Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring on the heat!!

Summer, how I miss you. It's quite chilly in my part of the woods. And it's not because I chose to expose my kneecaps today in my boots and dress. It-is-chilly! So to warm things up a bit, I needed a meal tonight that would not only taste amazing(why would I do anything less) but that warmed up my belly. I'm not talking about hot cocoa (although very delightful) but rather something substantial, something I can eat.....something with heat.

Spicy buffalo chicken sandwiches

I don't always have time to spend hours preparing a meal. Which is why I appreciated this one so much. If you have a slow cooker than your good to go. Yes, pull out the dusty old thing and treat yourself to a effortless meal. With very little prep work, you pretty much show up and eat.

Note: You still may need to do the dishes unless your husband or kids offer.

The process

Sear chicken on both sides and place in slow cooker

Saute garlic, onion and peppers until tender. Add water and scrape up brown bits.

Put everything in slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 4 hours

Shred up chicken

Put it back in cooker and coat with sauce

At this point in the game, Justin politely suggested that cream cheese would be really good spread on the sandwiches. I gave him a look of disgust, and politely said, "oh honey that sounds repulsive. Lets build this sandwich.

Toast your buns

Appease your husband and spread on softened cream cheese

Top it with lots of spicy chicken.

I'm admitting the cream cheese was a hit. Sounds funny, but it really cooled off the sandwich from all the spiciness. I confessed my lack of trust giving Justin a moment of manliness and a "puffing of the chest" kind of demeanor. Leaving me to think maybe he should be the one to prepare the meals. Maybe he should be the one to "do the dishes".

Spicy buffalo chicken sandwiches


1 Tb olive oil
5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium red pepper, seeded and diced small
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup hot-pepper sauce(such as Frank's
3 Tb Worcestershire sauce
2 Tb yellow mustard
1 Tb molasses
4 oz softened cream cheese(suggested by husband)
8 buns( I used onion buns this time)


In large heavy skillet on medium high, add olive oil and brown chicken on both sides; season with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker. In same pan add onion, garlic and red pepper; cook until tender. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom. Place the onion mixture along with everything else(not including cream cheese) in slow cooker; season again with salt and pepper.(use your judgment) Cook on high for 4 hours. 

Toast buns, spread cream cheese and top with shredded chicken. Serves 8

This was delicious and while my knees are still chilly, my soul is warm and toasty.

Note: I still had to do the dishes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fluffy Frittata

So about this frittata thing. I can't say that I have always been a fan. They seemed flat, dry and to crunchy like on the bottom to enjoy. I didn't bother trying my own thinking frittatas must be this way.
And then my bestest friend Megs made me one. It was to die for. So the last couple of years I have been able to do my own and add my own touch. All while keeping the frittata from deflating and turning into a hockey puck.

I don't think you could really go wrong with the ingredients, since it's kind of like a pizza; every thing goes. Except for Anchovies; it shouldn't be a legal topping. Most of the time though I'm digging for salvageable ingredients and leftovers when I make one and it's always a hit. 

You really only need three ingredients to make a frittata(eggs, milk, cheese) but I jazz mine up and it makes this creamy, fluffy, cheesy goodness that even after three days, I'm still snacking on.

Fresh herb frittata

The added carrots were an idea I got from my close friend Amy making this stunning frittata  a little sweet; not to much. And with all the fresh herbs, it makes this beautiful to look at and has a very clean flavor.

The process

Saute veggies 

Until lightly golden

Prepare your cheese

Pour in egg mixture

Pop in oven to finish 

Frittata Ala Ang( because nobody should eat a hockey puck)


7 eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 carrot, sliced very thin
1 potato, sliced very thin
1/4 onion, sliced very thin
hand full fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
hand full fresh basil, chopped
1 Tb fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup quality shredded Parmesan
3/4 cup quality shredded cheddar
1 Tb butter
1 Tb canola oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350

Take sliced potatoes and carrots and rinse under cold water to clear away some of the starch. Add them along with the onion to a large nonstick skillet with the butter and oil; season with salt and pepper. Saute until lightly browned and tender. 

Meanwhile break up eggs in medium size bowl and add half-and-half, herbs, cheese and a little salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture over the top of the sauteed veggies and pop in the oven until set and lightly golden on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with any kind of toast or a light salad. Serves 4 generously. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cioppino and dog treats worth waiting for.

The holiday seems to bring out the giving in all of us. Often times though I tend to forget about the four legged family member, and his need to be part of the family festivities. I did get him a candy cane chewy, but It still sits hooked in the stocking. I did however receive a bag of Pooch biscuit mix and decided he had waited long enough.

Still waiting though.

Sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for.

Yes they are, because although you have to wait to make this meal because you have to finish reading this post, it's worth every bit. It merits a good glass of wine and a couple of good friends.

Shrimp and turkey sausage Cioppino

The process

Cook fennel and garlic

Add turkey sausage and brown

Add white wine

And chicken stock and tomato paste 

Finish with shrimp and herbs

Shrimp and sausage cioppino(inspired by Giada)


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 cups white wine, such as chardonnay 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste(plus two more tablespoons)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Serving suggestion: crusty sourdough bread


In a large deep saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, garlic, shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage and break into 1/2-inch pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Uncover the pan and add the shrimp, beans, basil, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season if need be with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Ladle the cioppino into soup bowls and serve with crusty bread. Serves 5.

The broth is so rich and this has just the right amount of texture with the shrimp and sausage. 

It's amazing! Don't wait! Make it!

Closing up Christmas

We just finished the last of Christmas yesterday leaving a great ending to a nice subtle holiday. Not to much ruckus, just enjoying good company and all the yummy food and special treats. Avery was simply blessed and had no problem expressing that.

We spent a little time with both family and friends(I forgot my camera with some of them) leaving each day since Thursday very busy. 

Bro # 2


Bro # 3

Our favorite Auntie's & Marv


The girls

Grammy and a quarter of her girls

I wouldn't change anything about the time spent giving gifts, opening new ones, being with family and eating way to much food. However I would change all the clean up, sorting and discarding of old toys and Avery up until 11:00 each night. All with no naps and to much sugar. Did I mention I ate way to much food? P90x, how I dread miss you. 

I'm thrilled for the New year; I have no resolution. I have goals; getting organized and moving forward in my adventure. I will exercise when I want to and take a ton more pictures. I want more date nights with my man. And I plan on taking more trips; even if the word "trips" means "going to the park". Lets not forget, I will be posting more recipes with a few surprises in between. Stay tuned for Cioppino.

I hope you have a blessed New year.

The Duffy crew

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I always try to name my posts with something catchy, or at least something to do with what I am writing about. But often at the end I change it because I've traveled to far from the original. I hope I'm not the only one. Today, I'm leaving the title up for grabs and hoping that even if I don't have a title, I'll make some sense of this post.

I was asked about a week ago if I would be willing to watch a neighbors animals while they were out of town for the holidays. Fourteen days to be exact. I thought to myself, how bad could this be? A couple dogs, a few cats. No problem. It turned out there were 3 dogs, 9 cats inside, and 12 or so cats outside. All needing certain food with certain portions, and special attention to those of older age. 

I knew I couldn't do this on my own, so I offered a part time position to someone I knew would take special care and be enthusiastic about the job.

Don't get me wrong, I had plenty to do myself. The dogs are not socialized so I deal with them on my own while Avery snoops in a strangers house waits patiently for my signal to feed the cats. You might say I didn't know what I was getting into. And I didn't. Regardless, everyday Ave looks forward to feeding the cats hoping to catch and pet a few.

Here kitty kitty

With just four days to go for feedings, and only three days until Christmas, the last minute "to do's" are piling up (like litter boxes).

We met good friends today for coffee, hot cocoa, chocolate milk and a little horse back at the local stables.

And shared a fabulous dinner with my mommy dearest, and Chef bro. I did say fabulous because it was and might I say, very festive and Christmasy. Drum roll please.................

I know.

I only have two words for this exceptional Lasagna. Make it!!

The process

Saute veggies

Cook turkey meat, add veggies back and add sauce

Stir in spinach and herbs

Start layering 

Add lots of cheese

Top with lots more cheese


Cheesy Turkey Lasagna


1 pound 98% lean ground turkey
1 turkey sausage(HOT)
2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar pasta sauce(Newman's own anything)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 cups fresh or frozen spinach
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
2 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella
1 1/2 cups quality cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
Olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350

Cook lasagna noodles according to package with a little olive oil in boiling water; drain and set aside. In large skillet saute onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat with 1 Tb olive oil; cook just until tender. Add mushrooms and red pepper flakes. Cook until most of the liquid from mushrooms is evaporated. Transfer to a small bowl. 

In same skillet with 2 more Tb olive oil add ground turkey and Hot turkey sausage. Cook until no longer pink. Add cooked veggies, parsley, spinach and pasta sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper. Heat everything through.

In bottom of 9*13 pan spread 1/2 cup sauce. Layer 3 noodles, add  1/3 of the sauce, sprinkle some mozz and chedd and a sprinkle of basil. Repeat layers two more times ending with sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes. Kick the broiler on high and brown the top just a couple minutes. Don't walk away from it.

Yes this is a day/meal worth tipping your glass to. Or lifting a finger to.

Pinkie finger of course.