Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

This economy is real to me. Like most people in 2008, I was laid off. Coincidentally, I received a part-time job. Receiving a part-time job during that time period was extremely lucky, but it also meant several of my bills went unpaid for two years into now. Then last November; I was let go from the part-time job. Unemployment covers the rent and utilities. There’s a little left for food and limited transportation. Each week, I’m down to a few dollars before receiving unemployment benefit. Between the financial instability, I’ve dealt with a few emotional blows. So, yes… these past few years have been financially difficult. Continue reading Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken and Roast Eggplant-Tomato Tacos with Turnip Salsa

Chicken, Roast Eggplant-Tomatoes Tacos with Turnip Salsa

It’s quite sad that vegetables are considered boring and bland. Truthfully, that’s how it’s presented. A former co-worker and I were at a buffet. It had fried and barbecue chicken, rice and peas, mac and cheese, and all the delicious ceremonial dishes. In the midst of the buffet was the notorious tasteless vegetable platter with grape tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and green bell pepper. Usually, there’s a gooey ranch dressing in the center of the platter. Honestly, I skip over the vegetable tray. The dry taste is not worth the “must-eat-your-vegetables” guilt. As my co-worker grabbed a few pieces, she said, “…Must take a few ‘feel good’ vegetables, but no one ever wants to eat them.” As predicted, the lightly nibbled vegetables were scraped into the garbage when she was done eating. Continue reading Chicken and Roast Eggplant-Tomato Tacos with Turnip Salsa

Roast Garlicky Butternut Squash with Chicken and Wheat Pasta

Roast Garlicky Butternut Squash with Chicken and Wheat Pasta
Roast Garlicky Butternut Squash with Chicken and Wheat Pasta

Tumblr.com is my new social media addiction. It’s not quite as addictive as Twitter or Facebook, but its slowly gaining popularity. Similar to my early experiences of using Twitter, it was quite boring. Now, I’m beginning to follow relevant people or organizations, such as Newsweek, NPR, MNBC.com and so forth. There are a few food blogs of interest. Last November, someone, who I wish to remember his or her name, recommended a book, The Gastronomy of Marriage by Michelle Maisto, who is a food blogger at The Market Report.com. The title sounds like an Italian Renaissance painting. The beauty is in the writing. To some, whose attention span is on par with today’s pop culture of instant trends coming and going in millisecond timeframes, Ms. Maisto is a relaxing read. Continue reading Roast Garlicky Butternut Squash with Chicken and Wheat Pasta

Ground Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells Baked in a Creamy Cheese Sauce

Fresh Crushed Red Pepper Cheese and Olive Oil. Visit Agrestis Società Cooperativa Agricola {www.agrestis.it/index.html} to order online.
Fresh Crushed Red Pepper Cheese and Olive Oil. Visit Agrestis Società Cooperativa Agricola {www.agrestis.it/index.html} to order online.

The boyfriend’s best friend’s wife’s family owns an olive oil business in Italy. Once a year the lovely couple crosses the Atlantic Ocean to visit her side of the family. This year, I humbly asked for just olive oil. They returned with a pound of cheese studded with crushed red pepper, olive oil (with the lot number handwritten on the container), and black olive pesto. They gave the gifts to the boyfriend, who casually said thank you, and delivered the package to me. His thank you was mild compared to my crazy delight. He would later call his friend about my excitement. To him it was just cheese, olive oil and a jar from Italy, but he was still genuinely thankful, regardless of the gift idea. He finally understood the value of these gifted ingredients when presented with a dish of Ground Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells Baked in a Creamy Cheese Sauce. Grazie e mangiare bene! Continue reading Ground Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Shells Baked in a Creamy Cheese Sauce

Roast Turks Turban Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto

Roasted Turks Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto garnished with Lemon Balm.
Roasted Turk Turban Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto garnished with Lemon Balm.

It’s initially confusing when the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share includes a turks turban squash. It’s mostly used as decoration in Fall displays surrounded by fiery golden-hued leaves. The winter green outer skin is mottled with warm colors of the season. Its shape is the namesake, for this squash resembles a scarf wrapped around a person’s head. Momentarily forgetting that the CSA doesn’t provide objects for interior design, the turks turban squash is placed on a kitchen counter as decoration. A couple days later, I remember “this decoration” is an edible vegetable. Continue reading Roast Turks Turban Squash and Duck Bacon Risotto