Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Spaghetti Bolognese August 31, 2008

Filed under: Entrees — lindsayrose @ 10:28 pm

My Mom made pretty much everything from scratch.  We didn’t eat much that was pre-packaged, boxed or canned.  The one exception to that was sauce.  We always had jarred spaghetti sauce.  It’s not bad, and we’ve found some that we really like, but there is nothing like good homemade tomato sauce.  I’ve tried a few recipes and never been thrilled with them.  What I really need is a recipe from a nice little Italian Grandma.  Unfortunately I don’t know any, and anyone who is Italian that I ask says that the recipe isn’t written down and nobody can reproduce it.  Grrrrr. 


Last night, I think I had a dream about tomato sauce. (Is that sad?)  I’m not sure if it was a dream or if I woke up in the night thinking about it randomly, but sometime in the night I had thoughts of tomato sauce in my head.  When I woke up this morning, I was determined to find a good recipe and make it for dinner tonight.  Last week, along with our oh-so-cute-aprons, my friends Erin and Amanda gave me The Newlywed Cookbook by Robin Miller.  Robin Miller is a cook on the Food Network and has some pretty good recipes.  This cookbook is chock full of stuff that looks really good.  The recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese sounded kind of like what I was looking for.  Here it is:


Spaghetti Bolognese


2 t olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground beef

1 t dried basil

1 t dried oregano

1/2 t salt

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes (I added a lot more)

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 c beef broth

2 T tomato paste

1 lb cooked spaghetti (or whatever kind of pasta you want!)

2 T grated parm


Heat oil in large saucepan (I used a Dutch oven) over medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and garlic, saute 2 minutes.  Add beef and saute until browned and cooked through, breaking up the meat as it cooks.  Add basil, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes and stir to coat.  Add tomatoes, beef broth, and tomato paste and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 20 minutes (and up to 1 hour). 


Cook pasta according to package directions.  Pour sauce over pasta and top with parm.


Ok, so here are the things I did differently.  I let it simmer in my Dutch Over for several hours.  I added:


1/2 c red wine

an extra tablespoon of tomato paste

1 T + 1 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

some black pepper

1 bay leaf


This is pretty good.  It’s not some Italian Grandma’s, but it is good and I will make it again unless little Granny shows up on my doorstep with the magic recipe!


** Update:  When I wrote this blog, we hadn’t actually had dinner yet, I had just tasted it out of the pot.  I don’t think I gave this recipe enough credit.  It was really, really good.  This will most definitely be my new sauce recipe.  Not to say if Granny shows up I won’t give hers a chance, but this was much better than I thought it was going to be.  Try it!


A Busy/Slow Week

Filed under: Eating Out,Entrees,Life — lindsayrose @ 1:51 am

…Meaning, the week has been busy so the cooking’s been slow.  We had a wedding appointment on Wednesday night, so had a repeat in the crock pot, Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce.  It was still good!  Thursday we were lazy and had grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Every now and then that just tastes so delicious.


Friday night we went to a Durham Bulls game.  Unlike my sister, I am definitely not a huge baseball fan.  I do, however, love the atmosphere of a ball park, and I love going to see the Durham Bulls.  I had no idea what was going on most of the game, but I had a good time with my sister, her boyfriend Mark, Ross and my friend Elizabeth.  And by far, my favorite part of going to the ball park is the food.  There is absolutely nothing like it.  I don’t know if the same food would taste as good if eaten elsewhere; it may be in part the atmosphere that makes it taste so good.  Either way, a cold beer, a big cheeseburger and a cup of fries was just sinful on a hot summer evening.  I was in my glory.


After the game we headed to Mellow Mushroom.  I don’t know what my deal is with atmosphere and food, but this is another place that has the best food and the most delicious margaritas, but only in the summer when eaten outside.  The pizza and the drinks are just not as good if you aren’t outside.  Really.  However, as soon as the weather starts to warm up each year, my sister and I make a mad dash for Mellow Mushroom.  We enjoyed a late night drink and pizza last night, along with some hot pretzels made out of their pizza dough.  Aaaahhhhh.  So good. 


Tonight, we headed to the Carolina game with Ed and Emily and their family.  In the 6 years that I have lived in NC, I have never been to a college sporting event.  I was excited.  We made it through the first quarter, and a tiny bit of the second when they had to evacuate us due to storms coming in.  So, it was a short experience.  We came home and made stir fry with chicken tenders, a bunch of veggies, some teriyaki sauce and water chestunuts.  I had some sesame oil in the pantry, so we used that to sautee it all in.  Before cooking the meat, we coated it in sesame seeds and some garlic powder.  We served it over rice with shrimp sauce and chow mein noodles.  It took about 20 minutes to make, and while it was by no means gourmet, it was pretty tasty. 


Hopefully we’ll have some time to cook some new and exciting meals in the days ahead!  I hope everyone is having a great long weekend!


Turkey Stroganoff August 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 12:48 am

I have been making this meal since college and I love it.  It was perfect for the rainy, dreary day that we had here today.  It’s quick, easy and can be made to be pretty healthy.  I always serve it over egg noodles, but you can also serve it over rice.  It comes from the wonderful cookbook that my sister made for me.  The recipe I am writing below is actually 1/2 of the original recipe, so it could be easily doubled. 


Turkey Stroganoff

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 c chopped onion

2-3 cloves garlic

1 T olive oil

1 T flour

salt and pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup

4 oz can mushrooms, drained

1 c (8 oz) sour cream (I always use light)

12 oz egg noodles, cooked


Heat oil in pan over medium high heat.  Add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent.  Add ground turkey and cook until browned.  Drain meat if necessary.  Add flour, salt and pepper, stir.  Add cream of mushroom soup and mushrooms.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, add sour cream.  Mix well.  Serve over egg noodles.


It’s Official. August 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 2:09 pm

OK, so we’re not officially married yet, and not officially a bride and/or groom yet, but having aprons make us look a little more official!


Buttermilk Coffee Cake August 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 11:30 am

As much as I love to cook, I am a horrible hostess.  I think I have the feeling that everyone should just be at home in my house, so when you’re here, if you’re thirsty… grab a drink.  If you’re hungry… let me know, we’ve got plenty of food.  I don’t always remember to offer stuff, unless I am having a dinner party or something.  Even in that case, I usually get caught up in preparing the food and totally forget to offer anyone a drink.  Luckily, I have an honest sister who has made me very aware of this, so I’ve gotten a little better.  This weekend, I have another chance to prove myself.


My Mom arrived in town last night from Rochester, NY.  She’s here to help out with some wedding stuff, her last visit before the big event.  We got in pretty  late last night, and had to visit for awhile, so she is still sound asleep.  We, of course, had to rise quite early – before Luna awakened my Mom in the same manner we are used to.  In an effort to kill some time between 5:30 AM and whenever Mom wakes up, I thought I would see if I had enough ingredients to make muffins of some sort.


I couldn’t find a recipe that called for only ingredients that I had on hand, but I did find a coffee cake recipe.  While I haven’t tasted it yet, it is making the house smell delicious.  This one is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I can’t wait to try it warm out of the oven in about 8 more minutes!


Buttermilk Coffee Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 t salt

2/3 c butter or margarine

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1 1/3 c buttermilk

1/2 c chopped nuts (I left these out)


** If you do not have buttermilk you can make sour milk by combining a cup  and 1/3 of milk along with a tablespoon plus one teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice.  Let sit in a glass measuring cup for about 5 minutes before using.

Grease bottom of 9×13 pan, including sides.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and salt.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside 1/2 cup.  Stir baking powder, baking soda, cinna mon, and nutmeg into remaining crumb mixture.


In another bowl, combine eggs and buttermilk.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Combine reserved crumb mixture and nuts; sprinkle over batter.


Bake at 350 for 35-40 min (I set the timer for 30 and it was done), or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm.


Kabobs August 21, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Grillin' — lindsayrose @ 12:00 am

Sometimes I’ll go to the store and buy a few things, then come home and look them up online to see what kinds of recipes I can make with them.  This week, I went to the store and saw some Butterball Turkey Smoked Sausage for a very reasonable price.  I’ve never had this and wasn’t sure what it would taste like, but for $2, I figured I’d pick it up and see what we could do with it. 


When I got home, I really didn’t know how to start searching since I wasn’t sure just what kind of flavors I wanted to mix with this.  I decided to go to the Butterball website and see if they had any suggestions. 


What I found was the recipe for Turkey Smoked Sausage and Vegetable Kabobs.  I really liked the idea of putting sweet potatoes along with some other sweet veggies on the kabobs along with the smoked sausage.  It sounded a little different and very tasty.  The apricot and mustard glaze gave it a perfect finish.  It was a quick and easy meal to toss on the grill, and we both really enjoyed it.  Ross said he could have used more of the glaze while grilling, so maybe we’ll add a little extra next time.  This meal was healthy, too!  Ross said he never would have known it was turkey sausage if he hadn’t seen the package.


A Repeat and a Random Favorite August 20, 2008

Filed under: Desserts,Entrees — lindsayrose @ 2:02 am

I had a meeting tonight at CCCC to get ready for fall classes.  I can’t believe the summer has come to an end and it is time to start teaching again.  I have 2 classes this semester and am looking forward to fewer papers to grade than the past few semesters!  I wasn’t going to get home until late, so we planned something quick and easy.  Fettuccine with Sweet Pepper Cayenne Sauce is a recipe we made for the first time a few months ago and we really enjoyed it.  It is very easy to make, and toss a few chicken breasts on top and you’ve got a complete meal.  It is ready super fast, too.  It took less than 30 minutes altogether.  Take that Rachael Ray.


Here’s the link to the original blog I wrote about it. 


For something new, this is a recipe I have been craving.  As soon as I get a bundt pan, this is going to be the first thing I bake in it.  My Mom used to make this cake all of the time.  I remember so many evenings smelling it baking in the oven and feeling my excitement rise.  Nine times out of ten, I would be crushed to find out that it wasn’t for us, it was to be taken to work or a PTA luncheon or something like that.  That was the worst. 


Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cake is the perfect combination of so many things.  The sour cream makes it dense and moist, the chocolate chips add the chocolate that is necessary in any wonderful dessert, and the cinnamon and sugar add just the right amount of sweetness.  It is different than any other common cakes, but simple to make and always a crowd pleaser.  The BEST part, by far, is the cinnamon-sugar-chocolate chip chunks that form on top.  Whether it was being made for us or for someone other than our family, Kara and I would get in trouble for sneaking into the kitchen at night and picking off the chunks on top, when the chips were still just a teeny bit melty from the oven.  It’s just a little piece of heaven.  If you bake this cake, you must treat yourself to picking off a chunk.  It might not look as pretty afterwards, but it is so worth it.


Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cake

1 stick butter

1 c sugar

2 eggs

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

2 c flour

8 oz sour cream



1 package chocolate chips

1/2 c sugar

1/4 c cinnamon

1/2 c nuts (I personally do not care for nuts in my baked goods, so I would never add these, but the real recipe does call for them).


Mix all batter ingredients together.  Fill greased bundt pan with 1/2 of the batter.  Spread with 3/4 of filling, then rest of batter.  Top with remaining filling.  Press gently with a spoon.  Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350.


Aaaaaahhhhhhhh.  So good.