Category Archives: Main Dishes

Creamy Lemon-Basil Pasta

I grew some basil in a pot this summer so I could make pesto, and it’s still doing well even though the weather has cooled some. I love having pesto spread on a slice of good sourdough bread, but pesto mixed with pasta (instead of tomato sauce) also makes a good dish. I wanted to try making a creamier basil sauce, and because I Continue reading

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Memphis-Style BBQ Chili

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congrats to Shirley S and awoodruf on winning the two giveaway copies! I’m reviewing a new cookbook, The All-New Official SEC® Tailgating Cookbook from the Editors of Southern Livingand I also have 2 copies of it to give away to 2 winners! Continue reading below for details on how to enter the giveaway! 

Are you a tailgating fan? A football fan? A fan of tasty, crowd-pleasing party and comfort foods? I’m not a huge fan of watching football on TV, but I can get into the tailgating part! 🙂 And it’s always fun to cheer on your favorite team at a game. If you’re a fan of football season, you need to know about The All-New Official SEC® Tailgating Cookbook —it’s a great guide for any game day!

Not only is it a great cookbook, it’s fun to read, too! There are features on each of the 14 SEC® (Southeastern Conference) teams and their school traditions. So you’ll learn some fun facts and trivia to share at your next tailgate. 🙂 Continue reading

Avocado Salsa Cheeseburger

Burgers are pretty versatile. There are so many different kinds of condiments and toppings you can use. I usually make mine pretty traditional–mayo, lettuce, and tomato Continue reading

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin John @ NancyC

I learned a few years ago that Hoppin’ John is a New Year’s Day tradition, probably more popular in areas of the South. It’s said to symbolize good health and prosperity in the coming year. The black-eyed peas are supposed to represent coins, which tie in with Continue reading

Yummy Vegetable Pasta (Slow-Cooker Recipe)

Cooking in a crock pot is so easy and convenient, and there are lots of great recipes you can make. I found some really good ones to try in my review copy of the new cookbook Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good. There are lots of great full-color photos in this book that has 100 slow-cooker recipes which include:

  • Vegetable Pot Pie with Biscuits
  • Lasagna in a Soup Bowl
  • 4-Cheese Artichoke Dip
  • Honey Baked Chicken
  • Holiday Ham with Apricot Glaze
  • Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes
  • Cider-Baked Apples
  • Pumpkin Spice Créme Brûlée

Such a great variety of recipes to choose from! I decided to try the Yummy Vegetable Pasta because I was in the mood for something comfort food-like, and this sounded like just the thing to make! The recipe was easy to follow and the only thing I did differently was add a cup of chopped zucchini, since I happened to have that already. Fresh sliced green beans would be a nice addition, too, if you want to add in an extra veggie or two.

This pasta dish smells great while it’s cooking. And you do have to stir it well before serving, since the spaghetti may clump together a little. But it’s very good and cheesy and yummy, just like the recipe name says! 🙂

YUMMY VEGETABLE PASTA from Stock the Crock (with a few little changes)

Makes 6 to 7 servings

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, with juice or 1 quart canned stewed tomatoes, with liquid (I cut the stewed tomatoes into large chunks)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped zucchini and/or 1 cup sliced green beans
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pound spaghetti or fettuccine, divided
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (if you want this dish to be extra-cheesy, use 3 cups!)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons sliced fresh chives, for garnish

Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In medium bowl, stir together the chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, stewed tomatoes with their liquid, sliced mushrooms, and oregano (also stir in the chopped zucchini and/or green beans, if using).

Place 1/4 of the vegetables in the bottom of the crock. Top vegetables with half of the pasta, breaking pasta, as needed, to fit. Sprinkle the pasta with half of the Cheddar cheese.

Spoon in half of the remaining vegetables. Top with the remaining pasta, breaking the pasta as needed; the remaining Cheddar cheese, and the remaining vegetables.

In the bowl used to mix the vegetables, whisk together the soup and milk. Pour over the ingredients in the crock.

Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the vegetables and pasta are tender.

Before serving, stir the sauce through the pasta and vegetables. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Scatter fresh chives on top just before serving.

Another nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take super-long to make–3 1/2 to 4 hours isn’t bad for a slow-cooker recipe. Have you been making any great-tasting meals in your slow-cooker?

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