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 22, 2016

Sorta Lasagna

As I’ve said before, lasagna is delicious.  It is also a great deal of work. You have to cook the meat if you are using meat.  Then you have to make the sauce. Then you need to boil the pasta, making sure that it doesn’t stick. When you are assembling the lasagna, in the 3rd dish, you have to be careful or the pasta tears. Later you have 3 pans to clean. Delicious, but a great deal of work.

I made Stove Top Lasagna earlier, which is indeed easier. Now I’ve made this. I was going to call it Tortellini Bake, but when my husband tasted it he said, “This is sorta like lasagna.” And he was right. 

You could make a vegetarian version of this by omitting meat or you could use ground beef, ground turkey or cubed chicken, instead of sausage. You could also add zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach. Just cook the veggies with the onions. Spinach and mushrooms create moisture.  If you are using them make sure to drain before adding the marinara sauce. I used cheese tortellini, but you could use any type you like.

Servings: 6-8
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a mixing bowl, a large pot, a colander, a very deep skillet (that can be used on top of stove and in the oven), a whisk, a wooden spoon
Time:  Prep:  10 minutes    Cooking: 1 hour

  • 16 ounces cheese tortellini  
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion (½ cup)
  • 4 cups marinara sauce
  • 1-pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup of ground Parmesan

Sorta Lasagna, Wilted Spinach and dinner rolls

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚. Peel and dice the garlic. Slice the onion.
  2. Cook the tortellini according to package directions.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in the skillet over medium. Remove the sausage from the casing. Cook and crumble the sausage, garlic and onion until the meat is no longer pink.  (About 7 minutes.)
  4. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer.
  5. Whisk the ricotta, eggs, pesto and pepper together in the mixing bowl. Set aside.
  6. The tortellini should be done. Drain and gently fold them into the sauce. Gently fold the ricotta mixture into the tortellini being careful to not break them up.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the Sorta Lasagna with the mozzarella and then the Parmesan.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and browned around the edges. Remove from the heat and allow the lasagna to sit for 15 minutes. Slice this just like you would an actual lasagna.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cowboy Burger

Cowboy Burger!

May is National Burger Month. So let’s celebrate. Hamburgers can be delicious just as is or you can get really creative.  I chose to get creative.  I went all Texas on this burger: steak seasoning, BBQ sauce, bacon, and fried onion straws.  Yee-haw!

I prefer everything a little louder. So I actually used 1 teaspoon of cumin, a heaping teaspoon garlic powder, and smoked salt.

Servings:  6 burgers
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowl, no-powder latex gloves, a spatula, a heavy bottom frying pan
Time: Prep-10 minutes, Cook-10-12 minutes

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef (the best that you can afford)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced, dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 6 buns, 6 slices of cheese (I used white cheddar) BBQ sauce, 6 slices of bacon-cut in half, fried onion straws (Durkee)
  • Cooking spray

  1. This is easiest to do with your hands. Put on the gloves. Mix the beef and the next 8 ingredients together. Don’t over handle the beef as it will make tough burgers.
  2. Divide the ground beef into 6 equal patties. Make a small dimple in the center of each burger. Spray the pan with cooking spray (or use the fat in the pan you cooked the bacon in- which I did.) Heat the pan over medium-high. Place the burgers into the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then flip. Cook for 5-6 more minutes. Place a cheese slice onto each burger during the last minute or so of cooking so that it will melt.
  3. To serve, place the warm burgers onto the split buns, cheese side up. Top each burger with 2 half bacon slices, 1½ tablespoons of BBQ sauce and fried onion straws.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gnocchi Primavera

Pasta Primavera was one of the most popular dishes of the 1970s. It was created by an Italian chef from New York while he was working in Canada, so very American. Basically, the dish consists of fresh vegetables, pasta, butter, cheese, and cream. You can make the dish your own by using whatever vegetables you enjoy, tossing in cooked shrimp or chicken, and by varying the pasta you use. I skipped the meat and used gnocchi, which are potato dumplings. Once you taste this your will realize why it has been popular for 4 decades, but still tastes fresh and new.
Servings: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 15 Minutes
 Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy-bottom skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a large pot, a slotted spoon, tongs


  • 1 + 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 1 small onion (½ cup)
  • ½ bell pepper -or 3 baby bells (½ cup)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 6-7 basil leaves
  • 5 ounces of baby spinach
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 quarts of water
  • 16 oz gnocchi
  • Salt 

  1. Quarter and seed the tomatoes. Remove the seeds and white ribs from the pepper. Slice the onion, peppers, and garlic. Remove the stems from the spinach. Set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of the butter in the skillet on medium. Put 4 quarts of salted water on to boil
  3. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic to the butter and cook until fragrant. Stirring only often enough to keep anything from sticking. After the onion mixture has cooked for about 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and the spinach.  Salt generously. Once again only stir often enough to keep anything from sticking.
  4. Stack the basil leaves and roll them up.  Cut them into very fine strips.  (This is called chiffonade.)  Set aside.
  5. Add the gnocchi to the salted water.  They will only take about 4 minutes to cook.  They are done when they float. 
  6. While waiting for the gnocchi, turn the heat under the veggies to low.  Fold in the cream, cheese, second tablespoon of butter, and the basil leaves. Do this GENTLY (you don’t want the vegetables to be mushy).
  7. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, scoop them out with the slotted spoon and add them to the veggies. If you want more sauce add a little pasta water.
  8. Taste and adjust the salt.