Grandmas Goulash… quick, easy and oh so good!

Grandmas Goulash, not Grandma’s Goulash… My recipe is a combination of both of my grandma’s recipes, one of them used tomato sauce and the other used tomato paste. It’s the tomato paste that gives it the great flavor (well that and the parmesan!)… I use lean ground sirloin (the leanest) or ground round (the next leanest) and it works perfectly. This is one of those meals that tastes even better the next day… try it, I just know you will LOVE it! Goulash is one of those quick meals that is the ultimate in comfort food! Comfort food doesn’t always have to be unhealthy…

Start by chopping one onion (however much you like, or none if you prefer)… Add a little olive oil to a large skillet (or large pan if you don’t have a saucepan large enough to cook everything in).

Add 1 pound of ground sirloin (or other hamburger), and cook until done. Drain off excess fat.

Add 1-15 oz. can of tomato sauce, about 1 cup of water, 1 can of tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste. If it gets too thick add a little more water.

Simmer (not boil, just until you see little bubbles on the edges) for one hour on low. I usually have the lid cracked so all the liquid doesn’t evaporate.

After the meat sauce has simmered for about 30 minutes, turn on a large pot of water to boil the 2 cups of elbow macaroni. Follow package direction for the macaroni noodles (or similar shape, can also use egg noodles if you prefer) until done. Drain, and add to meat sauce. Give it a good stir.

Now it’s ready to dish up! Add a veggie and/or a salad and you’ve got one great meal! Click HERE to print the recipe…


Brown 1 pound Ground Sirloin (or ground round, etc.) in a large saucepan, drain any excess fat.

Add 1 diced Onion, cook until hamburger is done and onion is tender.

To the meat add: 1-15 oz. can of Tomato Sauce, 1 cup Water, 1 can Tomato Paste and Salt & Pepper to taste.

Simmer 1 hour.

Cook 2 cups of elbow macaroni as directed on package. Drain and add to meat mixture. 

Serve with Parmesan Cheese

Note: You can also add a little cheese and bake it the next day to change it a little. My preference is to leave it as is, you just can’t beat it!

Catch you back here tomorrow!


Homemade BBQ sauce, easy and so much better than store bought!

BBQ Sauce ready for the chicken on the grill!

This is a quick and easy BBQ Sauce that is so delicious you simply will not believe it! Recipe from!

These are the ingredients that I used:

I found this recipe on, and I pretty much used it as it was written, omitting one evil ingredient… Worcestershire Sauce. (I had to avoid soy (one alias is ‘natural flavors’) it was so good without it that I still don’t add it… Here’s the link to the BBQ SAUCE recipe on (as shown below) so that it’s quick and easy to print (or read below):

2 tbsp. butter
1 c. water
1 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
Melt butter. Saute onion until soft. Add remaining 9 ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes. Makes about 2 cups of BBQ sauce.

I make this recipe, then I split into smaller batches (1/3 cup is about how much we use on two chicken breasts). I freeze each serving in a labeled freezer bag, then flatten out and refrigerate. Once cold pop into the freezer. Then next time you need it you can set it out for a few minutes and it will thaw, then snip the corner and squeeze contents into a dish. Too easy!

Here is the final result… let me tell you, Fred cooked this chicken on the grill to perfection. It was awesome! There is nothing like barbecue chicken on the grill, fresh corn on the cob and a nice crispy salad!

What are YOU making for dinner? Catch you back here tomorrow!

A summer salad for dinner… quick, easy and waaaay too good!

You know when the temps heat up and cooking just doesn’t sound so great anymore? Well… the time has come… already! We’re looking for quick and easy meals that don’t involve turning on a gas stove or oven and heating up the house! We are very fortunate in Charleston to have a top notch Farmer’s Market… I encourage all of you who live within driving distance to go… it’s more than a place to get fruits and veggies, it’s an event all in itself. There are so many people, so much going on, and so much wonderful produce, YA-HOO! For this salad that I made for the two of us, I bought a bag of Butter Lettuce at Whole Foods… at the Farmer’s Market I got THE BEST radishes, cucumber, tomato and green onions… give those all a chop and toss them in the salad, however much (or little) that you prefer. I tossed it with dressing in a large stainless bowl (neither of us like much dressing, so this is the easiest way to do it). I boiled a few eggs and cooked 2 pieces of bacon to add to the top.. whoa, is that sweet! Also, added 1/2 avocado to each salad on top…

Served with Naan bread and olive oil… but you could serve with a baguette, or pita, or whatever makes you smile!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Pasta with zucchini and onions from the Farmer’s Market… delish!

Aren’t these just the sweetest baby yellow squash, pattypan squash and zucchini that you’ve ever seen? Here is a quick and easy meal to prepare that will make you want it again and again and again… you don’t have to use baby zucchini/squash, you can use regular. However, if you can find the baby, it’s a treat, we got this at the Farmer’s Market (Charleston, SC)…

This time I decided to try Trader Joe’s Spinach and Chive Linguini… it was tasty! I didn’t have any strong flavors in this pasta, so the chives and spinach flavor were a nice touch… You can use whatever kind of pasta you like… often times I cook whatever kind strikes me, cappelini (Angel Hair), Linguini, Spinach pasta of any type, whatever sounds good to you!

Cut up the zucchini and onion… if you have anything else to add, go ahead, it only gets better… red pepper, mushrooms, tomato. Sauté in olive oil (or canola oil) on medium high heat until zucchini starts to brown and onions are translucent… Cook your pasta, drain, and add to the pan with the veggies… stir around, dish up and sprinkle with copious amount of parmesan (ok, so my ‘copious’ and your ‘copious’ may differ, I get my parmesan cheese “habit” from my mom…) and TADA… dinner is ready in no time and it is KILLER! Fresh and tasty…

Here’s the “recipe” which as mentioned above can be changed however you like! All measurements are approximate, you can’t mess this up… well… for the most part!


1 medium zucchini (or an equal amount of baby squash)

1 small yellow squash, pattypan squash, etc.

olive oil

pasta of your liking

parmesan cheese

salt, pepper

In a large pan, boil water for the pasta. Depending upon the cooking time for the pasta, start the veggies… give them about 10 minutes.

Cut up the squash. I don’t peel (especially baby squash) but if its tough (or not organic) then go ahead a peel it, it has good vitamins in the skin, so I try to eat it… dice the onion.

In a nonstick frying pan add 1 Tablespoon (roughly, if it needs more, add it) of Olive Oil… (If using a regular pan you’ll need more oil)

Once the oil is hot, toss in the chopped squash and onion. Don’t stir around too much, if you can let it sit for a bit before stirring it will brown nicely. Don’t let it brown too much… just some crispy edges are nice…

Once the pasta is done, drain in a colander. When the veggies are done you can turn the heat to very low and add as much pasta as you think you’ll need (it’s hard to judge when cooking pasta, but when you put it in the pan you can tell if you have way too much pasta for the amount of veggies). Stir it around to coat the noodles (add a splash of olive oil if necessary if it appears to be dry). Dish up the pasta and sprinkle with S&P and parmesan… and ENJOY!

Variations: sometimes I cut up fresh tomato and add it after it’s on my plate… also wedges of avocado are so nice… sometimes I will dice up some banana pepper and add that with the zucchini and sauté it… it adds a nice flavor!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

For dinner tonight… chicken pita with tzatziki!

Chicken Pita with Tzatziki

This is such a quick and fabulous meal! Perfect for those hot days when you want to get out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. You can also add whatever you like, add onions, olives, cheese, you could use steak instead of chicken, endless possibilities, so see what you have hanging out in your fridge and toss this together, sit down and enjoy!!


2 Chicken Breasts (boneless/skinless)
1-2 T Lime Juice (more or less to taste)
2 Fresh good pitas
1 Tomato, chopped

Tzatziki: 1 cucumber, greek yogurt, some garlic, fresh or dried dill and a splash of lemon juice.

In a skillet with olive oil (or canola) sauté the chicken, when its close to being done cut it up (while it’s still in the pan) into bite size pieces (I use scissors, it’s much quicker), then continue to cook until just about done. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken in the skillet, and cook until absorbed. This makes the chicken turn a beautiful golden brown color. You can also throw in some onions if so inclined..

Finely chop up a cucumber with seeds removed, add to plain greek yogurt with fresh or dried dill and a splash of lemon (squeeze a wedge). You can use a microplane to get a little (or a lot) of garlic added, stir it together and set aside while you assemble the pita.

I like the pita heated. It’s not necessary, just a personal preference. I heat the pita wrapped in wax paper and a tiny sprinkle of water and put in microwave just until warm. Take it out and place one pita on each plate, put chicken on top, cut up tomatoes, a spoonful of tzatziki, some black pepper and a sprinkle of dill. 
Oh la la….  ENJOY!

Catch you back here tomorrow!