Spicy Pasta with Sausage


Food photography is not my field. Despite the semi-boring photo above, this pasta had amazing flavor. Follow info below for a less-spicy version, as I will next time I make the dish for my pale-skinned Midwestern family.

1lb chorizo sausage**, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 C chicken broth
1-10oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes**
1/2 C heavy cream
12 oz penne pasta
salt and pepper
2 C shredded pepper jack cheese

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat broiler. On stovetop cook sausage and onion in a large oven-safe skillet (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven) until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and bring to boil. Cover pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Off heat, uncover pan and stir in 1/2 C cheese. Top with remaining cheese and broil until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Serve.

**If you want a less-spicy dish or can’t find Ro-Tel tomatoes, substitute 1 1/4 cups canned diced tomatoes. Andouille, linguine or kielbasa sausage can be substituted for the chorizo.

Crispy Chicken with White Wine Pan Sauce

Taken from Good Housekeeping magazine and served to friends tonight, this dish is a winner. That pan sauce…yum!

2 t olive oil
2.5lb chicken thighs
3/4 t salt, divided
2 medium shallots, chopped
2/3 C white wine
1/4 t dried rosemary
3 T sour cream
1/2 C chicken broth

In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil on medium high. Season chicken thighs with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, skin sides down, 6-8 minutes or until browned. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet, skin sides up. Bake in 450 F oven 15 minutes or until cooked through.

To same skillet on medium, add shallots. Cook 2 minutes. Add white wine and rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Simmer 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits. Whisk in sour cream and chicken broth. Serve chicken with sauce, garnish with snipped chives.

Blue Cheese, Apple & Walnut Deviled Eggs


My friend Lisa P brought these to a small group dinner with church peeps and I couldn’t stop eating the eggs. I’m fixing some for our Easter dinner this evening, and I’m 99.5% sure hers taste better than mine. Nonetheless, these are crazy good and I want to save the recipe.


  • 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, toasted walnuts


  1. Peel hard-cooked eggs and halve lengthwise; carefully use the tip of a spoon to remove yolk from each egg half. Set whites aside. Place yolks in a small bowl; mash with a fork. Add mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar; mix well. Add apple, blue cheese, and walnuts; stir well. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Stuff egg white halves with yolk mixture, using a rounded teaspoon of yolk mixture for each half and using the back of a second teaspoon to carefully push the yolk mixture off the first spoon into the cavity of the egg white. (Or place the yolk mixture in a large resealable plastic bag, snip off one corner of the bag, and squeeze bag to pipe some of the yolk mixture into the cavity of each egg white half.) Cover and chill until serving time (up to 24 hours).

Roast Chicken with Potatoes “By the Wall”

I found this recipe as a newlywed back in St. Louis and looked it up today to use as a mercy meal. This time around I approximated on all ingredients, pouring them into 1- and 2-gallon freezer bags to coat the potatoes and chicken. I purchased a tray of eight thighs, another of 12 (ish?) drumsticks, and used 5 lb of golden potatoes. It gave me 2-9×13 pans and 1-8×8 pan for a total of three meals. Score! And it was delicious to boot.


    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 2 1/4 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, each cut into 6 long wedges
    • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I omitted this entirely)


    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush inside of large roasting pan with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano in bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Arrange chicken in single layer in center of prepared pan. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Drizzle chicken with lemon juice and any remaining oil mixture from bowl of potatoes.
    2. Roast chicken and potatoes until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Pork Shoulder Ragu


I tried this recipe after a recommendation from our friends Lindsey and Bethany. It’s a good one! Getting it in the oven on time was my biggest challenge, but after that, it’s SO SO simple. Great flavor & hard to mess up, this one’s a winner.

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 cup red wine
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Trader Joe’s Hot Chili Sauce)
Freshly grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all.

Add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, fennel, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven. Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

**I try to always include the recipe as its creator intended, and then share my own changes below. I used sriracha for the hot sauce (and estimated rather than measured), and replaced pappardelle with egg noodles. No fresh herbs, used dried instead. Other thoughts are recorded at www.tredways.org.

Broccoli Cheese Soup


This recipe provides a great baseline for a delicious broccoli cheese soup to share among friends. Suggestions on the Allrecipes.com page included increasing the broccoli and the cheese, and using half and half instead of milk. Mess with the ingredients on your own to come up with a combo that suits you!


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food, cubed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until softened. Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat, and stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.
  3. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.


**My alterations: 2 T butter + olive oil for softening the onions, then add a handful of chopped carrots in and some garlic. Chop up about 30oz broccoli florets keeping in mind they will decrease significantly in size while cooking. Use 1 pound Velveeta + grated sharp white cheddar. Skip cornstarch in favor of 1/4 C Wondera (flour) for thickening.

Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass


Another recipe in the Koselig Cooking series, this is a good one if you’re a fan of Thai flavors. 

Serves 4 to 6

1 whole roasting chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems
juice of one lemon + zest, discard rind
1 stalk lemongrass, 5 inches of white part only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 (14- to 16-ounce) can coconut milk
3 cups torn greens (spinach, kale, chard, mizuna, etc.)
2 green onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cooked rice, to serve

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper. Put the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or if you’re going to cook it right away, set it aside while you prepare remaining ingredients.

When ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil. Put in the chicken, breast-side up, and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bird and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the fat in the pot.

Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast-side up, and add the cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped cilantro stems, lemon, lemongrass, garlic, and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size). Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F.

Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Put the pot with the sauce back on the stovetop over medium heat, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.

Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.