Bowtie Pasta with Italian Sausage and Bell Peppers

There are nights when I stare into my pantry, wondering what I’m going to fix.  On this particular night, the contents of the pantry made me consider making Italian Sausage with Bowties but I didn’t have any stewed tomatoes.  I decided to change the recipe up a bit and came up with this.

Like the original, it’s a cinch to make and quick too.  This one gets an added taste boost from the peppers.  Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Western Omelette Casserole

For Christmas morning, I wanted to make a different type of breakfast casserole than the egg/sausage one I usually make.  We have to have some kind of protein to counteract the cinnamon rolls, frozen fruit cups, and hot cocoa.

I set out on a search to find a recipe that suited me, but since I’m picky, I couldn’t find the perfect casserole.  So, I created one based on several recipes.  I knew I wanted ham, peppers and onions.  And it needed to be something I could make the day before and pop in the oven on Christmas morning to bake.

The result was exactly what I hoped for.  The green and red pepper made it look Christmasy, but it would be good for any brunch.  It would also make a good breakfast-for-dinner meal.  I didn’t get a photo of the ingredients, but here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Chicken, Broccoli and Red Pepper Stir Fry (and 2 Tips to Fixing Any Stir Fry Fast)

Stir fry is one of the simplest things to make.  Providing you have a good knife to do the chopping.  That’s the first tip for making it fast.  You can’t be quick with a dull knife.  (The Rada Cutlery giveaway is still open, in case you’re in need of a sharp knife.)

Colorful veggies and lean chicken make this a healthy dinner.  It’s one of my kids’ favorites.  Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Italian Sausage and Rice

italian sausage and rice done

I whipped this up for dinner one Saturday night when I didn’t really want to cook.  It was fast, easy and tasty.  While I was eating I thought how versatile this recipe could be.

The topping could be put over pasta, pizza crust, used to fill an omelet or mixed with eggs for frittata, broiled on thick slices of French bread…the possibilities are endless.

[Read more…]

Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper


roasted red pepper and broccoli done

Roasting broccoli in the oven gives a new dimension to the flavor.  It brings out a nutty taste in the broccoli and enhances the sweetness of the red pepper.  You can vary the seasonings using seasoned salt, grill seasoning or lemon pepper, but I chose to go simple with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

[Read more…]


I love guacamole.  It’s dangerous for me to start eating it, because I have trouble stopping.  So yummy.  And it’s very easy to make homemade.  The only trick is having ripe avocados.  Anybody know how to have perfectly ripe avocados when you need them? [Read more…]

Bowtie Festival

Bowtie Festival done

I was going for a copy cat version of Johnny Carino’s Bowtie Festival when I created this.  Several months ago, I created Penne Gorgonzola, which came very close to the restaurant dish.  This Bowtie Festival was excellent, but it was not exactly like the restaurant version.  Something was missing, but we couldn’t quite place it.  That said, I will make it again.  How can you go wrong with pasta, parmesan and bacon?  Wonderful stuff. [Read more…]

Cheese Ravioli with Pesto, Red Peppers and Grilled Chicken

Cheese Ravioli with Pesto

Oh, this was good.  The freshly made pesto, sweet sauteed red peppers and onions, creamy cheese ravioli and grilled chicken were divine together.  I wish you could smell it, because it was just heavenly.  It was also super easy and quick to make.  I don’t have an ingredient picture for you this time, though.  Even while the ravioli was cooking, I was still deciding what would go into the dish.

[Read more…]

Pasta Primavera

Oh my goodness, this was yummy! The recipe is Pioneer Woman’s, but I changed it a bit to suit our tastes. Her recipe calls for mushrooms, which we don’t like, so I eliminated them. I didn’t have any wine, so I only used chicken broth. And I was too cheap to buy the whipping cream when I already had half & half, so the calories were reduced a bit. I also didn’t have any peas, so I left them out. Bottom line is, substitute as needed!

Gather up your ingredients:

Olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cup brocoli, cut into florets
2 carrots, sliced on the bias
1 yellow squash, sliced on the bias (I think I left this out)
2 zuchini, sliced on the bias
1/2 red pepper, sliced

2 cups half & half, plus a bit more to thin the sauce
chicken broth as needed (I probably used about 2 cups, but that is just a guess)
6-8 fresh basil leaves
grated or shredded parmesan cheese

Penne pasta

Start the pasta cooking. In a large skillet melt the 2 Tbs. butter and 2 Tbs. olive oil together and cook the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the brocoli and carrots to the pan and cook a few minutes. You want them to still be a bit crisp. Remove from the pan and add more butter as needed and the red peppers. Cook until tender crisp and remove from the pan and saute the rest of the veggies in batches. When all the veggies are cooked and removed from the pan, pour in about a cup of chicken broth and scrape up the brown yummies from the bottom of the pan. Cooking over medium heat, add another 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 cups half & half, and the cheese. (PW calls for 1/2 cup cheese, but I used the whole container) Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as the chopped basil leaves. Drain the pasta and put it back in the cooking pot. Add the veggies and the sauce and stir to combine. If you need to thin the sauce a bit, add more chicken broth and/or half & half.

Eat and enjoy!

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