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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Vegetarian Pasta Primavera with Fettuccine

As you know my step dad is a vegetarian so I have been adding many different vegetarian recipes to all of my sites lately. The choice really isn’t that hard as so many recipes it really is easy to leave the meat out of them in favor of a recipe that is more inclusive. This is just such a recipe why introduce a meat element into a dish that really doesn’t call for it in the first place. I mean why you would want to add anything to pasta primavera in the first place is beyond me, it is loaded with so much all ready another ingredient would just get lost in the mix.

So although I am not a vegetarian myself (when bacon grows on trees maybe) I am sensitive to the fact that they love good food too and as such I feel inclined to offer them a selection of recipes when possible that will give a well deserved break from meat. I respect anyone’s choice to become a non meat eater I understand all the points and respect people’s right to their own choice.

I am trying to take a much more open attitude to food especially different choices and cultures and as such have made many new discoveries that help keep my job constantly interesting. It seems each and every day I am learning something new about food and when you have been doing this as long as I have that is saying something. This October will be my oldest websites tenth anniversary which in Internet terms is like being Coke. Now one of the reasons I have been able to do this so long is I am constantly trying new things and in my case that means new foods. If you are like me and love exploring new food, then come along for the ride it is just starting out and I promise it will be anything if not interesting to discover where I end up next no matter what site I am doing that day. Continue reading

Roman Style Saltimbocca Alla Romana with Polenta

As all my sites use a fairly standard format that leaves me at this point with what I always tackle last the recipe intro. See the recipe is always first I mean if I don’t deliver on the food doesn’t matter what I say here you’re most likely not going to be back. So first part of the process is give you a recipe I hope you will not only like but love. Now I am never going to please everyone but I do aim to give you a pretty good footing to start and yes by all means tweak to your own likes if you please.

My recipes are meant to give you a good starting point hopeful they are spot on but everyone is a bit different so I take no offense if you make personal choices and expand upon what I give you. This recipe is pretty basic and it is also very few ingredients so not a lot of room for wiggling. See I have an old family recipe I taught my husband when we first were married almost twenty-seven years ago and he said oh it needs this or that and it was absolutely gross. See the recipe is three ingredient plain and simple (and yes one is bacon) go figure and what makes it work is its simplicity.

See I have found that the fewer ingredients and the simpler the recipe the less room for tweaking. It is often the simplicity that makes them work trying to make them more complex just ruins them. So when I set out to do this one I wanted to keep the recipe a few simple ingredients and not try and overcomplicate it by adding too much. You are going to love the polenta ingredient I found for you I can only describe it as magic corn – cooks like instant but it is the real deal and organic on top of it. I like my polenta to have a bit of a richer flavor so it has a few things in it for flavor and creaminess that are not the way many make it but I think you’ll like it. Continue reading

Classic Italian Dishes – Parmigiana Eggplant

In Italian cooking there are a few different dishes you can make that are all very similar that involve marinara sauce and parmesan cheese smothering a breaded and fried something. This is usually chicken, veal, or in this case eggplant and although they are all put together basically the same all three have very different taste. Now today being Good Friday I thought it only appropriate to do the vegetarian one of the three so I have delicious fried eggplant smothered in sauce and cheese and baked up so the cheese is all hot and melting with each bite.

This is a meal that the kids may or may not like depending on their thoughts about eggplant mine are about half and half but for me and my husband this is a wonderful hot lunch when the kids are in school. It takes a bit of time to fry up all the eggplant prior to baking but the end result is well worth the effort. The combination of the crisp breading with the cheese and sauce is a taste trifecta.

I wonder what if you combined all three into one dish a stack of chicken, veal and eggplant, Mhh or am I breaking some cultural law in Italy? Well that is for a day when I have strange experiments day and not a day for when I am trying to get you a delicious dinner for a day when many go meatless. I know many will opt for fish but why not try a veggie alternative instead. It is ok even for the most diehard carnivore to skip meat for a meal or dare I say two, quiet the kids are home and I don’t want them to catch wind of that one or they’ll be having me for dinner, lol. Continue reading

Authentic Vegetarian Italian Asparagus Risotto

I continue my quest to fill out this category of the site. It just seemed wrong that I had so many pizza and lasagna recipes yet there were just a few risotto recipes. After all risotto is a major Italian dish it left such a void that I felt compelled to fill and I hope you are enjoying the path I am taking to fill it up. I know many of the recipes so far have been vegetarian but I promise to balance this fact out too.

Now there are very many different vegetables that all go well in risotto but asparagus is such a distinct flavor it gives the risotto a very distinguished and elegant flare that others would not. It is bold and makes a statement which in a risotto that is a single vegetable needs a vegetable that is going to stand up and be noticed others would get lost and there are very few that have their own standout flavor. Artichoke would be another but most others are more of a side player not the center stage kind of flavor this will give your risotto.

If using things like peppers I would use a few different ones and this is for both flavor and color they would make a bold statement in appearance and I am not sure I wouldn’t all most leave them raw so they offer a texture contrast. Now you could also use zucchini or summer squash although I think I would lead to both they have just a slight difference in their flavor and once again color wise would be more attractive with both. Not to mention they are both awesome with parmesan cheese although I am of the thought that the cheese can be varied I know this is not strictly authentic but I am of the mind to try a blue or fete cheese for a bold statement while still adding that much need creamy element. I mean there are probably as many different ways to make risotto combinations as place in Italy. Continue reading

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

I use rotisserie chicken in this recipe for two good reasons. One in my area our wholesale club sells great rotisserie chickens and in fact they are cheaper than buying uncooked roasters so I use their electricity to cook instead of mine a good thing. Two they taste so darn good, fire roasted and I can use the leftover carcass to turn into homemade soup. So it really is a practical solution to use them plus it makes this recipe so much easier for a working mom to grab the chicken precooked. I know I run a recipe site but I am still a working mom first and have to think of my fellow moms.

So we have the chicken covered for our dish with the purchase of a rotisserie chicken the veggies are pretty straightforward too so this is as quick as you can basically get with a risotto recipe although you could use a crockpot one I am not a fan of this it is the cooking process that gives risotto its wonderful creamy texture that you lose in a crockpot. One of the things that makes risotto so special is the cooking process is different than most other rice cooking methods such as steaming and boiling. The adding of the liquid at a higher temperature and cooking it down faster than adding more liquid gives risotto a unique texture that the others don’t.

So this is the main reason I only present traditional cooking methods some things I just don’t believe in trying to cut corners when taste is on the line. I do love the crockpot and slow roasting of things like vegetables to save time but the bottom-line is not at the expense of taste. Taste and results are first and foremost not connivance that is not what great food is about. If suffering taste for time I will give time every time. So these risotto recipes are all held close to traditional method as possible because it is just superior and that is what counts. Continue reading

Citrus Feta Cheese Risotto with Spinach

I think the next risotto recipe in this series is going to have to have meat or my guys are going to begin to worry about me and more so about themselves like mom is trying to pull a fast one on them with all these none meat recipes. Yes many if not most of these get tried out on them how else is a working mom to know if work is taking care of them. See I spend a lot of time making new recipes so if I don’t blend it into my life I would never have time for it all.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not complaining I love my job and my family and the fact that they are both close to home is just an added bonus. See I know it is weird as a girl I am not suppose to love food but I do the fact that at 47 I still do as well as I do and deal with MS on top of it is no small feat. I am constantly looking at ways to improve everything from time with family to how I can do things wiser and smarter and still make everyone happy including me.

What helps it all work is I love what I do that I wouldn’t have a 10 foot commute and never a problem finding a parking spot if I didn’t. I have family in the computer business so I have awesome systems that are incredible to work on and never let me down so it makes my job easier and faster than most would. I have four wonderful kids a husband that never stops wowing me and so I have MS it’s not fun but for the most part life is good. Oh yeah and I have food great food I never seem to run out of ideas of how to feed people. I also have some of the best people in the world working for me that share my love of food so life is good I hope the food is up to it too. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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