Diva Tasting: Noni’s Linguine With Clam Sauce…

Noni’s Linguine With Clam Sauce
1 (8 Ounce) Package Linguine Pasta
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Minced Sweet Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 (10 Ounce) Cans Baby Clams, Drained With Juices Reserved (such As Bumble Bee(R))
1 Tablespoon white wine
1 (16 Ounce) Jar Alfredo Sauce (such As Classico(R))
1 Teaspoon Grated Parmesan Cheese, Or To Taste (optional)
1 Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Or To Taste (optional)
  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the linguine, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still slightly firm, about 11 minutes drain well.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown slightly. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion becomes lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the reserved clam juice and wine. Simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Stir in the Alfredo sauce and clams; cook and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Serve the clam sauce over the linguine, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Diva Tasting: Italian Beef Vegetable Soup..

Italian Beef Vegetable Soup
2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup Chopped Onion
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
8 Cups Beef Broth
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Red Cooking Wine
2 Large Cans Diced Tomatoes Undrained
2 Cups Thinly Sliced Carrots
1 Tablespoon Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 (8 Ounce) Can Tomato Sauce
2 Cups Sliced Zucchini
8 Ounces Fresh Cheese Tortellini Pasta
3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
Parmesan Cheese for Garnish
  1. In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving. Serve with cornbread or cheese polenta.

Diva Tasting: Zuppa/Soup Italiano…

Zuppa/Soup Italiano
1 Pound Bulk Mild Italian Sausage
1 1/4 Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
4 Slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
5 (13.75 Ounce) Cans Chicken Broth
6 Potatoes, Thinly Sliced
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Bunch Fresh Spinach, Tough Stems Removed
  1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Diva Waxing Poetic: A Brave And Startling Truth …

The late great poet laureate Maya Angelou  has a way of putting life in perspective when I’m pondering things.  I hope you enjoy…Namaste, The Queen Cronista
The second annual Universe in Verse — a celebration of science through poetry, and a voice of resistance against the assault on nature — opened with the poem “A Brave and Startling Truth” by Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014), which flew to space on the Orion spacecraft. I chose this poem to set the tone for the show in part because it is absolutely stunning and acutely relevant to our cultural moment, and in part because the first time I read it, it sparked in me a sudden insight into the often invisible ways in which science and poetry influence and inspire one another — into how the golden threads of thought and feeling stretch and cross-hatch across disciplines to weave what we call culture.
Angelou composed the poem for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in 1995. In 1994, Carl Sagan delivered a beautiful speech at Cornell University, inspired by the Voyager’s landmark photograph of Earth seen for the very first time from the outer reaches of the Solar System — a now-iconic image the spacecraft took on Sagan’s spontaneous insistence before shutting off the cameras upon completion of the planned mission to photograph the outer planets.
A Brave And Startling Truth – Poem by Maya Angelou
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil

When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear

When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Maya Angelou

Diva Tasting: Roast Chicken and Gravy…

Roast Chicken With Pan Gravy
¼ Cup Drippings From A Roast Chicken
2 ½ Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Cold Chicken Stock, Or More If Needed
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
¼ Cup Drippings From A Roast Chicken
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Cold Chicken Stock, Or More If Needed
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
1 (4 Pound) Whole Chicken
1 Cup Butter, Softened
1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 Teaspoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
1 Sprig Rosemary Chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Step 2 Rinse and pat chicken thoroughly dry with paper towels. Mix margarine, garlic salt, black pepper, thyme, parsley, and rosemary in a bowl and rub the outside of the chicken thoroughly with the margarine mixture. Place any remaining margarine mixture into the cavity of the chicken. Place chicken into a glass baking dish.
Step 3 Bake chicken in the preheated oven until browned and the juices run clear, about 2 hours. An instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).

Diva Tasting: Goulash…

3 Pounds Beef Chuck Roast, Cubed
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Package Dry Onion Soup
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 Cup V-8 ®
4 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika
1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
2 Cups Water, Divided
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Box Rotini Pasta
  1. Place beef in slow cooker, and cover with onion. In a medium bowl, stir together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, paprika, mustard, V-8, Onion Soup Mix and 1 cup water. Pour mixture over beef and onions.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low for 9 to 10 hours, or until meat is tender.
  3. Mix 1/4 cup water with flour to form a paste, and stir into goulash. Cook on High for 10 to 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Serve over rotini pasta prepared to package directions with Garlic Bread.