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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Buttery Tomato Sauce

I love spaghetti.  It’s one of my favorite foods ever, and it doesn’t matter how it’s made, as long as I can eat it.  For one of my favorite foods, I don’t eat very often.  But when I do, I’m always amazed by how versatile spaghetti is.

Like spaghetti sauce.  For the longest time, I wasn’t a fan.  I had no problem eating my spaghetti plain with parmesan cheese.  But I’m warming up to spaghetti sauce, especially because you can do it so many ways.  And sometimes, I’m all about cleaning out the pantry, which can work out really well with something like spaghetti.

This spaghetti is so good!  Especially the sauce.  To me, it was more sherry than buttery, but then again, that is what I get for tasting it while it’s cooking.  It’s simple and doesn’t take forever to make which is always a plus.  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Buttery Tomato Sauce

Adapted from the July/August issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray


  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 can (28 to 32 ounce) whole tomatoes (preferably san marzano, but any kind you can get is good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)


For the pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt and add the pasta.
  2. Cook pasta just shy of all dente.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, than drain the rest of the water.

For the tomato sauce:

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until foaming.  Stir in garlic (and onions if using) for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the sherry.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Lightly crush the tomatoes with potato masher.
  3. Bring the sauce to a bubble.  Lower the heat and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the nutmeg, reserved water and pasta.
  5. Toss to combine, serve and topped with grated parmesan cheese.

Sausage With Garlic Lentils

I made Sausage With Garlic Lentils today, and they were good!  I am (slowly) becoming a big fan of lentils and barley.  I definitely want to branch out into other grains like quinoa.  Actually, I’m not completely sure if they’re considered grains.  I think they are.

Note To Self: Pay attention to the thing that tells you that you need to change the batteries in your camera. Otherwise, you end up with one picture.

But anyway, eventually I’ll start cooking with quinoa.  But for now, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with lentils and barley.  I definitely prefer barley (at the moment) but I am warming up with lentils.  This recipe seemed so good, and it didn’t disappoint.  Plus, you can’t go wrong with garlic or olive oil.  I love that this particular recipe is for 1 person!  I think I may need to spend some time flipping through that chapter, because it means no leftovers for a week.


Sausage With Garlic Lentils

Slightly Adapted From Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book


  • 1/4 pound lentils
  • 1/4 cups olive oil, divided (3 tablespoons, 1 teaspoon, and 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 bay leaf (fresh or dried)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 fresh sausages, any kind
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup arugula or spinach
  • 1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Place the lentils in a sauce pot with water to cover the lentil by 2 inches.  Add the bay leaf and onion and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the lentils are tender with a little bite left.  Discard the bay leaf (and onions if desired).
  3. Combine the garlic and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a shallow bowl.  Let stand.
  4. Place the sausages in a small pan and add 1/4 inch water and 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-high heat.  Let the water simmer for 8 or so minutes.  Then cook for an extra 3 to 4 minutes to crisp the casing on the sausage.
  5. Toss the greens in the vinegar and remaining olive oil.
  6. Drain the lentils amd toss with garlic oil and parsley.
  7. Serve with sausages on top and arugla on the side.

Lazy Tacos

I’m a fan of tacos, and it’s pretty much one of my essential food groups.

So, my general taco recipe is super lazy.  Brown Morningstar Farms “beef” crumbles or “chicken” strips, add taco seasoning packet and water, and cook until thickened.  Spoon onto warmed tortillas, add sour cream, shredded cheese and some salsa, and I’m good to go.

It’s sad that I tend to rely on the pre-packaged seasoning packets, which I didn’t really think of until the other night when I was making the tacos.  I have a spice cabinet full of spices, so why am I relying on those dang packets?  And furthermore, why am I just throwing everything together instead of actually looking for something interesting?  Seriously, I need to put more effort into my tacos every once in a while.  I am considering adding tacos to the menu for next month, but we’ll see.

Plans for the next couple weeks include getting all the ingredients I need to actually bake, then do some of the baking, and work on July required cooking.  Note to self: make sure that all necessary ingredients are on hand when you want to bake.  Anyway, that’s the plan, so I’ll be busy!

Risotto-Style Barley

I’m slowly becoming a big fan of barley.  There is something very hearty and comforting about barley.  What I don’t really get is why barley needs to be made like risotto.  I mean, if I want something risotto-like, I should probably just make risotto.  But it is probably a slightly better for you version of risotto, and while it seems like I’m giving the recipe a hard time, I’m really not.

Because this recipe is so good!  It’s from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking, and it came out really well.  I didn’t add any parmesan cheese, because I thought I had some, and then realized I didn’t have any, but it was still really good!  The lemon and orange makes it feel like a summer dish, but there is something wintery about it too.  It’s definitely a keeper!

Risotto-Style Barley

Slightly Adapted from Super Natural Cooking


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 cups lightly pearled barley
  • 1 cup dry white wine (or water)
  • 6 cups water
  • Zest and juice from 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 big handfuls of arugula or spinach, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat butter over medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and salt and saute for a bout 4 minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
  2. Add the barley and stir until coated with a nice sheen.  Add the white wine and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, until the barley has absorbed some of the liquid.  Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer as necessary.
  3. Add the water, 1 cup at a time, letting the barley absorb most of the liquid between each addition.  This takes around 40 minutes.  The barley is cooked when it doesn’t offer much resistance when cooking.
  4. Add the juice of the orange, as well as the orange and lemon zest, the Parmesan cheese and the sour cream.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Stir in the arugula, serve and enjoy!

Chorizo And Eggs

I have a confession to make.  I love eating breakfast for dinner.  And I have no problem eating dessert for breakfast.  If eating a meal at the “wrong” time of day can be done, I’ll totally do it.

I’ll admit that I didn’t make this for breakfast.  I did, since it is a breakfast food.  But I didn’t make it in the morning, because I give myself just enough time to take a shower and eat a quick bowl of cereal or something before going to work.     I really wanted something more than cereal that I could just heat up.

So I decided that it was time to make chorizo and eggs.  I really like that the recipe is for 2, because I didn’t have to worry about halving it or having leftovers.  And I had just enough for the recipe, so it all worked out.  It was so easy to make, and I’ll definitely be making more!  I might even double it next time…

Chorizo and Eggs

Adapted from Aggie’s Kitchen


  • 1 package soyrizo (or 2 links fresh chorizo)
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • shredded cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar)
  • hot sauce
  • chopped tomatoes or chopped onions (both are optional)


  1. Cook soyrizo until you get the color/texture you want.  If using real chorizo, cook until it is no longer pink.
  2. Add eggs and as much cheese as you want, and scramble until it is cooked all the way through.
  3. Serve with hot sauce, tomatoes and onions and enjoy!

Taco Soup

It’s been raining pretty much all weekend, so it seemed like a good time to make more soup!  I really do love soup, because it’s so easy to make.  Plus, sometimes, it’s nice to have a bowl of soup.

Unfortunately, all you can see is the broth and the cheese, which is on top of the sour cream.  Well, in the picture above, you can kind of see something on the bottom, which is the beef.  You can see it a little better in the picture below.  I sadly didn’t have any tomatoes, but I would imagine tomatoes would make it even more awesome than it already is.

I love tacos, and I’ve made one or two other versions of taco soup before, but I really like this recipe, so I’ll probably stick with this recipe.  Unless I come across another recipe for taco soup, in which case, I’ll probably have to try out it.  So enjoy the recipe!

Taco Soup:

Adapted from Rachael Ray’s Book Of 10


  • 2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (or vegetarian alternative)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon  each of ground cumin, ground coriander and chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 garlic gloves, chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can stewed tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot.
  2. Add the ground beef, and brown it, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season with garlic, onions (if using), salt, pepper and spices.
  4. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes (if using) and stock.  Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese.

Hot Chocolate

I love hot chocolate.  How can you not?  It’s chocolate!  That you can drink!  What’s not to love?

I’ve been getting a little creative with my hot chocolate lately, trying some with peppermint extract, which was yummy!  But then a cool idea came to me.  Chocolate and orange are a good combination, right?  So why not put some orange extract in my hot chocolate?  It came out so good!

It’s something that’s popped into my head, and I’m glad it did, because both turned out really well.  Definitely a lot better than I expected.  There are no pictures for today…because I forgot.  But I’ll be back with pictures and a recipe on Monday.  Enjoy the hot chocolate recipe!

Hot Chocolate


  • 1 cup milk
  • a couple spoonfuls of chocolate milk mix (Nesquik is good; so is Ghiradelli’s ground sweet chocolate mix)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or orange extract


  1. Heat milk in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  2. Add chocolate, and either peppermint extract or orange extract.
  3. Enjoy!