Spicy Shrimp Pasta

with fresh lime zest

I love recipes that call for zesting lemons, limes or oranges. The fresh scent brings cheer to the kitchen, and the bright flavors add a burst of sunshine to each dish. In this shrimp pasta recipe, I’ve done my best to provide measurements for the ingredients. But the truth is, this is one of those dishes I make a little differently every time. I encourage you to have fun adjusting the flavors to find what makes your taste buds happiest.


3/4 box Angel hair pasta
1 1/2 pounds shrimp
2 TBS olive oil (divided to 1 TBS and 1 TBS)
1 tsp Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
1 pod garlic, chopped
½ small onion chopped
4 oz mushrooms chopped
1-2 TBS freshly chopped parsley
1 lime – (1 1/2 TBS lime zest) and (juice of ½ lime)
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Shell and devein shrimp. Rinse in cold water and drain.
  2. Toss shrimp in bowl with 1 TBS olive oil, Tony’s Seasoning, lime juice. Let marinate in fridge for about an hour.
  3. Saute’ onion and garlic in 1 TBS olive oil, add mushrooms after about a minute, then saute till wilted.
  4. Add shrimp and marinating juices, stirring frequently.
  5. When shrimp are pink, add parsley. lime zest and tomato. Toss in pan till warm.
  6. Serve over pasta, making sure to generously drizzle liquid from pan on each serving.
  7. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkling of fresh parsley, if desired.

Mouth Watering Crock Pot Roast

The seriously rich flavor of this dish comes from browning the roast first and deglazing the pan. (The crispy brown goodies at the bottom of the pan create a scrumptious roast or gravy). Serve with a warm, crispy bread, so every drop of sauce on the plate has a ride to the tastebuds.

TIP!  To brown roast without sticking to pan, rinse meat then pat dry with paper towels. Put oil in pan and begin to warm. Place roast in pan and jiggle it around while it begins to sear. Once it’s seared, it will not stick. Let it heat do desired brownness.


3 pound pot roast (chuck roast)
2 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 10 1/0 oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 c carrots peeled and cut to 2-3 inch lengths
1 pound Yukon Gold or Red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
2 c chopped fresh mushrooms
½ large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 sprigs rosemary
3 small sprigs thyme
3 sage leaves

(Dried herbs can be substituted for fresh).


  1. Salt and pepper all sides of roast.
  2. In heavy pan, brown all sides of roast in olive oil.
  3. Line bottom of crock pot with carrots and potatoes, and place roast on top.
  4. Top roast with onion, mushrooms, garlic and fresh herbs.
  5. Deglaze browning pan with ½ cup water, scraping up the dark browned bits. Stir in Cream Of Mushroom soup.
  6. Pour soup mixture over the roast.
  7. Cover crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hours. Beef should be fall-apart tender and delicious.

South of the Border Chicken

This recipe is a family favorite passed down to me by my dear mom in law. The creamy sauce pairs wonderfully with rice, tortillas or a handful of tortilla chips.


  • 6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Small can of green chiles
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • Handful of cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)


1. Rinse chicken and pat dry, cutting fat from edges.

2. Sprinkle sides of each piece with salt and cumin.

3. Brown in skillet with oil on medium high heat (ideally until crispies form on each side or in the pan).

4. Remove chicken from skillet and place in 9×13 baking dish.

5. In a separate bowl, mix soup, chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese and jalapeños.

6. Deglaze the chicken pan with a few tablespooons of water and stir into soup/cheese mixture.

7. Pour on top of chicken and smooth like icing on a cake.

8. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and chicken is cooked through.

9. Serve with rice and tortilla chips or tortillas.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin “Bread”

I’ve gotten into a habit of baking scrumptious cake breads on a regular basis. I usually make 2 cakes: one I slice and pack in lunch boxes. The other, I wrap in foil or plastic wrap and freeze until the first one disappears. They are far cheaper, healthier and more delicious (in my humble opinion) than the store bought cakes. And this one is a favorite in Fall.          (Adapted from TasteofHome.com)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
1/4 c canola oil
1/2 c applesauce
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 TBS ground flax seed or wheat germ


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil and applesauce.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until moistened.
  4. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into two butter-greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.
  6. Sprinkle flax seed or wheat germ on the top of each loaf (1 TBS per loaf).
  7. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Lick the Plate Clean Chicken Tetrazzini

This casserole can feed an army and truly is lick-the-plate-clean good! One of my most requested recipes, and originally shared by a dear family friend.


1 large chicken, boiled and deboned
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 package of Stouffers frozen Welsh rarebit OR 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, grated
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
parmesan cheese
1 package angel hair pasta


  1. Boil chicken, drain and reserve broth.
  2. Debone chicken and chop or tear into bite sized pieces.
  3. Heat broth, Welsh rarebit, cheese and mushroom soup until blended.
  4. Cook pasta and drain.
  5. Mix pasta, chicken, sauteed mushrooms with sauce and put into two lightly greased 2 Quart casseroles.
  6. Top with paprika and parmesan cheese. (Also chopped parsley, if you wish).
  7. Bake at 325° for about 45 minutes, or until completely heated through and bubbly. Serves 12.

Kahlua Mocha Trifle 

Worth of the Lick-the-Plate Clean Award!  I found this recipe years ago in Cooking Light (Mocha-Chocolate Trifle), but I’ve fattened it up a tiny bit.


1 (18.25-ounce) package light devil’s food cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
Cooking spray or butter to grease baking pan
3 cups cold fat-free milk
1 (5.9-ounce) package Jello Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix
1/2 cup Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur) or 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 (8-ounce) carton Cool Whip topping, thawed
1/2 cup chopped chocolate toffee bars (about 4 bars) (such as Heath Bar)


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended.
  2. Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. In a large bowl, prepare pudding mix with milk according to package directions.
  7. Tear half of the cake into pieces and place in a large clear glass bowl or trifle dish.
  8. Pour ½ of the Kahlua over the cake, then spoon half of the pudding, Heath Bar Bits and Cool Whip.
  9. Layer with the remaining 1/2 of cake cubes, and drizzle remaining Kahlua on top. Add remaining pudding, Heath Bits and Cool Whip.
  10. Refrigerate for a few hours (overnight is best) to allow flavors to blend. Top with fresh Heath Bits just before serving.


Black Bean Corn Salsa

This salsa is so good, you may want to eat it right from your spoon. Fresh and bursting with flavor, it’s a real celebration of summer.


2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears of corn, cooked and shucked)
3 firm tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (Roma tomatoes work well)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced finely
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
(optional) 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced (just before serving)


Combine the beans through lime juice in a serving bowl.Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. Just before serving, add diced avocado. Toss well again. Serve with tortilla chips or over a grilled chicken breast.

Grilled Asian Pork Chops

This is a surprisingly easy recipe- just be sure to leave time to marinate the chops. While the chops are grilling, saute’ a little olive oil, garlic and bok choi in a pan. Microwave a few potatoes, and dinner is served is served!


1 large navel orange (for 2 tablespoons grated orange zest and  1/2 cup orange juice)

¼ cup soy sauce
2 TBS minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic chile paste (find this in the Asian foods section)
A small pinch of salt (the soy sauce already has lots of sodium in it)
6 pork loin chops, about 1/2 inch thick


  1. Zest the orange and squeeze juice to measure about 1/2 cup.
  2. In small pyrex pan or other shallow container, mix together orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, orange zest, garlic, chile paste, and salt.
  3. Add pork chops, and coat on both sides. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Be sure to turn the pork chops in the marinade occasionally.
  5. Lightly oil grates on grill and preheat for high heat.
  6. Grill the chops on high heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.
  7. Or grill directly on high heat for about 2 minutes, then move chops to indirect heat until desired doneness.

Unbelievable (Canned!) Salmon Pasta

This recipe is so easy and delicious, you’ll never look at canned salmon the same again! It’s a new staple in our house.


1 package (16 ounces) linguine or other pasta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can (14-3/4 ounces) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
handful chopped spinach


  1. Cook the linguine/pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute or until crisp-tender.
  3. Stir in the salmon, broth, parsley, salt, cayenne and spinach.
  4. Cook until heated through.
  5. Drain linguine.
  6. Add to salmon mixture and toss to coat.

Scrumptious Granola Bars

This recipe is a winner every time! It’s power packed for pre and post race snacking. Tastes like a cookie, and can easily be adapted for different tastes and nutritional requirements.


2 1/2 cups quick oats (1 minute oats)
1/2 cup Rice Crispies OR Crushed Wheaties OR Crushed Corn Flakes
1 ounce (approx) dark chocolate,  cut into tiny pieces and flakes (I use 85-90% cocoa dark chocolate bars for this)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup flax-seed
1/8 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Mix all dry ingredients except the chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients together (to include coconut oil) in a small saucepan. Melt over medium heat.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to absorb wet into dry. Add chocolate pieces and stir (chocolate will melt a little bit, and this is ok).
  4. Line a square pan with parchment paper or tin foil. Pour in granola bar mixture and pat down with spatula or back of a large spoon.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and pat down again with utensil.
  6. Let sit until cooled. Cut into bars carefully. It is crumbly but will stick together if carefully cut.

Experiment by adding coconut, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and other great add-ins. I even added 1/2 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein powder for an added boost of protein.