Cooking with Valerie Bertinelli

Where are my foodies? Who else loves to browse the cookbook aisles? There’s not much I love more than a new cookbook. Flipping the pages and checking out all the yummy recipes and making a list of all the new ones I want to try.

So when some folks reached out to me about Valerie Bertinelli’s (yes that Valerie! Most recently known from the Food Network but I can’t not mention “One Day at A Time” loved that show)  Valerie’s Home Cooking: More than 100 Recipes to Share with Friends and Family cookbook I was thrilled. Not only do I watch her on the Food Network but she’s an Italian girl. Like me! Ok maybe I’m not Italian but my hubby is so that counts, right? And I learned everything I know about Italian cooking from my mother in law and Valerie’s book is inspired by her family’s recipes so I knew this was gonna be a match made in Italian foodie heaven.

I chose 2 dishes I was going to make and review. The Spicy Arrabiata Penne and the Chicken with Lemon Wine Sauce.

The first one I tested out was the Spicy Arrabiata Penne. You can’t go wrong with a dish like this. It’s super easy to make and super flavorful. Both my hubby and I loved it. He agreed we need to def make it again. I feel like it came out looking just like the picture (minus the fact that I didn’t use shaved parm we ended up just using regular grated parm cheese but the shaved gives it that extra touch and makes it extra fancy.) My only suggestion would be for this dish is to adjust the red pepper flakes if you don’t love spice. It’s definitely got a kick so if you have kids I would maybe omit it in theirs. Also, I would not have reserved any of the pasta water. I typically don’t occasionally I will if I’m making a ton of gravy/sauce but not always. I felt that adding the 1 cup of pasta water really watered it down so I would just not add that and your sauce will be nice and thick and chunkier.

Photographer Leslie Grow, Food Styling Cat Steele, Prop Styling Lindsey Lower,
Spicy Arrabiate Penne

Wanna try this recipe yourself? If you try it let me know what you think.

“One of my all-time favorite meals centers around tomatoes. I have several photos on my phone illustrating this point. One shows a fresh harvest of tomatoes from our garden; they’re literally spilling out of bowls onto the kitchen counter. I think this was a message from our wonderful gardener, Carlos. The first year I planted tomato plants, the majority of them died. I went to Carlos, asking for help. I think he felt bad for me, and not only did he bring those plants back to life, he added more and somehow has them producing fruit well into the winter. Another photo shows my arrabiata sauce simmering on the stove, tomatoes quartered and afloat on a sea of luscious sauce full of spices. I swear I can smell the red pepper and garlic through my phone. Fresh tomatoes are a bonus, but obviously canned tomatoes provide the same classic taste. This is an easy dinner when I’m in a hurry, and with a green salad and a creamy dressing to balance the spice, along with fresh bread, you can rely on this as a Monday through Friday staple, as I do, or serve it for a casual Saturday night with friends.” – taken from Valerie’s cookbook.

Serves 6

Spicy Arrabiata Penne

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) package uncooked penne rigate
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (26.46-ounce) package chopped tomatoes (such as Pomì)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • Shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Instructions

  1. 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to the package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add the garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the 1/4 cup chopped basil.
  3. 3. Stir the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water into the tomato mixture. Garnish with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and additional basil, if desired, and serve warm.
  4. Cooking Tip
  5. It’s important to generously salt your water. It adds flavor to your pasta. Don’t rinse your pasta after cooking, and don’t drain all the water; save some to flavor your sauce.
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Up next I wanted to try the Chicken with Lemon Wine Sauce. We always love a piccata so I figured we would love this. I make chicken cutlets often and usually just cook them the whole time in oil on the stove so I liked the idea of just browning them first then popping them in the oven while the sauce is being made. Plus a lot of times I find when making recipes your meal is getting cold while the sauce is being made and we hate that. So this kept everything nice and hot.

Here’s my pic and here’s my pic with the book image. Clearly, they aren’t close. In the cookbook pic the sauce has a more yellow tinge to it and looks thicker. Mine came out clearer and more watery. The flavor was definitely good and I probably should have made some sort of side to go along with it as my plate looks pretty boring lol. We both agreed we liked this dish as well but next time I think I may add a touch of flour into the sauce to thicken it up just a smidge.

All in all we really liked both recipes and are looking forward to trying out more of them “One Day at A Time” (had to).

Did you try any of the recipes from this book? If so, share your faves with me. I wanna know what you think.

Credit: Excerpted from Valerie’s Home Cooking by Valerie Bertinelli. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

*The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was provided this book for review.
**Recipe provided to me to use in post.

Channeling Julia Child with Beef Bourguignonne

Ever since I saw the movie “Julie & Julia” I’ve been trying to make and try Beef Bourguignonne. I needed to get myself a dutch oven and a few more ounces of cooking confidence before I were to attempt this feat. Also, I was not able to purchase a dutch oven until I learned how to pronounce Beef Bourguignonne properly according to my husband.

 

I can say it! And I can cook it. It was not as hard as I had anticipated. Everyone really enjoyed the meal. It was super flavorful and I loved that salt was not part of the recipe. It didn’t need it. I wasn’t sure if I would like it as I’m not typically fond of French food but this was fantastic. I will definitely make it again.

 

Below please find the recipe I used from my “Bride & Groom First and Forever” cookbook. Below the recipe I have added a few notes from my experience on substitutes, etc. Enjoy!

 

4 bacon slices, roughly chopped

1 ½ pounds boneless beef stew meat, such as beef chick or bottom round, cut into 1-inch cubes

8 ounces cremini or shitake mushrooms, cleaned and quartered (if using shitakes, discard stems)

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups good-quality red wine, such as burgundy

3 cups beef broth (not double strength)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Fresh rosemary sprig (4 inches long)

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar

About 20 packaged peeled baby carrots

1 cup fresh pearl onions, peeled, or frozen petite whole onions, thawed

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnishing

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Fry the bacon in an ovenproof Dutch Oven over medium heat until lightly browned and slightly crisp about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.

 

Set the pot over high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium high and add the mushrooms, onion and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the wine, broth, tomato paste, rosemary, bay leaf, brown sugar and bacon. Stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer.

 

Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and pearl onions. Bake uncovered, until the carrots and meat are tender, about 30 minutes more. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

 

I used canned shitake mushrooms. It’s definitely more budget friendly and easier to do. I did not use fresh rosemary but I sprinkled a few pieces of dried rosemary instead. I learned that I hate fresh pearl onions. They are super time consuming and just a pain. Moving forward I will definitely opt for the frozen pearl onions and just simply defrost them. I also did not garnish with fresh parsley at the end.

 

Traditionally this dish is served over boiled potatoes since its very stew like. I cut up potatoes and boiled them and placed them in a dish and ladled my stew on top.

 

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for other great recipes and more.

 

 

Best Ingredient Goes to Honey Bunches of Oats!

 

Wednesday night I had the wonderful opportunity to hang out at the Marina Maher Communications offices in NYC and watch the People’s Choice Awards, sample some amazing food from Honey Bunches of Oats and try the new wine Entwine by the Food Network.

 

I had such a blast chatting with fellow influencers at the MMC offices and especially chatting it up with the MMC staff. They really have the sweetest gals working for them. (I’m looking at you Samara, Kristen, Taylor & Ashley.)

 

I love award shows the fashion, beauty and bantar. Who doesn’t? Kristen and I noticed a trend in the mesh sleeves and mesh dresses with lace overlays. The MMC sent around a ballot for us to vote on who we thought would take home each category. Needless to say I think I lost every category.

 

Honey Bunches of Oats , yes the cereal, had tons of food on hand. Yes I said food! Appetizers, desserts, you name it you can make it with Honey Bunches of Oats. It’s not just for your milk anymore kids. It’s an ingredient!

 

Here are some of the great recipes you can try at home with Honey Bunches of Oats.

 

 

My personal faves were the mousse and the caramel squares. They also had an amazing crabcake with a chipotle sauce at the party that was too die for.

 

While I may have failed guessing who would win each category of the night I came out a winner because I learned so much about Honey Bunches of Oats.

 

Best Ingredient goes to Honey Bunches of Oats!

 

Follow Honey Bunches of Oats on Twitter @HBOats!

 

Read the Fruit Blends Fact Sheet HERE and the Honey Bunches of Oats press release HERE.

I Repel Everything

As I get ready today to prepare for Thanksgiving I wanted to tell you about a great product that’s perfect for holiday entertaining.

 

Recently I had the opportunity to test out an apron from iRepel. Their chef gear revolutionizes the way people cook with their amazing
technology. No more worrying about spilled wine or marinara stains. It wipes right off! Well you shouldn’t be drinking and cooking at the same time, but that’s a whole other post. Fire safety people!

 

iRepel uses groundbreaking and innovative technology to make your everyday home cooking virtually mess free and enjoyable. With their
advanced technology liquids, wines, sauces, spills and more are repelled. They are also UV protected, flame retardant and moisture wicking. Performance lasts up to 5,000 washes. Wow!

To learn more about iRepel please visit www.irepelgear.com.

 

Disclaimer *I received this product and was not required to
write a blog post. My thoughts are my own.

 

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Cheer Ya Up Cheddar & Beer Soup

Recently I cam across a killer recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network’s site. I of course had to make my own adjustments to the recipe. This is the perfect dish for a cold night during the holiday season. It’s also a great dish for only 2 people since no other food is needed, it’s sooo filling. Although, some nice sour dough bread would have been great with it. Next time I will def try it in a sour dough bread bowl.

Here’s the dish:

1/2 lb. kielbasa sausage, finely chopped and crumbled

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp. garlic, minced

8 tbsp. flour

6 cups chicken stock

2 cups lager beer (preferably amber)

Dash of thyme

4 cups grated cheddar cheese (I used 1 1/2 pkgs. of 8 oz. shredded cheddar)

Cook the kielbasa in olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until golden brown. Add the onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until onions are slightly carmelized (12-15 mins). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant about a minute. SPrinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the stock and beer. Add the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until nearly completely melted after each addition. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Enjoy!