Monday, August 25, 2014


I love pasta - of almost any kind! And I love "pink sauce" the most!  Husband - not so much, but he loved this! That's huge at our house! Picky-eater-of-the-pickiest-kind!! I adapted this recipe from another recipe my good friend Loni gave me. Her sauce was made with ricotta and husband doesn't like the texture - remember I said he was picky?  If you don't want to make your own meatballs, I suppose you could use the frozen ones that are already cooked from Costco, but those kinda freak me out. Not my favorite.  If you like them, it's completely ok!! I like making these because you don't have to fry - just bake. So much easier!! Please excuse the photography - I'm horrible at it!! 

In a large pot bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add 1 lb. Rigatoni noodls and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.  Do not rinse - the sauce will coat the noodles better if you don't.

1/4 c. Italian style bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. milk
3/4 grated Romano cheese
1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley (Italian parsley)
a little salt and black pepper
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground sausage (you can use Italian sweet if you want,    or omit the sausage and use 2 lb. ground beef. I like the        mixed)
Mix all ingredients well with your hands or a large spoon, being careful to not overwork the meat. It makes the meatballs tough. I like to make them mini so I scoop them with a melon-baller for the perfect size. You can make larger if you want - just bake them a little longer.  Lay them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes - just until done.  If they are a little underdone that's ok.  They will continue to cook when you bake the pasta.  Remove from tray with a slotted spoon and set aside.
**This makes A LOT of mini-meatballs.  I usually spread half of the cooked meatballs on a cookie sheet and freeze. When they're frozen, remove them from the cookie sheet and place in a Ziplock freezer bag to use another time. No need to thaw - just put them in whatever dish you're making to bake.

Heat oven to 350.

In a small sauce pan heat 1 pint of heavy whipping cream just to simmering. Do not boil.  When simmering, stir in 6 oz. shredded Parmesan cheese with a wire whisk and stir until smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a very large bowl, mix 48 oz of your favorite Marinara or red sauce with the Parmesan, cream sauce. This makes your pink sauce.  Stir in cooked Rigatoni noodles and the meatballs.  Spread in a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  

Cover the top of the noodles with 2 cups of shredded mozarella mixed with 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.  I like to let the cheese get a little brown on top.  Serve with a nice green salad and some crusty garlic bread.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Excuse the photo - I'm a lousy food photographer. I was trying to keep from dying of boredom while on the treadmill and watched Bobby Flay bbqing away (that's not a word- spell check just said so).  This looked delicious, but I took his recipe and changed it a little to suit my tastes.  So the credit goes to Bobby - he seems so nice, easy going and I love most of his recipes.  And if you're in the percent of population that hates cilantro (not sure if we can be friends if you do) you can use Italian flat leaf parsley. Personally I wish they could make cilantro perfume!!

1/2 c. fresh mint
1/4 c. fresh cilantro (or parsley if you're one of those)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
2 t. honey
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Place the first four ingredients in a blender and blend well.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  Set aside.

Heat your grill to medium low to medium heat.  Remove husks and silk from 6 fresh ears of corn - I prefer white, sweet corn.  

Coat the ears with olive oil and lay on hot grill.  Close grill and and leave closed for 2-3 minutes.  Rotate corn until it's done and a little charred in some places.  It only takes 5-6 minutes total. Remove corn from grill and spread a little butter on each ear. 

Set corn aside to cool.  Mix 2 cups of baby mixed greens of your choice (butter lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale etc) and 2 scallions that have been finely chopped. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut it off the ears.  Be careful not to cut too close to the cob.  You don't want the fiber from the cob in your salad.

Mix corn and mixed green and scallions together in a bowl. Add about half the dressing and mix well.  If you like more dressing add more.  Sprinkle the top of your salad with one diced avocado, 1 c. halved grape tomatoes and a little Mexican cotija cheese (or any cheese you like - or omit). Serve.  Delicious as a side dish with any bbq meat.  I had this for dinner - only this.  I was making it to try it out. I wasn't disappointed - AT ALL!!

Monday, August 4, 2014


**Since I originally posted this, I noticed a mistake.  There should only be 1/2 c. flax and 1 1/2 c. flour. If you made it the other way - its ok - just not as light. It is now changed below.

My daughter reminded me of these muffins a few days ago. This recipe is from my good, dear friend Sandy! She's an angel on earth - really! These muffins are delicious and healthy (well sort of - if you discount the brown sugar and white flour - but the rest of the ingredients are).  I added and extra 1/2 cup of brown sugar to the original recipe (I like mine sweeter) and substituted coconut oil for canola oil.  I also experimented with diced apple or mashed banana added to them as well.  It's a forgiving recipe and you could add almost any fruit, I think.  Mangos, peaches, or even berries would be delicious. I don't add raisins - NO ONE in my family likes them. One of our family members (I won't say who) calls them "ticks". Ewwww! These freeze well. I buy the brans in the "buy the pound" bins at the grocery. Sprouts is a good source.

Preheat oven to 375. 

1 1/2 c. oat bran
1  1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. ground flax seed (make sure its ground - doesn't digest   well if it isn't and I'm told you lose the nutritional value)
1 c. wheat bran
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Stir the above ingredients well in a large bowl. 

Add to blender and mix well:

2 whole oranges, peeled and quartered
1 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. brown sugar (I added the 1/2- omit if you want)
1/2 c. coconut oil (can use canola)
1 t. baking soda
1 c. chopped nuts - optional (we like pecans or walnuts)
**This is where I added the mashed banana or apple or other fruit. Don't blend the fruit - just stir it in. I added 1 whole mashed banana, or 1 peeled diced apple, etc.

Blend well and stir into dry ingredients, just until all ingredients are moistened.  Divide batter evenly into 24 regular size muffin pans.  Spray pans with cooking spray or use paper liners.  Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans.


I know - it's the longest title in the history of a cooking blog. Just didn't want you to think these are boring Rice Krispie Treats (never boring in my book). Is there anyone who doesn't like Rice Krispie treats?

I was walking down the hall a while back at our church and one of the youth from our congregation walked towards me eating something. He's the cutest, nicest kid so I asked him what he was eating - hoping he would share - he did! .  It was these delicious treats! I promptly said "Who made these?" He informed me our cute friend Amanda, so I texted her that very moment and asked her for the recipe. These just add a little "something" to the regular treats.

A little hint - sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top after you've mixed in everything else.  They are so small they melt and you'll  have marbled treats.

1/2 c. butter (1/2 cube - you can use a little more if you like)
1 large bag of regular sized marshmallows (not minis)

Microwave butter and marshmallows 2-3 minutes to melt the butter.  Stir well to completely mix the butter and marshmallow.
Stir in 1/2 t. vanilla and
8 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 bag of mini-marshmallows (I used more)
1/2 bag white chocolate chips

Mix well with the melted butter and marshmallow mix.  Spread in a 9x13, greased or buttered dish.  Promptly sprinkle 1/2 bag mini-chocolate chips on top and press them very lightly into mixture to "secure" them.  Cool, cut into squares and eat!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I said a while back I was going to be more diligent about posting to this sad little blog - I lied.  A few things got in the way -like cooking for 150 girls (with 4 wonderful other friends) for a girls church camp.  I haven't wanted to cook or even think about going to the grocery. That is now in the history book and here is what we're having for dinner tonight.  Easy and yummy.  I didn't even have to make a trip to the store.  I'm serving with quinoa for me, white rice for husband. He's still living in the dark side!!  And we're having a few slices of avocado - can you even get enough of those things and some fresh watermelon.  Dinner is served!!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I pound them so they're even thickness)

1/4 c. fresh lime juice (about two large limes)
2 t. lime zest
1/4 c. honey
2 T. olive oil
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 granulated garlic or fresh (hate the smell of garlic on my hands - wimpy I know)
1/8 t. cayenne (yes, this makes it taste good - just a little kick)

Whisk all ingredients for marinade together.  Put chicken breasts in a Ziplock bag and pour in marinade, reserving about 3 T. to baste chicken with later. Don't keep marinade that has been on the chicken.  Marinate overnight or for 45 min.  Drain and discard marinade and grill over medium heat for about 6 minutes on each side.  Remove from grill and baste with reserved marinade.  Serve. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grandma Cunningham's Coconut Macaroons

This recipe came out of a family cookbook that my husband's aunt put together.  His grandma loved to bake and I'm so happy to have all her delicious recipes in one book.  It is a treasure.  I have never made macaroons before, so I was kind of nervous about it, but they were way easier than I thought and so yummy!  I am a huge fan of all things coconut, so these are right up my alley.  They are soft, airy, light, and perfect for Easter!

4 eggs whites
dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 2/3 cups flaked coconut

Beat egg whites, salt and vanilla until soft peaks form.  This took about 4-5 minutes.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  This took another 2-3 minutes.  Fold in coconut.  Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  Carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

BLOG REVIVAL & Oatmeal Banana Cookies

It's time to revive this blog and wake it from its looooong nap! Let's do this thing.  In honor of this grand occasion (I know - not really grand but...) I'm posting a cookie recipe.  Cookies - are there a MILLION, or BILLION cookie recipes out there? Yes, but this one is ONE in a million, I promise.

A few (well, several) years ago I worked in a law office with a wonderful, funny, smart, friendly, loving and fabulous woman named Mary Alice Smith. If you knew her you're lucky - if you didn't, I'm sorry.  She only worked once in a while (her son-in-law was a partner in the firm) and she ordered supplies and brought in cookies! Any paperwork she did she tagged with her initials MAS.  We saw lots of MAS paperwork floating around the office.  She had the best laugh and was feisty and sassy! MAS brought these cookies to the office A LOT!!  I sort of forgot about them (yeah, my brain is half dead sometimes) until her cutest granddaughter Jyl of posted a little video on facebook about her grandmother and talked about these cookies.  I have made them 3 times in 2 weeks.  Mary Alice always put chocolate chips in hers - we prefer pecans but you may want pecans AND chocolate chips.  I love these cookies - they don't require a mixer.  Just a LARGE bowl (it's a huge batch) and a sturdy spoon.  Jyl says she likes them frozen but I've never had them last long enough to freeze.  We had a church party here at our house with a lot of males in attendance and they devoured 5 dozen of them in about 1.5 minutes (well, really hours).  Make them - you won't be sorry!


Preheat oven to 375

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. soda
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

Stir all of the above dry ingredients in a large bowl. With a pastry cutter or two knives cut in :

1 1/2 c. butter (her recipe calls for shortening, but I use butter)

When butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients add:

2 beaten eggs
2 c. mashed banana

Stir well and add

3 1/2 cups oatmeal (I have used quick cooking and regular. Regular oatmeal makes them a little chewier but either one works fine)


1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1-2 cups of chocolate chips (these are optional)

Drop approx. 2 T. of dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Pam.  Bake 8-10 min.  Do not overbake.  I like 9 minutes.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack to cool.  Store covered or freeze (like Jyl says). 

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