Pasta “Fazool”

A Family’s Recipe

IMG_0898-2Pasta and Beans (Pasta Fagioli) is an economical dish with few ingredients. Eaten often by the Rizzo Family on meatless Friday’s and during Lent. When I assisted in putting this together I wasn’t sure just how flavorful the result would be. It is now on my list of favorite comfort foods. Vegan or vegetarian, or add a little Italian sausage if you must. It’s all perfectly good.

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No Cook Lemon Cheesecake Pie

No Cook Lemon Cheesecake PieSweetened condensed milk leftover from ice cream making was an incentive to creating this pie. Can’t let food go to waste! Have you ever given thought to what’s in sweetened condensed milk. It’s really not that scary. In fact, you can make it yourself right on your stove top. Only two ingredients. How about vegan condensed milk? It’s easy. Check out these great recipes, here.  Yep, this whole pie can become vegan in a second. There are no eggs! Use vegan whipping cream, here. And well, the cream cheese can be eliminated … making the pie more chiffon-like. Vegan cream cheese? Yep, bet you can find a recipe for this too.

About the pie crust, make it graham cracker, chocolate, cookie, or meringue shells. All work!

This is a recipe with very few ingredients. Let’s get started.

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Apple Season Recipes

Apple Season RecipesIt’s Apple Season! Some of my favorite Apple Recipes for you to try. Make your own applesauce for the baked recipes with this ingredient. So easy. Just peel, core and roughly chop cooking apples. Place into your medium saucepan with a bit of water-just enough water to barely cover the bottom. Simmer until apples are applesauce consistently. Add a pinch of salt if you wish. No sugar needed. Perfect! Enjoy!

1. Apple Pie Pastry           2. Apple and Cranberry Chutney           3. Apples Brats & Hot Mustard

4. Apple Empanadas    5. Apple Dessert    6. Spinach Apple Banana Smoothie    7. Breakfast Bar

8. Old Fashioned Apple Pie  9. Special Apple Muffins  10. Best Coffee Cake   11. Apple Dumpling

12. Easy Delicious Dessert   13. Easy Apple Muffins 14. Pork Chop Recipe   15. Apple Spice Cake

                 16. Perfect Tasting Juicy Pork Chops          17. Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies                  


Dijon Potatoes with Green Beans

Dijon Potatoes


Tasty lighter potato salad to serve cold or warm. The flavor intensifies after refrigerating for a couple of hours. But you may be like me and enjoy this salad immediately after preparing. Either way I guarantee you won’t be disappointed … That’s if you are into Dijon and a little tart and tanginess. Love serving this with a sweeter meat dish. Yes, it was perfect with my Pumpkin Braised Short Ribs.

It’s a great side! Hope you enjoy!


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Roasted Eggplant Dip

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Japanese Eggplant are so easy to grow. Two plants can overwhelm me with so much fruit. I had to quickly think of something. I had Roasted, made Ratatouille, and Cooked with Orzo. Even used in my Eggplant Parmesan, prefer the larger variety for this. (The larger variety can be used in this recipe instead, and you may prefer. Just cut one large unpeeled eggplant into one-inch squares.) This is what I came up with! And what a great idea for these hot summer evenings (with wine, of course).

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Sweet and Sour Carrots

Sweet and Sour Carrots


Reminiscent of Mama Tosca’s! It was a sad day when I found myself moving to Bakersfield, California … following my husband’s job.  I was leaving my hometown, the only place I knew, and moving to what was often a joke in the latest Hollywood film. Half the family decided to stay behind and we never quite recovered. I’d been used to 105 temperatures of the summer, one of the biggest complaints about Bakersfield. So, I was already ahead. We settled in quickly and other than the reputation I wasn’t quite sure what was negative. As my husband used to say, You always try to make it a good thing. How was I going to do that this time. Well, remember my love is food and food is love!  I was going to find the best food in Bakersfield! Right out my backdoor was a brand new restaurant, Mama Tosca’s Ristorante Italiano. Nothing like pasta to make a place homey and comfortable. It became our very favorite. Now, I’m back in my hometown after almost 30 years and I never quite understood what was supposed to be negative there. I found many more wonderfully delicious places to eat. Basque Food, oh my, no place better! And one of the local hangouts, Luigi’s since 1910 … Meet the Who’s Who and there are some! Luigi’s could always bring a smile … always packed with people sitting tightly together … and the food! So, if you find yourself traveling through Bakersfield you’ve got to stop at one of these places. Yep! They’re still in business.

One of the dishes brought to your table at Mama Tosca’s when you first arrived was marinated carrots. After years of business it is no longer part of their menu. It was my three year old daughter’s favorite at this restaurant. I’ve been trying to duplicate it for years but because of my fading memory (or my palate’s) I can’t quite get it. Oh, btw it was never sprinkled with parsley (nor bell pepper added) as it is here. My children didn’t like “the green stuff.” This recipe is again one of my mother’s but it doesn’t approach the taste of Mama Tosca’s. It’s good, just different. Surprisingly, the recipe most like Mama’s is my French Dressing, here. Yes, it absolutely works Missy. Just for fun check out my daughter, here. She’s definitely grown up.

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