Simon Fairfax’s Pasta Schizophrenica [RECIPE]

(Photo courtesy Simon Fairfax)

Simon Fairfax, author of the new Medieval saga that begins with A Knight and a Spy 1410, is not only a very capable writer, he also knows his way around a kitchen. He received this recipe from “Alice’s” (the Contessa’s) mother (see our recent interview for details), who calls it Pasta Schizophrenica, as it turns out differently each time! The good thing is, like so many typical Italian dishes, there’s really no right or wrong when preparing this dish, hence the name. In essence, this is very simple and quick to prepare, and can be made in about 10 minutes. “But you must use good quality, fresh ingredients,” Simon says. “This recipe includes what works on a regular basis. However, you could use no basil or more pepper; passata rather than chopped tomatoes; pasta instead of gnocchi; sliced pancetta rather than cubed; etc., etc. Well, you get the picture! Pork, especially wild boar—Cinghiale—is very popular around Tarquinia/North Lazio and features in many dishes.” We hope you enjoy this recipe, as written and photographed by Simon himself. —J&H

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Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza [RECIPE]

Pepperoni and mushroom pizza

Cut out the pizzeria and make your favorite pizza at home in a fraction of the time. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Since the pandemic started, we’ve been met by lots of long lines and even longer wait times at our local pizzeria, even though we ordered ahead. If you’re in the same boat, try making pizza at home. It’s easy, fast, and delicious. (And as you can tell in the photo below, Heather rather enjoyed her slice, fresh out of the oven). Read more of this post

‘The Chef’s Secret’: Six Questions for Crystal King [INTERVIEW]

Crystal King's THE CHEF'S SECRET

Crystal King, author of The Chef’s Secret, dishes on her delicious new book. (Photo courtesy Crystal King, Facebook)

The history of the Catholic papacy has been long and complicated, oftentimes fraught with mystery and intrigue. In her latest novel, author Crystal King uses this backdrop to introduce us to one of her most fascinating characters yet, a man who became the world’s first celebrity chef. Recently she sat down for our insightful interview. Enjoy! —J&H Read more of this post

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup [RECIPE]

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup marries all the flavors you love from traditional lasagna into one yummy bowl! (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

You don’t have to create a gigantic pan of lasagna to enjoy the flavors you crave. Instead, prepare our slow cooker lasagna soup and have dinner on the table by the time you get home from work. Packed full of veggies and lightened up with two different kinds of chicken sausage, this is one meal that is both healthy and delicious. And if you’re avoiding gluten, buy Barilla’s Gluten Free Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles made from corn and rice. You’ll never even notice the difference! Read more of this post

Loud and Loving ‘Rainy Day Friends’ Give a New Widow a Second Chance at Life [REVIEW]

Paso Robles Vineyard

In Jill Shalvis’s new novel, Rainy Day Friends, a California winery offers a young widow a fresh start, a new career, and a family to call her own. (Photo by Harold Litwiler, Flickr)

When a shy young widow finally discovers the reason why her marriage to her late husband had never felt quite right, it rocks her to the core. Then a new job prospect at a winery in California’s Central Coast region appears on the horizon, and it offers her hope, a zany group of friends, and even a chance at love. But will she seize the day or run and hide from this new beginning? Find out in Jill Shalvis latest novel, Rainy Day Friends.  Read more of this post