Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Spaghetti Carbonara

Wee Bear's favorite!

Traditionally, Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The dish arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century. The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two.

Wee Bear loves the addition of Italian sausage. The story goes- We had to fly to Hartford, Connecticut to get a Visa quickly for a very important anniversary trip to Rio de Janairo for New Years Eve. We always try to make the best of a "crazy" situation, so, we enjoyed seeing Hartford. One night we dined at the oldest Italian restaurant in Hartford, Carbone's and that's where Wee Bear had his first Fettucine Carbonara with "Sweet Italian sausage" and pancetta. He was in heaven and he looked at me and said, "you need to make this"! Well, no problem, add the sausage!

This recipe is the one I use, which I have tweeked over the years. Very few ingredients, a real comfort food dish and of course for Wee Bear, I add the sausage!!


Spaghetti Carbonara

6 ounces pancetta, you can use good quality bacon in a pinch

3 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1/2 cup Parmesan, plus extra for topping

1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, if you do not have Pecorino Romano use Parmesan

10 ounces of spaghetti noodles

freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cut the pancetta or bacon into 1/4" X 1/2" pieces. Saute over medium high heat, do not crisp up. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 

Drain the excess oil from the pan and add 1/2 cup hot water, boil and scape up any little brown bits. Set the skillet aside.

Whisk the egg yolks, egg and cheeses together in a bowl. 

When water comes to a boil, put the pasta in and follow instructions for al dente pasta, less 2-3 minutes. (it will finish in the skillet) Drain the pasta and put into the skillet. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid. Turn the heat on about med high, the liquid should be simmering with a slow boil and steaming.

 Whisk 1 cup of the pasta water into the egg yolks, to warm it up. This is an important step as you do not want scrambled eggs.

Add the egg mixture to the pasta, tossing it continually and keeping the heat low...just below simmering. Keep a eye on it and remove from heat if it is going too fast. (you do NOT want scramble eggs) Add more pasta cooking liquid if needed. The consistency should be slightly thick. Add the pancetta, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

I like to serve with a couple basil leaves, parsley or even a twig of rosemary on the plate. To make it for holiday you could split a cherry tomato and put a green herb with it. 

Serve with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. Enjoy!


Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Smash Burger

I love the beefy, medium-rare middle of a plump, juicy burger, the savory depth of well-browned beef is simply unrivaled, especially with melty cheddar cheese....that is what a smash burger is and I love it!

Friday, 12 June 2020

Meat Canneloni


Meat Canneloni's are my favorite Italian food. However, I am disappointed each time I order in a restaurant. These delicious canneloni's are the best I have ever had and worth every minute of preparation. I make my b├ęchamel sauce with a basil addition, giving my dish another layer of flavor.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Mask with Filter Pocket

My Mom was one of the original Rosie the riveters at Boeing company!

I started making masks in February in preparation for the pandemic to reach Arizona. No one believed this would happen. Well folks, it happened! It is in every state, some more wide spread than others. It is an invisible war.... 

My first mask I made with things I had on hand. Fabric, hair ties, pipe cleaners and pressed interfacing/embroidery backing. I ordered elastic and more pipe cleaners.

I have been sending or friends have picked up on my porch the masks.  I have sent to hospitals in other states, friends and family. I have been busy. It has been a learning experience for me. Each hospital that I have sent to has had a little different spec on what they want. I have learned that we can get very inventive using materials we have on hand for filters and ear straps.

I have made my pattern as simple as possible with the fewest breaks in sewing.

Turn the mask through the pocket opening, clip the corners, being careful not to clip the knotted elastic.

The pipe cleaner goes into the pocket. Push it to the top along the seam.

Your mask is finished! I used a deconstructed Filtrete Air conditioning filter fabric in mine, but you can use pressed fabric like interfacing or embroidery backing.

If you cannot find elastic, you can use hair ties. My first masks used hair ties. If you don't have pipe cleaners, you can use bread bag ties. 

This mask is not a N-95, but, it is the best we can do during this time for personal use. Some hospitals are desperate for these as they cannot get the N-95.  

Please forgive the writing, I got up and made the mask, photographed the steps and started writing- wanted to get this out quickly and get back to sewing.

Stay safe......#stayhome

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Pot o' Gold Coins

I made these Oreo gold coins, and it took me about 30 minutes! So easy!  

Monday, 9 March 2020

8 Year Blog-a-versary

Eight years ago March 7, 2012 I made the decision to dive into the blog world. With the help of a couple of family members I chose a name, and sitting on the veranda of our Ocho Rios cottage I alone created the web site. Trust that the "Sew whats cooking with Joan" website has changed dramatically, since that day. But, my goal to learn about the building of a website and implementing it, stimulating my brain and getting whats in that brain out to you has been so much fun and more successful than I would have ever imagine. Photography was never of interest to me, however, once I started taking the pictures of food, I became interested in improving the photography of that food. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Four Cheese Mac and Cheese

I admit, I don't eat a lot of Mac and Cheese....however, if I'm going to eat Mac and Cheese, it has to be creamy and complex. In order to get to what I will eat, it has got to be EPIC!! I formulated this recipe and even the hubster said, "this is the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten"! I made my recipe on a recent ski and snowmobiling trip to West Yellowstone and Big Sky Ski resort near West Yellowstone. Everyone loved it and went back for seconds! Here is the recipe~

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Hot Fudge Sundae's!

Quick! Simple! What’s the best food pairing you can think of? Anyone who does not immediately answer "hot fudge and vanilla ice cream" is far too grownup.