My Dirty Little Secret


It’s something I’ve tried to hide for a long time.  I’ve been known to bring out the smoke and mirrors from time to time.  It’s my dirty little secret.

I’m …


a bad cook.



I said it. 

I’m a bad cook. 

Bad cook.  Bad cook.  Bad cook.


But I want to be better.  Sure, I do cook for my family most nights and offer them organic fruits and veggies, but when it comes right down to being creative in the kitchen- I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

I know someone who is.  She’s my neighbor.  She’s got the gift, plus a cool kitchen and great pots and pans that make me giddy.  She is so sweet to invite me over and teach me.  I just follow everything she does and try very hard not to embarrass myself.

With our two year olds playing at our feet and tearing up the house, my friend decided I needed to learn this new recipe:  Sweet Sausage and Bowtie Pasta.  My first job was to grate fresh parmesan, chop onions and prepare the sausage.  I was a sweaty mess.

I have to do WHAT?


She chopped the garlic…OH, Sure! YOU get the easy job.


…then poured boiling water over the tomatoes so they could be easily peeled. 


Who knew!

Are you sure this is gonna work?


Yep, they’re done!

Huh!  Who knew!


I peeled, seeded and chopped the tomatoes.

(This is real life here, friends.  No Photoshop today… overly ripe banana, old sippy cup, and random potato.  It’s how we roll.)

Real Life


Then she got out her bad boy cast iron cookware, and I began to drool.

She's got the goods 

She calls them Le Creuset. 

They are very expensive she tells me. 

I tell her I’m considering selling a kidney.  Do I even need two?


I learned an important cooking tip today.  One I will use for a long time.  If I have no idea what to make for dinner and my husband is just about to walk in the door, I should throw some onions and olive oil in a pot and start cooking.  The aroma will confuse my husband and make him think I have something great planned for dinner.  You should try it!

Mama likey Le Creuset 

Next, we added the diced tomatoes to the onion and sausage mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients.  Then my friend went out to her garden and got fresh parsley to add to our meal… and stopped to feed her chickens, too.

She is just like Pioneer Woman, except without a cookbook.

Phew! Amost done!


So by 10:30 am we both had dinner ready for our families that evening.  All we had to do was heat and serve. 

Here’s the recipe, if you’re interested…

but just don’t tell anyone my dirty little secret.


Sweet Sausage Bowties

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/2 cup whipping cream (I used half and half)
1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil (I used fresh parsley)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

     Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender and sausage is browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add tomatoes and cream (or half and half). Reduce heat to low and simmer until sausage mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
     Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot. Add sausage mixture and toss over medium-low heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if mixture is dry. Transfer pasta to serving dish Sprinkle with basil (or parsley). Don’t forget to serve with freshly grated parmesan!


So tell me…

What’s cookin’ at your house?  If you would, please tell me what you’re loving to cook right now or a link to one of your own recipe blog posts.  I need ideas!

Encourage one another,


Laurie said...

YUM! That sounds heavenly! Here is the must have at our house, the one thing Bella will eat! It is actually a Weight Watcher's crock pot recipe but you can make it with fully loaded, light or fat free ingredients! We double it too! :)

1 pound frozen chicken - I use tenders
1 can cream of mushroom soup (cream of celery or chicken work too or mix them if you double)
16 oz sour cream (full, light or fat free)
1 pkg. onion soup mix

Mix the soups and sour cream together and pour over chicken. Cook until the chicken is tender. I have found this totally depends on how hot your crockpot gets!

Server over rice or noodles! Yum!

Heidi said...

That sounds delicious! Unforunately, I'm too lazy to make that much of an effort but I have to say, your neighbor's kitchen is awesome, I would love a kitchen like that! But then I might feel obligated to use it more. :) Great pictures!

Wanda said...

You've inpired me to do some posts on recipes and what I like to cook.

That sounds like a yummy dish and I LOVE your friends kitchen. What a joy to cook in there.

Pineapple Princess said...


Thank you SO much for the recipe! I am seriously going to make that! It sounds really good. I bet my whole family will love it!! :)

Jaimee said...

You are sooo cute! I love your secret, but I won't tell you all the things that were running through my mind about your dirty little secret while I was patiently waiting for you page to load. hahahahaha! That recipe sounds so yummy and your pictures are awesome straight out of the camera. I'll get on the recipe thing...but you'll have to give me a day or two. Wink.

He & Me + 3 said...

I am terrible in the kitchen. I hate to cook too. That sounds delish. So did everyone love it? Good job for both you and your friend. You should do that more often and then you will have girl time and meals for both families done. Sounds like a plan.

Mighty M said...

Looks good! I usually make soup on Sundays in the fall/winter...just have to figure out what kind sounds good for today. Happy cooking! :)

Renea Lynch said...

Yummy Homemade Bread! That's the one thing my kids and hubby can never get enough of. I fix two loaves at a time and one is usually gone before it cools! :) lol

It came from an Amish cookbook I found:

2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar (I heap it!)
1/4 cup honey
2 cups whole wheat flour
(then I mix for a bit)
1/4 cup shortening
(mix some more)
3-4 cups white flour (I use the hi-glueten bread flour)

spread flour on counter and knead for about 5 minutes. Put in a big bowl, cover, sit in a warm place (top of your stove with preheated oven) and let rise for about an hour.

knead again for a few minutes, separate into two pieces, roll out flat with rolling pin, then roll your dough up like making a jelly roll. Fold your ends under and place in loaf pan. Do this with both halves. Cover again and sit in warm place to rise about 30 minutes.

Place in oven and cook at 350 for 20 minutes. Butter the top when it comes out and viola! The best homemade honey wheat bread you'll ever taste! We don't even buy bread at the store anymore. I got a good bread knife and some of those organic storage bags and I slice the loaf and keep it in a sack with a twist tie and we always have fresh bread.

Ashley said...

You're too cute! I can't cook either. Well I can and can not. Doesn't make sense ;)

Oh and I LOVE her kitchen!!

Pineapple Princess said...


We love bread at our house! I haven't seen that recipe before. It looks wonderful! I have to try it!

Thank you!!

Joanna said...

Thanks for airing your dirty secret...I, too, SUCK at cooking. Just as Chris. I try, I really do, but I'm not creative, nor do I have the time, dedication, or cool cooking tools. I am proud of myself for making lasagna or chicken noodles. HA HA! Thanks for the fun recipe!

Renea Lynch said...

Crap!!! I actually forgot to add the yeast!!! :) When I put the whole wheat flour in put in two TBSP of yeast!!!

the whole thing would be a 'flop' without it! lol :) Sorry!

Pineapple Princess said...


Ha! Ha! "Flop" for sure!


Kari @ p.s. said...

I DO NOT like to cook. I'm very uncreative. It's usually chicken and fresh veggies. Every now and then we have bread with it. Now, I can bake up a storm, but isn't the healthiest way to feed a family every night :o)

Cute photos!

Chrissy MacCEO said...

First of all, I am jealous of your friends kitchen, and pots, too! Second of all, I am jealous that she is giving you these cooking classes!! Like you, I am a bad cook, too. I wish I were better, but I need the push.

Thanks for sharing this recipe--it looks great and I can always use something new around here...

vanessa said...

You have my new favorite blog :) I just love it so much, you are never allowed to stop posting!!

Anonymous said...

I gave you a blog award today! Go get it!

Linda @ My Trendy Tykes said...

I can cook a mean Hamburger helper dish. Sometimes I even get fancy and add MORE noodles!

Laura said...

Alright, I too am completely jealous of your friends cookware and kitchen...someday I will have a dream kitchen! :) That dish sounds yummy, I'm going to try and make it! I was never a cook either until I started staying home a year ago, now I try to make new different things as much as possible, I have learned cooking is actually FUN! Now baking, that a whole other story. :)

Hannah said...

You are so cute. I cook and bake a lot and you are not missing out on much :)

Those pots are amazing...if you have a Home Goods store near you, they are about half price there! you need to come teach me how to be a super cool blogger :)

Have a great week cutie pie :)

midRae said...

Love this and cute blog. Just visiting from Lynnette's blog. She's right, you are very talented, and some really cute kids. Nice getting to know you.


Bobbi said...

I WANT HER KITCHEN AND POTS AND PANS!!!Kidney, lung, what else can I share?????

I have been so behind!!! The kids are all grown up. Loved the wedding pics too--that cake was great!!!

Hoping to stay more on track

Melissa G. said...

Hi there, i'm visiting from Lynnette's blog.
I love your blog header. It's so tropical and fun!
It's nice to meet ya! You have a beautiful blog!

Ms. Sarah said...

hi stopping by from lynettes blog. I will be posting a few reciepes for kids and family meal today. So i will link back to you. Have a fantastic day. Beautiful site.

Camille said...

Ok - I think you're just being too humble... that looks so good! I'm not much of a cook, but I love to bake! Probably because the end result is chock full of sugar! :) thanks for the recipe!

Danielle Holsapple said...

Popping in from Lynnette's blog! I am at work, so I can't share a recipe now! But I want to say I am in love with your blog!

Christina said...

I saw your blog featured on Lynnette's blog and was so everyone can come by and see how fun & adorable you are.

Sabrina said...

Over from Lynnette's blog! Love your blog, and the recipe & the photos!

Kristin said...

LOL! This is a funny post. I'm the same way. I just have no creativity in the kitchen and I would prefer for my husband to cook on the grill, than for me to have to figure something out. Just visiting from Lynnette's. Hope you have a great day!

Kate said...

You are so cute! That meal sounds delish...too bad I live in a house full of picky eaters! GRR!

Julia said...

the other day i actually cooked... if you can call it that.

cube chicken breasts and cook in skillet... set aside.

cook spiral pasta (about 3 cups dry)... set aside.

saute 1/2 cup onion and 2 cloves garlic.

put chicken, pasta, onions & garlic, 1 bag frozen veggies (any kind you want), 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1.5 cups milk, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, some parsley and salt and mix it all together.

put it in a big casserole dish (greased of course). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes COVERED. then crush 2/3 cup cornflakes and sprinkle that on top of the casserole. spritz w/ oil or cooking spray and cook uncovered for 10-15 more minutes.

those are my kind of dishes. very easy, measurements don't have to be exact. also great if you have left over chicken or pasta to use up... then it's even LESS cooking to do!!!

Amanda said...

Ummm.... can I just say I am drooling over that Kitchen??? WOW!!

I am making cookies today...

And for the record... I would SO sell a kidney for one of those. You are on to something there.

And you should have linked the Pioneer Woman link to YOUR Pioneer Woman shout out!! She Loves you! (with good reason)

Mindy May said...

I share your dirty secret. I can never come up with anything to make for dinner and the only help I get is from my six year old who loves macaroni and cheese spirals more than anything. Thank you so much I can't wait to try this recipe. Also, I do love your neighbors kitchen and pots. Let me know if you find someone to remove your kidney so you can purchase the pots. I may want to join in on that. I am just stopping by from Lynnette's getting to know you.
I am loving your blog!!

The Tolf family said...

I just stopped by from Lynnette's blog. You are so cute. The recipe looks yummy I will have to try it someday. I love to cook and enjoy trying new recipes but there are days I wish I just didn't have to. Love your photography as well.

Kristi said...

Just wanted to invite you to my blog because I have nominated you for an award! Enjoy your Monday.

Kristi said...

Just wanted to invite you to my blog because I have nominated you for an award! Enjoy your Monday.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha this post is so amusing! I love your trick about the onions -this so true :)

Karen said...

Stopping by from Lynnette's to say Hi. I really enjoyed your blog. Love the pictures1


Rhonda said...

Appears I have the same dirty secret, LOL I have no creativity nor even the interest in cooking!!! I only do it cuz I have to.........LOL We mostly live on chicken and fresh veggies. I was chuckling through the whole post especially the kidney part,hahahahaha
Have a great week, Rhonda

Tina Fisher said...

New to your it and I love your neighbor's kitchen!

My fav meal...old trusty...

Spaghetti! Easy peasy...brown the hamburger, boil the noodles and pour the Prego in! YEAH!

Leah and Maya said...

I dont' even consider it a secrete of any type that I can't cooka nd don't like to, I also am picky so its hard to make things you won't eat, this is a problem since I am a stay at home mom and I am suppose to feed people, love easy recipes, am goign tot ry and make that bread, yes I will put in the yeast that will definetly help, thanks for the tips, I so need them.

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

You are so funny!

When you are cooking for as many people as I do on a daily basis - fun can sometimes be a must or it would drive you crazy!

I try to have fun making meals for our large family! I make about 10 different things and we change them up with spices - or over pasta or rice.

I'm thankful for having easy children and a wonderful husband to feed. They are just thankful there is food in front of them and praise me every night no matter what it is! THANK YOU GOD!

And trust me some nights aren't so great :)

Glad others are meeting you too!

Love your photography!!! Not to mention your kitchen!!!!


Tina Fisher said...

PS I found you from Lynette's b;og!

the Spocks said...

Visiting from Lynnette's blog.
I love to cook, the clean up not so much.

Your blog will be added to my faves.

Holly said...

I'm here from Lynnette's. I don't think I'm a bad or a good good. Just average. We eat a lot of things on the grill so my hubby does most of the 'cooking'. I'd love to be able to do more but hubby is so darn picky that it is pointless. I love your neighbor's kitchen and those pots!!

Castellanos Family said...

Oh gosh that was funny Pineapple Princess because that's how we "roll" here too. Will print and make this recipe. Hey I think I have a cast iron pot like your green one, but mine is yellow...better break that bad boy out (that is if I can find it). I am a BIG TIME kitchen gadget fiend, but I am terrible at cooking...I guess its just my lot in life.

Raisingarrows said...

I've never visited here, but couldn't resist when I saw Lynnette's blog post (Dancing Barefoot). Enjoyed my visit here!
Amy @ Raising Arrows

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Hi there...I'm visiting from Lynnette's blog. Congrats on being featured on Getting to Know You. I loved my visit. In fact, I think I shall become a follower so that I don't lose track of your fun blog! Blessings,
Kelly Gerken
Sufficient Grace Ministries

Anonymous said...

I support single moms

make extra cash during the recession.

1 golden idea at a time

SayRah said...

Hey Pineapple Princess! Hopping over via Getting To Know You, and boy, am I glad I did! Your blog is AMAZING! I'm a def. follower now. Love your photos, too! AND the recipe! I'm not a great cook either, I love to cook, and am still learning a lot. I'll send you a recipe I LOVE that is SO EASY soon.
((hugs & blessings))

Are You There Mom? said...

Ah Ha! So that's the trick! I'll be sure to do that sometime because I'll tell you....often my hubby's driven up and I'm lost in the black computer hole and I jump up to go 'pretend' I'm making dinner! haha Thanks for stopping by! LOVE this post!

Mrs. McFadden said...

Headed over here from Lynnette's blog! We made slowe cooker chilli yesterday. It was yummy.

I will be back to check out the rest of your blog a little later.

Mrs. McFadden

Sara said...

I actually just took pictures to post a recipe on my blog! SO quick and super easy, Zatarans Jambalya Pasta!!

Sara said...

oops, don't know what happened! anyway, Jambalaya Pasta in a box by Zatarans. 10 minutes to a great dinner!
1 package turkey sausage (or any that you like)
brown, mix water with box and 10 minutes your family will love you. Serve with corn and salad and french bread and you will get confused for a chef (at least in my house! my hubby is so easy to please!)

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

You are too stinkin' cute, Pineapple Princess!!

I followed this blog last year... a new slow cooker recipe everyday!

Stopped by from Lynette's blog!! :)

sweetpralinemadness said...

Can't wait to try out that recipe. Love the color of the mixer. And what a great kitchen.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Love that your kitchen looks like mine while you cook! And the recipe looks great! Thanks for sharing!

Sherrie said...

Hi! Just stopping by from Lynette's blog. I loved reading your posts and getting to know you a little. You kids are darling! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will have to give it a try!

Jenilee said...

Visiting from Lynnette's... I am drooling over that kitchen! so amazing! :)

pascale said...

Your secret is so cute, I will bring it to my grave not to worry.

Here is a link to where the cooking posts are bundled into 1.
Hope you can find something you like :D

*Jess* said...

I'm so proud of you! Once you learn to stop "cooking from a box" (aka, rice-a-roni, hamburger helper) it really becomes quite easy to throw in fresh ingredients and create meals!

Kate said...

Popping over from Lynnette's blog! What a great recipe and nice a neighbor to help encourage you in the kitchen!

Amy said...

oh my gosh that looks so good! I can't wait to try it!

love the le crueset and the light blue kitchen aid!

G-Zell said...


Jessie said...

Hilarious! I am saving for just 1 of those cast iron bad boys :)

Consolata said...

I love your blog. Fun, entertaining and real.

Pam, mom, honey, said...

i do not sell pampered chef. so this is not a ad. i love the new pampered chef (new to me) deep covered baker. i pull a chicken out of the fridge, add some seasoning and put it in the microwave for 30 minutes and WOW. i can cook 4 chicken breast in 11 minutes a pork tenderloin in 11 minutes. WOW, so easy, no burning, no messing up. i love to cook, i love to bake even more. but when i moved into military housing from a kitchen with 2 ovens to a 3 foot by 5 foot floor space in my kitchen i had to learn new tricks.
my new love is pumpkin, this year for the first time we cut up real pumpkin and i have made tons of pumpkin bread, pumpkin biscuits with pumpkin syrup and today will be pumpkin pie and i still have lots in the freezer.

Christine aka Mistress of Cakes said...

Tell this chica that I will take here kitchen if she doesn't want it anymore. That is funny about the onions lol.