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What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
Don't forget to SIGN MY GUEST BOOK at the bottom of this page and/or LEAVE A COMMENT (be sure to leave your email address if you'd like a response)

Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Healthier Baked Ziti

I don't eat pasta as often anymore but once in blue moon I get a hankering for it. Instead of regular high carb semolina flour pasta I've switched to using brown rice pasta or whole wheat pasta. I prefer the brown rice pasta because it most resembles regular pasta with fewer carbs. Whole wheat has a nuttier flavor and a thicker chew than regular pasta.


  • 8 ounces brown rice or whole wheat pasta
  • 4 quarts of salted boiling water
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey, ground beef, or ground veal
  • 1/2 pound of your favorite Italian sausage (out of casing and crumbled)
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
  • 1 cup tomato (pasta) sauce
  • 1 cup chopped canned Italian flavored tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon granulated or powdered garlic
  • 1 cup grated lo-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Here's how you do it...

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Do not over cook. In this case it would be better to slightly undercooked since the pasta will be in the oven to finish the cooking. Drain.

In a skillet over medium heat...
  1. Brown the ground meat and sausage. Drain fat and set aside.
  2. In the same pan add the onions cooking approximately 5 minutes
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute
  4. Add the granulated garlic, thyme, and oregano.
  5. Add the chopped mushroom and cook another minute.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes.
  7. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.
  8. Simmer 8-10 min.
  9. Taste and adjust salt & pepper to taste.
  10. Combine the pasta and meat sauce together in the larger pot you used to boil the pasta.
Assembly...In a oven proof casserole...
  1. Pour the pasta/meat sauce into the oven proof casserole
  2. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Bake in 375F oven until cheese bubbles and starts to turn golden brown approx. 15 min
Serve with a green leafy salad!

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