November 15, 2008

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

Posted in Soups at 11:43 am by Elizabeth

With Fall in the air and Thanksgiving around the corner, I tend to think of cool weather foods and comfort soups and casseroles.  I’ll try to get some of my favorite posted in the next few weeks.  Here is one of our all time favorite soups to get you thinking of warm fires and a good book…

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

Serving Size  : 8

Amount  Measure                Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–  ————  ——————————–
2             pounds                 Italian sausage (I use: 1 lb. hot & 1 lb. mild)
1             cup                       onions — chopped
2             cloves                   garlic — minced fine
5 1/2      cups                      beef broth
1/2         cup                        water
1/2         cup                        dry red wine
2             cups                      tomatoes (may use whole canned tomatoes) – seeded, peeled, chopped
1             cup                       carrot — thinly sliced
1/2         teaspoon               oregano & basil
8             ounces                  tomato sauce
1 1/2      cups                      zucchini slices
8             ounces                  tortellini, cheese-filled (or small ravioli)
3             tablespoons          parsley — chopped
1                                          green pepper — chopped
parmesan cheese — grated

If sausage comes in casing, remove casing.  Brown sausage in dutch oven .
Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings.

Sauté onions & garlic in drippings until tender.  Add beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots basil, oregano, tomato sauce & sausage.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Skim off any fat.

Stir in zucchini, tortellini, parsley and green pepper.  Simmer covered for an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until tortellini are tender.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of each serving


April 29, 2015

long time away

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:22 am by Elizabeth

it’s been ages since I have added anything to this blog.  After loosing my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe I have vowed  to start updating this blog again with our favorite family recipes!  Coming soon – My Old Man cookie recipe.

August 7, 2011

Shredded Zucchini

Posted in Side Dish at 7:04 pm by Elizabeth

6 Small Green or Yellow Zucchini

2 Tbs butter

6 Green Onions Chopped

Salt & Freshly ground pepper to taste

Freshly ground nutmeg

Parmesan cheese – optional

Shred zucchini, drain on paper towels for a few miinutes.

Place zucchini in a large saucepan with butter and green onions.  Turn on heart and toss zucchini mixture until justed heated through.  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper & freshly ground nutmeg.  Serve immediately, sprinkling with Parmesan cheese if desired.

I smometimes add 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves…

March 27, 2011


Posted in Main Dish, Uncategorized at 4:54 pm by Elizabeth

Family recipe for a hamburger stew… enjoy

1 pound hamburger, 1 onion chopped brown together in a lager heavy sauce pan.  Drain off fat from meat.   Mix in 1 Cup sliced carrots and 1 can chopped tomatoes.  Season with basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook together to blend flavors until carrots are tender.  Add 1 cup frozen peas before you are ready to serve.  Cook through so everything is hot.

Serve over mashed potatoes.

Beef Herbed Stew

Posted in Main Dish at 4:44 pm by Elizabeth

Melt 1/3 Cup butter and brown 4 pounds of beef stew meat. Pat beef dry before browning the cubes.
Add 1 pound of sliced mushrooms, 4 yellow onions chopped, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 T salt, 1 t pepper, 1 t dill, 1 t basil, 1 t thyme leaves and 2 bay leaves.

Saute slowly until tender. Add: 1 13oz can on chopped tomatoes, 1 pound small white boiling onions (you can get these at Trader Joes in the freezer section), 1/2 bag small carrots. Cook 45 minutes.
Mix 6 T flour and 1/2 Cup water until smooth – add gradually to the stew and stir until thickened.  Serve with almond poppy seeded noodles.

Almond poppy-seed noodles:
1 C butter melted
1 C sliced almonds
1/4 C poppy seeds
Cook together in small sauce pan until better is melted and almonds are light brown. Serve over a package of boiled egg noodles.

January 17, 2010

Baked French Toast Casserole

Posted in Brunch at 11:29 am by Elizabeth

Hope you enjoy this brunch item – we sure do… It’s easy to make for when company come since you make it the night before.  Just pop in the oven in the morning


  • 1 loaf Challah bread (or French Bread)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup


Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.

Prep Time: 20 min

Inactive Prep Time: 8 hr 0 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Level: Easy

Serves: 6 to 8 servings

February 22, 2009

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Posted in Dessert at 6:07 pm by Elizabeth

These little cookies are quickly becoming my favorite cookie, soft chewy and wonderful!

Makes about 3 dozen

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Beat the softened butter and sugars in a mixer until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often, until incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and continue mixing until everything is incorporated evenly.

Fold in the rolled oats and cranberries.

Drop tablespoon-size scoops of the dough onto the cookie sheets, leaving enough space so the cookies will not spread into one another while baking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Marbella

Posted in Chickein Main dish tagged at 5:52 pm by Elizabeth

I cooked this last night for dinner when we decided to have a few friends over.  It is a perfect meal to serve for guests because you can do everything ahead of time.  Only think you need to do at the last minute is turn on the water for the couscous.  It really is that easy and everyone loves it.  Don’t be afraid to try the prunes or dates they really do add something to the dish and you should be adventurous and eat them!


Ingredient —

2 1/2 pounds Chicken thigh — skinned and boned

5 cloves garlic — chopped fine

1/4 Cup oregano

salt and pepper — to taste

1/2 Cup red wine vinegar

1/2 Cup olive oil

1 Cup Pitted Prunes or Dated

1/2 Cup Spanish Green Olives

1/2 Cup Capers — with a bit of juice

6 bay leaf, whole

1 Cup Brown Sugar(I use a little less than a cup)

1 Cup White Wine 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley — finely chopped


In a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers & Bay leaves. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in on or two large shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour wine around them. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting with pan juices. With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes,olive & capers to a serving platter or directly plate. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle with parsley. Source: “Silver Palate Cookbook”

I  serve this with couscous

December 19, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Posted in Soups at 10:22 pm by Elizabeth

Serves 4+

This soup is quick to make, flavorful, and filling! Serve with warm tortillas & a green salad. This also freezes well. Garnish with chopped fresh avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, or green onion! Enjoy


1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

10.5 ounce chicken broth

1 1/4 cups water

1 cup whole corn kernels

1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked & cut into pieces

crushed tortilla chips

sliced avocado

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

chopped green onions



In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.


Stir in corn, hominy, chilies, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.


Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion

July 28, 2008

Tahoe Brunch

Posted in Brunch at 7:54 pm by Elizabeth

I’ve had a few requests for a breakfast/brunch casserole in the past few weeks and this is one of my all time favorites. The fist time it was served to me was at my bridal brunch just about 26 years ago this month. One of my fathers employee’s wife made this Tahoe Brunch which she had discovered in The California Heritage Cookbook– written by the junior League of Pasadena. This recipe needs to be made ahead of time and refrigerated over night so plan accordingly.

Tahoe Brunch

  • 12 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 2-3 Tbs butter softened
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 Lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Cups thinly sliced onion
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 Lbs Italian sausage (I use a mix of Hot & Mild)
  • 3/4 to 1 Lb grated Cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley

Butter the bread with the softened butter and set aside. In a medium skillet, melt the 1/2 Cup butter and brown the mushrooms and onions for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Season to taste with salt & pepper, set aside. Cook the sausage and cut into bite size pieces – set aside.

In a greased 11 x 7 ( or whatever size you have that is close) casserole, layer 1/2 of the bread, mushroom mixture, sausage and cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the cheese. In a medium bowl mix the eggs, milk both mustards, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, & 1/8 tsp pepper. Pour over the sausage and cheese casserole. Cover the casserole and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, sprinkle the parsley evenly over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until bubbly.

Serve with a fruit salad and crusty bread.

Serves 8

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