This is another favorite of my family. I know lamb is not utilized very much in the south but we absolutely love it. It’s quick and easy and delicious.

I found this recipe in the Food and Wine Cooking From Scratch Pasta Cookbook several years ago. It’s just a basic tomato sauce with spaghetti and ground lamb except this recipe uses cumin. Cumin is a spice often used in middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. It pairs beautifully with the lamb. You can find ground lamb pretty easily now at Publix or whole foods. 

My 11 year old even loves this dish. If you have the fresh mint on hand, I would highly suggest using it, it really brings the dish together.


Continue reading “Spaghetti with Lamb Meat Sauce”

So this recipe has been a recent discovery. I found it a couple of years ago in one of my quick from scratch food and wine cookbooks. I have adapted so that our family could eat it. It was one of my first forays into cooking with leeks and I must say – they are quite tasty! I will definitely be cooking with them again.

 I used bacon in my recipe but you could also use pancetta or probably even prosciutto. If you’ve read my blog before you know my love affair with bacon. I should probably seek some kind of counseling. But as I see it – as long as I can keep running and keep my cholesterol down  – I should get some kind of reward right? Why not bacon?!

Ok. Back to the recipe. This one is fairly easy to make and quite tasty. My 11 year old even liked it but he probably inherited my love for bacon. You could also substitute just about any type of pasta. But I like the thickness of the linguine, I think it holds the sauce well since it’s a non-traditional sauce.

Continue reading “Bacon Leek Linguine with Goat Cheese”

If you’ve ever talked to me about food or cooked with me – you know my obsession with fresh garlic. If I post a recipe on here or share a recipe with you personally, and it calls for minced garlic/chopped garlic/garlic in any form  – I ALWAYS intend for that to be fresh garlic! Fresh garlic makes such a difference in so many meals. The minced garlic that you get from the store is not a good substitute and will not render the same delicious flavors from your recipe.

Cooking with fresh garlic can also be a little tricky. You want to make sure that your heat is not too high or your garlic will turn brown. Brown garlic can taste fairly rancid and you loose the delicious garlic taste and fragrance. So when cooking it by itself in a pan, add a little oil to your pan and cook it for about 30 seconds over medium low. And, you want it stay white the entire time. The idea is for the low heat to bring out the fragrance and taste of the garlic. Usually in most recipes you add something else to the pan that will cook with the garlic and it becomes tender and the flavors can meld together.

I know chopping your own garlic can be so intimidating. I have been to many “kitchen gadget parties” where they try to sell something to help with chopping garlic. I will tell you – it is so much easier and less clean up to just do it yourself with a chef’s knife and a cutting board. It may feel awkward at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be chopping garlic like a pro! I made this little video below to try and help show a step by step on chopping garlic at home. I would love your comments and thoughts!


I absolutely, positively love risotto. I love any type of risotto. Plain risotto made with chicken broth and a little onion and butter or the fancy kind like in

this recipe. For the longest time I was intimidated to make it because it can be complicated. But – I have finally perfected making it and we eat it as often as I have the time to cook it! Now, many of the recipes that I post on this blog are quick and easy foods that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. That is not the case with this meal. I usually allow for about an hour of total prep and cooking time. And let me tell you – it is worth every single minute. Also, when cooking risotto, make sure you that can give it your undivided attention. This is not one of the dishes where you can start it and walk away. You must stay close by, especially during the stirring portion which takes 30 minutes. I really hope I haven’t discouraged you from trying this recipe! It is so delicious! And – you can find every single ingredient at your local wal-mart. Yes, even the dried porcini mushrooms. I use the earth balance vegan butter so that my husband can eat it. He can’t eat dairy but he can tolerate goat’s milk/cheese. I leave out the goat cheese for my little guy as he is highly allergic to all types of animal milk/dairy.

I found this recipe in the Italian Food and Wine Quick From Scratch cookbook. I honestly didn’t change much of anything from their recipe. But, I have included a LOT more details in the instructions. If you are a seasoned cook, I hope you thoroughly enjoy this recipe. If you’re nervous, just take your time and if your first batch doesn’t turn out well then try it again! My first couple of tries with risotto weren’t terrible but it was definitely edible. It takes time to figure out the right texture that you want. The creaminess along with the flavors are amazing!


Continue reading “Porcini Mushroom Risotto”

You may be thinking to yourself, dairy free fudge pie? Is there such a thing? Well, yes there is! My sweet husband loves chocolate. He really, really loves chocolate. So when he was unable to tolerate dairy anymore, I had to get creative when it came to our desserts. One of our very favorites around here is homemade fudge pie. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s chocolate. Need I say more? 

Now the key to making it dairy free is in your butter, pie crust, and chocolate. We prefer to use the earth balance vegan butter because I know for sure it is safe for both my husband and my son. For the pie crust, I tend to get a little lazy. You can make your own crust if you so desire but did you know that most of the frozen, ready to go pie crusts are dairy free? Yes, even the ones you can find at Wal-Mart are dairy free. Now, if you want to make this gluten free, just make sure your pie crust is GF and you should be good to go. Last, for the chocolate chips – “Enjoy Life” makes a very delicious semi-sweet chocolate that you can find in mini chip form at Whole Foods or often at Publix Supermarket. It is dairy free, egg free and gluten free.




Continue reading “Dairy Free Fudge Pie”


This recipe is a hit with all ages. It is fairly easy to make, especially if you are using leftover chicken that is already cooked. Even if you have to cook your chicken, it can all be done in less than 35 minutes. If you’re feeling frisky, you can even make some salsa to serve with it. Some folks like sour cream and the other fixings with their quesadillas. We’ve found that these are tasty enough all on their own with no extras.

I like making my own fajita seasoning because that way I know exactly what’s going into our food. No extra ingredients that I can’t pronounce! You can always add additional vegetables or you can even take the chicken out and make it vegetarian or substitute a different protein. This is one of my favorite recipes for leftovers. All I really need to have on hand is tortillas. The other things are staples we tend to keep on hand.

You will notice in the recipe that I don’t specify amounts for this one. That’s because you can add however much you want in each tortilla. If you’re cooking your own chicken, I usually use 2 nice sized chicken breasts. We also like to use the larger, 10 inch tortillas as you can just fold them over and cook 1 tasty quesadilla using 1 tortilla instead of 2.

We started using the goat cheese because my husband developed an allergy to cow’s milk. I think it is even more delicious! I use a mixture of sharp goat cheese and soft goat cheese.

This recipe uses one my family’s favorite foods, conecah sausage. Conecah sausage is made in Conecah county, Alabama. It is absolutely delicious. If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend it. It is smoked sausage, but we think it is better than any national brand out there. We like it grilled, sauteed by itself or with peppers and onions. It is great to have on hand when you need a quick, filling meal.

This is a recipe that I created a couple of years ago. You see, I like to run. I like to run longer distances actually. I am currently training for my 2nd marathon and I’ve run 5 half marathons and several 15, 10 and 5K’s. I like to do my long runs on Saturday mornings and if you are running really long (10+ miles), it helps to eat a lot of carbohydrates the day before. So I started experimenting with what sounded good to my brain… garlic, fresh tomatoes, fresh spinach, and pasta. Oftentimes, it was whatever I had around the house. My favorite version of this dish is with 1/2 pound of chopped bacon. You could also put in shrimp or grilled chicken. It is just a simple pasta dish with some fresh veggies and a protein. Even if you aren’t running 10+ miles, this dish is usually very popular with the whole family.

Continue reading “Pasta with Fresh Veggies and Conecah Sausage”