Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-ups Easy Clean Recipe

Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-ups Easy Clean Recipe IMG_2422


6 whole wheat lasagna noodles

1/2 c can pumpkin

1/2 c ricotta cheese

1/4 c cooked onions (optional)

small handful spinach or kale

marinara sauce

1/4 c Parmesan cheese


Boil noodles and let cool. Mix ricotta, pumpkin and onion. Spoon filling onto lasagna. Top with with greens. Roll up. Use toothpick to close. Arrange on baking sheet. Spoon marinara over tops of rolls. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in oven @350 for 15 min or til cheese is melted.

**I had some leftover breakfast sausage that I included in my rolls as well and it was amazing.

Fresh Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad Recipe (That doesn't suck!)

Ah, 'tis the season for food that you really don't want to eat. Right!? The old 'if it's not shaped like can then it's not really cranberry' adage? Because of this, I'd pretty much given up on cranberry sauce (crap-berry, anyone?). So, I was more than thrilled when J's grandma served us this salad last week. It's a-maz-ing. Like eat it with a spoon for leftovers good. Fresh Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad Recipe (That doesn't suck!)


2 cups of each (ground fresh cranberries, sugar, ground pecans, crushed pineapple)

2 packs cranberry (or strawberry) Jell-O


Grind cranberries, pour sugar over and set overnight.  Add the pecans, pineapple to the Jell-O and add cranberries.  Place in fridge until ready to use.  I use the juice of the pineapple for some of the liquid to make Jell-O.

J and I passed out after a football game

Another wonder meal at Matt's in the Market

I will turn my back on the tremendous view from our hotel room at the Westin. The view of Elliot's Bay and Peuget Sound is ever changing and mesmerizing. A television is unnecessary in this room, unless, of course an Alabama football game is on.

Ginger was in town for work all week and I joined her for the weekend. It seems that the fabled Seattle rain always clears and we have beautiful temperate weather when we are here. Yesterday was certainly no exception. Clear blue skies and mid seventies temperatures were the conditions of the day. The perfect evening to visit one of our favorite Seattle eateries.

We have eased into Matt's over the years. Our first discovery was while visiting Pike's Place Market and looking for a place for a late lunch. Repeated visits for lunch or drinks and cheese have gradually shaped our view of Matt's as a place where you can always get innovative food served in a cordial atmosphere with fresh breezes through open windows and views of the market and the sound. On the upper floor of the building, directly across from the Market entrance, the place has an open warehouse loft feel and the large windows always seem to be flooded with light.

After much anticipation and walking around trying to kill a couple of hours, we couldn't contain ourselves any longer and showed up 20 minutes early for our nine o'clock reservation. Unfortunately, there had been some kind of snafu and we didn't actually have a reservation. They were definitely slammed, but the hostess was cordial and worked us in for a 9:15 reservation. We waited patiently and spent the time cruising real estate listings on G's iPad.

9:15 became 9:30 and we were called to our table at a window in the bar area, but all good. Our waitperson, Phillip, came quickly and was responsive and helpful without being pushy to get a drink order. We were quick, though. The last time we were here we had a cheese plate and G had a tasty cocktail, so that was where we started.

We also settled on our entrees before Phillip left the table. Matt's menu changes regularly based upon what is fresh. The menu is not expansive, with 5-7 choices in each of the categories (appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts), yet it covers the range of food groups, such that whether you are in mood for fish, fowl, or beast, you can find something that looks good. Though I usually do not order halibut when out at a restaurant, because of the frequency and quality of the halibut that we have at home, the preparation with fresh corn, fava beans, and dashi broth sounded too good to pass on. I would have gone with one of my always favorites of seafood stew, but the preparation was with a coconut green curry broth and coconut is one of the few things that can spoil a meal for me. To my surprise G ordered the stew, so, I could, at least, sample it .

The cheese plate came, five cheeses arrayed on a piece of slate, each with a special accouterments of jam, ground nuts, home made corn flakes, etc. It was a mixture of Washington local cheeses and cheeses from France and Spain. It was also a mixture of cow and sheep milk cheeses that ran the gamut from brie to bleu. It was hard to choose the star of this array. Not usually a huge bleu fan the combination of a very mild bleu with a thin flat of chocolate with dried strawberries made that, I think, my favorite, but it was really like naming your favorite child. They were all special.

The Albarino that we had ordered was really good, pleasantly tart and paired well with the cheese and our entrees.

When the entrees came they were visually beautiful. G's seafood stew came out first and was overflowing with shellfish with nice pieces of salmon and halibut peaking out of the broth. "No way, are you going to eat all of that," I said. My halibut followed closely. It was perfectly seared (how do they do that?) and on a bed of veggies. When the server poured on the dashi broth I was assailed with a smoky aroma that set my salivary glands going. I definitely need to explore dashi as an ingredient.

I quickly snagged a mussel that was not deep in G's coconut infused broth. I could just taste the dreaded coconut, but the mussel was wonderful. G. dug in and the seafood flew, shells clattering into the discard bowl accompanied by appreciative expletives.

My halibut was wonderful. The preparation was fresh and nuanced. My first impression had been that the portion was a bit on the small side, but I found myself just barely able to finish. "Oh man!"

As we sat back to finish our bottle of wine, G. started surfing real estate listings again. Philip came by and, on a whim, I asked him where we might want to look for houses in the Seattle area. After a bit of back and forth, he pulled up a chair and talked with us about neighborhoods.

All in all, it was a great evening and really great food. Matt's is like any great thing. When the food, service, and setting are this good it is going to be discovered and known. We will return again and again, but so will others.

Foods that freeze well

I've been cooking fresh a lot more often recently thanks to Fresh 20 meal planning. The only problem is, even with the gift of meals for one (or two when I'm feeding Jarrod) and meals that use the same ingredients over several recipes, I end up with fresh ingredients that if left in the fridge will go bad. So, I've been freezing a lot. Please note, I cook with all of my frozen veggies. MMV on thawing out and expecting a grocery store fresh result. This is going to sounds dumb, but, been there done that. Cut up your fruit/vegetable/food item BEFORE you freeze. I once froze a bunch of apples and was very disappointed that I had frozen rock apples that I couldn't do anything with.


If you're a single lady like me, a great way to save money is to buy the family sized meat packs (think 5 lb. ground turkey) and cut into individual sized servings BEFORE you freeze. I like cut into commonly used portion sizes. For instance, a 5 lb. log of ground meat I'd cut up into 1 lb. serving sizes, package them in freezer bags and throw all the small freezer bags into a gallon size freezer bag.


Bananas - learned this from mom. Frozen bananas are great for use in breads and muffins. I imagine they'd also be good for smoothies, though I'm not really an at home smoothie girl.


Kale - cooked with some frozen kale the other day and it turned out awesome.


Onions - I always buy the big bag and chop up as much as I can and freeze. It sure beats having to chop onion every night.



All sorts of shredded cheeses

Add to the list! What do you like to freeze?

Beer Macaroni and Cheese and Dr Pepper Chicken

Emily here. Over Thanksgiving weekend, Jarrod was in town and I wanted to make his dream meal. Also, I wanted to use up the leftover shredded cheddar cheese in the fridge from the last farm trip.

So after a little thought I came up with beer mac and cheese. Then, I thought, what would make Jarrod sing? Well, he loves all things Dr Pepper. I googled. The results were a hit. Best part? I didn't have to go to the grocery because I had everything in my pantry.

Forgive my food photography. It needs some work.

Dr Pepper Chicken

Original recipe comes from 30 Days of Homemade. I have modified for my tastes.


  • 4 -6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ c. Dr. Pepper
  • ½ c. barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays Chipotle BBQ)
  • ½ c. ketchup
  • A few squirts of Siracha
  • ½ Onion sauted till translucent
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Salt and pepper chicken and arrange in a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  2. Mix together wet ingredients and onion into a marinade.
  3. Pour it over the chicken. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 1 hour.
Beer Mac and Cheese

1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni

1/4 cup butter

2 garlic cloves, minced (I used dehydrated garlic flakes)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon pepper

2-1/2 cups 2% milk

3/4 cup Shiner (duh)

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I cut this, but might be nice for a creamier sauce)

3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

About 2 cups Bread crumbs (I used an herb blend mixed with parmesan I had in the freezer)

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in the milk, beer and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Reduce heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese.
  4. Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 3-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar. Top with bread crumbs.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. End with a good broil.