Mamma’s Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce


(Camille–all measurements are approximate…change at will!)


2-3 T olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/2-1 green pepper, diced

1-2 cloves garlic, diced

1 lb hamburger (or 1/2 lb turkey burger and 1/2 lb hamburger or all turkey)

1/2 cup red wine or 1/8 cup vinegar

1/2 T oregano leaves (dried)

1/2 T basil leaves (dried)

1 T dried parsley

1 T white or brown sugar

1/2 t cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

Large can diced tomatoes

8-oz can tomato sauce

6-oz can tomato paste

tomato paste can of water


Saute onions and pepper in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add meat and cook until browned. Then add red wine or vinegar. Add oregano, basil, parsley, sugar, and cinnamon…salt and pepper to taste. Stir for 30 seconds or so. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Cook for 30-90 minutes. Add more spices to taste. Cook spaghetti and serve with sauce.


Nice and thick.

Love you Mom!!!



White Pizzas with Arugula w/ easy homemade dough


For the pizza :

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
  • Kosher salt

For the oil:

  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 cups grated Italian Fontina cheese (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh mozzarella (7 ounces)
  • 11 ounces creamy goat cheese such as Montrachet, crumbled

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces baby arugula


For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in the bowl by hand (I did it by hand and worked great although recipe calls for mixer) or in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, add 3 cups of the flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the garlic oil. Place 1/2 cup olive oil, the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Dump the dough onto a board and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover them with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Press and stretch each ball into an 8-inch circle and place 2 circles on each parchment-lined sheet pan. (If you’ve chilled the dough, take it out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes ahead to let it come to room temperature.) Brush the pizzas with the garlic oil, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pizzas evenly with Fontina, mozzarella, and goat cheese. Drizzle each pizza with 1 tablespoon more of the garlic oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the crusts are crisp and the cheeses begin to brown.

Meanwhile, for the vinaigrette, whisk together 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the pizzas are done, place the arugula in a large bowl and toss with just enough lemon vinaigrette to moisten. Place a large bunch of arugula on each pizza and serve immediately.

Or make the dough and add anything…your choice of sauce, toppings, kitchen sink….dough is great for breadsticks too!!!


Thanks to Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa!!!

Sesame Broccoli


2 teaspoons raw sesame seeds, for garnish
2 bunches broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon pure-pressed sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons low-sodium tamari soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Put sesame seeds in an ungreased skillet over medium-high heat. Stir seeds or shake pan almost constantly until seeds are evenly browned and toasted and begin to pop. Once you start to smell them take them off the heat. Remove from pan immediately and set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add broccoli florets and cook until barely tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, using a fork, mix sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and black pepper. Toss gently with steamed broccoli. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.


Lemon Bars



For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Eat and give away…do not refrigerate.

Thanks to Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa!!!

Vegetable Curry Puff

One cannot go wrong with a curry puff. It can go well as an appetizer, a snack for that lazy Saturday afternoon or you can snag two for breakfast just because they were so delicious at dinner last night and you have leftovers!

2 medium potatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2-3 garlic cloves minced
a small piece of ginger minced
1 jalapeno (optional) minced
some cilantro chopped
2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika or red chilli powder
1 tsp amchur (ground dried mango powder)
1 tsp salt or as needed
1tsp garam masala
1 packet filo pastry sheet
Other vegetables that can be added include: 1 carrot (chopped), a few beans chopped, chopped spinach

In a pan boil the potato until cooked and set aside. Lightly saute the  onion in the oil along with garlic, ginger and jalapeno until lightly brown. If using any other vegetables, add to the onion and fry until slightly soft. Peel and mash the potatoes and add to the frying pan with onions. Add the spices- paprika, amchur, garam masala and salt. Adjust spices to suit personal needs. Add the chopped cilantro and mix well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes in low flame and set aside.

Thaw filo pastry sheet for 40 minutes on a flat surface. To make the curry puff, cut the filo sheet into 6 equal halves. Gently roll out each piece with a rolling pin. Add 1-2 tbsp of the curry onto the rolled piece and fold the half across and seal at the ends. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Set each filled puff on a baking tray or sheet and bake until dough puffs and turns slightly brown about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot with sweet and sour tamarind chutney and mint chutney.

See also:
Mint Chutney
Sweet and Sour Tamarind Date Chutney

Sweet and Sour Tamarind Date Chutney

10-12 dates
1/2 block soft tamarind
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
a little paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds

Soak the dates in a bowl until they soften (about 30 minutes). In a separate bowl soak the tamarind until soften. In a pan add the oil and fry the cumin seeds. Squeeze tamarind juice and add to the pan. Squeeze juice from dates add also add to the pan. Cook on low flame until the whole mix thickens. Add salt and paprika to taste.
Remove from flame. Can be refrigerated and used for up to a week.

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