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My adventure's in feeding my family

One-Pan Four Cheese Drunken Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake May 2, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

The title of this recipe says everything that is good about it. Cheese, Tomato, Wine, Spinach and pasta all baked up all ooey and gooey. It was simple to make and super tasty. I should have added more salt but I am always unsure when you have so much cheese.


  • (28 ounce) can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes (can sub whatever tomatoes you may have on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained but reserved
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red wine (or 1 cup chicken broth)
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups asiago cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese
  • fresh basil or parsley, chopped for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Add the whole can of san marzan tomatoes, crushing the whole tomatoes with your hand. Add the tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes + about 2 tablespoons of the oil left in the jar, thawed spinach, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, wine and 1 1/2 cups water. Give everything a good stir to combine and then add the dry pasta, fontina cheese, asiago cheese and parmesan cheese, toss everything to evenly coat. Push down gently on the pasta to get most of it under sauce.

Tightly cover the baking dish and bake for 40-45 minutes. Uncover and break the burrata cheese over top of the pasta. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley and or basil. Cut and serve.



Coq au Vin With Sausage, Thyme, and Merlot April 30, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Ok, so true Coq au Vin is to be made with a rooster but since we didn’t have one laying around we used a bird from the store for this recipe. I have made a few Coq au Vins and this one had the least amount of veggies which was a bit weird but we still enjoyed the flavors.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 veal, chicken, or beef sausage links (about 6 ounces total), fresh or frozen, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup peeled pearl onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750ml) bottle merlot
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, halved




Preheat the oven to 375°F.


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and pour in the olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes total, and transfer to a large plate. Add the sausage to the drippings in the pot and cook until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to the plate with the chicken. Add the onions to the drippings and saute them until browned, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water, the wine, thyme, bay leaf, and reserved chicken and sausage. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake 30 minutes.


Add the mushrooms, re‑cover, and bake until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes more.


Transfer the chicken, sausage, and all the vegetables with a fine-mesh strainer or slotted spoon to a bowl and keep warm. Remove and discard the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs so just sauce remains in the pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Return the chicken and vegetables to the sauce and stir to coat well and heat through. Serve immediately on a rimmed platter, passing any extra sauce in a gravy boat.

Real Irish Soda Bread April 28, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I always get skeptical when I come across a recipe, like this one, with the work REAL in the title. It immediately makes me think FAKE. Who knows why. I made it anyways because the recipe was simple which is key for me when it comes to baking. It ended up being quite tasty and paired well with the Coq Au Vin I made.


  • 15 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal (3 cups; 425g)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (7g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (for table salt, use the same weight or half as much by volume)
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons (6g) baking soda (see note above)
  • 18 ounces lowfat cultured buttermilk, well shaken (2 1/4 cups; 510g)




Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 450°F at least 15 minutes in advance. Roughly cover the bottom of a deep 10-inch cast iron or enameled Dutch oven with a sheet of parchment paper; no need to trim.


Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk a full minute to combine. Stir in buttermilk with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula until dough is fully moistened and no pockets of flour remain. For extra-fluffy results, stop folding as soon as dough comes together. For extra-chewy results, fold dough about 20 seconds more. Scrape sticky dough into prepared Dutch oven and smooth with a spatula into a rough boule-like shape. Score deeply into quarters with a sharp knife or razor, cleaning the blade between each slice.


Cover and bake until well risen and golden, 45 minutes. Remove lid and continue baking until chestnut brown, with an internal temperature of 210°F, 12 to 15 minutes longer. Invert onto a wire rack, discard parchment, turn right side up, and cool until crumb has set, about 30 minutes. Cut thick slices to accompany hearty soups and stews, or slice thinly for sandwiches. (This will be easier if allowed to cool 2 hours more.) Store up to 24 hours in an airtight container and toast to freshen bread before serving.

Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup April 26, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Ok yes I know, I used turkey and not chicken for this recipe but it was on sale so why not? The smell of this soup while cooking was super rich (to the point that I was worried) but in the end it was smooth and while rich, not overly so.


  • 3 (10¾ oz) cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1½ cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey
  • 8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 2-3 tablespoons dry sherry, if desired




In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth and water. Add wild rice and onions. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-45 minutes (or until rice is tender). Once the rice is cooked, there will be some additional broth – do not drain.

In a medium saucepan, melt margarine, stir in flour, salt, seasoning, and pepper. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.

Gradually stir in half and half with the butter/flour mixture and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Add this creamy mixture back into the saucepan with the rice/broth. Add remaining ingredients (chicken, bacon, pimiento, and sherry). Heat on low, stirring every once in a while, for at least a half an hour. Do not boil. The mixture will look thin, but the longer you heat the soup, the more the flavors marry and the more it will thicken. This soup is best served after gently heating for an extended period of time (even a few hours) or the next day! For extra flavor, add more poultry seasoning and/or bacon.



Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel April 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I have a hit and miss relationship with fennel. Some of it just has too strong of a licorice flavor for my liking. When making this recipe I found the cooking method made the fennel sweet and the tomatoes brightened the dish up.


  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 fresno chiles, finely chopped
  • 12 lb. spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup toasted bread crumbs

IMG_3109 IMG_3183



Heat oven to 250˚. Core and halve tomatoes lengthwise; scoop out seeds. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, 1 tbsp. oil, sugar, salt, and pepper; toss. Arrange tomatoes, cut side down, on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet; roast until very soft, about 3 hours.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel; brown for 10 minutes. Add onion; cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add chiles; cook for 2 minutes. Chop and add tomatoes; set skillet aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain, reserving 12 cup pasta water. Add pasta and its water to tomato mixture; toss. Put skillet over high heat; add parsley and remaining oil; cook for 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated bottarga and bread crumbs.

Herb Roasted Cornish Hens April 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

This recipe is from one of my trusted Costco cookbooks. These hens were on mega sale so I picked a few up to stock in the freezer. The recipe was simple to throw together and paired well with pasta and veg.


  • 2 whole Cornish Hens
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper




Heat over to 350

Place hens in a shallow roasting pan and brush with oil

Mix all the seasonings in a bowl. Rub birds with seasoning mix.

Roast 1-1 1/4 hours or until cooked through.




One Pan Tomato Basil Pasta April 20, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Ah return of the one pot pasta. This recipe is actually the favorite one we have made so far. I love sun dried tomatoes and the overall flavor is rich with tomato but not overpowering. I served it with Roasted Game Hens.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (that have been packed in olive oil)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt (don’t skimp here!)
  • 1 pound bucatini pasta or thick spaghetti
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • (1) 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cups (about 3 large handfuls) fresh basil, thinly sliced




Add the olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium-heat. Add the sun dried tomatoes (along with any oil they may still have clinging to them) and the cherry tomatoes; mix well to coat. Partially cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook for 6 minutes – or until the cherry tomatoes have burst and released most of their juices – stirring once or twice. Add in the garlic, crushed red pepper. black pepper, and salt, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the bucatini into the pot, then pour in the vegetable broth, water, and tomato paste. Increase the heat to high, and – using a wooden spoon – gently break up the tomato paste, stirring it into the water/broth mixture. Allow the mixture to come to a rapid boil.

Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently, until pasta is cooked and the sauce has nearly evaporated, about 14 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in the basil, and cover for 5 minutes.

Serve with extra basil and cheese, if desired.



Dutch Winter Stew March 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I had marked this recipe from one of my favorite blogs a while ago. She adds a lot of great vegetables to her meals that many don’t. I always find her stuff to be very tasty and not terribly difficult to make.


  • 2 pounds beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 celeriac root
  • 1 leek
  • 3 waxy potatoes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp coarse mustard
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup beer
  • celeriac leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • thyme




Cut about 1/2 inch off the bottom of the celeriac, cut the skin off and coarsely chop it.

Use 2 medium or 1 large carrot, peel it and give it a rough chop as well.

Do the same with the onion and grate two cloves of garlic while you’re at it.

Grab a bowl and combine 1 heaping tbsp flour with 1/2 tsp sweet paprika powder and 1/2 tsp curry powder. Give it a good stir.

Chop the meat in coarse pieces and add a generous amount of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Here comes the trick, spoon two tbsp coarse mustard on top, dig your hands in there and rub it all over the meat.

Now grab yourself a stew pot. Heat 3 tbsp butter and put your meat in there. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the onions. Give it a good stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

It should be smelling pretty darn good at this point, but we’ll up the fragrance a bit. Add the celeriac root, carrots and garlic. Give everything a good stir and cook for another 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes you can throw in the flour mixture. Coat the meat and vegetables with it and let the flour neutralize for about a minute.

Strip a few thyme sprigs and throw them in. I’ve used about 4 sprigs.

Pour the beer in with the meat and add 1 cup of beef broth. Make sure you use room temperature beer! Also throw in a good handful of chopped celeriac leaves.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 75 minutes over low heat.


Cut up a leek.

Also peeled and chopped 3 large potatoes.

Add everything to the stew, give it all a good stir and check to see if the stew might need a little more liquid. If it does just add a little water.

Simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the potatoes are properly cooked.

Garnish with a little thyme and a generous amount of celeriac leaves and serve.




Chorizo and Halloumi Pancakes With Fried Eggs March 20, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Ok so yes this recipe sounds strange. I will admit it. But I love a savory breakfast. I’m just not a sweets person. I love Halloumi too, its the cheese they set on fire in Greek restaurant. Overall this went over really really well.


  • 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 7 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 large eggs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (plus more for cooking)
  • 12 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) buttermilk
  • 4 (1- to 2-ounce each) slices halloumi cheese




Combine chorizo and olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until chorizo is crisp. Transfer to a bowl, making sure to get all of the excess oil. Add oregano to chorizo and toss to combine. Wipe out skillet and set aside.


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, 1 egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and half of chorizo mixture in a large bowl and whisk together until it forms a batter. There should be no streaks of dry flour, but plenty of lumps are okay.


Return skillet to medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add 2 halloumi slices (these will become the center of two pancakes). Cook until lightly browned on first side, about 1 minute. Flip halloumi and scatter a teaspoon of crisp chorizo on either side of each piece of halloumi.


Ladle a few ounces of batter on top of halloumi and chorizo, completely covering it. Cook pancake without moving until well-browned and crisp on first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until browned on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack and set in a warm oven while you cook the remaining pancakes.


Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to cook remaining pancakes.


Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Break remaining 4 eggs into the skillet and cook until crisp on the bottom but yolks are still runny, about 1 1/2 minutes.


Serve pancakes immediately, topped with a fried egg and drizzled with remaining chorizo and chorizo oil.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie March 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

So we had this big ol smoked turkey in our freezer forever. I decided it was time to break it down and make a bunch of freezer meals from it. One of them was this shepherd’s pie. This pie serves A LOT of people but it is very tasty!


  • 10 ounces pearl onions
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3 medium carrots, large dice
  • 2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds cooked turkey meat, cut into large pieces
  • 5 cups mashed potatoes




Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and blanch for about 1 minute, or until the skins start to loosen. Drain into a colander and run under cold water until cool to the touch.

Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Trim the ends from the onions, cut in half, and peel. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When it foams, add onions, leeks, and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and cook until leeks are soft.Add carrots, celery, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are just getting tender. Add flour, stirring until it is well incorporated, about 1 minute.Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook 1 minute more.

Add broth and turkey. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Transfer mixture to a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and spread mashed potatoes over the top.Bake until the filling is hot and the top is browned, about 35 to 45 minutes.