Category / Recipes

Main Dishes Recipes Soups

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I lived in Southern California for about 15 years and during that time, I fell in love with some of the most fantastic Mexican food out there.  I even became pretty good at cooking Mexican food.  Since, I am in Southern California right now, how fitting for me to warm up my East Coast friends with this yummy soup.  I won’t mention that the sunshine is glorious and it is about 80 right now.

Main Dishes Recipes Soups

Chicken and Tortellini Soup with Herbs

Yes, we do eat chicken.  We just don’t eat our pet chickens.  Here is a quick and yummy recipe for tortellini soup that is terrific for another fantastic fall weekend.  It is a quick one pot meal that your family is sure to love.  Try it on Halloween night if you are short for time before trick or treating.  It is a Tilly’s Nest original that I’m sure you will love!

Main Dishes Recipes

Meatsauce and Fresh Homemade Pasta

Italian cooks have been making fresh pasta for a long time.  Although a very simple recipe, it does take some time.  I thought on a cool fall Sunday evening, this might be just what hits the spot.  Most Italian cooks just know how to make the fresh pasta.  They don’t use recipes for the pasta.  They just know what looks and feels right.  It is basically eggs and flour that are gradually incorporated into each other.  You start with a clean flat surface and a few cups of flour.  In the flour you make a well and add a few fresh eggs.  The eggs are gently mixed with the edges of the flour until it is all combined.  You can either roll out the finished pasta dough with a rolling pin and cut with a knife or if you have a pasta machine you can make all kinds of pasta.  Remember, cooking time will be quicker than using a dried pasta product.    I wanted to include my own personal meatsauce recipe as well.  The fresh pasta recipe is courtesy of Mario Batali and can be found on the Food Network website.
Feel free to use the store bought pasta and sauce as well, I won’t tell and I do this all the time, when I need to serve a dinner in less than 30 minutes to my family.



1 pound 90/10 ground beef
1 medium diced onion
1 medium green pepper chopped into small pieces
3 cloves of garlic–minced
1 tbsp of dried parsley
1 tbsp of dried basil
olive oil
salt and pepper
IF YOU HAVE TIME, do this next
1   28 ounce can of crushed tomatos
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
IF YOU DONT HAVE TIME, skip the above and do this instead
1   32 ounce jar of prepared pasta sauce.  I use Classico Tomato and Basil


1.  On the stovetop in a large pan over medium heat, drizzle the pan with olive oil and add the garlic, onions and green pepper.  Cook until vegetables are softened.

2.  Next add the ground beef to the pan and cook through.  Drain the fat.

3.  IF YOU HAVE TIME, add the crushed tomatos, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME, then instead, add the jar of prepared pasta sauce heat through for 10 minutes and serve.  Add salt and pepper to taste.



3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

4 extra-large EGGS
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.
Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME, cook 1 pound of store bought pasta according to the package directions.

Breakfast Recipes

My Kids Love this Easy Banana Bread

So my both of my children’s schools are peanut free and one is totally nut free.  My dilemma is that my kids are peanut butter fanatics.  Both of my kids bring their lunches to school, so creating unique nut free lunches offers me up a challenge.  I started baking breads.  They are easy and pack in hidden nutrients and the kids love them.

This recipe is an adaptation of one found in Pillsbury’s Best of the Bakeoff.  It has one egg in it, thus it’s relativity to the site.  Plus it is just too awesome not to blog about.  The preparation time is about 10 minutes and baking time about 50 minutes.

Enjoy!–Tilly’s Nest

Banana Bread


1 and 3/4 cups of flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 medium mashed ripe bananas
1/4 softened butter
2 tablespoons of orange juices OR 1 teaspoon of lemon juice


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

3.  Pour batter into loaf pan.

4.  Bake on center rack for 50-60 minutes depending on your oven.  A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the middle of the bread.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Then remove from pan and place on cooling rack.

5.  Once completely cooled, wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator.  The bread should stay good for 1 week.

Eggs Main Dishes Recipes

Ham and Egg Quiche

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


1 premade pie crust
6 eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked diced ham
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste


1.  In a glass pie plate, mold the pie crust to the bottom of the plate and mold the edges of the crust to resemble pie crust.
2.  In a large separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs.
3.  Stir the ham and cheese into the egg mixture until well combined.
4.  Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
5.  Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked through and quiche is golden brown.

(If crust edges brown too quickly and start to burn, cover only those parts with aluminum foil, and continue to bake.)

Cooking times may vary based on individual ovens.

Serve with a green salad or a cup of soup.