Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad 2012-06-02 038-2

This is one my favorite simple summer sides for all of the following reasons: It’s super, duper easy. It’s fresh and healthy. It’s colorful and pretty. It makes everyone love broccoli – and last, but not least… It makes me feel less guilty about the giant cheeseburger I’m eating with it. A light, tangy dressing jazzes up the broccoli, and the cranberries, almonds, red onion, and bacon crumbles add incredible flavor. On top of all of these wonderful things, it is ridiculously easy to throw together and can be made ahead. Are you sold? Okay then, let’s get to it!… [Read the full post]

Blueberry Almond French Toast Bake

2012-05-11 Blueberry Almond French Toast Bake 142-2

Imagine blissfully lying in bed after sleeping in late, listening to the quiet rumblings of your husband and children working away in the kitchen. The house smells of coffee and the savory breakfast items that are being lovingly prepared by those who love you most. It’s Mother’s Day and this is your day. Reality check. Congratulations if this is happening in your house Sunday morning. I think for most of us things might be a bit different. Throughout the years when my boys were little and still to this day my husband has worked on Saturdays. This left him very… [Read the full post]

Lasagna For Two

2012-03-02 Lasagna For Two 089

I know what you’re thinking. What is a woman with a house full of hungry men doing with a recipe called Lasagna For Two. Let me explain. This scaled down lasagna baked in a loaf pan should also be known as “Date Night Lasagna” because it’s the perfect thing to have on hand to feed the kids when you head out for a dinner date. Or, for a nice meal for you and your significant other when the kids are out with their friends. There’s nothing like a quiet meal at home when everyone has left the house. Either way,… [Read the full post]

Greek Salad

2012-02-17 Greek Salad 070

In my excitement over the upcoming Acadamy Awards I actually considered calling this salad by a different name. A couple that came to mind were the Get Him To The Greek Salad, The Big Fat Greek Salad, you get the idea. I came to my senses. We drove down to Southern California last weekend to watch Boy #4 play in a water polo tournament. We have made this trek for many, many years in support of our water polo playing sons. This year we took the slightly longer route and drove along the coast the entire way. It’s a gorgeous… [Read the full post]

Creamy Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce

2012-02-16 Creamy Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce 043

I love throwing this dish together. It makes me feel closer to my Italian roots and stirs wonderful memories of my visits with Grandma Lucia at the family home in the Italian countryside. I spent hours at her side, cooking pasta in her charming European kitchen. Okay, none of this happened and I’m not even sure I have any Italian roots but it’s a nice story and I’m sticking to it. You will be surprised how easy it is to whip up this homemade, rich, tomato based meat sauce. However, the key to this dish my friends, is the bechamel. It adds… [Read the full post]

Asian Pasta Salad

2012-01-03 Asian Pasta Salad 048

Has everyone had enough football food? And now with Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I thought it might be time to lighten things up just a bit before we dive into all the chocolate that will be showing up in our homes soon. This pasta salad is simple, light and versatile. It’s a great dish to bring to a pot luck, serve as a side dish at a barbecue, or eat on it’s own as a light lunch. I’m once again utilizing the handy dandy rotisserie chicken to make it super quick and easy to put together. But… [Read the full post]

Coconut Ice Cream

In keeping with the almost summer like weather we are having here in sunny Cailforn-eye-A, I made ice cream today. I came across this recipe some time ago and have made it more times than I care to admit (it’s for the boys…really) and it has become everyone’s favorite around here. My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker has turned out to be one of the best small appliances I’ve purchased. I got it during the summer not even realizing how much I would continue to use it through the fall and winter months. I L-O-V-E it! Do you remember the old style… [Read the full post]

Crock-Pot Barbecue Beef

It’s January, you know, the time of year when we have blue, sunny skies and 70 degree weather. When we wear flip flops, and shorts, and t-shirts and frolic in the sun. Okay, maybe that’s going a bit far but it has been warm and beautiful in these parts since the new year began. Unfortunately, I’ve been holed up inside my house working all day, not frolicking, but I’ve made an effort to get my sad, pale self outside as much as possible to bask in the sun. Have you ever watched a cat in a sunny spot? That’s me. Despite… [Read the full post]

Crock-Pot Cocktail Meatballs

If you’ve been to enough parties, you’ve probably come across a variety of different cocktail meatballs. This is my take on this classic party snack. I frequently include these on my party menu because everyone loves em’ and they are so darn easy to make. Preparing them in your Crock-Pot means you’ve got one item checked off your list hours before your party starts and they will stay warm and tasty throughout the night. They are sweet and tangy with a bit of a kick. Perfect party food! I’m absolutely and totally out of this world crazy for these Aidell’s… [Read the full post]

Mom’s Cheesy Bread Appetizers

I’ve been eating these little goodies for as long as I can remember. I honestly don’t know where my Mom came across this recipe. It was probably some trendy thing that was circulating during the late 60′s or early 70′s but it stuck with our family. We all know it and love it and many of us still have a tradition of making it at different times of the year. For me, it’s Christmas time; when I have lots of people coming and going. I keep the cheese spread in a container in my fridge and in 10 minutes I… [Read the full post]

Three Bean Turkey Chili

This recipe brought a film crew from Seattle to my house about this time last year. It’s that good. Really, I kid you not. They dropped by to film a webisode of What’s Cooking for Allrecipes.tv featuring little ole’ me cooking away in my kitchen. Goodbye comfort zone! Three of my four boys got in on the action too. I’ve been a dedicated user of Allrecipes.com since I stumbled across it back in 2004. Since that time I’ve prepared and reviewed hundreds of recipes, had many of my own published on the site and have become involved on a much deeper level than… [Read the full post]

Very Berry Cranberry Sauce

A few years back I started making my own cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I’ve always thought the stuff from the can was great but once you make your own, there’s no going back. I’ve played around with a lot of recipes but this one is my favorite. The addition of blueberries and raspberries add a richness in color and taste to an otherwise basic cranberry sauce. It’s better if you prepare it a day or two in advance so put it on your list of things to do ahead and you can move on to the rest of your Thanksgiving… [Read the full post]

Traditional Bread Stuffing (Crock-Pot Method)

Stuffing can be a touchy subject for folks. For some it’s got to have sausage, for others it must have cornbread, and some people even put the yucky innards from the turkey in there. Sorry if I’ve offended any giblet lovers out there. I grew up eating my Mom’s traditional bread stuffing that she made each and every Thanksgiving. It is still my favorite and it’s what I make for my family. I have modified her recipe over time, mixing up the spices a little, but the biggest change is the method. I came across the idea to cook the stuffing… [Read the full post]

Shredded Mexican Beef

If you can’t tell by now, we kinda like Mexican food around here. For me it is the ultimate comfort food but it goes a little deeper than that. Way back in time, when it was just Paul and I, we almost always chose Mexican when we ate out. As a matter of fact, my marriage proposal took place in a Mexican restaurant. It was 1983, a time of big hair, big shoulder pads and countless other horrible fashion choices. It was my 21st birthday and we were out for a casual dinner by ourselves. I had no idea it… [Read the full post]

Spaghetti and Meatballs

2011-10-07 Spaghetti and Bon Bons 023-2

Yes that’s right, lets do this. A big heaping serving of spaghetti and meatballs with a glass of red wine, a little bread, and a nice salad. Life is good. I realize that there is nothing ground breaking about spaghetti and meatballs but once you make it yourself, from scratch, you will never want to go back to using packaged, frozen meatballs with jarred sauce. This is always a good choice to serve to dinner guests on a relaxed weekend evening, but there’s no reason why you can’t make a meal like this on a busy weeknight with a little advance… [Read the full post]

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