"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vidalia Onion Bacon Pie

My mother-in-law made this recently when we were at their house for dinner.  It was great, and everyone loved it!  It's similar to the Sweet Onion Corn Bake that I also got from my mother-in-law a few years ago but has different flavors and textures.  Both of these are great ways to use up those big bags of Vidalia onions!

Vidalia Onion Bacon Pie
Pie crust (we used a premade crust from the store)
1 tablespoon butter
3 medium Vidalia onions, slivered
2 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (plus more for topping)
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
4 slices thick, smokey-styled bacon, cooked and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown.  Drain if necessary.  Combine eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Whisk well.  On bottom of pie, sprinkle half of the cheese.  Top with corn kernels, onions, and bacon.  Pour egg mixture over top.  Top with remaining cheese and freshly ground pepper.  Bake 40 minutes until top is set and browned.  Serves 8.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

When I went grocery shopping last week, I saw that the ground turkey was on sale.  I've only cooked with ground turkey once or twice before, but I was sure that I'd be able to find a great recipe on Food Network since Rachael Ray and some of the others use ground turkey pretty frequently.  I picked a few recipes and sent them to Kent.  He thought this one might be the winner, so we gave it a try!  It was really filling, and we both really enjoyed it!

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti   



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves 
    • Cooking spray
    • 1 pound ground turkey meat
    • 1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
    • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti


    Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

    Make Sauce:
    In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.

    Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

    Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.

    Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

    Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs
    (Please excuse the weird formatting issues.  I'm not sure what happened and can't seem to fix it!) 

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    D.C. & Maryland - Part 2 - Sally and Trent's Wedding!!

    After spending three days in D.C., we headed to the Eastern Shore near the Chesapeake Bay for Sally and Trent's wedding!  We stayed at a wonderful bed and breakfast, The Oaks, on the shore between St. Michael's and Easton, Maryland.  Both towns were so cute and had tons of great restaurants (it's also where Wedding Crashers was filmed!).  On Thursday night, some of us went to the newly opened Big Pickle Bar in downtown St. Michael's for dinner and drinks.  Of course, I had to try the fried pickles (they were great!) and had barbeque tacos which were super good!

    at The Oaks before dinner

    getting ready to go to The Big Pickle Bar!

    On Friday, all of the girls went to The Bartlett Pear Inn in Easton for Sally's beautiful bridesmaid's lunch hosted by some of her sweet family friends.

    the Ole Miss girls on the porch of The Bartlett Pear Inn

    Friday night Sally and Trent had their rehearsal at The Oaks.  Then we went to Trent's family farm for the rehearsal dinner.  The food, the band, and the fireworks were amazing!

    Ole Miss girls getting ready to go to the Farm

    Before the Rehearsal Dinner
    On Saturday we got ready for the wedding and spent a little time in St. Michael's.  We went to a great local restaurant (St. Michael's Crab and Steak House) and had crab cakes, raw oysters, and steamed crab - so yummy!  Kent and David ventured to the Crab Claw restaurant on Friday and highly recommend it as well.

    Saturday night, Sally and Trent got married!  They had a beautiful wedding on the water followed by a wonderful reception in the ballroom at the Oaks.  After a sweet toast from Sally's dad, we had a lovely seated dinner and everyone danced all night!  The hors d'oeuvres, crab cakes, and fillets were amazing - not to mention the wonderful wedding cakes!  We lit sparklers and rang bells as the newlyweds made their get-away!  What an unforgettable wedding weekend!  Best wishes to our sweet friends!

    With the Bride and Groom!

    First Dance!

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    D.C. & Maryland - Part 1

    Tuesday was our third wedding anniversary - I can't believe we've been married three years!  To celebrate, we spent several days in D.C. before heading to a best friend's wedding in Maryland (more to come on that soon).  We arrived on Monday afternoon, July 4th.  After a sketchy cab ride to our hotel, we went to meet my brother, Bee, on the Mall to get ready for the fireworks.
    Fireworks in front of the Washington Monument

    With Bee on the Mall!
    On Tuesday we went to the International Spy Museum, which was a lot of fun!  We went to a great French restaurant, Bistro Bis, for lunch.  That night we went to the Nationals game with Bee and a friend from high school, Robbie.  Kent was supper excited that the National's stadium has concessions stands run by Ben's Chili Bowl, a famous hotdog stand in D.C.  The hotdogs did not disappoint!
    Go Nats!
    Kent and me at the Nationals game
    Bee, me, and Robbie
    On Wednesday, we went to lunch at Central Michel Richard, and it was so great!   We went on the recommendation of our friend, Lee, who has spent some time in D.C.  Kent had their burger, and I got the tuna burger.  We both loved it.  (The restaurant won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2008.)  We spent the afternoon shopping and walking around the Art Museum.  Wednesday night we went out to celebrate our anniversary at The Tabard Inn.  This was such a fun place!  It's in the bottom of an old hotel and is really pretty.  The food was amazing; we had oysters, gumbo, crab, cheeses, and wine.

    Outside of The Tabard Inn
    Before we left on Thursday, we had lunch at Matchbox.  It's a really neat casual restaurant known for its pizzas.  We had a great lunch and then were off to Maryland for Sally and Trent's wedding!

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Pesto Chicken

    I found a simple recipe on-line a few weeks ago for baked pesto chicken and decided I had to try it.  I changed around some of the ingredients to get a slightly different flavor.  It is super easy and is ready really quickly!  Kent and I both loved it and decided we would have to make it a regular dinner item!

    Baked Pesto Chicken
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto (just use the jarred pesto from the grocery store)
    1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    1/2 Parmesan cheese

     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the chicken in a glass casserole dish and cover with pesto.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.  Remove from oven and top with tomatoes and cheese.  Place the dish back in the over for 3 - 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

    (Recipe adapted from www.food.com)
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