Patty Pan Rice with Sausage

The photo above is to show you the adorable patty pan squash in the rice dish.  The dish is a result of my independence in cooking.  There was a time that zucchini was an exotic vegetable, to me.  I stuck to green beans, yellow potatoes, carrots and other basic vegetables.  What do I mean by basic?  The vegetables my Mom used to cook as did my Mother-in-Law.

The joke in our house comes up when I make a new dish or use a new ingredient and the husband says, “My mother made it differently,” meaning he never saw that dish, in his Mom’s home.  There are times, we struggle to remember the food we ate, as kids and get stuck at the vegetables above plus corn, chicken, ground beef and salads with tomatoes and iceberg lettuce.

We come from another generation and the world was different.  I was going to say, money was tighter but it is probably not true.  My in-laws were comfortable (not at all rich – comfortable) and my parents struggled.  Dad had a small business which meant sometimes, it was easy to get what we needed and at other times, without saying a word, my parents held back.  I never felt those changes.  At the time, I had no idea that money was not flowing.  No one said a word.  When I was an adult, my Dad filled me in and I bless both of them for allowing me a normal childhood without the stress of financial concerns.

Mom was a plain and simple cook and the food was nourishing and good.  My mother-in-law was a disaster, bless her soul.  My husband remembers burnt food or raw food.  His grandmother and aunts were fabulous cooks so I don’t know what happened to the cooking gene, in his immediate family.  His sister is also a really good cook.

As a family, we also have had our ups and downs but food was never affected.  Since, I used to be a plain cook, also, I didn’t have even seasoning, in the house.  Of course, if you had seen my first kitchen in our newlywed apartment, you would understand why we had very little.  If I stood in the middle of this kitchen, I could almost touch all the walls.  When I opened the oven, it would not open, all the way and bumped into the side of the refrigerator.  I cooked in the dining room. Strangely enough, I had a large living room and dining area and worked in there.

We got to know our neighbors, above us, quite well because we could hear anything they said in the kitchen.  It came through a shared vent.  At night for years, we heard one shoe drop and could only envision  someone with a disability.  Nope, it was where a rug ended.  One shoe on and one shoe off ……….  Of course, they heard us also.

We did get to know each other and did become real friends.  When we both moved out of our apartments, within the month, we moved a few blocks from each other.  Our kids grew up together and went to the same school, for a number of years.  They moved away and then we did and we have lost contact.  My husband ran in to the other husband once when he was sent to the place mine works at , for a few days.  They caught up on life.

My cooking expanded but I never bought something, I did not know, intimately.  No butternut squash, no zucchini, no beets, no garlic……… patty pan squash, not even fresh mushrooms.  If it came in a can, it might be on my shelf, but little fresh vegetables other than potatoes and carrots.

The big change in my life was through blogging.  After reading so many blogs and cookbooks and internet recipes and seeing certain words, over and over again, I decided to try some of them.  Now, I am open to a lot of new items but still don’t want time-consuming recipes, if I can avoid it.  I want, what I call the magic food which comes out tasty with a minimum of labor.  I use little in prepared food, despite this, and have  a refrigerator filled with fresh produce.  A trip to the supermarket usually results in a new vegetable or fruit like the patty pans in this recipe.

When, I picked up a small package of the cutest patty pan yellow squash, I did not have a clue, how to make it but I knew, I was going to find out.  For those of you, who are new to the patty pan squash, you can do almost anything to it, you do with other squash.  Of course, I purchased these tiny ones and while they could have been stuffed with the rice, I decided to turn the dish into a main course and added other vegetable and sausage.

Before Cooking Without Sausage

I was a little afraid of the squash because, I knew, it could not need much cooking and the other vegetables would take more time, but all I wanted to see was that adorable squash cooked and to taste it.  I bought a package of about a dozen and cooked five of them, cutting them in half, horizontally.  The above photo should give you an idea of the size.

I brought home another new item, yellow pear tomatoes and had to use them right away to see what they were like so I made a two-tone tomato salad to go with the rice and sausage.

As far as the rest of the dish, I had no idea what was going to be in it.  Whatever, I found in the refrigerator, was going to add to the flavor of this dish.  Actually that is how one sausage and one hot dog got added.  I found 3/4’s of a red pepper and chopped it up, four scallions (both white and green), fresh cauliflower which I broke into small pieces.

This was going to be a stir-fry with very little oil.  I used about 2 teaspoons olive oil and cooked up the food in that.  If it is moved around, it works well without a lot of fat.  I wanted some browning on the vegetables.

Patty Pan Rice with Sausage

2 cups cooked brown rice

6 small patty pan squash

1 1/2 cups cauliflower broken into small florets

4 scallions, snipped

3/4 red pepper, chopped

1/4 green pepper, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil (more if needed)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

1 teaspoon 5 spice Chinese seasoning

up to 1 tablespoon sugar or honey

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  While it is heating, slice the sausage into 1/4 inch pieces.  Brown these for  few minutes, until you can see they are cooked.  I like them to slightly crisp up.  Remove from pan.

Put all the chopped vegetables into pan.  If you think, at this point, there is not enough olive oil, add some more.  The cauliflower takes longer to cook but we like it almost raw.  If you want it cooked, put that in first and cook for a few minutes, then add the other vegetables.

Add to the rice in the bowl or saucepan, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, Chinese seasoning, honey, salt and pepper.  Mix it thoroughly through the rice and then add the rice to the vegetables, mixing so you have different vegetables throughout the rice.  Go ahead, taste that patty pan squash.  These are also called scallop squash.  Look at the pretty scallops around the outside of the squash.

If you do use patty pan, please let me know, how you like it.  We enjoyed it and I am looking forward to using the other half of the package.

This fed the two of us but by that, I mean, I ate one quarter of it and the man of the house ate three-quarters.

This is linked to  Keep it Real Thursdays      Creative Link Thursdays

Sausage, Apples and Onions

There are few meats that tempt me, these days but turkey sausage has its appeal so when I decided to throw  together, what I find in the kitchen and make a meal.   My thinking is that everything goes with sausage.  Sausage has so much flavor, it is hard to compete with it and frankly, I don’ think, we should try to.

This  was another recipe that went easily as soon as I decided what I was putting in it.  I tend to go for onions with almost any savory recipe because I cut back on seasoning for my husband.  My daughter complains, I put apples in everything.  She is right.

Turkey Sausage with Slice Apples and Onions

Ingredients  (only a few of them)

 4  sausages

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium  onion, sliced 

1/4 cup dry white wine

 1  apple, peeled, diced

(15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsedProcedure


Slice the sausages in to 1/2 inch pieces.

 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes .

Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the the remaining ingredients and cook everything together for another few minutes (no longer than 4 minutes).  The liquid should thicken into a sauce.

My Passover Roast with Coke

Last year, I used a few cookbooks to get me through the holiday and my favorite is Tamar Ansh’s Passover cookbook.  It has recipes that work and are workable.  I had most of the ingredients although, I did not have the coke for this recipe but I did get it.  I wanted to make this again, this year but so far, I have not been able to fit it in.  I thought, I would share it with you.  You can make this any time during the year and I recommend that you give it a try.  She calls this a Fabulous Roast.

Fabulous Roast  (adapted)                                                                                                                    


3 pound roast

1 onion, sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup red wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup cola

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar


Place roast in roasting pan.

Surround roast with sliced onions and chopped celery.

Mix the remaining ingredients in order to form a sauce.

Pour the sauce over the roast and cover the pan well.

Marinate into refrigerator overnight.

Bake roast uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Lower heat to 300 degrees and continue to cook the roast, covered for 3 – 4 hours.

Let the roast cool before slicing.

Place slices back into meat juices and reheat for 30 minutes.

Then, sit back and enjoy, every bite.       This is linked to Cast Party Wednesday    Full Plate Thursdays   Mop it Up Mondays

Baked Cranberry Meatballs

There is magic, at this time of the year, and my meatballs have been touched by this magic.  I make meatballs, throughout the year and while they are good, they are not the top of the line.  The Passover meatballs were unbelievable.  I did put a lot of chopped vegetables in them and I have discovered that vegetables can be more powerful than spices.

My guests raved about them and I had to hide a few for after the holiday since I had not eaten them, at them meal, they were served.  One of the problems, for me, about food on Passover is that with four filling meals to eat, by the fourth, there is nothing I want to eat.  The first meal is appreciated and by the second, I eat but am pulling back.  The third, I eat minimally, a taste of this and a taste of that and finally, the fourth meal, I select one dish and eat just a little bit.  I can’t say the same about the others, at the table, who had no such issue.  They ate heartily.  When I saw my husband, going for seconds, I had to control myself , not to take the dish from him.

I finally ate a meatball, last night, after the holiday was over and I thought it was a magical meatball, also.  The magic of Passover appears to pass its wand over all our food.  Chicken soup never tastes better.  Brownies made from potato starch are transformed to chewy masterpieces.  It must be the holiday

Cranberry Meatballs


1 pound chopped chicken

1 pound chopped turkey

3 tablespoons ground nuts (I used walnuts.)

3 tablespoons potato starch

1 egg

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/4 green pepper, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder


3 cups Marinara sauce

1 can smooth cranberry sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

Mix ground turkey and beef with walnuts, potato starch and black pepper.  Mix in the egg well.  Add chopped and shredded vegetables.  Add garlic and onion powder.

Form meatballs into round globes.  I used a quarter cup measure to determine the size of these meatballs.

Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

While meatballs are baking, combine sauce ingredients, Marinara sauce, ketchup, cranberry sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar.  Mix until cranberry sauce is incorporated into the sauce.

Remove meat from the oven and drain before dropping into the sauce.  When you put the meatballs into sauce,  swirl them around so they are all coated.

If it was not Passover, I would probably serve these with rice. 

This is linked to   $5 Dinner Challenge

Passover Turkey Meatballs in Carrot Sauce

I copied this recipe from My Sweet and Savory.  I am fascinated by such a thing as carrot sauce and know I want to make it.  I wish, I had seen this before I made sweet and sour meatballs.

Cooking is marathon like, at this time of year.  I find myself, making up to 4 food dishes, at one time.  Brownies in the oven, soup on the stove, Mashed Potatoes being added to chopped beef for a Shepherd’s Pie and boiling eggs for the seder table.  As one dish is done, another starts so the kitchen is continually being utilized  It would make a good video, considering the mistakes I make and the challenges that pop up.

As an example, there was no hot water, when I first turned the faucet.  I have dirty dishes constantly that have to be handwashed and often are used, again.  I didn’t even ask myself, “what am I going to do?”   What about at least one shower before the holiday?”  Nope, I barely thought of that although it did cross my mind.  Instead, I plowed on, using cold water until my husband called.  He offered to come home from work early, considering how much had to be done, before Passover, but I was just fine and didn’t even consider his offer.

Why was I so calm?  It seems that every year , something happens before Passover and every year, we make it through.  My father died the week before and as you may or may not know, Jews sit at home for a week, never leaving the house for a week and people come to pay their condolences.  The week was over and Passover was staring me in the face.  Another year, we were blessed to have my daughter get married before the holiday.  If you have ever made a wedding, you know that it is a full time job and I already had one of those besides having a family to take care of and preparation for Passover.  We made it.

My stove broke a few days before and there is no way to cook festive meals without a stove and oven, at least for me.  I called a store to beg them to get me a stove, “yesterday” and the man, I spoke to, was a doll.  First, he was going to have it delivered, the following week—-no help there.  When I explained, he made some calls and was going to get it to me, in two days which would work with a lot of dedication on my family’s part.

Along came the delivery date and, in the morning, I got a call telling me that the company was out of stock, on the stove.  Panic was the name of the game.  This man came through again and got me a better stove for the same price and delivered it, as scheduled.  There are wonderful people in this world.

It seems that, at this time of the year, something happens and I have grown up some and accept that and go with it. So, this morning, when my hot water disappeared, I quietly continued.  My hot water also came back, not too much later.  We do not know the problem and expect to see another cold water phase but, we will deal with it. 

Turkey Meatballs in Carrot Sauce


1 pound chopped turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1 egg
2/4 cup potato starch.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 -2 cups carrot soup found here
3 tablespoons prepared matbucha


Mix turkey, onion, egg, carrot and potato starch thoroughly. Form into balls about an inch in size.  If you like them bigger, double the size and increase cooking time.

In large, deep, fryin


Carrots (Photo credit: CLC Photography)

g pan, brown the meatballs in one tablespoon of olive oil.  Brown all sides.  When meatballs are browned, add carrot soup and matbucha.  Gently mix.  Cook for 20 minutes, gently mixing, every few minutes.

The liquid decreases as

it cooks so watch carefully.  Add more soup or water, if the pan is getting dry.

This freezes well.

Around My Family Table

Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables

I may not be a meat eater, but don’t tempt me with sausage.  Granted, this is turkey sausage but, in my innocence, I can’t tell the difference between the beef sausage and the turkey sausage.  I think, it is due to the nature of the sausage, the spices and the manner, it is cooked.

I should admit, I enjoy meat, when I do eat it.  I, simply, do not have any desire to eat it.  People talk about steak and I would prefer a burger.  Beef stew and meat loaf don’t tempt me at all.  Again, I eat them when presented and it is not a chore to eat them.

It is most likely, I have trained myself to reject meat when I am selecting food for the week.  It actually brings out negative feelings.  I could give up beef tomorrow but I would not say the same about poultry.

Pan Roasted Sausage and Vegetables


  • 8 red new potatoes, cut in wedges
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh snipped rosemary (dried 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 turkey sausages 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1  orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell peppers, sliced 
  • 1 ½ medium onions, peeled, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped  parsley


Preheat  skillet over medium high heat.

In a bowl toss the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil to thinly coat wedges. Sprinkle with cayenne, rosemary, and paprika. Toss to combine. Add potatoes to pan, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, set aside.

Rosemary potatoes (in olive oil)

Cut sausages into large chunks.

Heat a  deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the tablespoon of oil and brown the sausages on all sides and drain oil. Add your peppers and onions . Cover pan and cook 10 minutes more. Stir every few minutes.

Toss in the parsley with the sausage and vegetable.  Add your cooked potatoes.

 Toss to combine all ingredients. Heat a minute or two.  Serve. 

English: Red bell peppers. Suomi: Punaisia pap...

Image via Wikipedia

Onions on a neutral, mostly white background

Image via Wikipedia








This is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce – The Food Matters Project

Cover of "Food Matters: A Guide to Consci...

Cover via Amazon

This is my second recipe as a member of the The Food Matters Project.  Last week, I just did not have enough time to track down my ingredients but this week, normalcy returns and I managed to get everything although, I was one orange short.  I had no vision what this would like or taste like and I admit, I was happily surprised.  I am not sure why I am surprised since Marc Bittman has not steered me wrong and I trust in his recipes, especially with the choices he suggests.

Dominica of Wine Food Love chose Mark Bittman’s Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce. You can find the recipe at  Wine Food Love.

I made this dish and served it on soba noodles which was a good mix.  Alternatives are rice or quinoa and I think all three would be yummy.  I followed this recipe almost exactly.  I was short that orange so I did not have as much zest and I added some juice from the container to the fresh orange juice to make enough for cooking.  The citrus flavor turned out to come through clearly and we like that.  The honey gave it very slight sweet taste and all the flavors blended beautifully.  This is a winning recipe.

To see what others did with this recipe, check out the Food Matters Project.

This is linked to Cast Party Wednesday   

Ellie Makes a Meal in One

Cover of "So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Reci...

What more could you want for dinner?  Peas, Onion, Rice, tomato, sausage and olive?????????  That is a full meal for me.

From So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week, by Ellie Krieger (John Wiley & Sons)

Makes 4 Servings


1 T plus 2 tsp olive oil
2 turkey sausages,  sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 ½ cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth

1 10-oz package frozen peas
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
¼ cup sliced green Spanish pimento-stuffed olives
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ Teaspoon ground turmeric


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat (use a skillet that has a cover).

Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the sausage to a plate. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet.

Add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, 3-5 minutes.

Return sausage to the skillet and add the chicken broth, peas, rice, tomato, olives, salt, pepper and turmeric. Bring to a boil and cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.

Pasta E Fagioli – Olive Garden Copy Cat

I enjoy making Copy Cat recipes, whether they are true to the source or not.  Since, we are kosher, I have not eaten these meals, in the restaurants they come from and this is the closest, I get to come to eating them.    In this case, I did not have red kidney beans so that is a change in the recipe and I didn’t even see, there were carrots in the recipe, so this is a deviant copy cat recipe.  Despite this, it is a delicious dish filled with a mixture of flavors that blend into a warm and cozy meal.  Serve with a salad and you will be full.

Pasta E Fagioli – Olive Garden CopyCat

  •  1 pound  ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 4 stalks celery , chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes , undrained
  • 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans , drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh  parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne sauce
  • 2 cups Marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces pasta


Brown chopped beef in a skillet.

Add to crock pot, olive oil, onion and celery and cook on high for 1 hour.

Drain fat from beef and add chopped beef to crock pot with everything except pasta.

Cook on low 4-5 hours.

During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

 Treat yourself to a hearty dinner, made with a minimum of effort.

This is linked to Full Plate Thursdays    Newlyweds Recipe Linky     Tastetastic Thursday    Friday Food    Gallery of Favorites