Sunday, January 22, 2012

Simple Spaghetti Sauce

I love whole wheat pasta, but there is just something about plain, old-fashioned spaghetti that, well, satisfies the soul.  In the time that it takes you to make the salad and garlic bread, this sauce will be ready to serve.  The secret?  Start with a jar of sauce rather than straight from scratch.  I love Prego, but you can use your favorite sauce.
Simple Spaghetti Sauce
1 pound ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 jar Prego, fresh mushroom
1/2 jar Prego, garden combination
1 can Hunts (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes with green pepper, onion, & celery
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, roasted (see recipe below)
1/2 cup water
Brown ground beef with onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and drain.  Add all other ingredients to saucepan and stir well to combine.  Heat over medium heat until bubbly.  Reduce to a simmer until ready to serve over your favorite pasta.
Roasted Mushrooms
1/2 pound mushrooms (any type)
enough olive oil to drizzle over mushrooms
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice mushroom about a quarter of an inch thick and place in single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

Check out more great recipes at this weeks The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leftover Wine?

What do you do with leftover wine from a Wine Gift Basket? Okay, so I can hear you laughing. Who has leftover wine anyway? I have to admit, it doesn't happen very often. But, every once in a while there's just enough left for....well, for that you'll have to scroll down. First, here's a interesting history of Champagne. infographic
Brought To By, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne

My favorite thing to do with leftover wine is to cook with it. I have vowed to never, ever make the mistake of using 'cooking wine' again because of the added salt. Leftover wine is the perfect start for a delicious salad dressing, marinade, or to amp up a pot roast. So, give it a try next time instead of pouring it down the drain.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple Cherry Dessert

I love simple desserts that you can make from ingredients in your pantry.  You can substitute your favorite canned fruit, but I like cherries best.

Simple Cherry Dessert

1 can biscuits (10 count)
1 can cherries, drained (not pie filling)
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 box Jello instant pie filling - French Vanilla
milk (for pie filling)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Press biscuits lightly into 8x10 pan, overlapping to make a crust.  Sprinkle with flour.  Cover with cherries.  Mix sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle on cherries.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  While baking, prepare the pie-filling according to package directions for a pie.  When cherry mixture is finished baking, remove from the oven and let cool.  Top with pie filling and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baked Cabbage

This comfort food favorite is a delicious way to use up leftover ham. 

Baked Cabbage

1 cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped ham
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Heat butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cabbage.  Cook until onion is tender.   Mix breadcrumbs, ham, eggs, salt, black pepper and cayenne with cabbage mixture.  Pour into large casserole dish.  Pour in chicken broth and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until slightly browned on top.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sausage Burgers

Have you ever made sausage burgers?  Mom used to make these and we would serve them up just like a hamburger on a bun.  She probably did this because pork sausage was cheaper than ground beef.  It's also a good way to stretch ingredients.  But, the result is a delicious supper.


1 pound lean fresh pork, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground sage
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 egg, beaten

Mix all ingredients together and form into small patties.  Fry in skillet over medium heat until brown and they reach an internal temperature of 160 F. 

Concerned about how to cook with fresh pork?  Check out Fresh Pork from Farm to Table.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Thanks to Darwin Barton

I used my clear internet connection to go to the “Today Show” website and find a product that I saw highlighted on the show. Savannah, one of the hosts, interviewed two sisters that had created a business called Bocces Biscuits. The sisters had left high paying jobs in engineering and managerial retail to start their own business selling dog biscuits. They are gourmet doggie treats that are in flavors like macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly. The most sophisticated sounding biscuit is Truffle-oil flavored doggie treats. The sisters have a website where you can order the biscuits and also have created New York’s first mobile doggie treat bike. You can find the vendors riding around Central Park. While you are walking your dog, you can stop and get your little pooch a treat, just like if you were going to stop by the hotdog vendor or the ice cream truck. It is such a great idea. I am ordering my dog some biscuits on-line for Christmas! I just haven’t decided which flavors!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

FOODIE NEWS: Fat Chef & Heat Seekers


Fat Chef Premieres Thursday, January 26th at 10:00pm ET/PT

Heat Seekers Premieres Monday, January 16th at 8:00pm ET/PT

NEW YORK, NY – January 4, 2012 – Food Network primetime heats up 2012 with eight new episodes of Heat Seekers beginning Monday, January 16th at 8pm ET/PT. Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking are back to spice things up and see who can handle the heat in this tongue-torching odyssey to discover the most deliciously spicy food across the country. Over the course of the season Roger and Aarón’s journey to experience the spiciest dishes take them to restaurants in Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, San Diego, Tampa and Washington, D.C. With a high-stakes challenge at the end, the winner gets bragging rights, and the loser suffers a little public humiliation.

New series Fat Chef gives viewers an inside look at the struggle chefs face when their love for food becomes overwhelming and affects their health. Premiering Thursday, January 26th at 10pm ET/PT, the six episode series follows twelve overweight culinary professionals from Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio on their four-month venture to overcome weight issues with the help of therapists, nutritionists, and trainers. Each episode will include two chefs working with their health consultant, including Christine Avanti (nutritionist, author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food), Robert Brace (dubbed as one of New York’s “top fitness gurus”) and Brett Hoebel (previously one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser), as they look to defeat their abusive relationship with food and regain control of their lives.

Episodes include:


Premiering Monday, January 16 at 8:00pm – SEASON PREMIERE!


Chefs Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking hit Dallas for a tongue-torching challenge of Hotter than Hell sliders - and the loser looks like a clown. Literally. Plus, the duo taste test Texas-style “Wangs” and creole-style enchiladas with ghost pepper sauce.

Restaurants visited include: Buttons Restaurant, The Alligator Café, and Rooster's Roadhouse.

Premiering Monday, January 23 at 8:00pm

“Las Vegas”

With a name like Fire-Breathing Dragon, there’s definitely going to be heat. Roger Mooking and Aarón Sanchez face off to see who can handle the hottest sushi roll on the Vegas strip, and somebody’s going to really lose his shirt. Plus, the two sweat it out with a Mexican chicken dish, “Cry Today, Cry Tomorrow” and tasty, Jalapeno-drenched potato twisters.

Restaurants visited include: LBS Burger Joint, Lindo Michoacán and Rice & Company.

Premiering Monday, January 30 at 8:00pm

“San Diego”

In San Diego, Chefs Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking tackle the hottest pepper they've ever tasted. It's a Naga Viper-drenched pork carnitas challenge with the loser singing for his food, Mariachi-style. Plus, they visit Charger football legend Junior Seau's restaurant for the hottest Ahi Poke in Southern California, and both turn up the heat with an island fiery favorite, mango pepper shrimp.

Restaurants visited include: Seau's The Restaurant, Mama Jamaica's and Café Coyote.


Premiering Thursday, January 26 at 10:00pm – SEASON PREMIERE!


Michael Mignano is a 36-year-old, morbidly obese pastry chef from Long Island with a dangerous fast food addiction. As he hovers around 500 pounds, his life and health are in dire straits. Meanwhile, Harlem soul food maven Melba Wilson is a single mom wrestling with obesity of her own, as she deprives herself during the day and binges at night. Both blame their extreme weight on long hours, stress, and constant temptation synonymous with the food industry. Their weight is putting their lives in serious danger. Now they are doing something about it – following them over sixteen weeks, Michael and Melba attempt to reassess their relationships to food. With the help of Robert Brace working with Michael and Christine Avanti working with Melba, these chefs will try to lose 25% of their body weight and regain control of their lives.

Premiering Thursday, February 2 at 10:00pm


Cleveland-based chef Rocco Whalen weighs more than 300 pounds and can’t seem to put the brakes on his nonstop eating, while fellow overweight Cleveland caterer Kimberly McCune Gibson samples her decadent dishes all day and binges on takeout at night. Both blame their obesity on having no time to cook for themselves or exercise, and they need help to take back control of their health. With the goal of losing 25% of their body weight in sixteen weeks, Rocco and Kimberly will work under the guidance of Brett Hoebel. Can they conquer their cravings and learn time management, or will their jobs continue to destroy their bodies and lives?

Premiering Thursday, February 9 at 10:00pm


Ally Vitella is a New York City caterer who is addicted to the delectable party food she serves every day. Mike Digby is a line cook at a Chicago bistro who can’t get enough of the mouth-watering burgers and fries he churns out every night. Both chefs weigh more than 300 pounds and can’t control themselves around their own food. The food industry is killing them but they are determined to lose more than 75 pounds each over sixteen weeks without jeopardizing the careers they love. With the help of Christine Avanti working with Ally and Brett Hoebel working with Mike, they will attempt to relearn everything they know about food and exercise in order to transform their bodies and save their lives.

For more information, visit FOOD NETWORK (