Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces rotini noodles
  • 4 Tablesppons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 ounces spicy Italian sausage removed from casings (2 to 3 links) *
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch pepperoncini**
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
  • Fresh grated Pecorino-Romano, for serving
  • 8 to 10 basic leaves, torn


  1. Bring a shallow pot of water to boil and season heavily with salt. Add the pasta to the water and bring to boil.
  2. Meanwile, in a large saute pan, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat along with the sausage and cook, breaking apart the meat into smaller pieces, until browned. Add the garlic, pepperoncini and tomato paste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes longer.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, strain the pasta and place directly into the mushroom mixture. Add about 1/2 cup pasta water and the white wine and bring to simmer. When the pasta begins to get coated and the sauce begins to thicken, add the Parmesan, butter and rosemary and turn off the heat. Stir the mixture intil thickened. If too thick, add a splash of pasta water. Season to taste. Divide among bowls and garnish with Pecorino-Romano and torn basil leaves.

~Recipe adapted from Geoffrey Zakarian

*I used Mild Italian sausage

**I omitted the pepperoncini chili flakes

Bolognese Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

Servings: 4
Cooking time: ~1 hour
Pre-heat oven: 400°F


  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 6 Tbs olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorrino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 lb thickly sliced pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground sirloin or turkey
  • 1 carrot, peeled &but into small dice or shredded
  • 1 medium onion, cut into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/4  cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup parsley


  1. Place the spaghetti squash halves, cut-side up, onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbs of olive oil and salt & pepper. Turn the squash over so they’re cut-side down and roast until it’s tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. once cooked, use fork to loosen the squash strands up. Drizzle with 2 Tbs olive oil, pepper and sprinkle of cheese. Reserve squash in the shells.
  2. While the squash is roasting, place a large skillet over medium-heat with two turns of the pan of olive oil, about 2 Tbs. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the sirloin to the pan and cook until golden brown, 6-7 minutes. Add the carrots, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes..
  3. Season everything with salt and pepper, then add the tomato paste, cooking it until golden brown and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the red wine and beef stock, scraping the bottom for any bits that may be stuck, and cook the sauce until thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. 
  4. To serve, ladle the meat sauce on top of the squash half and garnish each with basil, parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese.

~Recipe via Rachael Ray at

Buffalo Chicken Chili


  • 2 Tbs Olive oil
  • 2lbs Ground chicken
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 Bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use about 1/4 cup because I like it mild)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
  • 1 can stewed, fire roasted or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bag tortilla chips


  1. Large pot oven medium-high heat with olive oil, add ground chicken and break up, lightly brown it for 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf, salt & pepper. Stirr frequently, about 7-8 minutes. Add chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on bottom.
  3. Add hot sauce, tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes, bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Serve with chips.

~Recipe via Rachael Ray

Kale Soup


  • 1 lb of ground Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onions
  • 3-4 russet potatoes (diced 1 inch)
  • 1/2 cup of half & half
  • 1 large bunch of kale (we always do fresh, not frozen.. just what we prefer!)
  • 1 cup of small shells (noodles)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (2 cans)
  • 1 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 table spoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a large pot, cook meat, diced onions, all spices, garlic, and butter. Cook until meat is almost fully cooked, then add chicken broth & potatoes. Turn stove down to lowest heat possible and let sit for 4-5 hours. This time is pretty much up to you… if doing in a crockpot, let sit until you get home from work, or whatever your situation is. I let mine sit on low from about 10am-4:00pm usually. About an hour before wanting to serve, dice up kale, half and half, and shells. Cook on low to medium heat until you are ready to serve. We top ours with fresh parmesan, and eat with dinner rolls!

~recipe adapted from Katie Roch

Fig Chicken with roasted potatoes & green beans


  • 1 lb of Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Shallot or small onion
  • 1/4 oz Thyme sprig
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Chicken Stock Concentrate
  • 4 TBSP Fig Jam
  • 24 oz Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 12 oz Green Beans


  1. Wash and dry potatoes. Dice into 1/2 inches pieces. Toss on baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast on top rack for 10 minutes (you’ll add more to the sheet then. Meanwhile, trim green beans.
  2. Once potatoes have roasted 10 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven. Give potaotes a toss, then push to one side. Carefully toss green beans on empty side with large dizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until veggies are tender and crisped, 12-15 minutes more. ( You can use a second baking sheet if necessary)
  3. While everything roasts, halve, peel, and mince the shallot (or onion)
  4. Pat chicken dry with paper towels; season all over with salt and pepper. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Turn off heat; transfer chicken to a cutting board and set aside to rest. Wipe out pan.
  5. Add shallot, thyme sprigs, and a drizzle of olive oil to same pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until shallot is softened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in jam and 2 TBSP vinegar. Simmer until syrup, 1-2 minutes. Stir in stock concentrate and 1/3 cup water. Simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in 2 TBSP butter until melted. (Stir in a splash of water if sauce is too thick)
  6. Remove thyme sprigs from pan and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice chicken crosswise; divide between plates with green beans and potatoes. Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve.

~Adapted from a Hello Fresh recipe

Tunisian Stuffed Peppers


  • 4 Bell peppers
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 oz Dried Apricots
  • 8 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Tunisian Blend (recipe at bottom)
  • 1 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 can Chickpeas
  • 1 cup Feta Cheese


  1. Prep & Make Crema. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry all produce. Halve bell peppers lengthwise; remove stems and seeds. Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Rough chop apricots, if necessary. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, 1/2 tsp Tunisian Spice, and salt. Stir in water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.
  2. Cook Rice. In a small pot, combine rice, apricots, 1 1/2 cups, half the remaining Tunisian Spice (You’ll use the rest later), and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce to a low simmer. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. Keep covered off heat until ready to use.
  3. Roast Peppers. While rice cooks, place bell pepper halves on a baking sheet and drizzle each with olive oil; rub to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper, then arrange cut sides up. Roast on middle rack until lightly softened, 15-17 minutes (you’ll stuff them then). Remove from oven to cool slightly.
  4. Start Filling. Meanwhile, drain and rinse chickpeas; pat as dry as possible with paper towels. Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large, preferably nonstick, pan over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas, scallion whites, remaining Tunisian Spice, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat.
  5. Finish Filling & Stuff peppers. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir into pan with chickpeas along with 3/4 of the feta and 3 TBSP butter. Season generously with salt. Stuff each bell pepper half with as much filling as will fit. Return baking sheet to oven until stuffed peppers are tender, 5-7 minutes. Cover pan with remaining filling to keep warm.
  6. Serve. Divide remaining filling between plates; top with stuffed peppers. Drizzle with spiced crema. Sprinkle with scallion greens and remaining feta. serve

Tunisian Blend

  • 2 parts cumin
  • 2 parts garlic powder
  • 1 part ground coriander
  • .25 parts ground allspice
  • .25 parts chili flakes

Easy Homemade Waffles


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

~Recipe from

Baby Back Ribs


Baby back Ribs (aka pork back ribs)
Rib rub (recipe we use below)
Favorite barbecue sauce for basting
BBQ Rub Recipe:
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
3 Tablespoons black pepper
3 Tablespoons coarse salt
1 Tablespoon hickory smoked salt or more coarse salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
*Note: I omit the celery seeds, as I really don’t like the flavor. Since I don’t like spicy food, I cut the black pepper and cayenne pepper amounts in half.

Buy baby back ribs, which are commonly referred to as “pork back ribs”. You don’t want St. Louis style or Country Style or Spare Ribs. You do want pork back ribs. Seems like each rib rack will feed about 2 people.
Using a clean screwdriver, work the tip along a bone near the end of the rack to get underneath of the membrane. Peel the membrane back along the length of the rack.
Apply rub to all sides of the rib rack .
Double wrap each rib rack in foil and lay them meat-side down on a sheet pan or Pyrex baking dish. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours.
Remove the ribs from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Get grill to medium heat (350-375 degrees). Unwrap rib racks and baste the “bone saide” with barbecue sauce. I prefer a sweet sauce, like Sweet Baby Ray’s, but you can pick your favorite. Then place the racks meat-side up on the grill and baste the meat side with barbecue sauce. After the sauce has had a chance to caramelize (maybe 5-10 minutes?), carefully flip them over. Using tongs on each end of the rack as you flip helps to minimize tearing. Then cook the meat side for another 5-10 minutes.
Remove ribs from the grill, cover with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Then eat!

~Recipe from Teri & Scott.

Zucchini Brownies


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Mix dry ingredients, then add the wet ingrednients. Stir until well mixed.
  2. Spread in a greased 9×13″ pan.
  3. Bake with milk chocolate frosting (recipe below).

Frosting ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk (more or less depending on consistency)
  • 1 cup powder sugar (more or less depending on consistency)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting directions:

  1. Mix all frosting ingredients together, adding more or less milk and powder sugar to get a creamy consistency.
  2. Top brownies when they have cooled, so the frosting doesn’t just thin out and melt off.

~recipe adapted from