Mac and Cheese Carbonara

Mac and Cheese Carbonara

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni cooked to al dente

Carbonara Topping

  • 5 slices pancetta rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigianino
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Mac and Cheese

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cups cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1 cups grated Fontina
  • 3/4 cup Parmigianino
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. In a dry saucepan cook pancetta until slightly crisp.
  2. Combine pancetta, 1 tbsp. drippings, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigianino and parsley. Set aside.
  3. Add garlic to pancetta drippings and heat for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in flour until bubbling and slightly browned.
  5. Slowly add, cream, milk, salt and pepper whisking over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add fontina, parmigiano and mozzarella whisking until melted. Mix together with pasta and pour into buttered baking dish.
  7. Top with bread crumb mixture and press down. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 20-25 minutes


Tonight I’m serving with a side salad and fruit compote.

Pork Chops au Poivre

Pork Chops au Poivre

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 4 4-ounce boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream


  1. Combine pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pat the mixture onto both sides of each pork chop. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge each chop in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops, reduce heat to medium and cook until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add shallot to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add brandy and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve the pork chops with the sauce.

Tonight I’m serving with a side salad, Chile-garlic roasted sweet potato wedges and lima beans.

Seared Steaks with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola

Seared Steaks with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 large onions, sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin (filet mignon), or sirloin steak, 1-1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed and cut into 4 steaks
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola, or blue cheese
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions and brown sugar and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add broth, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the liquid has almost evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the onions to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
  2. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper on both sides of each steak. Heat the grill and cook over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and top with cheese. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the steaks are cooked to desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare. Serve the steaks with the caramelized onions.

I’m serving this steak accompanied with Tater-Tots, Green Beans with Spaetzle, garden salad greens and fruit Compote.



  • 2 eggs
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. cooked, peeled, deveined large shrimp
  • 2 avocado, pitted, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges or diced
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens
  • ripe mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted chopped, or sliced almonds, optional
  • 1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (see below)

For vinaigrette

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Puree 1/2 cup raspberries, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender until combined.


In pot over high heat, combine eggs with enough water to cover by 1-inch. Bring to boil. Cover. Remove from heat, let stand 15 minutes. Drain.

Cover eggs with cold water. When cool enough peel and cut into wedges.

In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, cook bacon on medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Break bacon into 1-inch pieces.

Combine greens, mango, avocado shrimp, and tomatoes and onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and gently toss to coat. Top with cheese, bacon, eggs. Top with the remaining raspberries and sprinkle with nuts, if using.

BBQ “City” Strip Steaks (Windy City Steak Company)

BBQ “City” Strip Steaks (Windy City Steak Company)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup minced garlic

1/4 cup steak seasoning

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

4 (8 oz.) “City” strip steaks (from Windy City Steak Company)

  1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, steak seasoning, red wine vinegar, basil, and Italian seasoning. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Pierce steaks on all sides with a fork, and place in the bag. Gently shake to coat. Seal bag and marinate steaks a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade. Place steaks on the grill, and cook 7 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.

Tonight I’m plating this nice grilled steak, with French fries, garden salad and fruit compote.

Mississippi Tacos

Mississippi Tacos

  • 1/2   pound ground turkey
  • 2   teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1   teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 1   teaspoon cumin
  • 4   (10-inch) corn or whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1/4   cup crumbled Feta or shredded mozzarella, plus more if desired
  • 1/4   cup barbecue or tomato sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large sauté pan over moderate heat, cook the turkey until well browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the fat from the pan and add the parsley, oregano, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. While the turkey is cooking, warm each tortilla in the microwave for

10 to 20 seconds. Place the tortillas on individual plates and place 1/4 cup of the cooked turkey in the middle of each. Top each taco with 1 tablespoon Feta or mozzarella and 1 tablespoon barbecue or tomato sauce, if desired.

Fold the tortillas in half and warm each one in microwave for 20 seconds to melt the cheese. Serve with carrots and applesauce on the side.

Creamy Mustard Chicken

Creamy Mustard Chicken

  • 1/2 package whole-wheat angel hair pasta, (7-8 ounces)
  • 4  thin-sliced chicken breasts, or cutlets (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1  large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl and coat both sides of the chicken, shaking off any excess. Reserve 2 teaspoons flour; discard the rest.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean plate.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Combine water with the reserved 2 teaspoons flour. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream, mustard, 2 tablespoons sage and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce.
  5. Top the pasta with half the sauce, the chicken and then the remaining sauce. Garnish with more sage, if desired.