I am a firm believer that gathering for a meal (though seemingly not so easy these days) is one of life’s greatest joys. Home made, store-bought, leftovers, take out…doesn’t matter. But the smells and sounds of a meal coming together in the kitchen create memories that last a lifetime – let alone the celebration or solace a gathered meal can bring (visit the incredible Dinner A Love Story for all things family dinner). So this recipe is one of THOSE, it brings me back to the exact time and place that I first made it and LOVED it. It’s a vintage Rachael Ray, from her earliest cookbooks, and her Food Network debut days – when watching her show and reading her books taught me everything I (desperately) needed to know to feed our new family. Her show got me through many a newborn night. And I when I made this recipe this week, fifteen years after I first learned of it (and probably hundreds of times in between), I used the same Santoku knife and Boos cutting board I learned years ago were Rachael’s must-haves. My 30 Minute Meal cookbooks are dog-eared, stained, and best of all, loaded with memories (sidenote: I still remember how fab I felt serving a visiting friend Cashew God Bless You Chicken). So dive in and dig in to Rachel Ray’s Super Sloppy Joes. RECIPE IRL: As usual I used ground turkey (I just can’t kick it), improvised from the spice drawer for the Steak seasoning, skipped the bell peppers, and squeezed in ketchup instead of adding tomato sauce. Enjoy! xo CH


In the past I’ve had some (slightly painful) reasons to believe that Martha Stewart and MY definition of “simple” differ just a bit – but when she describes this Shepherd’s Pie as “easy” and “tasty”, she’s right on the money. Of course it helped that I knew the recipe sender would never lead me astray…(thank you BS!). Of note, make sure to have your go to mashed potato recipe on hand as the recipe lists mashed potatoes as an ingredient – here’s our go to if needed: The Best Damn Vegan Mashed Potatoes. RECIPE IRL: As usual, I substituted the beef for turkey just for preference and it was a hit. I also threw in some cut up carrots since I didn’t have frozen veggies on hand. Enjoy!
xo CH


With the summer solstice around the corner, it seems that grilling is the talk of the town. But some (myself included), are not grillers, though I am ALWAYS thrilled to be in the company of one. So the non BBQ recipes will keep on coming this summer from WEEK NIGHTS ONLY, and the one that follows is probably my most tried-and-true. It kind of had me at hello since it comes from my mom, and cooking from a family, extended family, or friend’s recipe brings me total joy. But, that aside, it is SO good and SO easy that it is a total keeper on its own merit. I have doubled, and tripled this on many occasions, and am fresh off a Father’s Day visit with my parents where Mimi herself whipped this up for three generations, and not a lick was left. Hope you enjoy MIMI’S BOLOGNESE.