Pappardelle with Mushrooms

Crazy weather ~ one minute, the a/c is on, the next, it’s off, then the windows are opened, then the heat, returning to a/c.  So, this dish is what’s great in this 65 degree rainy weather!

I just heard Orion, on the radio, saying there are ponds in the cornfields around here, that’s not good because our fresh sweet corn season is way too brief as it is. 

Anyway ~ Pappare, Italian, translates:  to gobble up.  And that’s what we did to this pappardelle pasta dish!

Pappardelle is a large, very broad, flat pasta noodle, cut into a ribbon shape, a cross between tagliatelle and lasagna, in width. The wide ribbons are very absorbent and sturdy, making them ideal for heavy sauces. In fact, they’re perfect for sopping up the sauce.

This is an old recipe from Cooking Light, which I adapted slightly.  The original used bucatini noodles, whipping cream, I had half-and-half; and one-half cup of dried porcini mushrooms. 

The great mix of ingredients delivers nothing fancy ~ just a good delicious dish of pasta ~ a perfect accompaniment to grilled meat! 

Pappardelle with Mushrooms 


8 ounces uncooked papardelle pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup shallots, sliced
8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced*
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup half-and-half
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil 


Cook papardelle according to package directions, al dente; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid.
Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel and slice.
Place olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add shallots, mushrooms and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in sherry, cook 1 minute until liquid evaporates.
Reduce heat to medium, stir in pasta, reserved cooking liquid, half of shaved cheese, half-and-half, and salt and pepper, into mushroom mixture.
Toss well to combine.
Drizzle with truffle oil, toss.
Serve with remaining Parmesan cheese.
4 servings
*Discard shiitake mushroom stems, as they are leathery and tough. 


A Lighter Shrimp Scampi w/ Zucchini Noodles

I bought a mandolin years ago, and after one use, kicked it to the garage.  I just knew my fingers would be shredded!

Then, I moved on ~ to the spiralizer train ~ owning one of the best kitchen gadgets I’ve come across in a while, the Spirooli!  

It cuts, slices, shreds, or spirals the veggies and fruit in no time at all ~ making it the perfect tool for all the great summer veggies, and this delicious shrimp scampi dish.
Some of the best recipes are handed from friend to friend, and that’s how I learned of this recipe.  It’s a light version of shrimp scampi, with zucchini substituting for the pasta.  I spiraled the zucchini into lasagna noodle sized ribbons, instead of spaghetti sized.  Adjust the garlic and red pepper flakes to your liking.  

Not a "colorful pic," but it makes up for it in deliciousness!

This is easy, packed with delicious good flavors, and it’s fun to make using a spiralizer!  In another words, the Spirooli and this recipe are keepers!

Light Shrimp Scampi w/ Zucchini Noodles


1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
¼ cup white wine, or fish or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 zucchini, cut into thin noodle-like strips
Parmesan cheese, for garnish


Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute.
Place shrimp in the pan, season with salt and pepper; cook until pink, about 3 minutes.
Transfer shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon, keep warm.
Increase liquid remaining in pan to medium heat.
Add wine and lemon juice, cook for 2 minutes.
Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Return shrimp to skillet, toss to combine and heat through.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with Parmesan sprinkled over top.
2-4 servings  


Disclaimer:  The opinions expressed here about the product represent my own, just my opinions, no more, no less.

My Wonderful Dad!

He was a farmer, a professional singer,  Vice-President of the Federal Land Bank, a Choir Director, and a great gardener, who started the first community garden in Louisville.  And, in his spare time, Dad proudly cared for his 200 rose bushes in the back yard, displaying cuttings at various events. 

He was funny, kind, good-looking, and a sympathetic listener; he loved people in general, and never met a stranger.   

Plus, he grilled a mighty tasty rare steak.  But, most of all, he was Bud French, my loving Dad, and a wonderful grandfather also!

Dad ~ March 20, 1911 to Feb. 15, 1994


Just one of his gardens, check out all those tomato stakes!

A few of his roses, what a heavenly aroma!

Mom and Dad on their 40th wedding anniversary, 1976

Our wedding day with Mom and Dad, April 15, 1967

Grandpa and Billy ~ early 1971

Grandpa and Matt ~ 1974

Happy Father’s Day Dad, you’re always in my heart.

Happy Father’s Day to my loving husband, Bill, you give our sons someone to honor, respect and admire.

Here’s to all you wonderful Dads out there who are guiding your kids on their way, and to those who are raising someone else’s children like their own, a…


Baked Salmon w/Honey Dijon Glaze

Cooking a large slab of salmon fillet is not only easy, but ensures moist and flaky fish.

Crushed caraway seed supplies a tasty twist to the usual honey and mustard combination in the glaze.  It notably enhances the fish, and produces a delicious baked salmon good enough for company.

This is a no-fuss; super easy, salmon for your dinner.  We thought it was mouthwatering delicious!

Baked Salmon w/Honey Dijon Glaze


1½ pounds salmon fillet with skin
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pat salmon dry and place, skin side down, on baking pan that is lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Spread mustard mixture evenly on top of salmon.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending upon thickness, until it flakes easily with a fork.
Transfer salmon to a platter with 2 large spatulas.
4-6 servings


Pasta w/Ground Turkey, Spinach and Tomatoes

I added turkey ~ if you go meatless with this dish, you’ll have a one-pot pasta dish ~ perfect for the cool weather we’re having now! Either way, it’s delicious!

This is an adapted Cooking Light recipe.  I used 2 cans of Contadina Diced Tomatoes with Burgundy Wine and Olive Oil.  Then, added a variety of mini-tomatoes for their extra sweetness and sub-acid tartness.  For extra seasoning, there’s fennel seed, brown sugar, cracked black pepper, plus a teaspoon of brown sugar.

The dish is a game-changer:  Use just enough chicken broth to cook the pasta, adjust seasonings to your liking; ending up with a savory pasta meal.  The next time, I will add mushrooms to the mixture.

And, besides, it’s colorful… 
Add garlic bread ~ Voila!  Dinner is ready!

Pasta w/Ground Turkey Spinach and Tomatoes


1 pound ground turkey breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, sliced
2-3 cups unsalted chicken stock
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
10 ounces spaghetti or linguine
1/3 cup black olives, sliced
10 ounces fresh spinach
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


Brown turkey in a non-stick skillet until no longer pink.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic, sauté for 3 minutes, until onion starts to brown.
Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, fennel seed; bring to a boil.
Add pasta and submerge in liquid.
Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost done.
Uncover, stir in salt, pepper, sugar and olives and cooked turkey.
Add spinach in batches, stirring until spinach wilts, let stand 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Serves 4-6


Grilled Spicy Cod Tacos with Tomato Salsa

Cod fish is sometimes referred to as the “Chicken of the Sea,” as it’s a mild flaky fish that easily takes on the flavors of its seasonings.  

Instead of deep-frying the cod for our fish tacos,  I coated the fish with a spicy ancho chile rub and Bill grilled them to perfection.  The fillets were on the thin side so they would grill quickly, while he used a grill basket to enable flipping them easily, without breaking.

These tacos pack more than just a little heat, thanks to ground ancho chile pepper and jalapeño peppers.   They’re later tempered with cabbage, and tomato salsa when you eat them, but use a light touch, if heat isn’t your thing. 

I make my own salsa, as most store bought salsa contains cilantro, and that only gets through my kitchen door by mistake.

Ready to grill!  Mmmmm!

This is comfort food with no feeling guilty eating it!

Spicy Cod Tacos with Tomato Salsa

For the cod fillets:

1 pound cod fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
8 flour tortillas


1 cup shredded white cabbage
Tomato salsa, recipe below
Bermuda onion, chopped
Sour cream


In a small bowl, combine oregano, paprika, chile pepper, garlic powder, coriander, salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle mixture over fish fillets, and rub to coat.
Heat grill on high.
Place fish in grill basket or grate and brush with olive oil, turn grill down to medium-high.
Grill about 10-12 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Assemble tacos:  

Use a fork to break cod into flakey pieces and place on warmed (I warm them in the micro) tortillas.  Top with shredded cabbage and tomato salsa.

While fish is cooking, make salsa:

Tomato Salsa

6 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
¼ cup chopped onion
1 jalapeño, chopped (for less heat, discard ribs and seeds)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste


Chop tomatoes and place in a medium bowl.
Add remaining ingredients to tomatoes and combine well.
Let stand for 15 minutes to develop flavor and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Refrigerate or let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Spoon over tacos.
 4 servings 


Easy Coleslaw Dressing

It doesn’t get much easier than this, nor taste much better!

We eat a lot of slaw in the summer with grilled meat, and this easy recipe for the dressing is my favorite.  I use olive oil mayonnaise and Splenda. 

Add the full amount of pepper; it may seem like a lot, but it’s not too “peppery.”  The spices are subtle, being perfect for slaw.  

Mmmm...  Maybe, the next time I make potato salad, I will toss it with this dressing!

Easy Coleslaw Dressing


½ cup low-fat mayonnaise 
1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon celery seed
2-3 cups mix of green and red cabbage*
1 small onion, chopped


In a large bowl, whisk first 7 ingredients.
Add cabbage and onion, toss well.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Toss again before serving.
Serves 2-4
*Or one bag of prepared slaw mix from the produce section.


You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at:


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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