Moroccan Grilled Lamb Kabobs and Orange Couscous

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

Be prepared for a taste sensation.  I never expected this flavor explosion as I took my first bite … this one is a keeper!  ENJOY!

Moroccan Lamb Kabobs with Orange Couscous

Serving Size = 2 – 3

  • About 2 lbs leg of lamb, fat removed
  • 2 onions, cut into big pieces
  • 4 metal skewers
  • (optional: 1 bell pepper, cut into large pieces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon or so of cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of oil (extra virgin olive oil)

Orange Couscous
Serving Size = 3 – 4

  • 1 box of couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Salt, pinch

Grilled Lamb Kabobs

  1. Cut lamb into about 2-inch pieces. Chop the onion and bell pepper (optional) into roughly the same size. Mix together the next 13 ingredients (shouldn’t be as thick as a paste, but don’t make it too runny either) and then pour over the lamb. Massage into the meat and set aside for about an hour (I’ve cooked immediately though and it still works). I leave it out of the fridge because I want the lamb to come up to about room temperature.
  2. Take the skewers and start with a piece of onion, a piece of bell pepper if you’re using it, a piece of lamb, then onion again and so on. I place an onion on the end when done.
  3. Heat the outdoor grill over medium high and cook to desired doneness (roughly 10 – 15 minutes). Remember to turn it to cook all sides.
  4. Start the couscous by bringing the orange juice, water, salt, and cilantro to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Leave for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. It’s now ready to serve.


Grilled Lamb Kabobs


Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Egg and Cheese

Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Egg and Cheese

My friend was coming over for breakfast this past weekend and I was thinking I wanted something a little different from the regular “breakfast casseroles” or just scrambled eggs.  I found these little cuties on the Johnsonville Sausage website.  I altered the recipe slightly and used fresh potatoes in place of frozen hash browns.  I shredded 3 potatoes in my food processor and soaked them in water to remove some of the starch and then spun the potatoes dry in my salad spinner.  I also used “Bob Evans Breakfast Links” in place of the Johnsonville sausage links because my store didn’t carry them (sorry Johnsonville).  I made these in jumbo cupcake tins.  I found that I had to brown the potatoes (hash browns) in the oven longer than the recipe said – keep an eye on them and take them out when they are light golden.  They were a hit!  

Next time I’ll try it with bacon – this recipe is so flexible with ingredients … get creative and create your favorite Muffin Cup!  Easy and delicious.  Enjoy!

Breakfast Muffin Cups with Sausage, Eggs and Cheese

Amazing Muffin Cups


  • cups Ore-Ida® Country Style Hash Browns, thawed or use fresh potatoes, shredded
  • tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 links JOHNSONVILLE® Original Breakfast Sausage
  • eggs
  • cups Shredded 4-Cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • fresh chives or green onions, chopped


  • In a bowl, combine the hash browns, butter, salt and pepper.
  • Press mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of greased muffin cups.
  • Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, cook sausage according to package directions; cut into ½-inch pieces.
  • Divide sausage among muffin cups.
  • Combine the eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Spoon over sausage. Sprinkle with     chives.
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until set and an internal temperature of 165˚F is reached or until nicely browned on top.

Green Beans in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce

This was quite good – although I probably would only make this once in awhile due to the fat content.  I discovered this recipe on another blogger’s great site.  Check it out he has some really good recipes!  I could not find porcini or cremini mushrooms so I substituted baby bella mushrooms and omitted the soaking in water and sautéed in butter.


Servings: makes 4 servings
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound green beans
  1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in the water for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 4-6 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minutes.
  5. Add the cremini mushrooms and saute until the start to caramelized and turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the porcini mushrooms and the water they were soaking in to the pan and simmer at medium-high until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the cream and parmigiano reggiano, season with salt and pepper and simmer until it thickens, about 2-4 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile steam the green beans.
  9. Remove the mushrooms from the heat and mix in the parsley.
  10. Serve the green beans covered in the mushroom sauce.


Black Bean Turkey Chili

As much as possible I try to eat healthy and this turkey chili is a fantastic healthy option to beef chili.  I love the taste of this chili and healthy options aside, I think it tastes so much better than beef chili!  This is another recipe that freezes well and can easily be defrosted for a quick week-night meal.  Enjoy!

The recipe is below or can be found here.

Jennie-O Biggest Loser Black Bean Turkey Chili

1 (20-ounce) package Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (16-ounce) cans low-sodium whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounce tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
In a large stockpot, combine turkey, onion, red pepper, garlic, jalapeño peppers, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram, red pepper flakes and cinnamon.
Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and cilantro. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Serve topped with cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

Mixed Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries, Apricots and Cinnamon

I found this recipe on the Williams-Sonoma website hereI was looking for something other than “plain boring rice” and wasn’t disappointed.  This rice is very aromatic and speaks Fall!  Enjoy!

Mixed Rice Pilaf with Dried Cherries, Apricots and Cinnamon

The trademark of a true pilaf is that the rice (or other grain) is always first sautéed in butter before the broth is added. This special-occasion pilaf, made nontraditionally with brown basmati and wild rices, is punctuated with dried apricots and cherries. You can substitute raisins for the cherries and omit the apricots, if you like.


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange zest strip, 3 inches long and 1/2 inch
      wide, plus extra for garnish (optional)
  • 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


In a large, wide saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and stir to blend. Stir in the brown basmati rice, wild rice, cinnamon stick and orange zest. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.Add the stock, apricots and cherries and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring once. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 55 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, in a small, dry fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the almonds, stirring constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.Spoon the pilaf into a warmed serving bowl, discarding the cinnamon stick and orange zest. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and additional orange zest. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Holiday Celebrations, by Marie Simmons (Time-Life Books, 1998).

Tortellini Soup

Tortellini Soup

This has been one of my all time favorite soup recipes and one I have been making for many years. Despite the simple ingredients, it is bursting with flavor and is a quick and easy dinner. I usually make extra to freeze.  During the week when my husband and I are working we have easy, quick dinners to make right from the freezer!

Tortellini Soup

  • 1 Package tortellini (8 oz)
  • 1/4 lb bacon,cut in strips
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled an thinly sliced
  • 4 cups washed and coarsely chopped escarole
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (1 lb.) small white beans, undrained
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Medium Yellow and 1 Red Pepper cut into 1/4 inch cubes

In dutch oven or large saucepan cook bacon and garlic until bacon is browned.  Remove bacon with slotted spoon.  In drippings, cook escarole 5 minutes or until wilted.

Stir in broth, beans and their liquid, tomatoes, and peppers.  Bring to boiliing.  Stir in tortellini, bacon and garlic and heat approximately 30 minutes longer, ensuring tortellini is cooked.

Serve and enjoy!


These are absolutely delicious!  The filling is best when fresh corn is in season.

Star Raviolis in Sweet Basil Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri, 2008

Serves:  6 to 8 servings


  • 2 ears Fresh sweet corn, shucked and removed from the cob
  • 3 tablespoons Red bell pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet onion, diced
  • 10 each Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinch nutmeg, ground
  • 6 ounces ricotta cheese, room temp
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 package wonton wrappers (I used homemade pasta dough)
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan, grated


Melt butter in sauté pan, add in corn, red bell pepper and onion. Let sauté until onion is translucent and corn has released some of its sugars. Add in 1/2 of the basil leaves and a couple of twists of black pepper. Add in 1/4 cup heavy cream and reduce by half. Set aside to cool.

When cool, smash up a bit with a fork, stir in ricotta and cream cheese. Place wonton wrappers down (three at a time works) and in the center of each, place 1 1/2 t filling. Brush exposed wrapper with egg yolk, carefully place a second wrapper on top and carefully seal edges, making sure to get out any air bubbles. Set aside on floured baking sheet and continue to assemble.

When finished, boil water and gently add raviolis a few at a time, cooking for 2 minutes or until they float. Carefully remove and drain.

For Sauce: In clean saute pan, melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter, when melted, add in remaining basil, sauté until crisp and butter is just very lightly browning. Add in remaining cream and reduce to thickened. Salt and pepper to taste, serve over raviolis immediately.

Garnish with Parmesan.

Who Said Looks Don’t Matter!


How to create beautiful striped ravioli.

I believe looks matter, at least when creating ravioli.  Food is not only about taste, but about appearance – it all works together to create a complete “foodie” experience.

The first step is to make your pasta dough in various colors.  I used carrot for the orange, beet for red, turmeric for yellow and spinach for the green dough.  The taste of the vegetables does not come through when eating the ravioli – especially noteworthy for those who don’t like beets!

Roll out sheets of all your colored and plain pasta dough.  Pass the colored dough through the fettuccine cutter and lay the strips out on the plain dough, arranging by color and pressing to adhere the strips to the sheet.  Gently pick up the sheet and run through the pasta press one time to adhere the strips.  If using a ravioli form, lay the sheet striped side down, fill the pockets, place a plain sheet of pasta on top, press with a rolling pin … and look at your creation!

Ravioli that is not only beautiful to look at,

but absolutely delicious!