Bowtie Pasta & Ham with Cream Sauce

Having an empty nest allows me to cook food that may be too spicy or exotic for kids. But Pete and Andi’s youngest daughter comes for dinner frequently and I sometimes I like to make meals geared specifically to the taste of an 8 year old child when she eats here. Tonight Estrella will be having dinner with us so I’m making Bowtie Pasta & Ham with Cream Sauce.

Bowtie Pasta & Ham with Cream Sauce

 

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Making Your Own Worm Farm

I admit, in most ways, I’m not a fan of worms. When we go fishing I still prefer my son baits my hook . And if I see a worm on the surface of a street I get the shudders. But in my vegetable garden I’m thrilled to see lots of these wonderful creatures in the soil. Making your own worm farm is easy and inexpensive!

Making Your Own Worm Farm

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Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Entrees would be nothing (well, not as good) without delicious side dishes. I grow a lot of peas each summer and we eat them all winter long. But peas with salt and butter are pretty plain so I like to jazz things up from time to time. Peas with caramelized red onions & balsamic vinegar are a great way to serve peas in a new way.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

 

This recipe is super easy and fast. Just cut thin slices of red onion (for the two of use I use about 6 slices) and melt butter in a skillet. Toss the onions in with the butter over medium high heat and let the onions caramelize. I use my cast iron skillet and it doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes to cook them. I like some pieces pretty dark and others just a nice caramel color.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Next I add in a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and stir it to coat the onions.

Finally I add the peas right in the skillet and stir them gently to coat them. I only cook them for a couple of minutes; just enough to get the peas nice and hot.

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

I season them with a little salt and pepper and they’re ready to serve! Easy peasy, right? Get it?

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Peas with Caramelized Red Onions & Balsamic Vinegar

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin and then cut in half
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons butter (I start with 1 and add the second if I need it)
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized (10 – 12 minutes).
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat onions.
  4. Add peas and gently stir to coat with vinegar.
  5. Cook until peas are hot (2 minutes).

 

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Yooper Pasties Troll Version

I live in Michigan where two types of Michiganders reside. There are the Yoopers (U’pers) who live in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) and the Trolls who live under the (Mackinac) Bridge. I’m a Troll but I love the U.P.! It’s a lovely part of our state and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the Midwest. The U.P. also has some unique foods. Pasties (pronounced “pass-tees”) are a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. But, since I’m a Troll I make Yooper Pasties Troll Version!

Yooper Pasties are a Michigan favorite!

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Green Beans with Caramelized Red Onions

If you’re looking for a different way to serve green beans this dish is a wonderful change from just plain old green beans with butter. Sweet and spicy red onions paired with tender green beans are a tasty side dish. Add some balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and yum! Even if they’re not vegetable lovers green beans with caramelized red onions will have your family asking for seconds!

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Farmer's Casserole

Sweet peppers, earthy mushrooms, tangy cheddar, and juicy chicken make this casserole a truly satisfying meal. The creamy sauce and crunchy panko topping are added delights. And in this harvest season Farmer’s Chicken Casserole allows you to use all the great produce available at the grocery store, the farmers market, or even your own backyard!

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Root Cellar Basics

When I was a kid every house in our town had a root cellar. The builders back then knew that people wanted and expected them. My husband, M, also had a root cellar in his childhood home as did everyone in the neighborhood. I don’t really understand why the these marvelous rooms aren’t being built into every home nowadays.

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Italian Sausage & Orzo Stuffed Peppers

In my garden the green peppers are going gangbusters. I’m still waiting for the yellow and red to finish ripening but, my goodness I have to start doing something with all the green peppers! I’m also kind of drowning in zucchini so I’m adding some to this recipe. Since I don’t like rice that’s incorporated into a dish (think chicken and rice casseroles) I decided to go Italian and use orzo instead of rice. Here’s my Italian Sausage & Orzo Stuffed Peppers!

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Myths About Food You Should Stop Believing

We’ve all seen the Facebook posts showing us the bumps on the bottoms of bell peppers. They claim that there are male and female bell peppers and tell us which we should eat raw and which we should use in cooking. And you may have bought it. You may have peeked under every pepper since to see if it has girl parts or boy parts. Stop it! And that’s not the only myth about food you should stop believing.

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