Baked Rigatoni with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sausage and Rapini

img_6292

This is a hearty savory pasta bake with juicy bites of sausage, a creamy cheese sauce, hits of bitter from the greens and sweet bits from the roasted butternut squash.  It hits every taste bud in just the right way.  This is easy enough for family dinners and potlucks and special enough for a weeknight dinner party. 

GO TO RECIPE

I came into the butternut squash fan camp way late in life.  I am embarrassed to say – given my mantra to my kids, “at least try it before you say you don’t like it!” – that it wasn’t until last Fall that I discovered my extreme love of this roasted beauty.  I had assumed (and you know what they say about assuming …) butternut squash would taste like sweet potatoes, one of my culinary arch-nemeses. By St. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of purgatory!! I was wrong and am in the throes of making up for lost time.

Read More


Cheesy Monkey Bread with George’s Bloody Mary Mix

IMG_7046

George’s® Bloody Mary Mix is, hands down, the most fabulicious Bloody Mary you will every taste from a mix (and, I’d venture to say, beats quite a few bartender versions as well). While I’m quite content to slurp it down as a Bloody Mary with a right proper dose of vodka, George’s® actually works well in recipes like my ham and cheese stuffed meatloaf, soups, and stews so why not a warm, gooey cheesy monkey bread.

Read More


Pita Pocket Stuffers

IMG_4846

I love beans.  Love, love, love!  I could eat beans at every meal (which ironically is suggested in the paean to legumes that every kid knows and which some in my house sing to me frequently).  So, I’m sort of jaded when it comes to this recipe when I say that you will love it! Nobody has not liked it (yep, that double-negative was intentional).

Read More


Old Nonnie’s Minestrone

minestrone 2

I’ve finally bitten the bullet and asked my mother to cook with me for the blog. It’s not that she’s not a good cook. To the contrary, she’s an excellent cook. It’s just that it’s my mother and I wasn’t sure I wanted to boss her around in my kitchen and tell her how to cook and where to stand and how to measure … I jest to amuse myself. Those reasons were exactly what got me moving.

Read More


Spaghetti ala olio

IMG_3373

If I were given the opportunity to pick my last meal on earth, I would choose, without hesitation, spaghetti ala olio.  Or as we’ve called it since childhood, spaghetti ollie oley.  Though some dishes have more significant memories attached or elegant ingredients, none make my taste buds happier.

Noodles in oil tossed.
Golden garlic shaves atop.
Grated cheese completes.

Read More


Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Casseroles have a bad rap.  And rightly so if the spokesmodel for the category is that tan viscous, flaccid-noodled, hot tuna dish with potato chip topping.  Oh, the inhumanity.  I know people love the stuff.  I, however, am of the other camp.  Just entering Lent, I have had my share of flashbacks to Fridays when chances were at least a few of them would feature tuna casserole in Mom’s go-to red Pyrex bowl with gold embellishments.  Lipstick that pig all you want, the stuff was horrid.  No offense to Bunny, generally an awesome cook (discounting the liver and onions fiasco of my youth and her wayward foray into lima beans; bletch).  The upside was that I would always consider eating the casserole as my Lenten penance for the day, freeing up whatever chocolate was around for guilt-free consumption.

Read More