Spaghetti with Carmelized Onions, Anchovies, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

I saw this recipe in Living awhile ago and got to make it last night. I was really pleased with the results and made some short cuts so it wasn't as time intensive as Martha made it out to be but still very tasty. The below recipe will make enough for about 2 generous portions.

Heat 1 T olive oil in skillet, add 2 cloves crushed garlic and cook until golden, about 2-3 min. Add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/2 T oil, stir until well coated, season with salt and cook another 3 min until toasted. Turn off heat.

Heat 1 1/2 T oil in skillet and add 1 thinly sliced onion and 1 thinly sliced leek (what I had on hand- you could also do 1 1/2 onions). Stir frequently until caramelized, about 10-15 min. Add 1 clove sliced garlic and cook 3 min. Add 3 anchovy fillets in oil, chopped, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 2-3 min, mashing the anchovies.

Meanwhile cook spaghetti in salted water. Drain reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Transfer spaghetti to skillet and toss well. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 T butter, and season with Salt and Pepper. Mix well then stir in bread crumbs.

Really good and a really great alternative to just making pasta and adding sauce.

Home Sweet Santa Barbara

75 degrees, Lunch with Leslie at Jane- very cute, very good, very great atmosphere, Farmers Market, fresh flowers- 2 bunches for $5, onions, leeks for $1.75, sunset. It's a beautiful place that I live in.

Sticky Date and Coconut Cake

One year in London I fell in love with Sticky Toffee Pudding. I love to make it if guests are coming over and you're able to be near the oven, heat up the warm sauce, and drizzle it on the hot cake. Well, I wanted to make something for Christmas Eve dessert and this recipe looked similar to Sticky Toffee Pudding without being too warm or labor intensive. I highly recommend this as it turned out looking nice and was eaten as a "coffee cake," or so we told ourselves, the following day.


Every Christmas morning we wake up, throw the egg casserole we made the night before into the oven, and open presents as it bakes. It's a filling breakfast leaving your stomach full until another big meal later on in the day. We've been making Jimmy Dean's Breakfast Casserole a couple years now and although I'd like to add in some more veggies, it's a good base recipe.

The Staples

We decided to try out a new pumpkin pie recipe this year and learned a couple things. 1. it's not always good to try out new recipes on staples for the holidays 2. light baking is overrated. The pie was fine, but not a winner or something I'd make again.

Mashed potatoes on the other hand seem to be hard to mess up and when you make them ahead as a casserole they are a fool proof and a crowd pleaser. 4 c. hot mashed potatoes combined with 8 oz. cream cheese. add in 1 egg, 1/2 c. chopped onion, salt, pepper, then bake at 350 for 45 min.

Buckeye Baby

I was born at OSU Hospital which makes me a Buckeye Baby. They say good things begin at OSU and I'd like to believe that to be true. Every year that I can remember we've made Buckeyes so despite my lack of interest in more sweets, we had to make them! You can find a lot of recipes out there, but this is the one we used from my Grandma, adding more powdered sugar when needed and freezing the balls before dipping in the melted chocolate (1 bag each milk and semi sweet and about 1/4 bar wax. Don't worry about the wax- guarantee you've digested worse things.)

Ohio Buckeyes
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
2 sticks oleo (butter)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix, form balls, freeze or refrigerate so they're firm enough to dip in melted chocolate. Place back on waxed paper. They freeze well or keep them in the fridge for awhile.

Christmas Cranberry Sauce

Christmas Eve we made a turkey- fresh and Amish. Turkey to me is nothing without some cranberry sauce. We tried out this new recipe and it's so simple, everyone should make it. Silly to buy a can, really.

Cranberry Sauce
Combine: 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. oj, 1/4 c. water, 1 1/2 T honey, 1/8 tsp. allspice, 1/8 tsp cinnamon or 1 cin stick. 1 bag cranberries. Bring to boil, simmer 12 min, remove from heat, let cool and refrigerate.


There is so much to look on and be thankful this season. As we are home with friends around we are thankful for those we have seen and those we got to spend time with today- the Gaskins! Thank you for a wonderful dinner, your lifelong friendship, and for many memories to come!

Wild Turkeys!

On our way to the mall for some last minute shopping we saw many many wild turkeys. Christmas dinner anyone? Yet another reason why I love Ohio.

There's No Place Like Home

As I mentioned, we're so thankful to be staying at our dear family friends as they live it up in NYC. We're keeping their fire place and oven warm and enjoying this beautiful home!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! For to us a son is given, to us a King is born! We are so thankful for all that Christmas means, and to be in Chagrin, and at a dear family friends, the Rieses. We walked in to ginger bread cookies with our names on it, and wine crackers that are SO good! The recipe is a secret from Grandaisy that Mrs. Ries made for us. So wonderful :)

Merry Christmas to all. New Life, New Hope, New Joy He brings.

Back to family movies...

Surfrider So Minor Brah

Last night I was with a bunch of crew that are a part of the Surfrider Foundation here in SB. I thought I would have to brush up on my beach bum lingo, but no such case. My friend Shannon got the invite and we were happy to crash. This is a pic of her...

i'm just looking for a good time

I'm not sure why we haven't gone to Crazy Creekside Wednesday Nights until this week, but I don't think it'll be our last adventure there. The place was packed, the brews were cheap (meaning I didn't think I was in SB when it was only $3) and the dancing was real fun. We had a little help from our cowgirl, and boy, friends and everyone got into it. January we come...or maybe New Years Eve.

yet again

Maggie, Hil, and I went to Hungry Cat for brunch on my birthday. They had brioche french toast and I had a crab scramble. It was delicious. As if I expected anything less. Winner yet again. ding. ding. ding.

tis the season. parties galore.

preppy party for the birthday...

mesa Christmas party

it's crazy

how much older and wiser i feel today. i'm happy to go along with the prophecy that 'this is the year' whatever, whomever, and all that that entails.

cheese balls three ways

Who doesn't love a Cheese Balls come Christmas time? Depends what your liking is, but the choices were cheddar and cranberry, roquefort and walnut, and then goat cheese and scallions. All different but all really good. We've decided it shouldn't mean we have to wait another year until we can have them a cheesy Valentine's day party is in the works. "Your name must mean cheerio because you're healthy for my heart." Tyler- 6th grade.

chocolate mousse cake

My mom and I have made this recipe a lot. It's great for when company comes because it's simple yet impressive.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Preheat to 300

melt together 6 1/2 ounce chocolate, 3/4 cup butter

mix into chocolate- 3 eggs yolks, 1 whole egg, 1/3 c. sugar

beat 6 egg whites with 1/3 c. sugar. fold into chocolate mixture. butter and sugar spring form pan. bake 35-45 min. check at 35. let cool 10 min. then remove sides.

cranberry orange tart

How pretty is this? I know. I made this really easy recipe for our party saturday night for those that were drinking white wine...which wasn't anyone. I used tj's pie crust (someday I'll be confident in my own) and the recipe for the filling is as follows:

Cranberry Orange Tart:
1/3 c. orange juice
2 1/2 T cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. orange marmalade
2 T chopped walnuts
1 T grated orange rind
1 12 ounce bag cranberries

combine juice and cornstarch- then add the rest. pour into pan. bake at 425 for 20 min then turn down to 350 and bake for 35 min.

welcome to big wave dave's

Never in my life did I think I'd go to Big Wave Dave's to get a Christmas tree. Sometimes we do things we never thought we'd do and it's a really wonderful thing. This is one of those occasions. We waltzed in clad in red and green with Christmas cheer and bought a beautiful tree that has increased the merriment in our house tremendously. Only sad thing about the night- we forget to get our free mistletoe.

warm gingerbread with lemon glaze

I made this recipe last night for a Christmas inspired Bible study. The results turned out quite lovely... it's easy and a crowd pleaser I'd say. Best fresh out of the oven and warm- per the title.


Last night I got some friends together to go experience the newly renovated Granada Theater and experience one of my favorite Christmas things, Handel's Messiah. Although we didn't fit in with the audience who mostly had white hair and hissing hearing aids, it was a wonderful show that definitely got me even more in the spirit of the season. Oh come let us a adore Him.

the most fun possible

Last wednesday a couple friends and i went to someone's house we didn't know, each with a bottle of chardonnay from our given region, to meet even more people we didn't know over wine. everyone brought a bottle, was told what region to purchase theirs from, and we were all told to wear black as chardonnay is like 'your simple black dress.' It was the most fun possible. As my friend Jess whispered to me, "I love this." It ended up being a bunch of women, some who knew each other, many who didn't, all having a great night expanding our knowledge of wine and looking forward to the monthy gatherings with new wine and new outfits. I'm sold on the Grape Vine.

a thankful thanksgiving

Thanksgiving day my parents and I drove through VA, Maryland, PA, and into Ohio to the wonderful Ries family home. I've known this family my whole life, and as we liked to say, Anne and I were friends in utero as our mom's were friends. The Ries' have inspired my love for cooking so of course I was excited to partake of their Thanksgiving, Martha butter molds and all. Anne made a wonderful sweet potato dish and the apple pie with perfect crust is something I can never turn down from Mrs. Ries. Liz made a great artichoke dish, there were two kinds of cranberry relish, and all the fixings. There was also homemade bread and a couple days later we went back to have Panettone french toast from Grandaisy and watch the movie we've watched about every year that we can together, Little Women. It was a wonderful holiday with family friends who really are like family.

some would even say it glows

Many of you over the years have heard my love for Chagrin Falls. Take a look and maybe you'll get a sense of why...A town where people gather to listen to carols and watch the lighting of the Christmas tree and where a special mailbox is put up for kids to send their letters to Santa. Not only in story books do these places exist. And people wonder why I have Ohio pride...

classic tomato soup

There's nothing like coming home from Thanksgiving break (pics to be posted soon) and wanting to make some soup to carry one through the week. I picked this recipe out of Everyday Food and found it easy and delicious.

Classic Tomato Soup
  1. 4 T butter, 2 T olive oil, 1 med. onion- season with s&p and cook until translucent, about 5 min.
  2. Stir in 1/4 c flour, 3 T tomato paste- cook 1 min
  3. Add spices- thyme, oregano, basil, 30 ounces chicken broth and 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer 30 min.
  4. blender 5 cups soup, return to pan and serve. yum.