Hello! I am still here – I swear. I’m just not here very much lately. Everything I have been cooking lately just hasn’t been calling out to be photographed. Pair that with the fact that my camera has been out of commission, I jut haven’t had a lot of motivation to post. But, I was gently reminded that I was hosting Food ‘n Flix next month. Actually, I didn’t forget at all because I’m hosting Popeye and I’ve been looking forward to it. I have been watching all the movies since I last participated, just feeling very uninspired. But I took the gentle nudge and decided maybe I should try to play again.

This month’s movie was hosted by CulturEatz and we watched I Am Love. This movie is in Italian and has English subtitles. Sometimes I find myself having some difficulty watching foreign films, because I have to pay such close attention to understand what is going on. This movie started that way for me, but I really began to get into the movie partway through and had less trouble.

This movie involves much family drama and many meals.

While the ukha was the main dish in the storyline, I went another direction – mainly because it’s so hot here. Ukha, or fish soup with a clear broth, the food Emma’s son Edoardo loved as a child and tied in to the drama of the film, is not appropriate for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. No soup is suitable for this type of weather. I needed something cooler . . . Something I could tolerate while sitting in front of my fan.


Emma meets Antonio (a chef, a friend to her son, and her lover) at a bar to discuss a dinner he’s going to cook for a business dinner. Emma orders a chinotto from the bar.

I jotted “chinotto” down, but was unsure what it was. Wikipedia tells me (and wikipedia knows everything) that chinotto is a soda produced from the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. Chinotto is a popular Italian drink and is exported by San Pellegrino.

Though I don’t have access to a myrtle-leaved orange tree, I googled around to find how I could make my own version of chinotto. Because I couldn’t find all the same ingredients (how come my grocery store didn’t have rosemary?) I made some changes. So while not anything near authentic chinotto, the orange drink was still perfect for a hot day in the desert! Hopefully Emma would have at least tried a sip of mine.

Come participate with us this month and then come back to my blog next month for Popeye!



1 bunch of fresh mint
3 cups sugar
1 grapefruit
1 cara cara orange
1 blood orange
1 tbsp black pepper corn
5 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
seltzer water


  1. First make your ice cubes. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add half of the mint and let sit for 30 seconds. Place in a ice bath.
  2. Once the mint water has cooled, pour into a blender and blend. Pour the blended liquid into ice trays. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Cut the oranges and grapefruit into chunks about the same size. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle all the herbs (including the remaining mint) on top of the fruit.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes.
  6. Place the fruit into a pitcher. Mix into 3 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.
  7. Chill the mixture.
  8. When ready to serve, place ice cubes in a cup. Fill cup mostly full with seltzer water. Add a splash or two of the chinotto to the cup.


Pumpkin Butter Snickerdoodles


The second cookie that I need to share with you is this spin on the snickerdoodle, using the Pumpkin Butter that I received in my most recent Foodie Pen Pal box! On my list of to-make cookies, I had a recipe bookmarked from Crazy For Crust – Apple Butter Snickerdoodles. Those sound delicious and I wanted to make them, but I also wanted to buy as few ingredients as possible. I swept through my pantry and came across the pumpkin butter Cleda sent me back in October.

OK OK – pumpkins might not be the most Christmasy of flavors. But I say, if pumpkin is okay in November (and it is,) pumpkin is definitely okay in December.

Or all year. Pumpkin is really welcome in my life all year long.

These cookies are delicious. I could eat them all myself if I didn’t think that much sugar would make me nauseous.

Pumpkin Butter Snickerdoodles

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar AND 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon AND 1 tsp, divided


1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the 1 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Cream together until fluffy. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, pumpkin butter, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

3. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until blended together. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 4 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Place 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and the 1/3 cup of sugar in a shallow dish. Mix together.

6. Scoop the cookie dough out in 2 tbsp scoops. Roll into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on the baking sheet.

7. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool.

* makes approximately 30 cookies
* shared with Mix It Up Monday

Sugar Plums

photo 1 (1)

My 12 Days of Cookies sort of fell apart. Baking cookies every night and going to work is hard. Even without my trial (it got continued,) I just had a severe shortage of energy. I plan this weekend though to get all those cookies baked.

Anyway, before my energy died, I made these: sugar plums.

Buddy the Elf

As you may know, this month for Food ‘n Flix, I’m the host. I picked the movie Elf, to share my love of Christmas. Entries are due on the 29th of this month, so you still have time to participate!

I have two favorite Christmas movies: The Santa Clause and Elf. Elf is the story of Buddy the elf. Or rather, Buddy the human raised as an elf. Buddy leaves the North Pole to find his biological father. An elf is New York is quite the spectacle! Buddy has some trouble adjusting, as his father has a similar problem accepting his human-sized-elf-son. Buddy’s excitement to meet his father is not matched. His father is embarrassed by what appears to be a mentally unstable adult.

I can’t wait to see my dad! We’re going to go ice skating and eat sugar plums!

Now for a moment of honesty. I never knew what a sugar plum was. I heard this quote and I was like, “Okay, sugar plums, I’m on it.” I googled and expected to find sugary plums. I never knew that sugar plums were actually no-bake cookie balls filled with nuts and dried fruit. These went over really well in my house though. When I was making them I was visiting my mom. She really enjoys dried fruits, so this was perfect.

Just for a note too – the longer they sit in your fridge, the more delicious they taste because the flavors start to meld together. Expect more cookie posts coming soon, to a blog near you!

Sugar Plums

1 cup whole almonds
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp grated orange zest
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, chop finely.

2. Combine the honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Then add the apricots, dates, and almonds. Mix together well.

3. Pinch off rounded teaspoon size balls of the mixture and roll into balls. The mixture is very sticky, so keeping your hands wet will allow easier rolling. Roll the balls in powdered sugar. Place on a baking sheet with wax paper. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator. After an hour place in airtight containers. They can last for up to a month kept refrigerated.

* makes 3 dozen
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese

Chili + Noodles


This chili was actually supposed to be a homemade version of Cincinnati chili. However, as I was making the chili I realized I was all out of ground cumin! I use cumin a lot, so I just assumed I had some. I also didn’t have an onion. How does this happen? However, I was committed to having chili for dinner so I made some substitutes that changed this Cincinnati chili into some other delicious style chili. Maybe I’ll call it Elizabeth Chili. That’s easy enough. 🙂

I’m hoping that I eventually get paired up with a foodie pen pal in Cincinnati. Before I went to law school my dad and I drove cross-country to Ohio to help my cousin move into college. While we were there we packed the car with our favorite foods: goetta, bratwurst, barbecue sauce, Big Boy sauce, and a flat of cans of Skyline Chili. The chili almost made it through my 3 years of law school. But now that I’m out.. I need more. And it costs way too much to have it shipped from Skyline. If you’re reading this and you’re a foodie pen pal of mine, please send me Skyline Chili.

If you’re reading this and you’re going to be a foodie pen pal of mine and you don’t live in Cincinnati, you can also send me chili that’s local to you if there’s some special kind. The one thing is I can’t eat beans. I mean, I love beans. But I can’t eat them.

Now, if a future foodie pen pal of mine reads this or not, I’ll never know.
I just need to remember to tell March’s Foodie Pen Pal to send me chili.
I’m super excited for my next box though for February. I’m expecting it to be great.

In the mean time, I should keep experimenting with chilis. And hopefully I can eventually make this version with the correct ingredients. Though.. I clearly liked my version enough to share with you. Without further ado, here is the recipe.

Curry Chili over Noodles with Cheese
(the base recipe)

1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
pinch cumin seeds
1/4 tsp allspice
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz uncooked spaghetti noodles
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Brown the ground beef and garlic together in a deep pot. Drain the grease and add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin seeds, allspice, cocoa powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for about a half hour, though the longer you simmer the better.

3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drained.

4. Serve the chili on top of the noodles. Cover with cheese.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Christmas Breakfast 2012

IMG_8388Over the next few days I will have several Christmas posts. There will be a Christmas breakfast post, a Christmas dinner post, and a Christmas cookie post. I figured it’d be best to stretch them out instead of cram everything into one overwhelming post of holiday cheer.

I go home to my parents’ house every year for Christmas. On Christmas Day we always wake up around 9 a.m. Of course, when my brother and I were little that used to be significantly earlier, but now that we’re in our 20’s we all appreciate the sleep. We wake up, make coffee or tea, and open presents. Our dog Mozart does most of the unwrapping for us. He loves Christmas and loves pulling the paper off of presents, but he knows only to do it when we let him.

Yesterday I got everything I could have wanted. The best of the presents I received was the milk frother so I can make some delicious coffee drinks and beautiful white gold hoop earrings from my dad. It was a great Christmas. I gave my mom the cookbook Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, I made my dad homemade beef jerky, I got my brother whiskey rocks and tumblers, I got my dog a blanket and made him chicken jerky, and I got my cat new water/food dishes and some toys.

After opening presents, laughing, and having generally a wonderful time we enjoy a huge breakfast. I always try to make something festive (last year I made eggnog and gingerbread pancakes.) This year I made Eggnog and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls, a recipe I found at The Dutch Baker’s Daughter. They were absolutely delicious (in fact, I had a leftover cinnamon roll this morning for breakfast.) Clearly I didn’t make the frosting to top the rolls, but they really didn’t need it. With the rolls we had bacon, eggs, fruit, and sausage bread. My mom makes sausage bread every year a few days before Christmas, so regardless of what we eat on Christmas Day, sausage bread is always a part of it.

Today I’ll be sharing the cinnamon roll recipe with you.
Tomorrow you can see what we had for our wonderful Christmas dinner.
What did you have for Christmas breakfast?

Eggnog and Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup eggnog
1/4 cup butter
1 package active yeast
1 egg, room temperature, slightly beaten
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries


1. Heat the eggnog and the 1/4 cup butter. Heat until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and let cool to about 110 degrees (Fahrenheit) – bathwater warm temperature.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggnog mixture, yeast, egg, 2 cups of flour, and salt, beat well with the paddle attachment to a stand mixer. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Continue until the dough has just pulled together. Remove the paddle attachment and put the bread hook attachment on. Knead with the bread hook in the stand mixer for 5 minutes.

3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Place in a location free from drafts. All the dough to rise and double, about an hour.

4. While the dough is rising combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened butter in a small bowl.

5. Once the dough has doubled, place it on a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 12×9-inch rectangle. Spread the cinnamon mixture on the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with the cranberries. Roll up the dough from the long end and pinch the seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal sized pieces and place into a greased 9×13 pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.

6. At this point you can either bake them or refrigerate them. If you refrigerate your rolls for the morning, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Before you bake the rolls let them sit out for a half hour.

7. Bake rolls in an oven preheated at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until browned.

* makes 12 rolls
* shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

IMG_8265My hot chocolate obsession lately has involved a lot of Ovaltine. I also got this hot chocolate mix from Cost Plus World Market. It’s a red velvet hot chocolate and is wonderful. But for as good as my heat up some water, add some powder, and mix hot chocolates have been, I decided it was time to put the powder aside for the night, watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and drink some hot chocolate that’s just as easy to make, just yummier.

Besides just sharing this hot chocolate recipe with you, I’m also submitting it to the We Should Cocoa challenge (this month’s theme is cinnamon,) hosted by the Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot. This month the roundup will be posted at the Chocolate Log Blog.

Now… This is a very simple recipe. I was actually going to make homemade cinnamon marshmallows to go with it. I’d never made marshmallows before and my first attempt was a failure. However, this first attempt also used my light corn syrup. So my marshmallow plan temporarily went out the window. I’ll have to try again another time.

I did put some canned whipped cream on the chocolate after I took the picture. It was such a rich hot chocolate. The cinnamon flavor was perfect. It wasn’t overpowering. It was just enough and just perfect.

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

2 cups skim milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. In a pot, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the milk comes to a boil, take it off the heat.

2. Add the chocolate chips and stir into the warm milk until melted. Remove the cinnamon stick once the chocolate has melted.

* makes 2 cups of hot chocolate
* besides We Should Cocoa, I shared this with See Ya in the Gumbo


Banana Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

I don’t make breakfasts enough. Usually I’m in such a hurry at breakfast time that I just rush out the front door. If I have a little bit of time I’ll blend together some fruit, yogurt, and juice in the blender and call it a smoothie. Today however I took the day off of work because I’ve been sick all week and am still feeling the effects of it. My stomach however is finally in the condition to eat solids, so I decided that I would make pancakes this morning.

When I make breakfast, I remember how much I love making it. I’m not a bacon and eggs type of girl. I love sweet foods for breakfast. These pancakes were very sweet.

The only thing I didn’t like about them was that they really stuck to the skillet I was using. This is partially the fault of myself, since I own very cheap pots and pans. This can be credited to the fact that I’m a poor law student and don’t have a ton of money to be throwing around. But that does remind me my mom told me she had a cast iron skillet I could have. I need to remember to grab that next time I head home. But these pancakes do stick more than the usual pancakes I make.

I’m making a vow (that I might not keep) to make breakfasts like this on days where I’m not going to class or work. So hopefully you’ll be seeing more breakfast foods in the future!

Banana Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce


for the pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
5 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 bananas, mashed
1 tbsp vegetable oil

for the sauce
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


 for the pancakes

1. In a medium bowl sift together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine the milk and vanilla extract. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir, until well combined and no dry spots are left.

2. Mix in the mashed bananas and olive oil.

3. In a heavy skillet, heat either butter or olive oil. Once hot, drop the batter into the skillet into 2 tbsp size servings. Once the pancakes start bubbling on the raw side, flip. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

for the sauce

1. In a small pot combine the berries, 1 tbsp of water, orange juice, and sugar. Mix well and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, in a small bowl combine the cornstarch and other 1 tbsp of water. Pour into the blueberry mixture. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently until the sauce becomes thick.

3. Take off heat and stir in the almond extract and the ground cinnamon.

4. Serve over pancakes.

* makes 6 pancakes
* 317 calories per pancake and sauce
* These pancakes are going to be shared with Friday Potluck at EKat’s Kitchen.

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Jerk Chicken, Vegetable Patties, and Banana Fritters

This week for my 52 week journey around the world I found myself on the beach in Jamaica. While I was sitting on the beach with my toes buried in the sand getting a horrible sunburn (because I don’t tan and I will burn regardless of how much sunscreen I have on) I began to feel a bit peckish. To fill my belly with the cuisine of Jamaica I decided I needed some jerk chicken. With my jerk chicken I made some vegetable patties to accompany. And every yummy meal needs a dessert. So banana fritters it was.

Of course this is all my fantasy. I wish I was on the beach of Jamaica and I wish I could walk into a restaurant on the Jamaican shore and be served some real jerk chicken and some real plantain fritters (instead of banana fritters.) Since this isn’t a possibility for me, I just started my first week of the spring semester and all, I had to transform my kitchen into a Jamaican kitchen and my dining room into a beach.

I have no idea if my jerk chicken tasted like jerk chicken at all, because I’ve never had Jamaican food. The vegetable patties were an excellent accompaniment to the chicken, though frying the vegetables definitely doesn’t make them all healthy and vegetableicious.

For dessert I had banana fritters. They made a great dessert and would make a delicious breakfast as well. 

Now if only I could go to Jamaica for real.. Also, I didn’t have any travelers join me this week in the around the world challenge, but I hope maybe next week someone will come!

Jerk Chicken

1 tbsp rum
1/2 tbsp water
2 tbsp malt vinegar
3 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp lemon juice


1.  Boil the rum and water in a small saucepan for 3 minutes. Transfer the rum mixture into a blender. Combine with the vinegar, green onions, garlic, thyme, vegetable oil, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Transfer 1/2 tbsp jerk seasoning to a small bowl and combine with soy sauce and ketchup. Cover the sauce and set aside.

2. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan. Pour lemon juice over the chicken. Rub the remaining jerk seasoning over the chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for about 30 minutes, until juices run clear.

* serves 2
* 229 calories per serving

 Vegetable Patties

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp jerk sauce from the jerk chicken
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups carrots, grated
2 cup canned peas, drained
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, jerk sauce, and salt and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots. Cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and remove from heat.

2. Mix the vegetables in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Form 1/3 cup mixture patties and place it into the skillet with the hot oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Set on a paper towel and let drain.

* serves 6
* 2 patties per serving
* 193 calories per serving

Banana Fritters

3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk


1. Peel and mash the bananas. In another bowl beat together the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Stir together the egg mixture and the bananas. Sift in the baking powder and flour. Stir in the milk.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot drop spoonfuls of the banana batter into the oil. Once the fritters are golden brown, flip and cook the other side.

* makes 26 fritters
* 61 calories per fritter

NOW! Come travel the globe with me this year.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs over Orange Mashed Potatoes

After having made Swedish meatballs several weeks ago, when I happened upon this other Swedish meatball variation, I was all over it. While I’ve seen Swedish meatballs served over noodles or by themselves, I decided I wanted to serve them over my favorite mashed potatoes ever. Matt also loves these mashed potatoes which is surprising because he’s usually such a traditionalist with food. These orange mashed potatoes are sweeter than your average mashed potato with a hint of surprise.

The cardamom and the orange paired beautifully together.
It was a meal I wish I had more of.

Swedish Cardamom Meatballs


  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 egg
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup Brummel&Brown, divided
  • 6 cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons dry gravy maker mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch


1. In a large mixing bowl soak the breadcrumbs in milk for 5 minutes. Mix in the meat, eggs, and chopped onion. Season with cardamom, salt, and pepper to taste.  Roll into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.

2. Saute the meatballs in 1/4 cup Brummel&Brown for about 20 minutes.

3. In a separate skillet saute the sliced onions with 1/4 cup Brummel&Brown and sugar, until caramelized about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the meatballs and onions from both pans and set on separate plates and set aside. Deglaze both pans with the remaining 1/2 cup of Brummel&Brown and beef broth. Cook over high for one minute and then combine the contents of both the pans into one.

5. Stir in the cream and caramelized onions into the pan. Season with gravy seasoning, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a simmer. Mix the water and the cornstarch together and then stir into the sauce. Add meatballs and simmer approximately 20-30 minutes.

* serves 12
* A LOT of calories per serving 😉


I love pasta because it has the capability of turning into so many different types of dishes. From spaghetti and meatballs, to macaroni and cheese, to lasagna, pasta dishes are so transformable. Pasta can also make an easy meal for the quick nights. But it can also provide a fancy meal. Or a warm meal on a cold night. Or a cold pasta salad for a picnic in the summer. What other food is there that is so transformable?

I used my pasta this time in a pastitsio. According to my google scoping, patitsio is a Greek noodle dish. It is created through the combination of noodles, a red sauce, and a bechamel sauce. Cinnamon is also incorporated into this dish which gives it a sweeter flavor than other meat-pasta dishes. This is actually one of my go-to recipes because of the cinnamon giving this pasta dish a different taste than usual.




1/2 lb noodles, cooked
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp beef broth
2 tbsp white wine
1/2 can tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 can petite diced tomatoes


1. Preheat the oven to 375. In a large saucepan cook the meat for 6-8 minutes, until no longer pink. Add the onions and garlic, stirring until translucent.

2. Add the broth and wine, and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

3. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes, cinnamon, and 1 cup of water. Stir and cook until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. While this is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt the Brummel&Brown over medium heat; whisk in flour until incorporated. Whisk in the milk until there are no lumps.

5. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the cayenne and Parmesan.

6. Add the pasta to the ground beef. Transfer to a baking dish and cover with the cheese sauce. Bake for 35 minutes.

* serves 6
* 436 calories per serving
* This post is being entered to Presto Pasta Nights, this week hosted by briciole.