Recipe: State Fair Pasta

I love to cook. I’m not such a hot baker, but cooking? I do okay.

Here’s one of my favorite concoctions.

Slice Italian sausage (I prefer sweet, but hot will do just fine) and place in a large frying pan and start cooking.

Take 1 sweet onion and two bell peppers (I’m not a fan of green peppers, so I use yellow and red), and cut them into strips.

Cook the sausage thoroughly. When it is done, DO NOT drain the grease from the pan.

Add the sliced veggies to the frying pan. Mix well.

Turn the heat to medium and COVER THE PAN. This is very important. You do not want the juices from the vegetables to evaporate into the air, but to mingle with the sausage grease to form a sauce.

Cook your favorite pasta. I think spirals work best with this sauce.

Stir the veggies occasionally. Let the veggies cook down until they are about half the size they were when raw.

You will have a juicy mix of sausage, peppers, and onions that smells exactly like a sunny day at the State Fair.

Drain the pasta when it’s done, then place in large bowl. Top with the sausage, peppers, and onions and all the liquid from the frying pan.  Mix well.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Cast Iron

I hang out on Facebook a lot. I like it there. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people. One of the things I see on a regular basis is a photo of a cast iron frying pan and the question, “Have you ever used one of these?”

My answer: the only thing I don’t use cast iron for is cooking pasta, because it takes too long for the water to come to a boil.

Behold: my pans and pans.

Happy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day 2018

Yes! It’s National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day again. I’m still addicted, but I have changed my recipe a little since last year.

Instead of using regular butter, I now use Chef Shamy Garlic Butter with Parmesan and Basil. Yes, I order this from Amazon because no store in my area carries it. One of my cousins (God bless my cousins!) posted about this product on Facebook last year. Thank you, Kevin!

Grilled cheese sandwiches with roasted red pepper and tomato soup have became a staple on the dinner table at my house.

How do you like your grilled cheese?


National Sangria Day

Why this observance is in December is one of life’s imponderables. I think of sangria as a summer drink.

When I was first old enough to drink, we would go to the Ground Round (a chain restaurant that barely continues to exist) and order pitchers of sangria. I have many fond memories. Hazy, but fond.

I’ve been trying to move my husband away from soda, juices, and other high-sugar beverages, so I’ve been making iced tea with my Celestial Sesaonings tea bags. I found this one at the store the other day. Can’t wait to try it.

Microwave Ovens

Yes, there really is such a thing as National Microwave Oven Day.  And yes, I am a spoiled American who is dependent on this appliance.

When TV Stevie and I were first married, I had a small, low wattage microwave oven. He had none. So we used my little one for nearly ten years. Then we bought a larger, more powerful one. The entire family was using it by the time we purchased the modern one.

My favorite part of a microwave oven is the timer. Back when I worked in TV and was writing promo, but before I had a stop watch, I would set the microwave timer to :29 (for :30 of copy) and read the spot aloud. Whatever works, right?

But like all appliances, it developed issues. We had to smack the door in a certain place to get it to start. The inside was starting to rust. My now-adult children refused to eat anything cooked in it.  Then one day, not even punching the door would start the machine. So I made list of my requirements and TV Stevie and I sallied forth into the world of Big Box Stores for a replacement.

There were two things about which I would not compromise: cubic feet and wattage. I was not going to go smaller, even though our family is smaller. (Have I mentioned spoiled American?) I still need a microwave in which a 9×13 pan can rotate. In addition to the cubic feet and wattage issues, we also had to purchase something that would fit in the hole the previous owner of our house had built.

We found what we wanted at the third Big Box Store.