Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Bringing the boys to slaughter…

Sounds rough, but that was Sunday. Really.

Eagles… 20 to 52. Yes. 52.
Cowboys… 21 to 30.

It was a valiant effort by Dallas, but let’s be real… the Eagles gave in and were trampled by the Broncos.  It was painful to watch.

Regardless, it wasn’t painful to eat. We opted for some comfort food to ring in the cooler weather with some crock pot tacos, rice and delicious pumpkin cake.

Tacos with chicken:

Adapted from Table for Seven

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 1/2 hours
Serves:  4-6

You will need:
1 1/4 # boneless chicken breast
1 envelope dry taco mix
1 envelop dry ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 c chicken broth
crock pot

Place chicken in crock pot with taco mix, ranch dressing and chicken broth.

Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, then uncover and shred chicken.

Re-cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.

…then make tacos!!!!

We also added ground beef as an option, browned with taco seasoning.

Hard or soft shells are perfect. Toppings? Avocado, cheese, sour cream (plain yogurt), lettuce, tomatoes, salsa verde, beans and rice (see below).

We used a triple crock pot to keep the meat and rice warm for serving :)


Vegetable Rice:

Prep time: 30 min

Cooking time: 40 min

Serves: 6

You will need:

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t chili powder
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 t paprika
1 t thyme
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 1/4 c white rice
3 c vegetable broth

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chile powder, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft but not browned (~6 min).

Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Add rice; stir to coat well with the tomato mixture.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.


Pumpkin Pudding Cake…

DIRECTLY FROM Butter with a Side of Bread. Because this is too amazing to change!

1st Layer:
  • 1 box of yellow cake mix {reserve 1 cup after you open it}
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
2nd layer:
  • 1 30-oz can Pumpkin Pie Mix {not just pumpkin!}
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

3rd Layer:

  • 1 cup dry yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Mix 1st layer ingredients until crumbly and pour in the bottom of the pan. Barely mix the ingredients for the 2nd layer and pour over 1st layer. Mix 3rd layer ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Top with Cool-Whip and a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!







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Filed under Cowboys 2013, Eagles 2013

Sunday wasn’t funday… but it was DELICIOUS!

It was a  perfect weekend, until Sunday! We watched the Eagles and Cowboys both lose CLOSE games. Yep. We both lost. It was painful, but it was a football Sunday, so not all was lost! Philadelphia took on the Chargers in a heated back-and-forth game, that ended at the last few seconds with a field goal. 30-33. It was a nail biter and definitely not how we wanted the game to go. Dallas was in a match with Kansas City, and though we wanted a Cowboys win, of course Chelley’s heartstrings were pulled a little seeing Andy Reid across the field in red.  Also a tense game, KC pulled it out with a 16-17 win. SO frustrating!

Due to the Eagles playing Kansas City this Thursday (where we will be making ribs- smoked ALL DAY!), we only did one recipe this weekend, and it was a winner with everyone! Check out this recipe we made representing the San Diego Chargers- perfect for the family on game night, in lieu of beef taco nights and as a fresh star meal that will surely get the whole family to enjoy fish!

Dave and Chelley’s Fish Tacos

Serves: 6

You will need
1# tilapia
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeño, chopped small (remove seeds and use gloves if heat bothers you!)
1 medium tomato chopped
2 avocados, sliced
2 c. chopped lettuce
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 package of hard/soft taco shells
2 limes
2 T olive oil, divided
1/2 c. salsa verde (can be found canned or jarred with different spice levels)
S&P to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350° and then chop your ingredients. Put 1 T oil in the bottom of a glass baking pan, add fish and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. Bake for 10 minutes, until flaky.




2. In a pan, heat 1 T oil with some salt and pepper. Add onions, red pepper and jalapeño and sautée for 5 minutes on medium heat.


3. Pull fish from oven and remove pan from heat and start packing your taco shells! We love to add tomato, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, some salsa verde for extra heat and top it off with a wedge of lime! Enjoy your fresh tacos from the oven, or package the ingredients up for leftovers after game day!








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Filed under Eagles 2013

The Triumphant Return of Monday Night Football

We hope you didn’t miss the first Monday Night Football game of the season. Just the opening gave us the chills- it was kind of epic… if that buzzword isn’t totally passé. As for the game? It was all smooth sailing… until it wasn’t. The fourth quarter had us nail biting and “SHHHHHHH”-ing everyone who came near. The edges of our seats were dipping low with the weight of the game weighing on our shoulders.

Then… the Eagles got the ball back and held onto it, letting the last minute slip by with our breaths left heavy in the air.

The final score? Eagles 33, Washington Redskins 27. The score doesn’t reflect the effort the Eagles had in the first 3 quarters, but it certainly shows that RG3 has some rust on that knee and that the Skins won’t give up!

For all you fans out there wondering what is popular in DC, the answer is everything. DC has such an eclectic population that there are foods from all over in the District. We chose to make Senate Bean soup after a lot of internet searching. The name was only fitting :)

Senate Bean Soup Recipe (Adapted from HERE)

This classic bean soup has been served in the U.S. Senate dining room for over 100 years, and can be made with Navy or Great Northern beans. Traditionally a cup of mashed potatoes are called for, but 2/3 cup of instant mashed potato flakes will do the job, too.

Prep: 8 hours
Cook: 3 hours
Servers: 8

You will need:
1# dried Navy beans or Great Northern beans
1 ham hock (the meatier, the better)
4 T unsalted butter (½ stick)
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 large celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
½ c dry white wine
3 qt vegetable stock
2/3 c instant mashed potato flakes
½ cup chopped parsley
Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste

1. Cover the beans in a few inches of water and soak overnight.

2. Drain the beans. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, combine the stock, the drained beans and the ham hock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer covered for 2 hours- occasionally skimming off any scum that forms on the surface.

3. In a separate saucepan, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat and add the onion, celery and garlic to the butter and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.

4. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine reduces by about half.

5. Add the onion mixture, parsley and the potato flakes to the soup and simmer for another hour or until the beans are tender.

6. Remove the ham hock. Pull the meat off the bone, chop it up and return the chopped meat to the soup. If necessary, add more stock or water to the soup to adjust the thickness.

7. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper and serve right away. This soup is great to eat later, too- we have enjoyed it for lunch!


Recipe for success, this sweet lady:

addie and grandpa


chelley and addie

It was a beautiful start for the Eagles season, and a delicious soup that is sure to bring much needed warmth to our east coast fans this winter!






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Filed under Eagles 2013

East Greenwich Art Festival

Though we love our football and our food, we love our community, too. Oddly, you might not know that this Cowboys Papa and Eagles lovin’ Daughter-in-Law hail from Rhode Island (Texas family) and Philadelphia, PA- respectively… but here we are in ‘Lil Rhody and our families are gearing up to spend an amazing weekend at Festival Fete’s East Greenwich Art Festival on August 31 and September 1.


from Festival Fete’s webpage

From the site, which you can find HERE:

Festival Fete creates a one-of-a-kind community art festival featuring 100+ contemporary American craft artisans, local “festive food,” strolling entertainment, live music, free children’s crafts, and a specially-designed community art project. Our mission is to offer a platform for local artists — of various mediums and levels — to show their work. In collaboration with community talent, volunteers and sponsors, we create profitable platforms that celebrate locally grown art, food and merriment.

The festival is from 10-5pm at New England Tech in East Greenwich RI.  Featuring over 140 Contemporary American Artisans, Festive Food, Live Music and Strolling Entertainment to (YES, Big Nazo will be there), this weekend is surely not an event to miss! Come out to the East Greenwich Art Festival to bid a lasting farewell to Summer!  Best part for all the families out there? It’s FREE!


from Festival Fete’s webpage

Though Chelley (daugher-in-law) will be in Pennsylvania for a wedding, Carpenter in the Kitchen will be looking for submissions for you favorite foods and vendors to be featured in this Community section of the blog! Will you be heading to East Greenwich? Don’t forget to tell us about your plans in the comments, and don’t forget to follow Festival Fete’s Twitter updates HERE!




All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen© unless otherwise noted. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.



Filed under Community

You win some, you lose some…

Still in preseason mode, but getting closer to the decisions that need to be made.

Who will start, who will sit, and who wasted team funds as duds this year?

On the 15th, the Eagles showed up to play with a good showing from both Vick and Foles, but coach Kelly isn’t calling it (officially) yet. With a 14-9 win over the Panthers, we took to calabash-style cooking, and made some shrimp that are sure to please those off the field, even if on-the-field is disappointing.

On the 17th, however, the Cowboys lost their third preseason game to the Arizona Cardinals, 7-12. For this occasion, we went with local Phoenix favorite, chimichangas. They were a hit with us, too. We hope you enjoy the meal as much as we did… which we cooked Sunday as a family and enjoyed while watching prerecorded games (thanks DVR!).

Fried Shrimp Calabash-Style (a new Martinka recipe)

Before we begin, let’s explain calabash-style cooking: This style of cooking seafood, mostly flounder and shrimp, began in Calabash, NC- which is a small fishing town. Beck’s is one of the original restaurants to open with this style of cooking and serving, which started as a town tradition of people showing up at the docks to see what was caught and having a big meal right there. As the idea blossomed, the communal celebrations were eventually moved indoors and started restaurants. The actual style of cooking is very fresh seafood coated in cornmeal with a peppery sauce- soaked in buttermilk with added hot sauce for those brave enough. The food is then quickly and lightly fried and served with coleslaw. This is the Carolinas’ finest. Enjoy.

Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Servings: 10

You will need
1 c milk
1/2 c buttermilk
2# shrimp… preferably fresh. We used a bag of Berkley & Jensen frozen shrimp, which we thawed (~30 oz)
1/2 t hot sauce
2 c cornmeal
1/4 c canola oil

Pour buttermilk and hot sauce into a large bowl and place a handful of shrimp in to soak for 2-3 minutes. While soaking, pour oil into a frying pan and raise to high heat.


In another bowl filled with your cornmeal, toss your soaked shrimp until completely coated. Then place shrimp into the heated oil and cook for about 2 minutes, until your shrimp are golden.


Place your shrimp on a paper towel before serving.

Repeat the soaking, breading and frying process until all shrimp are used.

Serve with spicy mustard, coleslaw or as-is… they are too delicious to resist!


Arizona’s Favorite Chimichangas

recipe used directly from Foodnetwork.com
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min
Servings: 4

You will need

2 T unsalted butter
4 T vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 c shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 c sour cream
1 15-ounce can refried beans
4 10-inch flour tortillas
1 c shredded monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping
Mexi-sauce, for topping (see below)
Shredded lettuce, for topping
Mexican rice, for serving


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl.


Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt; toast 30 seconds.


Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the heat.


Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture.
Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up.
The MiffleSonPut the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip.


The Carpenter and sons!

Top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato. Serve with rice and the remaining beans.

Make Chi-Chi’s Mexi-sauce:
Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves in a skillet with vegetable oil. Add a pinch each of chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 30 seconds. Stir in two 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles (drained and rinsed); cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.





Food that's sure to bring smiles to young and old!

Food that’s sure to bring smiles to young and old!

We hope you enjoy these delicious recipes and share in the joy of cooking with your whole family this season… which is almost officially starting! Are you ready for some football?!




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Filed under Cowboys 2013, Eagles 2013

Good thing it’s just preseason!


The Philadelphia Eagles took to the field Friday night in their first game under NFL rookie coach, Chip Kelly (who on Wikipedia has the nickname Big Balls Chip listed- I’m already not a fan). Though Andy Reid needed to part ways after his 13 years of service to Philadelphia, we were hesitant to expect anything big coming from Kelly in the first showing. We were right. Kelly was reunited across enemy lines with former Oregon Duck, LeGarrett Blount, but that did nothing to help stop the infamous New England Patriots, under their seasoned leader,  Bill Belichick. Impressively, Tom Brady was able to make connections with his wide receivers, despite his usual suspects being injured (or gone), and proved his determination to win it all in what seems to be (one of) his final seasons. At 36, his career might be coming closer to the end, but his highly protected position has given him a lot of good years. There are a lot of decisions left to be made for both teams, and summing up Belichick’s brief on-field statement after the game, it’s still preseason.

We made soft pretzels and cheese steaks (wit wiz!) and clam chowder for the game this week. The Cowboys also played, but with the late start and the fact that it was a weeknight game, we kept it simple. Fear not- we will get it together before the season begins! …and hopefully our teams will pick it up, too!

With that… game on!

Our soft pretzels were from THIS recipe here. As much as we wanted to make something more authentic like THESE, we want to offer you some recipes you can do without too much hassle. These pretzels are IT! While we suggest you treat yourself to the boil-before-baking awesomeness of a true Philly soft pretzel, if you’re looking for a delicious alternative that offers a few healthy benefits, then grab the following items and get to baking!

Soft Pretzels, adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook : 15 minutes
Servings: 6

You will need:
1 and 1/2 c warm water
1 packet active yeast (2 and 1/4 t)
1 t salt
1 T granulated sugar
2 c AP flour
2 c WW flour + more for the counter surface to knead
1 large egg
course sea salt for sprinkling
…mustard and cheese for dipping (you can use the leftover wiz from your steak sandwiches!)

In less than 45 minutes, you will have these beauties waiting for your belly:
PretzelsPreheat oven to 425* and line your baking sheet with parchment paper… now you’re ready to tray up.

FROM THE KITCHEN TIP: Remove all jewelry- including rings and bracelets. You will be kneading dough and there is nothing more gross that jewelry and long nails making food!


In a large mixing bowl (I prefer glass), mix yeast in warm water, stirring until just a few clusters of yeast remain. Continue to stir in salt and sugar until well mixed. One cup at a time, add your combination of AP and WW flours. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. You will know the dough is ready if it bounces back when poked. (I added 1/2 c at a time to avoid over-flouring and used just under 4 whole cups).

Some wine always makes the kitchen a happier place :)

Some wine always makes the kitchen a happier place :)

Flour a clean surface and turn your dough out, kneading it into a ball for about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into ~1/3 cup sections using a sharp knife. Then roll each section into an even rope about 22 inches long. Taking the ends, shape the dough into U-shape, cross the middle and press them into the dough to make a pretzel shape.

doughMake an egg wash with a splash of water and beaten egg. Brush both sides of your pretzel, then sprinkle with salt.


Bake for 10 minutes at 425*, then broil for 5 more minutes, which will help brown the tops. Be sure to keep an eye on them… as you can see, a few of ours were a bit darker than we would have liked.

Your pretzels will be ready to eat after a few cooling minutes and can be frozen well, but stored (no more than 4 days) will lose their fluff.


The Martinka Philly Cheesesteak… remember ‘wit wiz’!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook : 20 minutes
Servings: 5

You will need:
1.5# shaved steak
1 med onion, sliced
8oz white mushrooms, sliced1 med green pepper, sliced
salt and pepper for taste
sub rolls
Cheeze Wiz, or whatever cheese you want to top your sandwiches

Sauté the steak in a pan over medium heat until cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms SEPARATELY from each other, until their soft- you don’t have to wash the pan in between. Because the cook times differ, you want to do them separately, in non-stick or lightly oiled pan over med/med-low heat. Your onions should have a slight caramelizing on them, the peppers just reaching a softer consistency, and your mushrooms browned.

Now build your sandwich- steak, peppers, onion and mushrooms, topped with about a tablespoon of cheese. Put your sandwich in the toaster oven for a minute to crisp the bread and warm the steak. Top with whatever condiments you’d like… I prefer just cheese (but ketchup is delicious on everything).

Easy, delicious, and Joe’s own recipe… Let us know how we compare to Pat’s or Geno’s… just kidding!

Wit Wiz

And representing New England, Clam Chowdah adapted from MrFood.com

Prep: 7 minutes
Cook : 35 minutes
Servings: 4

You will need:
1 small onion, chopped
2oz salt pock, diced
8oz clam juice
1 3/4 c chicken broth 1 lg potato, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 T cornstarch
1pt (2 c) heavy cream, divided
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped

(we picked our parsley fresh from the garden!)


In a soup pot, sauté onion and pork over medium heat until tender (3-5 minutes).

Add clams, juice, broth, potato, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook covered for 7 minutes, then add celery. Recover and cook for another 5-7 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).

Dissolve the cornstarch and 1/2 c cream in a small bowl and add it to the soup.

Add parsley and remaining 1 1/2 c cream to the pot, stirring frequently until thickened (about 5 minutes).


Add in some family time and the best seat in the house, and you’ve got yourself a night with ©Carpenter in the Kitchen!

The game



All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen©. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.




Filed under Eagles 2013