Summer Stock

Carbonara.jpg

This past week, in honor of the first official week of our Summer, we took off to travel around a bit, visit with family and celebrate some special milestones. As you might imagine, that didn’t include a trip to the grocery store for our weekly family groceries. But we were still home for most of the week. We even hosted some hungry visitors for a couple of days. Like arriving home after a week-long summer vacation, it’s times like this that force me to get creative with what we have to make delicious homemade meals that will satisfy everyone.

We always have meat in the freezer, but that takes a certain amount of pre-planning to defrost. There are certain non-perishable and slow perishing items we usually keep on hand. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, pasta, cheeses, cherry tomatoes and onions, frozen veggies and during the summer, fresh herbs from the garden. It’s with these items that I cooked up a couple of recipes worthy of sharing if you find yourself in the same situation during your Summer travels this year.

The first dish reminded me of a carbonara pasta dish I remember from a trip to Italy in my teens. I found this Food Network® recipe as a guide, but substituted bacon for pancetta, shallots for the onion, penne for the fettuccine and doubled up on the Parmesan. I topped it off with a poached egg that I cooked in pasta water that was already boiling. The end result was flavorful and satisfying.

The second dish was a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad made with leftover cherry tomatoes cut in half, cubed fresh mozzarella, you could use feta or blue cheese or any creamy cheese you might have on hand as a substitute, and fresh basil from the garden tossed with light olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. I love that this salad is really flexible and delicious. Add a cucumber or avocado if you have one to use, omit the cheese if you don’t have any, it still makes a great compliment to any Summer meal. We served this salad alongside cheeseburgers and baked potatoes when I realized our spring mix lettuce had gone bad.

This week we’re back at it with a line up of tasty menus. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com and let us help with dinner. Thank you for your Support.
 

This Is Ridiculo”us”

Stew.jpeg

While we were cooking last week my sister filled me in on what’s been happening on the popular show This Is Us. I tried to get into it last year but found it hard to follow, so I’ll need to start from the beginning of the series at some point. Is this true what I hear? You’re throwing away your slow cookers because of a plot-line on a television drama show? I hope you all are just kidding. Just in case you’re not I wanted to share this article with you to bring you back to your senses and to loving this helpful kitchen appliance once again.

The 5 Safety Rules of Slow Cookers

All kidding aside, with respect to any appliance, all things needs to be used and attended to responsibly. I’ll admit I have had to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire in my oven that grew out of control despite closing the door to suffocate it. My sister has also had stove top moments of truth where she needed to make a serious decision quickly. The house we grew up in recently burned to the ground because a fire created by a short in the dishwasher that was running while the owners weren’t home, that house was also in Pittsburgh, coincidence? I bet you won’t throw out your dishwasher, though. Stay safe and stay reasonable out there!

Our menu this week is free of slow cookers and packed with flavorful proteins that will warm you through and through on this soggy, cold week ahead. Check out our menus or our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you or your loved ones with dinner this week. Thank you for your Support.
 

Insta Obsessed

 Beef Short Rib Ragu over Pasta

Beef Short Rib Ragu over Pasta

I feel a little behind the times as I scroll through my blogs and social media feed to find groups of people obsessing over the Instapots they got for Christmas. I discovered the Instapot® when

I started Support Suppers as a solution to including my favorite Crock Pot® recipes on our menu without having to book the commercial kitchen all day waiting for the recipe to cook. I was really excited to find a solution but that’s about as far as it went. If you’ve recently begun your love affair with this newly popular kitchen appliance then here are some tips to keep that relationship strong and healthy. 

First, respect the learning process. When I first started using it I never called it an Instapot, I called it a pressure cooker, because that’s what it is. That meant I had a healthy fear of it and understood that, unlike most kitchen appliances I buy, I needed to get comfortable and read the instructions like they were a best-selling novel.

Second, just because the digital timer says 15 minutes does not mean that your recipe is cooked and ready to go in that amount of time. Plan ahead for ample warm-up time and most importantly venting time after the timer goes off.

Third, as with even my favorite Crock Pot recipes, the juices created during the cooking process will likely need to be reduced on the stovetop to best enhance your recipe. This may be an extra step, taking extra time and creating more mess and clean up, but reducing the juices to rich, flavorful sauces will substantially increase yours and your family’s happiness with the finished product.

Last, just because they call it something different doesn’t mean you need all new recipes. Start with your favorite Crock Pot recipes and just enjoy the fact that you didn’t have to start dinner prep before breakfast to make sure dinner was done in time.
This week we have a great line-up of crowd pleasers including my favorite Crock Pot/Instapot recipe on Thursday. Check out what’s cooking and our Gift Meal option at supportsuppers.com and let us help you Support yourself or others this week. Thanks for your Support and happy and safe cooking to all the Instapotters out there.

DIY Take-Out

Primantis DIY.jpg

Happy New Year everyone! It’s good to be back...errr, I mean after all this snow melts and we get back to normal temperatures. All inconvenience aside, being snowed in isn’t all bad. We had hours of free entertainment right outside our door. There was plenty of good television to watch. And of course, lots of tasty food to cook and eat.

Love us or hate us for it, we grew up in Pittsburgh, so we were thrilled to have a Christmas Day Steelers game to add to our holiday celebration. My sister thought it would be fun to order Primanti Brothers sandwich kits, a Pittsburgh favorite, for our Christmas dinner. But, as with any nostalgic, local specialty fare, it’s gonna cost you. Nicole’s not a quitter though, she got to work researching copy kat recipes and in no time we had a plan to divide and conquer our Christmas dinner. Pictured above, it might not have been fancy, but it sure was tasty. If you like to cook and you haven’t check out www.copykat.com, give it a try, you may never order take-out ever again.

We have a great lineup of cold weather comfort food this week. Check out what’s cooking or order a Gift Meal at supportsuppers.com and let us help you or loved ones with dinner this week. Thanks for your Support.

Creative Food

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My kids are pretty obsessed with YouTube Kids. For the most part they like to watch videos about trains and monster trucks, but sometimes they drift off the beaten path.

My oldest discovered a video with two twenty-something women making different princesses out of colorful pancake batter. He’s been bugging me for several days about making some “fancy pancakes” on his own using the skills he acquired watching the videos.

Tonight, in an attempt to get something relatively wholesome into his mouth, I told him we could give it a go. He mixed two colors of batter, I transferred them into plastic ketchup and mustard bottles and I let him design a pumpkin onto the pan. I helped him flip it but other than that it was all him.

He’s my picky eater, but he loves to help me cook and bake. This pancake activity was super quick and easy, not particularly messy and something he could eat right away. Give it a try with the little ones in your life or just impress your family this fall.

We have more tasty menus lined up for this week, check out what’s cooking and treat yourself or your loved ones with a delicious meal or our Gift Meal gifts today. Thanks for your Support!

Hot Grill

charcoal grill

It’s been so hot lately, it’s hard to believe that grilling food is so popular during the heat of the summer. But you know what’s worse than sweating over a hot grill? Losing the food you labored over through the grate.

This weeks tip helps with grilling those tricky smaller foods like fresh garden vegetables and fresh shrimp. Prevent ingredients from falling through the grill grate by inserting two skewers into each ingredient instead of just one. It will also help keep your ingredients from wiggling out of place when you flip them.

Our calendar offers four days of meals this week, including our Summer Picnics. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com and let us help with dinner this week. Thanks for your Support!

 

Fired Up

 Grilled skewers

On hot summer evenings around dinner time, I’m usually outside watering the garden. I love the smokey scent that fills the air from my neighbor’s grills cooking dinner for their families with fresh meats and vegetables. We love cooking on the grill as well. Tonight's cooking tip is all about the grill.

For a great way to clean your grill after cooking on it, cut a Vidalia Onion in half and lightly seasoned it with olive oil. Slide the onion half, oil side down, over the cooking surface until the grates are free of debris. This is a safe and easy way to keep the grill grates clean while keeping them seasoned for your next tasty grilled meal.

We have another full week of delicious meals planned including two of our Summer Picnic menus. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com/order and let us help with dinner this summer. Thanks for your Support!

 

Secret Ingredients

 Guacamole and ingredients

During the Summer I always keep ingredients on hand for my favorite side dish recipes to bring to impromptu get-togethers with friends and family. They’re generally crowd pleasers, which sometimes surprises me because many of my favorite recipes come from online searches. However, I rarely follow online recipes exactly. I often “go rogue” making changes based on the ingredients I have, and what I believe will pack the most flavor into the finished product.

One of my favorite substitution ingredients is shallots. I always have shallots on hand, they’re relatively inexpensive and stay fresh for a long time without taking up a lot of counter space. Whenever a cold recipe calls for diced onions or red onions, I often substitute a smaller portion of minced shallots. I do this in my favorite guacamole recipe and it’s always a hit. For me, it’s a much more pleasing bite than getting a mouth full of raw diced onions.

This week we have 4 days of meals on the calendar including our debut of the Summer Picnic menus. Check out what’s cooking at supportsuppers.com and let us help with dinner this week. Thanks for your Support!

 

 

Cut & Wait

 garlic cloves

This past week has been pretty exciting. It started with a surprise trip to Raleigh, NC to Support some of my friends and family who live slightly outside our delivery reach. It was a long and exhausting day, but so fun to see everyone and share some of our Support Suppers love with them.

We were also featured in an article on the Richmond Moms Blog. They did a beautiful job with the article and at the end put together “18 Reasons to Make Someone’s Day with a Supper Supper!”. I LOVE it!

This week's cooking tip is about maximizing the health benefits of some of the foods we eat regularly. Did you know that letting freshly chopped garlic stand for 10 to 15 minutes before cooking it allows the healthy sulfide compounds, such as allicin to fully develop before heat inactivates the enzymes? So for maximum health benefits from garlic, Cut & Wait!

Speaking of garlic, we have two days of delicious meals lined up for the second half of the week. Check out what’s cooking, as well as our Gift Meal options and treat yourself or a loved one to a delicious summer meal. Thank you for your Support and we wish everyone a happy and safe Independence Day celebration!

Summer Beverage Game-changer

 Mint and lemon water

Every year there are two things in the garden that always thrive, mint and jalapeños. They grow so plentiful it’s nearly impossible to use all of them. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a little ashamed of myself for not knowing about this week’s cooking tip sooner. But, it’s never too late for a good summer cooking hack!

Roughly chop fresh mint leaves and distribute generously into an ice cube tray. Fill each cube with a small amount of water and freeze. Add the ice cubes to your favorite summer drinks, like iced tea, cocktails and sparkling water.

We have a delicious week of meals scheduled as well as some fun surprises that we’ll feature on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Check out what’s cooking and our Gift Meal option and treat yourself or a loved one to a delicious meal delivered. Thank you for your Support!