Friday, September 27, 2013

Let's talk French...

Hi Foody Friends!

I can't speak a bit of French, but I have a sister who can speak French.  Ever since I was little, she would always say, "I can speak French,  Parles-tu français?"  Here's the kicker, that's the only bit of French she knew.  I can't count how many times over my course of growing up with this woman, has she said "Parles-tu francais."  Not to mention how many times I told her, " No, I don't know how to speak French!"  LOL.

Since French is not an everyday language in my home, the next logical thing to do is to cook it.  The Croque Monsieur.  Fabulous ham and cheese sandwich with a Bechamel sauce.  For you who don't know what Bechamel is, it's a white sauce, generally made with a roux of butter and flour, then cooked in milk.  Cheese is added to make a tasty sauce.  Most common cheese used is Gruyère, which is in the Swiss family.  The word "Croque" which means "crunch" and "Monsieur" which means "mister" was first introduced in 1910 in French Cafe's as a snack.   Another version of this sandwich, is the Croque Madame, which is served with a fried egg or poached egg on top.  The egg represents an old fashion woman's hat, which is when the Croque Madame was born.  By the way, there is also a Croque McDo sandwich.  That's correct, it's served in McDonald's locations throughout France.  Well, I guess the Croque McDo is like the  Big Mac here.  Big Mac attacks in the US and McDo attacks in France!  LOL

Over the years different variations of this sandwich was made. The Croque Bolognese, which is made with a Bolognese sauce or the Croque Senor which Salsa is added to the sandwich.   You can put a grass skirt on and make The Croque Hawaiian and add a slice of Pineapple or the Croque Gagnet which is made with Andouille Sausage.  The list goes on and on.  You can get very creative with this sandwich, as with most foods, but I think the original has to be the best!  So, no I did not make the original. LOL.  I did, however, make a few small changes.  I used a spicier ham, added tomato, and since I have a newborn plus two more, I cheated on the Bechamel and use Gruyère and Swiss to top my sandwich.  By the silence during dinner, I will say it was a hit!

Now that you got a history lesson on a French ham and cheese sandwich, are you ready to make your own?  It's a great Friday night dinner or any night of the week.  I usually pair a nice wine with my meals, but since I was out of wine, I had a nice ice-cold Coors Lite.  Check out the recipe below and next time you are in France, please don't say "Parles-tu Francais," most likely you'll get kicked out!


1/2 lb. ham
1/2 lb. Swiss cheese
8oz. block of Gruyère, shredded
2 tomatoes sliced
1 loaf hard French bread ( I used the round loaf near the deli counter)
Mustard is optional. Best is Grey Poupon...but of course!

Slice bread about 1/2" thick, butter and grill both sides, top bread with a layer of ham, layer of Swiss, tomato, then top your sandwich with shredded Gruyère and any leftover Swiss.  Put under the broiler until cheese is melted and golden brown.  Serve open-faced.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A New Adventure in Cooking

Hi Foody Friends,

In about 8 weeks, there will be a new addition to our family.  We are beyond excited.  It's a whole new beginning, an extra person in the house, an extra seat for dinner, an extra person eating, and an extra person to cook for.  I can't wait for all of this to start.

So, I have a bright idea!  How about, I make my own baby food?  I have never done this in the past with my other two daughters.  Well, for one, I was working full time, two ...well there isn't a two.   At that time, I was raising two girls on my own,  working full time and making sure they had everything they needed on a daily basis.  Making baby food?  Oh hell no.  Excuse my language, but there was no way I could fit that into my schedule.  I was exhausted from working, I was exhausted at night, I was exhausted on weekends.  A quick trip to Price Chopper once a week was a lot more easier than making baby food.  Also, at that time, I was not much of Chef either, quick dinners, showers and bed was a daily routine.  I think I was sleeping during showers, I don't know, it was possible.

Now I can say,  I am happily married and have a fantastic family.  I am also blessed to be a SAHM, (Stay At Home Mom), thanks to my wonderful and hard working husband.   I am the Queen of my Castle, the CEO of the Wright Household, and this is when I became the magnificent Chef of my own kitchen.  I drive a Town and Country Mini Van and is one step away from wearing Mom Jeans and white Reeboks. LOL.

Now is the time I can endure in the adventure of making my own food for our new baby girl.  There is a really neat appliance called,  The Baby Bullet Food Processor.  Three different blades for pureeing and blending, and also one for milling cereals, along with lots of storage containers for me to freeze food in advance.   I can make big batches or little batches.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and yummy snacks!   I basically can whip up a three course meal for her! LOL.  How awesome is that?   The best part is,  I know what my daughter will be eating and I believe this will save money in the long run.  Summer is coming, if Spring ever starts!  Farmer's Markets will be in season and fresh veggies and fruit is what I will be looking for!

So will I succeed in my new adventure? I believe so.  I will update you when the time comes for me to get cooking with The Baby Bullet.  In the meantime, if anyone has used The Baby Bullet or has made their own baby food, I would love to here how your experience went.  Please comment, I love feedback!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Date Night Dinners

Hi Foody Friends!

I love Wednesdays!  My favorite day of the week, because it's Date Night!  Yes, Date Night.  The night when my husband and I have a nice dinner, in or out, and send our kids upstairs for movies and bed!  Yes, I make our kids go upstairs and leave us alone when we "dine in." LOL.  It's all good.  I suggest every couple needs to do that, at least once a week.  You need to get your sanity back and keep that spark going in your marriage, too.  This includes no Smartphones, Facebook or texting.  Although, I did have to confront my husband last night to "put the phone away!!!!!" So he did.

Dining out is such an easy option, but as parents of two and one on the way, that's not always an option.  But, the upside is my husband has a wife that loves to cook, and of course, loves to whip up a Date Night dinner for us to smooch over.  Hearty meals to something light has been on our Date Night table every week.  This week request was "something light."  So, a trip to Hannaford is where I went.  This week they had Fresh Salmon 6 oz. pieces for $4.99/each.  Beautiful bright pieces of Salmon, too.  I will take two!  I also picked up a bag of  String Beans and Carrots Mix.  You can find them near the produce, they're not frozen, but fresh.  It's a great substitute until the summer season rolls in for the Farmers Markets.

Now, I already knew what our appetizer would be.  More like, soup or salad?  French Onion Soup has been on my mind for a week.  Make my own?  Why of course not.  Although, it's fairly easy to make, but this time, its Campbell's.  Even though we were eating light, the French Onion Soup will make up the left over hunger you might experience.  As for me, pregnant, yes there's a lot of left over hunger!  Here's a rule.  When melting the cheese over your bread and soup, under the broiler, you must brown the cheese.  Not burn, just a little crispy. It's the best part!!!

So, what have we learned today?  Schedule a Date Night, look forward to spending time with your significant other, get a babysitter or Red Box for the kids and enjoy your night together.  It's not necessary to go out for dinner, when you can make your Date Night just as romantic and delicious in your own home.  As always, I have the recipe for you so you can get started on your very own, Date Night.


2- 6oz. pieces of Salmon
1 Bag  Fresh String Beans and Carrots mixed
2 Garlic cloves
1 small onion
2 tbsp. butter
Salt and Pepper


Place the Salmon in a dish, minced 1 Garlic Clove, Salt and Pepper each side of the Salmon, drizzle EVOO just enough to cover both sides of the Salmon, about a couple tablespoons. Cover and marinated for about an hour before cooking.


Chop 1 small onion, minced 1 garlic clove.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan, then add onion and garlic until soft.  Add your veggies and toss to coat until heated through.


Heat your grill pan over medium heat.  Place the salmon on the grill pan and cook about 5 minutes on each side. Add Salt and Pepper for taste.  Brush Bourbon Sauce on each side while grilling.*

Plate your veggies first and add the Salmon right on top.  You can serve with a side Baked Potato or just eat as is.

*I used a Bayou Bourbon Sauce from Tastefully Simple.  You can visit or for great Bourbon Glaze recipes.  Your Salmon will taste just as great without glaze too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Let's order Pizza....or not?

Hi Foody Friends,

Friday night is Pizza Night in the Wright that fast, you may have thought I said, White House. LOL.  I love a good cheesy slice of pizza anytime.  There's lots of great pizzerias here in the BSpa, but every once in a while I like to venture out and make my own!  I believe it's a skill that you must acquire in order to make a good pizza.  I think I have that skill, well to a certain extent, of course.  Give me a glass a wine and I may spin some dough for you.

Speaking of dough.  I hate to make my own dough, it's time consuming.  It's all about the yeast, if the yeast don't rise, you're screwed!   You sit there, and wait and wait just for a rise. Then, finally, it rose!  By this time, I have no interest in making a pizza, I will throw the sauce and cheese on it and call it a night!  I have a tip, go to your local pizzeria, buy a dough round for a couple bucks and save yourself some time.  Plus it rolls out so nicely, just a little flour and a good rolling pin, you are all set.  Once that beautiful circle of dough is formed and you refill your wine glass, you are on your way to one awesome pizza.   I buy my dough at I Love NY Pizza on Route 50 in Bspa, the dough is always perfect!

The best part about making pizza at home, if you have kids, they absolutely love it!  One dough round can make 4 personal pizzas.  Kids style pizzas you can't go wrong, get some cheese, pepperoni and sauce, then let them go to town making their own pizzas.  It's quick, easy and kid friendly. Plus, the Mom of the Year Award will definitely be in your favor.  Of course, the clean up isn't as nearly as fun, especially with flour. Buy an extra bottle, that's all I can say. :)

So it happens to be Friday Night...what are your  If you're in the mood to take a trip on the wild side of pizza making, then check out the recipe below!  You won't be disappointed!  Enjoy.

1- Dough Round
1- Garlic Clove
1- 14 oz. Pizza Sauce
1- Bundle Fresh Basil
1- Bag of Baby Spinach
1- Pre-sliced Fresh Mozzarella Log
1- Lg. Tomato
2 Tbsp. - Italian Seasonings
Salt and Pepper 

Preheat oven at 450 degrees, brush some Extra Virgin Olive Oil around the crust to get the dough golden brown.  Cook for about 15 minutes.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Hi Foody Friends,

Every time I hear the word "wingy", I am reminded of Chris Farley in Tommy Boy saying, "Tommy likey, Tommy like wingy".  LOL.  One of my all time favorite movies and comedian!  But lets face it, who doesn't like chicken wings? Whether they are Buffalo wings or Grilled wings, they are mm mm delish!

I don't know about you but I am a "Chopper Shopper". I love the gas discount and the deli because they give you a sample slice of every deli meat you buy, but that's another story.  I recently purchased a bag of Party Wings for $5.99.  I thought that was a great buy so I quickly snatched some up as I giggled to myself like I am the only one in Saratoga County who knows of this special.  My family and I are wingy eaters, so great buy for me! Score!

As for my husband, he is dieting, and is doing very well I may add.  I'm jealous because I am pregnant with our third child and as he loses, I gain.  So, being the supporting wife I am, I didn't want to deep fry the wingys and add calories or points to his day, so I decided to throw them in the oven.  Flour, seasoning and a load of hot oil, add some dipping sauce or hot sauce for a fantastic wingy and there goes his diet for that evening.

There's a delicious seasoning from Tastefully Simple called Honey BBQ seasoning, oh my gosh , I almost said Honey Boo-Boo. LOL great show, by the way. Since this particular seasoning is only seasonal, you can go to your local Grocery Store and visit the seasoning aisle.  Emeril carries some great seasoning blends available that will make your wingys a hit!  As I sit here writing this blog, it smells wonderful in my kitchen. YUM!  If you want, you can always have a dipping sauce on the side.  I used a Bourbon Glaze which was very tasty,  the baby loved it!  The  traditional Blue Cheese and Celery would go fantastic with the Honey BBQ Wingys any day!

So, if you want to change up your everyday hot wings, try Honey BBQ wingys, you will not be disappointed.   Throw your favorite seasoning on the wingys, set your oven to 400 degrees and cook those suckers for 35 minutes and you will do the happy dance!

P.S. I normally pair a wine with my dishes, but since I am pregnant and there is no wine for me, drink some water! It's good for you!  Well at least till May ;)