Shrimp Puttanesca

Need a light, but VERY flavorful new pasta dish to make on a week night? This is the recipe! Puttanesca is a sauce that is made of garlic, anchovies, tomatoes, olives, capers…. it is delicious and SO easy to throw together. It can be on the table in 30 min flat! I like to add shrimp, but you can add chicken or salmon or no protein and just enjoy the pasta.

I like to use a hearty thick pasta like bucatini, but any pasta that you have on hand will work. Do not run to the grocery store for pasta! And if you don’t already have olives, capers and anchovies in your pantry you need to have these items in stock. They last forever and they are always good to have on hand for a quick meal.

There are obviously many versions of puttanesca since it is such an old “recipe”. I like my sauce on the […]

2022-04-12T15:33:47+00:00April 12th, 2022|Pasta|0 Comments


Cannelloni is a pasta dish similar to lasagna-the only difference is that the sheets of pasta are filled and rolled into long tubes instead of layering the sheets with the filling. This is a vegetarian lower calorie version, but is still just as comforting and satisfying as the heavier traditional version of cannelloni.

I do not put any meat in this recipe, but you can absolutely add Italian sausage or ground beef to give it more oomph. Instead of meat I put mushrooms to give it that hearty texture, but you can add zucchini, red peppers, eggplant… The only trick with adding all those vegetables is you need to sauté in a skillet until all the water it out otherwise your cannelloni will be soggy.

Now, on to the cannelloni noodles… I am very lucky to have Central Market (HEB) and several Italian markets near me so I use the “fresh” lasagna sheets I find there. BUT, have no fear if […]

2021-01-18T19:01:16+00:00January 18th, 2021|Pasta, Uncategorized|0 Comments


I grew up with Chicken Tetrazzini and I absolutely HATED it. I dreaded it every Christmas when we went to West Texas. I have such amazing, truly classic holiday memories from all holidays out there, but not the tetrazzini, lol. When I say classic holidays I mean it was just magical for a kid. We would arrive and my grandmother would have Christmas music playing, the toy tree with the strawberry candies pinned to it and the big flocked tree would be decorated to the hilt. My granddad would wrap the huge pecan tree in the front yard with big blue lights and the house was lined in the colorful lights. It was just beautiful. We would pray for a West Texas snow to make it even prettier.

We would go to church on Christmas Eve with the ENTIRE family (all 27 of us) to this beautiful quintessential small town church-Second Baptist. I still remember the smell-pine trees and tradition. […]

2020-12-10T18:14:33+00:00December 10th, 2020|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Skinny Alfredo

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Skinny Alfredo 3

I LOVE alfredo sauce and I LOVE pasta, but my waist does not. So, sticking with the theme of trying to eat healthy in January here is recipe for Spaghetti Squash Chicken Skinny Alfredo.  I posted awhile back a recipe I found from Katie Lee for a skinny alfredo which is amazing!  I mean amazing!  You will not be able to tell the difference, I promise!  So I combined that recipe with spaghetti squash to take out the carbs and added in rotisserie chicken to increase the protein and what you have is delicious, healthy and hearty Chicken Alfredo without all the guilt.  And my boys ate this and went back for seconds so it passed that test which is huge!

There are a couple steps to this recipe, but by using rotisserie chicken that takes away one step of roasting or grilling the chicken breasts.  And you can make this in advance and reheat- so make it on a Sunday and serve it one day when you have zero time to make […]

2020-01-10T18:31:37+00:00January 10th, 2020|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups 9

Yes, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and all I am seeing is Thanksgiving recipes and I promise I have some great ones coming, but until then we still need to feed our families and they don’t want turkey.  So, this is a great quick, easy, hearty dinner to put on the table during this crazy season.  By the way, how the hell did we get to November?  The middle of November no less! I am trying to wrap my head around all that I need to do in the next 6 weeks and it just makes me want to pour a glass of wine and get into a hot bath and go into denial mode!

But, since Mom and Dad don’t get to rest here is a great recipe the whole family will love.  It is just an easy version of lasagna-I’m sure you picked that up in the title, but just in case… Serve this with a side salad and dinner is DONE!

One thing to make this even easier or quicker, I should […]

2019-11-13T20:07:28+00:00November 13th, 2019|Pasta|0 Comments

Baked Pumpkin Rigatoni with Italian Sausage

Baked Pumpkin Rigatoni with Italian Sausage

When we think of Fall we think of pumpkins! Yes, I have not ONE pumpkin on my porch. I have just not had time to go get any, but I have made a pumpkin dish-does that count??? It has just been a really busy fall and I honestly cannot tell you what I have been doing that has been keeping me so busy, but I have been falling into bed every night exhausted. So, I can promise you I have had very little time and energy to make fabulous, elaborate dinners. This Baked Pumpkin Rigatoni with Italian Sausage is super easy and your family will love it.  I made this for my crew and did not tell them what it was because I was afraid that if I said it was pumpkin they would turn their noses up, so I just said it was pasta with sausage.  After my son went back for seconds (maybe he was hungry because I starved him with no after school snack, lol) I told him what […]

2019-10-02T14:07:44+00:00October 2nd, 2019|Pasta|0 Comments

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna

Ok I am not going to try and spin this recipe into something healthy because its not! It is not healthy AT ALL, but it is delicious and sometimes we just need delicious to the damn family will eat it! And I promise your family will love this.  I did another test run last night with this Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna with 7 teenage boys and my husband and they all loved it and asked for seconds. That is a win in my book!

Now, like I said this is rich and filling so I serve a big side salad with a very vinegary dressing. I did try to cut the calories as much as I could by using 2% milk and 1/3 fat cream cheese, but lets face it its still not a kale salad, but oh well every now and then we just want delicious!

This recipe is not hard or complicated but it does take a little bit of time so just know going in that it is not going to be on the table in […]

2019-08-21T21:15:17+00:00August 21st, 2019|Pasta|1 Comment

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Sun-dried tomato and shrimp pasta

Being the end of the school year means that EVERYONE is done! We are all tired of school, even Mom! And I am so tempted to order in dinner every night until summer break, but I just can’t find enough healthy places to order from and I cannot feed my family pizza for the next three weeks, or can I???  hummm… No, I can do this!  I can make dinner for just a few more weeks.  Not that I don’t cook in the summer , but it just seems more relaxed and we only get about 2-3 nights a week that we have family dinner in the summer so the pressure is off.

So…dinner recipes that are quick, tasty, easy and the whole family will eat. That is a tall order, but I have a recipe that I know you will love.  Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Shrimp Pasta.  It is not low fat or vegan, but it is so good and will be eaten and in my book that is a successful […]

2019-05-09T00:50:11+00:00May 9th, 2019|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Chicken Sausage Bolognese

This Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Chicken Sausage Bolognese is my copycat recipe of the restaurant, True Foods, recipe.  I’m sure a lot of you have been to True Foods (Oprah’s restaurant) and have your favorite thing you order.  This is one of my go to orders, along with the edamame ravioli. This recipe is filling and only about 450 calories a serving. You can make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken sausage.

I made this the other night for my family and they loved it.  I’m serious!  My 13 year old who hates everything and is a total teenage ahole right now (I do still love him) said, “this is awesome mom”.  I did nearly fell out of my chair, but I just smiled and said, “thank you, sweetie” then got him a second helping.  OMG! So if the crabby teen likes it I promise you will all like this recipe.

Now this recipe is not fast, but its pretty straight forward.  It is mostly waiting for the timer to go off so this is a good recipe […]

2020-09-03T18:03:28+00:00February 25th, 2019|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Taco Pasta

Some nights I just want an old-fashioned comfort food dinner. What comes to mind?  Pot Roast? Grilled Cheese? Hamburger Helper-Did your mom make that? My mom cooked every night and made great dinners for us, but there was the occasional “cheat night” and we would have Hamburger Helper. Now the thought of opening that box kinda makes me sick, but I still love the idea of the beefy, cheesy, pasta dish. So I have come up with a modern “fresher” version of the famed box dinner, but its just as easy-Taco Pasta!

Now lets be real-this is not a fancy dinner, but its quick and easy and the whole family will love it unless you are a kale eating vegetarian 🙂 You probably have all these ingredients in your pantry so if 5pm hits and you have NO idea what to make for dinner this is a great recipe. Note-I have a taco seasoning recipe but if you don’t want to make your own then just use one of those taco seasoning packets.

Hope you have a great […]

2019-02-19T19:08:32+00:00February 19th, 2019|Meats & Fish, Pasta|3 Comments

One Pot Creamy Pasta with Italian Sausage

I still can’t figure out why the first of the school year is so crazy busy.  Its not as if I haven’t done this for years and years and years, but every year I feel like I am running around with my hair on fire in Sept trying to get my to-do list done before my employers get home from school. Because once they get home the real work starts with driving all over town, appointments to get to, yelling, cooking dinner, yelling, helping with homework, yelling, bedtime… so what I need is EASY dinners to get on the table in a short amount of time. And I need to be able to make dinner and still drink my glass of wine so it better be simple.  This recipe for One Pot Creamy Pasta with Italian Sausage is just that-SIMPLE. Serve this with a side salad and some fresh bread and dinner is served! And the best part is you only use ONE POT so clean up is quick.

Use a large deep pot with a lid for […]

2020-10-02T14:43:06+00:00September 13th, 2018|Pasta|0 Comments

Rosemary Chicken Lasagna

Hi!  I’m back!  I was offline for awhile, but for a good reason-I was updating my site.  I hope you like the new look!

So, for my first recipe I’d like to share with you a good ole’ comfort food dish.  I feel like I need some comfort with the stress of the new year and all those damn cleanses and diets, insane politics, insane people, sports/grades and last but not least the WEATHER- What the hell???  The weather has been so crummy lately and frankly I am sick of it! I have been traveling all over the country this past month and I can tell you the only place that has nice weather is Scottsdale! I hope they know how good they have it in the winter because Texas, Virgina, New York are awful right now!

Back to the recipe…this is just a variation on traditional lasagna. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE traditional red sauce lasagna, but sometimes you just want a change, but not too much of a change.  I’m not talking about a […]

2018-03-09T04:15:36+00:00March 1st, 2018|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Creamy Cavatappi Pasta with Chicken Mushrooms and Peas

Well, its that time of year-back to school!  I always feel torn about this time of year, now that my kids are potty trained and sleep through the night.  When my kids were babies I could not wait for school to start back so that I could get a break and a nap! And, now that my kids stay out until 11pm, sleep until noon, eat all day and use an ungodly amount of pool towels daily I am ready for school to start so that my house is clean.  But, since my kids do sleep until noon and I can sleep until a normal waking hour I am dreading the weekly 5:30am alarm. Really!  Why in the world do 14 year olds need to be at football practice at 6am??? Its insane! These poor kids are so exhausted, but thats a whole other blog on our country’s school system.  So, I am dreading the start of school not to mention the constant battle of homework and carpools all over town for practices.  But, this is […]
2018-02-15T21:28:13+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo 2

Trying to find healthful dishes that don’t compromise the taste is almost impossible.  It is very hard to convince a teenage boy to eat quinoa because it is healthy.  All they care about is, how does it taste?? And, being a self proclaimed foodie myself it is hard to convince me to substitute spaghetti squash for the real thing.  I like spaghetti squash and I think it is a fine side dish, but you cannot put turkey meatballs and pasta sauce on squash and expect me to think it is real Italian pasta.  It just doesn’t work.  I would rather have a small portion of real pasta than a tub full for “fake” spaghetti.

BUT, with that being said, if I can find a substitution for an ingredient and it does not change the integrity of the dish I am sold!  Well, I found one! I found this on The Food Network (Katie Lee) so I cannot take credit for this amazing recipe, but I had to pass it on to you, my readers.  I […]
2020-01-10T18:46:24+00:00February 22nd, 2017|Pasta|0 Comments

Ravioli Lasagna

If it is 4:30 in the afternoon and you just popped on my site to get an idea for dinner this is the perfect recipe for a last minute dinner.  Ravioli Lasagna is the lazyman’s lasagna, but no one will ever know.  In between activity drop offs, run into the grocery store and grab a couple ingredients and pull off a meal that looks like it took a lot of planning. 

I try to make meal plans for the week, but lets be honest, life gets in the way sometimes.  Travel comes up, someone gets sick, you have to stand in line for 5 hours to get your license renewed or stand in line for 5 hours to get your iphone fixed… and your fabulous plan falls by the way side.  When that happens there are many times I just say “We are going out to dinner”, but going out to dinner on a school night is hard so I try to have a few “lazyman” recipes in my back pocket.  This is one of those recipes. 
This is not a fancy dinner, but my […]
2018-02-15T21:28:16+00:00January 31st, 2017|Pasta|0 Comments

Chow Mein

Last week was a really busy week and we ate out several times.  It was easy for me to not have to cook, but my kids kept asking me for a dinner at home.  I know, so strange! My kids do not like to go out to eat. So, in a desperate mad rush to come up with something to feed them I made Chow Mein.  If I had planned I would have had chicken to put in the chow mein, but I did not and the kids got a vegetarian dinner.  And…they loved it.  There is just something about Chinese food and kids.  They like the salty, umami flavors.  

This is truly a pantry meal.  The only thing I put in it that came from the fridge was the cabbage and some sad looking carrots.  But, this is one of those dishes that you can put in anything you like or have on hand and it will be delicious. Add chicken, edamame, bean sprouts, bok choy, mushrooms, broccoli….. the list is long. 
You can also use chow mein noodles, but I did not […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00October 9th, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Baked Ziti

So, we finally got some Fall weather and I could not be more excited!  First, you don’t sweat through your clothes by 10am.  Second, all those beautiful fall dishes you are seeing in magazines and on Pinterest you actually feel like making now because it feels like pumpkin season.  And third, most importantly, you get to wear bulkier clothes to cover up all those areas that don’t look like they did when you were 25. Frankly, I think the third reason is the reason I look so forward to fall/winter:) 

Anyway, I digress-let’s talk about all the fattening food you can make and tell yourself that you will work out and work off in April. This recipe for Baked Ziti is super easy and is not as calorie laden as most ziti recipes, but it is still pasta.  It saves beautifully if you want to make it in advance.  It is a fabulous dish to take to a new neighbor or someone that has just had a baby. There is nothing like getting a warm meal from a neighbor or family member after you […]
2018-02-15T21:28:19+00:00September 27th, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Pasta Primavera with Alfredo Sauce

This is for all the moms who are a couple weeks into the school year.  I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted! The first few weeks are a chaotic race to getting into a routine and getting organized.  The parent meetings to tell you what your kids are going to be learning (really?), how to use the carpool lane (double really?), the endless time changes to sports practice (come on coaches!)…. it is draining and makes you want to drink, but you can’t because you must drive the monsters all over town to get to their enriching activities that you sold a kidney to afford. And, for those of us who have dropped their first born off at school doing all this without breaking down and bawling is a true miracle.  
Right now dinner, very much less breakfast, is not something I want to think about, but I make myself. First, because food calms the beasts and second, family dinner forces you to get into an evening routine. So, how do you bring yourself to get in […]
2018-02-15T21:28:21+00:00August 31st, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Stuffed Shells

Sometimes I am feeling organized, it is rare, but it does happen just like a blue moon.  And, when I am feeling organized I will cook a couple things at a time.  One thing that saves well in the fridge is Stuffed Shells. So, if I am making dinner and I have a bit more time I will throw this dish together and pop it in the fridge and that is dinner later in the week.

If I am making stuffed shells while I am making another recipe you know it is easy! I NEVER make homemade sauce for this dish.  It just takes too much time, but if you have homemade sauce on hand then give yourself a hand and use it! I use whatever jarred sauce I have in the pantry.  Many times I will doctor up the jarred sauce by adding sauted onions and garlic and 1/2 cup of beef broth.  This makes the sauce taste homemade without all the time and ingredients! Another addition is Italian sausage or ground beef to the sauce to make it more hearty.
I am […]
2020-04-01T21:56:17+00:00August 17th, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Basil Pesto

I mentioned earlier that I had planted a few herbs in a pot about a month ago.  Well, once I moved the pot out of reach from the precious little devil puppy the herbs really started to grow.  And grow, and grow!  I have so much basil that if I were a cupcake mom I would blanch it, strain it, freeze it in little ice cube trays and place it ever so pretty in my spacious organized freezer.  Yeah, well that is never going to happen so I am just going to enjoy the beautiful smell of basil on my porch and make as many dishes as I can before the plant either dies from heat, lack of watering or it just gives up.

Last night I made Basil Pesto Chicken with pesto that I made from my bushel of basil.  Pesto can be used for many, many things.  Spaghetti with Pesto, Pesto Grilled Cheese, Pesto Roasted Potatoes, Omelette with Pesto….
It is so easy to make and it smells SO good and fresh! I use walnuts in my pesto because they are easier to […]
2020-08-20T17:33:31+00:00June 14th, 2016|Meats & Fish, Pasta|0 Comments

Turkey Meatballs with Marinara

Trying to find recipes that are easy, healthy and taste like comfort food is hard. I love to cook, but dinner comes at the worst time of the day.  At 6pm the house is crazy and some sort of s*%t is hitting the fan and it is hard to start cooking. It is so much easier to just order take out, but ironically sitting down to a homemade dinner calms the beasts down.  

One trick/tip I can give you, if your house is anything like mine, is to take 5 minutes on Sunday or Monday morning and look at your calendar.  Figure out what days dinner at home is possible and then think of that many meals.  It makes life so much easier if you know on Tuesday that you are going to be making Turkey Meatballs with Marinara.  And on Tuesday at 4pm when your precious child tells you that they need a book for class tomorrow and you have to run to Barnes and Noble you are not stressed about dinner because you know what you are going to make.  And […]
2018-02-15T21:28:25+00:00April 18th, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Pepper Pasta

Pepper Pasta 3
Is anyone else ready for summer?  I used to dread summer when my kids were little because the days were so long and I always ran out of things to do with them in 110° days in Texas.  But, now that my boys are older and they can find things to do with their friends I look forward to slower days and afternoons with less carpooling or fighting about getting homework done. Yes, my kids hate doing homework!!  They cry, I cry, we all cry and I drink.  I swear if we make it through Spanish it will be a true miracle.

So, tonight was one of those nights where everyone was going in a million directions and my husband was headed to the airport.  I had about 5 minutes to make dinner.  I knew we were not going to be able to sit down tonight as a family and this recipe is perfect to just wait on the stove until someone is ready to eat.

This is a go to recipe when I have NO time […]
2020-08-04T18:14:16+00:00March 29th, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments


This recipe was given to me by a very sweet lady I met during a trip to Hawaii.  I know you don’t expect to find great Italian food in Hawaii, but this stuff was amazing!  I have tweaked it over the years to make it easier and more home cook friendly.
Now, you need time to make this recipe.  Not hands on time, but it needs to simmer for a few hours to bring out all the fabulous flavors.  Just make it in the morning and let it simmer on low all day.  Or if you are one of those weekend organized cooks then by all means make us all look bad and make it on the weekend and pop it in the freezer or fridge until you are ready to use it.


A classic Bolognese sauce

  • 1 (16oz) Cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • 3 Stems celery
  • 2 Large carrots
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2 lb. Ground meat (can be 100% beef, or or 50% of any two or 1/3 of each of […]
2021-07-17T23:21:14+00:00March 22nd, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments

Greek Orzo Pasta

Well it’s Monday and I am exhausted from the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the weekdays when the kids are in school and I don’t have to drive hours to cheer on someone for some game. Don’t get me wrong I do love watching my boys, but we have 6 teams between the 3 boys and our weekends are ALL games.  I know, I know one day I will miss these days, but right now I am tired and I have lost my voice from screaming their names and talking with my friends. I promise I am watching the games, but while I am there I might as well catch up with my friends, right? 

Anyway, I had my cooking club lunch today and the theme was healthy dishes.  I had to bring a side and I brought my super easy and very flavorful Greek Orzo Pasta.  This is a great side that can be made into a meal by adding chicken, steak, fish, shrimp…  It can be served warm or room temperature so if you are having […]
2018-02-15T21:28:31+00:00February 23rd, 2016|Pasta|0 Comments