Archive for the 'Rockin’ Recipes' Category


Official Opinions: Kale and Avocado Salad

Are you looking for healthy and delicious recipes to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions? Never fear, Peggy, Stitely‘s chef in residence, has a quick and tasty recipe for kale and avocado salad.


  • 2 lbs chopped kale (make sure thick stem is removed and discarded)
  • ½ lb red onion, diced
  • ½ lb red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 avocado
  • 3 oz lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Instructions (Approximately 4 servings)

  1. Mash the avocado pulp with the lemon juice, salt and pepper until well-combined and smooth. Alternatively, you can process together in a food processor.
  2. Combine the avocado lemon mixture with the vegetables. It is actually easiest to use your hands to ensure that the kale is well-coated with the avocado dressing.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer a creamier texture, use more avocado.

Official Opinions: The food that smothers you in love

Besides family, friends, music and gifts, one of the most important holiday elements is food. The main meal is what ties everything together as we all smile after a great meal, so here’s a big family favorite with a twist. I come from a mainly Irish/Scottish/German family but we’ve recently added a flair of Maltese culture to the family mix. So break out the fork and knife, here’s how you make a Maltese Lasagna.

~Cassie J. Stewart~

WARNING: This isn’t your average everyday layer by layer lasagna. Oh no, this is the king of lasagnas. Be prepared to have leftovers. It’s the Maltese way.

Maltese Lasagna

Cheese and meat goodness

Supposedly for a 14″ pan that’s 4″ deep


Parmesan                                         1 big bottle
Shredded   Mozzarella                   1 pounds
Onions                                              6 big onions
Garlic                                                3 big garlic cloves
Tomatoes                                         8 tomatoes
Paprika                                             small Bottle
Parsley                                              A medium fresh bushel
Salt                                                    small bottle
Pepper                                              small bottle
Nutmeg                                            small bottle
Whole milk                                      1  gallon
Flower                                              1 pound, all purpose flower
Butter                                               1 medium sized container-  spreadable
Ground meat- chicken or beef    1 or 2 pounds
Barilla lasagna (pre-boiled)        5 boxes
Canned tomato sauce                   1 big can
Foil                                                   1 box

Step 1:
Peal and slice all the onions, tomatoes, parsley and garlic!

Step 2:
(A) Using a deep pot,  put some olive oil or butter with the onions and garlic . Let the onions and garlic cook until they are adequately done. Make sure you stir regularly (but not too much) to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

(B) In another pot put the ground beef or chicken (Your choice) and cook until it is adequately done.  Remember to stir but don’t over stir.

Step 3:
(A) When the onions and the garlic are ready, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce (not too much sauce, remember the fresh tomatoes have already added some sauce) and the cooked beef/chicken to the deep pot with onions and stir!

(B) Add paprika, parsley (fresh), dashes of salt & pepper and continue stirring.

(C) put the flame on low and let it simmer while you start working on the white sauce. (remember to stir regularly to prevent it from burning)

Step 4:
(A) Put all the milk in a deep pot and  get a whisk.

(B) Put the flame on low/medium and continuously stir without stopping until the milk is hot. (do not stop stirring)

(C) turn the flame off  for the red sauce and let it sit for a while.

(D). When the milk is relatively hot, slowly start adding a spoon of flour at a time and stir.  Every time you add a spoon of flour make sure you  stir until it dissolves before you add another one.

(E) When milk starts to feel adequately thick, stop adding flour.

Remember! Don’t add to much flour!

(F) Add some nutmeg to the mix (not too much). Then turn off the flame and keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until  it starts to thicken. Let it simmer with the flame off.

Step 5
(A) Lather the pans you are going to use with butter, don’t be shy about it.

(B) Put the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella next to the buttered pans in preparation.

(C) Pre-heat the oven at 450

Step 6
The Layering process:

(1) Lasagna sheet
(2) red sauce
(3) white sauce
(4) mozzarella
(5) Parmesan

Repeat until you reach the top of the pan, make sure the  very top is the  mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, not the lasagna sheet.

Also, do not overflow the dish. It is better to put one layer less, that way it will not over flow in the oven.

Step 7
When you are done layering, place a piece of foil on the dish and place it in the oven. Check it every 15 minutes. You will know it is ready by taking a butter knife and putting it through the layers. If it goes through without any pressure then the lasagna is ready.

Remove the foil and put the the flame on broiler. Let the top burn a little, not too much then take out of the oven and let it cool down.

Serve with family and friends, and you probably will still have enough leftovers for 2-3 more nights.


Official opinions: Carly’s cup of cheer

Now that the weather’s getting colder, it’s time to break out the handschuhe und wintermaentel! For my fellow Germans getting ready to hunker down for the winter (and anyone else looking for a cozy cure to the winter blues!), you’ll no doubt enjoy this delicious homemade brew of traditional German mulled wine,. Take in the smell of simmering spices, snuggle up with a blanket and good friends, put on some fantastic music and sip away.

Gerne trinken!


Traditional Mulled Wine (Gluehwein)


  • 1 Bottle of dry red wine
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 4 Anis, whole
  • 1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 3 oranges, sliced

• Pour the red wine into a large pot over low heat (make sure not to boil the wine!)
• When the wine begins to warm, add cinnamon sticks, cloves, anis, nutmeg, and sugar
• Heat thoroughly, then add the sliced lemon and oranges
• Simmer the mixture for 45 minutes over low heat (again making sure not to boil the wine)
• Do a quick taste-test and add more sugar as needed
• Strain and serve warm in a mug garnished with orange slices, a cinnamon stick, or a couple of anis floating on top of the wine

Feel free to experiment with the amount of spices, or for you brave souls out there add a cup of brandy before simmering!


Official Opinions: Chicken never looked so good

Stitely is moving into those hearty fall dishes as the leaves begin to change and it gets colder in Chicago. Peggy’s chicken marsuvio is the perfect dish to have on an autumn night! Sit down and relax to this dish that will bring some warmth to your house.


Compliments to our very own Chef Peggy

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/8 c. paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. mushrooms
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/4 c. marsala wine
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. rotini pasta
  • parmesan cheese


1. Quarter the mushrooms and slice garlic cloves.
2. Saute mushrooms and garlic over low heat in1 T olive oil until garlic is soft and mushrooms are not quite soft then remove mushrooms and garlic from pan
3. Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper to taste then Dredge chicken in mixture of flour, paprika, salt and pepper
4. Heat remaining 1-2 T oil to medium high
7. Brown chicken until golden and crispy on both sides – but is not cooked through
8. Return mushrooms and garlic to pan with chicken and add broth and wine
9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.  Remove chicken from pan.  Reserve sauce.
10. When chicken is almost done, cook pasta according to package directions.
11. Saute spinach and red onion in about 1/2 T olive oil until wilted but spinach is still bright green

To serve

Put 1/2 c. pasta on plate, top with wilted spinach and 1 chicken breast, spooning sauce and mushrooms over the top
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.


Official opinions: Chill out with your grill out

Stitely salesperson Paige’s grilled lemon chicken is a perfect transitional treat as the BBQ season comes to a close and we start preparing hearty fall dishes. Add some fresh veggies and a festive cocktail, and enjoy these last days of summer on a beautiful patio!

Photo from

1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, red bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture to use for basting. Place chicken in the bowl, and marinate at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat grill for high heat.
3. Lightly oil grill grate. Drain and discard marinade from the bowl, and place chicken on the grill. Cook 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear, basting occasionally with the reserved marinade.


Official Opinion: Peggy’s Perfect Potato Salad

Stitely is continuing its recipe series with more dishes great for a summer picnic or BBQ. Peggy’s grilled potato salad is the perfect compliment to Shana’s barbecue tofu sammich. This recipe has got us saying, “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!”


2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for grill
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup small diced celery
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use low fat)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons chopped capers
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives


  1. Preheat a grill to medium heat. Oil the grill grates well or the potatoes will stick.
  2. Slice the potatoes lengthwise into 3/4-inch thick slices. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the oil, paprika and season with 2 teaspoons  salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Toss to coat.
  3. Place the potatoes on the grill and cook until slightly puffed and nicely golden brown on both sides, 20 to 30 minutes, turning 90 degrees after 5 minutes and flipping and repeating on the other side. Remove and allow to cool completely. Dice into 3/4 to 1-inch pieces.
  4. In a large glass bowl, add the diced potatoes, celery, red onions, cilantro and olives.
  5. In a medium glass bowl, add the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, capers and lemon juice. Adjust the salt, as needed.
  6. Fold the mayonnaise mixture into the potato mixture, cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in the chives and adjust seasoning as needed.

***Thanks Peggy!***


Official Opinion: a Terrific Tofu BBQ Summer Sammich!

Despite this blazing heat the Stitely staff is ready to get our barbecuing on, and we’re adding this rockin’ recipe to the grill! Thanks to Shana (Stitely’s Meeting Outreach Coordinator) for this simple and ooberlicious sandwich, or as we like to call it, a sammich!

Shana’s Tofu BBQ Summer Sammich


  • Organic Millet Bread
  • Annie’s BBQ Sauce (Maple Flavor)
  • 1 lb of extra firm organic Tofu
  • safflower or canola oil
  • low sodium tamari
  • diced fresh garlic
  • red/black ground peppercorn
  • mixed sprouts
Puttin’ It Together:
  • Marinate Tofu in low sodium tamari (for a smoother, more balanced, and complex flavor than soy sauce) and add diced garlic and red/ black ground peppercorn
  • Cut the tofu into cubes and sautee in safflower or canola oil for 5-6 min.
  • Put into a bowl and mix in Annie’s Maple BBQ sauce and mixed sprouts
  • Open face two bread slices and gently put on the grill until a nice toasted texture
  • Spoon the tofu mixture onto the open faced bread and enjoy!

Now just add a side of juicy pickles, baked beans, and grandma’s potato salad. Don’t forget a tall glass of iced lemonade and a hammock cause you’re going to need it after this meal. Stay cool!


Official Opinions: Five Spice Turkey and Lettuce Wraps

Looking for an exciting and new summer recipe to add to your back  pocket? How about trying yummy Five Spice Turkey and Lettuce wraps to keep you feeling light and refreshed while having your taste buds gratified! Chinese and Mexican influenced, this fun and edgy cuisine can be served as an appetizer or a meal. With a little extra chile-garlic sauce, ginger, cilantro and diced mangos, this dish will be a tempting and colorful presentation to your friends and family before or after any special occasion this summer! Thank you to our brand new intern N’Jameh Camara, for finding this new food for the Stitely group!


Photo courtesy of

  • 1/2 cup(s) water
  • 1/2 cup(s) instant brown rice
  • 2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil
  • 1 pound(s) 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon(s) minced fresh ginger
  • 1  large red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup(s) water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon(s) hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon(s) five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 head(s) Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
  • 1  large carrot, shredded


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the turkey is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  3. To serve, spoon portions of the turkey mixture into lettuce leaves, top with herbs and carrot and roll into wraps.

Thanks to for sharing this recipe for such friends at the Stitely office to have some good eats!


official opinions: All-American Apple Pie Bars

Memorial Day is just around the corner and there’s no better way to celebrate America than with a fun, festive, all-American meal with the family! If you’re looking to jazz up your traditional Memorial Day menu, check out this recipe that packs all of the flavor of America’s favorite dessert (apple pie, of course!) into a less traditional bar. Perfect for an outdoor picnic or with the kiddos! Enjoy!


For the Crust

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
12 Granny Smith apples (about 6 pounds)—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup water, if necessary

For the Topping

3 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
3/4 cup chopped pecans


Make the Crust

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a 15-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms.

Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan creating an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and set. Let cool on a rack.

Make the Filling

In an extra large skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter with 1/2 cup of the light brown sugar. Add the apples to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes longer; scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet and if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup of water to prevent scorching. Let cool. (I did not need to add any water to my skillet.)

Make the Topping

In a large bowl, mix the oats with the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the pecans and press the mixture into clumps.

Assemble and Bake

Spread the apple filling over the crust. Scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them lightly into an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until the topping is golden; rotate the pan halfway through baking. Let cool completely on a rack before cutting into 2-inch bars.

Thanks to Food and Wine Magazine for this great recipe!


Stitely Soundboard: Olivia and Jeff’s No-Recipe Soup

This month’s Rockin’ Recipe comes from Jeff who came up with a fun, kid-friendly recipe with his 10-year-old daughter, Olivia. If you have kiddos and are looking for a fun way to get them excited about cooking, check this out!

“When thinking about what to have for dinner last week, my daughter Olivia and I came up with this spontaneous solution! We surprised Olivia’s mom, Liz, and brother, Evan, with this great “No-Recipe Soup.” The whole point is to make a soup with absolutely no recipe! Olivia directed most of the cooking, while I was her “Certified Onion Chopper” and got the can opener started on each can.  We set up a restaurant before Liz and Evan got home and took their dinner order, which was of course…soup. The “O & J Soup” (Olivia & Jeff Soup) was a huge hit (and tasted really yummy!) Compliments to the chef!”

Here a some suggestions to make your own No-Recipe Soup (just don’t call it a recipe!) Add some of your favorite ingredients to make it your own! Thanks, Jeff for this fun idea!

O & J Soup Ingredients:

  1. 1 large onion
  2. 3 cloves of garlic
  3. 1 large carrot (Well, we would have used carrot if we had some)
  4. 1 can of pinto beans
  5. 1 can of garbanzo beans
  6. 1 can of black beans
  7. 1 cup of dried lentils
  8. 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
  9. 6 cups of water
  10. 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  11. 1 T. Italian Seasoning
  12. 2 tsp. salt  (to taste)
  13. 1/2 tsp. pepper (to taste)


  • In a large pan, sauté the large onion and 3 cloves of garlic until clear.
  • Add carrots (if you have them)
  • In a big pot, put in water and bouillon cubes. Warm until melted.
  • Add onions, garlic & carrots
  • Add all cans of beans & tomatoes
  • Add dried lentils
  • Add salt & pepper & Italian seasoning
  • Gently boil until lentils are soft. (About 1 to 1.5 hours but maybe a bit longer)
  • Add spices to your pallet. Add any other spices you think would go well with all this yummy stuff.
  • Serve with a loaf of bread and maybe some olive oil and Parmesan cheese for a great meal.

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July 2020