I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Vegetarian Chili: Quick and Easy

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-oz. can dark red chili beans
1 16-oz. can black beans
1.5 cups frozen corn
Optional: shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado

1. Use food processor to quickly pulse tomatoes until coarse.

2. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and cook the onion until soft. Stir in spices and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the corn, and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Optional: Top with grated cheddar cheese and/or diced avocado.


Feast Or Famine?

Wild Cream of Mushroom Egg Noodle Bake (Hold the Canned Soup)

This is definitely a comfort food for me. It combines my love of egg noodles with creamy filling and a lovely nutty Grueyer topping. It comes compliments of Rachael Ray's 365: No Repeats.

Cream of Mushroom Sauce
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
12 button mushrooms, chopped
2 T all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 cup whole milk or cream
1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg (ground works)
Salt and black pepper to taste

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 portobello mushroom caps, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 lb fresh mixed wild mushrooms
1 T fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (from 4 sprigs)
1/3 cup dry white whine
1 pound extra-wide egg noodles
1-2 T unsalted butter, softened
3/4 lb Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese, shredded
3 T fresh chives

Bring a large pot of water to a boil fro the egg noodles.

To make the mushroom sauce, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts, add the chopped button mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until just tender. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a bubble, then stir in the whole milk. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer. Season the sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

To make the casserole, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 2 T olive oil then the shallots and mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for about 8 minutes, or until tender. Season with thyme, salt and pepper and deglaze the pan with the wine. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the liquid cook off.

Preheat the broiler to high.

While the mushrooms cook, drop the egg noodles into the boiling water, salt the water, and cook the noodles al dente. Drain the noodles and return them to the hot pot. Add the creamy sauce to the pot and toss the noodles to coat in the sauce.

Lightly coat a casserole dish with the softened butter, then transfer the cream of mushroom noodles ot the dish and top with the mushroom ragout and shredded cheese. Place the casserole under the vroiler and melt and bubble the cheese until brown at the edges. Garnish with the chives.
As you can see, we were fresh out of chives. Who cares? It was still ooey gooey delicious. :o)


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