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Cheddar Jalapeno Popper Pasta with Crumbs


Lesson learned: never chop jalapeños and then rub your eyes. Trust me. Ouch.

I’m growing jalapeños in my garden this summer and have been looking for new recipes to try so that we can use them up.

Tonight I made a recipe I found while searching for jalapeño popper recipes. It combines the zing and flavor of traditional jalapeño poppers with pasta and crunchy breadcrumbs…perfect for a quick and easy meal. Continue reading

BLT Fettuccini


Yes, it’s been awhile. Life has definitely been hectic, and blogging certainly hasn’t been a focus lately. But…that doesn’t mean I’m not cooking! One of my favorite local recipe bloggers, Haley from Cheap Recipe Blog, recently posted a “Use What You Already Have” challenge, which inspired me to log back into my blog and see if I still remembered the password. Luckily, I did. And lucky for you, I’m sharing this super delish, super easy recipe that you really should try. Trust me on this one.

I picked this recipe for the challenge because it was the perfect example of “just-got-home-from-baseball-game-need-dinner-on the table-quickly-and-mom-forgot-to-defrost-something-to-cook” kind of thing. So….

I opened up the cupboard and pulled out a box of pasta, a lemon, some garlic, and a couple tomatoes. Then I grabbed a few slices of bacon from the fridge and a handful of basil from my garden and was ready to rock and roll.


And this is what I came up with…

BLT Fettuccini

1 12 oz. package fettuccini or spaghetti
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh basil, diced
4 slices bacon
1 lemon
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Fry bacon, set aside, and reserve a few tablespoons of bacon drippings. In a small saucepan, combine juice from lemon, olive oil, garlic, and bacon drippings, and simmer over medium heat. Drain pasta and combine with sauce, crumbled bacon, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Top with shredded cheese and serve.

Garden Veggie Egg Salad

Here’s a fool-proof trick for hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peel. Before cooking, make a small hole in the broad end of the egg with a needle or a tack. (Learned the pinhole step from Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything.) Place the eggs carefully into a pan of boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes, and then remove from heat.

Pour out the hot water and replace with cold water and ice cubes to form an ice bath. Wait 5 minutes. Drain water. Roll egg on table while applying gentle pressure to get the shell to crack around the middle. Once cracked, both ends of the shell with slide right off. Try it. Works every time!

So, what am I doing with my hard-boiled eggs? Well, today I’m making egg salad.

Who knew that carrots would make such a lovely addition to ordinary egg salad? Not only do they add a punch of color, but they also balance out the texture and boost the nutrition. My egg salad contains shredded organic carrots along with some Egyptian onions from my garden. Green onions work just fine, too.

For an even healthier version, you can cut down on the mayonnaise. Start with 1/4 cup, mix, then add a bit more if necessary until you get to the right consistency. I like my egg salad good and creamy, so I go full force with 1/2 a cup. Baby steps, right?

This will keep for a few days in the fridge and makes great weekday lunches; however, don’t make the sandwiches in advance. Store the egg salad in a seperate container and prepare sandwiches as you need them. I even take my bread to work seperately along with a side container of egg salad and prepare my sandwich right at lunchtime. Nobody likes a soggy sandwich.

Garden Veggie Egg Salad

6 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup green onions

Mix all ingredients. Garnish with extra green onions. If you’re feeling sassy, add a pinch or two of dry mustard to give it that deviled egg spin!

Roasted Tomato Cashew Pesto

I’ve had pesto on the brain all week. My two lonely basil plants are finally producing enough to make a batch of pesto. One problem, though. The bunnies in our backyard keeping eating my tomatoes. Every. Single. One. …sigh….
Fortunately, Faithful Ground Farms came to my rescue! They set up a farmer’s market stand on Thursday in the building I work in. This isn’t a typically occurence at our building in the ‘burbs, so needless to say, they had lots of customers happily checking out their produce. Home I went (is that grammatically correct???) with my lovely paper bag of Roma tomatoes and an extra bunch of basil…which, by the way, made my desk at work smell heavenly for the rest of the day.
Sometimes I make pesto with the traditional pine nuts combination…but cashews…well…they just seem richer and more decadent. It doesn’t hurt that cashews cost less than pine nuts either.

And now you may be wondering, but what about the tomatoes…they don’t belong in pesto, right??? Wrong. Delicately roasted tomatoes make the PERFECT addition to pesto. They add a creamy, delicious kick to the mix and compliment the basil and garlic very nicely.

Roasted Tomato Cashew Pesto

There’s really no exact recipe for this one, a little of this and that, with several finger dip tastings as you go, works best.

6 tomatoes (I used a mix of Roma and cherry…yes a few tiny cherry tomatoes survived the bunnies…they were well hidden)
2-3 cups basil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
handful of cashews (to your liking)
sea salt
olive oil (I used a mix of EVOO and garlic olive oil)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast for 15 minutes. When cooled, toss tomatoes in food processor with all other ingredients, except the oil. Pulse a few times to get things moving. Stop and wonder why it’s not working…then realize you put in your dough blade rather than your sharp cutting blade…oops my mistake. Slowly add oil until the pesto is properly processed and is at the consistency you want. I would say I used about a half cup of oil. I like my pesto thick, so that I can pile it on top of crusty french bread or add a few scoops to pasta, thinned with a little more EVOO if necessary. Store remaining pesto in fridge for no more than a few days, or freeze for later.