Archive for the ‘Holiday and Seasonal Recipes’ Category

Shrimp Marinara Spill With Jack Mitrani

Friday, March 16th, 2012

My son Jack Mitrani is not only a pro snowboarder who goes big in the half pipe…  he’s also a great help in the kitchen, despite the mess!  Here he is lending a hand to serve some delicious shrimp marinara for a big family party.  Thank-you Jack Ryan!

Shrimp Marinara is an easy and festive dish to make anytime.  I like to saute the shrimp in a separate skillet with lots of fresh garlic and hot pepper flakes, and then combine them at the last minute with the pasta and marinara sauce.  Garnish with some fresh basil and parsley, (and blot up any spills with some paper towels!)  and you will have a fantastic dish your friends and family will rave about. And take it from Jack..always better to take a spill in the kitchen than on the snow!

Corned Beef and Cabbage For A Crowd

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

If you are like me then you are already thinking corned beef and cabbage.  This is the traditional Irish dish served on St.Patrick’s Day.  For my family St.Patrick’s Day almost always coincided with the snowboard US Open at our home mountain of Stratton, VT. This year the Open is early but the tradition of corned beef and cabbage will still be a part of the festivities at my house.  For one thing it is great for a crowd.  It is the simplest thing to make, and is great leftover for sandwiches, or to create a corned beef hash.

Below is a visual recipe.  Start with the meat and the packet of spices and throw into a big pot  with some water or beer or both, cook about 50 minutes per pound.  During last half hour add veges and when tender you have a meal they will rave about.

Mardi Gras, It’s Fat Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I’ve been noticing some increased activity in the archives.  People have been searching Mardi Gras and Fauschnaut Day. I thought this was a little strange until I suddenly realized, today is Fat Tuesday.  My god, this year flew by, I almost missed it.

Mardi Gras Indians

I have to admit, I know little about the history and traditions of Mardi Gras, but I found this  Mardi Gras New Orleans Site that gives all kinds of info.  Too late for this year, but they have suggestions for hotels, Mardi Gras packages, and Bourbon Street Balconies where you can reserve a spot to check out the craziness in the French Quarter.  I’m thinking tomorrow is not to soon to start planning for next year.

Krewe of Zulu

So, pull out your masks and beads and celebrate the end of Carnival season before the beginning of Lent, that period of fasting and denial that plagued young Catholics like myself.  Make up a batch of Jambalaya or Shrimp Creole, create a King Cake, and if you’re in Allentown, remember to pick up the donuts.

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Well, well…it’s the day before V-day and if you’ve had no time to get your special someone a gift, don’t despair.  There are plenty of last minute ideas that are thoughtful for this special holiday about love.

There are always the gift certificates that you can pull right off line.  iTunes is always great for a gift card and if you have the time you can instantly send a special song or playlist as a personal gift.  Get creative.   Order a set of Frends headphones to listen with.

Many local places offer instant gift certificates you can print for anything from manicures, massages, to your favorite stores and restaurants.   Print a personal Valentine coupon from this site or create your own.

I say when in doubt…think food!  While a nice dinner out on the town is always a good idea I find Valentine’s Day can be over booked, over priced, and over rated.  If you have the time cook a simple meal like Sally’s heart shaped pizza, or always a good idea a delicious pasta.  Maybe splurge on some lobsters which are easy to cook at home if you’ve never tried it.

Chocolate and Valentine’s Day are a perfect match.  How about making something decadent like strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue.  This is a fun for two or a party.

Have fun this Valentine’s Day. Keep in the spirit of love and friendship, and whatever you do you will have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day-keeping it simple

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Want a stress free Valentine’s Day?  There’s nothing simpler than a candlelit dinner with heart shaped pizza and sparkling wine.  Simply set the table with a white tablecloth, candles and wine or champagne glasses.
See how beautiful this table looks? Everyone loves pizza but you might want to add a green salad like grilled romaine.

Top off the night with a simple bowl of extra dark chocolate ice cream top with a little whipped cream and strawberries.The Moms love holidays.  Connect to facebook and let the moms know what you’re serving on your special day!

Coquille St Jaques and St Valentine’s Day….

Monday, February 6th, 2012

This is my daughter Liza’s favorite appetizer, Coquille St Jaques. When I asked her what she is making for Valentine’s Day, this is the recipe she considered first.  Take it from this bride to be…. this is a simple romantic appetizer perfect for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day.

I use bay scallops which are the smaller ones.  They can be found year round frozen, if you can’t find them fresh.  You simply dredge the bay scallops in flour then saute them with a little butter and olive oil with bay leaves and shallots and a splash of white wine.  Spoon into scallop shells and top with some grated swiss cheese.  Broil ’til cheese is melted and bubbling.  Garnish with some fresh parsley and serve.  Share some love this Valentine’s Day with this delicious dish.

Affogato…..means drowned

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Affagato is an Italian word that means drowned.  It is the name given to this sophisticated dessert of espresso poured over to “drown” a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It is what I’m bringing to Sally’s Italian New Year’s Eve party tomorrow night.  The idea is that it will provide a little pick me up for those celebrating past midnight!

It is so simple to make.  Since I have an ice cream maker I’m going all out and making some home made vanilla ice cream with a good vanilla extract I just got in Mexico. Store bought vanilla ice cream certainly would work well and is great for those pressed for time during the holiday madness.  Simply put a scoop of vanilla ice cream into an espresso cup and drown it with some hot espresso.  You can garnish with some coffee beans or cocoa powder. Yum.

So for now I am looking forward to ending the year with a bowl of spaghetti bolognese followed up with a satisfying affogato.  It seems I am doomed to soon be blogging about the wonders of dieting in 2012. ‘Til then wishing you all a Happy New Year from whatwouldmomsay cookbook

Save That Ham Bone….Easy Split Pea Soup

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Phew…..it’s the 26th of December, and everyone is feeling a bit exhausted.  Hard to believe but I am still thinking about food!!!!!  It’s time for an EASY recipe and simple meal.  If you are lucky enough to have a ham bone hanging around…make some split pea soup.  It’s super easy and hearty enough to be a meal in itself.  Soup is one of my favorite foods and this one is delicious.

The ham bone is what adds that smokey salty flavor to the soup.  If you don’t have one you can add some bacon instead.  You simply saute some onions, carrots, celery, add the bone and the split dried peas, some water or chicken stock and voila.  Serve with some croutons or just a crusty bread.

Soups are great to use up leftovers.  Check out all the soups in our whatwouldmomsay cookbook !

Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

This photo came from my friend Dana, and made my mouth water.  I had to borrow it.  Potato Latkes are traditionally eaten during  Chanukah/Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.  Chanukah began at sundown, last night. The oil for cooking the latkes symbolizes the miracle of the oil, one days worth, that burned through the eight days of Chanukah.

Check out Cindy’s recipe for potato latkes in the What Would Mom Say Cookbook.