Instead of starting with a hambone (which you won't have unless you've just eaten a baked ham) and dried beans (which require significant soaking and simmering time), simply open cans of chicken broth and beans. Minced prosciutto instantly transforms commercial chicken broth into a ham-flavored soup base. Italian sausage reinforces the pork flavor and makes the soup substantial and satisfying. Mashing some of the canned beans thickens the soup and gives it the body of one that's been long simmered. Sauteed onions, carrots and celery add depth of flavor and ensure the soup's homemade feel.
Chicken thighs are marinated in Mexican-style seasonings and beer, then grilled and served slathered with barbecue sauce. Chicken thigh meat stands up to long marinating and the heat of the grill without getting dry.
The rich and nutty taste of toasted pine nuts combine beautifully with sauteed bits of ham, fresh basil, chopped tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Toss this savory mixture with warm pasta, then dress with oil and vinegar for a very special dish.
A sweet, sweet cranberry salad that everyone will think is dessert. Sugared cranberries are combined with crushed pineapple and miniature marshmallows and chilled overnight. Just before serving, this lovely concoction is folded into freshly whipped cream and sliced bananas. Serves six.