Category Archives: weekly dinner ideas

Pork Scallopine & Juniper Berries

I have to admit, I am in love with Mediterranean food.  The copious amounts of sun soaked olive oil and produce picked from the yard moments before you eat it sets my heart a flutter.

One of my favorite quick meals in the fall and winter is pork scallopine and juniper berries.  The juniper berries lend to a nice peppery spice in the dish.  Normally, I like this dish with some fat buttered noodles, but this time I used up some millet I had in the pantry.  The millet was nice because the small granules soak up the sauce and become very flavorful and moist.  Millet is also a nice gluten free alternative that is very healthy.


Pork Scallopine & Juniper Berries

4-6 pork escalopes, trimmed
1T balsamic vinegar
1T salted butter
1T olive oil
6 cloves of garlic cut in half
1/4C cream sherry
3 sprigs of rosemary
15 juniper berries, crushed lightly
S & P
*Serve with buttered noodles or cooked grain, and green beans
 and shallots sauteed in butter and sprinkled with smoked salt

1.  Boil the cloves of garlic for 5 minutes to
 soften; drain & set aside
2.  Meanwhile, brush the pork with some of the
balsamic vinegar and sprinkle
with salt and pepper
3. Melt the butter and olive oil
in a large pan on medium heat
4.  Add the pork and sear until brown, about 3 minutes,
 turn over and cook one more minute
5.  Add the sherry, remaining balsamic, rosemary sprigs,
 garlic, and juniper berries
6.  Simmer for 2 minutes, remove pork, and simmer
till slightly thickened
7.  Spoon sauce over pork, serve with noodles and beans

Pork on FoodistaPork


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Italian Olive and Lamb Pasta (Tagine dish #2)

Last Fall, my husband and I went touring around Italy.  Sienna and San Gimignano were some of my favourite towns.  The olive bushes were everywhere throughout the town of San Gimignano.  The leaves of the bushes are a beautiful silver green like a sage or a salvia bush.



The Tuscan landscape was everywhere you looked as well.


It was rainy, and quaint…a perfect day to enjoy some afternoon pleasures such as the local wine and cured meat plates along side a window view of the Tuscan valley.

At home, we enjoy this lamb dish a few times a year during the cold months.  It has a rich sauce that the pasta seems to drink up, and is warming with the red pepper flakes and large chunks of garlic.  The olives pair well with lamb and rosemary….I only wish I had some of those exquisite fresh olives from Italy.

You can pick up some lamb at your local farmers market or direct from the farm.  Around here, we are bountiful with local meat farmers.  East Fork Farm has wonderful lamb for purchase.

Italian Lamb and Olive Pasta

1.5 lb leg of lamb in 1" cubes
2T olive oil
sea salt/cracked pepper
3 sprigs of rosemary
3 cloves garlic, in large chunks
1/2t red pepper flakes
2T balsamic vinegar
1/2C sherry or chardonnay
10 large green olives
  1. Heat olive oil in tagine or medium skillet over high heat
  2. Saute lamb until brown, add in salt and pepper
  3. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, turn down to medium heat
  4. Add in balsamic and cook for a few minutes until it starts to caramelize and thicken
  5. Deglaze pan with sherry/wine, add in olives and rosemary, cover with lid and cook 20 minutes until tender.
  6. Serve with butter and garlic pasta noodles



Filed under Inspire Your Appetite, weekly dinner ideas

Moroccan Pork Tagine

Well, I was wandering around the store the other day…getting side tracked by all the fun items I could buy, and forgetting what I actually went for (does anyone else do this?)…when there it was….

dark brown and alluring…

glossy and lustrous…

an unadulterated, just-for-two…


Ah yes, the mysterious tagine.

Is it cooking vessel?

Is it tender stewed dish?

And why aren’t most tagine recipes actually cooked in a tagine???

Yes, it is both the dish and the vessel.  I have also come to realize that most tagine recipes should and can be cooked in the tagine itself even if it says otherwise.

Let me tell you, I gave this baby a fair shot first night I got it, and the results?

I am madly in love.

I just never knew, but now that I do?

I’m totally going to share, so listen up.

If you get the chance to buy one….take it.  If you don’t get the chance… buy one anyway.

This amazing clay dish is like a little steam oven that you use right on top of your stove!

It is two pieces; the bottom, and the conical top.

Okay, I know I am rambling on in a mad lust, so I think it is time to share the recipe.

Moroccan Pork Tagine

1lb well-trimmed pork tenderloin cut in 3/4" medallions or
thin cut pork chops cut in to thirds
1T all-purpose flour
1t ground cumin seed
1t paprika
1/4t powdered saffron
 (or 1/2t turmeric)
1/4t cayenne
1/4t ground ginger
3T olive oil
1 med onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cup chicken stock, divided
1/4 cup raisins
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1 cup quick-cooking or Israeli couscous 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Toss pork with flour, cumin, paprika, saffron, cayenne and ginger in medium bowl; set aside for 30 minutes-1 hour.
  2. Heat oil in tagine over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until starting to caramelize.
  4. Add pork and garlic; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until pork is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add 3/4 cup chicken stock and raisins, season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil over high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered with tagine top, for 45-1hr until pork is cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Meanwhile, bring remaining 1 3/4 cups chicken stock to a boil in medium saucepan.
  8. If using quick cous cous; stir in couscous, cover; remove from heat. If using Jerusalem; toast in 1T of olive oil until brown,then add stock, cover and cook 15minutes.
  9. Add one tablespoon of cilantro, salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil to cous cous.
  10. Add the rest of the cilantro to the tagine dish, serve over cous cous.

* I always fresh grind my cumin seed, it has so much more flavor than the powdered form

*Also, using local meat will lend to a nice fresh flavor as opposed to older store meat.

Moroccan Pork In A Tagine


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Beef and Barley Soup

Growing up in the North, my mother would make huge pots of this soup in the winter, and stick it out on the deck where it would freeze and be ready for use when we needed it next.  When the weather is -20° at 7:00am, it is definitely okay to use your deck as a freezer for the winter months!

This bone-warming, tender meat soup is so flavorful and melt-in-your-mouth good, that I just have to share it with you.

I always use local and/or organic products wherever I can, and local meat and homemade stock always tastes fresher!

If you don’t have any stock in your freezer, I like to use Kitchen Basics or Wolfgang Puck’s.

And of course, you can always make this a vegan dinner by replacing the meat with any type of potato or winter squash, substitute the meat stock for veggie stock and voila! ( Still just as bone-warming and hearty)!

Beef and Barley Soup

3T extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 leek, halved and sliced
1 lb. stew beef chunks
4C beef stock
1/3C pearled barley
fresh cracked pepper
sea salt
1/4t dry chervil
1/2t ea. dry thyme, dry marjoram
2T fresh parsley
Hunk of crusty french bread
  1. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat, add onions, garlic, leeks, and celery; saute for about 7 minutes.
  2. Add in beef cubes, cook until outside of beef is brown.
  3. Generously salt and pepper the pot, and add in dry spices, give it stir.
  4. Add in stock, simmer 1hr.
  5. After an hour, add in barley and carrots, simmer another 1 hour until barley is tender.
  6. Taste and season how necessary, add in fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Beef on FoodistaBeef


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Steak with compound butter and tabbouleh

A steak grilled or pan seared  until medium, let rest for 10 minutes and then top with a compound butter (butter mixed with minced garlic and herbs with sea salt and cracked pepper).  For the tabbouleh, I just soaked the cracked grain in cool water for about an hour or until aldente, then added in lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley, cucumber, tomato, and capers.  This is a nice summer evening meal.

Bulgar Info

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Home Rotisseried Chicken with Crispy Potatoes and Sauteed Brassica

If you don’t have a rotisserie machine at home, there are plenty of yummy ones at the store for a quick dinner.  Rub a little olive oil and mustard on some precooked, cooled, and cut potatoes, add some salt and pepper, toss with panko crumbs, and saute on medium high in some olive oil until crispy and brown.  Saute some  garden greens with garlic and viola!

Whole Chicken- دجاجه كامله

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Morrocan Chicken with Carrot Puree

I used Saveur’s recipe for this wonderful dish.  I can’t even begin to describe the unique flavors.  The carrot puree was so rich and flavorful, I could have just eaten that for dinner!  The orange jus was sweet and the perfect complement to the harissa ( which I ended up making myself using this recipe).  I also paired it with some fresh pea and asparagus risotto from the garden (I’ll give that recipe shortly), and some fresh picked greens.

Whole Chicken- دجاجه كامله

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