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My sister just met her precious canine nephew this Sunday. I know I’m not sure how it took her so long to come meet him either! But she came over for dinner with her two guys in tow. Her little pup Riley and my little tanner had a blast playing tug-of-war with Tanner’s new toy.

While the puppy-dogs played my sister, her main man, my sweetie and I sat down to a pretty tasty dinner, if I do say so myself! We had pancetta braised chicken, ratatouille, and “special” bread (it’s my twist on the Pioneer Woman’s Bread). Although everything on the menu will get made again, I’m thinking that bread will be back soonest!

Honestly the bread rather stole the show despite the fact it was little more then 1 stick of butter, garlic powder, and a ¼ cup of parmesan all mixed together and spread over a sliced loaf of store bought French bread. Just tossed it under the broiler for about 10-15 minutes until it browned. Yummmm!

Ratatouille (adapted from Easy Gourmet)

Olive oil

1 ½ onion, sliced

1 ½ bell peppers, sliced

4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 eggplants, peeled and chunked

2 zucchini, chopped

2 lbs tomatoes, chopped

1 ½ c mushrooms, sliced

Dash rosemary, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, rubbed sage

1 Tbs fresh minced parsley


Add a healthy splash of olive oil to a large pot, over medium high heat. Add all of the veggies and spices to the pot and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until they begin to get soft.

Pre-heat oven to 400°.

Pour the veggie mixture into a sheet-cake sized baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve warm.

*the recipe suggest cooking down the sauce to thicken it. I didn’t, but I think adding a little flour to the mixture would thicken up the sauce nicely.


Braised Chicken with Pancetta (adapted from A Taste of the World)

1 chicken, about 3 ½ lbs

1 Tbs olive oil

4 slices thick cut bacon

4 oz button mushrooms, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp rubbed sage

2/3 c red wine

1 can tomatoes with juice, pureed in a blender

1 ½ Tbs minced parsley


Pat dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until hot. Place the chicken in the hot oil and allow to cook for about 8 minutes, flip and allow the other side to cook for another 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Place the bacon into the hot skillet and fry until thoroughly cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the mushrooms and garlic to the hot pan and cook for about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sage, red wine, and parsley to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Chop the bacon and add it back into the pot.

Add the chicken back to the pot, cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Once the chicken is well done remove it from the pot and set on a serving platter. Raise the heat on the sauce to allow it to thicken, cook for another 5 minutes.