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"Hey 'Mantha, eat your baked ziti!"

Hunkering down has meant, so far, a lot of cooking and a lot of eating.  Since we aren't able to really be in contact with others beyond immediate family members, I have been cooking for my kids, even though none of them actually live at home anymore.

This baked rigatoni is a fabulous, simple, creamy, comforting and easy pasta dish that everyone in my family loved.  I had the cudighi sausage in the freezer from a previous trip to Ralph's Italian Deli in Ishpeming.  This was the perfect use for it.

Our first confirmed case of COVID-19 is here in Houghton County.  We are not at the top of the curve yet; likely not for a while.  It will get worse before it gets better.  Stay safe, fellow foodies.

Oh, the quote in the title is a funny one liner that has become an idiom whenever I make rigatoni or ziti in my kitchen.  My cousin Joe told his daughter, Samantha,  to get in line for dinner one Christmas Even at my house probably about 12 years ago, and for some reason, how he said it …
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The Early Days of COVID-19 Shelter At Home

Foodie Followers:

As each and every one of us are impacted in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety abounds at the present time.  So much is unknown, so much is scary; we are all trying to keep our families and ourselves safe and healthy.  Today is day 3 of the mandatory three-week Stay At Home order in Michigan, which is similar to the rest of the US and the entire globe.

Please keep safe, Foodies.  We are in this together.

One of the few activities we are allowed to partake in is going to the grocery store.  Understandably, many store shelves and fresh foods can be scarce.  Simplicity and creativity may be necessary in the coming weeks and months.

I made this hearty, simple and comforting cabbage roll soup yesterday.

Keep calm and carry on, everyone! This too, shall pass.

Cabbage Roll Soup
12 oz ground beef
12 oz ground pork
1 T dehydrated onion
1 1/2 c long grain rice
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
pinch chilli powder
1 quart water
1 head…

Indian Butter Chicken

There are many recipes for Indian butter chicken.  Along with Tikka Masala, these two are the most popular Indian dishes in the US.  I have made several recipes and this one is a combination of several found on NYT Cooking and Allrecipes.  I used a mish mash of spices and cooking techniques that I think work the best.  This version has a kick; add less cayenne pepper of you prefer a milder sauce.  Serve with naan and basmati rice.

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken  (Serves 6)

3 lb boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
4 t garam masala
4 t curry powder
2 t cumin
1 t cardamom
1 t cayenne pepper
2 t ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
5 T butter
1 yellow onion, minced
2 T lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
2 C water
1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1 C heavy whipping cream
Fresh cilantro for garnish


In a small bowl, mix together the garam masala, curry powder, cumin, cardomom, cayenne pepper, ginger, s…

Dal Makhani

Rachel and I like to make Indian food a lot, and we are still high on our voyage to Chennai last summer.  Given there is no Indian restaurants local to the Keweenaw, home cooking is necessary.  Rachel hosted an Indian feast a few weeks ago and she made butter chicken, saag paneer and naan.  I made a pot of lentils (aka Dal Makhani) and some chutneys.  The whole dinner was delicious.  I have blogged about the saag before (Rachel used Foodie Mama's recipe).  When I make dosa, I will blog about the chutneys too.  The next project.

There are a lot of spices in this amazing side dish, which is exactly what makes it so amazing; don't skip any if you can avoid it. 

I hope you enjoy! - xxoo Foodie Mama

Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils)
1 C dry lentils enough water to cover lentils 5 C water salt to taste 2 T vegetable oil 2 1/2 t cumin 1/4 t cardamom 1/1/2 t cinnamon 3 bay leaves 2 t ground cloves 1 1/2 t ginger paste 1 1/2 t garlic paste 1/2 t ground turmeric 1 pinch cayenne …

Mid Winter Comfort Food - Chicken Tetrazzini

Long, cold winters require many nights of comforting, warm, delicious food.  This creamy chicken tetrazzini recipe fits the bill.  This is one I found in a Paula Deen magazine and I modified it a it to be more kid (and fussy husband) friendly, removing the peas and mushrooms, which you can certainly add as desired.  The photo below is Paula's.  I have made this 3-4 times in the last 2 months but I seem to always forget to snap a photo.

Stay warm.  Only 2 1/2 weeks until Spring 2020.

Chicken Tetrazzini

1/2 C butter
1 C chopped onion
2 t minced garlic
1/3 C flour
1 T minced fresh thyme or dried equivalent
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 C chicken broth
1 C heavy whipping cream
3 C cooked shredded chicken
1 (5 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C panko breadcrumbs
2 t EVOO
1 (16 oz) package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 7 minutes, until…

New Decade of Fab Foods

Welcome to 2020!  Who knows what the next decade will bring, but I hope all of my followers will be healthy and prosperous.  Let's greet the new year with a simple and tasty brunch casserole (aka 'egg bake',  aka 'hotdish', etc etc) that is a bit out of the ordinary.

Annie and Aaron hosted a small brunch on New Year's day with just the family.  It is so nice that our grown 'kids' all live here so we can hang out often.  Aaron made Nisu French toast (see a future blog for that) and bacon.  I offered to bring some eggs to the gathering.

I hope you enjoy this.  What typically can be a boring egg bake, turned out really jazzed up with the green chilis and the heat from the chorizo.  It goes best with a slathering of salsa and a dollop of sour cream.  Sorry no photo, we ate it too fast and I simply forgot to in the midst of conversation with the fam.  I made this recipe up as I went.  Feel free to adjust the quantities to what works for you.  Yo…

Easy Keto Pub Grub

My Foodie Followers know that I love the meal boxes.  Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Green Chef, Sunbasket - all of 'em.  I appreciate the convenience they bring while also allowing me to cook healthy, creative and tasty meals.  The best ones are the ones I can replicate on my own, without the cost of the meal kit.  Green Chef is one of my favorites and I have been getting their Keto boxes for a while now.

This recipe is one of my favorites and I have repeated twice already.  Excellent Bar Food, Pub Grub, Comfort food, whatever you want to call it.  It's just a burger and fries, but all Keto and so yummy! 

The different tastes and textures of the burger, the slaw and the squash fries all meld together into a lovely, spicy surprise to the palate, while also being a simple dish to prepare.  Enjoy!

Southwest Provolone Burgers, Butternut Squash Fries and Pepita Slaw

10 oz ground beef
2 ox provolone cheese
1/4 c spicy lime aioli (see recipe below)
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground c…