Sausage, Mushroom and Butternut Squash with Ribbon Noodles

This is a hearty but healthy dish for those cold winter nights. The richness of flavor allows for some lighter ingredient substitutions. You can use less sausage because the mushrooms are an excellent stand in for meat and the herbs add a pop of fresh flavor. Butternut squash is a nutrient powerhouse providing a good…

Football Tailgate Beef Stew

Fall + football = hearty beef stew. This recipe feeds 8-10 people so it’s perfect for a tailgate or for serving those fans that gather in your family room. I love it because although it’s hearty, it’s made with lean beef, lots of veggies and simple seasonings. Plan to start this early because it will…

Elevated Marinara

I’ve made many tomato-based sauces over the years but this is hands down the best marinara I’ve ever made. This recipe, which I adapted from Cookinglight.com, makes a rich, intense killer sauce. The difference is that it’s baked in the oven rather than simmered over the stove. Full disclosure, I did use my husband’s award…

Homemade Sushi Party

Here’s a fun idea for a hands-on dinner party. Homemade sushi rolls. Sushi rolls are actually easy to make, once you get the hang of it. The most challenging part is finding the ingredients and the supplies needed to make the rolls. My town just happens to have a Japanese market so that was easy…

Award Winning Turkey Chili

My husband and I make this chili when we are hosting big gatherings. It serves a crowd but it also freezes well so don’t be intimidated by the quantity it makes. We’ve entered this chili in several chili cook-offs and not to brag, but it has won its share of ribbons. That says a lot…

Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

I love fresh bread, especially when you can make it in less than an hour. Irish soda bread is simple, fast, easy to make and a delicious treat for St. Patrick’s Day. No yeast, kneading or rising necessary.      

Pita Bread Pudding with Pumpkin and Toasted Walnuts

I thought is would be fun to enter a few recipe contests and for this one, I received free samples of Toufayan Pita bread mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Toufayan Bakeries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated…

Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Tonnato Sauce

This recipe takes advantage of the convenience of store-bought rotisserie chicken but elevates it to a dinner party worthy dish. The star of this salad is the dressing (tonnato sauce) with its rich, vibrant flavors from tuna fish, anchovies, capers, fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. You can also serve this sauce over pasta, grilled…

Cooking with Ancient Grains

What’s old is new again. Ancient grains, a group of grains with a long history of cultivation that have remained unchanged over the last several hundred years (even thousands), are trending on the food scene. First with quinoa and now farro. But quinoa and farro are just two examples of these chewy, nutty, nutrient-packed whole grains. There’s…

Happy New Year with Pork and Sauerkraut

For many families, pork and sauerkraut is a traditional New Year’s day meal. I can’t remember a New Year’s day without it. I make this dish once a year and although there is little you can do to decrease the sodium content, I use a lean pork loin instead of a fattier pork roast and…

A Chopped Birthday Party

My daughter turned 26 last week and she requested a Chopped birthday party. If you’re not familiar, Chopped is a cooking competition on the Food Network. She wanted to reproduce the show in a party format so we stocked the kitchen with food, organized utensils and invited lots of friends to cook, judge, cheer and…

After Thanksgiving Turkey Stew with Fresh Sage and Thyme

When the weather gets colder, I’m ready for warm, rustic, flavorful stews. This is a perfect recipe to make after Thanksgiving, allowing you to use up any leftover turkey or with chicken if you want to make it any other time of the year.  Hearty herbs, like sage and thyme, are excellent in winter soups…