Mozzarella is a widely known, mild Italian cheese that's made from a pulling, stretching, and cutting technique. At one time, all mozzarella was made from water buffalo milk, but now it's commonly made with cow's milk. Fresh mozzarella is packaged in water or whey and has a soft texture and delicate flavor. It's delicious alone, in a salad (like caprese) or melted. To find out how I used my fresh mozzarella boconccini, read more
I'm a sucker for minis and always look for recipes that shrink a dish to individual portions. This recipe for mini meat loaves does just that! Instead of making one large loaf and slicing it into pieces, give each member of your family a mini meat loaf patty.
With help from a premade tomato sauce, these meat loaves come together quickly and simply. Tender crisp green beans round out the menu for this comforting classic meal. For the recipe, read more
Classic bolognese — or pasta with meat sauce — can take hours to prepare. However, this updated rendition comes together in no time. Lean ground beef is cooked with onion before being tossed with a simple puree of tomatoes, red wine, and spices.
Black olives provide a salty kick, while chunks of mozzarella make this pasta comforting and delicious. Although the recipe calls for penne, feel free to use whatever thick pasta you have on hand. Look at the recipe when you read more
The classic Italian meatball goes sophisticated in this rapid yet gourmet meal. Rich lamb replaces boring beef and the sauce is seasoned with tangy vinegar and fire-roasted tomatoes.
Sub out pasta for quick-cooking polenta jazzed up with honey and fresh rosemary. Serve with a glass of red wine and a green salad. To kick-start your weekend with this mouth-watering meal, read more
Linguine with clams is one of my all-time favorite meals. While sometimes I indulge in a creamy, cheesy version, I actually prefer a lighter variation like this one that lets the flavor of the shellfish shine. The simple sauce — a combination of shallots, garlic, artichoke hearts, and jarred tomato sauce — comes together in less than 15 minutes. Basil and parsley add fresh fragrance to this luscious pasta. To check out the recipe — another winner from MyRecipes.com! — read more
Chicken Cacciatore is Italian-American comfort food at its best. In this classic dish, chicken is slow cooked in a fragrant tomato sauce, with mushrooms and onions, until it falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. While chicken cacciatore is a regular on Italian restaurants menus, it can easily be made in the comfort of your own home.
It's a versatile dish that is delicious over rice, pasta, polenta, or potatoes. I browsed tons of recipes in search of one simple and one complex recipe, but both are actually straight forward and uncomplicated. Take a look and decide which one suits your needs as a home cook. Whichever you choose, don't forget the garlic bread on the side! read more
Thanks to the high-end comfort food trend, meatloaf is suddenly seriously scrumptious. A nostalgic dish, meatloaf is a super-flavorful, filling meal. Several types of meat add a great complexity, finely chopped vegetables and herbs act as seasonings, and a tomato sauce keeps the meat moist and succulent. To get the recipe for this soothing Sunday night supper, read more
Cutting back on your bread intake is a great way to reduce daily carb levels. Instead of using bread to make a sandwich, get creative by substituting vegetables. In tonight's dinner, thick slices of eggplant act as bread by sandwiching gooey goat cheese. Served on a bed of chunky, tomato-tarragon sauce, this dish is like a deconstructed version of eggplant Parmesan. For the simple and deliciously rewarding recipe, read more
To encourage you to host more dinner parties, I'm starting a new series where I plan an impromptu dinner party and take you along for the ride! If you love to cook and get an itch to entertain, call up your friends and invite them to dinner tonight. With my tips, recipes, and ideas, you will find that a fabulous party can happen without hours and hours of planning.
- Start by choosing a location and menu. We decided to make a big green salad and two pizzas: One Greek style vegetarian and another Spanish style meat.
- Create a grocery list. Shop for ingredients. Keep it hassle free. We picked up pizza dough from the neighborhood pizzeria.
- Create a game plan and delegate tasks. I was in charge of the pizza sauce and dough. Sasha was in charge of pouring wine and making the salad, Erica was in charge of setting the table and inviting friends, and my sister was in charge of music and mood lighting.
- Remember an impromptu party is not supposed to be stressful, it's supposed to be fun!!
To take a look at the recipes, pictures, and a video from the dinner, read more