Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

This is rainy day cooking at it’s best – simmer the meatballs and sauce slowly for a few hours…..



1 lb ground turkey

2 links chicken sweet italian sausage with casings removed

1/4 C grated parmesan

1 egg

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs – pulse country bread cubes with 2 T parsley in food processor or blender

1/2 C diced white onion

2 T minced garlic


Mix all ingredients in a non reactive bowl – mix thoroughly to get the sausage and ground turkey blended well.

Shape into 2 inch balls.

Spray a 9 inch glass pan with PAM and arrange the meatballs – you should have about 18-20 meatballs.  Cook at 400 for 30- 45 mins until browned.


Pour marinara sauce  into a deep saucepan.  Add the meatballs and simmer for about an hour.

Boil spaghetti and top with the meatballs and sauce.  Serve with a green salad and crusty bread to mop up the sauce  🙂





Ham and Noodle Casserole

HAM & NOODLE CASSEROLE   Good comfort food with great ingredients.  Easy to make and also wonderful for leftovers.  


1 tbsp. butter
2 shallots,  minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. sour cream
1/2 lb. cooked, wide noodles
1 1/2 c. chopped ham
Sea salt
1/2 c. Gruyere cheese, baby Swiss or Swiss cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2 quart casserole with olive or canola oil. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the shallot over medium heat until soft. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and sour cream, then add the shallots,, cheese and ham. Add salt to taste. Put the noodles into the casserole, then add the sauce mixture and toss gently. Bake 45 minutes . Top with the fresh parsley and mix.


Adapted from


Chili Cornbread Casserole

This is good old fashioned comfort food, great for a crowd.  Serve with a nice green salad.  Adapted from Mommy’s Kitchen .  Since I didn’t have to feed a crowd, I halved the ingredients and used an 8 inch dish.

1 lb. hamburger or ground turkey, browned, (drained) 
½ cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 (15 oz) cans  chili beans
½ – tsp. onion powder
3 – tsp. chili powder
½ – tsp. garlic salt
salt & pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup additonal cheddar cheese for batter (optional)
(2) – packages Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

Mix browned hamburger/ground turkey with onion and drain. Add tomatoes, chili beans and seasonings. Simmer for 15 minutes. Put into greased 9×13 pan and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Mix corn bread mix according to box directions.  Pour corn muffin mix on top of the chili and cheese cover completely. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Fettucine with Prosciutto and Peas

  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 12 ounces fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 4 oz sliced baby portabellos
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 lb large shrimp ( 15-16 per pound) – precooked
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
    1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
    2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.Add proscuitto and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add cream , peas, and mushrooms. Bring to a over medium heat unitl peas are heateed through- 3 to 4 minutes.

  • 3. Pour sauce over pasta; add Parmesan, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough reserved pasta water to thin sauce as desired.  Top with the shrimp, tomatoes and fresh basil. Serve immediately; top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

    Easy Tortellini

    This is one of my favorites – great for company and so easy to make – it’s always a hit. Buy the fresh tortellini, not frozen – more expensive, but sooo worth it.  You can round this out with a protein if you like – this is awesome with shrimp!

    1 pound package fresh tortellini
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cups freshly diced tomato
    2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves 
    2 tablespoons chiffonade basil leaves
    1 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
    1 minced shallots
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    Sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 cup grated parmesan reggiano cheese

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the tortellini according to the package instructions. When fully cooked, drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and allow to cool to room temperature.

    Meanwhile,  combine the diced tomatoes, herbs, shallots, lemon juice, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Mix to combine and season with sea salt and pepper. When the tortellini have cooled to room temperature toss with the tomatoe mixture.  Top with the grated cheese.

    Simple Roasted Chicken

    This is now my favorite roast chicken recipe.  The simplicity of it is deceptive – this chicken tastes fabulous.  In the past, I’ve roasted chickens with a variety of herbs, stuffing herbs under the skin, rubbing olive oil over the chicken, stuffing carrots, celery and onion in the cavity….but despite my best efforts, the chicken would be lacking in flavor – often with dry breast meat. 

    Very important to bring the chicken to room temp before roasting and also make sure it is dried will after rinsing – you do not want to add any steam. The salt is also key – the original recipe calls for 1 T, but I found it to be a bit too salty for my taste – next time I will use 1/2 T.

    With this recipe, the skin is nice and crisp and the chicken is moist and juicy throughout.  The key is cooking the chicken in high, dry heat.  The vegetables add steam, so don’t be tempted to play with this recipe.  You can roast the vegetables seperately.

    1 small roast chicken

    sea salt

    fresh ground pepper

    fresh chopped herbs – rosemary or thyme work well.

    Bring the bird to room temp, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1/2 T of salt over the bird and season the cavity with salt and Roast @ 450 for 50-60 min. No peeking, no basting. That’s it. After roasting, baste the chicken with the juices and chopped rosemary or thyme. Let rest for 15 mins, carve and slather with butter.

    Make some creamy mashed potatoes and drizzle with the pan juices – delicious!

    Adapted from Thoman Keller’s Simple Roasted Chicken

    Boeuf Bourguignon

    This recipe is wonderful to make on a lazy Sunday.  It’s a bit labor intensive, but so worth it. Put some Norah Jones jazz on the CD player,  pour a nice glass of red wine and life is good.  Your place will smell fantastic as the beef simmers with the herbs.

    This is my take on the recipe – adapted from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten’s recipes.  Serves 6-8

    • 2 lbs stewing beef
    • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 8 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, quartered
    • 3 carrots – chopped into large chunks
    • 3 shallots, minced
    • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
    • 1 package Applewood Smoked bacon.  Slice into 1″ pieces.  ( Yes, expensive, but so worth it and this stew will feed a crowd)
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 2 thyme sprigs
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 1 cup dry red wine – I used a decent Pinot Noir- $10
    • 8 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium beef stock (Kitchen Basics brand is my favorite – great flavor!)

    1. Cut up all the veggies and set aside.  Chop the bacon. 
    2. Cut the beef into smaller cubes if desired.  Toss with the cornstarch.
    3. Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 T olive oil in the pan and brown the beef on all sides.  You will need to do this in batches so the meat is not crowded.  Otherwise it will steam instead of brown.  Add more olive oil as needed.
    4. Transfer the beef into a bowl after it is browned.  You will get some lovely juice rendered.

    5. Add mushrooms to pot. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

    6. Add shallots, celery, carrot and bacon to pot. Cook about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.

    7.   Return beef with plate juices to pot. Add thyme and bay leaf. Raise heat to high. Add wine. Cook, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beef is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

    8.  Add reserved mushrooms. Bring to a simmer; cook for 5 mins.

    This is wonderful served with a crunchy french bread for dipping.  Also, serve over egg noodles tossed with butter and fresh parsley.  

    Fresh Arugula

    Went to the Farmer’s Market in Boca Raton yesterday.  Picked up some wonderful, fresh arugula.  Got a lot more than I anticipated and decided to find some ways to use it before it gets too old.  I usually use arugula in salads, or as an add on to a pasta dish.  I found this pasta dish while googling – it sounds delicious.


    1 lb spaghetti
    1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced
    5 cups arugula
    1 small chopped onion
    1 cup parmesan cheese
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 lb chopped pitted olives
    4 tomatoes, quartered

    1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot. Drain and set aside.
    2. Cut the ham into small pieces. Place in a skillet. Add onion and olives. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
    3. Add ingredients from skillet (ham, onion, olives) to spaghetti.
    4. Add arugula, cheese and lemon juice to spaghetti. Mix well.
    5. Divide the spaghetti onto 4 serving plates. Place tomato quarters (4 each) on top of the plates of spaghetti. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes.
    Serve and enjoy!

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