Chicken French

Rochester, New York has several claims to fame, but one of my favorites is Chicken French. Thin cutlets are breaded in egg and flour and then bathed in a lemon, wine and butter sauce. The silky texture and intoxicating aroma are part of what make this an unmistakable Rochester comfort food! 

Crab Cake Sliders

Crab cakes are such an indulgent meal, I can't resist ordering one every time I see them on the menu. Little did I know they were so easy to make at home!  The secret is to use a combination of crabmeat for optimal flavor and texture plus using baking powder in the batter! 

Cream of Asparagus Soup

I get really excited when asparagus makes its way to the front of the produce section. It means Easter is around the corner & spring is in the air! Bring on the warmer weather & fresh garden veggies!  Unfortunately, Upstate New York still has mounds of snow this time of year, but a bowl of this velvety asparagus soup is a warm reminder of sunny days yet to come. 

Cast Iron Irish Soda Bread

Simple to make, quick to bake and nearly fool-proof, this dense bread should be a staple on your St. Patrick's Day menu. It's incredibly versatile; adapting easily to any taste. Sweet or savory... adding raisins and caraway or nothing at all. It's the perfect side to round out a hearty corned beef dinner with a pint of Guinness!

Pastina

Pastina is a delightful combination of small pearl pasta boiled in chicken broth, then thickened (to an oatmeal consistency) with eggs, butter and Parmesan cheese. (Think of it like a grownup version of mac 'n cheese!)  It's a simple dish that really hits the spot when you are chilled to the bone and no amount of cozy blankets or thick socks will warm you up. Not surprisingly, this comfort meal is also perfect when you're feeling under the weather. 

30-Minute Fish Tacos

This week we were in search of a meatless, dairy-free entree and I was still craving the spice-filled Mexican flavors of my Ahi tuna tacos last weekend. So, after tinkering around in my kitchen, I'm happy to say that even the pickiest family members applauded! Start to finish this meal takes only 30 minutes to make and that included vegetable preparation and fish marinade time!

Slow Cooked Chicken Cacciatore

Everyone in my home is headed back...back to work and back to school. That means back to a schedule too. Crockpot meals always help get me on track when trying to reclaim time (and my waistline)! This mouth watering make ahead meal has lots of flavor from long strips of bell peppers & onions, plus red wine, garlic and crushed tomatoes. There was more than enough for our large family AND some to freeze for another meal later in the month. This slow-cooked Chicken Cacciatore is delicious, healthy & easy. Dinner doesn't get much better than this!

Cauliflower Rice with Pecorino

A healthier alternative to rice or pasta, cauliflower rice is similar in texture but full of flavor! The best part, it can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes! Try substituting it tonight and get ready for applause from even your toughest critics!

Apple Cider Beef Stew

I love to make this stew once the autumn season starts. It's one of my most requested recipes as well. Hearty, comforting and slightly different from most slow cooker beef stews; I think the cinnamon is the secret ingredient to making this a memorable!

The Fried Egg Sandwich

There is something incredibly comforting about a simple fried egg sandwich. It doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is; warm and nourishing. It reminds me of my childhood; of treasured times, quiet moments in the past and that the future is always brighter than the present may seem.

Beef Braciole

Beef braciola is a special Italian meal I'll make only for certain occasions. It's labor intensive, requires several hours to cook and is a bit pricey, to boot. WHY would anyone ever bother, you ask?

It's. Just. That. Good. 

Creamy Jalapeño & Artichoke Dip

Iagine a classic spinach and artichoke dip...only spicier and healthier! This one is has less calories and fat since there's no mayonnaise or Parmesan, plus it's packed with protein from Greek yogurt and GREEK CREAM CHEESE!! I just found out that's a thing! Oh my gosh...add it to the list of snacks & appetizers you can gladly bring to your next party! It comes together quickly and can be made ahead of time.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Nachos

Transforming leftovers into something my family can get excited about is a bit of a challenge, but it CAN be done quickly and tastefully by turning  them into a delicious appetizer! I used shredded barbecue chicken, grabbed a bag of tortilla chips and smothered it all in pickled jalapeños, black olives and melty cheese! Dinner is done, clean up is easy & all family members are happy!

My family already loves roasted cauliflower florets with just a sprinkling of sea salt. So I thought I would make a meal of it by turning it into a soup instead! There is very little cream despite the smooth, hearty texture. 

This soup is loaded with flavor from the onions and garlic, plus the cheesy topping!  I prefer to use pancetta instead of bacon; the flavor is a little smokier and the texture is less chewy. It's the perfect warm & comforting meal for those damp, early-spring evenings!

I lovingly refer to this dish as the "pantry pasta" because it's really just a delicious mix of whatever I have on hand! It's incredibly versatile and the unlikely combination of flavors will surprisingly become a regular addition to your monthly meal plan!