Ina’s Pasta Frittata, rich with veggies & three cheeses, for January 19, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Irish pub right in your backyard???    Shopping 2.0 at Kroger’s    Sugar out, flavor stays in    Who’s the Celeb Chef in your house?    Title recipe    “The Best Hot Chocolate Known To Humankind”



  How’s this for a party of parties? Just dig out your favorite Irish recipes {or try some new ones found here on google}, then order up, yes, an inflatable Irish pub that can be installed right in your backyard. Different ones offer different amenities in terms of food, drink, and music, with at least one even willing to include some Irish wolfhounds. They’re now available all over the world, for sale or rent. See if one is available in your area

  Kroger, along with some other chains under its corporate roof, is charging full speed ahead into the digital realm to enhance your shopping experience. In addition to its Clicklist {see youtube demo}, customers in many of the stores will soon see product pricing, not on physical tags as currently, but rather on little screens running along the shelf edge, which may also display nutritional information and even coupons. The program is called, ever so appropriately, Kroger Edge.

  Trying to cut down on sugar? The online Reader’s Digest newsletter has some tasty suggestions. See how to make replacements without sacrificing flavor here.

  CS Marketplace Spotlight  

“In this house I’M the celebrity chef”

Who is the Celebrity Chef in your kitchen? Or in someone else’s kitchen? If it’s you, go right ahead and proclaim your status. If a friend or family member deserves this title, give them some nice kudos with this culinary tribute.

Mug {also in white or white with black handle} or tee {other colors, M&W sizes} or apron, long with pockets, standard size, or Kids.

Mug on SunFrog  Tee on SunFrog  Apron on Zazzle

  Featured Recipe  

Though I live in what’s considered one of the culinary capitals of the country, if not the world, I still miss the eateries of my native Chicago. Whether fine cuisine, ethnic fare or fast food, it was a pretty safe bet you were going to sit down to a hearty, flavorful meal, extra welcome right now when “the weather outside is frightful.”

This satisfying dish is substantial with spaghetti, savory with veggies and seasonings, extra rich with three cheeses, perfect for lunch, brunch or dinner. We can thank Ina Pinkley, of the now-closed Ina’s, and Amelia Levin, author of  “Chicago Chef’s Table,” a phenomenal guide to top Chicago restaurants with recipes from each.

Ina’s Pasta Frittata

Featured in “Chicago Chef’s Table” by Amelia Levin

2 T olive oil

1/4 c chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 c thinly sliced red bell pepper

1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 c thick-julienned zucchini

1 t dried oregano

Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

10 extra large eggs

3/4 c whole milk

1 1/2 t salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 c shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound cream cheese

3 c cooked spaghetti, drained and cooled

Heat oven to 350º F. Brush a 10-inch round cake pan or leakproof springform pan lightly with oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to size and place in bottom of pan. Brush again with oil and set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add red pepper, mushrooms and zucchini. Continue to saute until soft. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper and set aside. {If the vegetables have given off a lot of liquid, then drain before adding to the spaghetti.}

In large bow of electric mixer, beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper on low speed. Blend in cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. When combined and with machine running, add cream cheese, pulled by hand into bite-size bits.

Place cooked spaghetti into prepared pan. Spoon cooked vegetables over spaghetti. Pour in the egg mixture; mix with your hands so that all the components are evenly distributed within the pan. Pat down so that solids are covered with liquid as much as possible.

Bake 30-40 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly brown. The frittata will puff up, then settle when cool. Remove from pan. Cut and serve immediately, or refrigerate and cut into portions the next day, reheating for 12-15 minutes at 400ºF. Serve on a bed of lightly seasoned tomato sauce, and pass some grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top.

CS Notes – Thinking with so much flavor in the liquid from the vegetables, rather that discard it I’d be inclined to just cook it down a bit more, or if you’re concerned the veggies may overcook, then remove them and then continue to cook the liquid. And as you see, even though it’s not part of the ingredients or technique you’ll want to have available homemade or store-bought red sauce. To make it extra pretty, as in the picture, also sprinkle on some greenery like parsley.

“Chicago Chef’s Table” on Amazon


You know what else is sooooo good on a cold winter’s day. Hot chocolate! Extra Crispy’s version in the Well Done online newsletter is “modestly” billed as “The Best Hot Chocolate Known To Humankind,” and it is indeed quite, quite indulgent.

Btw, the page also features a copycat recipe for White Chocolate Mocha served at a store you just may have heard of. Find it all right here


Chicken Portuguese, serves 8, for 11.24.17


GOOD NEWS!  The cookbook savings offer, up to 63%, has been extended through Thursday. See just below for the link  . . .

  Cookbook lovers, here’s a chance to add to your collection at up to 63% savings. Through Sunday – now Thursday – only, from America’s Test Kitchen. Check it out new link.

  Whether you’re already a truffle-phile or a greenie who’d like to learn about this most precious fungus, treasures await at the upcoming Napa Truffle Festival, Jan 12-15. Did we say Napa? Hmmmm, might be a little wine around there too. Dig up the details here.

  Want a tasty way to re-purpose those TG leftovers? {If you’re saying, what leftovers??? never mind}. The Well Done newsletter offers a quick and creative suggestion from Extra Crispy. Find it here.

Featured Recipe

A super-cook friend recommended this book to me {censored} years ago, and its worn cover and “garnished” pages are testament to how often I’ve used it ever since. And who wouldn’t love preps already designed to serveProduct Details usually 8, sometimes more, and most amenable to multiplication.

This particular dish introduces some ingredients to each other that don’t often meet in the same pan, but the result is eminently satisfying. With the meat and potatoes already in residence, just add a green salad and done.

Btw when I was finding the book on Amazon to provide the link, one of the reviews mentioned salmon mousse which I don’t see in this book. Wonder if that might be in the “More Thoughts for Buffets” one, so linked that too, along with the “mother” of both, “Thoughts for Food.” At this writing all avail for under $5.

Chicken Portuguese

from “Thoughts for Buffets”

2-3 lb frying or broiling chicken, cut into serving pieces

Salt {for sprinkling}


1/2 c butter

1/4 c flour

1/2  t salt

1/8 t pepper

2 T brown sugar

1/2 t Tabasco

1/2 t ginger

1 1/2 c orange juice

2 cups water

2 whole oranges, unpeeled

18- oz can vac packed sweet potatoes

Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and paprika; brown in butter on all sides. Remove from skillet and stir into the butter the flour, salt, pepper, sugar, Tabasco, and ginger until smooth.

Gradually add orange juice and then water, cooking and stirring until sauce is smooth and thickened. Replace chicken in sauce; cover and cook about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is almost tender. If sauce is too thick, add additional liquid.

Slice the whole orange about 1/2″ thick and quarter slices; add with potatoes to chicken. Cover again and continue cooking about fifteen minutes longer or until chicken is done and potatoes are thoroughly heated. Serves 8.

Notes: Your choice of course, but I prefer to remove the skin from the chicken, but did add a little chicken bouillon powder to the sauce. Next time think I would substitute comparable amounts of fresh-baked sweets and fresh ginger. May want to initially add just 1 – 1/12 cups water and check thickness before adding more.


“Thoughts for Buffets”  “More Thoughts for Buffets”  “Thoughts for Food”


Here’s such an easy way to peel fresh ginger. Simply scrape it with the point of a regular kitchen teaspoon. Much less waste than peeling with a knife. Can also use the spoon to scrape shreds from the peeled ginger.