Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicken Cacciatore

Ever since I had some delicious chicken cacciatore in a restaurant several weeks ago I've been wanting to try my hand at this classic dish. Rather than use a specific recipe, I decided to invent my own version. It is cooking away on the stove right now......

If the smell is any indication, I think it will be delicious! Here is what I did:


1 pkg chicken thighs with skin and bones (4 or 5 thighs)
1 pkg chicken drumsticks also with skin (4 or 5 drumsticks)
1 large onion cut in half and sliced
1 large green pepper thinly sliced
1 large red pepper thinly sliced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
5 or 6 large mushrooms, sliced
5 or 6 black olives, roughly chopped (I used oil cured black olives for a richer flavor)
3 anchovies from tin
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
Oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, thyme
1 cup red wine
Large can crushed tomatoes


Wash chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried oregano

Heat olive oil (a good amount) in large saucepan. When hot, add chicken pieces and brown until a nice golden color.

Take browned chicken pieces from pan and set aside. Add all veggies and brown in drippings until wilted.

Push veggies to the side and put anchovies in the middle of the pan. Splash a little olive oil on top and stir until dissolved. Stir mixture into veggies.

Stir in black olives and red wine.....cook a few more minutes.

Add spices, tomatoes and put chicken back in pan....pushing down to immerse in sauce.

Partially cover pan and simmer low for several hours. Your house will smell wonderful!

Bon Appetit!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Use It All Up Shepard's Pie

Feeling too lazy to go food shopping today, I decided to challenge myself to make dinner out of ingredients I had on hand. Primarily, I had a pound of grass fed ground beef and a sweet potato and a butternut I immediately thought.....Shepard's pie!  I started by assembling all my ingredients:

Next, I put the sweet potato and the butternut squash in the microwave to cook for about 15 minutes. I pierced both several times to allow the steam to escape while they cook. Then I chopped up all the veggies to bite sized pieces. I heated a cast iron frying pan with olive oil and put the ground beef in, then I added all the chopped veggies and cooked until carrots were tender.

While the veggies and meat cooked I took the sweet potato and squash out of the microwave and allowed them to cool enough to handle. When veggies and meat were almost done I added a splash of red wine and a couple of tablespoons of to cut that back if you don't like spicy. Allow to cook till slightly thickened. Stir until mixed well.

Peel the sweet potato and the butternut squash and put in a bowl. Add a pat or two of butter and a splash of half and half ( you could also use milk, almond milk, etc.) Mash well and spread evenly over the meat and veggies in the pan. Bake at about 375 for 25 minutes. Take out and allow to cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!


1 medium butternut squash
1 sweet potato
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Several stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
Handful of baby spinach
1 large mushroom, chopped
Half cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn
1 pound grass fed ground beef ( or any ground meat of your choosing)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 pats organic butter
Splash of half and half
Splash of red wine
2 Tbsp Harissa, or any seasoning of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste


Microwave pierced sweet potato and pierced butternut squash for about 15 minutes or until tender enough to mash.

Brown beef and veggies in pan until carrots are tender. Add a splash of red wine, salt, pepper and Harissa and heat through until slightly thickened.

Put peeled sweet potato and butternut squash in bowl and mash with butter and half and half. 

Spread squash mixture over veggies and beef and sprinkle with paprika. 

Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, and allow to cool a bit before serving.