Hearty Clam Chowder for a Stormy Winter Night

Hearty Clam Chowder
Recipes in this Post

I have always loved clam chowder, that is good clam chowder. The stuff that comes in the can, even the expensive stuff that comes in a can, just cannot compare to soup you make yourself. Homemade soup is just richer and tastier.

On Fridays, I usually spend time with my good friend and we talk about the current political climate. Well, the weather climate was so bad that we decided not to meet. I was out already in it, and I mean, it was cold, and very windy. The wind was so strong, I actually had to take cover under an awning and I thought it was going to bowl me over. I think this is one of the worst winter storms Los Angeles has had, at least in my many years here. When I got home, I was cold and wet and wanted something warm that would stick to my bones. Although I had originally planned on Lentil Soup with Cilantro, it just didn’t seem like it was a rib sticking as I wanted, and I decided on Hearty Clam Chowder instead.

I am going to make another cold weather dish, Boston Baked Beans, with the rest of the salt pork that I used in the Hearty Clam Chowder. Looks like I am prepared for this rainy winter in Southern California.

Hearty Clam Chowder YouTube Video


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Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake

Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake
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My good friend, Sammia, came to visit me from Germany. She and I have been friends for a long time, but have not seen each other in years. She has two kids, one who is practicing basketball for the German Olympics. Her other son, who is also my friend, lives in Northern California. Sammia and I always have a good time together, and that was why I wanted to make something special for her.

This Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake is very simple to make, yet flavorful. Just saute the vegetables and the chicken, put it over rice and saffron and mushroom soup, then just put it in the oven to finish cooking. How simple is that? You can make it, and go enjoy yourself with your family or guests. Asparagus is a good accompaniment, with a nice white wine, perhaps Chardonnay.

Don’t be afraid of saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. You can usually buy saffron at gourmet stores, or Mediterranean stores, or Amazon has a good selection.

Saffron Chicken and Rice Bake YouTube Video


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Same Day Fried Rice

Same Day Fried RiceRecipes in this Post

I love fried rice! Plain rice at the Chinese restaurant just doesn’t thrill me as much as fried rice, with all the goodies. If you get the Yang Chow fried rice, it comes with chicken, pork, beef and sometimes, shrimp. It’s my favorite, and quite often, all I will get because it is a meal in itself.

The secret to good fried rice is using day old rice. So you have to make extra rice if you want fried rice the next day. That means rice twice in a row, and either I don’t make enough, or I just don’t want it twice in a row. This is a problem, but I have found a solution.

The solution is to use pre-cooked rice that comes in a bag. Uncle Ben’s makes one, and it works perfectly. That way, you can have fried rice any time you want to, as long as you have the pre-cooked rice on hand, you’re good to go.

Same Day Fried Rice YouTube Video


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Polska Kielbasa Skillet with Potatoes and Cabbage

Polska Kielbasa Skillet Recipes in this Post

Don’t you hate the same old thing? I love Jambalaya and with that in mind, I have Polska Kielbasa on hand. I was all ready to make it tonight, but then I looked at the ingredients placed nicely on the counter, ready to go, and I decided I just didn’t want it tonight. Maybe because it is September and fall is coming quickly, and I wanted something to remind me of the cool days to come. Maybe it’s because I had some lovely red potatoes and a half a head of cabbage I wanted to use up. I also wanted something really simple that I could cook in one skillet.Polska Kielbasa Skillet

Do you have issues when you try to saute potatoes to make home fries? Do they burn on the outside, and stay hard as rocks on the inside? There is hope, and it’s called a microwave oven. Simply cut up your potatoes, put them in a microwave safe bowl, cover with water, and cook using the Potato button, about 12 minutes. Then drain the potatoes and add them to your skillet. Since they are already cooked, you just have to season and brown them.
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Basil, Bacon and Tomato Pasta Sauce

Recipes in this PostBasil Bacon and Tomato Pasta Sauce

I am a semi-regular subscriber to Saveur magazine. I love the recipes and the photography is always spectacular. I am also always on the hunt for something fresh and relatively easy to make for those days I don’t really want to cook. They had a recipe that called for bacon and tomatoes and basil. My three favorite things. That is what inspired this dish.

Making this Basil, Bacon and Tomato Pasta Sauce was very simple. I used a can of stewed tomatoes because I really like them, but you could use regular chopped canned tomatoes, or even fresh if you wanted to take the time to peel them. I also used frozen bell pepper medley that I always have in my freezer just for days like this.
You could add a light red wine to this sauce, but it probably would not taste quite as fresh.

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Cranberry Couscous

Recipes in this Post2015-07-01 17.12.03

We just moved into our new apartment this week, and we had to have a celebratory dinner. We still don’t have a refrigerator, that’s coming tomorrow, so I was a little hindered in exactly what I could make.

Because we don’t have a refrigerator, and I’m limited in what I can make, I went to the local small store near my office and bought 2 lovely chicken breast halves. I already had Parmesan and garlic, so I made Nancy’s Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken and I wanted something fun and interesting to go with it. Couscous is a favorite of ours, and they had a nice box there at the store just as I was going crazy trying to find the perfect side dish for my chicken.

If you have never made couscous, it couldn’t be simpler. Couscous is a fine-grained pasta that can have any number of extra ingredients to make it tasty. I chose onions and cranberries.

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