Thursday, July 7, 2011


It's amazing how you can take a healthy recipe and dirty it up real quick.  Double the amount of bread crumbs, olives, and cheese, plus throw in some Italian sausage.  Now it's good.  Now it's no longer quite so healthy.  Oh well!

Roasted Zucchini Spaghetti
Makes 8 servings

4 medium zucchinis, sliced
Olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 clove garlic
lemon zest of 1 lemon
2.5 tsp butter
1 cup bread crumbs
16 oz spaghetti
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbs chopped basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place zucchini on sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast 15 minutes.

Saute onions with 1 tsp olive oil, until translucent.  Brown Italian sausage in same pan.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Stir in  lemon zest and zucchini.  Remove from heat.

Melt butter in small skillet over low heat.  Add bread crumbs and saute until lightly browned.  Stir in basil and set aside. 

Prepare pasta.  Reserve 1 cup pasta water. 

Combine pasta and zucchini mixture, olives, and reserved pasta water.  Bring to a simmer.   Serve topped with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


At $8 a pound at Elephant's Delicatessen, this pasta salad was doing some damage on the wallet.  So simple and somehow toddler friendly, this has quickly become a favorite meal of AJ's.  And so simple and inexpensive, yet impressive, it has quickly become a favorite of mine on the potluck scene. 

Caprese Pasta Salad
Makes 15 servings

1 pound ditalini pasta
1 pound mozzarella
1.5 lb grape tomatoes
4 oz basil, chopped
Olive Oil

Prepare ditalini pasta as directed.  While pasta is cooking, slice grape tomatoesand mozzarella into pieces similar in size. 

Mix pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil with olive oil until coated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


You know a recipe's a keeper when all your friends at dinner not only compliment you on the chili, but keep complimenting you on it all night!  I forgot how easy chili is to make and this is one of the easiest chili recipes out there.  Coming from my mother-in-law, I should have known!

Kathy’s Chili
Makes 12 servings

2 pounds ground beef
1 clove garlic, diced
2 large onions, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz)
2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz)
1.5 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs salt
4 15 oz cans chili/pinto beans
1 tsp cayenne pepper (for extra hot)

Cook ground beef , onions, and garlic, until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain grease.

In large pot, combine tomatoes, sauce, beans with juice, and seasonings. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours uncovered. Simmer stirring occasionally, until desire consistency.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and Fritos

Note:  Feeling lazy or don't have the right spices?  Buy a packet of chili seasoning instead and skip the recipe seasonings.  This is great to make in bulk for large parties, or freezing some for later.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Here's another one of those dishes that will impress guests and is easy to make.  It's a perfect side dish to any brunch. 

Brunch Braid
Makes 8 servings

12 oz pork sausage (1 package Jimmy Dean maple or sage flavored)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz cream cheese
1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Add cream cheese.  Cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted; set aside.

On two separate greased baking sheets, unroll crescent dough and seal perforations.  Roll into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle.

Spoon sausage mixture to within 3 in. of long sides and 1 in of ends. Top with mozzarella cheese.  On each long side, cut 3/4-inch-wide strips 3 inched into center. Starting at one end, fold alternately strips at an angle, forming a braid.

Brush dough with egg. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:  No rolling pin?  Use a glass, pop can, or wine bottle.  I've used all of those before and it works.