Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves,  nutmeg, this classic Greek dish is topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese and guaranteed to be a family favorite for the dinner table.

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of those wonderful Mediterranean pasta recipes that take me back to my teen years in Ohio. It reminds me of two things, the holidays with my friends and one of my favorite festivals in Warren, Ohio that Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosts every year; The Greek Fest. This year will be their 50th Annual hosting of the Greek Festival, one of the largest Greek festivals in Ohio.

Pastitsio is one of the cherished classic Greek recipes I used to beg my friends to ask their mom’s for. In the beginning, no one was budging for my request of their cherished recipe for that delicious baked pasta, it actually took me years to earn the rights to the recipe. That request of mine required me to watch a few amazing women make their traditional family recipes several times to get this recipe on point. Moral of the story, if you want something special you need to be willing to put the labor and time in to make it properly. Continue reading

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Funeral Potatoes Recipe

Whether you’re  hailing from Utah and refer to the recipe as Funeral Potatoes or a Southerner from Mississippi that calls it Hashbrown Casserole, this recipe is pretty darn delicious if you ask me or any of the folks I have made it for. It’s really the perfect casserole for the holidays, work potlucks, church functions, any gathering that requires a covered dish. Just simply combine shredded hashbrowns, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded Colby-Jack cheese, cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, sautéed onion, and minced garlic.

The list of names for this casserole dish that uses those famous frozen hash browns is almost endless depending on where you live in the United States. I have heard them called, Church Lady Potatoes, Christmas Potatoes, Heartstopper Hashbrown Casserole, Ward Potatoes, Cheesy Potato Casserole,  Pittsburg Potatoes, as well as  Church Social Potatoes by some.
You might ask, “How did this casserole ever became known as Funeral Potatoes in Utah?” It seems about 15-16 years ago  Funeral Potatoes became a staple served at dinners given for bereaved friends and family after a Latter Day Saints funeral. I’m sure they were being served up in Utah long before they were fondly nicknamed, “Funeral Potatoes” Continue reading

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe

Every busy household should have a delicious go-to recipe for a quick, easy, tasty meal on the weeknight when they are hard pressed for time. My easy go-to meal in our household is my Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe; combined with a rich, thick, creamy homemade Alfredo sauce with grilled chicken and fresh broccoli that has me in and out of the kitchen in no time.

This hearty dish can take down the biggest of appetites. It begins with leftover tender grilled chicken marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon, which is then added to a tasty, creamy, delicious alfredo sauce with fresh broccoli over your favorite pasta, such as fettuccine, linguine, penne pasta, o even gnocchi.

chicken-and-broccoli-alfredo-recipe-1I love marinated grilled chicken and make it often, so we often have leftover grilled chicken in the refrigerator,  which is perfect for a jumpstart on making my  Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo recipe on a weeknight a little faster. So don’t be afraid to use leftover chicken versus starting from scratch when making this recipe. Just marinate the boneless skinless chicken in olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper for about an hour. Grill till done.It’s that simple to make. Continue reading

Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole

Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole is the comfort food of any pasta and cheese lovers dreams, made with our favorite quality pasta, the families favorite hearty,thick, chunky homemade pasta sauce, delicious meatballs, and the cheesiest cheeses around. It just screams Delicious. This Baked Rotini and Meatballs turns any traditional pasta and meatballs into the most amazing baked cheesy casserole you will ever taste.

Be ready to have plenty of the Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole on hand to serve, because believe you me when I tell you that everyone always heads back to the Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole dish for seconds and yes sometimes thirds at our family dinner table. There’s just something about the combination of thick, rich, chunky, pasta sauce. with this huge meatballs, and gooey cheese that really get people going. at dinner.

Baked Rotini and Meatballs Casserole is the comfort food of any pasta and cheese lovers dreams, made with our favorite quality pasta, the families favorite hearty,thick, chunky homemade pasta sauce, delicious meatballs, and the cheesiest cheeses around. It just screams Delicious. This Baked Rotini and Meatballs turns any traditional pasta and meatballs into the most amazing baked cheesy casserole you will ever taste.Looking back these photos today,  I wish I had cleaned up the casserole dish a little for the photos, but really sometimes I think seeing real life is good for y’all readers. Let’s you know I am human too, I am messy, and it’s ok if you’re casserole looks a bit messy too. I mean, after all, we can’t be perfect all the time. can we? Continue reading

Cincinnati Chili Recipe and it’s many “Ways”

In the Roaring Twenties,  a new star would emerge on the food menu of the Cincinnati-based Empress Lunch Room owned by Greek immigrants Tom and John Kiradjieff, that recipe is what has been known for 90+ years as the famous Cincinnati Chili. A delightful iconic concoction made famous by its ingredients and Mediterranean vibe of flavors which included lean ground beef, beef stock, tomato paste, and a variety of  Mediterranean spices that were piled on top of a plate of spaghetti noodles and later topped with cheese, beans, and even onions in various spinoffs at other restaurants trying  copy the Empress Lunch Room’s famous recipe.

“Cincinnati Chili” has long been said to be a confusing to those that have never had the pleasure of eating this Iconic dish made famous by the two Kiradjieff brothers.  Many unsuspecting folks expect the flavor to be like that of a Texas-Style chili,  or any type of chili for that fact. I’m sure they were confused by Mediterranean spices they were tasting in this Cincinnati Chili. You will either love the unique flavor like I do or simply hate it, but I really think given a fair chance you’ll fall in the love with Cincinnati Chili just like I did.

In the Roaring Twenties, a new star would emerge on the food menu of the Cincinnati-based Empress Lunch Room owned by Greek immigrants Tom and John Kiradjieff, that recipe is what has been known for 90+ years as the famous Cincinnati Chili. A delightful iconic concoction made famous by its ingredients and Mediterranean vibe of flavors which included lean ground beef, beef stock, tomato paste, and a variety of Mediterranean spices that were piled on top of a plate of spaghetti noodles and later topped with cheese, beans, and even onions in various spinoffs at other restaurants trying copy the Empress Lunch Room's famous recipe.

The Cincinnati Chili made famous by the brothers Tom and John Kiradjieff, would inspire Greek Nicholas Sarakatsannis, who worked at the Empress Lunch Room in the late 1920s, to open his own restaurant called Dixie Chili in Northern Kentucky, serving a version of the  Cincinnati Chili concocted by Tom and John. Then later the Cincinnati Chili would yet again inspire another worker from the restaurant, Nicholas Lambrinides, in 1949 to open Skyline Chili in Price Hill and serve his own spinoff of the popular recipe.

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Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet

Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese,sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to a bubbly perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.

If you live near the Olive Branch Mississippi or Memphis area chances are you may have visited the Hunan Chinese Buffet on Goodman Road, it’s the Mississippi hot spot for lunch after church and always packed. There’s Crab Casserole on their American side of the buffet table that my mom loves so much. Every Sunday after church she piles a little on her plate and devours it, proclaiming it to be really good.Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is a combination of crabmeat, cabbage, celery, sweet red bell peppers, mild cheddar cheese, cream cheese,sour cream, mayo, soy sauce, freshly squeezed lemon juice and a touch of seasoning. The Copycat Crab Casserole from Hunan Chinese Buffet is then baked to perfection in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.I decided while my mom was at work I would make the Copycat version of Hunan Chinese Buffet and surprise her tonight; it turned out delicious. It only took me about 40 minutes from start to finish to make it’s so simple and quick to put together and only needs to bake for 30 minutes. Continue reading

Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup

It’s becoming that wonderful time of the year again, where I crave the warm deliciousness of Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup that’s simmered to perfection and layered with simple flavors of Cauliflower. broccoli, onions, celery, carrots, chicken stock,  cream, butter and the perfect cheesy goodness we all love in our warm belly filling bowls of Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup.

It’s also back to school for the kids, and mom’s everywhere are looking for the perfect lunch and dinner meals to serve on those slightly cooler days coming our way. Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup hits the spot in every way with its thick rich base of cheese, butter, broth, cream, and fresh herbs. The Cauliflower and broccoli are cooked to perfection; not too soft, not too crisp, but just right to please the families palette.

Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup 2Everyone has their favorite comfort foods and this Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup seems to hit the spot with everyone that eats it. I find that really it’s not a bunch of crazy, odd spices that make the best Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup, it’s all the layers of flavor and the method used to cook the Cauliflower Broccoli Cheese Soup. Honestly, a pinch of fresh herbs will go a long way when making this wonderful warm inviting soup, however, the kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorns are the star seasonings in this recipe. Continue reading