Granna’s Homemade Pancakes

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As a child, I didn’t know store bought pancake mixes existed. No, really, I’m serious. I LOVED when my Mom (known as Granna to my two angels) made pancakes. And, when she made them for lunch or dinner, man oh man was I excited. Nothing beats breakfast for dinner! I liked mine with maple syrup, but my Mom and sisters preferred Alaga syrup (and still do). Anyone remember that? Or, better yet, still buy it? The ‘add in’ options are endless with these light and fluffy gems. To the basic batter, you can add bananas, cinnamon, pecans, pumpkin or sweet potato puree, walnuts … whatever you’d like. And, you can top them with fruit, granola, powdered sugar, nuts, syrup or whipped cream. These pancakes are SO good and SO easy to make. Try them. I guarantee you that you will not buy store bought mixes again.

You will need:

2 cups of all purpose flour

3 tablespoons of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of salt (I use kosher)

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 heaping tablespoons of baking powder

2 eggs

1/4 cup of butter, melted

1 3/4 cups of milk or buttermilk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Sift the flour, sugar salt, nutmeg and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the melted butter. Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl with a whisk. Pour into the well and mix with a spoon or whisk just until combined. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes before cooking on a hot; buttered griddle.

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Kimmie Bee’s Favorite Lasagna

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So, remember when I posted the recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts the other day? And, I promised to post the lasagna recipe? The one that I make every Christmas Day for dinner? The one that I will be making this year along with the herb crusted beef tenderloin (look for that recipe this week) and roasted sprouts? Well, HERE IT IS! I have several recipes for lasagna: my own veggie lasagna, one using a béchamel sauce and my Mom’s recipe … But, this recipe is honestly MY FAVE! Partly because it’s easy to put together with minimal chopping and prepping. But, you cannot skimp on the quality of ingredients or make all sorts of changes like subbing dried herbs for fresh. FOR REAL. Or, don’t go saying you got the recipe from me. HA! I saw Ina Garten making this lasagna, years ago, on Barefoot Contessa. And, okay, I admit I altered it the first time and it was good. But when I followed it to the letter, it was AMAZING! YUMOLA, even.

You will need:

2 T olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 pounds of sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (you can use 1/2 sausage and 1/2 ground turkey OR use sweet Italian pork sausage or a combo of pork sausage and ground beef)

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes in tomato puree

1 6oz can of tomato paste

1/4 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 t kosher salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb of lasagna noodles (I like to use the no bake sheets)

15 oz of ricotta cheese

4 oz of creamy goat cheese, crumbled (YES, goat cheese and NO, don’t skip this)

1 cup of FRESHLY grated parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sausage and break up with a fork. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink. Add the tomato paste and stir; cooking for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with HOT tap water. Add the noodles (unless you’re using no bake) and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, the remaining salt and pepper AND … okay, I add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and it’s not in Ina’s recipe, so I didn’t include it in the list of ingredients above. You can omit it, but if you want to ‘Kimmie-fy’ it, add it in. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 x 12″ rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then, add the layers as follows: 1/2 of the pasta, half of the mozzarella, half of the ricotta and 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta and end with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup of remaining parmesan and bake for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.

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Sautéed Yellow and Zucchini Squash with Onion

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Onion sautéed in olive oil makes EVERYTHING better. This recipe is no different. It’s SO simple and really tasty. The onion caramelizes, a bit, bringing out this delicious sweetness in the squash. Mmmm Mmmm. You can serve it alongside almost anything! Today, I served it with my Easy Chicken and Bowtie Pasta (see recipe under ‘Main Dishes’).

You will need:

1 large yellow squash, sliced about 1/4″ thick

1 large zucchini squash, sliced about 1/4″ thick

1 onion, sliced

3 T of olive oil

1 t kosher salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and let heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion and zucchini, salt and pepper and let it cook for 3 minutes without touching. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Kimmie Bee’s EASY Chicken and Bowtie Pasta

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So, today was one of those days that I DID NOT feel like cooking.  Yah, I have those days too. But, dinner still must get on the table. And, I didn’t feel like take-out. So, what did I do? I asked my son what he wanted for dinner and he responded with, “PASTA … bow tie pasta.” I took a look in my fridge and pantry. I had already taken out some boneless; skinless chicken breasts (they had been brining for 2 hours), so I was ahead of the game.  I grabbed the pasta out of the pantry along with some other staples; checked the fridge to see what veggies I had readily available and put together this chicken and bowtie pasta with sautéed yellow and zucchini squash (you will find that recipe under ‘Side Dishes’, just in case you’d like to know my method). The end result? A YUMOLA; kid friendly, easy and quick meal. SUCCESS!

You will need:

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1/2 lengthwise & cubed (brine the chicken … see method under ‘Tips’)

3 tablespoons of olive oil (or your oil of choice)

1 onion, chopped

1 t kosher salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

1 lb box of bow tie pasta

2 cans of cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic (mmhmm, i take shortcuts too ☺️)

3 cans of water (use the soup cans)

Heat a skillet on medium high. Add the oil and let heat for 30 seconds before adding the chicken. Let the chicken cook, without touching, for 4 minutes. This will allow it to start browning. Add the onion and stir. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

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Add the pasta and stir. Add the soup and water; stirring to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover and simmer until the pasta is tender. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Kimmie Bee’s Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

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These meatballs are rustic and delicious! They can be simmered in this simple tomato sauce and served over your favorite pasta. Or, they can be served on a fresh; crusty Italian sandwich roll and you’ve got yourself one yumola meatball sandwich. You can follow the recipe as written or use all ground beef or even ground turkey. And, they are even better, the next day!

For the meatballs, you will need:

1 1/2 lbs of ground beef

1/2 1b of ground pork

2 cups of plain bread crumbs

1 cup of romano cheese

4 cloves of garlic; minced

2 eggs; beaten

1/2 cup Italian flat leaf parsley; chopped

1/4 cup of olive oil

2 t  of kosher salt

2 t  of freshly ground black pepper

approximately 1 cup of water

Olive oil for frying the meatballs (for best results, but could be baked in the oven on 375 degrees for 10 minutes; then added to the sauce to finish cooking)

Combine all of the ingredients and add the water a little at a time. The mixture should be moist, but still be able to hold the shape of a meatball. You may not need all of the water. Roll into your desired size meatballs and place on a platter or baking sheet pan. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate while you are prepping the sauce. Once the sauce has simmered for 2 hours, remove the meatballs from the refrigerator and brown in olive oil over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes. Make sure to brown on all sides. The meatballs will not be cooked all the way through. Add them to the sauce (that has been simmering for 2 hours) and simmer for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.

 

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For the sauce, you will need:

4 large cans (28 oz) of Italian tomatoes or crushed tomatoes

1 small can (6 oz) of tomato paste

2 onions, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T of olive oil

2-3 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 t kosher salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

If you are using whole tomatoes, use a mill to break up the tomatoes into a bowl. You could also use a potato masher or your fingers. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You just want to break up the tomatoes so that they will cook down.

Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot on medium high heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onion. Saute until translucent. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook an additional minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute while stirring. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Lower the heat to low and simmer for two to three hours, stirring occasionally. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

 

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I had such a ball demonstrating this recipe to a group of budding chefs. Get your kids in the kitchen with you for this one. They will have fun and feel so proud when the meal is served. Be sure to invite over some friends. You will have enough to feed an army!

#yumola