Jello Shots!

Jello Shots!

When most people think jello shots, they immediately flash back to some college party where there were two types of jello shots: green with a handle of ten dollar vodka and yellow with a handle of ten dollar rum. Pretty much the goal with those is to get it down without ever really tasting it. THESE jello shots are different. Each one is based on a real cocktail and is thoughtfully prepared with different ingredients. The list of jello shots has been growing since college and keeps expanding still!

The basic method is as follows: boil one cup of water, add one packet of jello, mix two minutes (don’t skimp on this it will be grainy!), add one cup alcohol, pour into little cups. If you are using two packets or one large box then this doubles to: boil two cups of water, add jello, mix two minutes, add two cups alcohol, pour into cups. If you remember this you can make pretty much any shot your mind can create!!! I will include a list at the end of all the variations I’ve come up with thus-far. The pics are of some of the recipes that deviate slightly from my basic method. Along with a couple pics of the process…

1100 Tortellini!

Tortellini soup has been a Christmas Eve tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. My Mom would buy 8 bags filled 100 tortellini each from a little old Italian woman who lived across town. When she called each year she would have to mention my Grandfather and I think there was even a secret password involved. The bags only cost 3 dollars, and the tortellini were out of this world. Every year it was the highlight of the season and we waited for it with anticipation. It was my Dad’s side of the family that came over every year. And since they are the Irish side of my family, they could only get their fix of this soup once a year and it became quite a big event.

One year we found out that the secret tortellini lady had moved back to Italy. What would we do?? For a few years my Mom bounced around from various specialty store to newer secret tortellini ladies. But it was never the same and our special meal suffered. Don’t get me wrong, it was still great, but not like it once was. On top of that these women were charging 15 dollars a bag and up! That got expensive when buying 8 bags. Finally one year when we had no other options (and I happened to be unemployed at the time and just beginning to love cooking) I offered to make the tortellini.

My Mom was unsure. Should we risk it not tasting good for all those people? Can we get the recipe from Grandma? Will you be able to do it all yourself? I was home for the weekend and she called my Grandmother asking about the recipe and if she thought it was doable, she replied probably not and that it was a lot of work. The NEXT MORNING, my Grandmother showed up with 2 pounds of tortellini filling, my Grandfather, 2 great aunts, and a ham(!) for lunch. We worked all day and it has been a fun tradition ever since. I was home for thanksgiving this past weekend and we all got together to make them for this year.

Carbonara

Carbonara

I love carbonara. It’s fast, simple and cheap, yet very filling, warm and comforting. I generally don’t like it when I get it at a restaurant which is surprising to me because it is so easy to make! Today we used bacon rather than pancetta for a few reasons. We have tried both in this dish, and I prefer bacon. Also at the store I went to, they didn’t have the really good pancetta, only the thin round kind which I am not a fan of. Thirdly, we watched Giada at Home the other day and saw Aunt Raffi saying that when she is in the US, she uses bacon instead of pancetta because in the finished dish it tastes more “like it did back in Italy.” Those are enough reasons for me, so here is my recipe for pasta in the style of the coal miner’s wife.

Give the Gift of Lasagna

Give the Gift of Lasagna

OR

HOW TO MAKE AN AWESOME MEATSAUCE



I am sure right about now you are saying to yourself… “But Dannnnnn didn’t you just recently make manicotti which has practically the same ingredients as lasagna? And didn’t you also already show us how to make sauce in that very same blog entry? What can I possibly gain from reading today’s post?!?” This may in fact be true, but looking back I noticed that the pictures and instructions I gave you last time for my sauce, well they just were not that good. And it wasn’t even my perfectly ideal sauce variation anyway. I make about 5 or so different tomato sauce varieties, this one is similar to the manicotti sauce. And although lasagna does share many of the same ingredients as manicotti, it is different and special and it deserves its own post! I also wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that lasagna makes a great gift. It is easy to make a few at a time and then give one away. It tastes GREAT right from the freezer, it is fairly cheap, and people will always be grateful!

Chicken Gyro

Chicken Gyro

The word gyro actually refers to the way the meat is cooked on the vertical rotisserie and sliced into thin strips. In most places in the US however, it refers to the pita rollup the meat is served to you on, and the other fillings inside. This sandwich can’t traditionally be called a gyro because it is made with chicken, but I just love how the mild flavor of the chicken contrasts with the sharpness of the cheese and olives. We decided to make these when Mandi was craving olives and feta, but didn’t know what she wanted them with. We had just made naan and loved it and wanted to make it again, and that’s when I realized the naan is very similar to the Greek flatbread the gyro is served on. I loved the way these came out and the taste instantly reminded me of my first taste of a gyro not too long ago. At my last job, Mike, Bill and I would start looking forward to lunch at 9:15 AM. When we finally got lunch we would eat so much that we would often be in a food coma from 12:45 – 3 (I always wonder why that job didn’t work out in the end…) One of our favorite stops was Steve’s Greek on Newbury St. in Boston where I would get a gyro and onion rings.

Flank Sandwich

Flank Sandwich

Last Friday, Mandi was away and I had a friend coming over
to play Mario Kart before we headed out for the night.  I wanted to throw something simple on the
grill, but I also wanted something awesome. 
Not just a steak or burger, something a little different.  The idea hit me at about 3pm out of nowhere
and I ran with it.

Meatballs

As I was making these meatballs, I was a bit worried about
posting the recipe.  My mother told me
the recipe, as my grandmother had given it to her.  I didn’t know if there was some sort of
embargo or block on passing it out for all to see.  Would I be blacklisted by my family and never
given any recipes again?  No more Gnocchi
secrets or Lasagna tips?  No more making tortellini’s
for the holidays?  I didn’t know what to
do.  Then last night I was watching Molto
Mario (Re-Runs on fine living!) and the weight was lifted!  Mario made meatballs almost the exact same
way as my family!  This did 2 things, for
one, it made me proud because Mario is as authentic as you can get for Italian food,
and 2, it released the ban on the recipe because it is no secret, its already
out there for the world to see via Mario Batali.

Fish – In – A – Bag!

Fish – In – A – Bag!

The most common question asked of me by friends is this – “what’s
a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious dinner I can have after work tonight?” What
do you guys think I am, Rachael ray?  Well
guess what!? You’re all in luck! I am on a diet since bathing suit season
starts in a week or 2 here in Bermuda. (Even
though actual Bermudians refuse to go to the beach until May 25th.)
So I will have some healthy weeknight dinners up here in the next few
weeks.  Now don’t worry, they won’t all
be healthy.  I have a few posts I made
pre-dieting that I am waiting to post.  Also,
my diets are short because they are intense.

I’m rambling, so without further a due, my FAVORITE fast
easy delicious and super-ancient-whole-grain-run-a-mile-punch-a-baby-healthy meal!  Fish-in-a-bag!

Some of my friends right now are saying “Fish?  Really? 
I mean… I don’t really like fish.” To you I say shut up and make this
and you will LOVE it.  Unless you mess it
up somehow which you probably will.  Jeez
my friends are dumb… just kidding friends!

Click below for more!!

Striped Pasta

IngredientsNo ingredients could be found for this recipe. InstructionsNo instructions could be found for this recipe. NotesEDITORS NOTE: This is the first blog post I ever wrote. It’s pretty bad! I used to do prep on my coffee table in a tiny apartment in Bermuda. But I love it because even though it is very…