I love pasta and tomato sauce is my favorite; however, when I saw this red pepper sauce recipe I knew I had to try it. I absolutely loved it! The kids, not so much but I think it was the pine nuts. The pine nuts' flavor is strong and I think next time I will try it without or half the amount just so the kids can enjoy it too.

I didn't have parsley on hand but I sprinkled some of the left over pine nuts on top with the Parmesan...what a great pasta sauce!

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Adapted from Ree Drummond

3 whole Red Bell Peppers
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (optional)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 cups Heavy Cream
Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Minced
Fresh Parmesan, Shaved Or Grated
1/2 pounds (to 1 Pound) Pasta: Orecchiette, Penne, Fusilli

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Place clean peppers on baking sheet. Roast, turning occasionally until the skins are charred and the peppers collapse.

Once the skins are blackened place them in a Ziploc bag to allow to sweat, for about 10 minutes. Peel the charred skins from the peppers...

and then remove seeds and set aside.

Lightly toast pine nuts in a skillet. Set aside.

Puree peppers with pine nuts. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet or pot over medium heat, drizzle in olive oil. Add diced onions and garlic and cook until soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt.

Pour in cream and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt, if necessary. Add cooked pasta, and then stir together.

Place pasta into a bowl, top with chopped parsley and plenty of shaved Parmesan.




I love this cake and the simplicity of it...classic Martha! It would be perfect for brunch; it tastes like a strawberry coffee cake. I am sure that you could use almost any berry and have fabulous results but the strawberries are really delicious!

Strawberry Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart via
Makes a 9-inch cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries

Clean, hull and slice strawberries in half...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

Transfer batter to buttered pie plate.

Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible.

Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack.

Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.




Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Inpired from Mark Bittman

1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, red new potatoes or fingerling
Bundle of asparagus
1/4 cup chopped scallions or red onion or yellow onion
1/2 cup Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe below), plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons or more good wine vinegar
2 heaping teaspoon any good Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (optional)

Clean potatoes...

and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a pot with enough water to cover them and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently.

Cook the potatoes until tender but still firm and not all mushy, 15 minutes or so, depending on the potato.
Clean the asparagus...

Chop the asparagus into bit sized pieces. When the potatoes have approximately 8 minutes left to cook steam the asparagus on top of the potatoes' pot. You could also steam in the microwave.

Chop the scallions or onions...

While the potatoes and asapragus are cooking combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and pulse until a creamy emulsion forms, approximately 30 seconds. Taste and add vinegar if needed with a teaspoon or so at a time until it tastes right to you.

Drain and rinse potatoes in cold water.

Toss the still-warm potatoes with the asparagus and scallions (or onion). Add the vinaigrette until the mixture is as dressed as you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding black pepper and salt. Serve as is or refrigerate for an hour or so to chill the salad.

Picnic at the Falls...




My baby turned 2 this last week...

which means I did a lot of baking. He is obsessed with cars right now so I bought a Wilton 3D car cake pan and baked him a car cake.

I made caramel corn and found these cute popcorn holders at Target...

and I made sugar cookies...

I also made Ina's chocolate cake (which I will be sharing with you soon) and after all that I thought I needed more cupcakes just in case but I was low on flour. I usually try to make everything from scratch, especially baked goods but sometimes there isn't enough time in the day or ingredients on hand and a box mix has to do. This is my favorite doctored box cake mix recipe!

Adapted from Peggy Weaver
Yeilds 6 cups of batter, about 36 cupcakes

6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 box plain white cake mix (Duncan Hines preferred)
2/3 cup water
4 ounces room temp softened butter
3 extra large whole eggs
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

small jar of raspberry jam
chambord (optional)

FROSTING: (enough to frost 24 cupcakes)
10 oz white chocolate
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
approximately 4 cups powdered sugar
approximately 1/4 cup cream

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees. Place rack in center of the oven. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

Melt the white chocolate in microwave stirring every 30 seconds until melted or according to package directions.

Place the cake mix, water, butter, whole eggs, egg white and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the slightly cooled white chocolate. Blend with a mixer on low for 2 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix for an additional 2 minutes. Scrape down again if needed. The batter should look well blended.

Line the cupcake pan with liners and fill approx 1/2 way to 2/3 full. The cupcakes have a flat top once baked so you don't want to overfill with batter or your cupcakes will spill over when baking.

Bake the cupcakes until they are golden brown and spring back slightly when lightly pressed with your finger, about 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely, 30 minutes or more before decorating.

Meanwhile stir the raspberry jam in a bowl add a little chambord if desired, to taste. Fill each cupcake with a little jam. I have a tool for this but you can also use the cone method. Basically, you cut a cone out of the center of the cupcake, spoon in jam, cut off the tip of the cone and put the cone top back on. Once you frost you won't see the cone (circle) that you just cut.

Melt white chocolate over double boiler (or in microwave), stirring often. Once melted removed from heat and let cool almost completely. Meanwhile cream butter for about a minute. Add chocolate to butter. Continue to mix at low to medium speed while adding vanilla. Gradually add in cream and sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost the cupcakes once they are cooled. Decorate each cupcake with a fresh raspberry.



This is a very easy way to prepare fingerling potatoes. Simply boil the potatoes until they are fork tender and you will end up with delicious and salt-crusted potatoes.

Salted Fingerling Potatoes
Adapted from Alton Brown's Perfect Fingerling Potatoes

1 1/4 pounds kosher or rock salt (NOT TABLE SALT)
2 quarts water
2 pounds small fingerling potatoes, cleaned
4 tablespoons butter, optional
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives, optional

In a large pot, combine the kosher salt, water, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pot to a cooling rack and let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve as is or with butter, pepper, or chives. The potatoes will have a whitish dried salt appearance on the skin.

Some important not pierce the skin in any way. You want the salt to coat the skin not penetrate the potato. Also make sure you use kosher salt not table salt.



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