Saturday, July 31, 2010

Molly eating her favorite Sausage Penne with Red Peppers

This is our Molly enjoying her favorite dish. She is a Wonderful and Zany girl that keeps us on our toes. She is starting school in the fall and we are so happy she is our girl.

Molly's favorite Sausage Penne w/ Red Peppers

1 lb sausage mixed with 1 tsp. fennel seeds and 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes.
1/2 pound penne pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
Red bell pepper sliced in 1/4 strips or diced
1/2 tsp. salt
4 green onions, white and some green, chopped
1 28 oz can or 2- 14 oz cans whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes. When I can't find them I use Italian style sliced tomatoes.
1 Tbs fresh or 3/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves and oregano leaves. Freshly ground black pepper or regular pepper.
Grated parmesan cheese.

Cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Reserve 2 Tbs. cooking liquid. Drain pasta
Meanwhile heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown sausage, then add garlic, cook stirring until softened ( less than 1 minute). Add peppers and 1/4 tsp. salt, Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, add onions and cook 5 minutes more.
Meanwhile combine tomatoes, thyme, oregano, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste; process until tomatoes are roughly chopped. Pour into skillet with the meat mixture. Cook stirring occasionally until sauce thickens about 10 minutes.
Stir in drained pasta and reserved 2 Tbs. liquid, cook over medium heat to allow pata to sok up some of the sauce, 3-4 minutes. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Granddaughter Emma

My little granddaughter is TERRIFIED of my cats. She comes completely unglued at the sight of one. Finally Molly asked her," why are you afraid of the cats, they aren't hurting you?" With shaking and trembling she said "They have mad eyes" LoL they are so precious. The Grandkids I mean.

Daughter-in-law Chloe Nielson's Sponge Cake

My daughter-in-law is from Australia. So we get
to enjoy a lot of different recipes from her
family. She is a wonderful and energetic young
woman. We love our Chloe!

This is the cake that was served at her and Matthew's Wedding reception.

Sponge Cake

2 boxes of white cake
heavy whipping cream
strawberry or raspberry flavored jam/preserves
strawberries, sliced
banana, sliced
kiwi fruit, sliced (peeled)
chocolate shavings (optional)

* Make the 2 cakes and cook according to directions on boxes (you can cook them at the same time in the oven)
* Take cakes out of pans and let cool on cooling racks until completely cooled
* Place cake 1 on a serving plate
* Spread generous amount of jam over the top of cake 1 (the top will be sticky so make sure you have alot on your knife so it glides over without pulling the cake top off)
* Spread a layer of whipped cream on top of jam on cake 1
* Place cake 2 on top of cake 1
* Spread generous layer of jam over top of cake 2
* Spread remaining whipped cream on top (you want a good thick layer of cream on top)
* Place sliced fruit on top of cake 2 so it is pretty well covered
* Sprinkle chocolate over top

* NOTE: You can use any kind of fruit for the top of the sponge cake. I just mostly use kiwi, strawberry and banana.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being with my Grandkids

So I am taking care of 3 of my precious grandkids while my daughter and her hubby take a long overdue mini honeymoon. Clara the littlest one was excited but a little nervous to be left. After an hour or so she exclaimed "I don't even miss my mommy and daddy"
Okay, I'm not gonna lie that made my day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I was on my cell phone when my daughter Molly beeped through. I thought...Okay I'll call her right back. 2 seconds later a voice mail, from Molly. 30 seconds later the land line rings. By now I'm a little nervous as to the nature of the emergency awaiting me. I hurriedly ended my call to answer the other phone... I can barely hear Molly's breathless voice over the phone. "Mom I forgot to feed Betsey yesterday, I hope she's alright, will you please go in my room and feed her right now" To quote my Grandmother, "Oh brother!!"

Hearty Lentil Soup

This is truly one of my favorites, even my picky eaters love this.
I combine it with my Sooooooo Good Corn Bread.

3 carrots sliced
2-3 med. potatoes (opt.)
1 med. onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry lentils
1 14 1/2-to 16-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp.
1/2 - 1 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. Kielbasa (I use sausage)
1 Tb. lemon juice
2 Tb. chopped parsley

In a 3-to 4-quart pan, cook carrots, next 9 ingredients, and 5 cups water, covered, 40-50 min. until lentils are tender. I add the vegetables about 1/2 way through cooking
Stir a few times during cooking.
Slice Kielbasa, stir into soup or add browned sausage.
Cook covered, 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
Let stand 5 min. sprinkle with parsley (opt.)

Bec's long awaited Split Pea Soup

Savory Split Pea Soup from my sister Katie Banazak

1 lb. split peas (2 1/4)cups
3 fresh pork hocks 3/4 lb. each
Leftover ham bone
2 stalks celery
2 med. onions
4 green onions
2 parsley sprigs
1/4 lb. salt pork chopped (I use bacon)
1/4 tsp. black peppercorn
1/4 tsp. All Season
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1-2 Bay leaves
1 Kilbasa polish sausage
4 med. carrots
4 med. potatoes

In colander rinse peas with cold water. Wipe Hocks with paper towel.
In an 8 qt. pan combine peas, hocks & 2 1/2 qts. water. Bring to a boil reduce heat.
Simmer covered 45 min.
Cut celery diagonally 1/4 inch thick.
Saute bacon in frying pan until crisp (3 min.). Add celery, onion and
green onion. Saute until golden (5) min.
Add mixture to peas w/ parsley,salt, rosemary & Bay leaves.
Bring to boil, reduce & simmer 2 1/2 hours until hocks are cooked.
Remove from heat, remove hocks & cool. Remove skin & fat from hocks.
Wash sausage slice 1" thick add to soup with the carrots and potatoes.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer 30-40 min. Enjoy!