Save the page

Do have a favorite singer or band that you own the “greatest hits” album for? Is it filled with songs that remind you of a special time or lyrics that resonate with how you’re feeling at the moment? For me it’s Don Williams. I regret not taking the opportunity to see him live in concert but I frequently listen to his music while I’m cleaning house or working on projects.

This week’s column contains a few greatest hits from the kitchen in our home. While we often experiment with new recipes and ideas, there are some that simply bubble to the top in our list of favorites. So the column is aptly named, Save the Page, and I hope that these fill your home with the warmth as you gather around to enjoy them.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


1 pint Brussels sprouts

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare Brussels sprouts by trimming the bottom and cutting in half from top to bottom.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, evenly place the sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer. Toss in garlic cloves and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Continue to cook until the bottoms of the sprouts begin to brown and then transfer pan to oven. Roast about 15 minutes, shaking pan every 5 minutes throughout. The sprouts will brown and become tender. Test with a fork and take caution not to over bake.

4. Remove pan from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over sprouts and toss to coat.

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

I like to use the garden combination spaghetti sauce to add a vegetable serving. When I have Italian-blend shredded cheese I’ll incorporate that.


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12 fully-cooked meatballs

1 (24-oz.) jar spaghetti sauce

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. Italian seasoning or oregano

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 to 3/4 lb. spaghetti noodles

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Preheat cast iron skillet over low heat.

2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and let heat about 2 minutes. Saute onions for 3 minutes and add garlic and saute for one minute more. Place precooked meatballs in skillet and pour spaghetti sauce over the top and toss to coat. Sprinkle seasoning over the top and simmer for 15 minutes while you cook spaghetti noodles.

3. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions for al dente. Remove meatballs to a plate. Stir 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water into the sauce in the skillet. Drain spaghetti and stir into the sauce. Return meatballs to skillet and turn off heat. Top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted.

Apron Strings Tips: If you add too much pasta your dish will be very dry. Add more pasta sauce if you like. If you don’t have prepared meatballs you can easily substitute a pound of ground beef by browning it with the onions and garlic in step two and lengthening the cooking time.

Pork Medallions with Beans Skillet

Add more garlic according to your liking. The cook time on the pork depends upon the size of your tenderloin medallions. Be sure the pork has reached the minimum cooking temperature before removing it from the skillet.


1 lb. pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch medallions

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 (15.5-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained

1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 c. fresh baby spinach, stems removed


1. Preheat skillet to medium high heat and add olive oil. Rub salt and pepper on both sides of the medallions and place in skillet. Cook the pork for 3 minutes on each side and remove from skillet to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and lower heat to medium. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and continue to saute another minute. Stir in beans, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.

3. Remove from heat and add pork back to skillet. Serve.