Sittin’ ’round bored and uninspired?

Here’s a great list of recipes to cook while sittin’ ’round the house using pantry items. My friend and fellow Personal Chef, Carol Borchardt, pulled together 25 easy and delicious family-friendly freezer and pantry-inspired meals with links to her recipes and those of other bloggers sharing their comforting recipes.

These are the recipes I have made and they have become tried and true in my repertoire for clients and on my for own table:

  • Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with Ham
  • Easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Baked Fish with Cherry Tomato Olive Sauce
  • The Best Shrimp Creole
  • Cuban Style Mojo Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Black Beans

All of the other 20 are enticing and have been added to my TBT folder (to be tried)!

As I always say if your not following From a Chef’s Kitchen you should be. Whenever I’m grabbing a recipe from her blog I always check out other suggestions she provides and can spend hours gathering inspiration from her lists. I’ve enjoyed great success rate with her recipes and have even created my own variations based on clients’ likes and dislikes.

So if you’re just sittin’ ’round the house abiding social distancing, get some cooking inspiration from Carol’s blog and treat yourself and your family to great comfort fooding!

As always, you’re welcome!

Eat Well…Be Well!

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Delicious Dinner With Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi

We’ve enjoyed TJ’s frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi several times following a variety of recipes. Today I decided to create something from the pantry to avoid a trip to the store!

The result was the pictured Cauliflower Gnocchi with Caramelized Onions, Crispy Prosciutto, Petite Peas topped with Pea and Pistachio Pesto and extra grated Parmigiana Reggiano.

Here’s what I did: 

Pea Pesto:  in food processor combine 1 cup defrosted frozen peas, 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 clove garlic. Set aside. 

Prosciutto:  Crisp 2 slices prosciutto in 375 degree oven crumble and reserve. 

Onions: In a 10″ non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon EVOO.  When butter foam subsides add 1/2 large onion diced and lightly season with coarse salt. Saute until browned and caramelized set aside draining fat.

Gnocchi: Heat additional tablespoon EVOO in same pan add the frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi, cook shaking pan frequently until crispy and lightly browned. Add the onions, the Prosciutto, 1/2 cup defrosted frozen peas and 1/2 tablespoon butter  Season with white pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients together and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until heated through.

Plate in warmed bowls and top each serving with 1/2 cup pea pesto and grate additional Parmesan Cheese over all. This makes 2 Servings.   

The dish is surprisingly filling we had a simple side salad of shredded Lettuce and Kumato Tomatoes.  This instantly became a favorite way to enjoy TJ’s Cauliflower Gnocchi!


Eat Well…Be Well!

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The Great American Baking Show Holiday Edition

The Great American Baking Show Holiday Edition started on ABC on Dec. 12. And I have a virtual friend who is a contestant. It’s always exciting when you “know” one of the contestants in any competition. We’re rooting for Sally for the win! Of course she is unable to share the final outcome until the show has completed airing.

I’ve always enjoyed my interactions with my virtual friend Sally. She and her Husband are genuine Scientists researching bacteria etc. (don’t ask me it’s completely above my pay grade! We share anniversary dates they were married on the same date a lot of years after us. She is a Brazilian transplant and recently became an American Citizen with a great sense of humor most of it self-deprecating (unnecessarily of course). She has the admiration of many virtual friends that enjoy food, cooking and eating.

Sally is an excellent Bread Baker, often producing more than one stunning loaf a week. Her blog is Bewitching Kitchen where she displays the pictures of her amazing bakes. I remember when she started baking cakes and her nervous foray into all non-bread projects. She lamented that she’d never be as good a cake and sweet baker as an accomplished bread baker! Oh how wrong she was!

Her macarons defy competition! They look amazing! They probably taste awesome, I’m sure her staff who benefit from her testing and self baking challenges would happily attest to the tasty successes she has had in her foray into the sweet side of baking!

If you are a fan of the show and have seen the first two episodes you will enjoy reading Sally’s blogs of her experiences filming the show here and here! If you haven’t seen the show the blog of course has spoilers. And of course, if you are an avid baker you will enjoy Bewitching Kitchen for recipes and inspiration or as in my case: Envy!

We are anxiously awaiting the next episode with huge virtual appetites!


Eat Well….Be Well!

Chef Jim

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