Lobster Linguine with Crostini

I know I’ve been MIA lately on posting new recipes. I’ve still been working on new recipes just need to get them written out. 2021 has started out great for a few reason but I got a promotion at work early February and I’ve been so busy. I love the new job, I’m really enjoying it a lot. I’m hoping this is just the start of great things to come in 2021, especially after the last year!

Enough about that. Cooking is still my passion. I have so many great recipes to share. Stay tuned for me.

Let’s start out with this one that I’m really excited about. Lobster Linguine! Buttery, rich, and perfect for your next date night!

Lobster Linguine

Ingredients:
4 lobster tails, meat removed (cut into bite size pieces) (reserve shells, no small pieces)
6 T salted butter
1 cup white wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 T extra virgin olive oil (good quality)
1 T parsley, finely chopped
1/2 t xantham gum
6 oz linguine, cooked a dente
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a medium sauté pan on high heat with olive oil. Add in reserved lobster shells. No small pieces. Cook until the shells turn red.

Remove shells and discard. Add in onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes. Next add in the butter and let it melt then add in the wine.


Reduce the heat to low and add in the lobster meat. Let the lobster cook through till white and red in color. Around 4-6 minutes stirring often.

Add in the parsley and xantham gum and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the cooked linguine and gently toss together. Add in the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with crostini.

Air Fryer Crostini

Ingridents:
1 small baguette
1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T melted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 t fresh parsley, chopped
sprinkle salt & pepper

Directions: Cut the baguette on the bias and set aside. Mix the rest of the ingridents together and brush the baguette with the butter mixture. Add to air fryer rack and cook at 400, for 3-5 minutes. Remove and set asside till ready to use. Note: The crostini will crisp up more once recmoved from the oven.

Fried Eggplant with Tomato & Burrata

The Italian in me, loves fried eggplant. This recipe I made fried eggplant in my air fryer. You can also just do the same steps however, you would have to bake in the oven at 400 for probably 20 minutes flipping half way through. However to make this full recipe I added some fresh tomatoes and burrata cheese. OMG game changer.

This dish so so light and fresh and perfect for a meatless meal!

Fried Eggplant with Tomato & Burrata

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, peeled or unpeeled
2 eggs, whisked
1 1/2-2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 T Italian seasoning
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
olive oil or cooking spray

Extras:
fresh tomatoes
fresh burrata cheese
extra virgin olive oil
fresh or dried parsley or basil for garnish

Directions: Prepare the eggplant by slicing into 1/2″ rounds, discard the top. Add eggs to one deep bowl and season with salt and pepper and add the Italian bread crumbs to another bowl. Whisk in the cheese and seasonings.

First dip the eggplant rounds into the egg mixture, making sure to remove any excess egg. Next dip the eggplant into the breadcrumb mixture and fully coat on both sides and edges. Remove and set aside. Finish breading each slice of eggplant.

Preheat the air fryer. (Note: my unit preheats at 400° for 4 minutes) Spray the air fryer pan (or basket) with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray. Place the eggplant rounds flat as to not overlap. Spray the top of eggplant with olive oil. Place in the air fryer at 375° for about 12-16 minutes, flipping or shaking half way through. Once you flip the eggplant, if you feel the breading is a little dry spray with a little more oil. I would continue to watch the eggplant and cook to your desired crispiness.

Remove the eggplant from the air fryer and sprinkle with salt if so desired and enjoy. See below with how I served my fried eggplant. I served with fresh tomatoes and burrata. Just drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and some dried parsley and salt.

Note: I was fully prepared to cook my eggplant about 20 minutes or so, just based on a few recipes I’ve seen. However, after I started watching it, I decided to remove before it got to dark in color. Mine cooked rather quick. Just note that every air fryer is different. These times and temps are based on my specific air fryer.


Air Fryer “Fried” Eggplant

The Italian in me, loves fried eggplant. I usually make it by frying on the stove or by baking in the oven. Decided to try it with my air fryer and boy was I glad I did. It came out fantastic. So little oil used, and the crisp and flavor was spot on. I will totally make this again. ( I actually made 2 times in 1 week already…shhh don’t tell anyone.)

Check out my recipe below. Keep in mind. All air fryer are not the same. You may need to adjust cook time and temp to your specific air fryer. Also, there is several ways to remove the moisture from the eggplant. For example you can put in a colander and sprinkle with salt. However, this recipe I didn’t do that at all. Using the air fryer the eggplant didn’t’ get mushy at all.

Air Fryer Fried Eggplant

Ingredients:
1 large eggplant, peeled or unpeeled
2 eggs, whisked
1 1/2-2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 T Italian seasoning
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
olive oil or cooking spray

Directions: Prepare the eggplant by slicing into 1/2″ rounds, discard the top. Add eggs to one deep bowl and season with salt and pepper and add the Italian bread crumbs to another bowl. Whisk in the cheese and seasonings.

First dip the eggplant rounds into the egg mixture, making sure to remove any excess egg. Next dip the eggplant into the breadcrumb mixture and fully coat on both sides and edges. Remove and set aside. Finish breading each slice of eggplant.

Preheat the air fryer. (Note: my unit preheats at 400 for 4 minutes) Spray the air fryer pan (or basket) with olive oil or olive oil cooking spray. Place the eggplant rounds flat as to not overlap. Spray the top of eggplant with olive oil. Place in the air fryer at 375 for about 12-16 minutes, flipping or shaking half way through. Once you flip the eggplant, if you feel the breading is a little dry spray with a little more oil. I would continue to watch the eggplant and cook to your desired crispiness.

Remove the eggplant from the air fryer and sprinkle with salt if so desired and enjoy. See below with how I served my fried eggplant. I served with fresh mozzarella and burrata. Just drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil and some dried parsley and salt.

Note: I was fully prepared to cook my eggplant about 20 minutes or so, just based on a few recipes I’ve seen. However, after I started watching it, I decided to remove before it got to dark in color. Mine cooked rather quick. Just note that every air fryer is different. These times and temps are based on my specific air fryer.


12 Thanksgiving Day Sides

These are 12 of my faovirte side dishes. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday!

Creamy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted

Topping:
1/2 stick butter, cubed
1/4-1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions: Add cooked sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Add in eggs, butter and sugar to the bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until completely smooth and lump free. (Note: you can use a spoon if you don’t have a hand mixer, it just may not be super smooth, and that’s ok.)

Next add the sweet potatoes to a oven safe baking dish. Top evenly with brown sugar and chopped pecans. Add the butter cubes over the top of the brown sugar. Bake in oven at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and brown. Lastly remove from oven and add the mini marshmallows on top and bake for another 8-10 minutes until they are soft but not melted. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: This can be made ahead of time and popped in the oven the day of. Just note you may need longer cook time since mixture will be refrigerator cold. You can also use canned sweet potatoes if you prefer, I’d just rinse them as they may add extra sweetness. Or instead you can just reduce the sugar in the potatoes.

Italian Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 loaf of white bread, cut into small cubes and toasted
1 stick butter, melted
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
1-2 cup turkey or chicken broth
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Direction: Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat. Add in the Italian sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Once cooked remove sausage from pan and drain on paper towel and set aside. Leave some fat in the pan to cook the veggies but drain the rest. Add in the garlic and onion and cook 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Next add in the chopped celery, sauté until slightly tender. Add in butter and let melt completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the sausage back to the pan and mix completely.

Add toasted bread cubes into a large baking pan or dish. (I use a disposable half try aluminum pan.) Mix the sauage mixture with the bread fully coating it.

If you are going to stuff some into a turkey, take half of the stuffing (or whatever fits) and add into the turkey cavity. Once you remove the turkey from the oven remove the stuffing and mix well with the remaining stuffing.

If you aren’t stuffing into a cavity, drizzle the stuffing with turkey or chicken broth. Add as much liquid as you like. This depends on if you like your stuffing on the wetter side or dryer side.

Add the stuffing to a 350° oven and bake until warmed through. About 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Deliciously Easy Creamed Spinach

Ingredients:
1lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy cream
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
1/4 cup+ 1T grated Romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 T flour or 2 t xanthan gum
2 t olive oil
1 t crushed red pepper flakes, optional
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat. First squeeze out all the extra liquid from the thawed spinach before putting into the pan. Add in the olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes. Next add in the onion and garlic. Let cook until fragrant and slightly tender.

Next add in the cream and xanthan gum (or flour). Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium stirring often. The mixture should start to become slightly thicker.

Next add in the cheeses and mix until fully melted. Season with crushed red pepper, (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh cauliflower, cut in bite sizes pieces (or smaller, depending on preference)
1 stick butter, melted
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 slices cooked bacon or 4 slices prosciutto crispy
2 t almond flour, or 2 T white flour
1 t xanthan gum
3 T Romano cheese, finely grated
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup, heavy cream/milk/half and half
1 T garlic & herb seasoning, (See Amazon link below for what I use)
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/4 cup bacon or prosciutto (crispy), optional (for the topping)

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. Steam or blanch the cauliflower till fork tender. (Note: do not overcook the cauliflower or it will be mushy.) Once cauliflower is fork tender, drain it and add to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, add in melted butter, onion, garlic, almond flour, xanthan gum and garlic and herb seasoning. Whisk together.

Add the butter mixture with the cauliflower and mix well, slowly pour in heavy cream. Fold in the Romano cheese and shredded cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add to an oven safe casserole dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling and edges are starting to brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Top with crispy bacon or prosciutto. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have garlic and herb seasoning you can substitute with 1 t garlic powder, 2 t parsley, 1 t dill. This recipe can easily be made ahead of time. You can make and refrigerate for a few hours or even over night. Just add an extra 15-20 minutes to the cook time.


Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 t salt
2 t olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. Slice the sweet potatoes but don’t fully cut through. You can use chop sticks or straws to put on the bottom of the potatoes to keep the knife from going all the way through. Cut as far down as you can without cutting all the way through. Using your fingers try and separate the slices slightly.

Add sweet potatoes to a foil covered baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. (Note: the cooking time will vary depend on the size.)

In a small bowl add in melted butter, light brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Once potatoes are done, remove from the oven and brush with the brown sugar mixture. Trying to get in between each of the slices. Top with chopped pecans and place back into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour any left over butter over the top of the sweet potatoes. Serve & Enjoy!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
3lbs potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into chunks
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk or half and half
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Directions: Boil potatoes in salt water until fork tender. Remove from the pan and add to a large mixing bowl.

Add in the butter and cream cheese and beat using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add in the sour cream and continue to beat.

Then add the milk to the beaten eggs and slowly add to the bowl while beating. Beat until the potatoes are light and fluffy, there should be no large lumps and potatoes should be smooth. Lastly, using a spoon stir in the chopped onion and season with salt and pepper. Adjust season to your taste.

Add to a deep casserole dish or oven safe pan. Spray pan with cooking spray. Refrigerate potatoes for at 8-12 hours or overnight.

Once ready to make, bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes. The top will be slightly golden in color. Let sit 5 minutes. The potatoes will be pipping hot. Enjoy!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
6-8 slices prosciutto
1 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder

Directions: Preheat oven 400.  Chop the bottom 2 inches off the asparagus.  Bundle 5-6 stalks of asparagus together and wrap with a slice of prosciutto. (You can make the bundles bigger or smaller)

Drizzle the bundles with olive oil and season with the salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Bake in the oven for about 12-18 minutes. (Time depends on the temp of the oven and also how you like the asparagus cooked) If you prefer the asparagus to be cruncher, cook for about 12-13 minutes, if you prefer it softer cook 17-18 minutes.  By this time the prosciutto will be crispy! Enjoy!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Ingredients:
32 frozen hashbrowns, thawed (Diced or shredded)
1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
8-10 oz cheddar cheese (I like a little more)
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup corn flake crumbs*
1 small onion, diced
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
2 t Garlic & Herb Seasoning (see Link below)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl add the hashbrowns, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced onion, and all the seasoning and half the melted butter.  Mix very well.  Making sure you get all the potatoes coated.  Add the potato mixture to an oven safe bowl.  Evenly top with the corn flake crumbs.  ( I add more, because I love the topping.)  Drizzle the last half stick of melted butter over the topping.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the top is slightly golden in color.  Let sit a few minutes, and serve hot.

Note: If you use the diced hasbrowns you may need to cook slightly longer.  I notice that sometimes the hashbrowns are bigger making it take longer to cook. I prefer the shredded ones for this recipe, however when I took the pictures most recently I was only able to get the diced.  Also, you can use more butter if you like. I like to use less since there is no real purpose for all the extra fat.  It taste just as good. Some extra ingredients that would be fun and give it a nice kick would be cooked bacon goat cheese, ricotta or maybe diced jalapeños.  If you can’t find corn flake crumbs, just buy a box of the cereal and crush them up or put in a food processor.  You want them to be pretty fine, like consistency of breadcrumbs.

Corn Casserole

Ingredients:
1 box Jiffy Corn muffin Mix
1 15.25 oz can of corn
1 14.75 oz creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup sour cream

Directions: Preheat oven 350.  In a bowl add in the box of Jiffy, cans of corn, eggs 1 cup of sour cream and melted butter.  Mix till fully incorporated.

Spray a 10 inch pie pan with cooking spray.  Add in the corn mixture and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.  Let set at least 5 minutes before eating.

Note: This can be made a day in advanced and just bake when ready to make it.  It reheats very well.  I serve on the nights I make tacos or enchiladas, but any day is a good day.

Blue Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:
4 large russet potatoes
¾ cup sour cream
5 T melted butter
½ cup crumbled blue cheese (more or less depending on taste)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Directions: Clean potatoes and poke holes in the top with a fork so the steam is able to escape. Bake potatoes in oven at 375° for 1 and ½ or 1 hour and 45 minutes. To make sure potatoes are done, you’ll want to stick a fork in them to make sure they go in easily without too much pressure.

Once cooked, remove potatoes from the oven and let cool till you are able to work hold them. Easily slice off the tops of the potatoes and scoop out the insides and add into a medium bowl. You will want to leave very little potato inside so the potatoes will hold their shape. Don’t go to deep as to tear the potato skin.

In the bowl of the potatoes add in sour cream, melted butter, blue cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mash with a fork to remove any lumps. You can also use a hand mixer if you’d like the really smooth and whipped texture. Once all mixed together you want to scoop the potato mixture back into the potato skins.

Place back in the oven at 375° for 30 minutes. Let sit a few minutes once you remove from the oven. So they can set. These are also great to make ahead of time. You can make the night before and put in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just add another 15-25 minutes cooking time as the potatoes will be cold when you bake them.

You can completely omit the potatoes skins all together if you are making for a large crowd. Just put the potato mixture into a deep oven safe dish and bake.

Buttery Garlic Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients:
16oz sliced Portobello mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T olive oil
3 T butter
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t dried parsley
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Add in olive oil and let heat 1-2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook 2 minutes mixing constantly. Don’t let the garlic brown.

Next add in the mushrooms and cook several minutes. In order to get a golden mushroom you need to cook the mushrooms to the point where the liquid is completely gone. This will take a while. Probably about 15-20 minutes. You will need to stir every couple minutes.

Once the liquid finally starts to evaporate you will need to cook another 7 minutes or so to get the golden brown color on the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms start to get golden add the butter and mix a few times as the butter melts. Season the mushrooms with garlic and onion powder and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Fake Out Keto “Potatoes” (Radishes)

Ingredients:
1 lb radishes, cleaned and cut into 1/2s or 1/4s depending on size)
2 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t Garlic & Herb Seasoning (See Things I buy on main page)
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t dried parsley

Directions: Preheat oven 400°. In a small bowl mix together the oil with the seasoning. Add in the radishes and mix well. Make sure to fully coat the radishes. Add to a baking sheet and roast in the oven 25-35 minutes (depending on size) The radishes are done with they are fork tender and golden in color. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve.

Keto Chicken Cutlets

Anyone who wants to reduce the amount of carbs in their daily diet, will loves these chicken cutlets. They are made with pork rind crumbs and they honestly come out so delicious. The cool thing about these chicken cutlets is you can use any flavor pork rinds you have. For example, they have spicy pork rinds and that would give the chicken a nice kick! If you are looking for more of a traditional chicken cutlet, stick with the plan flavor pork rinds. If you are craving a nice delcious chicken cutlet, and want a low carb option, please give this a try!

Keto Chicken Cutlets

Ingredients:
6 thin chicken breast, pounded into thin cutlets
2 cups plain pork rinds, finely chopped (use a food processor) (Or you can get the already crumbed pork rinds)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Romano or parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 t Italian seasoning
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, optional

Directions: Heat a large sauté pan on high heat. Add in the olive oil and let heat until hot. About 3-4 minutes. Add pork rinds to a medium flat bowl. Whisk in the Italian seasoning, garlic powder & onion powder, cheese and half the salt and pepper. In a second bowl beat 2 eggs. season the chicken cutlets on both sides with the rest of the salt and pepper. Start breading the chicken. First add the chicken into the beaten egg and then into the breading mixture. Completely coat the chicken cutlet with the breading and add to a plate. Complete with all the remaining chicken cutlets.

Once ready to cook, make sure the oil is hot. Add in chicken cutlets to the pan, one by one. Let cook 3-4 minutes on high until golden brown and then turn over and cook another 3-4 minutes until golden. Remove from sauté pan and set aside. If you can’t fit all the chicken in one batch, do in 2 separate batches. Finish with a squeeze of lemon over chicken, if so desired. Enjoy!

Notes: If you can’t find think chicken cutlets just buy regular chicken cutlets and pound them to your desired thickness. Cooking times will vary depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.

Bacon & Mozarella Stuffed Meatballs

Homemade meatballs are so delicious and easy to make. You can mix it up and really make them your own! These meatballs are a pretty basic recipe with a twist. You can use any ground meat you like. Beef, pork, veal, turkey and chicken. I personally prefer beef meatballs and sometimes I add in ground pork as well. My recipe calls for little fresh mozzarella balls and bacon. When you cut into them you taste that salty bacon and the mozzarella is nice and gooey! They are delicious!

Bacon & Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Ingredients:
Meatballs:
2lbs ground beef (could use 1lb beef & 1lb of pork)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1/2-3/4 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 T Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 small onion, grated or very finely chopped
1/4 cup water or milk
1 T olive oil
2 t Italian seasoning
2 t kosher salt
2 t pepper

Extras:
6-8 slices bacon, cooked, chopped in half inch pieces
8-10 oz fresh mozzarella pearl balls
2 T olive oil, for frying

Directions: Preheat oven 350°. In a large mixing bowl add in all the ingredients above for the meatballs. Next using your hands mix meat until fully incorporated with ingredients. Using a large scoop or melon baller form meat into balls. Flatten out the balls and add in 1-2 pearl mozzarella balls and 1-2 pieces of bacon and roll into a ball. The meatballs should be golf ball size. Add to a baking sheet covered with foil. Continue with all the meat.

Options for cooking is either pan fry on the stove or you can bake in the oven. Sometimes I like to sauté in a pan to get a nice brown exterior and then finish baking through in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. To bake in the oven only cook for 30-35 minutes depending on the size. The meatballs should get nice and golden brown. Serve either on their own or with pasta.

Notes: You may need more bacon and mozzarella depending on how big the meatballs are. If you can’t find the pearl balls you can use any other cheese or fresh mozzarella and cut into small pieces.