Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Pasta Primavera

 This was ah-mazing.  So good and so easy...

The original recipe came from TheVegLife, but I made substitutions since hubby isn't a fan of zucchini and summer squash.  I used a large onion, a yellow pepper, matchstick carrots and mushrooms.  Next time I may add water chestnuts. I know, I know, its not Asian, but it would give it a nice crunch.  Another alternative would be to roast the veggies in a 450 degree oven and then proceed with recipe.  Grilled chicken would be a great option, too.  

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion sliced
  • 1 large Yellow Pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large Red Pepper cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large Zucchini cut into small wedges
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta cooked to package instructions, RESERVE 1 CUP OF PASTA WATER AFTER COOKING
  • 1/2 c Parmesan or vegan alternative
  • 1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base
  • 1 c Reserved Pasta Water
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Lemon Wedges
  • Additional Parmesan or vegan alternative
  1. In a large skillet, add oil and sliced red onions. Saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add sliced red and yellow bell pepper.
  3. For the cut zucchini, you can opt to give them a quick pre-cook in the microwave if you prefer them a bit more tender. Then add to the vegetables in the skillet. Saute until desired doneness.
  4. Prepare penne pasta to package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  5. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the vegetables.
  6. Whisk together the reserved pasta water, Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base and seasoning. Add this mixture to the vegetables.
  7. Add the parmesan (or vegan alternative) and stir well to combine. This will form the sauce.
  8. Garnish with fresh parsley, lemon wedges and a bit more of the parmesan, if desired.
  9. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Lasagna Roll Ups with Bechamel Sauce


My friend, Carlene, gave me this recipe years ago and I misplaced it. I’ve searched for a couple of days, finally gave up, and she graciously sent it to me again. I’m not losing it this time, she is a wonderful cook and I posted this so I don’t lose it again.  She covers this when she bakes it, uncovering at end to brown a bit.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Mandarin Almond Salad

 This recipe dates back to the 70's, when I was a young mother.  It was given to me by my next door neighbor, she was a really special lady, and a great cook.  This is so simple, but it's excellent.


1 head lettuce,  I prefer romaine or butter lettuce
1 can mandarin oranges
6 green onions


1/3 cup oil
3 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. white vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
dash pepper


1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. water

Put topping in microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes to sugar coat.  Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.

Heat dressing in microwave for one minute, immediately pour over greens. Toss, add topping and serve.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Mrs. Shore's Apple Cake Pudding Cake with Warm Lemon Sauce

 Mrs. Shore was a friend of a friend, the McGuires, when I was a little girl.  She gave Helen this recipe, she gave it to mother and it became mom's favorite fall dessert.  It's a trip down memory lane, this recipe must be eighty years old.   I thought I had lost it, found it recently and decided to add it here so it won't be forgotten.  Is it as good as I remember? I hope so because some things are best left to childhood, but I'm going to make it and see.  It's actually relatively healthy, no butter except for the sauce

Mrs. Shore's Apple Pudding Cake with Warm Lemon Sauce

2 cups chopped apples               
1 cup sugar

Combine sugar with apples and let sit for ten minutes

1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup nutmeats

Mix all together and bake in grease 9" square pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note:  I prefer to bake this in a 8" square pan, so it's a thicker cake, increasing baking time if needed.

Warm Lemon Sauce

Mix together in a saucepan:

1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

Gradually add 1 cup hot water and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until clear.  

Remove from heat and add 2 Tbs. lemon juice* and 1 tsp. grated lemon rind

Add 1 Tablespoon butter and blend well. 

Serve over warm cake.

*Add additional lemon juice for a tangier flavor

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tomato Basil Soup


The best of the best, this tomato bisque soup is the only recipe you will ever need.  ~ Jan

1 gallon, serves 10

1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 qt. heavy cream
3 quarts chicken stock quality or broth
1/3 cup sugar or to taste
2 bunches fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper, one dash
2 large cans tomatoes, chopped or crushed

cooking wine or sherry -

Preparation time 1 hr.

chop veggies and saute in olive oil with garlic, about 5 minutes. deglaze pan with wine or sherry. add stock and tomatoes, let reduce about 20 minutes. add cream, let come to boil. puree with emulsion blender or in a food processor in batches. thicken with cornstarch slurry or roux. season and add fresh chopped basil at the end. you may at this point leave the soup with texture to it or strain the solids out for a smooth texture.

Per serving, excluding unknown items - 343 calories, 35 grams fat, 90.4% calories from fat, 2grams protein, 6g carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 131 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Parchment Paper Liners for Muffins



 I love all things to do with cooking, and I have a feeling I’m a little late to this parchment paper game, but last month when we were visiting Ryan and family, we went every morning for breakfast at The Dixie Diner, a great little restaurant not far from their house and every morning I had a Jumbo Blueberry Muffin (don’t judge me) in a parchment paper liner like this one above.  I was intrigued, the muffin didn’t adhere to the paper like it does with a regular muffin liner and it was so darn cute.  It’s all about the presentation for this old(er) girl.

So I did a little research and it’s a pretty simple thing to do.  For jumbo muffins or cupcakes you need 6” parchment paper squares and for regular sized muffins or cupcakes you need 5” squares. Now you could cut your own, but seriously, who wants to do that when you can buy them precut already.

If you want the tulip effect like the one above, it does take a little work, but they look so good they are totally worth it.

Muffin liner

It’s pretty simple really, just pleat the muffin around an overturned glass the same size as the muffin tin and then plop them in the tins.  I suppose you could just pleat them inside the tin itself, but this is much easier.

You can buy these liners, bleached or unbleached.  I’ll do easy links for you below.  AND since yours truly, who buys everything kitchen related just realized that I don’t have jumbo muffin tins, I’m going to remedy that today by ordering them.  Oh, I am a sucker for Amazon Prime, but aren’t we all.

So, here are the links, happy baking, and now your muffins will look just like the ones in the bake shops. 😋



The ones I ate were in these unbleached liners, which looked great.  Here’s the link for the 5” ones

And the 6” ones, are actually marketed to use as squares between hamburger patties, which brings up a whole other subject that I will address in another post.

Here’s the link for the 6” ones

And now for those jumbo muffin pans, Wilton sells them on Amazon for $11.99 Prime.  Here’s the click



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Barb's Noodle Ramen Salad


What a great salad this is.  My friend Barb gave me this recipe and she thinks it’s far superior to any other Ramen Noodle Salad she’s ever had.  I agree, this is absolutely wonderful!

1 package Chicken Ramen Noodles

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 tsp. sesame oil

1/3 cup sugar (can substitute Splenda)

salt and pepper to taste

1 large head cabbage, chopped - I use a package of coleslaw mix

6 green onions, chopped

Melt butter, add seasoning mix from noodles.  Break up dry noodles and mix with sesame seeds and sliced almonds in skillet and brown.

Let cool.

Mix together soy sauce, oil, white vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper in pint Ball jar and shake to emulsify.  Stir crunchy mixture and sauce into chopped cabbage and onion 20-30 minutes before serving.  Let set at room temperature.


I only stir the crunchy topping into the portion of the salad I’m using.  This coleslaw keeps well in the fridge and I store the crunchy topping separately in a sealed baggie with paper towel to absorb the moisture.  Then I pour the amount I need to serve.  If you mix it all together it gets soggy in the fridge.