Firey Angel Hair Pasta

Rosemary by Connie Cockrell

Rosemary by Connie Cockrell

October has been a wild ride for sure. I’m busy with all sorts of volunteer organizations and I’m trying to get ready for the National Novel Writing Month challenge in November. What’s that, you ask? It’s a challenge to all writers, new or not, to write 50,000 words in a month. Yep, that’s novel length. You don’t have to finish a novel but if you don’t you’re well on your way. I outline my story so I’m not spending a lot of time wondering what comes next. That’s what I’m prepping this month. I’ve decided to try and write a cozy mystery. Since my usual genre’s are SciFi and Women’s fiction, this outline has been a struggle. Mysteries require a lot of planning.

The thyme I talked about last month? Still on the drying rack. I need to get it down and the sage cut and hung before we get a frost and it’s spoiled for drying. I want to dry some rosemary, too. Not just for the kitchen but for soap. I like to make my own soap. It’s easy, I know it doesn’t have aircraft cleaner in it and I can make it unscented or add any scent I want. I’m planning on adding rosemary to my next batch so I want to have some dried and ready to go.

Back to October. Yes, even here in Arizona the days are getting cooler and we’re all thinking of heartier fare. And as I’m still running crazy with volunteer work and NaNo is coming, I like to have quick and easy dinners. I know I gave you my spaghetti sauce recipe last week. Here’s another one, but easier. It comes with some prep though. You need to make up chili oil in advance. I make mine and store it in the fridge. It has to be warmed to room temp before using but a bottle of it will last through four or five dinners.

Chili Oil

2 cups Olive Oil         4 teaspoonsful dried crushed Red Pepper Flakes

To make exactly enough to fit in your storage bottle or container, fill the container with chili oil less about 1/2 inch from the top. I use an old olive oil bottle.

Combine the oil and the red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temp and using a funnel, pour the oil and flakes into the bottle. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.


Fiery Angel Hair Pasta

From Giada De Laurentis

1 pound angel hair pasta   ½ cup Chili Oil   ½ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley, 1 lemon, Juiced and zested,  Salt, Dried crushed red pepper flakes, ½ tsp grated lemon peel (optional), 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta by the package directions.  Drain, and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.  Stir the shaken oil (you want to get some of those red pepper flakes), parsley, lemon juice and zest together in a large serving bowl. Add the pasta and toss with enough of the reserved water to moisten. Season the pasta with the extra salt and red pepper flakes to taste.  Sprinkle on the extra zest and cheese.  Serve.  To keep it gluten free, use gluten free pasta.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite pasta recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at


Spinach Roll-Ups

Spinach Roll-ups | Chicklets in the Kitchen Hello again! It has been a while since I have posted, but I have been kind of busy lately.

I have decided to take on a new task these days. Instead of going with the old favorites of my family, or exotic meats, I am instead going to go through old recipe books that I have lying around. Many of them were passed down from my mother, who is still alive, but no longer uses these books (or never used them in the first place!) Continue reading

How Breast Cancer Altered My Meals with Guest Chick Cheryl Norman

Please welcome back to the kitchen, Cheryl Norman! She’s here to help us learn how to fight breast cancer by eating the right kinds of foods. Congratulations on winning your battle and through it all never giving up! And yay on your newest release, RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

It’s October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2010, I Healthier Mayonnaise Recipe by Romance Author Cheryl Norman | chickletsinthekitchen.comunderwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to rid my body of breast cancer. Happily, I’m 3½ years as a survivor today, but I’m still under treatment. For two more years I will take estrogen-blocking medication, and I continue to monitor with follow-up appointments with my oncologists. I’ll do anything to prevent a recurrence of this disease, including changes in my diet. I hope what I’ve learned will help you, too. Continue reading

Guest Chick: Judy Alter

Greetings, Chicklets and Roosters. Arlene here. As I told you last week, I’ve been feeling the pressure of getting ready for my October release, “Diva in the Dugout.”

One of the ways I’ve been preparing is keeping up with all the comings and goings on the Turquoise Morning Press author’s loop. There’s a large and talented group of folks writing great stories — and blogging about them.

When I discovered that my new TMP sister Judy Alter had not one but two blogs where she talked about cooking (and life),  Potluck with Judy and Judy’s Stew, I knew she’d make a great guest chick.

Take it away, Judy! Continue reading

I did so well this week!

Okay, first, I joined Weight Watchers.  Seeing my flabby arms in pictures at the RWA conference made me go… hmmmm.

So I planned all my meals this week (and by this week, I mean Sunday through Wednesday), including chicken strips and antipasto and tacos and hamburgers.  And we had leftovers last night.

But last night … I completely forgot about dinner.  So we had Chinese takeout.

Now, I did get the diet dish of steamed chicken and veggies.  But I also had an eggroll.  And lo mien.  And some fried rice.  And a piece of honey chicken.  And more lo mien.

Good thing my week restarts on Friday, right?

Antipasto is so easy.  Pasta.  Meat.  Cheese.  Veggies.  Dressing. Voila!  Here’s mine:



1 box of ronzoni garden harvest anything.
1 (or more or less, depending on how long the slice) thick slice of deli turkey (like, a quarter inch thick), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 (or more or less, depending on how much you like cheese) thick slice of provolone cheese (or your choice of cheese), chopped into bite-sized pieces
Mini Turkey pepperonis.  I tried salami, but it didn’t have the kick I wanted. These already come in bite-sized pieces.
Italian dressing.  I’d be extremely impressed if you were able to cut this into bite-sized pieces.  I’d also want pictures.
Vegetables, chopped into … right.  Bite-sized pieces.  Cucumber and tomatoes are my staples.  I also add artichoke hearts and hearts of palm.  Sometimes I add red pepper.  Heck, you could even add fruit if you want (and purists everywhere, who were mostly okay with the pepperoni, now full-out disagree).

One thing, though.  I hate olives.  HATE THEM.  With the passion of a thousand burning suns.  So you won’t find them anywhere near my recipes.  Or even in my house.   And I’m certainly not suggesting you add them to your meal.  Even if you do chop them up into bite-sized pieces.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Mix it with some dressing so it doesn’t get sticky, then put it in the fridge to cool down.  I usually do this the night before.

THEN – add everything else and mix it up good!  Add more dressing as you see fit.  Eat and enjoy.  I think one cup of it is maybe around 12 points.  Which is kinda a lot, but my breakfast and lunch are usually light on point values.

… yeah, I got nothing by way of questions for you.  What did you have for dinner last night?




Quick, easy dinner: Cheesy Sprouts and Sausage

While many of my fellow Chicklets are living it up in Atlanta at the RWA National Conference this week, I’m home, doing what I normally do: Work, softball, writing and Starbucks sitting.

I’d already decided not to attend conference (with good reason) when a coworker asked if I could trade vacation weeks with him — and since I didn’t have plans anymore, I agreed.

I’m slightly jealous of all the fun they’re certainly having — the late night gabfests and fun dinners with friends — and all the great info they’re sure to be learning, both in and out of workshops.

I’m already counting my pennies for San Antonio in 2014.

Until then, a Chicklet has to eat … more than 365 dinners, as a matter of fact. 😉

This Chicklet will be making more than one meal starring her new favorite food, brussels sprouts.

Cheesy Sprouts & Sausage by Arlene Hittle | Chicklets in the Kitchen Continue reading

Linguine alla Carbonarra


Hello Chicklets readers! Lis’Anne here with a past Guest Rooster in the house today. Jon Akers is sharing one of his culinary masterpieces, a hearty pasta dish. Welcome back to the Kitchen, Jon! 😀

Looking at the past month or so of posts, I note that there is a severe lack of dishes and recipes that are, well… not necessarily healthy for you. As such, I present to you a favorite pasta dish of mine that is possibly going to set your taste buds into overdrive and your heart into palpitations of distress. Linguine alla Carbonarra!

The finished product, linguine alla carbonnara!

The finished product, linguine alla carbonnara!

Continue reading

Cheryl Norman Shares Her Hasty Tasty RV Meals


Cheryl NormanGood morning roosters and chicklets! Please welcome Cheryl Norman to the kitchen! If you dream of some day traveling across the U.S. in an RV, having Cheryl’s cookbook sure will make meal planning a breeze!

The Traveling Cook

I believe recreating dishes from other regions is the next best thing to travel. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Girl: Harry Potter Birthday Party

Okay, not really. Because let’s face it, HP is wicked with a wand! But I did just throw a Harry Potter themed birthday party for my eight-year old.

Platform 9 and three quartersWe went all out to make the house as magical as possible. From turning our front door into Platform 9 3/4 to sorting the children into the four Hogwarts houses, right down to food from the books. The entire family got into decorating the house. My father-in-law took charge of ensuring the entryway didn’t blow apart in the gusty Virginia winds that day! 🙂 Continue reading