Pasta Alla Vodka

Dinner | December 22, 2019 | By

Pasta Alla Vodka ~ tender pasta in a rich, delicious tomato-cream vodka sauce. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese for an easy, restaurant quality meal in under 30 minutes.

We met a group of neighbors for dinner recently at an upscale Italian restaurant. The Pasta Alla Vodka I ordered was delicious, but definitely overpriced. I mean really, it’s still pasta at the end of the day.

My first thought was that I couldn’t wait to eat it again, but that I’d be enjoying it in the comfort of my own home, fuzzy slippers and all. Made at home, this dish is every bite delicious and doesn’t have to break the bank. 


Baked Mostaccioli

white baking dish with mostaccioli and melted cheese on top

Dinner | September 5, 2017 | By

Baked Mostaccioli with homemade meat sauce blanketed in three kinds of cheese is baked to perfection. This easy, family-friendly classic recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.  

It’s a full court press this time of year so if you’re (a) having out of town company, (b) planning to feed a few people beyond the holiday or(c)  looking for something new for your holiday meal, this is your recipe.

Homemade tomato meat sauce blended with pasta plus three kinds of cheese. Baked Mostaccioli is easy to make, over-the-top good and one of those dishes everyone enjoys – even the pickiest eater!


Lemon Vegetable Spring Pasta

Lemon Vegetable Spring Pasta ~ sauteed vegetables and pasta dressed in a light, lemon-olive oil sauce, topped with feta cheese for an easy any night meal.

Dinner | March 26, 2017 | By

Sometimes less really is more ~though not with shoes. Never with shoes. It is the case with this Lemon Vegetable Spring Pasta ~ sautéed spring vegetables, shrimp, pasta and a little cheese all dressed in a light, lemony sauce. 

I published this recipe quite a while ago when I was brand new to blogging under the title Girls Night In Pasta. I’m rolling my eyes now at the name, but I thought it was clever at the time because it was my favorite go-to pasta when my husband travelled for work and the only appetite I had to please was my own ~ a glass or two of wine, a good dinner and my favorite TV show ~ Girls Night In.


Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls)

Beef Braciole ~ thin slices of beef filled with breadcrumbs, cheese, prosciutto and fresh herbs, rolled then braised in Prego Farmers’ Market® sauce.

Dinner | October 24, 2016 | By

This Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls) shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PickedAtPeak #CollectiveBias

There’s nothing fancy about my wardrobe ~ jeans, tee shirts, warm, comfy sweaters and this time of year, cute boots. But there are two things I am a total snob about. One is nachos (they must be loaded!), the other is pasta sauce which should always taste like the vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic and basil used in it were picked at just the right time from the nearest farm.

I’m already a fan of Prego Farmers’ Market® sauces. Awhile back I shared my 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara recipe featuring Prego Farmers’ Market® sauce. Today, the heat is blasting inside and the wind is whipping outside so I’m going slow cooker, comfort food all the way with Beef Braciole (Italian Beef Rolls) ~ thin slices of sirloin filled with a delicious mix of seasoned breadcrumbs, two kinds of cheese, prosciutto and fresh herbs, rolled tightly then braised in Prego Farmers’ Market® Classic Marinara. The aroma alone will make your mouth water.


Skillet Lasagna

Easy Skillet Lasagna - cheesy, tomatoey, decadent made all in one skillet. Serves 2 or generously serves 1 with enviable lunch leftovers.

Dinner | October 17, 2016 | By

Sometimes life just isn’t fair ~ like that unwritten rule that you can only make Lasagna ~ cheeeesy, tomatoey, pasta goodness when (A) you’re expecting a football team for dinner (B) you’re prepared to hear “who else is coming for dinner?” and “are you trying to kill me?” or (C) you’re okay eating Lasagna for a week straight. Every. Single. Night. Throw out those rules because now there’s Skillet Lasagna, made completely in just one pan with every bite of cheeeesy, tomatoey decadent pasta goodness as it’s big brother but in a 1-2 person serving.


Chicken Kale Pasta

Dinner | September 19, 2016 | By

This Chicken Kale Pasta post was sponsored by Eat Smart as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received product samples to facilitate my review.

Chicken Kale Pasta made with Sweet Kale Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Kit and a few simple ingredients for an easy, any night tasty, nutritious meal.

Do you remember the days of having to buy salad ingredients individually, bringing them home, then washing and chopping everything? Of course, you can still do that today, but it’s time-consuming and frankly because I can be a bit lazy, a lot of times I ended up using fewer ingredients in my salad. 

I bought a salad spinner a few years ago thinking it would save my sanity ~ or at least time spent washing and drying ~ but alas, the ol’ salad spinner went into one of my garage sales.

When I was offered a chance to try Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Salad Kits recently, I jumped. It’s a complete salad all on its own, including the dressing  ~ just toss and serve but there’s much more you can do with them. Think Creamy. Chicken. Kale. Pasta. . .


Creamy Shrimp Pasta

Light, lemony creamy shrimp past with NO heavy cream. Perfect summer dish.

Dinner | June 29, 2016 | By

I’ve always loved the slower pace of summer, going back to my childhood. I put so many miles on my bike tires and probably wore out the sidewalk on the way to the Dairy Queen. I used to stay up up late pouring over Nancy Drew mysteries in bed, wishing the warm breeze would miraculously cool me  (no air conditioning in those days). I wanted to be Nancy, zipping around town in my convertible solving mysteries with my friends. I still love curling up with a good book. I’ve been in a book club for a dozen years or so with a really great group of women. You’d like them. We don’t read as much anymore. We’ve morphed into a kind of wine~friendship club. You’re probably wondering ~ what’s up with the books and the nostalgia and the. . .? Where’s the food today? Sorry, I digress. . .today on this warm summer day I’m bringing you Creamy Shrimp Pasta, a dish with flavors that remind me of everything summer ~ bright red tomatoes, fresh, fragrant basil, a hint of tangy lemon and sautéed shrimp all in a barely there creamy sauce without any cream in it at all. Stick around and I’ll show you how. This dish is light. It’s fresh. It says summer and it whips up quickly, leaving all kinds of time for lazy days reading or whatever floats your boat.


Creamy Seafood Pasta

creamy seafood pasta

Dinner | February 26, 2016 | By

We’re winding down our vacation here in Key West. It’s been so much fun and we’ve enjoyed some way too much really great food – mostly seafood with a bit of Cuban cuisine as well – and, oddly enough a spicy chicken nacho from a Mexican restaurant within walking distance. #lovemexicanfood. We actually eat a lot of seafood at home as well. My husband makes a mean lightly breaded and fried yellow lake perch dinner (is it still seafood if it comes from the lake?), complete with hand-cut french fries and cole slaw. My Pan Seared Sea Scallops are sort of legendary (in my mind anyway ~ that counts, right?). Today though, I’m all about Creamy Seafood Pasta.


Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Florentine Sauce

Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Florentine Sauce

Dinner | August 21, 2015 | By

blog funny 1I’m not ready to wave the white flag just yet, but this has definitely been a week-from-hell technology, trying to learning some new techy stuff and realizing that while an old dog can be taught new tricks — we learn more slowly . . . and stuff needs to be repeated. . . ’cause we forget. . .often. . .wait, where was I?

Oh yes — the reason I haven’t blogged all week.

blog funny 4

— last Saturday before the week-from-hell tech, I enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the Mt. Clemens Farmers Market because even though I have so.much.produce. from my own garden, I couldn’t resist a trip.

So as I wandered around the farmers market, juggling my oversized to-go mug filled with coffee in one hand and a caramel-pecan Danish purchased at the Mt. Clemens Bakery stand in the other, I found myself with produce envy. Beyond the produce though, one stand I simply can’t pass up is fresh pasta (something I’ve never mastered) and Pasta-e-pasta is one of the best I’ve tasted. They sell a wide variety of pasta (spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, among others) and enough sauce choices to keep you vacillating as long as I did choosing (finally) the Portabella Mushroom Ravioli.

As a food blogger and self-professed food nerd, I typically like making every part of the meal from scratch. There are some things, however  (other than an oil change or re-wiring your house) better left to the professionals — ravioli is one of them.

Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Florentine Sauce


I did, however pair this ravioli with a homemade, really simple Alfredo Florentine sauce, breaking the traditional Parmesan used in Alfredo in favor of Smoked Gouda (what else?) and Mozzarella. This ravioli cooks in under 5 minutes and even the sauce doesn’t take much longer. It’s also ridiculously delicious and the entire meal will have you sitting at the table asking red or white faster than you can imagine.

Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Florentine Sauce
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  1. 1 package of pre-made ravioli (from farm mkt or Buitoni brand available in grocery stores)
  2. Olive oil (drizzle)
  3. 1 T butter
  4. 2 gloves of garlic, grated
  5. 3/4 C smoked gouda cheese, shredded
  6. 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  7. 2 C fresh spinach, stems removed and rough chopped
  8. 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
  9. 1/4 C white wine (most any kind you like to drink, except sweet Moscato)
  10. 1 1/4 C whole milk
  11. Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. When the water reaches a boil, slowly drop in the ravioli. When they float to the surface, remove them from the pan.
  1. While the water is coming to a boil, begin the sauce with a drizzle of olive oil and melting the butter into a pan.
  2. Grate in the garlic and add the spinach to the pan, continuing to cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn and allowing the spinach to wilt.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan. Increase the heat to medium and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the milk, then incorporate the shredded cheeses, stirring to blend.
  5. When the mixture is completely blended, mix in the fresh parsley.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Gently add the ravioli to the sauce, turning to coat.
  1. If you're a super-fan of mushrooms, feel free to chop up a few fresh mushrooms and sauté along with the garlic. I am -- and I did.

One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta #SundaySupper

Dinner | August 16, 2015 | By

For most people the start of the new year is marked by the ball dropping in Times Square but for some of us, it begins in early September ~ the start of the school year. First day of school pictures taken in the driveway, wearing new outfits and shoes yet to be broken in, anxiously waiting for the bus to come. It’s an exciting time but hectic at the same time. Not to worry. The crew at #SundaySupper has you covered for back-to-school lunches, after school snacks and quick and easy meals like this One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta for those busy nights when getting dinner on the table seems like a pipe dream.