Brunch with Mom

Brunch with Mom 5-4

Make for your Mom…

Everybody’s Favorite Crunch Salad


  • 1 ½ cups crispy chow mein noodles
  • ¾ cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 head romaine lettuce or curly leaf lettuce, cut into bite size pieces, washed, dried well and chilled
  • 4 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced


  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar (either light or dark is okay)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar (this is rice vinegar with salt and pepper already added)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 drops Tabasco sauce (if you like more bite, add 2 more drops)

Make the dressing: in a small jar or plastic container with a lid, combine the brown sugar, salt, vinegar, oil and Tabasco and shake well to combine; set aside. Make the salad: in as small bowl, combine the chow mein noodles, sunflower seeds and almonds. Just before serving, layer the lettuce, green onions and noodle mix in a bowl. Pour dressing over the salad (give it a couple of shakes if it’s separated) and mix well. Serve immediately.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake


  • 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 small box white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Make the cake: Beat sour cream, butter and egg together, until thoroughly blended. Sift dry ingredients into cream mixture. Beat thoroughly together and add vanilla. Bake in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan or 2 – 8 inch round pans. Bake 325 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes (for 8 inch pans bake 325 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes).

Make the whipped frosting: Use a child bowl. Mix whipping cream slowly until it begins to thicken; add sugar and pudding mix. Continue to mix until you have a spreadable frosting.

Donna’s Spaghetti Casserole with Celery


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup yellow bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 3 cups homemade tomato sauce (or store bought pasta sauce)
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, broken into 2i nch pieces, cooked
  • 1 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed (press to release the oils)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the fennel seed, tomato sauce and cooked spaghetti and mix well. Salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top the casserole with the mozzarella, Parmesan and parsley. Bake until the cheese is golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

Easy Italian Recipes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara


In case many of you do not know the difference between prosciutto (ham) and pancetta (cured bacon), they come from different parts of the pig: prosciutto from the leg and pancetta from the underbelly. Both prosciutto or pancetta may be added to a recipe to give the dish more flavor, but they do have a distinctive taste. Pancetta is used in carbonara. You can find real pancetta in an Italian market or deli that specializes in Italian cold cuts and other foods.


To serve 4 people, you will need the following:

  • 1 lb. dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces finely diced pancetta
  • 2 large whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • Fresh parsley (optional as a garnish)

Please note: It is very important the spaghetti is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the spaghetti cooks the raw eggs on contact. Timing is everything!

  1. In a small bowl, cream the soft butter with a wooden spoon.
  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with a fork until they are well blended. Blend in ½ cup grated cheese and stir well to prevent lumps.
  3. Set bowls aside.
  4. Cook the spaghetti over high heat until firm to the bite, or al dente, about 7-10 minutes. Make sure strands do not stick together.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the pancetta, and fry until crispy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Pour off @ ½ of the fat and stir the heavy cream into the skillet.
  7. Bring the cream to a simmer and keep it warm until the spaghetti is cooked.
  8. When the spaghetti is firm to the bite, drain thoroughly in a colander.
  9. Transfer the spaghetti into a heated serving bowl or casserole dish and stir in the creamed butter, coating the spaghetti strands.
  10. Stir in the hot pancetta and cream mixture and finally the beaten eggs and cheese mixture, tossing everything together thoroughly until the eggs begin to thicken but are still creamy. (Do not scramble!)
  11. The heat of the spaghetti and other ingredients should cook the raw eggs on contact.
  12. Sprinkle with ground back pepper and salt if desired.
  13. Serve the carbonara at once. Garnish with fresh parsley
  14. Pass the remaining ½ cup of grated cheese at the table.
  15. Serve on warmed plate if possible.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Buon Appetito! Enjoy!

I would love to hear from you any suggestions on dishes that I may prepare for you. With summer around the corner we should look forward to some great garden vegetable dishes and pasta seafood dishes.

See you on Thursday!

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.