Friday, December 1, 2023

I Turned This Thanksgiving Leftover Into This Delicious Dish

 By: The Food Hunter

Growing up, Thanksgiving, like most holidays, was always a big celebration at our house. My mom spent hours in the kitchen cooking food while the rest of us spent hours in the kitchen eating what she made. And although we did a decent job we never quite finished everything. 

As much as I loved our Thanksgiving meal; eating leftovers was never my thing. Microwaved stuffing or dry turkey; didn't appeal to me.  However, there was one item on our holiday table, that I could effortlessly eat over and over. The infamous sweet potato casserole, when spooned and added to pantry staples transforms nicely into an amazing, post-feast breakfast.

If you find yourself with leftovers of this Thanksgiving side-dish give this delicious breakfast recipe a try. 

Sweet Potato Casserole Pancakes

makes 6 pancakes

1/2 cup leftover mashed sweet potatoes
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Place mashed sweet potatoes, eggs and milk in another bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined. 

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a small pat of butter. Once melted, drop 1/4 cup portions of the sweet potato batter onto the preheated skillet. Cook until bubbles form on the top of the pancake, 2 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. 

Serve with your favorite maple Syrup. I really enjoy Runamok star anise infused syrup.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Cutting Edge Products On Every Home Cook's Wish List

By: The Food Hunter

Are you needing a gift for the home-cook that has everything? Well, look no further because I've put together some of my favorite kitchen-related products for you to peruse.  From cookware, to meal kits, to the best products for stocking the home bar--- there's something on this list for everyone.


* Essential 6.5 Qt Stanley Pan ($229.95)

Made in Italy at GreenPan's state-of-the-art factory in Brescia, the Stanley pan is truly a stunning piece of cookware. It features ceramic nonstick surface that is infused with layers of diamonds for unparalleled heat transfer and incredible durability. Each aspect of this pan was individually considered for daily use, from the large surface area to the cast stainless-steel handle. It's cookware for people, like Stanley Tucci, who love to cook.

* Campari 

An unmistakable, vibrantly red Italian bitter. The sleek bottle makes an ideal gift for those who enjoy festive cocktails not only this time of year, but all year long. The stylish and contemporary design is perfect for those looking to elevate their at-home cocktail game or host their next aperitivo hour. Campari is the gift that keeps giving....with love from Milan.


* Hestan Provisions Stainless-Steel Colander ($185)

Round out your culinary arsenal with this heavy gauge stainless steel colander that boasts superior drainage for quick straining of pasta or rinsing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Dishwasher safe for effortless cleaning, this quality-crafted colander will withstand the test of time in the kitchen.

* Taste of Rao's Collection ($100)

A unique collection of sauces, pastas and other Italian favorites to make cooking delicious Italian dinners at home even easier.

*Riedel Drink Specific Glassware ($55)

The right glass for every cocktail. These glasses are both beautiful and functional. They make drinking classic cocktails an experience. 

*John Boos & Co Cutting Boards (multiple prices)

Wooden cutting boards from John Boos & Co bring the same level of quality to your kitchen as restaurant kitchens. Chop, dice, julienne, and prepare meals, or even use one as a foundation to present your beautiful charcuterie. They have a variety of options to fit your home kitchen needs; all crafted with sustainably sourced wood. I could not live without my board.

Zline 10-Piece Cookware Set ($399.99)

This set offers stainless steel handles with an elegant champagne bronze finish and sleek black ceramic frying pans that minimize staining and sticking. The pots and pans are also made with non-toxic materials, including non-toxic stainless steel and 100% toxin-free ceramic nonstick frying pans. As pretty as they are functional, they make an awesome gift. 

* Lidia's From Our Family Table to Yours Cookbook ($35)

Nothing brings a family together like food. And no one knows food like Lidia Bastianich. In this inviting, deeply personal new cookbook, she shares the dishes she cooks for those she loves the most. 

*Branca Brand Beverages (multiple prices)

Secret formulas passed down through the generations. Try them all; they make a fabulous addition to any home bar. 

* Vahdam Tea Set ($59.99)

A regal assortment of teas that includes a combination of 24 black, green, oolong, white & herbal loose-leaf teas. The teas are elegantly packaged and present as a beautiful gift. 

*Tucci Ceramic Non-Stick Fry Pan Set ($219)

Set includes 8" fry pan and 10" fry pan with small and medium pan protectors. Each aspect of this set was individually considered for daily use, from the cast stainless-steel handles to the oven safe efficiency. It's cookware for people, like Stanley Tucci, who love to cook.

* Omaha Steaks Seafood Gift Box ($150)

This incredible gourmet seafood collection gives you the best tastes of the sea frozen-fresh the day of catch and delivered right to your door. Not a seafood lover, Omaha also offers mouthwatering gift boxes of butcher's cut meats.

* Hestan Provision Mixing Bowls ($172)

A three piece set of heavy-gauge stainless steel mixing bowls that boast flared rims for ease of pouring and highly-durable, non-reactive bodies that are built for longevity. These bowls make mixing the simplest sauces to intricate cookie dough a breeze.

* Curdbox Gifting ($75) 

Send the ultimate cheese subscription box to your cheese loving friends. No two boxes are ever the same!

* St. Remy Signature ($22)

An approachable brandy crafted for the new generation of spirits drinkers. The unique flavor adds flair, freshness and style while retaining its dedication to being 100% French from grapes to glass. 

* Viking PerformanceTi Fry Pan Set ($399.99) 

Redefining cookware, Viking PerformanceTi cookware delivers a premium cooking experience; advancing 3-ply stainless steel to the next level by offering nonstick performance without a chemical-based coating and providing professional level results associated with clad cookware. Ultra-versatile cooking allows you to sear, broil, reduce, and sauté like a pro.


* Butcher Box Gift Boxes ($89-$175)

Give the gift of great meat. Butcher Box offers a variety of 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, humanely raised pork, and wild-caught seafood. This is one of those items you will want to gift to yourself also.

* Rachel Ray Griddle Pan ($40)

Low sides and a double-riveted handle make it easy to turn and flip foods and the long-lasting nonstick delivers effortless food release and easy cleanup. Oven safe to 400°F.

* Ball Stack & Store Jars ($9.99)

Airtight and stack-able jars, providing space-efficient organization for all your pantry, cabinet, and countertop needs. These storage jars are an ideal solution for dry goods, and can be used for storage and décor throughout your home.

* Hestan Provisions Roasting Pan ($159.99)

An essential tool for both everyday and holiday cooking. This 16.5-inch roaster with rack features flush rivets for the quickest of cleanups, while the ergonomically crafted handles allow efficiency when moving the roaster from the oven to the table for serving.

* Blue Apron Gift Boxes ($120-$180)

Unique meal kits for stress-less entertaining. You'll receive a meal guide that includes make-ahead tips, a preparation checklist, and extra entertaining ideas. Blue Apron meals make cooking a gourmet meal a breeze.

*Flora Holiday Blend Two Turtle Doves ($95)

Every holiday season, Flora Springs releases new holiday bottles, meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one. Two Turtle Doves is an elegant etched bottle, offering a delicious red blend offering beautiful aromas of blackberry jam, dark plum and red boysenberry with hints of toasted spice and dark chocolate. It is a warm, voluptuous wine filled with fruit alongside a good balance of oak, tannin and acid.

* The Whistling Kettle Conflicted Tea Tumbler ($40)

A brewer is made of sturdy glass, designed to withstand extreme temperature changes. It includes a stainless steel infuser and our flawless recipes printed on the side that will make any beginner brewer seem like a pro. My new favorite tea brewer. 

*Giadzy Pasta (multiple prices)

Giadzy Pasta is the result of years of careful taste-testing and research with master pasta makers from across Italy. Giada De Laurentiis and the Giadzy team zeroed in on what matters most in a pasta: taste, texture, and fun.

*Diestel Turkeys (multiple prices)

Nothing says the holidays like a delicious turkey dinner. You will be amazed at how easy it is to eat well with Diestel organic whole turkeys on your side.  

*Martini + Rossi Riserva Collection (multiple prices)

Original Italian recipes for a new generation of vermouth + bitters. These products fuse tradition with modernity. Enjoy alone or in cocktails.


Happy Holidays!!


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

8 Must-Have Pinot Noirs To Pair With Your Thanksgiving Meal

 By: The Food Hunter

If you find it difficult choosing wine for Thanksgiving - a meal with so many flavors and people around one table - you've come to the right place. What I've learned from hosting past holiday meals is that the best wine is the one that makes the most people happy. At our house this equals a nice elegant bottle of red - nothing to deep or to delicate. 
Taking it one step further I've tapped into a few expert wine makers for advice on the best red wines to pair with turkey day foods.  Below are their choices.  I hope you will give some a try.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
1. Sokol Blosser 2021 Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir ($45) - On the nose this wine shows notes of black cherry and raspberry. On the palate, the fruit remains the same and is joined by hints of black pepper and clove. This bright fruit forward wine pairs gracefully with the many Thanksgiving dishes on your table. It is delicate enough to not overpower green beans while the acidity will cut through rich dishes such as hearty mac-n-cheese.  A winner at our house.
2. Flaneur La Belle Promenade 2019 Pinot Noir  ($60) -This wine's food friendly acidity and gorgeous texture make it stand out on any table especially alongside a holiday ham, potatoes and stuffing.
3. Chehalem Mountains 2022 Pinot Noir ($30) - This Willamette Valley 100% Pinot Noir is bold and earthy with a hint of cherry fruit beneath the tannins that leaves an elegant lasting finish. I would uncork this with lasagna or a similar baked red sauce pasta dish. 
4. Stoller 2022 Family Estate Pinot Noir ($25) Recommended pairing with your best charcuterie board. Hints of cherry in the wine make it a good match for potato gratin.

5. Broadley Vineyards 2022 Estate Pinot Noir ($30) Another Willamette Valley winner with this per-release wine. You will enjoy hints of tea on the nose and the taste of chocolate and anise on the palate. This should be your go to with a thoughtfully prepared charcuterie plate. 
6. Kings Ridge 2022 Pinot Noir ($22) This wine has the sweet taste of Italian plums mixed with almonds and is a wonderful choice for late night snacking - think turkey sandwiches. 
7. Overlook 2021 Pinot Noir (SRP: $27) A splendid blend from some of California’s best cool climate growing regions in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties. It’s a wine that pairs equally well with a roasted turkey as it does with a hearty lasagna. 
8. A to Z Oregon 2021 Pinot Noir($20) Garnet red in the glass this wine opens with hints of berries on the nose, and faint flavors of cherry and herbs can be found on the palate. This red is versatile enough to pair with a wide range of dishes, including all your Thanksgiving favorites such as turkey Brussels sprouts and cranberries.  


Italian Sausage & Rapini Stuffing

 By: The Food Hunter

This is my all-time favorite stuffing. It's a dish that is on on our table every Thanksgiving and is enjoyed by all. This particular recipe includes sausage, onion, celery, mushrooms, lots of fresh herbs and the star ingredient: rapini.  

If you aren't familiar rapini is a green vegetable that resembles broccoli but is more closely related to the turnip. It has a peppery, slightly bitter taste that you either love or hate.

This stuffing is truly delicious and really easy to make! I hope you give it a try.

Italian Sausage & Rapini Stuffing
1 loaf of Italian bread chopped into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
1-2 bunches broccoli rabe
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Lb. sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
1 cup onion, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 package cremini mushrooms, chopped
10 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/2-1 cup grated pecorino cheese
1-2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Spread the bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is crispy.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the broccoli rabe and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and submerge into an ice water bath for 2 minutes. Drain, and chop into small pieces.

Melt the butter on medium high heat in a large fry pan. Add the sausage, onions, celery, mushrooms, sage, and thyme, breaking up the meat into small pieces as you cook. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the sausage is cooked through. Add the cooked chopped broccoli rabe to the mixture and stir to mix.

Remove from heat. Add the bread and pecorino, stir to combine. Add chicken broth and stir until all the bread is coated and wet. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pecorino.

Spoon into a baking pan. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

I Made The Viral Tik Tok Spaghetti & I Totally Understand The Hype

 By: The Food Hunter

TikTok chef Britney Landry's (@britscookin) original spaghetti dish recently blew-up on TikTok and Italian food brand Rao’s Homemade has partnered with Brit to take this dish to the next level!



Landry basically took all of the makings of several favorite Italian pasta dishes (Rao's Homemade Spaghetti, Marinara Sauce and Alfredo Sauce), and baked them into one tasty and irresistible meal.

While this is the official recipe shared by Landry + Rao's Homemade, it is by no means the only way to spin this dish. For an extra boost of protein, you can add shredded chicken to the mix. You can also add spinach or sauteed mushrooms to get some veggies in. You can't go wrong with this ooey gooey pasta dish.

The best part about this viral recipe is that using Rao's Homemade ingredients makes this tasty meal easy to achieve on even the busiest of nights. 

TikTok Spaghetti

Ingredients Needed

​​1 jar Rao’s Homemade Marinara

1 jar Rao’s Homemade Alfredo

16oz Rao’s Homemade Spa

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

½ bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Parsley and parmesan for garnish


1.       Preheat oven to 350.

2.       Cook the Rao’s Homemade Spaghetti in boiling water according to the package directions.

3.       Heat olive oil in a large sauce or saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

4.       Stir in garlic and saute for one minute. Then add beef and all seasonings. Break up meat and cook until there are no pink spots left. Drain grease if necessary.

5.       Stir in Rao's Homemade Marinara sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes.

6.       Toss the drained, cooked spaghetti with the Rao’s Homemade Alfredo sauce in an oven safe baking dish. Top evenly with the meat sauce.

7.       Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese & chopped parsley.

8.       Bake in the oven until the cheese is melty and slightly brown, about 15-20 minutes.