Recipe: Italian Sausage Pasta with Gouda

Cook and Prep Time: 20 min

Serves 8


1 lb Italian sausage

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, diced

2 cups fresh spimach, chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano

1 tbsp fresh basil

1 tbsp fresh parsley

1 tsp fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper

3 cups whey (or 1 cup milk and 2 cups water)

1 package pasta (bow-tie, penne, elbow)

2 cups gouda cheese, chopped

  1. Cook sausage, onions, and garlic in olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot, covered, until sausage is cooked. 
  2. Add spinach and herbs until spinach is cooked.
  3. Add whey and pasta, covered, let boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Add gouda and cook uncovered until creamy but thick.
  5. Enjoy!!!!

Here’s a pic of my toddler enjoying his meal!!!


Purple Pesto Pasta

I’ve made pesto twice this summer and I really enjoy experimenting with it. You can take the basic pesto ingredients (olive oil, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese) and mix in whatever extra you think might be yummy. I’ve added in almonds, spinach, and most recently beets! This is a great, super quick meal for when you run out of spaghetti sauce and want something easy. 

Well, I had some beets I cooked the other day and I thought…hmmmm…I wonder if I could add this to pasta and get a good flavor. Answer: yes!

It is healthier and baby and I loved it! (Hubby was a bit thrown by the purple color). Anyway, I am posting the recipe below. Enjoy!

Also if you make any pesto experiments, comment below! I’d love to try out some new stuff!


1 package of pasta of your choosing

2 cooked beets

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp parmesan cheese

Handful of fresh basil

A few sprigs of fresh parsley

1 tbsp fresh oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

While pasta is cooking, gather ingredients together and blend in a food processor until a thick paste.

Drain pasta and mix in pesto while still hot. Enjoy!

Leftover Tamales

So, I don’t have any pics because we ate all the tamales but last week I made some tamales from leftovers in my fridge. They turned out really good, and I ended up making about 20 tamales from one chicken breast, some salsa, and some other simple ingredients. That was like 7-10 servings from one chicken breast. Woot! Saving dinero and making delicious food. 🙂

Recipe: Chicken Tamales with Green Salsa (7-10 servings)

1-2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1 jar of green salsa (homemade or canned)

1/2 bag of Maseca (extra if dough too wet)

1 cup of Crisco or lard

3 cups chicken broth (extra if too dry), heated

Salt to taste

20 corn husks, set in warm water for 15 min to soften

1 steamer or tamale pot


Mix chicken with salsa on the stove until well cooked. You can add an onion and some olive oil for extra flavor if you like. Set aside.

Mix maseca with lard and chicken broth (or water). Add salt to taste. Mix until no lumps of lard and it is the texture of a wet, spreadable play-doh.

Get corn husks. Take a husk; hold it so the wider part is at the top. Spread a thick layer (1/2 inch) of dough in the middle of the top half. Spoon a spoonful of chicken and salsa into the middle of the dough. Fold one side in over the dough, then the other, and then fold the bottom up. Sit in the steamer with the closed part on the bottom.

Fill all the tamales. Put sufficient amount of water in the steamer or tamale pot. Cover and let water boil. Reduce temperature to medium, so the water is still bubbling. Steam for 2-3 hours, making sure to add water about every 30 min the pot doesn’t burn.

Knowing when they’re done is a bit of a guessing game. I usually cook tamales at night and let them stay in the steamer all night. Then in the morning I eat them for breakfast. But if you want to eat them for dinner, just make sure they’re not undercooked (smushy). Maybe let them sit for a bit.

Every time I make tamales, they turn out a little less horrible. I’m almost in the realm of making them really good now! Don’t despair if it takes you a few attempts to make them correctly. Bad tamales are better than no tamales at all! 🙂


These are tamales from Delgado’s Antojitos Mexicanos. Better than mine but then, that’s their speciality! 🙂

Honey Chews: The Search for Deliciousness


In the 1980s and 90s in Union Township School in New Jersey, there was a delicious snack called honey chews. Thank them lunch ladies made food from scratch and so after my brother and I laughed this k to 8 elementary school, we never ate honey chews again.
For years we have been searching for any hint of the recipe. One time it was at the tip of my fingers when I met a lunch lady at a church dinner but I was young then and stupid and didn’t realize I would never have that chance again. She offered me the recipe but said it would be like 500 kids and I didn’t want to do the math. Why was I so stupid!?
Alas those lunch ladies may not be living anymore and then recipe may have died with them. No longer are foods cooked from scratch in school cafeterias so there’s no way honey chews have survived (also we checked already).
The delicious recipe is long gone and no amount of Google searches has helped the process. My mother even found a cookbook from the school but it was only the parents. Darn it!
now here we are 20 years later and my brother is having a normal conversation with his best friend who says, ” I had this granola bar the other day and it kind of tasted like a honey chew.”
What the what? My brother was so excited and told me the name of the company. I looked up the ingredient list and it is very confusing and there’s no recipe obviously because they want to make money.
In the end desperately at work I decided to mix three ingredients peanut butter, honey, and dry milk (ok, so it was coffeemate) at work in the lunchroom microwave.
And it was darn close!
So today I have tasked myself with the important undertaking of rediscovering the recipe! Wish me luck! And if anyone knows any UTS cafeteria workers from the 80s-90s, please connect me!

Tacos Dorados de Raja y Queso Oaxaca con Salsa Casera


My best friend recently returned from a mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico and brought me fresh Oaxacan cheese, which is similar in texture to mozzarella but tastes a bit different and is rolled into a ball like yarn. It is the never-ending ball of queso! So I’m coming up with new recipes to use it up!


Here’s the one I made up today:

Tacos Dorados de Raja y Queso Oaxaca con Salsa Casera
Ingredients for Tacos
3/4 poblano chile
Queso/cheese Oaxaca
3 tomatoes
1 jalapeño
1 small bunch cilantro
1 tbsp oregano (fresh is bettee)
Salt to taste
1 whole clove
2 cups Maseca (I used amarillo/yellow)
1/2 cup olive oil (or enough to lightly fry)
Ingredients for Salsa
3 tomatoes
2 jalapeños
1/4 poblano chile
2 whole cloves
Salt to taste
3 cloves garlic
1/4 onion
1 small bunch of cilantro
1 tbsp oregano (fresh is better)


To make tacos:
Put tomatoes and jalapeño in a sauce pan with a little water. Cover and boil for a minute or two. Put in blender with cilantro, clove, oregano and puree.

In a bowl put maseca and salt. Add enough of the pureed salsa to make into a Play-Doh-like dough.

Cut poblano and cheese into small strips (you could cook the chile strips in oil or without oil ahead of time so they are soft. I didn’t do that but they were a bit crunchy and I think I will cook them ahead next time).

Heat the oil in a large skillet.

Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and flatten with either a tortilla press or between two round plates with a piece of plastic shopping bag on either side so the masa doesn’t stick. Don’t press  too hard so the tortilla is a little thick. Holding the tortilla in your hand, place a piece (raja) or two of poblano and a piece of cheese in the center of the circle. Fold in half and press together to form a half circle.

Place the tacos in the oil and fry until golden, then flip over. Place finished tacos on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the oil. Repeat until you use up the masa.

Enjoy with the following salsa recipe!

To make salsa casera:
Put the tomatoes and jalapeños in a sauce pan with a little water (less water will make thicker salsa). Cover and boil for a minute or two. Put in blender with other ingredients. Blend to desired consistency. Enjoy!

How to Eat a Rainbow…(plus a recipe for enchiladas and baked sweet potato fries)

First sprinkle a little salt…:-) hehe, just kidding. My zumba teacher, Melissa, is doing a 10-week challenge and this week was to eat a rainbow or to eat a food of a different color every day (M&Ms and Skittles were excluded!). So, Monday was red (homemade marinara sauce), Tuesday – orange (an orange), Wednesday – yellow (delicata squash), Thursday – green (spinach), Friday – blue (blueberries), Saturday – purple (raisins), and Sunday – is all the colors. So, since I was eating such pretty food today, I thought I’d take some pictures! Here’s what I have (or will) eat today!

  • Red – Homemade enchiladas with red sauce and red guajillo peppers



As promised, here’s the recipe (remember local ingredients make the best food!):

Enchiladas a la Garcia (makes about 16 enchiladas, or 4-8 servings)

1 lb ground beef

2 onions

3 garlic cloves

1-2 guajillo chiles

A few pinches of cumin

A few pinches of oregano

Pinch of ground cloves

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

1 can enchilada sauce

8 oz Mexican cheese

16 corn tortillas

Cream/Crema/Sour cream

1. Slice the onions. Put one and a half onion in a skillet on medium heat. Chop up 2 cloves of garlic and add to skillet. Add meat a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Brown the meat. Add the spices.

2. Put 1/2 cup water, the chiles, half an onion, and one clove of garlic in a small saucepan and boil it. Discarding the chile stems, pour the mixture into a blender and blend. Add to meat mixture. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.

3. Heat up the tortillas so they are soft and can be rolled without breaking. In 1-2 baking dishes, drizzle olive oil into dish.

4. Put a spoonful or so of meat mixture into a tortilla and roll it up, placing it so the rolled part is on the bottom, so it doesn’t open. Use as many tortillas as you need to finish the meat mixture.

5. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Drizzle on enchilada sauce and put cheese on top. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.

6. Finish with sour cream (I used two week old cream from raw milk, was yummy!) Enjoy!

  • Orange – baked sweet potato fries (chop into long pieces, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle sea salt, and bake at 425 F for about 20 minutes)Image
  • Yellow – bananas!Image
  • Green – green beans!
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  • Blue and purple – greek yogurt with mixed berries
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Well, it’s been fun! I hope you’ve enjoyed this colorful little culinary adventure! Also, let me know if you liked my recipes! 🙂