Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a super simple dish. A straightforward, shelf-cooking pasta recipe; and it has very few ingredients. To make it a complete meal, you can make some garlic cheese bread. Also, we usually fix a Caesar salad.

Easy Pasta Recipe Ingredients

Pasta (I used Linguine)

Seasoning mix

3 room temp eggs (reserving two ladles of the hot pasta water)

Bacon (reserving 3 Tbsp of bacon grease)

Fresh mushrooms


Large onion, sliced


This would be good with some cut-up and sauteed peppers. Changing things up a bit makes pasta recipes your own instead of a copycat recipe. Also, this was a complete shelf-cooking recipe that made me happy. Always keep essential ingredients on hand for dinner recipes.

Copycat Recipe for Coal Miner’s Pasta Directions

Cook bacon. Take out when done and crush. Add garlic, mushrooms, and onion (spinach would also be a good add-in). Once the veggies are soft, pull them out.

For this easy pasta recipe, crack the 3 room temperature eggs and beat lightly.

Cook noodles in salted water. The hot starchy water should be ladled into the bowl with the beaten eggs. Whisk in slow and fast to keep from cooking the eggs.

Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Add in 3 Tbsp. Bacon grease and the vegetable melody. Use thongs or something to twirl all that together. Slowly add in the egg mixture and twist/mix the entire time. Once that is all in there, add a lot of parmesan. Keep on twirling until it is all incorporated.

It was so freaking good and so easy.

Dinner Recipes and Easy Pasta Recipe

I have collected (and written down) our favorite pasta recipes. These are easy pasta recipes, and this one could be vegetarian if you left out the bacon. My family loves bacon, so that is not an option. However, turkey bacon will be in the future.

There are nights when cooking is not on my agenda. I’m over it after 30 years of cooking for my family. That burnt-out feeling is natural. The inspiration is not there. So, I’ve been looking for dinner recipes. Specifically, I have been looking for an easy pasta recipe my family will love. A bonus is when it is entirely shelf-cooking items with what I almost always keep on hand in my pantry.

Initially, I found this recipe in Rachael Ray’s cookbook. That is back when I drew inspiration from cookbooks. Then, I was a collector. Now, they collect dust. Maybe I should dust them off and find more inspiration. In the beginning, I did follow the instructions. Honestly, now, I adjust to the tastes and desires of my people. There are things I add or take away from and substitute as needed. The goal is to get recipe, dinner, or easy pasta recipes and adapt them to become your own. You are more likely to continue cooking it if you adjust your tastebuds.


Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe

I went to make Tater Tot Casserole tonight and realized I had no Lipton Onion Soup Mix. What does one do during quarantine? I concocted a Copycat Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe. The recipe is enough for 2 packets, so if you are using this, 1/2 of it if you need the equivalent to one packet.


1/2 c. minced onions

4 T. beef bouillon granules

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 T. parsley

1/4 tsp. paprika


Put it in an airtight container or a Ziploc baggie. Use immediately or store for up to a month. You can also double or triple this recipe and keep it in a mason jar. I don’t use this often. Always, though, I put it on a roast. Also, I put it in my Tater Tot Casserole, which I will post the recipe for tomorrow.


I’ve been cooking up a storm during the quarantine. Well, who am I kidding? I cook all the time. Honestly, I feel like that is all I do: cook, clean, or educate. The highlight of my day is driving down the road to see Kevin, the pig. He is my neighbor’s pet pig that lives in the front yard. If you want to join in on the fun, I post daily on my quarantine log with my crew on my Facebook page. Come on over and “like” my page and join in. Let us all know what you are doing during this bizarre time in history.



Papa John’s Spicy Packet CopyCat

Papa John's Spicy Packet CopyCatPapa John’s Spicy Packet CopyCat

When A and I went to Nashville for H’s MIBG scan, we had to stay the night.  We had to take a protocol that made this a 2-day trip.  Papa John’s Pizza is a staple for our first night.  This time, however, our lives changed.  First, they brought paper plates and paper towels.  Then, they brought the elusive Papa John’s Spicy Packet CopyCat.

Wary, at First

We were quite wary at first.  I mean, I snagged the parmesan packets and downed them before she even knew they existed.  She grabbed the butter before I could say “hello.”  Yet, these little green packets just lay in the box.

A, my Brave Girl

She said she would try it and she was intrigued.  It was spicy but not overpowering.  She put it on her pizza and made it ZING.  Then she dipped her breadstick in it and then in the garlic butter and she smiled.

Now, I am Intrigued

I dip my finger in it and try it.  It is OK to taste; the heat comes through and powers down your throat.  Immediately, my nose starts running.  I feel it burning down my throat.  My wheels start turning.

From That Point

We added the seasoning packet to the garlic butter.  Then, I took a parmesan packet and poured that into the butter.  We stirred it up with a breadstick and then slathered it on our pizza.  It was so good.  I knew I could make it.

Papa John’s Spicy Packet CopyCat Recipe

2.5 Tbsp Paprika

Kosher Salt, 2 Tbsp

2 Tbsp Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

Onion Powder, 1 Tbsp

1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper

Oregano, 1 Tbsp

1 Tbsp Thyme


I will be storing this in an old parmesan container, so I will probably double it.  This is kept in my spice cabinet.  I have been sprinkling this on my popcorn (YES), on tacos, and all the things.  I’m at least trying it on everything LOL.

It’s good!



Larabar Bite Knock Off Recipe

Larabar Bite Knock Off Recipe

Larabar Bite Knock-Off Recipe

Here is my Larabar Bite Knock Off Recipe that I make pretty often. We were first introduced to the Larabar at my sister’s house. My mom, aunt, H, and I traveled home from St. Augustine last year. Thankfully, my sister lives 1/2 away, so we could stop and regroup.

Because she loves me, she had a coke, cookies, and chocolate! This is against her norm. She struggles with some food allergies. Over time, she has chosen to stay away from her food triggers. I don’t share her discipline, so she indulged in giving me comfort things.

I tell you, she loves me like that.

She gave me this Larabar thing, and I had no idea what it tasted like, but I tried it. It looked like a chocolate-covered granola bar. Frankly, I am down with that. I ate it, and I liked it. Then, she snickered and told me that it was chopped up cashews and dates and had some chocolate surrounding it.

Dates, well, they make me catch vomit in my lower throat area, LOL. Not my jam. These, however, were yummy! As I tasted it again and let H try it, my mind began to wander.

Did You Know?

Cashews are a natural anti-depressant food. Dates are good for you. Cashews contain protein which is good brain food. It seemed straightforward enough, so I thought to myself and set out to recreate this phenom.

Larabar’s are expensive unless you have a coupon, are richer than me, or are on sale. We are always trying to save money, so my wheels were turning again. I got home and went to the store and bought some unsalted or lightly salted cashews and a bag of whole, pitted dates.

Mind Over Matter

There, they sat in my pantry for a couple of weeks because I thought, “I don’t like dates.” So stupid, LOL. Finally, I girded up my loins and whipped out my food processor. I poured the canister of cashews and the whole bag of dates in there and chopped and ground it down.

The Process

Next, I got some waxed paper and laid it out. I made 24 little balls out of the mixture. I set them on the waxed paper until I was all done. The first time I made these, I melted down some chocolate chips and water to where it was really thin. I used a spoon, rolled each ball in it, and then put it on a cookie sheet. I threw it in the fridge so it would harden the chocolate.

The Mess

That worked beautifully and tasted just like the real thing. The downside was that H made a huge mess out of it. Chocolate was everywhere. This time, I do not roll it in chocolate. I just let it sit for a couple of minutes and then put it in a container. This container goes straight to the fridge, and when H is melting, I get one or two out.

Being Wild

If you are super wild, you can throw in a teaspoon of salt and a capful of vanilla. Alas, I’m not that ambitious. I’m all about having two good ingredient recipes, proteins, and help with brain function.




Copycat Alice’s Chicken From Outback

Copycat Alice's Chicken From Outback

Copycat Alice’s Chicken From Outback

We love this Copycat Alice’s Chicken From Outback. It is one of our favorite dishes.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts


Honey Mustard

1/2 stick butter

1# bacon, fried (save the grease)

Colby/Jack Cheese

2 c. fresh spinach

Fresh mushrooms


Cook your bacon on your broiler pan. It does not shrink up, and the grease catches in the bottom.

Cut your chicken into thin strips. Marinate them in the honey mustard for about an hour. In your electric skillet (well, that’s what I use), put in your leftover grease and the 1/2 stick of butter, and let that meltdown. Put your chicken in the skillet and put some seasoning on it.

When that is done, put it in a single layer in a greased 13×9 pan (I used 2 aluminum pans). On top of the chicken, put the crumbled bacon (I also used some bacon bits because I was cooking for *a lot* of humans). Next, put a layer of Colby/jack, spinach, and then Colby jack. Pour the leftover grease, butter, and the honey mustard’s drippings over your chicken’s top.

Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes.


Outback Steakhouse makes great Alice’s Chicken! I mean, it is good. There are so many ways to alternate the recipe, and this is one of those ways.


Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup


Cook sausage, garlic, onion, bacon, seasoning, and red pepper flakes in a soup pot until browned. Pour a little chicken broth into your pot and scrape the bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the rest of your chicken broth and water.

Add your potatoes and cover on medium heat to get your potatoes tender.

Once potatoes are fork-tender, add the heavy whipping cream and let simmer.

About 5 minutes before serving, stir in your spinach. Let the spinach cook down and serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.


You can replace the bacon with bacon bits. Also, you can return the potatoes with cauliflower to make them more keto-friendly. Now with me, I use more parmesan because I love cheese. I mean, I love it a lot. There are times when I add another pound of sausage and fewer potatoes.