ABC's about me…

A-available or single? Happily Married for almost 30 years
B-best friend? Really and truly, my husband
C-cake or pie? Italian Cream Cake
D-drink of choice? non alcoholic beverage: Diet Root Beer / Alcoholic beverage: Long Island Ice Tea
E-essential item I use everyday? Cinique eye serum
F-favorite color? Red
G-gummy bears or gummy worms? Neither!
H-hometown-DeRidder, LA
I-indulgence? Books and Magazines
J-January or February? February, First date with husband was on Valentine’s Day and my youngest’s birthday is on Valentines as well.
K-kids and names? Zachary, Jessica, Nathan, Hannah, Rachel & Benjamin
L-life is incomplete without? Love
M-marriage date? Sep 3 1977
N-number of siblings? 2 Brothers
O-oranges or apples? Oranges
P-phobias or fears? Black widow spiders and flying
Q-favorite quote? What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? ~George Eliot
R-reasons to smile? My life is great. Almost stressfree
S-season? Autumn
T-tag 3 0r 4 people ~if you read this consider yourself tagged
U-unknown fact about me? I would move to Vermont in a split second.
V-vegetable you don’t like? black eyed peas
W-worst habit? procrastination
Y-your favorite food? Pasta Rustica
Z-zodiac? Leo GRRRRR


Recipe of the day: Dad's Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Or as my mom’s Italian friend, Cele, called it: gravy. It’s the best spaghetti gravy I have ever eaten. Bar none. And believe me, I have eaten in a lot of Italian restaurants. Italian food was my dad’s favorite and so growing up, we tried every Italian restaurant we came across. One of our favorites was Papanini’s. And even their most delicious gravy couldnt compare to this one.

So the first time I ever made this for Husband, I mentioned I had to pop by the grocery store and pick up a beef roast for the spagetti sauce. He said “Excuse me. Roast?” Yes, roast. This is not a “open the jar, add some ground meat” kinda sauce. This is an all day, cook in the oven sauce. And you wont be sorry you tried it. It is the best. My dad’s name was Don. He passed in November of 2004. I can’t make this without thinking how much he enjoyed it.

Don’s Favorite Spaghetti Gravy

2 pound rump roast
2 cans tomato paste
3 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 medium onion chopped fine
1/2 cup celery diced
1/2 cup bell pepper diced
8 garlic cloves cut in half
6 garlic cloves minced
marjoram, oregano, basil, bay leaf, parsley, cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Dip the half cloves garlic in cayenne pepper. Stick the half cloves of garlic in slits you make in the roast with a paring knife. In a Dutch oven, brown roast in a small amount of oil. Remove roast, saute vegetables in oil and add 2 cans tomato sauce and all tomato paste. Add about 3 cups hot water and seasonings. Stir well. Add roast back to Dutch oven. Cover and cook at 350 for about 3 hours. Remove Dutch oven from the oven, add last can of tomato sauce and a cup of water. Cover, return to oven and cook another 2 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve with your favorite pasta. We prefer regular old spaghetti.


Recipe of the Day: Creamy Chicken Soup ala Susan

 Creamy Chicken Soup

Boil a chicken in a stock pot with salt and pepper.

Other ingredients:

3/4 stick unsalted butter

3 TBSP olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1 cup bell pepper diced

 1 cup shallots diced (including green parts)

4 cloves garlic minced

4-5 carrots diced and/or sliced

2 potatoes diced

Herbs of choice (fresh if you have them)

  I used chives, parsley and thyme and one bay leaf.

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

5 cups chicken stock

2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cup gnocchi


Set aside chicken to cool and pick from bones.  In a skillet, sauté  onion, garlic and bell peppers in butter and olive oil until tender.  While these are cooking on low heat, strain the chicken stock through a cheese cloth, keeping 5 cups broth.  Put the potatoes and carrots in the chicken stock to cook.  Add onion, garlic and peppers when ready.  Add herbs and seasonings.  Dice chicken meat and add to pot.  Simmer for 30 minutes or so.  Add heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Add gnocchi and cook three minutes.  Serve with toasted baguettes.