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.


Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce – Simple and Delicious

All I can say is Simple and Delicious and under an hour!!

Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
(compliments of Epicurious)

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1 – 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 anchovy fillet packed in oil or 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (I had the anchovy paste.  Worked great.  Anchovy flavor is an umami flavor.  What is umami?  Umami is a quality of meaty savoriness that brings depth to many dishes, is widely considered the fifth taste. So, don’t be afraid to use it.  It really makes a difference.)
1/2 stick butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
12 ounce spaghetti or linguine or buccatini
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving


1.  Preheat oven to 425°.
2.  Combine tomatoes (crushing them with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter, and ½ tsp. red pepper flakes in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and black pepper.
3.  Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is very soft and mixture is jammy, 35–40 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up garlic and tomatoes.February 009
4.  While tomatoes are roasting, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
5.  Return pasta to pot and add tomato sauce and pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. (Oops, I did not see this step.  Guess my lecture the other day to Martin about reading a recipe before you make it didn’t quite work for me. 😉  I will do step 5 next time.  There will definitely be a next time!!)
6.  Serve topped with Parmesan and more red pepper flakes. (I topped with Parmesan but did not need any more red pepper flakes)

FYI:  Tomato sauce can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat before mixing with pasta.


Chicken Quesadillas

Every Sunday I make dinner for whoever wants to come over.  Last Sunday Eric suggested Chicken Quesadillas. This was a recipe Eric found on Food Network.  These were way too easy.  Definitely a weekday meal you can make under 45 minutes.  Honestly, nothing takes me less than 45 minutes.  Even if I make a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal – NOPE.  45 minutes for this chickie!!  This meal is very simple and delicious.  Give it a try!!

Chicken Quesadillas

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2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (I put them in the crockpot for 4 hours.  I seasoned them with 1Tablespoon chili powder, 1 Tablespoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper.  It was very flavorful.  You could use a taco seasoning packet too.)
2 Tablespoons taco or Cajun seasoning
1 large onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 stick of butter (will be needed for frying)
12 large flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups grated monterey jack cheese

Pico de Gallo

6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro (we are not a fan of cilantro so I use parsley)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 lime

Quesadillas Directions

1.  I prepared the chicken in the crock pot. I sliced the chicken into strips. If you do it per the Food Network recipe you should heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a skillet over high heat.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.  Add the chicken to the skillet and saute over medium high heat until done, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove from the skillet and dice into cubes.  Set aside.
2.  Add the remaining oil to the skillet over high heat.  Saute the onions and peppers until softened.  About 4-6 minutes.
3.  Sizzle 1/2 Tablespoon of the butter in a non stick skillet.  Over medium heat lay a flour tortilla in the skillet.  Build the quesadilla by laying the cheese on the bottom of the tortilla, top with chicken, cooked peppers and end with more grated cheese, top with a second tortilla.  January 2014 019

4.  When the tortilla is golden on the first side, flip over to the other side.  You will need to add 1/2 Tablespoon butter to the skillet at the same time.  Continue cooking until the second side is golden.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.  (You may think this will be difficult.  It is not at all.  Super easy. I promise!)
5.  Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with Pico de Gallo.

Pico de Gallo Directions

1.  Dice up the tomatoes, chop the onions and the cilantro (parsley).
2.  Slice the jalapeno in half.  With a spoon scrape out the seeds.  If you like things spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.  Dice the jalapenos very finely.  Place in bowl with tomatoes, onions and cilantro (parsley).
3.  Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined.

Hope you like it as much as we did!!