Tag Archives: love to cook

What’s For Dinner?

cooking is fun

One of my favorite things to do is to cook.  NOT bake!  Baking is way too precise. I don’t like following a recipe step by step.  I need to make my own additions and changes to make it my own!  Making dinner, altering new recipe that I find on Pinterest or allrecipes.com is always fun to try, but my favorite thing to do is make one up.  Figuring out what foods go together and compliment each other is a fun challenge!  There has been more than one time that I have made a recipe that failed.  Dave likes to cook too so we have an agreement that either of us make a “fail,” we HAVE to tell each other so we don’t make it again.  Feelings are spared!

After work today, I ran to Trader Joe’s and meandered around the aisles trying to come up with an idea.  I decided to go to the meat aisle first so that I could have the base.  Several of my standby recipes uses their chicken sausage so I decided to start there.  As I walked to the meat case, I passed the most perfectly shaped eggplants.  That made me change my original plan.  I have never cooked eggplant other than chopping it up with other veggies and serveing it over pasta.  I decided to attempt an eggplant parmigiana! I decided to keep the chicken sausage and make a bolognese sauce along with it to bake with the eggplant.

As often as possible, I try to alter a recipe to make it healthier…this one was not!!  I try to buy low fat ricotta and mozzarella cheese whenever possible, but they only had the regular version of both.  I got home and made up the recipe as I went along.  I dug the mandolin out of the back of a closet and sliced up the eggplants.  I breaded them in egg and breadcrumbs and cooked them on a skillet.  When they were browned, I baked them in the oven for twenty minutes.  Meanwhile, I had already chopped up the sausage in the food processor and it was simmering in a pot with plum tomatoes and some spices.

After that was all ready, I layered it like a lasagne baked it in the oven for an hour and waited to see what happened.  It was smelling pretty good and I realized I was making way more than we needed so I called my dad and brother and they joined us for dinner – letting them know ahead of time, it was an experimental dinner!

The results, it was a success!  A make again meal.  There is enough enough for me to bring to work for lunch tomorrow for me AND my coworkers.  Not bad for a throw together meal!  Those are often the best ones.

If only I had remembered to write down the recipe as I went along.  😉

Love to Cook, Love to Eat


I have loved to cook for as long as I remember.  I also love to eat.  I do NOT like to bake.  Baking and following a recipe is too scientific for me.  I like to throw things together and merge the flavors to create something new.  I will often take a recipe and change it to suit our taste.  I eat pretty much everything but can get particular when it comes to meat.  Not sure why or what it is about it that makes me this way.  It is not for ethical reasons or because I am a vegetarian, I just don’t like the flavors of many meats.  I like beef, chicken, fish, pork.  I don’t like lamb or veal (although I will occasionally buy  a ground meat mix that has veal in it for when I cook up meatballs.)

Dave doesn’t like cheese – my all time FAVORITE food!  Our kids eat terribly.  We tried getting them to eat everything when they were babies but that did not last.  I am not sure why they are this way.  My oldest son DJ said once that they prefer “beige food.”  You can probably imagine what that includes, chicken nuggets, cereal, bread, cheese (only American – the one kind I don’t like,) and french fries.  It embarrasses me to even admit but I am almost at the point of buying a deep fryer so that I can fry up vegetables and sneak them into their diet!!  My kids aren’t little either, so hearing, “they’ll grow out of it,” doesn’t work anymore.

Tonight was one of those nights that I threw together a bunch of things from the fridge and made a dinner that was so good.   I did not write down the recipe.  I never do –  although I should.  I am posting it here so that I will be sure to remember it – Dave declared it a “make again” dinner and so did I.  The kids wouldn’t even try it.  It doesn’t have a name so Dave came up with one.  I served it over pasta, but it could be served all sorts of ways.  I also did not measure any of it so add as much or little as you like:


  • Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Yellow Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Arugula
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow Pepper
  • Orange Pepper
  • White Wine
  • Cream (about 1/4 cup) (add at the very end)
  • Salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes to taste

I took the sausage out of the casing, cut it up and cooked it up in olive oil before adding all of the other ingredients

Cook on stove top until all vegetables are at desired tenderness.

That’s how I cook.  Amounts are questionable, time it takes is as well.  That is what makes cooking fun and interesting to me.

We have definitely had a few meals where we declare it a “don’t make again meal but the majority of what we throw together is pretty good.  Occasionally I even make one that we call, a “make for company” meal.  I would never experiment with something new on others.  We are  our own guinea pigs!  This one is definitely a share with friends meal!  Hope yours turns out just as good!