Favorite recipes and stories about home cooking. We love comfort food and dishes that warm the heart. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Truly * Tastefully, Tara: Why Not Roast in Your Pot?

Truly * Tastefully, Tara: Why Not Roast in Your Pot?: "Dear Readers, I grew up in a reasonably gourmet household where mom’s dinners consisted of meals like bouillabaisse and blue cheese and he..."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onion, Applewood Bacon & Swiss Gruyere Cheese

I made this grilled cheese sandwich for lunch today and it was absolute heaven. The saltiness of the bacon, the creaminess of the Swiss Gruyere cheese and the sweetness of the caramelized onions blend perfectly in between the crunchy bread. If you've got a craving for comfort try this recipe on for size:

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Ingredients (makes 2 sandwiches)
- 4 slices of whole wheat bread
- Thinly sliced Swiss Gruyere cheese
- 4-6 slices of Applewood bacon
- 4 Tbs. of caramelized onions
- Butter

Grilled Cheese Preparation
Place 2 slices of the bread on a flat surface, divide half of the cheese among the slices. Top the cheese with the Applewood bacon. Then top the Applewood bacon with the caramelized onions and the remaining cheese.

Place the 2 remaining slices of bread on top to make two sandwiches. Butter the top of the bread using half of the butter.

Preheat a pan on medium-low heat. Place the sandwiches in the pan, butter-side down (may need to do in batches) and cook until lightly golden brown.

Spread the remaining butter on the bread facing up, then flip and continue cooking until the bottom is golden brown and the cheese has melted.


Do you love bacon? Check out these tasty bacon treats!

Seared Ahi Tuna with Blood Orange and Avocado Salsa

After a very random week-long craving for fish, I decided to pick up some sushi-grade Ahi tuna. However, with the exception of shellfish, my experience cooking fish has been pretty limited and I wasn’t too sure how to prepare it. And to be perfectly honest, I have no idea how I came up with this dish. The idea just popped in my head and I had all of the ingredients at hand, so I just decided to try it out. And of all of the recipes I’ve thought up, of this one I am the most proud. Hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

Ahi Tuna Orange Marinade:
  • ¼ cup Rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup Soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Honey
  • Juice from 1 large orange (approx. ¼ cup)
  • 1 tsp. champagne mustard
  • 1 Tbs. blood orange-infused olive oil

Combine tuna marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix until completely blended. Put 1-2 Sushi-grade Ahi Tuna fillets (approx. 1 lb) into a zip lock bag, add marinade and seal tightly. If you can vacuum seal it, that’s even better. Put the ahi tuna in the fridge and let it marinade for around 30 minutes.

Blood Orange & Avocado Salsa
- 2 blood oranges (cut into small pieces)
- ¼ of a regular orange (for color - cut into small pieces)
- 1 avocado (cut into small pieces)
- ¼ red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 ½ Tbs. honey
- ¼ of an orange – just the juice
- A VERY small pinch of chili flakes or paste – just to add depth. Do not add more than a pinch or you’ll overpower the Ahi tuna.

Combine the orange, red onion and avocado in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey, orange juice and chili flakes and blend well. Pour the mixture over the orange and avocado pieces and gently fold with a spoon, without mashing the avocado. Place in the fridge until ready to search.

Set the stove to medium-high and preheat your frying pan. Add just enough olive oil or butter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. Take the Ahi tuna out of the bag and place it in the pan. Sear each side of your fish for approx. 30 seconds (1 minute max).

Remove the Ahi tuna from the pan. You can plate each serving of tuna on a bed of spinach or lettuce (I prefer spinach). Spoon the salsa over the tuna and serve.

I paired my seared ahi tuna with a sparkling pinot noir and it was perfect. But If you can't find a sparkling pinot noir, then a sauvignon blanc will work as well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Truly * Tastefully, Tara: Skillet Chicken Parm

Truly * Tastefully, Tara: Skillet Chicken Parm: "Dear Readers, This is my first winter in the burbs and it’s not quite as convenient to just “run out and get something at the store” as it ..."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sausage is Souper!

Dear Readers,

I must admit, I’m currently experiencing what’s commonly known as the post-holiday blues in a serious way. That magical time of the year between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Years Day is over. All the parties, all the special food, all the visiting with loved ones you don’t see very often has fizzled down into the doldrums of the chilly winter here in the Northeast. To that I say, bah-humbug!

BUT winter is a really great for preparing and eating the heavier foods you don’t want to eat in the summer because it’s too hot to have the stove or oven on too long. With temperatures in the low 30s yesterday I thought it would be a great Sunday for Sausage Meatball Soup. 

You’ll find as you get to know me, I don’t often follow recipes. I usually know if I can make something just by tasting it. My husband used to tease me because when we go out to eat together, I’ll go completely silent if my dish is delicious to concentrate on the flavors so I can to try and decipher the recipe. He used to laugh about that, until I started making the same dish for him just as well or even better. Now he just gives me my time to taste and eagerly awaits the day I make it for him at home.

Such is the case with the sausage meatball soup I made yesterday. I didn’t use a recipe and I haven’t actually eaten sausage soup in years. The thought of it just popped into my head and I thought I’d try it out to see how it would taste. The results were delightful…try for yourself.

Truly & tastefully,

Sausage Meatball Soup
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, loose – not in casing (or you can take it out of its casing in a pinch)
  • 3 cups fresh chopped baby spinach
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 64 ounces of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup powdered parmesan or Romano cheese (or more to taste)
  • Pepper and salt to taste (keep in mind you probably won’t need a lot of salt because of the cheese)
  • ** Optional ingredients for the carb. hungry – 2 potatoes diced into bite sized chunks, a large can of drained and rinsed hominy

Sausage Meatball Soup Prep:
Sit down and relax for the first activity, it’s a bit time consuming but well worth it. Roll the pound of loose sweet sausage into little bite sized meatballs. They should be able the size of a quarter, if a quarter was spherical. Brown the sausage meatballs in your soup pot, you shouldn’t need oil because the sausage is fatty, but if they start to stick just pump a few squirts of cooking spray into the pot with the sausage. for a couple of hours. Somewhere near the end of that 2 hour simmer time frame, add the ½ cup of parmesan. You want to make sure to add the cheese when the soup is not boiling or it will melt and stick to your pan and serving spoon. About 10 minutes before you’re about to serve, stir in the chopped spinach and serve when the spinach has wilted. **If you want to add the carb-ie ingredients, put the diced potatoes and hominy in the pot at the same time as you add the chicken broth.