Haven’t really enjoyed cooking steaks at home until I came up with this method–crispy outside, easy to control the amount of cook on the inside.

Preheat the oven to broil–set the top rack on the 2nd track from the top. Heat the cast iron skillet on the stove top until the skillet is warm/hot to touch. Dry steaks and then season as desired. Put the steaks in the pan and immediately place in the oven under the broiler. For 1″ steaks medium rare, cook 8 minutes total. Cook shorter for rarer–longer for more well done.


Chicken stuffed shells

From my friend Amy’s husband’s aunt. We take these to families with new babies (which is just about the only time I make them for us, given their trashiness, reliance on processed foods, and labor-intensiveness.) But they’re fantastic.

  • 12 oz package jumbo shells, cooked
  • chicken, cooked & diced. The recipe calls for 5-6 breast halves or 2 cans. I think I usually use the 3-pack from the grocery store. And I poach it.
  • 4 cups prepared stuffing (Stove-Top.)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans milk
  • salt & pepper
  • shredded cheese

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Adapted from Pennies on a Platter (where the recipe is much fuller, with things like green onions and cilantro. This is how I usually do it, lazy-style.):


  • 3 oz soft lite cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup green salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • a bit of minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken


  • flour tortillas (fajita size)
  • olive oil (to spray)
  • garlic salt

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Broccoli Salad

  • 2 bunches broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 C golden raisins
  • 10-12 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled (I chop, then cook.)
  • 1 C mayo
  • 2 T vinegar (originally balsamic, I’ve used red wine just fine)
  • 2 T sugar

Combine dry & wet ingredients separately. Dress salad.