Lasagna Roll Ups

One box of lasagna noodles

1 16 oz. bag of frozen chopped spinach

1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup (plus 1/2 cup for topping) grated mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1 jar of tomato sauce

Thaw the spinach and drain completely.  See my tip below* Mix together all the cheeses reserving the 1/2 cup mozzarella. Add in the bread crumbs, garlic and spinach.  Mix well and set aside.  Boil the lasagna noodles until al dente.  Working on a surface with paper towels, one at a time take a lasagna noodle and spread the cheese topping along the length of it.  Roll up and place in a casserole dish snugly.  

Depending on how much filling you use per each noodle, you may or may not use all the lasagna noodles.  Pour approximately 1-2 cups of the sauce over the noodles.  Cover and bake in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes.  Uncover, top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake until melted.  Serve immediately, enjoy!

*Tip – to thaw frozen spinach so that it is somewhat dry.  Empty the bag of frozen spinach into a dry non-stick skillet. Over med-high heat, move the spinach around to evaporate the moisture.  Allow to cool before using in the recipe. 

Half Day Homemade Fresh Bread

This recipe lends itself to so many variations just by adding ingredients in the first mixing step.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 packets of rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • **at this step any additions may be added, such as 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese for a cheese bread. 1/4 cup seeded mix for a sesame or grain bread. A mix of fresh or dried herbs for an herbed loaf. See pictures below
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in a push, pull and fold over fashion for just a few minutes. Dough may still be a bit sticky. Shape into a loose round ball.

Place the dough in a bowl and seal tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside for 2-3+ hours. When dough has doubled in size, it is time to heat the oven. Place a dutch oven with the lid on in the oven and heat to 500F. While the oven is heating, scrape down the dough with a spatula and turn out onto a piece of parchment paper. I like to transfer the dough in the parchment back into a bowl at this step to maintain the round boule shape. Allow to rest while the oven is heating.

Once the oven has reached 500F, set a timer for another 15 minutes to be sure the Dutch oven has been significantly heated as well. Carefully remove the lid and place the dough in the parchment inside the Dutch oven. Replace the lid and bake for about 35-40 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown when the lid is removed. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Enjoy warm or cooled.

German Cucumber Salad

2 English Cucumbers or 3-4 regular cucumbers, but not too fat because of excess seedy-ness

2 tsp. salt

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup sour cream or you can substitute a good quality plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

dash black pepper

1 tsp. sugar

1 tbsp. fresh dill coarsely chopped

Lightly peel the cucumbers leaving a bit of green ‘skin’. Using a mandolin or cheese slicer, thinly slice cucumbers into a bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 tsp. of salt and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes to release some of the excess moisture.  Dab with a paper towel to soak up the released fluids.  Add the finely chopped red onion.  In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.  Pour over the cucumber mixture and gently toss to coat.  Add the fresh dill and gently mix.  Serve immediately.





Mexican Street Corn

The taste of summer!
  • 6 to 8 ears of sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese*
  • 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped or parsley may be substituted
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cumin

Remove the husks from the corn. Mix together all the remaining ingredients and set aside. Grill the corn until slightly browned on all sides.  Remove from the grill to a serving platter. While still warm with a brush or spatula, spread the cheese mixture on the corn, turning the cobs to coat. Serve immediately. 

You can also serve this with some fresh lime wedges and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro or parsley.

*Cotija cheese is a traditional mexican grated cheese. If this is not available, parmesan can be substituted.

Baked, Stuffed Artichokes

Recipe adapted from
  • 2 lbs. artichokes, about 4 medium
  • 1 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from one lemon

Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare the artichokes – cut the stem flat so artichokes sit flat. Trim the pointed end of each of the leaves with scissors so that they are flat. Trim the very top of the artichoke with a serrated knife by approx. 1 inch.  Brush the cut parts of the artichoke with a wedge of lemon to keep the artichokes from browning while being prepared.

This following step is optional – removing the choke.  Spread out the leaves to reveal the choke. Pull out all of the feathery pieces with purple-tinted edges. Remove the choke by using a spoon with a sharp edge, being sure to scrape the sides so all of the fuzzy pieces are removed.  Personally, I don’t do this step as it can be easily removed while consuming.

In a medium bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, oil, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

Pull apart the outer leaves just enough to ‘stuff’ the artichoke, pulling apart the leaves and pressing the filling in between them. 

Place the stuffed artichokes in a large Dutch oven then fill with water until it reaches the level of the first leaves. Cover with lid and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

* Can be served with a side of remoulade sauce or melted butter to dip the leaves into.


Serving suggestion.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa, plain or tri-color, cooled
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 1 7.5oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – crumbled feta cheese

Combine all ingredients, except the feta, in a medium bowl. Chill for a half an hour to allow the flavors to meld. If using the feta, sprinkle desired amount on top of the salad just before serving.

Cheesy Skillet Domino Potatoes

This recipe is from @jesseszewczyk .
I found it so amazing I had to share it here!
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 pounds medium yukon gold or russet potatoes (10-12)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 1 cup grated store-bought parmesan cheese
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F. Rub 2 tbsp. unsalted butter on the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

Wash the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife to thinly slice the potatoes. Set aside.

To a large bowl add the cheeses. Mince the garlic and add to the cheeses. Pick the leaves from the fresh thyme and finely chop until you have approx. 4 tsps. and add to the cheese mixture. Add the heavy cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine. 

Transfer about a third of the mixture to the skillet and spread to coat. Arrange a few of the potato slices in a flat spiral to cover the bottom of the skillet. Then stack bunches of the sliced potatoes vertically in the skillet so that you can see most of the edges of the slices. Continue stacking and arranging to use up all the slices.

Spoon the remaining cream mixture evenly over the potatoes. The cream should come about 1/2″ to the top of the skillet.  If you have too much, don’t use it all.  If you have too little simply add some cream to the skillet.

Place the skillet on a baking sheet. Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the potatoes are tender, 1 hour 40 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes. You can remove a slice of potato from the center and check for doneness if you are uncertain. Check after 1 hour 15 minutes. If the top is already browned loosely cover the top with aluminum foil and continue baking. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more fresh thyme if desired.

Pork Roast with Apple, Sage Bread Stuffing

  • 1 medium size pork roast
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup dried bread cubes, can be homemade or store bought suffing cubes
  • 1 tsp. Bell’s brand seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Prepare the pork roast by placing on a large cutting board. Slice the roast open by cutting through with a sharp knife being careful not to cut all the way through. You should be able to lay the roast out open and flat.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onion. Saute’ until translucent, approx. 10 minutes. Add the apples and the bread cubes and toss well.  Add the seasonings.  Add the broth and mix together well.

Spread the stuffing mix onto one side of the prepared pork roast.  Fold over the other side of the roast and tie together with butcher’s twine.  You may have to push the stuffing in to create a tight seal.  It doesn’t matter if some of the stuffing is protruding.  (see pictures)  Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the meat once. Check the internal temperature by using a meat thermometer stuck into the meat portion only, not into the stuffing mixture. Return to the oven until the temperature should read at least 160F when done. Remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before slicing. 

Individual Traditional Quiche in Phyllo Pastry

This recipe works best in large sized muffin tins
  • 1/2 cup butter – melted
  • 12 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half

*note – use a large sized muffin pan for best results. The yield will be six individual quiche.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay two or three of the phyllo sheets on a clean surface and brush with the melted butter. Add another one or two and brush again. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets. Brush the muffin cups with the melted butter. Cut the phyllo pastry into six squares. Press each square into the muffin cups.

Beat the eggs until well incorporated. Add the scallions and the cheese. Beat in the cream or half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly into the lined muffin tin. Bake at 350F until set and puffed a bit or until egg is set, approx., 18 – 20 minutes. Time may vary depending on oven types. Remove from the oven and loosen around the edges to remove the individual quiches. Serve immediately.

Spicy Dilly Beans

These add just the right amount of crunch to a salad or just eat them right out of the jar – a great addition to a classic charcuterie.

Approximate yield is 5 pint jars

3 pounds green beans, washed and stem end snipped off

2 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

4 tbsp. pickling salt

5 medium whole cloves of garlic, peeled

5 tsp. dill seed

5 tsp. red chile flakes

5 tsp. celery seed

Place the prepared beans into clean pint jars. To each jar add the one clove of garlic and the dill seed, chili flakes and celery seed. Prepare a brine by combining the vinegar, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Distribute the hot brine among the jars. Seal and refrigerate. The beans should be ready to eat in about one week.  They should keep several weeks in the refrigerator.

Note – I added small peppers (similar to pepperoncini) that my daughter had growing in her garden just for some added flavor. I also experimented by adding fresh dill as well. There is a margin for practicing with your own additions here. Enjoy!