Category Archives: Main Dishes

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

You’re seeing this recipe title and you’re thinking, “Weird.” So did I. But I was so intrigued I had to try it. Another one of my during-harvest-cook-for-myself recipes. It probably has something to do with my pasta craze.

The combination of flavors is…interesting. The pumpkin and sage reminded me of autumn, the mushrooms added a new dimension, and the sausage…… I won’t say anything about the sausage, because (confession time!!!) we were out of all sausage, so I substituted a part of a hot dog. Truly. Please forgive me. Back to the pasta…Parmesan cheese is the perfect complement.

Sausage and Pumpkin Pasta Recipe for 1

Taken from Taste of Home

2 oz. whole wheat pasta (obviously, I used penne, Taste of Home used bowtie)

Sausage (not sure about the amount, an ounce or two would probably be enough)

2 fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 T. onion, diced or onion powder to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1/8-1/4 tsp. rubbed sage

Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

3/4 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Dash cayenne pepper, optional

1 T. Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. In a small greased skillet, lightly saute sausage, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, pumpkin, sage, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Add pasta and pumpkin mixture to sausage. Stir and cook over medium-low heat until hot and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese; serve immediately. Unless, of course, you take pictures and the pasta gets cold and you have to reheat it in the microwave. Yield: 1 serving

Maybe I should post some harvest recipes – things I make for the cotton harvest crew, not things I make for myself during cotton harvest. That would require me to take pictures, which takes time, which I’m usually a bit short of when suppers need to get out the door. And harvest meals aren’t made for beauty.

That is a possibility for future posts, though.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you people reading this blog! I hope it’s a blessing to you!

Have fun cooking,



Spinach Pesto Penne

I cook weird things for myself. Really. My family walks in, looks at my plate, and asks, “What’s that?” The answer to that question can be quite long and/or disturbing.

Please don’t be disturbed about Spinach Pesto Penne. Be adventurous. It’s  delicious…and healthy…and GREEN. It’s a combination of my pesto craze and my pasta craze.

Spinach Pesto Penne for 1

2 oz. whole wheat penne pasta, cooked a la dente

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 cup spinach

1 – 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1-2 T. pesto

Salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley to taste

Dash cayenne pepper, optional

1-2 T. parmesan cheese

In a food processor or blender, combine chicken broth, milk, spinach, cornstarch, pesto, and desired herbs. Place cooked pasta in a small saucepan; pour spinach mixture over it. Cook over medium heat until hot and bubbly and the sauce coats the noodles. Stir in Parmesan cheese until it’s melted and creamy. Eat and enjoy. Yield: 1 serving

I ate it all. I highly recommend it.

I know the pictures are a bit dark. I had no natural light, I’m afraid.

Please excuse all the appearance changes. I want to play around and find a look I like for my blog!

See you next time for another pasta recipe!


Pizza Night!

As I concocted pasta sauce a couple of hours ago, I thought, “I should write this recipe down and post it.” Then I started taking pictures…of Corrie’s pizza crust dough, the mushrooms, and on and on. Then I got to adding things and on and on and I forgot about taking pictures. Then I remembered again. Yum.

It was goooood pizza. Especially the veggie one (that’s because it’s the only one I had). So….I’m not writing down Corrie’s pizza crust dough recipe (I don’t know exactly how she did it). You can just do whatever dough you like and add some spices. Corrie did whole wheat pastry plus some gluten. Whatever.

Here’s pictures, and I’ll give you the pasta sauce recipe when we get to the pasta sauce.


The beginning of the dough. Carbs are so good.

Then the mixer did all the work. And you can go do other things while it kneads. Hah.

Check it out. Hands in the dough.

Blob of dough. Sorry about all the dough pictures. I must be obsessed with dough or something.

Here’s the pasta sauce. Roll out your dough. Put the wonderful herby sauce on.

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/4 tsp. rosemary

Stick everything in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired chunkiness.

Now add the toppings….

This one had chopped bell green peppers, homemade beef sausage, and cheese. Traditional and favorite.

This one had green bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, pineapple, and spinach. I like veggies, too.

Look at your kitchen. Isn’t it a mess of love?

Make some chubby breadsticks if you have extra dough. Thanks, Corrie!

Corrie said it looked good, so I came and took a pictures. Pizzas are beautiful….

View no. 2. Same pizza, though. You knew that.

Here’s the sausage pizza. Of course, it’s already after we cracked into it.

Cheeezzzy. Great pizza, by the way. And I’m not bragging. I just say so if I like what I make. That’s okay, isn’t it?

Eat all the pizza you want [need]. Put the rest in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow morning. Or maybe stray brothers that come in late and haven’t had pizza yet. Leave a happy pizza stone and pizza cutter.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pizza night tour. It was a great night. Love cooking with and for my family. What about you?


“I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). 












































Beef Stew for a Winter Day

I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold outside, I want soup. So Beef Stew on a Winter day is quite fitting.

My mom makes amazing beef stew. She uses leftover pot roast – and let the world know that she makes the BEST pot roast! She doesn’t use a recipe, but it’s delicious every time.

Last Friday, as I was contemplating what to feed the family, a recipe from the new Taste of Home returned to my mind. Beef Stew and Vegetable Stew? Bay leaves? Perfect. Of course I didn’t follow the recipe perfectly, but close enough to say that it’s a good recipe.

By the way, have you ever noticed that bay leaf recipes command you to remove the bay leaves before serving? It’s a command I always disobey; what’s the fun with taking them out? And besides, at our house, whoever gets the bay leaf gets a kiss from the cook.

On to the recipe. You must make it because it’s delish.

I’ll give you half-my version, half-Taste of Home’s version.

Beef Stew for a Winter Day

1 small onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 T. oil

1 large or 2 small potatoes, cubed

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth

1 can (11-1/2 oz.) can V8 juice or 1 (14 oz.) can tomato juice plus a little lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and some herbs

1 large carrot, scrubbed and sliced

2-3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 lb. chuck or arm roast, cooked and chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 T. cornstarch

1/4-1/2 cup beef or chicken broth or water

In a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery in oil until crisp tender. Add potatoes, beef broth, V8 juice, carrot, and herbs. Continue to cook on medium-high until potatoes and carrots are almost tender. Add roast, peas, and corn. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and chicken broth until smooth; add to stew. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened and bubbly. Serve with love and cheer. Yield: 5-6 servings.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5

Tostadas, Tostadas!

Our family loves food. More specifically, Mexican food. More specifically, beans.  More specifically, tostadas.

Have you ever tried a tostada? It’s like a big, round corn chip. See?

You toast it in the oven, then cover it with refried beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, green onions, or whatever you feel like. Devour. Repeat. Repeat again if needed (usually is needed).

We had tostadas for New Year’s Eve. Forget the black-eyed peas and shrimp cocktails and wine. We’d rather have tostadas any day!

The unadulterated tostada shells, right out of the oven: hot and crispy. And greasy. Mmmm.

Tomatoes: one of the optional toppings. I’m not a fan of tomatoes, but they’re too pretty not to take a picture of.

Olives, another optional topping. What a hypocritical food blogger I am – I don’t like olives either. But they are photogenic; that’s why they’re on my blog.

The preparation of a perfect tostada.

Meet the perfect tostada.

Everyone likes them a little different. But we all enjoy them.

If you don’t believe that, look at the above picture.

And sometimes, tostadas are best with just beans and cheese.

The point is: however you dress up a tostada, it’ll still be a tostada.

Enjoy your tostada.

Happy New Year!


“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance” (Psalm 16:6).


Texas Pot Roast

I love cooking roast. They are so – dare I say it? – so FUN!

Did you know pot roasts can be fun? Despite what you are thinking right now (Rachel, you are incredibly weird to think pot roasts could be fun), it’s true.

Give me a chance, here.

Why I love pot roasts: lots of reasons.

  • They are easy. You throw them in the oven and let them cook all day. (Let me clarify – you put them in a pot first, hence the name “pot roast”.)
  • They are so tender. So, so tender.
  • They are yummy. Try the spice rub and faint.

Okay, that was only three reasons, but you get the idea. What more could you want?

Texas Pot Roast

1 large arm or chuck beef roast, cut into large chunks

Soy sauce

Lemon juice

4 tsp. paprika

1 T. brown sugar

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. garlic, granulated

3/4 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place the roast in your roasting pan. Pour a couple of cups of water around it. Now, smother the roast in the soy sauce and lemon juice. Get it good and wet. Combine all the rest of the spices. Rub it into the roast – top, sides, and bottom. Place the roast in an oven preheated to 350 degrees; cook for about an hour. Now decrease the heat to 250 degrees and cook for at least four hours. Or decrease the heat to 300 and cook it three to four hours. Somewhere in there.

As you go throughout the day, stop periodically to smell this roast. Sniff. Sigh. Smile.

Pull it out and admire it.

Beautiful, huh? Well, that depends on whether you think pot roasts can be beautiful.

They can.

Get a couple of forks and shred it up. Smother it with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Don’t be scared to smother it with barbecue sauce. Good roast + good barbecue sauce = deliciousness.

Tell me – do you love pot roasts, too? If you do, we are kindred spirits. What do you put on your pot roasts? I’d love to hear!


“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Herbs and Herb Recipes: Basil

In case you have never met my herbs, let me introduce you now.

And while I’m introducing my herbs, I’ll offer some herb recipes. Now, I haven’t made any of these, so no guarantees. Some of them look good, though!

I’ll start with my favorite – basil. Yes, he’s my favorite herb of all my herb garden children. He’s gorgeous, he smells divine and tastes great. What more could I want?

Basil is best with tomatoes. I especially like it with homemade lasagna, spaghetti and spaghetti meatballs. Wow. It’s also good with sauteed vegetables.

And if you make pesto, it’s good with noodles, mixed with mayo for a sandwich, or just plain on a cracker.

Basil Noodles


Artichoke Basil Pasta Sauce

Lemon Basil Cupcakes

That’s all for now. I’ll post more soon!

What do you like to do with basil?


Speedy Jambalaya

Speedy Jambalaya

1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain rice (we used brown rice)

1 large onion, halved and sliced

1 medium green pepper, sliced

1 medium sweet red pepper, sliced

2 tsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

3 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 can (15 oz. ) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 lb. fully cooked Italian sausage links, fully cooked*

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion and peppers in oil for 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, paprika, thyme, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in black beans, black eyed peas, sausage, and parsley; heat through. Discard bay leaves. Serve with rice, or stir in rice (that’s what we did…I didn’t see that part!) Yield: 8 servings

*if you don’t want to use pork sausage, follow this easy and delicious recipe for Italian sausage made with beef:

2 lbs. ground beef

1 T. salt

1 T. ground fennel seeds

1 1/2 T. paprika

1 T. sugar

1 tsp. black pepper

3 T. red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours. Break into large pieces and cook in a skillet. Drain.

I hope you enjoy this yummy recipe!


Chili Meatball Supper

Or Chili Meatball Lunch. Whatever you want to call it. It’s the perfect cold-day soup!

Chili Meatball Supper

3 cups onions, chopped (about 3 large onions)

3 large green peppers, chopped

3 15 1/2-oz. cans red kidney beans, drained

3 16-oz. cans diced tomatoes

2 12-oz. cans whole kernel corn

1 15-oz. can tomato sauce

2 T. chili powder

3 bay leaves

1 T. salt

3 pounds beef meatballs

Cheddar cheese, grated

Corn chips

1. In a large soup pan combine the onion, green pepper, kidney beans, undrained tomatoes, undrained corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, bay leaves, and salt.

2. Bring to boiling; stir in meatballs.

3. Cover and simmer till meatballs are heated through and vegetables are cooked, stirring occasionally. Remove from bay leaves.

4. Serve with cheddar cheese and corn chips.

Yield: 18-20 servings

Note: You don’t have to remove the bay leaves. Whoever gets the bay leaves gets a kiss from the cook! But, please modify this tradition as necessary. =)


Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Speeding up spices


We frequently make a delicious beef sausage using a delicious combination of spices. There’s one problem, though. It takes a fair amount of time to measure out all the spices every time. Here’s a tip that makes it (or any spice combination that you use a lot) really quick:

Combine a large batch of all the spices to have on hand for when you need them.

We started doing this with our sausage spices, and now all we have to do is grab our little container and add 1 T. per pound to the beef. How handy! We think so, anyway.

Speedy Spices

Beef Sausage

1 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. salt

Combine the spices. Sprinkle over 1 pound of raw hamburger. Mix well. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours; cook, stir, and draink. Keep in the freezer.

Multiply this recipe times 3, 4, 5, or 6 (or more!) and keep a batch in the cupboard.

You can use this sausage in eggs, on pizzas, in casseroles, or any other recipe that calls for pork sausage!

Visit Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!