Tag Archives: rachael

When A Recipe Brings Back Memories

In October of 2005, Jay and I put our little 1936 Craftsman home in San Diego on the market and headed to Nor Cal with a 6-month old Elliott and Riggs & Rascal. For 6 months we lived in a little one-bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale while our home was being built. I remember begging the salesperson to get us into a home that was already built so we wouldn’t have to live in this OLD apartment complex {it was the only place that allowed our two dogs}, but this was at the height of the market and we had to indeed wait several months for the home to be finished…there were no houses that fell out of escrow.

We literally knew NOBODY when we moved there. Jay’s cousins lived nearby, and that was great for weekend get togethers, but during the week I literally watched Food Network, did laundry and grocery shopped day in and day out. All our belongings were in storage and we went to IKEA and got two comfy black chairs and a tiny 13″ television/DVD player at Costco. I’d sit and watch the FN line-up and decided to invest in a Rachael Ray cookbook. I’d flip through the cookbook and find something that sounded good or take notes from an episode and Google the recipe. I would go to the grocery store almost daily and get fresh ingredients for our dinners. The bottom of Elliott’s stroller was just big enough to fit everything we needed for one night’s cooking.

Elliott would sit in her swing and I would prepare dinner for Jay and me. This is when I developed my love of cooking and baking. I’d always envisioned myself as the “entertaining” type, but worked FT, had a commute that got me home later than Jay and didn’t seem to have the time or energy to fix a nice meal. BUT, in this teeny little galley kitchen, I learned to LOVE to cook. We didn’t even have a table and if I remember correctly, we’d sit in our IKEA chairs and balance our plates on our laps! Classy.


This past Sunday night a group of mamas got together to visit and pray for our friend, Angela, who is having surgery today. We started talking about a pasta dish that sounded amazing and I asked for the recipe. Turns out it’s called  Peasant Pasta and is a Rachael Ray recipe.

As I was walking the aisles of Ralphs yesterday gathering ingredients for this pasta, I couldn’t help but go back to the slower, simpler days when being a stay-at-home mama was new and maybe a bit lonely at times. Now that we’ve put down roots back in So Cal while establishing many wonderful friendships and with our days being so full and watching the weeks fly by, it’s hard to imagine the quieter, carefree days.

Now that I look back, those days in that little apartment were beautiful, too. I love when a recipe can bring back such memories….

Thank you, Lillian, for sharing!





1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 2 links, casings removed
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, available in bulk at butcher counter or, 4 links, casings removed
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped, optional {I used about 10!!}
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen green peas {I used petite peas}
24 leaves fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Grated Italian cheese, for passing


Heat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan. Add sausage meat. Crumble sausage meat as it browns. Add chopped garlic to the pan. When all of the crumbles have browned evenly, deglaze the pan drippings using chicken or vegetable broth. Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring the sauce up to a bubble, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir cream into your sauce, this will blush the color and cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir peas and basil into your sauce to combine. Toss hot drained penne rigate in pan with the sauce, then transfer pasta to serving bowl.

Even without the sweet memories attached to this meal, it was DELISH and will definitely be a frequent contender in menu planning.

This recipe makes a lot so it would be great for entertaining a larger group and even doubling it would be easy, too.

Enjoy, friends!

Happy Tuesday.

Put This In Your Recipe Box And Make It ~ Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

I haven’t watched Rachel Ray’s shows or made any of her recipes in awhile.

But after my friend Heather posted this on Facebook last week, I knew it was a contender for one of our dinners this weekend.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

Sooo good.

Like I-wish-I-could-send-a-warrant-out-for-your-arrest-if-you-don’t-make-it good.

Notes: I used 1/2 cup {instead of 1/4 cup} Frank’s Buffalo Wing sauce and a 4 ounce container of reduced fat blue cheese in the cornbread. I also added 3 chopped green onions to the cornbread mix for a little extra color and pizzaz.

Another Pinterest WIN!

Super yum.

Happy Saturday…don’t forget to set those clocks an hour ahead tonight!


Linking up over at Bits Of Splendor…

bits of splendor monday

Mmmmmexican Lasagna!

If you’ve known me in the past 3 years, lived in my neighborhood and had a baby, then you’ve probably had this mexican lasagna.

It’s what I like to deliver to families with new babies or friends that just need a good home cooked meal at one time or another.

Another recipe from Rachael Ray which you can find here.

I hadn’t made it in awhile and was sort of craving it, so……guess what’s for dinner tonight!

I like to serve with a dollop of sour cream or a little guacamole.


P.S. You could certainly add a small can of green chiles or chopped olives to the meat mixture, as well.