National Meatball Day

Because it is National Meatball Day, I will be sharing a recipe for  Turkey Meatballs & Slow-Roasted Tomatoes.

2 pints (4 c.) cherry tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ c. olive oil
Pinch each of fine seas salt & dried oregano

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper. On one of the pans, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer with the garlic cloves.

Evenly drizzle everything with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt & oregano. Toss to coat, then turn the tomatoes cut side up. Bake the tomatoes on the lower rack, rotating the pan halfway through, until they are puckered, crinkly and sweet, 30 minutes to 1 hour (the longer the tomatoes roast at a low temperature the sweeter they’ll get).

1 small yellow onion, peeled
1 ½ lbs. Ground turkey
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. chicharrones, crumbled
½ tsp. Herbes de Provence
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. Ground mustard
2 Tbsp. Olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp. Chopped basil leaves
4 Tbsp. Cream cheese
2 Tbsp. Sour cream

Use the larges holes of a box grater to grate the onion into a large bowl. Add th turkey and other ingredients except the cream cheese & sour cream, and use your hands to gently mix everything together until combined. Do not over-squish the meat.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 24 golf-ball-size balls and place them on the other sheet pan, leaving just a bit of space between the meatballs. Once the tomatoes have been cooking at least 30 minutes, turn up the oven to 375 degrees F. Slide the meatballs into the oven on the upper rack, above the pan of tomatoes. Bake everything until the tomatoes are puckered and sizzling, about 15 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and set them aside. Flip the meatballs, rotate the pan and continue to bake until they are no longer raw inside, and additional 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve the meatballs warm on a bed of the tomatoes, with dollops of the cream cheese & sour cream combined on top. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with extra basil.


Chili Day


This year I found a recipe for 3-Alarm Chili. It is a little spicy but I wouldn’t call it 3-Alarm. It does taste very good with all the ingredients combined. And as I’m sure you know, chili is always better the next day. 😉

3-alarm-chili-12 lbs. Ground beef
1 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 diced red onion
1 large diced green pepper
3 diced cloves garlic
¼ c. chili powder
2 chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
28 oz. Fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
15oz. Tomato sauce
2 c. water
15 oz. Can drained & rinsed beans (your choice)
¾ tsp. Salt
Sour cream & sliced scallions for Garnish

3-alarm-chili-7In a large pot, brown the ground beef over high for 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add canola oil, onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook 5 minutes. Add chili powder & chipotle chiles. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans and salt. Serve with sour cream and scallions.


National Spaghetti Day

This is a great spaghetti recipe if you are on a Ketogenic diet or just want to eat less carbohydrates.  I like cutting the squash in half, rubbing it with oil, salt & pepper and then roasting in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour instead of microwaving.

Spaghetti Bolognese

2 small spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 med. Onion, chopped
1 med. Red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. Salt
12 oz.  ground turkey
28 oz. Can crushed tomatoes
½ oz. Pecorino cheese, grated
¼ tsp. Black pepper

Poke holes all over squash; microwave on High 15 min.


In large saucepan, heat oil on med-high; add onion, red pepper, garlic & salt. Cook 10 min, stirring often. Add turkey, breaking up meat with side of spoon. Cook 5 min. Add tomatoes. Simmer 10 min. Stir in cheese & black pepper.


Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and scrape strands with fork. Serve sauce over squash.

Garnish with Pecorino.


Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja is a Cuban beef stew.  The weird part is that ropa vieja means “old clothes” in English.  I really like this dish because you can do it in a slow cooker.  Any dish in a slow cooker is easy & delicious.  Enjoy!

ropa-vieja-51 ½ lb. Flank steak
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz. Can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 c. beef stock
½ bottle beer (pale ale)
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
1 Tbsp. Tabsco






Starting with the steak, put all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, pour contents into a large serving dish and shred the meat. Serve topped with cilantro and olives.





With the leftovers we shredded the beef and placed them on cabbage leaves covered with cream cheese.  This is a great way to stay on a Ketogenic diet instead of using a tortilla or bread.

Squash Chili

The cooler weather is here (we are only getting to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in Southern California – HaHa ) which means it is a great time for some chili.  This Squash Chili is a great vegetatian recipe.   Enjoy!


squash-chili-12 tsp. Olive or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
3 c. diced butternut squash
2 to 4 Tbsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Dried oregano
1 to 2 tsp. Ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ to ½ tsp. Cayenne
¼ c. water
16 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 16-oz cans dark red kidney beans,drained & rinsed
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 small zucchini, chopped



Put a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Let the pot heat for a minute and when it’s hot add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and cayenne. Cook on low heat until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time, if it looks dry, add the water.


Add the beans and tomatoes, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, uncovered,for 30 more minutes. Set aside to cool.squash-chili-9

Wedge Salad

I know this type of salad has been out for several years.  With summer here, it is always good to have a hearty and refreshing salad. Make sure to use the dressing recipe as it definitely enhances the whole flavor of the salad.

Wedge Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2/3 c. blue cheese, crumbled
1 ½ c. crumbled bacon
2 sliced green onions
Sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
½ c. mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp. Minced onion
1 tsp. Minced garlic
½ c. sour cream
½ c. Greek yogurt
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Red wine vinegar
¼ c. blue cheese, crumbled
¼ c. chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. Dry

Mix dressing ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.

Place each lettuce quarter on a plate. Pour dressing over the top of each wedge. Top with tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon and green onions. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Butternut Squash & Pico de Gallo Soup

Over the summer we had so much butternut squash that when I cooked some for dinner any that was leftover would go in the freezer. For example, when I roasted a squash about half would be leftover so I would put it in a quart size freezer bag and place in the freezer. I shredded a whole squash and got a couple of quart size freezer bags. I even cubed some squash and froze it before cooking so I could use it after the fresh squash was all gone.

We also got quite a few peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos and green onions which I used to make Pico de Gallo. I ended up with 2 quart size bags of Pico de Gallo in the freezer also.

Butternut & Pico de Gallo SoupI was looking for something to make for dinner and pulled out 1 bag of cooked butternut squash and 1 bag of Pico de Gallo. I let them thaw and then threw them in a large stock pot with a couple of cups of chicken broth, salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon tumeric and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. I brought all this to a boil and then reduced heat and let cook for about 30 minutes. To make a smooth soup, you will need to blend this mixture in batches after it has cooled. After blending, return to pot and heat thoroughly. Add about 1 cup of heavy cream or milk and let simmer for at least 5 or 10 minutes.

I was amazed at how hearty the soup tasted and realized it had to do with all the additional vegetables that was in the Pico de Gallo. Below is a recipe for Pico de Gallo if you would like to try to make this squash soup on a cold winter night. Enjoy!!!

Pico deGallo

1 med. Onion, chopped
4-5 small tomatillos, chopped
2 Anaheim peppers, chopped
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Lime Juice

Mix all ingredients and add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator.

Maggot Stew with Brain Dip & Crackers

Today why not try these two recipes as an eerie meal for Halloween.

Maggot Stew

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
¼ c. flour
½ tsp. each of Salt & pepper

¼ tsp. Garlic powder
1 lb. Stew beef, cut in 1” chunks
2 cans (14.5 oz) plain stewed tomatoes
1 ¼ c. beef broth
1 tsp. Thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 ½ c. frozen carrots
1 c. frozen green beans
 ¾ c. dry orzo pasta

Place oil in stew pot and turn heat to medium-low. Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a ziploc bag. Drop in stew beef, seal bag and shake until well coated. Pour contents of bag into the stew pot. Turn the heat up to medium. Turn meat every 3-4 minutes, letting the meat brown well on all sides. Cook until the meat begins to look crusty. Add the tomatoes, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and let simmer for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour add the carrots and green beans. Cover and simmer an additional 45 minutes.

Cook the orzo in a saucepan according to package directions. When just tender, drain it through a colander, shaking out any excess water. Since these are your maggots, add them to the stew pot and turn off heat.

To serve, ladle stew into bowls and spread a layer of orzo maggots on top.


Brain Dip

1 c. mayonnaise + 1 Tbsp.
1 can (1 oz) cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin, dissolved in ¼ c. hot water
½ c. minced scallions
1 ½ lb. Cooked bay shrimp
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Pinch salt

Use 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to grease a 6-cup brain mold or a

 bunch of mini brain molds; set aside.

Pour can of soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium until warm. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in dissolved gelatin with water until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Remove from heat and pour into brain mold. Chill until firm. Unmold onto a platter and serve with crackers.

NOTE: If you don’t have brain molds, you can use regular cupcake tins. I halved this recipe to make 6 cupcake tins of dip.

Brain Dip from


Summer is here and I have been riding my motorcycle which means I haven’t been home much. Saying that I also have not been making any new posts. We have been enjoying vegetables from our garden which includes squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe and tomatillos as well as some great mint, basil, dill and tarragon.

A great easy and tasty salad is made with tomatillos as follows:

½ lb. Fresh tomatillos, husked & rinsed
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. cilantro leaves
2 tsp. Finely chopped shallot
2 tsp. Fresh lime juice

Thinly slice tomatillos and toss with cilantro, shallot, lime juice, remaining 2 tbsp oil, and salt & pepper to taste.

Another variation is to take the same number of tomatillos and tomatoes, slice them thinly and toss with oil & lime juice or white wine vinegar.