Mona’s, October 2020 Food for Thought!

Welcome my friends to October.  As many of you know this is not my favorite season.  Its my birthday month (Ugh). However, Halloween I love! 

This picture of me as KISS was taken a few years ago.  My makeup designer was Jeff Dougherty

Me on Halloween . Makeup by Jeff Dougherty
Me on Halloween . Makeup by Jeff Dougherty

Hopefully we are holding our attitudes positive and laughing a lot and smiling.  People wonder what you are up to.  Of course, with masks on they can’t see you smiling.  But your eyes tell all. 

I found these great words of wisdom…

“Age is irrelevant. Ask me how many sunsets I’ve seen, Hearts I’ve loved, trips I’ve taken and concerts I’ve been to, That’s how old I am.”

So this month I’m featuring two Italian recipes…one from Judy Rappuchi Nordvold of Arizona and Italian Paul Martella from Florida, Hibbing High School Cafeteria Sloppy Joes (no chicken gumbo soup) and Marge Frider’s “Crabbies” Recipe from my cookbook , found on page 22.

Please email me your favorites.

This recipe is from Judy Rappuchi Nordvold’s grandmother Candelora. Her husband, Norwegian Dick, loves this. He probably serves it with lutefisk…

Pasta Fajole (Fah joel)
An EXCEPTIONAL Iron Range Soup Supper!

1- 16 oz can of Pinto Beans w/liquid
1/4 C diced onion
1 large clove garlic finely chopped
6 Cups water
1 C small elbow macroni

Saute’ onions in oil until transparent. Last minute add garlic
Add beans/liquid and water and bring to boil, then simmer for 2 hours
Add macaroni and serve when done. (about 12 minutes)

Serve with various cold-cut sausages, cheeses and crackers.

This has been a Rappuchi family favorite for generations! You can’t believe
how good this is! (That comment was made by a Norwegian!)

Serves 4

Just a little help from your friends! SMILE 🙂

Italian Paul Martella’s favorite recipe. His Finnish wife Alice Saadi probably is eating Mojakka!

Italian Paul and his Wife Alice

Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Shells


3 Cups your favorite tomato sauce
24 jumbo dried pasta shells
2 Cups cooked shredded chicken
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 C grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 C Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 C melted butter
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Italian Paul Martella’s favorite recipe. His Finnish wife Alice Saadi probably is eating Mojakka!


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Pour the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
Cook shells for 6 – 7 minutes – Drain Pasta
Mix ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Then stir in chicken. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the shells. One a t a time, dip the top (open side) of each jumbo shell in melted butter, then roll the top in bread crumbs. Place the shells bread crumb-side-up in the baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes in the center of the oven. (If the bread crumbs aren’t turning brown by the 15 minute mark, turn the broiler on high for the last 3-5 minutes.) Remove the baking dish from the oven. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each shell. Then bake at 400 degrees for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve warm with a nice salad and bread. Enjoy!

Here’s another great thought!

“I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!”

Recipes from the 1985 Hibbing Bluejacket Marching Band Cookbook

First Recipe submitted by 1985 Hibbing Bluejackets Marching Band Members:
Amy Alexander, Flag Girls and Dean Carlson, Trombone Player

ELEPHANT STEW – Serves the ENTIRE Marching Band for One Week


1 large elephant
2 medium rabbits
10,000 gallons water
100 pounds salt

Bone elephant and cut into bite size pieces. Pour in salt, vocer with water and boil for 4 days over very high heat.
If marchers are extremely hungry, add rabbits. But do so only if necessary, because most people don’t like hare in their stew!

Here’s a winner for everyone with a taste for nostalgia!

Hibbing High School Sloppy Joe Recipe

2 lbs extra lean hamburger
1 C celery , diced
1 C onion , diced
1 can tomato soup
4 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 Tbsp Ketchup
8 Tbsp butter

Brown hamburger and then add all other ingredients.
Simmer for one hour.


Here’s another Italian Recipe for your taste buds!

Paul and Alice Martella


2 tsp of EVO
1 C of chopped onion
3/4 cup red dry wine
1 Tbsp of sugar
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp chopped FRESH basil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 each 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes (TuttoRosso)
2 Tbsp chopped FRESH parsley

Heat oil in pan, sauté onions and garlic for about 5 min

Stir in wine, sugar, basil, red pepper, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, black pepper and tomatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for about 15 min.

This Next Recipe, provided by Marge Frider
Out of my current cookbook, “LET’S PARTY”



1 (6.5 oz) crab meat
1 (5 oz) jar Kraft Old English cheese spread
1/2 C. softened margarine
1/2 tsp mayonnaise
6 English muffins

Mix all above together except for muffins
Spread mixture on toasted English muffin
Broil 4-6 minutes until bubbly. Cut each into quarters for serving.

Let’s be kind to one another and count our blessings. Until next month keep smiling.

Hope you enjoy these recipes and share this post! Sharing is caring!

To Purchase my Cookbook

Please share one of your favorites with us below in the comments area. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling – through your masks!

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer