baked sausage and spinach shells

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice that I like to cook dishes that are simple, easy to prepare, and readily adaptable to someone else’s tastes or needs.  Well, this recipe is all of that, and best of all, it’s absolutely delicious!  These baked sausage and spinach shells were exactly the type of food I wanted to serve my family and friends on Christmas Eve – finger foods that were filling and hearty. I was right because they were a big hit at my buffet table!  The shells held the filling together so my guests were able to pick them up with their fingers and eat them without making a mess.  I received compliments all night long.  Continue reading

football food: spinach and artichoke dip

Over the last couple of posts, I’ve shared some yummy snacks that are perfect for your football party or tailgate.  The last one I want to share with you is this warm and creamy  Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  This is easy to prep ahead of time, then bake in the oven about 30 minutes before you and your guests are ready to eat. I usually serve this with tortilla or pita chips.  I added the breadcrumb topping to give it a little crunch and more garlic flavor.  The garlic is not overpowering in this recipe since it is roasted for a mellower and nutty taste, but decrease amount if you are garlic-averse. Continue reading

classic comfort food: bacon mac and cheese


I have a confession to make.  I’ve never had mac & cheese from that iconic blue box.  While eating the neon orange concoction was a childhood rite of passage for most of my friends, Kraft’s version was never very appetizing to me.  However, this made-from-scratch mac & cheese, oozing with cheesy goodness, is a whole other story!  Adding bacon to this is just pure genius!  Thanks to my friend, Patti, who posted a photo of her mac & cheese on facebook, for reminding me that I had this recipe from Lori at RecipeGirl that I’ve been wanting to try. Continue reading

zucchini chips


Knowing that I was going to be cooking zucchini a lot this week, I bookmarked this recipe from  fellow blogger, Miranda, of Cupcakes and Cardigans.  These zucchini chips are simple and easy to prepare.  They are healthy, too, since they are baked instead of fried.  Just don’t serve them with a side of ranch dressing (like I did!).

I didn’t have any breadcrumbs so I used some herbed croutons that I coarsely processed in the food processor, which turned out wonderfully. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly as Miranda had shared in her blog.  Yummy!

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a classic combination: tomatoes and basil

Classic Combination: Basil and Tomatoes

Perhaps there is no better combination of flavors and textures than the classic pairing of tomatoes and basil, whether in a Caprese Salad or in a simple pasta dish.  This is specially true in the summertime when the tomatoes are at its sweetest and at its peak of flavor and the fragrant basil grows quite fast.  The small basil plant I bought at Trader Joe’s is very happy by my sunny kitchen window and has produced all the basil I need, and much more.  It was a much better investment than buying a bunch at the grocery store for the same price.

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