Monthly Archives: January 2017

Broccoli and Black Forest Ham Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti pie. An odd – and delicious, I might add – sounding item don’t cha think? I reckoned it would be, too, so I took the recipe I saw on and made some modifications to accommodate the edibles I had on hand. Then it was time to get to work.

After about 30 minutes of effort, I found myself with a counter covered with mixed/chopped ingredients all ready to do their job, but no vessel to do it in. The Robert Burns quote, “best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men” came to mind. I reached into the cabinet for the springform pan and found only the ring. The bottom of the pan somehow vanished. I pulled every pot and pan out in my search with no success. I had to come up with a plan B, so I grabbed a cake pan, lined it with foil, and sprayed the foil with non-stick spray. It worked out okay in the end, but you’d make it easier on yourself if you have a springform. I still have no idea where the missing piece disappeared to and with no kids living at home to blame, what’s a girl to do? 

Serves 6-8 people (although we each had 2 large pieces. It was that good!

1 tbsp. butter

8 oz. Black Forest Ham, diced small

1.5 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for the cooking water

1 bunch broccoli (Keep the heads intact, but slice the stalks thinly)

1 pound dried spaghetti

1 ½ cups whole milk

Zest from one lemon

3 large eggs

2 egg yolks

8 oz. grated fontina

2 oz. grated Parmesan

1 tsp. black pepper

Heat oven to 425-degrees

Butter a 9-inch-springform pan and wrap the outside in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes in the salted water until it has some give. Fish it out with a large slotted spoon and dunk in a bowl of ice water (blanching). Drain, squeeze the water out of the broccoli with paper towels, and chop small.

Mix the milk eggs, lemon zest, ¾ of the cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the ham and broccoli and mix well.

Now add the spaghetti to your boiling water and cook until 2 minutes shy of done and very al dente (very chewy!). Drain and let cool.

Once the spaghetti is cool, add it to the egg mixture. Mix very well.

Pour the spaghetti mixture into the pan. Push down with a spatula and top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on the top and the center is set.

Cool for 10 minutes and release the ring. Serve in wedges like a pie. Enjoy!

Eat well,


“Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.” – Sophia Loren



Chicken Pot Pie

Living aloha. That’s what Roger and I were doing last week. It was wicked awesome. With Roger’s MUCH anticipated (and nerve-racking) MRI coming up tomorrow morning, and his almost daily cancer treatments, man did we need a break from the all the driving and the medical center. After the irregularity seen on last month’s MRI, it’s been an unsettling four weeks of waiting. But who needs sleep, right?  

Our trip was business/pleasure, and it was on the island of Kauai. We returned home late Saturday night, and yesterday morning I was beginning to think we should have stayed home to build an ark. We’ve been in California for almost 13 years and have never seen rain like this.Because there wasn’t a scrap of food in the fridge, I made a very wet journey, in typhoon-like conditions, to the market. During my drive, I was thinking about what would be the perfect cold-weather/football food. The first thing that came to mind was a piping hot chicken pot pie. What better thing to chow down on while watching a serious butt-kicking meted out by our beloved Patriots? I came up with the recipe as I perused the aisles and thought about what was at home in the pantry.

Houston, here we come!

Pre-heat over to 400. Serves 4-6 people. 

1 roasted chicken, meat removed and chopped small (save the carcass in the freezer for soup/stock)

1 package Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, make your own pastry dough or substitute with pie crust instead.

1 onion, small dice

2 celery hearts, thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, small dice

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced small (brunoise: very small dice)

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup chicken broth

¾ cup frozen peas

½ cup grated Parmesan

2 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. EVOO

1 tbsp. Better than Bouillon, roast-chicken flavor

¼ cup AP flour

1 tsp. salt

4 thyme sprigs

1 egg (beaten with a splash of water)

Heat butter and EVOO in very large sauté pan, or large wok until melted.

Add diced onion and diced fennel. Cook until both are translucent and fragrant.

Add celery, carrot brunoise, garlic, and cardamom. Heat until fragrant.

Sprinkle in AP flour and mix until well integrated.

Pour in evaporated milk, cream, chicken broth, peas, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Remove thyme leaves from sprigs and toss into cream mixture.

Add salt, chicken meat, and roast-chicken base. Mix.

Mix well and simmer until thickened.

Top with Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough.

Create some vents in the pastry dough or pie crust. Brush egg wash over the top. 

Cook in the oven until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Enjoy!

Eat well,


“Chicken pot pie – those are my three favorite things.” – Pablo Francisco



















Root Vegetable and Farro Salad

I’m not alone in thinking of New Year’s resolutions this time of year, but I am WAY behind and still actively curating my own. It contains the usual suspects: exercise more, eat mindfully, worry less, and breath. This morning I added two more that I think we should all consider: 1. Be kind to yourself and 2. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are (Teddy Roosevelt). I will be striving to accomplish both.

This salad (or side dish) is filling, fresh, healthy, and is a cinch to make. Serves 4-6.


1 celery root (they’re gnarly looking, but don’t be scared!)

1 large carrot

1 green apple

1 golden beet

1 lemon

½ cup farro

1 tsp. kosher salt

1.5 tbsp. of chopped mint

¼ cup EVOO

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Zest the lemon (do this while it’s whole), halve it, and squeeze the juice.

Boil the farro in salted water (salty like the ocean) until tender but still slightly chewy. Just like you would cook pasta. Drain and set aside.

Peel the celery root, carrot, beet, and apple.


Cut the celery root in half Put half in the fridge for another use. Like cubing and roasting with EVOO and salt and pepper. 

Grate the apple first on the largest holes of your grater. Add a bit of the lemon juice to the grated apple so it doesn’t oxidize and turn brown.

Grate the celery root half, beet, and carrot using the same holes as the apple.


Place all three in a large mixing bowl with the apple.

Add the salt, EVOO, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.