Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Veggie Noodle Soup

Veggie Noodle Soup
Often, I think of soup as a winter food.  However, it can be perfect in the summer.  This broth based Veggie Noodle soup is light and refreshing.  It doesn’t take very long to make, so it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

I used the vegetables that I had available.  You can do the same.  Corn or green beans can be added at the beginning.  You could also throw in summer squash with the pasta. If this isn’t hardy enough for you, serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Mmmmmmm

Servings: 4-6
Time:   Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, large soup pot, a wooden spoon, a ladle, serving bowls

  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot
  • 1 small onion (½ cup)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or a teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon dried)
  • 1 ½ pound tomatoes
  • 5 cups liquid (I used 3 cups vegetable broth and 2 cups water)
  • 1cup ditalini pasta (or other small soup pasta)
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and tomatoes.  Set aside.
  2. Cover the bottom of the soup pot in oil and heat on medium high. 
  3. Add the herbs and all the veggies except the spinach.  Sauté until the onions are soft. (4 minutes)  Stir often.
  4. Add the broth.  Bring to a boil. Turn down to a very low boil for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  5. Turn the heat back up to a boil and add the pasta.  Boil for 8 minutes and turn off the heat.  Stir in the spinach.  Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.  Allow to sit for 3 minutes as the pasta and spinach will continue to cook.
  6. Offer your guests hot sauce and crusty bread.  This tastes great the next day

Summer vegetables make for a light refreshing soup

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Clams Casino

Clams Casino
I do not remember where I first had Clams Casino.  I do remember loving it.  Honestly this dish is the best way to eat clams.

Because I love them so, I order them whenever I see them on a menu. Every chef has a different recipe.  However, bacon and breadcrumbs are the two constants. I use smoked bacon and smoked salt because I love that flavor. I also add chopped clams to my stuffing, because hey-more clams.

Servings:24 clams
Time:  Prep 15 Cook: 25
Hardware: Steamer or large pot, skillet, bowl, cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, tongs, a wooden spoon, can opener, foil, and a baking sheet

  • 24 small clams (little neck or cherry stone) or 18 large (quahogs)
  • 1 shallot (less than ¼ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 slices of nitrate free smoked bacon
  • ½ cup regular breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parley
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-6.5 ounce can chopped clams
  • Salt
  • Hot sauce
Clams, bacon, breadcrumbs

  1. Line the baking sheet with foil.  Pre-heat the oven to 375˚.
  2. Drain the canned clams, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the liquid.
  3. Clean and scrub the clams.  Put water into the steamer or the pot of water to boil.
  4. Slice the shallot and garlic. Chop the bacon. Put the Shallot, garlic, and bacon in a cold pan over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is almost cooked.  About 10 minutes. Stir enough to keep anything from sticking.
  5. While the bacon is cooking, steam the clams, just until they open. You aren’t trying to cook them, just make it easier to shuck them.  As soon as the clam opens a little remove them to the bowl.  Set aside.
  6. When the bacon has cooked through, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, butter, canned clams and reserved liquid.  Stir until everything is thoroughly combined and the breadcrumbs are moist.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the torn parsley.  If the stuffing is dry, add more butter.
  7. Shuck the clams over the breadcrumbs.  Use a knife to loosen the clams.  Place them back into one half of the shell.  Place the shells on the foil lined baking sheet. If the clams don’t rest upright you can sprinkle enough salt on the foil to keep them from rocking.
  8. Taste the stuffing and adjust the salt.  Pack each one of the shells heaping full.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the stuffing is crispy on top.  Serve hot.  Offer your guest hot sauce.

To store clams, place them in an open container covered in a moist paper towel.  Keep the towel moist. Store them in the fridge.  Do not place them in water or sealed in a container or they will suffocate.  Discard broken clams or clams that do not open.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Taco Pie

Today is Cinco de Mayo.   It is barely a Mexican holiday.  It is actually an American reason to party and drink.  This Taco Pie is barely Mexican, but like Cinco de Mayo it is fun. Taco Pie travels well, so you can take this with you to a party or brunch.  Or you can make it for dinner one night and eat it for lunch for the rest of the week.  It is sooooo good. ¡Disfrute de su comida!

Servings: 8
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes; Cooking:  45 minutes;  Rest:10
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring cups & spoons, a skillet, wooden spoon, mixing bowl, foil

Taco Pie

  • 1 deep dish pie crust
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion (½ cup)
  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 1-10 ounce can Rotell tomatoes-drained
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup corn chips
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • taco sauce, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, chopped green onions

  1. Set the pie crust out to thaw.  Pre-heat the oven to 350˚
  2. Dice the onion and bell pepper, the smaller the better. In the skillet, brown the beef, onion, and pepper over medium.  Cook and crumble until the beef is no longer pink. (About 7 minutes)  Drain.  Mix in the drained Rotell, chopped jalapeños, and taco seasoning.  Taste and adjust the salt.
  3. Mix the flour, milk, egg, and baking powder together in the bowl.  The mixture will be thick.  Mix this flour mixture into the meat.
  4. Sprinkle the corn chips in the bottom of the pie crust.  Spread the meat mixture evenly over the chips.
  5. Cover the edges of the crust with foil. Bake the pie for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and top with cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes more or until the cheese melts and the edge of the crust is brown.
  6. Allow the pie to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Offer your guests taco sauce, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and chopped green onions.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pizza Chicken

I try to cook from scratch most days.  However, some days I just can’t.  The temptation to grab a burger or pizza is almost overwhelming when I have been at work for 13 hours.  Fight that urge.
This is easy, fast, and really yummy.  And while I cannot call this health food, it isn’t as unhealthy as a burger and fries.  I used DelGrosso Marinara©.  DelGrosso sauces are more expensive, but they have no added sugar and no preservatives.  Applegate Natural Pepperoni© is a good choice if you are hoping to avoid nitrates and additives.  Instead of using chicken tenders you can use rotisserie chicken.  I added chopped tomatoes, onions, olives, and artichokes.  Dinner I can feel okay eating in less than 30 minutes.

Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes; Cooking:  15 minutes
Hardware: 11x7 baking dish, measuring cups

  • 1 pound prepared chicken tenders (or 1 ½ pounds shredded rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 5 ounces nitrate free pepperoni
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup each of your favorite pizza toppings
  • Cooking spray

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.   Spray the pan with the cooking spray.
  2. Cut the tenders into bite size pieces. Place the chicken tenders evenly spaced out into the pan. 
  3. Pour the sauce into the pan, spreading it out evenly and covering the chicken.  Layer the pepperoni over the sauce.  Top with your favorite pizza toppings.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
  5. I served the pizza chicken over thin spaghetti with a side salad.