veggies at the local Farmers Market…. or in a pinch, Safeway!

Here we go….. Take you beautiful fresh veggies and slice into nice bite size pieces.   Then take your zucchini, yellow squash & onions and place into a skillet with a drizzle of EVOO.  Top with some sea salt and cracked pepper, then saute for about 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat (be careful not to cook too much, we want them nice and firm).  Fight the urge to add more spices… you don’t need them,  the flavor of this dish will dance on your tongue!

When time is up, transfer to baking dish and add 1 can of Italian Stewed Tomato’s.  I also like to chop some fresh tomato and add to the mixture.  Here is where we add the secret ingredient… Ready???

Just shake about 1 to 2 teaspoons of Garlic Bread Sprinkle onto the mixture and stir… top with shredded jack cheese (or whatever you have on hand) and pop into the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes!

Scoop out a serving and taste…. It’s really delicious…. even non-veggie eaters seem to love this dish!!

Feel free to serve with some crusty bread to sop up all those juices…

If you’re anything like me you won’t be able to shove it in your mouth fast enough!!  You’re gonna LOVE this dish!!

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Here’s something kind of fun for you!!  This weekend I was talking with a friend of mine and I realized that I hadn’t posted any of our camping recipes yet!!  I thought I’d post a quick one for you today.  Keep in mind that while camping there are times you have to think on the fly… not always prepared with the right sauces or spices we just have to make do… and we sure do!  My sisters and I started to brainstorm and came up with this idea during our second week of our summer camping trip.  The kids were hungry and dinner wasn’t even in the making yet… we started going through our list… there’s cheese sticks (NO!), there’s chips (NO), have an apple (NO)… what about some carrots (NO!)… I’m sure you see where this is going!

So we were searching through our ice chests and our food tent… yes, we have a little tent for our food… don’t laugh until you’ve tried it!!! 🙂  This is what we came up with….

Take a roll of ready made dough… pizza dough would have been perfect, however we were stuck with crescent dough… it worked!

Please forgive our photography… we were camping!! 🙂

Add Papa’s pepperoni‘s that he was saving for a snack later…

Cut cheese stick in half and place onto pepperoni… It would have been really great if we’d had some kind of sauce here…. we didn’t.

We’ll have to plan for these next year!

Cut the dough into sections around your treats.

Roll and place on parchment paper or foil and pop into the oven for about 10 minutes.  Oh… did I mention that we also have a camping oven???

Yep… It’s pretty cool.  We make orange rolls for breakfast and cookies for snacks (when we aren’t in the mood for s’mores!).  Anyway… back to our newest treat…

They come out of the oven all toasty and brown with melty cheese on the inside…

Now doesn’t that just look yummy… for a snack?  I know, it needs a bit of sauce 😦

Here is where I would normally show you a picture of the kids eating and loving the treats we made…. but by the time they were all cooled off and passed out and I scrambled around my tent looking for the camera (I had just put in there)… they had all been eaten!!!  Of course they wanted more… but we didn’t have anymore dough, so we tell them to wait for next year… we’ve promised to add these to our ‘food’ list!  You’ll have lots of Happy Campers when you make these!!

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Father’s Day…. A day like no other (except maybe Mother’s Day – and that’s totally different!).  When we get together with family for fun in the summer – it almost always includes one (or all) of the Dad’s at the grill and everyone else in the pool – until it’s time to eat!  This day is a little different… as we celebrate our terrific Dad & Papa, it’s only right that he get the day off and the girls do the food in the kitchen (’cause we are  not ALLOWED at the grill!).  This day is Sub day!  Homemade subs are simply sensational (hence the name).  I don’t know anyone who has had one of these subs who hasn’t raved about it and admitted that those sub shops like Subway and Quiznos would be flat out of business if we ever decided to open our own shop! 🙂  There are tons of variations to the subs that we make – I’m going to give you the basic’s and you can go wild with excitement over what you can add to them!!

We start with fresh rolls.  Don’t these look fantastic?  Can’t you just smell the freshness of the breads?  Kudo’s to Kelly for picking out the rolls (and getting everything else too)!!!  We use sandwich rolls and dinner rolls.  The dinner rolls are the perfect size for those little hands to hold on to!

A variety of deli meat – and it’s got to be deli meat… the pre-packaged stuff just doesn’t cut it.  We usually buy whatever is on sale – for this day we (um, Kelly) splurged and bought what we liked (ham, roast beef & turkey) even if it wasn’t on sale!

A variety of cheeses, ’cause we’re so cheesy.  We like to get this at the deli too… our choices are mozzarella, cheddar & provolone!

The only other must have item is sliced red onion.  If you are one of those onion haters… you can skip the “O”, just know that you are really missing out!!  Next step?  Assembly.  It’s very important to put all the meat on one side of the roll and the cheese on the other side… NOT!! That’s just the way we do it.  Then we place the lovely red onion on the meat… or the cheese… and it’s ready for the oven.

The oven really IS an important step.  These subs will not taste as good if they aren’t toasted & melted in the oven!  Hey!!!  Do you see that little hand sneaking a piece of cheese right off his roll???  Place baking sheet (without little hand) on the top rack at 350° for about 10 – 15 minutes.

I’m not really sure what could have happened next… I didn’t remember to take pictures of the subs as they came out of the oven all melty and toasty… I didn’t remember to take pictures of what we added to the subs like tomato, lettuce, pickles, pepper rings (another must for me!), mustard & mayo for some, salad oil & vinegar for others….  So go ahead and assemble your subs the way you like… grab a couple of bags of chips or make a quick salad for a nice healthy side dish and there you have it…

Our Simply Sensational Sub with a nice healthy salad!!!

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Wine a little, you’ll feel better! Or so I’ve heard. Guess it depends on just how MUCH wine you drink whether you’ll feel better or not, hmmm? Two birthdays on the same day sounds like a good occassion to figure it out, don’t ya think? We sure did! Our friends are all a little wine-y, so at the suggestion of one of the birthday duo we decided to throw a Birthday Bocce Ball Tournament & Antipasto Party. I’m tellin’ ya, appetizers are the way to go if you’re having a party. Fix it before, put it on the table, let the guests help themselves. Then the hostess can get wine-y with all her rowdy friends! Wait…is that a country song? I don’t live in the country. Does it matter? Actually, I’m a REAL Housewife of Orange County! No caterers, no party planners, no florists, no hair stylist, no designer clothes. Forget what you see on TV, this is the way we really do it in the OC. Just, food, friends and wine.

First up, Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Cube a ripe cantaloupe. Slice Prosciutto in strips lengthwise. Wrap around melon. Secure with fancy toothpick. Put on pretty blue plate. Okay, any color plate will do. That’s it.

Oh yeah, if you do this ahead of time (always a smart idea), stick this in the fridge until it’s party time.

Sweet & Sticky Stuffed Dates with Marscapone

Slice the date lengthwise down the middle, but not completely in half. Using a teaspoon, and your fingers, fill cavity with Marscapone Cheese. For those of you not familiar with this, Marscapone Cheese is an Italian cream cheese which is very rich, creamy and spreadable. Or stuffable, in this case!  Arrange on a plate, slap it on the table. Or place gently depending on how much you like the bowl you put it in. No refrigeration necessary if served within a few hours.

Antipasto Party Platter

No recipes here. I bought 3 types of good quality Salami, Olives from the deli, Pepperoncini‘s, cubed up some Provolone and Havarti, added a dish of Boconccini (fresh mozarella balls marinated in olive oil to the non-italians), shaved Parmesan and stuck a store-bought Pasta & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad in the center. Basically, buy what you like…that fits your budget and make it look pretty on your best platter!

Had so much fun shopping for stuff for this platter, I couldn’t get it all on the plate! So I had to make another small platter!

This one has Herbed Boconccini (balls again), Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Chunky sliced Genoa Salami, Giardiniera Hot Pickled Vegetables (straight out of a jar), some more Provolone, Crunchy (store-bought) Garlic Toast and Sun-Dried Tomato slices.

Bex Bruschetta

Make a few hours ahead.

A bunch of ripe, red, juicy Roma Tomatoes. I used 10. Quarter & seed them, then chop. 4-5 cloves fresh Garlic finely chopped. A handful of Fresh Basil. Hint: this stuff just doesn’t keep very long, so buy it fresh & use it fast! Add about a teaspoon of Kosher Salt to bring out the juiciness of the tomatoes, then get out your best Olive Oil, yes the good stuff…the stuff that cost more than your last bottle of perfume….don’t be stingy now, swirl it around the bowl a few times, then stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let the flavors marry…I, Tomato, take thee Basil…let it sit on the counter until you’re ready to serve. Don’t refrigerate. That’s not good for tomatoes, makes ’em mealy and destroys the flavor. At least that’s what they say….not sure who ‘they’ are…maybe the food police? Anyhooo, serve it up with those Crunchy Garlic Toasts you saw on the platter, or a freshly sliced baquette, whatever bread you want. Or just sit in front of the bowl with a spoon shoveling it into your mouth if you like. I think I saw someone doing this on Saturday! So I guess it was a hit. 🙂

That’s enough now, we’ve got plenty! Throw all those bowls & plates on the table. All right…place gently, it’s hard to stick a toothpick into broken crockery. The guests all brought an offering, so here’s the loaded table. Additions include: fruit, veggies & dips, pistachios, chips, crackers, salad, bread sticks, hummus, pita chips, red-pepper spread, and bread dipping oils.

Doesn’t it look tasty?

The Bocce Ball participants sure look happy. Yes, they are too playing Bocce Ball, I know it looks like they’re just drinking…there was a rule that you had to have a glass in hand when you threw, so really, these folks are just getting prepared for their next turn!

Now here’s some actual Bocce Ball! Okay, it looks more like a little discussion about who is closer, but I had to show you we really did play. I’m just not sure who won!  It wasn’t me.

The day after…

Here’s the UNloaded table! Guess I won’t buy those breadsticks again! ha!






One cheese platter destroyed.




Final Cork Count – 17










Dead soldiers – 15

Some problem with that math somewhere….no I’m not telling you how many people there were….or weren’t…

No wine glasses were broken and no party guests were harmed in the making of this blog.

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