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.

Grandma's Thanksgiving Roasted Bacon Mushroom Green Beans

Happy holidays, Macrander family! It's here finally. Last night, J and I went over to his grandmother's house for Thanksgiving-Christmas dinner with his out-of-town aunt. She's going to be with her partner for the holidays and they will not be traveling so we had to celebrate early. Here's the standout dish from last night. Grandma's Thanksgiving Roasted Bacon Mushroom Green Beans

Grandma's Thanksgiving Roasted Bacon Mushroom Green Beans

Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes

Heat oven: 375 F


2 lbs. fresh green beans

2 tbsp. EVOO

2 tbsp. all purpose seasoning

6 slices (or more) thick-cut bacon

1/3 cup sliced shallots

2 tbsp. (or more) garlic

12 oz. fresh mushrooms

1 cup low sodium chicken broth


1. Trim and wash the green beans. Toss with EVOO and seasoning.

2. Roast beans in the oven for 10 minutes.

3. Dice and cook bacon in deep skillet (iron skillets make magic). When bacon begins to brown, add shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Stir fry until bacon is brown. (You might want to drain out the bacon fat at this point, or what the hell, YOLO, leave it in.)

4. Add roasted beans to the mix and add 1 cup broth. Cover pan and cook on medium for 10 minutes.

Recipe: Underwood Ranch Chili

10268450_10203688316426972_7138828356168750405_n I adore this recipe and I've made it several times.

I enjoy cooking for guests when we go up to the farm, and I've found that meals that are simple to throw together are the best.

The first time I made it, I decided to augment it by adding some chipotle pepper. So, I added a whole can of peppers in adobo sauce. That chili could have set your face on fire. Since then, I've reduced the pepper number to 3-4, based on spice preference.

Anyway, I just made this for Bible study yesterday. This recipe tastes like Fall to me. It fed enough to fill five or six adults.

Also, I had an extra 1/2 zucchini and red bell pepper and carrots in my fridge, so I diced those and threw them in. Get creative. This is  a great recipe to clear out the fridge with.

Make it and love it. I promise it's make-a-million-times good.

Underwood Ranch Chili 

3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 pounds lean grass-fed ground beef

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3-4 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

About 1 tsp. salt

1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can or bottle flavorful, medium-bodied beer, such as Anchor Steam

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1 can (14.5 oz.) pinto beans, drained

Optional additions: Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans, Carrots

To serve: Sour cream, sliced green onions, and/or coarsely shredded cheddar cheese for topping


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon, stirring until it just begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add onion, lower heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 7 minutes. Uncover pan, stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef; break it up with a wooden spoon and stir gently until it loses its raw color, 7 minutes. Stir in spices and 1 tsp. salt and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook 30 minutes.
  3. Add beans and cook 10 minutes, uncovered. Season to taste with salt. Serve warm, with toppings on the side.

See original recipe:

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hey everyone, The recipe below is a favorite of mine. Acorn squash are fairly inexpensive and you can easily increase quantities to accommodate for multiple people. Typically I vary in terms of what I stuff them with based on the season and my mood. For my most recent rendition I used Italian sausage, dried cranberries, sauteed almonds, greens and goat cheese.


- 1 or 2 acorn squash

- butter or olive oil

- salt

- brown sugar

Stuffing ingredients (below are just suggestions):

- Quinoa or rice (some sort of grain)

- garlic, onions, salt/pepper

- Meat of some sort (leave out for vegetarians)

- Squash, almonds, greens, pretty much anything you like can be added

- some sort of cheese to make things stick together


Squash prep

- Cut acorn squash in half  and scope out seeds

- Douse the inside of the squash in butter/olive oil, salt and brown sugar for a slightly sweeter taste

- Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 mins (Essentially when you pull them out you want a fork to easily go through the meat of the squash)

Stuffing prep

- While your squash are baking prepare your stuffing

- Typically, I saute the meat with garlic and onions while whatever grain I've chosen cooks

- Once your stuffing is done place into the center of each squash half and top with cheese

- Bake (stuffed squash) at 425 degrees for another 5 - 10 mins or until cheese is thoroughly melted

Serve and enjoy!  My suggestion would be to serve squash in individual bowls since serving them on a plate can make eating them difficult.

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?

Jarrod's homecoming party food

At long last, Jarrod is home from North Dakota. His company is providing him with extra swanky housing in the River Oaks district. So what to do? Invite people over for a Jarrod's home/Olympic kick-off/Jason's birthday party!

Jarrod hates when I bring this up, but two years ago I was invited to Jason's birthday at Papasitos. Now, granted it was a big group of us and granted, I did have a date with me, but Jarrod put me on the pay-no-mind list! Back in those days I had a glamorous job at a newspaper so I regaled the gaggle of engineers with tails of crime and whoa. To no avail. I could not catch Jarrod's eye. Sigh.

It wouldn't be until months later that Jason would set Jarrod and me up on a semi-blind date. The rest is history. So they say.

Anyway, who cares about all of that, right!?! Let's get to the party food. Recipes brought to you by my boss Lonna.

Lonna's Baked Potato Dip


1 tub of sour cream 1 bag of bacon bits 1 bunch of green onion ( just use the ends, not the bulbs) 1 bag of shredded sharp cheddar sprinkle of garlic powder sprinkle of salt sprinkle of pepper


Mix it all together.

Lonna's Crock Pot Meat Balls


1 bag of frozen meat balls 1 jar of real grape jelly 1 bottle of barbecue sauce


Cook on low for 8 hours in the slow cooker and stir at the half-way point. Use tooth pics to serve.

Veggie shots


Chopped small strips of assorted vegetables (I used differently colored bell peppers) 1 bottle of Ranch dressing


Put about 1 tbsp of ranch dressing in the bottom of a small plastic shot glass. Garnish with chopped vegetables. Can be scaled up or down based on the size of your party.

Scallops and fettucine with lemon caper sauce

Note: We made this while we were in Baton Rouge with Todd and Nick for Christmas.  We were able to get some very nice bay scallops about the size of the end of my thumb at the high end market close to their apartment.  I think we had a bottle of Nora.  I have done versions of this over the years, slowly perfecting the techniques and working within the variability of trial and error and approximate measures.  Maybe it was more about the company and season, but we got it JUST RIGHT this evening.  I will make this recipe for two. It can be adjusted up or down. I would not increase the flour mixture proportionately but, maybe, by half with each doubling of the number of servings.

Be sure to prepare the sauce before you start the scallops. Be warming the pasta water while you are preparing the sauce. It will take about 10 minutes to come to a boil and that is about the right amount of time to get the sauce ready. Get the oil and butter ready for the scallops, then start to cook them at about the same time you put the pasta in the water.


1/2 pound bay scallops 1/2 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or ground chipotle powder 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup butter

Combine flour, salt, peper, and cayenne in a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Heat olive oil and butter to medium high heat in a 12 inch skillet. Be careful not to burn the butter. If it starts to turn brown, reduce the heat. It will likely brown as the scallops cook, but you don't want to burn it early. Time the cooking of the scallops to be right after you put the pasta in the boiling water.

Just before cooking, toss the scallops in the sealed zip lock bag with the flour until they are lightly coated. Transfer the scallops to the heated oil/butter, scattering them evenly across the pan. Allow to cook 3-4 minutes. Toss or gently stir the scallops such that most are turned. Cook another 2 minutes. Stir again and cook 2 more minutes until the scallops are uniformly browned. Transfer to a paper towel and keep warm until serving. Retain the mixture of browned butter and flour in the frying pan.

Fettucine sauce

1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon capers juice of one lemon (2 tablespoons) 1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 hand full fettucine 1 tablespoon salt

Heat oil and red and black pepper over a medium heat 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice stirring quickly to cool the oil and avoid splattering. Return the mixture to heat and reduce to low-medium heat. Juice should begin to bubble slightly but not spatter. (If you want and have it, you can add a couple of tablespoons of white wine here two.  I keep some of those small bottles of mediocre wine around for this purpose.)  Add capers and stir. Add butter and stir when it is melted. The goal is to blend the liquid and oil such that they are not separated. Reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 of the parsley. Keep warm.

Final preparation

When the pasta is cooked remove 1/2 cup of the water and set aside. Drain the pasta then add it to the reserved butter/flour mixture with the pasta water in the fry pan. Stir until the pasta is coated. Give the sauce a quick stir, then drizzle over the pasta mixture. You may not need all of the sauce. The pasta should be lightly coated. Add the remaining parsley and toss all one last time.


Place pasta on plate and top with a portion of the scallops.


Nanni's Vegetable Soup

Ingredients 3 pounds stew meat 3 quarts water 2.5 tablespoons salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper Celery leaves 1 large onion chopped 2 bay leaves chopped 1/4 teaspoon oregano 1/4 teaspoon thyme 1.5 cups diced potato 1 cup diced carrot 1/2 pound green beans 4 cups shredded cabbage 1 large onion chopped 2 cans of dicedtomato 1 teaspoon sugar 1 can whole kernel corn 1 package frozen green peas 1 package frozen lima beans


Place the beef in a soup kettle with 2.5 quarts water. A 1 tbsp of salt, pepper, celery leaves and one chopped onion. Combine bay leaves, oregano, and thyme; tie in a cheese cloth bag and drop into kettle with meat. Cover and simmer for at least three hours. Remove celery leaves. Then add potatoes, carrots, green beans, cabbage and one chopped onion and 1 tbsp salt. Simmer for an hour. Add two cups of water, tomatoes, corn, sugar, peas and lima beans and 1/2 tbsp salt. Cook for an hour longer. Remove cheesecloth sack of spices.