aa3It has been a couple of years since my last visit to Argentina and I am jonesing to get back. There is a rumor that a trip to Buenos Aires may be in the offing for this fall. However, in the meantime I think I may need to satisfy my fix by trying recipes like this one for Argentinian Chicken Empanadas I found from the fine folks at Bon Appetit magazine.

About the recipe for Argentinian Chicken Empanadas from Bon Appetit: “This recipe was developed in honor of BA contributor Gaby Melian’s mother, who told her that if you left out the green pepper, it wasn’t a chicken empanada. You could add a hard-boiled egg to the filling, which is typical in Argentina, but in Gaby’s house, after years of tasting and perfecting, they prefer the texture without it.”

Find the recipe for Argentinian Chicken Empanadas from Bon Appetit here.

See all the great recipes and other resources from Bon Appetit here.

RCDI have found the perfect recipe to put to good use all of those great farm fresh cucumbers that are showing up at the market these days: this recipe for Cucumber Salad I found in Cooking Light magazine.

Although the recipe calls for “English” cucumbers, I tried it with a few pickling cukes I picked up at the Farmers Market and it was fantastic.

About the recipe for Cucumber Salad from Cooking Light magazine: “A white wine vinaigrette lightly dresses crispy cucumber slices, bell peppers, chives, and parsley, making Cucumber Salad a refreshing choice for a summer side salad.”

This recipe is super easy to make – and can be made ahead as it gets better after all the flavors marinate in the refrigerator for a while. A nice cold cucumber salad is the perfect summer side dish for just about any meal.

Find the Cucumber Salad recipe from Cooking Light magazine here.

Visit Cooking Light magazine online here.

RSSMy summer of soups continues and I found this recipe for Smoky Salmorejo from Food & Wine magazine just in time. Just in time because I have suddenly found myself with way more tomatoes from my container garden than I ever expected.

About the Smoky Salmorejo recipe from Food & Wine magazine:

“This chilled, no-cook Spanish soup is similar to gazpacho but blended instead of chopped. Smoked olive oil adds meatiness to the vegetarian dish.”

In addition to tomatoes, this Smoky Salmorejo recipe calls for smoke olive oil – which adds the smoky bit and is great on its own or mixed with a fine balsamic for salads.

Smoky Salmorejo is a tasty and cool summer treat and the best part is you never have to turn on the oven or stove.

Find the recipe for Smoky Salmorejo from Food & Wine magazine here.

See other summer cold soup recipes from Food & Wine here.

Visit Food & Wine magazine on line here.

apbpHot on the heels of the Asparagus-Fontina Pizzettes with Bacon recipe I featured recently, I found a recipe for Asparagus and Potato Egg Bake I found in O, Oprah’s magazine.  Yes, I read Oprah’s magazine.

Anyway, I was attracted to the Asparagus and Potato Egg Bake because I am always looking for a good one dish brunch item that can be made in advance and baked on the morning of the event – and this is just perfect.

Asparagus and Potato Egg Bake Recipe (From Oprah’s magazine):


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups shredded potatoes or plain frozen hash browns
  • 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish or 1.5-quart soufflé baking dish with oil; set aside. Cut off the top 3 of asparagus spears; transfer tips to a small bowl and set aside. Cut remaining spears into 1 pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 asparagus pieces, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in potatoes, cheese, and reserved onion mixture. Transfer to prepared dish and arrange asparagus tips over the top in rows. (At this point, the casserole can be baked immediately or covered and refrigerated overnight.)
  4. Bake until firm and light golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Find this recipe for Asparagus and Potato Egg Bake Recipe on Oprah’s website.

afpbOK, I think I have found the perfect breakfast dish for me – this recipe for Asparagus-Fontina Pizzettes with Bacon I found in Good Housekeeping magazine.  Yes, I read Good Housekeeping magazine.  This is the perefect breakfast dish for a day like today – the last full day of a great vacation.

This breakfast “pizza” has just about everything I love – cheese, pizza crust and bacon!

These Pizzettes were very easy to make, and you can easily customize, for example I ditched the mushrooms and used asiago cheese.  The result were delicious and when well with a salad.

Asparagus-Fontina Pizzettes with Bacon (From Good Housekeeping):


  • 8 ounce(s) asparagus, trimmed
  • 6 ounce(s) shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 2 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
  • Salt / Pepper
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) pizza dough, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 5 slice(s) bacon
  • 6 ounce(s) Fontina cheese, grated
  • 6 large eggs


  1. Arrange oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Lightly grease two 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pans.
  2. Slice asparagus on an angle into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to large bowl, along with mushrooms, oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss until well coated.
  3. Divide dough into 6 balls. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll and press 1 dough ball into 6-inch round; place on prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Evenly divide asparagus mixture among rounds, creating well in center of each. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown, switching pans halfway through. 
  5.  Meanwhile, place bacon on paper-towel-lined plate. Cover with 2 sheets paper towel. Microwave on High 4 to 6 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Cool slightly; tear bacon into small pieces.
  6. Sprinkle pizzettes with bacon and Fontina. Bake 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Carefully crack eggs directly onto centers of pizzettes. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until whites are opaque and set, switching pans halfway through. Sprinkle with pepper and salt; serve warm.

Find this recipe for Asparagus-Fontina Pizzettes with Bacon from Good Housekeeping here.

provI have a great recipe to share with you today, the Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake which I found in Family Circle magazine.  Yes, I read Family Circle magazine.

I love baked vegetable dishes and have made many in the past and I am always experimenting.  The Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake caught my eye as it includes a can of cannellini beans as an ingredient and I am always trying to find uses for the cannellini beans I can’t seem to stop buying.

This recipe is super easy and lends itself to customization – as in using your preferred herbs, a different mix of veggies or cheese.  That said, I made it pretty much as presented here and it was nearly perfect.  Heck, put goat cheese on cardboard and I am in.

Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake (from Family Circle magazine)


  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 large summer squash (combination of zucchini and yellow squash), ends trimmed
  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 4 ounces goat cheese


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and halve onions; cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in beans, 1/2 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Pour mixture into bottom of a 9 x 13 oven-safe casserole.
  2. Meanwhile, cut eggplant, squash, potatoes and tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. (To speed things up, use food processor fitted with a slicing blade.) Toss vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetables on top of onion-bean mixture in 1 layer; pack tightly.
  3. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and crumble goat cheese on top. Bake 15 more minutes. Cool slightly and slice into 4 servings.

Find the recipe for Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake on the Family Circle website here.  You may have to sign-up for a free account, but it is worth it, Family Circle has some great recipes and other helpful content.

Visit the Family Circle website here.

MNCWIt was a very cold and snowy weekend up here in the hills of New Hampshire, and to top it off, I had some trouble with the furnace/boiler at the old family homestead.  Between visits from the heating guy, and periodic trips down to the basement to do a few things needed to get the boiler through a few days before repairs and replacements could be made – I was in desperate pursuit of a diversion. 

While puttering around I came across my new Cuisinart Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole, which I just had to have but had not yet used.  When I saw this baby I knew I found just what I needed to enjoy the weekend. 

I love this piece of cookware – the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole – it is pretty to look at and when you feel it’s weight you know it is just perfect to prepare a stovetop meal. 

About the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole: “Cast iron improves its solid reputation with Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron cookware! Home chefs can explore different cooking methods – from searing or grilling in the pans to slow braising or simmering in the casseroles. With incredible heat retention and even heat distribution, these versatile pieces yield great results whether it’s on the stove or in the broiler or oven. They also can go from oven to table and double as elegant serving pieces!”

I purchased the 7 Quart Round Covered Casserole in red and it looks great.

So back to my weekend meal.  I wanted to cook a complete meal in my new cookware, so I went to the freezer to see what I had on hand.  I discovered I had a nice 5 pound whole young chicken and knew it would be perfect.  I defrosted the chicken using the cold water replacement method and I was good to go.  I had some potatoes on hand and a few other things and I went to work.

I will cut to the chase – my meal came out perfect – so I am going to share with you exactly what I did.  Here goes…



  • 1 whole chicken – 5 pounds
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Spices to taste (I used sea salt, dried basil, and rosemary)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • Prepare chicken – remove giblet package, rinse, pat dry, put aside.
  • Wash and peel potatoes, cut potatoes in quarters, set aside.
  • Cut ends off onion, remove outer skin, place onion inside the chicken’s large cavity (seriously, this is the key).
  • Heat small amount of olive oil in the pot on medium/high heat.
  • Once oil is hot, place chicken in pot breast side down, sear the breast until light brown then turn breast with tongs so breast side is up.  The idea is to just brown the chicken a little on the outside.
  • Arrange the potatoes around the chicken breast in pot.
  • Pour chicken broth over exposed breast.
  • Sprinkle garlic and desired spices over chicken.
  • Cover pot tightly, keep on medium high approximately 15 minutes, reduce to medium and continue cooking for approximately 45 minutes.
  • If desired, when cooking is complete, remove cover and place pot under the broiler for a few minutes to brown (this makes for a prettier presentation).
  • Remove chicken and potatoes from pot, arrange on platter and serve.

I served this with some broiled asparagus, so I cheated on the one pot meal thing, but it was a nice side dish.  I saved the liquid in pot to use as a starter stock for soup, which can be made right in the same pot.

OK, I am not a good recipe writer, but this is exactly step-by-step what I did the other night.  I always encourage experimentation, and I think this basic recipe can be adapted in many ways to suit your tastes.

Anyway, I love my new cookware and can’t wait to break it out again.

PD1I love making creative and funky pizzas.  I am often inspired to make a new pizza creation when I find some nice fresh produce or some interesting sauce or oil.  The biggest challenge for me has always been the dough.  Most of the doughs available at the market tend to have things in them that I don’t necessarily want.  So I have been trying to make my own dough. 

However, up until recently, my doughs have only been adequate.  Over the years I have been trying to find the right combination of things to make the perfect dough.  I am please to announce that I have settled on what I now consider the perfect – and easiest – pizza dough recipe.

This recipe comes from trial and error and is the combination of several recipes I have used in the past.  In addition to great pizza dough – this can be used for rolls or even a nice heavy bread.

Ok, here it is:



  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 ½ cups whole-wheat flour (or 2 cups plus ½ cup wheat germ)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl and let stand, for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt.
  • Stir in whole-wheat flour and remaining all-purpose flour a little at a time, until dough comes away from bowl but is still sticky.
  • Place dough on a floured kneading surface, knead, until smooth and the dough springs back when poked – about 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 2 ½ hours.
  • Dough can be split into six portions for a 10 – 12 inch pizza – or rolled into balls for rolls or place in bread pans for bread.

Use the dough to make your favorite pizza and have fun!

I like to the dough to make a couple of pizzas right away and freeze the rest for the future.

FB1OK, I know I have been on a food kick lately, but there are just so many cool products out there.  I have always wanted to make and can my own chutneys and jams, and I think I will be trying that this year.  In the meantime I am totally obsessed with fine food products, like those offered by Bella Cucina Artful Food.

I just love how the founder of Bella Cucina Artful Food describes the idea behind it:  “To be a part of the daily ritual of eating simply, yet deliciously, is to be a part of a centuries-old art of living a beautiful life. It evokes emotions that have lain dormant, tapping into a creativity that we all possess. It is accessible for all, enjoying good food and thoughtful conversation at the table.” 

Sounds like the perfect philosophy for Lost Cowboy.

Bella Cucina Artful Food offers many fine products from, and inspired by, Italy.  They offer all sorts of things from oils and vinegars, to pasta and pizza sauces, to pestos and some really amazing sounding Panini spreads.

This is the one we want to try: Sundried Tomato and Basil Panini Spread – Rich and thick, this Panini Spread is a sandwich condiment, bruschetta topping, or a ready-to-eat appetizer. The sun-drenched flavor of moist sun-dried tomatoes combined with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil gives this spread its distinctive flavor. A great stuffing for chicken breasts with goat cheese.”

Check out Bella Cucina Artful Food here.

AH-ORIGINAL-SMLWhen I was a kid I used to be excited whenever my mother said it was “Chinese Night” for dinner – because that meant one thing… AhSo sauce! AhSo is this sticky, red sauce you would slather on chicken or pork to add an Asian zing to it.

Chinese night usually meant chicken breast with AhSo, which were great because the sauce caused the skin to get extra crispy when baked or grilled. But the classic was AhSo on pork chops – mostly because the red sauce made the pork look like the pork ribs or pork strips you would find in a Chinese restaurant.

I had not thought about AhSo in many years when I stumbled across an empty AhSo jar full on notions while cleaning out my parents’ house in New Hampshire . The funny thing is that the jar did not have a label on it – but as soon as I saw it I know what it was – and then the lid confirmed it – it was indeed a remnant of all those Chinese dinners years ago.

I was curious to know if the sauce was still available – so I hit the web to check it out. Indeed AhSo is still made and available for sale from Allied Old English.

About AhSo: “The legendary sauce that started it all, AhSo Original BBQ has become a staple in pantries across the northeast. Popular both at home and in restaurants, our unique recipe is the key to making those distinctive, red-glaze spareribs served throughout New England .”

Yum! Now I have a craving for this and the “fried rice” my mom used to make from Minute rice.

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