Lemon Orzo Soup

I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while now but I lost the website where I got it from. I've been searching and searching but no luck. I gave up today and decided to just post it anyways, I think I remember everything. I am going to make it again in a couple of weeks and if this recipe is wrong, i'll tweak it! :) Anyways, I believe this is my favorite soup of all time. I remember getting this soup as a kid at this restaurant near my fathers house. It was a wonderful little greek place that had the best saganaki in the world and the best soup! :) If I can learn to make saganaki, i'll post it on here too, but it seems complicated. Also the soup at the restaurant had rice in it, but I like it better with orzo noodles. Anyways make this soup, its amazing on a cold winter's day!

Creamy Lemon Rice (Orzo) Soup
8 cups chicken stock
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup orzo (or rice)
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 eggs
3-4 lemons
salt and ground pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and cook on medium high for about 20 minutes. Remove chicken on a cutting board, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

While chicken is cooking whisk eggs until frothy in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice of the lemons, whisking well. Set aside

Add 1 cup orzo and chopped celery to the chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Add chicken back to pot. Reduce heat to medium.

Next take one ladle full of hot stock at a time and add to egg mixture, whisking as you pour. Keep adding hot broth until the egg mixture is warm. Remove soup from heat and add the egg mixture to the soup. Let sit for about 10 minutes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!


Tuna Snack Dip

You know those days at work when everyone brings in some kind of baked good or side dish for a birthday or something? I love those types of days! Tons of new things to try and munch on all day during work. This recipe comes from a co-worker of mine. I kept going back to it all day. I love tuna and this dip is great on butter crackers. Also, this dip does very well sitting out for a long period of time. So that means its great for parties! Maybe think about this one for New Years Eve!

Tuna Snack Dip
8 oz. Cream Cheese - Softened
6 oz. Can of Tuna, drained and flaked
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
2-3 Tsp. Lemon Juice
1/8 Tsp. Black Pepper
3-4 Drop Hot Pepper Sauce
1 Celery Stalk - finely chopped
Dried Parsley Flakes as desired to decorate

Mix all ingredients except parsley, place in a decorative bowl, sprinkle with parsley and refridgerate. Serve with crackers or cocktail rye bread. Super Easy!!!


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving has come and gone and i'm sad cuz its one of my favorite holidays. Yeah the turkey is always good but its the side dishes that I always look forward too. My all time favorite are these stuffed sweet potatoes. I really don't care for sweet potatoes plain but when they are stuffed with pecans, brown sugar and toasted marshmallows, even the pickiest eaters will love them! Too bad they are only made once a year! Yummy!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
6-8 large sweet potatoes, with skins
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 cups pecans, toasted and coursely chopped
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat oven to 400˚
2. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Pierce potatoes in several places.
3. Bake in 400˚ oven until fork-tender, about 55-60 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, stir together butter and sugar until well blended. Gradually stir in pecans, marshmallows and flour until mixture forms loose crumbs.
5. Remove potatoes from oven. Cut a slash lengthwise in each potato. Using oven mitts, gently push together ends of each potato to open the slash. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Stuff opening with marshmallow mixture. Return to oven.
6. Bake in 400˚ oven until stuffing is golden brown and melted, 5-7 minutes, taking care not to let the marshmallows burn. (I find that the marshmallows melt before this time is up. I like to add more to each potato when there is about a minute left.)


Cheesecake Brownies

I apologize again for my delay in posting new recipes but I have been incredibly busy, between work and planning my wedding! :) I know that isn't an excuse.....

Anyways to make it up to you, I am posting some brownies....also some cheesecake. No wait even better, brownies and cheesecake combined into one wonderful morsel of yummyness. These are so yummy if you let them sit out for an hour to get to room temperature. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Brownies
recipe from Baking Bites
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt

8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and prepare cheesecake mixture.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled. Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

Makes 16 large brownies.


My Stepmom's Mashed Potatoes

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I had to post my stepmom's mashed potatoes recipe. However, this is really more of a technique than a recipe. There are tons of ways to make mashed potatoes and none are any better than the next. But for some reason, this recipe just tastes better then any other mashed potato I've had.

Simple Mashed Potatoes
serves 4 or 5
• 5 or 6 large Yukon gold potatoes or 8-9 Mini Yukon Gold Potatoes (this potatoes seems whip better and doesn't end up too starchy)
• 1 stick of butter
• Milk (I can't give a measurement because I just pour it in)
• Salt and Pepper for Flavor

If you are using large potatoes, cut them in half.

Put the potatoes (not peeled) in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling cook until potatoes are tender (about 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes).

Put a stick of butter in a large bowl.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and put immediately in the bowl with the butter.

Salt and pepper and dont be stingy with the salt because the potatoes suck up the seasoning. (Seasoning is very important or you will have some bland potatoes!)

Pour in some milk. You can do this in increments because you dont want to add too much milk. You can always add more milk but you can't take it out!

With a hand mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth. If they are too thick, add more milk. Also, taste the potatoes. If they seem too bland, add more salt!

I find that mashed potatoes seem to get cold pretty quick. I like to just cover with a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds immediately before serving.



Shrimp Scampi Pasta

There are some days that I just don't want to have a heavy dinner. This dish is light yet incredibly satisfying. It has a lot of flavor and besides that, I love shrimp! You can use any kind of pasta you like but I love the curly noodles, cellentani. I'm sure linguine or fettuccine would go well with this also.

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta
16 oz. box of any kind of pasta you desire
2 Tbsp. of Butter plus and extra 4 Tbsp. of butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil plus and extra 4 Tbsp. of oil
2 Shallots, Diced
10 cloves of garlic, diced
1 pkg. grape tomatoes - cut in half
1 Lb. uncooked shrimp, deviened
3/4 cup white wine
1 Lemon, juiced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Red Pepper flakes, salt and pepper for flavor
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to a boil, add a handful of salt & the pasta. When pasta is done, reserve a cup of pasta water (you can use this later if the pasta is too dry) Drain the pasta, then set aside.

Meanwhile, in another pot or large pan, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute shallots, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes until shallots are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, add to pan. Add grape tomatoes to pan. After about 2-3 minutes, remove shrimp and grape tomatoes from pan and set aside. Add wine & lemon juice and bring to a boil. Let cook down 2-3 minutes. Add remaining 4 Tbsp. butter and 4 Tbsp olive oil. When butter has melted, return shrimp and tomatoes to pan, along with chopped parsley and cooked pasta. If the pasta looks dry, add some of the reserved pasta water to pan. Stir well and season with salt and pepper and more red pepper if you like. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, top with grated parmesan cheese and serve. Goes great with a Caesar salad.


Mint Cookie Brownies

One of my favorite food blogs is Baking Bites. Soooo many recipes to try off of there and I had to start somewhere. What immediately caught my eye were these Peppermint Cookies and Cream Brownies. Oh my gawd. These things are awesome. They are incredibly dense and minty and chocolately without being too minty. The only thing I will do differently next time is keep the brownies stored in the pan and covered. I took them out and cut them like the recipe stated and stored them in a tupperware but they ended up getting stale after a couple of days. I guess I dont have good tupperware. :) But other than that, make these! Soo good!

Peppermint Cookies and Cream Brownies
Recipe from Baking Bites

1 cup butter
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups roughly chopped peppermint oreo-type cookies (approx 18)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly.
In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in peppermint oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter.

Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 36 brownies (or 48 bite-sized brownies).


Puffed Apple Pancake

Autumn. My favorite season. The heat of summer is gone and the wonderful cool weather is here. Autumn also means pumpkin farms, apple orchards, halloween, the smell of campfires and burning leaves (oh that smell...), driving just for the heck of it and hiking through the colored forests and feeding the ducks. :)

Well a cool day a couple of weekends ago I had a ton of apples from my mom who went to the orchard the day before. I didn't want to make an apple pie (too predictable and boring). So I scoured the internet and found this wonderful recipe for an apple puffed pancake. If you've never made a puffed pancake, its something to see. It rises super high in the oven and deflates while it cools. The texture of the pancake is smooth like a crepe but its thick like a regular pancake. The taste of this particular recipe goes soooo well on a cool autumn day. It makes for a great weekend breakfast or would go great with a holiday meal!

Puffed Apple Pancake
recipe found in the September 2002 Bon Appetit

1 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2-3 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons brown sugar
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended. Add flour and whisk until batter is smooth. Place butter in a glass pie dish. Place dish in oven until butter melts, about 5 minutes. Remove dish from oven. Place apple slices in overlapping rows atop melted butter in baking dish. Return to oven and bake until apples begin to soften slightly and butter is bubbling and beginning to brown around edges of dish, about 10 minutes.

Pour batter over apples in dish and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake pancake until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings


Creamy Dijon-Dill Potato Salad

I know I'm a bit late in posting this recipe considering summer is over and all. But its been sitting in my (to be uploaded) folder on my desktop for some time now. I have to share it because its so amazing! This potato salad is so incredibly flavorful and is great to bring to parties. When picking a potato, I recommend small red potatoes because they hold their shape better after they are cooked.

Make it and you won't be sorry! :)

Dijon-Dill Potato Salad
based off a recipe by Dave Lieberman

3 Lbs. Red Potatoes (regular or small), also I dont peel them, but feel free to peel them if you like them better that way.
2 stalks Celery
1 cup Mayo
1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh Dill
2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
1/2 Lemon, Juiced
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
4 or 5 Hard Boiled Eggs (roughly chopped)

Put potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them by 1-inch. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender (about 25-30 minutes). Drain potatoes and return them to the uncovered pot off the heat. Let them sit until they are at room temperature.

While the potatoes are cooling, cut celery in half lengthwise, then into cut 1/4-inch slices. Stir the celery, 3/4 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper, 1 cup mayo, red onion, dill, vinegar, lemon juice and dijon mustard together in a serving bowl large enough to hold of the potatoes.

When the potatoes are cool, cut the potatoes into about 1-inch pieces, add them to the bowl as you go. Add the chopped eggs after the potatoes. Stir gently until all of the potatoes and eggs are coated in the dressing.

This potato salad tastes best the day you make it, at room temperature. If you keep the salad in the fridge for a couple of days and it gets stiff, just add a bit more mayo and maybe a little tiny bit of vinegar and mustard to bring back the original flavor.


Philly Cheesesteak and other ramblings

Its October and it got cold! My poor herblings are going to die! :( I guess its time to cut them and put them in the freezer. Another bad thing about this time of year is that the days are shorter so its ten times harder to take pictures of my food. We usually eat dinner later and thats when I take pictures. I wont post a crappy photo. So hopefully I'll be able to update this blog at least once a week. If you dont see me then you know why. :)

Anyways, completely different subject, I've been wanting to try to make my own Philly cheesesteak at home. I know there are lots of different versions of this sandwich but I really enjoy the Great Steak version with the provolone and the mayonnaise and tomatoes. So I went searching and found many recipes but one caught my eye: Its from a website called Closet Cooking. I based my recipe off of his but made a couple of changes, like putting cheese right on top of the meat while its cooking. :)

I made this recipe twice so far. The first time I used Rib Eye steaks and the second time I used a cheaper steak, Eye of round steak I believe. Anways go with the more expensive Rib Eye if possible. They are much more flavorful and tender. The other kind is hard to chew. Other than that its really quite simple to make and really yummy so I hope you try it. Here is my version of this recipe.

Philly Cheesesteaks (makes 4 sandwiches)
2-3 teaspoons canola oil
1-2 onions
1-2 green peppers
1-2 tomatoes
4 Rib Eye Steaks (I buy steaks depending on how many people i'm cooking for. So basically buy 1 steak per person)
salt and pepper to taste
4 french or sub buns
provolone cheese

Put Rib Eye Steaks in the freezer for about 15 minutes (this makes it easier to slice them thin) Slice steaks as thin as possible. Put in a bowl and set aside.

Slice onions, green peppers and tomatoes. Put in separate bowls. Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan. Add the onions and saute until tender and translucent. Remove and set aside. Add a little more oil to pan and saute green peppers peppers for a couple of minutes, until tender. Remove and set aside.

Add the steak to the pan, salt and pepper, and cook until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. When steak is browned all the way through, take slices of provolone and put right on top of the meat in the pan. Cook until cheese is melty, about 1-2 minutes. Take a spatula and put the meat and cheese in a warm bun. Add toppings as desired.

I like to make this buffet style because I dont like green peppers and scott doesn't like tomatoes. So just assemble your sandwich as you like. I like to put mayo on the warm bun and then put the meat and cheese in it with tomatoes and onions. Oooo so good :) This is great with a light beer! :)


Lauren's Fabulous Zucchini Bread

For the last couple of months, me and Scott have spent our Friday nights cooking yummy meals and then our friend Lauren comes over and we watch Stargate Atlantis. Well one night I tried my hand at making a banana bread. It as just okay, the flavor was good but I wasn't in awe with it. Lauren told me she had a good zucchini bread recipe and said she'd bring it over sometime. Well the next weekend she brought over some of the best zucchini bread EVER. My sister and I love this stuff. What's great about her recipe is that it reminds me so much of autumn. The flavors make me think of Halloween and pumpkins and the changing leaves. The recipe also can very easily be made into banana bread, just swapping the zucchini with 2 bananas. Its sooo yummy!

Zucchini (or Banana) Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (put in more if you want stronger flavor)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (put in more if you want stronger flavor)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup water
about 1 cup (shredded) zucchini or 2 (mashed) bananas depending on what kind of bread your making

Preheat oven to 350˚

Mix sugar and oil in large bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Add all dry ingredients and mix with water adding slowly. Mix until just combined, don't over mix. Fold in zucchini or bananas. Pour in a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 - 70 minutes. Check at 60 minutes. If still wobbly in center give it another 10 minutes. Cool completely. I like to store my loaf wrapped in foil, it keeps it super moist.


Chicken Quesadillas

When I was little I wasn't a fan of Mexican food. Whenever we would go out to eat and my parents would choose Mexican i would cringe. I guess its because all I knew back then was tacos and I guess i just don't care about tacos. Also I hate really spicy food. It wasn't until very recently that I have tried other types of Mexican food. I really really like tamales and quesadillas and guacamole and who doesn't like fried ice cream! Maybe my tastes are changing. This year I decided to try my hand at making quesadillas at home. The first time I made them they were a big hit! The tortillas are crunchy and buttery and the filling is cheesy and delicious. I just messed up a couple of them because they are hard to flip with all of the filling. It just takes practice and I realized that the cheese helps hold it all together. So dont skimp on the cheese. Anyways I hope you give these a try because they are very satisfying and if you have extras, they make great lunches the next day!

Chicken Quesadillas
2-3 cups cooked, cubed chicken (I like to fry some chicken breasts ahead of time, cut them up and put them in the fridge until I'm ready to make the quesadillas. Or you can use leftover chicken)
1 pkg. fajita size tortilla shells (they come in packs of 10 or 12 or so)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 (12 oz.) pkg. mexican shredded cheese
butter or margarine
sour cream for topping
couple of green onions, chopped

Butter one side of tortilla shells, set aside. In a large pan with a little bit of butter, saute chopped yellow onion until transparent, set aside.

Before assembling the quesadillas, I like to put each ingredient in a separate bowl and put near the stove top. (chicken in one bowl, cheese in another, tomatos in a another, cooked onions in another and buttered tortilla shells on a plate)

Put large pan over medium high heat. Assemble in pan as follows, buttered side down tortilla shell, then handful of cheese, then chicken, tomato and onion, then another handful of cheese, then another tortilla shell, buttered side up. Also make sure you spread out the ingredients on the tortilla, not just a pile in the middle. Makes it easier to flip.

After it cooks for a couple of minutes, check unter tortilla and make sure its brown. Carefully take a spatuala and flip quesadilla and cook for another couple of minutes until other side is brown.

Put finished quesadilla on a plate and cover with a lid or towel to keep warm. Repeat with rest of ingredients. When finished, I like to cut them into quarters and serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions.


Super Easy Hamburger Casserole

LOVE this dish. Its sooo easy to make and if you have kids they will love it (and so will you!) Scott grew up with this dish so I am safe to say that this recipe comes from his family. If you have ever had the hamburger helper out of the box, well this recipe blows it out of the water. It makes quite a bit so you should have plenty for a family of 4 or 5. One tip however, don't over do it on the noodles. It may not seem like much noodles when you mix them in but if you use too much, they will soak up all of the sauce and that will equal to a dry casserole which, well, just isn't as good as it could be. Other than that, this dish is easy to make and has become part of the regular rotation in our house.

Hamburger Casserole
about 4-6 oz. egg noodles
1 1/2 Lbs. ground Beef
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can Tomato Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken condensed soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom condensed soup (We use Campbells for the soups)

Preheat oven to 350˚
Brown hamburger, celery & onion until celery is tender and ground beef is browned through. Drain fat. Mix soup with hamburger mixture. Cook egg noodles according to directions on the bag. Drain noodles and add to hamburger mixture and pour into a casserole dish or baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.


Chicken (or Pork) Katsu

One of my all time favorite types of food is Japanese food. I love indulging myself every once in awhile on sushi and tempura and miso soup. The japanese place we go to has a great lunch special and I love to get the bento box. Its filled with sushi, rice, salad and whatever entree you like, whether it be tempura, teriyaki or whatever. My favorite thing in the bento I get is the Chicken Katsu. Its basically just a flattened piece of chicken fried in panko bread crumbs and its served with this great katsu bbq sauce which I have yet to find in the grocery store. Someday I want to try making sushi at home but I havn't been able to find sushi grade fish anywhere near where I live. So until then I make do with this fabulous chicken dish. You can also substitute the chicken with flattened pork chops or cutlets. I love to dip this in sweet and sour sauce. Scott loves to dip it in Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.

Chicken or Pork Katsu
4 flattened boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless pork chops
1 cup panko bread crumbs (you can find this in the Asian section of the grocery store, right by the rice)
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
canola, peanut or vegetable oil

Put flour, beaten egg and panko in separate bowls by the stove. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil over medium high to medium heat in a large pan. Dip chicken in flour, then egg and coat completely in panko crumbs. Gently put in oil and fry for 5 minutes on first side, flip and fry for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately with steamed rice and sauce of your choice (sweet and sour or chinese hot sauce or if you can find it, tonkatsu sauce)


Mom's Rustic Tortellini Soup

This is one of the classic recipes my mom would make occasionally. Now that she has moved out, my sister has taken the reins and likes to make this soup. Like many soups, this recipe is wonderful on a chilly or rainy day. I dont know why but I always am reminded of football and sunday afternoons when eating it. The flavors are very hearty with the Italian sausage and array of vegetables. This recipe makes a lot of soup so its great for dinner partys. Warm italian bread and butter is soooo good dipped in this soup. Top each bowl of soup generously with parmesan or mozzarella cheese.

Rustic Tortellini Soup
1 pkg. mild Italian sausage (if you want more of a kick, use hot Italian sausage)
1 pkg. frozen cheese tortellini (12 oz. bag is plenty)
6 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 medium yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano
3 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. basil
Freshly shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Crusty bread such as Italian or French

In a large pot over medium-high heat, squish italian sausage out of the skins and fry for about 5 minutes. When there are some juices in the pan from sausage, add onion and green pepper. When sausage is almost done, add garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Drain and return to pan. Bring following ingredients to a boil with the sausage mixture: beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, zucchini and celery. Once at boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add tortellini and parsley. Simmer covered for 35-40 more minutes. Serve immediately with warm bread and butter and cheese sprinkled on top.


Derby Pie

This pie was one of my favorites to make as a kid. If i could use the word "swoon" in association with a food, this would be it. I originally knew this pie as "Tollhouse Pie" but discovered that it is actually called Derby Pie.

Off of wikipedia, "Derby Pie was a pastry created in the Melrose Inn of Prospect, Kentucky, USA, by George Kern with the help of his parents. It is often associated with the Kentucky Derby. The pie is a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell usually with a pastry dough crust. It is also commonly made with pecans, chocolate chips and Kentucky Bourbon. Popular additions are butterscotch, caramel, and other types of nuts. The name "Derby Pie" is a registered trademark of Kern's Kitchen, which registered the name in 1968."

Anyways, this pie is super easy to make and goes really quick in my house. Its gooey and chocolaty sort of like a chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven, but in pie form. Enjoy!

Derby Pie
1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (I buy the pre-made crust and just roll it out on my own pie pan)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup (6 oz.) chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)
1 cup chopped nuts
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter and vanilla. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

BAKE for 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.


Tons of Tomatoes

A couple of days ago my mom brought over a couple bags of fresh summer tomatoes from her garden. Oh my are they beautiful! She brought huge red and yellow tomatoes plus some little cherry tomatoes. For dinner that night we cut a couple up and dressed them with some basil and dill and ate them with cottage cheese. It was so good and fresh!

I still have a ton of tomatoes left and I don't know what else to do with them! They are great on sandwiches and such but i don't know many good recipes with the tomato as the main ingredient, besides caprese salad. Right now they are sitting pretty on my kitchen counter but before I know it they will go bad, and thats no good. So I need your help.

Do any of you have a good tomato recipe to share? If not i'll be eating tomatoes and cottage cheese for lunch the rest of the week! :)


Chicken Florentine

This would be Holly's favorite chicken dish. Its one of mine too. Its so simple to make and the sauce is silky and slightly sweet. This chicken begs to be served with wilted spinach. The original recipe doesn't call for balsamic vinegar in the spinach but I like to add it for an extra punch of flavor.

Chicken Florentine
4 chicken breasts - flattened to about 1/4 inch
6 tbsp. butter
Half small onion or 2 shallots - chopped
2 cloves garlic - chopped
1 1/2 cups white wine (Get the little bottles, it saves money!)
1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
Bunch of spinach (I like to get the bagged spinach)
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour and fry in 2 tbsp. of butter and a little oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes per side. Keep warm in oven at low heat.

Melt 2 more tbsp. butter in same skillet, saute garlic and shallots until translucent. Add wine, increase heat to medium-high and boil about 3 minutes. Add cream and boil until sauce reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and chicken. Keep on low heat.

In another skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Serve chicken on top of a spoonful of spinach with wine sauce drizzled over all.


The Bradly Family Pasta Sauce

This version of marinara meat sauce is something I have perfected. It was one of the first dishes I could make without a recipe in front of me. Its wonderfully hearty and is something I can make very easily without much thought. It was hard writing the recipe out for this because I never use one! I think I got the amounts down pat, but if you decide to try this recipe I encourage you to add things like herbs, cheese or even vegetables. This is a great sauce to use for other recipes also, like lasagna or chicken parmesan (I just leave out the meat).

Pasta with Simple Meat Sauce
16 oz. pkg of your favorite noodles (my favorite is Penne Rigate)
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
6 oz. can tomato paste
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (DRAINED)
3/4 - 1 cup red wine (I use Yellow Tail Merlot but again use whatever is your favorite)
24 oz. jar of pasta sauce (now you can use any pasta sauce you like, but I highly recommend Barilla. I found other brands were too sweet for my liking)
Basil (dried or fresh)
Salt and Pepper

Heat saute pan to medium-high heat. Brown ground beef. Season with salt, pepper and dried basil. Once no longer pink, drain and set aside.

Heat large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add tbsp of olive oil and swirl to cover bottom of pan. Add garlic and shallots. Saute until just beginning to turn brown. Add tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes. Add diced, drained, tomatoes and red wine. Cook wine mixture down for about 5 minutes. Add jar of sauce and cooked beef. Season with salt and pepper and dried basil (if using fresh basil wait until after simmering to add it). Lower heat to medium-low, let simmer for about 30 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a handful of salt and pasta. Cook according to instructions on package.

Top cooked pasta with meat sauce, a few leaves of basil or parsley and enjoy!


I'm never buying oreos again....

I have been meaning to try this recipe ever since I saw it last year on Smitten Kitchen. They got rave reviews from many different blogs. I finally got the nerve to go buy the ingredients and give it a go. Now I'm worried that I did this because I'm officially hooked on these. Am I going to have to make a batch of these every time I run out? They aren't exactly like Oreos but in my opinion I think they are much better. They have this wonderful crispy/chewy texture that is really amazing. I think next time i'm going to make half with the cream filling and save the other half of the chocolate cookies for mini ice cream sandwiches.

Homemade Oreos
recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (I used the Hershey's Dark Chocolate Dutch Brand)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375˚.

In a food processor or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa , baking soda and powder, salt, sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Roll rounding teaspoons of batter between your hands to get little balls. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, an at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip (I used a plastic baggie with a corner cut off), pipe teaspoon size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookies. Continue this process until all of the cookies have been sandwiched in cream. Dunk in milk and prepare to become addicted.


Chicken Marsala

This dish is a great one from Simply Recipes. I have modified it a bit by adding mushrooms and increasing the sauce (because its soo good over mashed potatoes!) The first time I made this I was expecting the sauce to get thick fairly quickly, but it took awhile. You just have to be patient because it will eventually thicken into a wonderful sauce. I have also made this dish with Madiera Wine and found the taste to be very similar. So get whatever you can find. Also I have used thick bacon instead of pancetta and that worked very well. If you can't find pancetta in your grocery store, you can usually find it at Italian specialty shops or deli's.

Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream Recipe

Olive oil

2 oz pancetta (about a 1/4 inch thick slice), cut into 1/4 inch cubes
16 oz. white or mini portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced (or you can use chopped shallots)
Flour for dredging (about 1/2 cup)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut or pounded into thin cutlets
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry Marsala wine
1 cup heavy cream
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Coat a large skillet lightly with olive oil and set it over medium high heat. Add the pancetta. A little before pancetta is done add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are no longer crisp and the pancetta is brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan, and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and cook until translucent and slightly browned, 5-10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan, and set aside.

Put the flour on a plate. Pat the cutlets dry. Season them on both sides lightly with salt and amply with pepper. Heat the skillet with the pancetta fat over medium high. Add more olive oil, if needed, to get about 2 Tbsp of fat in the pan.

When the fat is hot, dredge a cutlet through the flour on both sides. Shake off the excess flour and immediately put the cutlet in the pan. Do the same with as many cutlets as will fit in the pan without touching. Sauté the cutlets, turning once, until browned on both sides. If thin, they should cook through in just a few minutes total. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a plate and continue sauteing the rest, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer these to the plate as well.

Pour off the excess fat. With the pan over med-high heat, add the Marsala and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the Marsala is reduced by about a quarter (about 10 minutes). Stir in the cream and boil until you get a nicely thickened sauce (about 20-30 minutes).

Return the chicken, onions, and pancetta to the pan and turn the cutlets over to coat. While the chicken is reheating, prepare mashed potatoes or other side dishes. Serve with the sauce and a sprinkling of parsley.


Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Scallion Butter

We went to the farmers market this weekend because the weather was incredible out. Not too hot at all. Its that time of year for corn on the cob where I live so I couldn't pass up a deal for 3 ears of corn for a dollar. That and I have been wanted to try this recipe since I saw it in last months issue of Gourmet, so i had to buy some corn! The butter in this is so awesome with great chipotle flavor without being super spicy. The green onions were a fresh taste in contrast to the chipotles. This dish is super easy with an incredible result. As for the recipe, I used salted butter because that was all we had and just omitted the salt.

Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Scallion Butter

3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup minced scallions (2 to 3)
1 tablespoon minced seeded canned chipotle chiles in
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
4-6 large ears of corn, shucked and halved

rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir together butter, scallions, chipotles, zest, and rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.

Cook corn in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer with tongs to butter mixture and toss.


Pork Tenderloin Kabobs with Ginger Dipping Sauce

I love food magazines....LOVE them. I have a subscription to Bon Appetit and Scott found this recipe within an ad for Hunts Tomatoes. (sometimes you have to look between the articles) And my oh my is this good. I absolutly love the smell of freshly grated ginger. That alone is worth it. When I first saw the recipe, I thought wayyyy to many ingredients for my taste but hey it was worth a try. Its actually not that hard to make. I recommend marinated the pork overnight to cut down on the some of the steps when you are actually making your dinner. I also like to serve this over white steamed rice. The sauce goes so well with it!

Pork Kabobs with Ginger Dipping Sauce

found in the May 2008 Bon Appetit


1 cup sliced green onions

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. finely chopped jalepeño pepper

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces

Ginger Dipping Sauce

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

10 wooden skewers (6-inch), soaked in water
cooking spray

Prepare marinade: Place green onions, oil, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, sesame oil and lime juice in a large resealable plastic bag. Close and shake to combine. Add pork; turn to coat evenly with marinade. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight).
Prepare sauce:
Heat small saucepan over medium heat; when hot add oil and onion. Cook 4 minutes stirring occasionally or until onion is tender. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute or until aromatic. Add undrained tomatoes, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and red pepper flakes to pan; stir to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer; simmer 10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce into blender, puree 1 minute or until smooth (careful with heated liquids in blenders!) Pour blended sauce back into saucepan, and keep heat on low to keep warm until pork is done.

Grill pork:
Place marinated pork on prepared skewers; discard marinade. Spray nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and heat or high heat. Or heat outdoor grill. When hot add skewered pork and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until pork is cooked and no longer pink. Serve with dipping sauce and white steamed rice and sprinkle with chopped green onions if you like.


Pasta ala Vodka

This recipe is part of our regular rotation of meals. We make it at least once every two weeks. It has also been a work in progress. The original recipe was a Rachel Ray recipe and it was mediocre at best. So we improved on it. Now its an amazing dish. When you look at the ingredients, you'll notice that we use two cups of vodka. No that is not a misprint. We discovered that using that much and cooking it down was the best option for us. Also we played around with different vodkas but noticed not much differences between the expensive and inexpensive brands. So we just use the cheapest vodka we can find. When you cook down the vodka, make sure you cook it until you can't smell the alcohol anymore. We made a mistake once where we didn't cook it down enough and almost got drunk off the pasta!

Try this and you wont be disappointed!

Pasta ala Vodka
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
5 cloves chopped garlic
2 shallots or 1 small yellow onion - chopped
2 cups vodka
1 (32 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
16 oz. Penne Rigate, Farfalle, Mostaccoli or Rigatoni (these are my favorites)
3/4 cup heavy cream
20 leaves basil - chopped

Cook pasta in salted water while cooking the sauce. Set aside.

Heat large pot over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic and shallots. Saute garlic and shallots for 3-5 minutes. Add vodka to pan, turn heat to high and reduce by half (about 10 minutes after it comes to a boil). Reduce heat to medium, add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir cream into sauce and season with salt and pepper. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove from heat.

Toss hot pasta and basil leaves into sauce. If needed, let pasta sit for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. I like to make garlic bread while it thickens. Enjoy! Yum yum.


The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think every family has a special recipe for some kind of cookie. Well these cookies have been in my family for years and years. They came from a family friend who used to work in a bakery. They are chewy and stay that way for days as long as you keep them in a air tight container. I believe the key is that we add extra flour to the dough. You can also omit the nuts in this recipe but I really think they are delicious in this. Whenever I make these, they are gone within a couple of days.

If you have a favorite cookie recipe you would like to share, we would love to hear about it! Just leave a comment and maybe we'll try it!

"Steve's" Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 12 oz. Package Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

About 3/4 to 1 cup more of Flour

Preheat oven to 375˚. Melt butter in microwave. Let cool completely (I like to just put the bowl of butter in the freezer for about 5 minutes). While butter is cooling, combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl (set aside). Beat (melted, cooled) butter, sugar, brown sugar & vanilla in a larger bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Gradually add flour mixture in increments. (Take some time here to lick the mixers, yum!) Stir in chocolate chips & nuts. Add more flour until not tacky. You want to be able to roll the dough in your hands without it sticking much. Roll the dough in your hands and drop on an air bake cookie sheet. Bake at 375˚ for 9-11 minutes. Be careful not to overcook! These are not supposed to be a dark brown, but a light color when they come out of the oven. Enjoy!!


Parmesan Encrusted Chicken

This is one of the few Rachel Ray recipes that I haven't totally revamped. Its such a great way to dress up plain ole boring chicken breasts. The crust is soooo good! The cheese is hard to burn so even a novice cook can whip these up in no time. The tomatoes add a wonderful freshness to the whole thing. I like to serve these with a green salad and some corn on the cob.

Since we are young and dont have much money, we like to buy the frozen chicken breasts in a box. It saves us a ton of money in the long run. If you do decide to buy the fresh chicken breasts, cut them in half before you pound them out. The fresh chicken breasts are usually huge. As for the Parmesan cheese, I like to use the kind in the tub that is sold in the deli. I usually go through an entire tub for four chicken breasts. But if you have fresh parmesan, feel free to shred your own.

Parmesan Encrusted Chicken
3-4 Chicken Breasts
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (1 Tub or about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large hothouse tomato or 2 roma tomatoes
3-4 leaves of Basil - Chopped
Olive Oil

Cube the tomatoes and mix with the chopped basil. Set aside.

Put the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with pepper. You don't want to sprinkle the chicken with salt because Parmesan cheese is salty to begin with.

Heat about 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. You want the heat up fairly high or the cheese wont brown, it will just melt. On a piece of foil, spread out the parmesan cheese. Press the chicken into the cheese until it is covered on both sides. I like to pile it on as much as possible. Carefully place in pan and fry for about 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the tomato mixture over the top. Enjoy!


Ginger Chicken

Now I got this recipe off of one of our favorite cooking websites and we loved this dish when we tried it, only suggest a few changes. Original recipe calls for toasted almonds to be sprinkled on top after it is plated but we couldn’t find any so we left that out. We also doubled the mango sauce for this because we felt that it needed a bit more (the recipe posted below has the doubled amounts). Otherwise a fantastic dish with great flavor. This is a definite make again recipe...YUMMY!

Ginger Chicken
(original recipe at Simply Recipes)


* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 - 2 lbs. total) cut into strips.
* 2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger plus ¼ cup diced fresh ginger
* 4 teaspoons canola oil
* 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 4 large scallions (or 6 small), trimmed
* 1 cup mango chutney, large pieces chopped
* ½ cup chicken broth
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic

1. Slice chicken crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Toss with ground coriander, grated ginger, 2 teaspoons oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Marinate at room temperature 15 minutes.

2. Thinly slice white parts of scallions. Julienne green parts; set aside.

3. Stir together chutney, broth, and garlic in a small bowl.

4. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and diced ginger; stir-fry 30 - 45 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry until thoroughly cooked, 4 to 6 minutes. Add scallion greens and chutney mixture; cook, stirring, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve this over steamed white rice.

Serves 4-6.


Asian Style Salmon Fillets

This was a first time recipe for us so we may tweak it a bit next time around. The salmon was still very very good but I would recommend marinating the fish a bit longer than what the recipe calls for (maybe overnight).

Asian Style Salmon
1 1/2 Lbs. Salmon Fillets
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
Lemon Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder to taste
Salt to taste

Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium heat. (I just used a saute pan, it worked just fine) Lightly oil grill grate or saute pan. Place salmon on preheated pan and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

I served this on a bed of wilted spinach. I think sauteed bok choy would work better but the store didn't have any at the time. Served with rice, potatoes or asparagus or whatever else floats your boat. :)


Easy Peanut Butter Pie

This was probably one of the easiest pies i have ever made. However I haven't made many pies but that's beside the point. I had it finished in about 10 minutes. :) I got the recipe from a co-worker and so glad i did. YUM

Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
16 oz. Cool Whip
Pre-made Graham Cracker Crust (go ahead and make your own if you like but I was lazy and used a packaged one)
Chocolate Syrup

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and cool whip until well blended. Pour in graham cracker crust. Pour chocolate syrup on top if you like. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve.

I ate a piece the day after I made it and found it to be even better the next day. Refrigerating overnight may be optimal.


Farfalle with Zucchini & Tomatoes

When I made this dish, Scotty and my sister weren't home to taste the goodness that was this pasta right when it was finished. Its too bad because I think it tasted the best right off the stove. The only thing I did differently from the original recipe was I didn't use Arrowroot. I looked all over my grocery store for it, but no luck. All I did was cook the sauce down a bit more and honestly the pasta made the sauce thicken. Also, don't cook the zucchini too much! I think I cooked it too long and it got a little mushy. Make sure it has a bit of a bite to it.

This pasta is perfect on a hot day. The ingredients are simple and the pasta reflects that. I would say that the fresh herbs are optional but they really make this dish sing. I mix them into the dish as a whole but I also sprinkle some on top of my plate for some extra freshness.

Farfalle with Zucchini & Tomatoes
This recipe is courtesy of Pioneer Woman.

16 oz. Farfalle Noodles
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2-3 Zucchini's Chopped into half inch pieces
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes - Cut in half
1 Small Onion - Diced
5-6 cloves Garlic - Chopped
1/2 cup White Wine
Handful of Basil - Chopped
Handful of Thyme - Chopped
Handful of Chives - Chopped
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (I bought mine in the deli already shredded, feel free to grate your own if you like)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Boil a pot of water. Add a handful of salt (this helps flavor the pasta!) Cook the Farfalle until al dente, drain and set aside. I also like to save some pasta water in case the sauce is to thick.

While the pasta is cooking, take a large pan and heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, throw in the zucchini. Don't stir it right away, you want them to brown a bit on the bottom. Once a little brown stir around and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Cook until desired doneness but don't overcook! Remove zucchini from pan and set aside.

In same pan, drizzle a bit more olive oil if needed. Saute onions and garlic until onions are transparent, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to about medium and add grape tomatoes. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the white wine and cook down for about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream while stirring and cook for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper at this point, and dont be skimpy!

Add the pasta directly into the sauce. I like to use a big saute pan so it all fits. The starch from the pasta helps thicken the sauce, so don't skip this step. Mix all together. YUMMM, looks good already.

Take a big handful of shredded parmesan cheese, and all of the chopped herbs and mix into the pasta. At this point, if the sauce is too thick, take some of that saved pasta water and pour it in until the sauce is the right consistency. Plate and serve! Put some fresh chopped herbs on each plate with a bit more parmesan cheese. Can we say yum? :)