Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

I love going to Long Island to visit family in the summer. And the food. I love the food. My sister Ali and brother-in-law Joe really embrace Long Island summers. Their house is in walking distance to the bay. They always have fresh fruit and vegetables growing in their garden and somehow there is always someone dropping off fresh fish and clams caught that day! Dinner usually includes fresh fish fillets and a simple salad.

Joe prepared this the other day with my nephew Joseph and this is a perfect example of my summers in Long Island. Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad takes a few minutes to prepare and will get you dreaming about simple summers…

BTW, Joe makes the best fresh cocktails. So stay tuned for drinks that will make the sun shine…

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Uncle Joe's Simple Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 grape vine tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 of an onion diced
  • handful of Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice, squeezed from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place the tomatoes, peppers cucumbers, and onions in a medium bowl and toss gently.
  2. Add the parsley.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss gently one more time.

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe you will love…

Salsa Salsa

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Summer Salad

 

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BBQ Chicken and Cabbage Steaks

By Alexandra Salvatore

Tonight I wanted a healthy and simple dinner. That’s exactly what this is.  It literally took 5 minutes to prep!

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BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Steaks

Ingredients


Cabbage Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper

BBQ Chicken Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 2 bunches of chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  3. Cut the cabbage into 1 inch steaks.
  4. Brush both sides with olive oil.
  5. Salt and pepper both sides of the cabbage.
  6. Place on a baking sheet.
  7. Cover the chicken thighs in BBQ sauce
  8. Top the chicken with chopped scallions.
  9. Place on a separate baking sheet.
  10. Bake both the cabbage and the chicken for 40 minutes.  It will be perfect!

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you will love…

Irish Soda Bread

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

 

 

 

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Let’s face it, I love all pasta.  I love it hot, cold and leftover!

When I think of pasta salad I think of summer. But this Italian Pasta Salad can be served all year long hot as a main dish, cold as a side dish, and packed in the lunchbox the next day for a yummy lunch your kids will love!

pasta salad

Don’t want the pasta? Put it over Romaine lettuce instead! I love making an Italian Salad for a crowd because sometimes I don’t want to make an antipasto and a salad. So, I combine them and there you have it! Like everything else this recipe can be adjusted depending on what you have in the house.

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Italian Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

With Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of small elbow pasta(or any type you prefer)
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup of Giardeniera Italian mix, drained
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones)
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • big bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on box.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  5. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the ingredients except for the dressing.
  7. Toss together. Make sure you added enough salt and pepper. It needs a good amount.
  8. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing and mix again.
  9. Add enough dressing so that everything is coated and tasty.
  10. Before serving you may need to add more dressing to moisten the pasta.

Without Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones) or shredded mozzarella
  • 1 can of hearts of palm
  • 1 can of marinated mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  2. Lay your lettuce on a platter.
  3. Top the lettuce with all the toppings except for the dressing.
  4. Season with salt and pepper salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing.

Enjoy!

Listed below are some of my other favorite salads…

No Romaine, No Problem

Shoepeg Corn Salad

 

 

Game Day

If you ask me whose playing in the Superbowl, I promise you I will NOT know the answer. My husband says he stopped watching football once he started dating me. And that’s pretty accurate. No one in my family ever watched sports, so that is that. Lol. He can totally watch it, but my main focus will always be the food and the halftime show! But now that we have 2 boys, he has made a point to start watching it again. I’m ok with that, as long as there is some good food, not just a bowl of Doritos!

So if you are planning on watching the game and are having friends over, here are some of my favorite game day foods that will keep everyone happy, whether they watch the game or not… Feel free to pick and choose your favorites and throw in some classics like chicken wings and chili!

  • You have to start with chips and dip! People come hungry on game day and love to pick. These are two of my favorite dips that will start the day off in the right direction.

Guacamole and Salsa: This combo is always a hit and goes quick on days like this, so make double batches!

If you were asked to bring a dish to a friend’s house, this Shoepeg Corn Salad is amazing! Make ahead and bring a big bag of Tostitos. It will be the star of the game.

 

  • I like to serve pizza as an appetizer. I highly recommend you keep the toppings simple and use a pizza slicer to slice them into small, handheld slices. For some reason everything tastes better when it’s bite size.
  • Stuffed Bread is a great option for game day. It’s a hearty meal for big eaters.
  • And who doesn’t love a big platter of meatballs? I would make them small enough so that you can serve them with toothpicks and your friends can just pop them in their mouth!

If your’e crowd isn’t full after all this food, you may have a problem. But I think everyone should be full and happy.

I know most people want beer on Game Day, but if I was at a Super Bowl party after hours of drinking and eating I’d be looking for strong coffee and a sweet treat! Hello, Annie’s Crumb Cake… It’s simple, delicious and will feed your crowd.

Go Mets! JK, but not kidding…

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If you like this blog, you will also like:

Soup Season

Can’t Have a Party Without a Punch

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is the item that will never be removed from our Thanksgiving menu. This has been on the Thanksgiving menu in our family for generations. They are amazing. We devour them that day and they are even better leftover. I have to make 50-60 mushrooms for about 8 people! These are also great to serve on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. They look fancy and everyone will love them!

The key is to get large, fresh, white mushrooms. Sometimes the large ones are hard to find, but keep looking…  It is worth the search.

***You can do all the prep work the day before. Cover tightly in the fridge until ready to bake.***

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 50-60 large, white mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 big bunch of Italian parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Use a wet paper towel or clean dish cloth to wipe the dirt off of every mushroom. (This is the best way to get the dirt off. If you don’t have the patience for that, you can rinse them in a strainer. But you must dry them immediately since they soak up all the water.)
  2. Remove all the stems of the mushrooms while washing the dirt off. Set aside and finely chop about 1 cup of the stems.
  3. In a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, parsley, mushroom stems and about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper and mix again.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Stuff each mushroom with stuffing mixture.
  6. Place mushrooms on a large baking sheet that is drizzled with olive oil.
  7. Drizzle more olive oil on top of the mushrooms.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mushrooms should be brown and tender.


Here are some other great holiday dishes:

Grandma’s Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Butternut Squash Soup

 

 

Grandma’s Stuffing

Thanksgiving stuffing is special to most people because it is what they grew up on. It is what makes them think of Thanksgiving. Some people serve it on the side and call it dressing. Others stuff it in the cavity of the turkey and call it stuffing. We call it stuffing but serve it on the side of the turkey. Oh, and it doesn’t have any bread in it! So, we are all confused! 🤷🏻‍♀️

This stuffing is extra special. It is special because it is THAT good, but it is also special because my Grandma was a special lady. She started this tradition and made it every year. Then my mom and aunt did the same and now my sisters, cousins and I are also following in those footsteps. Honestly, it can be served without the turkey and we would all be happy. None of our Thanksgiving’s are complete without it.

If there is one recipe you follow of mine, let it be this one.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with full bellies and lots of leftovers.

I’m thankful for the women in my family that set the traditions that made the holidays feel so special. I hope I can do the same for my family.

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Grandma's Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 4-5 pounds of ground beef(not lean)
  • 2-3 cups of white rice, uncooked
  • 4 packages of baby bella mushrooms (8 oz. each)
  • 10 stalks of celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a big bunch of Italian parsley, chopped
  • at least 12 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions


This should be made the day before Thanksgiving.  

  1. In a medium pot cook the rice according to the directions on the box. Use chicken broth in place of the water. 
  2. When the rice is finished cooking, set aside.
  3.  In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside when done.
  4. In a medium pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook down until all of their juices are gone and the mushrooms are browned. Set aside when done.    
  5. In a large skillet, add the beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until there is no longer any pink left. Drain the fat and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, add the beef. Then add the rice and combine. 
  7. Add the rest of the veggies and the parsley. Season with more salt and pepper. Stir until combined. 
  8. Cover tightly and store in the fridge.
  9. I would recommend taking it out of the fridge about an hour before baking. That will cut down on the cooking time. 
  10. Preheat the oven to bake 425.
  11. Place the stuffing in 2 separate baking dishes so that there is a thin layer of stuffing. That will also cut down on the cooking time.   
  12. Pour about a cup of chicken broth in each baking dish. You want enough to moisten it, but not too much that it is soupy. 
  13. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until heated.
  14. Every half hour or so, remove from the oven, stir and add chicken broth as needed. 
  15. Season with salt and pepper if needed and enjoy!


Other Thanksgiving dishes that you’ll want to add to your table…

Mashed Potatoes

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Butternut Squash Soup

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

Apple Cake🍎

 

Mashed Potatoes

This is the first year ever I have pulled the sweet potatoes from our Thanksgiving menu and added mashed potatoes instead! And I am really excited. I was kind of feeling bored of the sweet potatoes. I want mashed potatoes smothered in gravy.  Right?!

Mashed potatoes are heaven. They are creamy and delicious. You can add just a few ingredients and keep them simple or fancy them up. My boys like them indented in the middle with a pool of gravy👌.

This a basic recipe for mashed potatoes. Feel free to add your favorite ingredient…

You can add truffle salt, roasted garlic or cheese!

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Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of potatoes(gold)
  • 1 cup of half and half(you can use milk to keep it lighter or heavy cream to make it creamier)
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter(you can add your own salt to your liking)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Scrub the potatoes good.
  2. Peel and quarter the potatoes.
  3. Cover them in a large pot with salted water.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when you touch them with a fork.
  5. Drain and put back in the pot.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the butter and the half and half in a small pot until melted.
  7. Pour the butter and half and half over the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Season with enough salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Enjoy.

If you are looking for other Thanksgiving Day recipes here you go:

Colonial Pumpkin Pie

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Butternut Squash Soup

Apple Cake🍎