Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chiftele (Romanian Meat Balls)

Chiftele is a traditional Romanian meat dish that is very versatile. You can have these cute little meat balls with just about anything, and the ingredients can very from any kind of ground meat to different combinations of veggie.


1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
½ medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 small potato, peeled and grated
1Tbs. garlic. minced
parsly flakes (dry or fresh)
salt, pepper for taste
¼ cup water
Your favorite Oil for frying


  1. Chop onion, and grate carrots on grater. Place onion and carrot in sauce pan with ¼ cup water. Boil until onion and carrots are tender. Remove any excess water when finished boiling. Set aside to cool.
  2. Grate potato, add to carrots and onion bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, mix ground pork and ground beef together,
  4. Next add egg, garlic, cooled veggies, parsley, salt and pepper to meat bowl. Mix well.

 5. Heat generous amount of oil in a deep frying pan
 6. Roll meat batter in small balls, when oil is hot, place palls in pan. Brown all sides. Remove meat ball when all sides have been browned, you may want to place a paper towel on a plate to soak up some of the excess oil from the meat balls.

7.  You can eat these yummy balls with anything you like, mash potato, salad and garlic toast is our favorite. Pofta Buna!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Marsala

Olive Garden version revised by Seasoned With Love

I love love love this recipe! I can truly say that this recipe is so easy to make and so good! I originally got the recipe off Olive Garden’s web site; you can get the original recipe HERE. I just tweaked it a little and simplified it a bit. This helps especially if you cook in large quantity (that way you have leftovers). We love leftovers in my house so I always double the recipe. The original recipe calls for 4 chicken breast pounded between 2 plastic wrap to about ¼" thickness. I substituted that for frozen chicken tenders, and cut them in chunks (that way there is no pounding) and you can make more for leftovers. I hope you will like this recipe! Happy cooking!
~ Magda

8-10 strips of chicken tenders (frozen)
½ cup flour
2 cups cooking marsala wine
4 cups mushrooms sliced
8 Tbs. butter (non-sweet)
salt, pepper for taste
dried oregano for taste

1. Cut the chicken into chunks, if they are frozen, defrost in microwave or in refrigerator.

2.  Season chicken with salt, pepper and dried oregano.

3. Place flour into a bowl, add the seasoned chicken to the bowl and coat the chicken in flour.

4. Heat a few Tbs. of oil in a big frying skillet, shake off any excess flour of chicken and place in hot skillet to fry. Fry all sides of chicken until golden brown.

5. Add butter to skillet, then add mushrooms, continue to cook chicken and mushrooms until mushrooms become tender.

6. Add marsala wine, cover and simmer 15 minutes longer. As the sauce sits, it will thicken, if it’s too runny; add a teaspoon or two more of flour.

7. Place on top of some creamy mash potato, Enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Zupa Toscana

Olive Garden Style

Here we go…my very first recipe post. I chose to post Zupa Toscana because this is a favorite in my house. This recipe is worthy to be posted! This soup comes from my and my husband’s favorite Italian restaurant we love to eat at, Olive Garden. A long time ago Olive Garden had the recipe to Zupa Toscana posted on their web site, I believe it is not there any more. Lucky for me, my cousin had the recipe and passed it down to me. I have been making this soup for the past 2 ½ years and have figured out how we prefer this soup best. I mentioned bellow in the recipe that the original Zupa Toscana has rustic potatoes with skin on. I prefer the skin off so I just peel my potatoes. You can do what you like, maybe even try both way and see what you like best. Also, depending on your liking, if you prefer thick soup, cut the potatos thinner, that way they will shatter as they boil, if you like liquidy soup with chunks of potato, cut the potatoes thicker, that way they don’t shatter. Another thing I have learned is that the kind of bacon you use matters. Lucky for us we have a Slovakian gentleman that has a deli meat market near us. He makes fresh home smoked bacon, and cuts the slices what ever thickness we desire. If you can’t find some good fresh smocked bacon, use grocery bacon, just get the thickest kind you can find. I hope you try this recipe, it’s not difficult and taste like you worked hours on it. If you do try this out, let me know what you think! Happy Cooking!

8 medium rustic style potatoes cut into ¼ cubes
1 large onion or 2 small to medium size, diced
7 slices of thick naturally smocked bacon, diced
1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild or spicy what ever you prefer)
32 oz. chicken broth
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 tsp. garlic minced
bunch of kale
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: chile flakes

1. You can either go traditional and keep the potato skins on the potatoes, in this case you would have to wash the potatoes thoroughly before cutting. I prefer my soup and potatoes skinless, so I went ahead and peeled them.
 2. Next you want to cut the potatoes in fourths. Fairly thin if you like your soup thick and dense (the potatoes will shatter a bit while boiling) If you prefer your soup soupier with bigger chunks, go ahead and cut the potatoes chunkier. (My husband prefers the soup thick, so I cut thinner slices)

3. Place your cut potatoes in a pot, cover just above the potato level with water, put on stove to boil.

4. As the potatoes are boiling, take the bacon and start cutting them in small cubes. (it helps if the bacon is slightly frozen)

5. Place in a frying pan. Before you start to fry, get the onions ready.

6. Peel the onions, and dice in small cubes. Set aside.

7. Start frying bacon, make sure to fry until the bacon is crisp.
8. Add the onions to the bacon bits.


9. Add the garlic, and fry until the onion gets soft and tender 


10.  Add the bacon, onion, garlic mix to the pot of potatoes. 
11.  Add the whole container of chicken broth to the pot.

12. You can start to fry the Italian sausage.

13. Add the cooked Italian sausage to the pot
14. Add the whole milk

15. Wash and cut the kale
16. Add kale to the soup after seasoning with salt and pepper

17. My favorite part, eat with a slice of garlic butter toast, you can also sprinkle some parmesano regano cheese on top of the soup. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Culinary Adventure Starts Here...

Since I was a little girl, I was always drawn to cooking and backing. Every day, I would try out a new recipe in the kitchen. Recently, since I got married in August 2008, my passion for cooking and backing has revisited me. I find myself looking for new and exciting delicious recipes to try out...some promising and rewarding, others frustrating and failing. But no mater the joys and disappointments, I keep cooking and keep looking for recipes that look appetizing to the eye, and maybe even to my belly. This BLOG is intended for me to get in the kitchen more often and experiment more. Through my journey, I will post pictures, links and of course ending product...if they turn out decent. I hope you will enjoy my posts, and maybe even get a good recipe from this Blog!