Spaghetti Squash! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Spaghetti Squash! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Join Jorj In The Kitchen!

Make spaghetti squash my way with two versatile recipes!

Join me in the kitchen as I make macaroni magic with a spaghetti squash twist!

You’ll love my approach to making versatile dinner ideas with summer squash that is fully flavorful and family approved!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Cajun Spaghetti Squash Boat With Shrimp

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains my favorite travel adventures, with inspired original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.
New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book

Gorgeous Grandma Day, Every Day

Gorgeous Grandma Day, Every Day

Feeling good starts from the inside out, from how you feel to how you eat. My gorgeous grandma inspired me, and I have shared my best tips for bringing out your best self in my book, “Gorgeous: The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts”!

My sweet grandmother had a daily tradition of getting ready for my grandfather’s return home from work.

At 4:00 she would stop cleaning, running errands, cooking, or whatever was on her agenda that day and go upstairs to her bedroom to get herself dressed.

She put on makeup, combed her hair, and changed her clothes so that she looked her best for Pop Pop.

Her entire demeanor changed when she descended the steps and went to the front porch to wait for him. She stood taller, she smiled broadly, and she had a gleam in her eye. Grammy was just gorgeous!

Because of her, I adopted the idea that gorgeous is not only how you look, but how you feel from the inside out.

In 2006, I followed up on this idea and sat down to author a book on health and wellness with a dear friend and noted plastic surgeon, Dr. Harry Moon.

We felt strongly that a woman’s beauty celebrates her uniqueness, femininity, and diversity. We authored our lifestyle enhancement guide, GORGEOUS! The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts.

Little did I know that as I was drafting a book on health and wellness, I was about to become a grandmother for the first time. The book was published right after Mallory was born!

That was almost 16 years ago.

I picked up GORGEOUS! the other day and thumbed through the chapters and do you know what?

I found it to be more relevant to me today (as a grandmother of five active, busy, fun-loving, little humans) than it was to me then.

GORGEOUS! is full of valuable information that shows us grandmas how to let our natural beauty blossom. Taking a few, small steps toward wellness can grow into healthy habits lasting for decades.

GORGEOUS! is unique because it addresses each one of our body parts from super supple skin, luscious locks, and pretty smiles to finding your beauty sleep, stressing less, and even a couple of sexy spa secrets.

Yup, it has it all.

In honor of Gorgeous Grandma’s Day, I offer every woman the secrets to a whole new gorgeous you.

It starts with a belief….a belief in yourself.

“Gorgeous: The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts”

Order your copy of GORGEOUS! The Sum of All Your Glorious Parts today from Amazon or email me and I’ll send you a personalized copy!

Fry Day, My Way: Make Duck Fat Fries Easy

Fry Day, My Way: Make Duck Fat Fries Easy

Make fries at home with this easy French Fry recipe that calls for a secret ingredient: Duck fat!

I LOVE French fries.

I love fries whether they come supersized from that drive-thru joint on the corner or truffled from that upscale restaurant calling them frites.

I love fries smothered in ketchup or piled high with chili and cheese. I love fries alongside a burger or in a basket with fried shrimp. I just love fries!

I make fries at home, fry them twice as preferred and even serve them with my homemade ketchup.

However, the one thing I haven’t tried was to fry them in duck fat.

Why duck fat? Well, when I researched duck fat, some believe it to be a better-for-you fat than other animal fats like lard.

But, since I don’t use lard to fry, I don’t see this as a huge benefit. Then I read that frying in duck fat produces a crispier fry. Well, you had me at crispy!

So, I gave it a try and darn if it isn’t true. 

You can render the fat from duck and store it in the fridge.

Or you can buy a jar or two of duck fat right from the grocery shelf.

The fat is clean and clear when cooking and afterward. The fries are less greasy, crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.

These fries hold up; rigid and perfect for dipping.

In honor of National French Fry Day, I encourage you to cook up a batch of fries…and then eat a bunch for me!

A Fry Above All Others: Jorj’s Duck Fat Fries

Servings

A Crowd

Ready In:

30 Minutes ‘Til Ready

Good For:

Appetizer, Snack, Side

For Fries:

2 large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed

Duck fat for frying

For ketchup:

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

¼ teaspoon ground mustard 

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice 

¼ teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for fries 

¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Peel the potato and cut it into 4 planks. Cut each plank into 4 strips. Place the strips into a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes. This removes some of the starch. Alternately, you can leave the peel on. It’s a more rustic fry this way. And you can cut it into thinner strips for a skinnier fry. It’s YOUR choice.

For the ketchup, whisk together tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, mustard, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a small pan over low heat. Pour in ¼ cup water. Whisk until smooth. Cook until the sugar melts and the ketchup is warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let the flavors blend at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight. The longer it sits, the better your ketchup.

Transfer the potato strips to paper toweling and blot dry. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour enough olive oil to come ⅓-inch up the side of the skillet. Use a candy thermometer to heat the oil to 325°. Place some of the potatoes into the oil and cook until just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. This will cook the inside of the potato. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the skillet. Transfer the potato strips to a cooking sheet lined with paper towels. You can pre-cook the fries in advance and finish the frying just before mealtime.

Increase the temperature until the oil reaches 375°. Place the pre-cooked potato strips into the hot oil. Cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fries to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt.

Serve your French fries with ketchup to dip!

Chilling Down The Fourth: Creative Ice Cream Recipe!

Chilling Down The Fourth: Creative Ice Cream Recipe!

Red, white, and YUM! This sophisticated ice cream infusion will elevate your Fourth of July celebrations this weekend. It’s easier than you think!

Skip to Recipe

What’s more Fourth than firecrackers? Ice cream, that’s what!

You’ll eat ice cream at least once during the holiday weekend and I bet you can almost taste your melting cone when you visualize those fireworks exploding in the sky.

Well, I have a FUN NEW ICE CREAM for you to consider.

It’s NEW because instead of making the base with traditional egg custard, we thicken the cream with a cornstarch slurry and a bit of cream cheese.

It’s FUN because we infuse the cream with your favorite herb, spice, or almost anything else you want.

Infused ice creams give your base a little somethin,’ somethin’ that grabs your taste buds and makes you ask, “What’s in this?”  For this recipe, I infused the cream with chamomile flowers that I bought at the farmer’s market.

The chamomile gives the honey-based cream an earthy, rich depth. But you don’t have to seek out fresh chamomile. Lavender, basil, and even sage leaves are great to experiment with.

You can infuse the cream with anything you have on hand. Take your kid’s favorite cereal and infuse the cream with this. You can use citrus rinds, berries, store-bought cookies…. anything. Don’t Google this, by the way, or you’ll be lacing your ice cream with cannabis! 

I was describing to my friend what difference chamomile makes in the ice cream and I came up with this.

Remember when you were feeling poorly, and your mom brought you a cup of (probably chamomile) tea with a spoonful of honey stirred through? Remember what it felt like when that tea hit the back of your throat? It soothed and warmed and comforted.

That’s what this ice cream tastes like!

For this chamomile-infused ice cream, I replaced some of the sugar with honey and swirled in a dollop or two of peach sauce made from some pretty ripe peaches also bought at the farmer’s market. (There’s a trick with a bit of vodka stirred into the base at the end.) 

My ice cream machine does most of the work, so making the base the day before allows little ones to take part in reaching the final product.

Like I said, it’s FUN!!

Chamomile Honey Ice Cream
with a Peach Swirl

Servings

6 Large Scoops

Ready In:

60 minutes plus some freezer time

Good For:

Dessert
Entertaining

For peach swirl:

4 to 6 medium ripe peaches, peeled and diced

⅓ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

Juice from ½ lemon, about 1 tablespoon

For ice cream:

3 cups half and half

1 ¾ cups heavy crem

¾ cups granulated sugar

4 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup fresh chamomile

3 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 3 tablespoons half and half

3 ounces cream cheese

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Place a loaf pan into the freezer.

Place the peaches into a pot. Add ⅓ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon corn starch and lemon juice. Cook over low heat until the peaches are completely broken down, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pour the peaches into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make a smooth sauce. Place into the fridge to cool completely.

Pour 3 cups half and half and the heavy cream into a deep pot. Stir in the sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium heat until the cream just begins to simmer. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the chamomile. Cover the pot with a lid and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve (you can use a mesh colander) into a bowl. Then pour the cream back into the pot. Cook over medium heat until the cream just begins to boil. Add the cornstarch slurry and whisk until the cream thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, just a couple of minutes.

Place the cream cheese into a bowl. Pour some of the thickened cream into the bowl. Stir the cream cheese into the warm liquid to melt and then pour this back into the pot. Whisk over medium-low heat until the cream cheese is completely melted, and the cream is quite thick. Stir in the vodka.

Pour the cream through the fine sieve (again) and into a bowl. Place this bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice. Cool the cream for 30 minutes and then place the bowl into the fridge to cool completely, about 2 hours more.

Pour the cold cream into the bowl of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is ready, spoon ⅓ of it into the cold loaf pan. Swirl in 3 or 4 tablespoons of the peach sauce. Continue layering the ice cream and peaches. Chill in the freezer for several hours. 

Spoon extra peach sauce into the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the ice cream on top.  

Thing to Note:

The vodka makes your ice cream soft and creamy and easy to scoop when you are ready to serve. It doesn’t add any flavor and you can leave it out if you want.

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Let’s honor Dad this Father’s Day and show him the love with these super tasty ideas that “sneak” veggies into every delectable bite! Try my twist on zesty enchiladas using farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas.

Skip to Recipe

For years now, I’ve written about ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.

You’ve written back with tons of great ideas that have made their way into recipes that we are all familiar with today.

You know what? It turns out that kids are not the only ones that need those veggies.

As we grow older, our healthy diets become just as important for us as they are for our children.

If your household is anything like mine, it’s Daddy dearest who often shoves away that cauliflower while he adds a serving or two of French fries. I’ll make you a bet that nary a pickled beet has been spooned onto his salad plate.

Even with Popeye as a role model, our father shuns any green leafy veg unless it is swimming in cream sauce.

This Father’s Day let’s honor Dad and show him the love by sneaking a couple of veggies into his everyday meals. Won’t that be FUN!

Here are some ideas…

A SALAD is a terrific way to hide fresh veggies. In addition to good old lettuce and tomatoes, try sneaking in these:

🌿Microgreens – full of nutrients and a big punch of taste in a little bitty leaf.
🥬Squash – Shave thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips that resemble lettuce leaves.
🥕 Carrots – I know, you’re saying anybody can add carrots to a salad. BUT what if Daddy hates carrots? Here’s a secret. Put the carrot in the dressing! Use your trusty food processor to emulsify the veg into your vinaigrette. You can do this with any veggie. 🥦 Cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach will work too.

Sneak those veggies into your MAIN meals so that Dad won’t know what hit him!

For pasta sauce make your favorite red, white, or green sauce and add some new veggies into the mix. For spaghetti and meatballs, add sauteed veggies to the meatball like eggplant, peppers, or kale.

When sautéing onions and garlic to make your red sauce, add shaved Brussels, diced cabbage, or riced cauliflower. Add roasted butternut squash to your fettuccini sauce. Make pesto with spinach and pea sprouts instead of basil.

You can add every veggie to stews and soups. Bell and spicy peppers are a terrific addition to chili. Add turmeric root, turnips, or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup.

VEGGIE VESSELS are a terrific way to merge more veggies into your main meal. Stuff roasted peppers with chicken and rice. Add Cajun-spiced shrimp to spaghetti squash boats. Hollow out zucchini for veggie enchiladas. (This recipe comes from “Canvas and Cuisine”, my most veggie-filled cookbook!)

Let’s give Dad a real present this year. One that will keep him around for lots of future Fathers Days!!

Zucchini Enchilada Boats
With Chorizo and Black Bean Filling

This dish has all the flavors of enchiladas but stars farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas. Spicy chorizo sausage and meaty black beans are the heart of its fiery filling. The yummy enchilada sauce brings the whole thing together. It’s pretty darn delicious!

Servings

6-8

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the skillet until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sirloin and chorizo and stir, breaking up large clumps, until the meat is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into the meat filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Whisk together the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot over medium heat to form a paste. Stir in the tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken and allow the seasonings to merge. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can pour in a bit more water. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and hollow out the zucchini leaving about a ¾-inch boat. Place these into the dish. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the boats. It’s ok if the filling spills over. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the boats. Layer cheese over the top. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the zucchini is fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Garnish the boats with fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, guacamole, and sour cream.