Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Always trying to find new recipes for dinner. I get an actual hard copy, in the mail of Food Network Magazine. When I get it I eventually go through it to see if there are any recipes I want to try. This month I found 2 recipes to check out. Here is the first one. I did make a couple of changes since I didn’t have everything. Of course, it was #simpleanddelicious. Let’s get started;

Rigatoni with Grilled Sausage and Broccoli Rabe


6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I only used 4 Tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed (I used a bag of frozen broccoli. Thawed out and chopped. Worked just fine!)
4 sweet/mild/hot Italian sausage links (I used sweet and mild combo)
10 ounces rigatoni (I used 8 ounces ziti. That’s the only tubular pasta I had in my pantry. 8 ounces was plenty for 2 people with leftovers.)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (I replaced with fresh basil. I always have that herb in my kitchen!)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese, for the topping


  1. Preheat a grill pan or skillet to medium high. (I used my grill pan)
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. Roughly chop broccoli and toss with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  5. Place sausages in grill pan or skillet, turning occasionally until done. 8-10 minutes. Transfer to plate. (more like 20 minutes)
  6. Place broccoli in grill pan/skillet. For the broccoli; I used a grill pan and did not drain the fat off the grill. If you are using a skillet you may want to drain off some of the sausage fat. Grill/cook broccoli til warmed through for 5-8 minutes.While broccoli is in grill pan/skillet halve the sausages lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Cover and keep warm.
  7. Add the pasta to boiling water and cook as label directs for al dente.
  8. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the garlic oil. Mix together.
  9. Add the broccoli, sausages, chopped basil or oregano and add 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water, toss to coat well. (I also threw in the Parmesan cheese and mixed in with the pasta.) If pasta is too dry, add more cooking water, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
  10. Time to serve and top with some Parmesan cheese.


Spice Braised Pot Roast

Clearing out that freezer!  Kent found a chuck roast from December and this recipe from #tasteofhome.  I am not a fan of slow cookers but he wanted me to use it versus my dutch oven.  I seem to have better luck slow cooking in the oven.  I have no idea why. Anyways, I used my slow cooker for this recipe it worked well.  (Still not sold though.  Just sayin’!!) This recipe is definitely #simpleanddelicious.  So flavorful and the pot roast was really tender.  Served over noodles.  Here goes:

Spice Braised Pot Roast


1 – 2# boneless beef chuck roast
1 – 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar (I used 1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar with a splash of red wine vinegar. You could use any vinegar you like.  White vinegar seems blah to me.)
3 Tablespoons tomato puree (I used 2 Tablespoons tomato paste. I did not have puree.)
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1 bay leaf (I used 3 – Why not?!)
2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic close, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (I used juice of 1/2 lemon)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Hot cooked egg noodles


  1.  Place roast in a 5 quart slow cooker. (If you like, salt and pepper both sides and brown before placing in slow cooker. That’s what I did!)
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients except noodles; pour over roast.
  3. Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 7-10 hours.
  4. Serve pot roast with noodles and ladle over with some of the juices.


Cast Iron Potato Kugel

This #socialdistancing is getting me to try some different recipes. Hope everyone who checks in here are being safe and are well in these trying times for our world.  The reason for this recipe is I had some potatoes I needed to use up.  Saw this recipe on Instagram.  Simple and Delicious! Working on cleaning out the freezer for my next posting. Got a rump roast form September 2019 I am going to roast. Hey, not throwing it away that’s for sure. Recipe to follow!!

Cast Iron Potato Kugel
(Compliment of Cooks Country)


6 Tablespoons rendered chicken fat (schmaltz), divided (you can use any vegetable oil or shortening in replacement of schmaltz.  I used olive oil. EVOO as Rachel Ray says!!)
2 cups finely chopped onions
3/4 teaspoon table salt, plus salt for tossing potatoes
3 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled (All I had was 2 1/2 pounds and that was plenty!)
4 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives (I did not have this in my fridge.)


  1.  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat 2 Tablespoons chicken fat (or another vegetable oil/EVOO)  in 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. (If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use an oven safe non stick skillet instead.) Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-5minutes.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk 2 cups of water and 2 Tablespoons salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved.  Fit food processor with shredding disk (or use the large holes on your box grater). Peel potatoes and halve or quarter lengthwise as needed to fit through processor feed tube.  Shred potatoes. Transfer potatoes to salt water and toss briefly to coat.
  3. Drain potatoes in colander. Place one quarter of shredded potatoes in center of clean dish towel.  Gather ends of towel and twist tightly to wring out excess moisture from potatoes.  Transfer dried potatoes to now empty bowl.  Repeat 3 more times with remaining potatoes.  Stir eggs, pepper, onions, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt into potatoes until thoroughly combined.
  4. Heat remaining 1/4 cup chicken fat (or oil you have been using) in now empty skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.  Add potato mixture to skillet and distribute into even layer but do not press down or smooth top.  Cook for 1 minute to set bottom.
  5. Transfer to oven and bake until kugel is lightly browned on top, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges in skillet. Sprinkle with chives and serve.


Cranberry Sauce

Tis the season! I bought a bag of cranberries.  No one in this house likes cranberry sauce. Not sure why I bought them!! I didn’t want to waste them so I found a recipe in Food Network magazine and decided to slow cook some cranberries.  When I tasted the sauce I thought it was so flavorful I had to do something with it.  I searched online and found a recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Bars and that was even better! Click on the link and make those too!!

Cranberry Sauce
(Compliments of Mccormick.com)



12 ounce package of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (I didn’t have a cinnamon stick so I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in the sauce after removed from the oven.)


  1.  Place all ingredients in slow cooker. I used my Dutch Oven and baked for 3 hours at 225 degrees.  You can use your slow cooker and the suggestion is High for 3 hours.
  2. Check every hour, uncover and stir.
  3. After 3 hours if not thickened enough (mine was) you should cook in your slow cooker, uncovered for 30-45 minutes longer until desired thickness is reached.
  4. After I took mine out of the oven I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. It was awesome!! 🙂

I used most of the sauce for the cranberry oatmeal bars.  The rest I used on my salad and that was a fabulous idea.  I made another batch this weekend and will be using on my salad and maybe making some cookies with the rest.  Who knows!!



Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Lemon, Caper, and Parsley Pan Sauce

I am tired of making the same dishes over and over again.  I have been going online to one of my favorite websites; America’s Test Kitchen to see if I could find some different recipes.  Kent suggested I look for skillet dishes.  I made a smothered chicken recipe on Saturday that we enjoyed.  This morning I woke up and knew I had chicken breasts defrosting in the fridge.  I poured a cup of java and went onto ATK and found this recipe. I made this in under an hour tonight.  It was fast, flavorful and fabulous.

Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Lemon, Caper and Parsley Pan SauceIMG_1717



4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each) – I had 2 large chicken breasts
Salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

Note: Slice the chicken breasts in half. Place one hand on top of the breast to secure it, hold a chef’s knife parallel to the cutting board, and slice through the middle of the breast.  Pat dry and season.


2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tablespoons)
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon capers, minced and chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 Tablespoons cold butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. For Chicken: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12 inch skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Place 2-4 cutlets in pan.  (Don’t over crowd.  If you do they will not brown.)  Do not move cutlets for 3 minutes, then flip.  3 minutes on other side. (They should be sliced thin enough to be done. If not cook longer.)  Transfer to oven safe plate. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to fry pan and repeat with remaining cutlets.  Transfer to plate, cover loosely with foil and place in oven to keep warm while making pan sauce.
  3. For Sauce: Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet on low heat. Add minced shallot and cook, stirring often for 1-2 minutes.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  Add broth, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits.  Simmer rapidly for 3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated chicken juices (I forgot this step), return to simmer and cook 30 seconds.  Off heat, whisk in lemon juice, capers, parsley and butter; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon over cutlets and serve. You side could be a salad, rice or mashed potatoes or whatever side you desire.  I chose mashed potatoes!


I always have shallots in my kitchen.  I use them quite often.  If you don’t have a shallot use an onion.  Be sure to chop fine.  I also always have capers. I like them in salads.  Definitely be sure you rinse them off. They are very salty.  If you don’t have capers what about substituting with olives.  No lemons, what about an orange? No parsley, that’s okay – grab it for next time.  There is always a way to make a recipe work for you and your family.  This may sound fancy but it isn’t AND it is so tasty.  Give it a try, okay??

Chicken and Herb Dumplings

Are you tired of trying to think of what to make for dinner every day? I know I am.  I get Food Network Magazine in the mail.  I enjoy skimming through it and getting different ideas for dinner and desserts. I have been finding recipes that sound delicious and end up being simple enough to make. Here is one recipe we enjoyed this week. If you prefer, you could go to Food Network for this recipe too and for more ideas!  With this recipe you can pick up that roasted chicken on your way home from work and get this on your table in 1 hour or less.

Chicken and Herb Dumplings



7 Tablespoons cold butter
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped (If you like, you could replace with a potato)
1 bay leaf (If you don’t have, no biggie)
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for topping
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for topping
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed



  1.  Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven or wide pot over medium high heat.  Add the carrots, celery, parsnip (or potato), bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons flour; stir until toasted, about 1 minute. Gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened and the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour with the baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.  Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small cubes and rub in the flour mixture with your fingers until pea size pieces form. Stir in the buttermilk and chopped herbs with a fork until combined.  Divide the dough into 12 1 1/2-inch balls. (I used the food processor to mix the dumplings.)
  4. Stir the chicken into the pot. Arrange the dough balls on top. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the dumplings are firm to the touch and cooked through, 12-15 minutes. IMG_1479Top with more dill and chives.

Simple and Delicious!!

Macaroni and Cheese

I have been making this recipe forever.    You can use any combo of cheese you like.  For years I only used Cheddar.  The issue with Cheddar is it can be greasy.  If you use Cheddar in combination with Gruyere or Gouda we have noticed the greasiness is not there.  There are plenty of times I only use Gruyere. That is our favorite cheese to use.  Eric and Kent enjoys the topping.  Me, not so much. Here is another simple and delicious meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

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1# elbow pasta (I use large elbow.  You can use whatever you want.)
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (taste it!)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup milk
2 cups Gruyere (or Gouda – NOT smoked) cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Topping (Sometimes I do the topping but not always)

1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter


1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2.  Make elbow pasta per directions on box
3.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Add diced onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.  Once cheese is mixed through turn off heat.
4.  If you are going to do the topping – melt 2 Tablespoons butter in saute pan.  Add bread crumbs and stir until toasted
5.  Drain pasta. Gently stir pasta into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

You will love it.  Very easy to make, even during the week.  Give it a try!!

Pasta Carbonara – Simple and Delicious

Rachel and I went to Chicago earlier this month.  We went to a few different restaurants but her favorites were Italian (mine too!!) One of her favorite meals was at Grand Lux Cafe  and it was Pasta Carbonara.  I made it for our Sunday dinner this week.  Both her and Eric really enjoyed it.  Rachel’s only comment was she wanted more cheese. I had plenty of that set aside for her to add to her plate! Here is a history to the origin of Pasta Carbonara. I thought it was interesting!

Pasta Carbonara
(Thank NY Times for this recipe!)



2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, room temperature
1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving (I used 1/2 cup and not enough for Rachel!!)IMG_1178
1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated Parmesan (again, I used 1/2 cup, not enough for Rachel)  -If you like cheese, add more!-
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add the black pepper, that is an important ingredient to this recipe!)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 ounces bacon (or guanciale or pancetta – I used bacon) Slice pieces about 1/4/ inch thick by 1/3 inch square
1 cup pasta water (add that salt people!)
12 ounces Spaghetti (4 quarts water in spaghetti pot and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, a bit less if using table salt)


  1.  Place 4 quarts water in pot for spaghetti with 1 Tablespoon kosher salt. Get that started.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, Pecorino  and Parmesan.  Season with a pinch of salt and the black pepper. (Room temperature is important for the eggs.)
  3. Get the spaghetti pot boiling if you have not done so by now.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon, and saute until the fat just renders, on the edge crispness but not hard. Remove the bacon from the heat and set aside. (I placed the bacon in a paper towel lined bowl. Leave the frying pan with the fat on the stove.)
  4. Cook pasta al dente.  Just before pasta is ready, reheat bacon in skillet. After warming the bacon add 1 cup pasta water to the skillet. Stir for a minute or two. (Yes, add the pasta water that is what makes the sauce!)
  5. Add pasta to skillet.  Stir together.
  6. Add egg and cheese mix.  Stir together.
  7. Serve immediately.  Have cheese in bowl to add for those who want more cheese, like Rachel!! 😉

Buon Appetito!!  Ciao!!


Peas and Macaroni – Simple and Delicious

When I was younger every Friday my dad made dinner.  My favorite Friday dinner was when he made Peas and Macaroni.  I enjoyed watching him make it (he always seemed happy). I also enjoyed eating it, lots of it!!  I know this was a meal he had when he was growing up.  This is another “Depression” food but as far as I am concerned it is definitely not depressing!  One thing though, my mom always bought the LeSeur brand canned peas.  I also still buy the same peas.   Sometimes I will use frozen peas and a can of chicken broth.  It just doesn’t seem the same.  When I make this meal all I can  think of is my dad getting home from work on a Friday night, having a beer in the breezeway sitting on the steps, then coming in the kitchen and making the most delicious meal for all of us.  Don’t knock it until you have tried it!

Peas and Macaroni




1 pound pasta (I use large elbows, you can use whatever you like.  I find the smaller pastas go better with this dish.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large or 2 small green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 15 ounce cans of peas, not drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1.  Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to fry pan over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and peppers.  Cook until onion opaque, about 8-10 minutes.
3.  Add garlic, oregano and basil. Stir together.
4.  Add 2 cans of peas. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
5.  In the meantime drain pasta in colander, then put back in sauce pan.
6.  When peas are heated through add to the pasta.  Mix the pasta and peas together.


Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry

I found this recipe a long time ago in Bon Appetit magazine.  I have been making it for about 10 years.  Everyone in our family loves this very simple stir fry.  I make it for breakfast once or twice a month.  We always enjoy this simple and delicious meal.

October 25 011

Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry


1 cup long grain white rice (I use jasmine, basmati, arborio or long grain white, depends on my mood)
2 cups water

8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 inch strips
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
1/2 cup green onion
1 teaspoon sesame oil (I use 1 Tablespoon – no, it is not too much)


  1. Bring rice and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Set aside. (I make rice almost every Sunday.  That way when I make a rice dish during the week that part is done.)
  2. Cook bacon in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp.  It takes about 5-10 minutes.  Pour into a sieve over a heatproof bowl and reserve bacon and fat separately.
  3. Whisk together eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4.  Return 3 Tablespoons of bacon fat to skillet and sauté onion over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs and cook, stirring until eggs are just set, about 1 minute.  Make a well in center of egg mixture, then pour in peanut (or vegetable) oil and 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon fat.
  5. Add rice, remaining salt and pepper and cook stirring about 2 minutes.
  6. Add bacon, green onions, sesame oil and cook mixture,October 25 012stirring until mixed through.
  7. Serve starving family and/or friends!