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Tag Archives: Olive oil

Quick spicy tomato and bacon linguine

Dinner in 30 minutes

Dinner in 30 minutes

Now that you have been cooking for days and are exhausted but the thought of going out to dinner and getting dressed up is too much – try this easy and delicious dish.  This linguine dish is so good it would be great for a family meal but also perfect for company.  This has been a favorite of my family for years.   Open a nice bottle of chardonnay, pour yourself a glass and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

  • 1/3 pound thick sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. sweet onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound fresh linguine, cooked according to directions


Sauté bacon until almost crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel.  Leave  2 T. bacon drippings in pan and add olive oil, water and onions.  Sauté for 3 minutes.

To pan, add tomatoes, wine, garlic, bacon and red pepper flakes.  Sauté for 3 minutes.

Finally add basil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6.

Farmers Markets Soup

Farmers Market Soup

Farmers Market Soup

What better way to make a soup then to go to the farmers market, see what vegetables look the freshest, bring them home and create something delicious? This is just what we did on Saturday.  We first visited the organic farm stand at the market and picked up the zucchini, carrots and onions.  It was then onto the local farmers stand where we found cremini mushrooms, eggplant and beautiful green beans.  All that shopping made our stomachs growl, so we went to the wood fired pizza stand and ate a fresh tomato, feta, and spinach pizza while sitting on the curb and watching the people go by with their purchases.

It was then on to Vicki’s kitchen were we finished the morning chopping vegetables and making the soup.  It is always more fun (and easier) cooking together and we encourage you to do the same.

This soup is very hearty and makes a healthy, flavorful meal.  I recently served it to a group of friends who came in for lunch after a morning of playing golf on a chili, drizzly day.  This was the perfect soup to warm them up and fill them up after chasing that little white ball!

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, minced
  • 4 carrots – cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini – cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound of green beans – cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 eggplant – peeled and cut into one inch pieces
  • 1/2 of medium head green cabbage, shredded
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup canned fire roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 quarts chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cup canned white or cannellini beans, well rinsed
  • 4 poached, boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces (see our poached chicken blog listed under entrees)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup pesto (pre-made)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook for  3 minutes.  Add the carrots, zucchini, green beans, and eggplant and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.  Add cabbage and sauté until soft.  Add mushrooms and sauté for several minutes.  Add garlic and stir for another minute.

Add tomatoes, stock and basil and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender and soup has slightly thickened – about 15 minutes.

Add rice and beans and cook for 15 minutes.  Add chicken, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Heat until chicken is warm.

Place in bowls and top with a teaspoon of pesto and grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 8-10.

Soups Ready!

Soup’s Ready!

Contemporary Beef Stew

Modern Beef Stew

Contemporary Beef Stew

Cinnamon and cloves in a beef stew recipe?  Absolutely!  Prepare this updated version of beef stew and your home will be filled with a wonderful aroma and your family and friends will be filled with a delicious, hearty meal.  This isn’t your grandmother’s beef stew …


  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar


  • 20 ounces skinned pearl onions (use frozen if you are crunched for time)
  • 3 stalks celery chopped into slices
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

Place meat and the marinade in a large bowl.  Cover and refrigerate over night.

Drain the beef, but reserve the marinade.  Melt butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven.  Sauté onions and celery on medium heat for about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, place onions and celery in a bowl.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.  Sear beef, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Add marinade, onion, celery, tomatoes, tomato paste and enough water to cover the beef.  Bring to boil and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is fork tender.

Serve over egg noodles, or herbed noodles, such as the basil noodles, pictured above.

This stew can be made several days in advance.  Freeze any leftovers.

Serves 6-8.

Elegant Dinner for Four – Now a Simple Salad


Many times salad is served as a separate course from the main meal.  It is certainly a matter personal preference, but we enjoy having the salad at the same time as the meal.  This enables the hostess to enjoy his/her meal without having to get up to clear the salad plates and then serve the entree.  Everyone enjoys the simple celebration together!

The following recipe serves four:

  • 10 oz. container of fresh spring greens
  • Avocado
  • 4 oz. fresh shaved parmesan (use a potato peeler to get a nice thin slice)
  • 1/4 c. good quality olive oil
  • 1 T. good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Peel the avocado and cut into 4 equal pieces.  Leave one end of the avocado intact.  With a sharp knife cut two slits in the avocado lengthwise.  Place on plate and fan out.

Put lettuce in a large bowl and season with salt & pepper.  Whisk together the oil and vinegar, sprinkle over lettuce and toss.  Fill each plate with lettuce and add shaved parmesan to each serving.

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