Showing posts with label sausage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sausage. Show all posts

Monday, January 9, 2017

One Pot Spinach Sausage Pasta

How has your year been going so far? Are you still going strong on your New Year resolutions? Have you broken any? Our New Year resolution is just to be a little more frugal and eat more fruit. It really isn't that hard. Also, the other New Year resolution is the kids and I are doing a number of exercises for the number of the day into the year which means if it is the 9th day of the year we will do 9 sit ups, stretches, push ups, jumping jacks, etc. So, far so good but I am unsure when we hit day 50 of the year!
     I have started cooking new dishes again. Recently, I have been trying to make easy one skillet meals. The kids like them. My husband likes them. Plus I can add additional vegetables which no one complains. Whether they notice or not, they haven't said anything.
     I may spend less time preparing supper but we still eat at the table as a family. I can't remember the last time we have not ate at the table. I think it is less messy plus we talk. We normally will ask about the best part of their day. It is cute how the kids go into stories about their favorite part of the day. The stories they tell us tend to make us laugh. When my oldest daughter lived at home, she always went last. Her stories always took the longest. Any other time of the day, she spoke the least. I think she was saving it for supper.
     My children practiced their photography skills and took the photos for me. I asked them to take a photo of themselves but they didn't. I will have to get some photos of them soon.
One Pot Spinach Sausage Pasta
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 package smoked sausage, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked pasta
4 cups water
2 Tbsp basil plus more for garnish
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped sausage and saute until heated. 
  3. Remove the sausage and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta, water, and basil. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is the desired tender.
  8. Stir in the spinach, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, milk, and sausage. 
  9. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.
  10. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. 
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe adapted from Chef In Training.

One year ago......................................I made Italian Cream Cake.
Two years ago....................................I made Stuffed Pepper Soup.
Three years ago..................................I made Sausage Wonton Appetizers.
Five years ago....................................I made Burgundy Mushrooms.
Did you already know...................
-More kids eat their vegetables if they eat supper with their family.
-Kids that eat supper with their family tend to be more exposed to new foods.
-Dinner conversation helps improve kids vocabulary which help improve their grades.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sausage Gravy

Recently, we headed to Vermont for a wedding. It was beautiful. The foliage was at its peak. It was cold. Even the kids were ready to head back to the South. Being back, I decided to make a popular Southern breakfast. We had sausage gravy over biscuits. My husband loves sausage gravy. He told me that this was the best sausage gravy he ever had. Isn't he a sweet husband? He said the sausage gravy should be a food group all by it self. I tried to shape the biscuit as a skull. I guess I will have to practice a little more.
Southern Sausage Gravy aka warty skulls
1 (16 oz.) Jimmy Dean Country Mild Sausage
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. In a large skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.
  2. Sprinkle the  flour over the sausage.
  3. Stir in the flour well and cook for 1 minute. 
  4. Stir in the milk and mix well. 
  5. Allow the gravy to thicken. Stir often. 
  6. Season with the salt and pepper. 
  7. Serve when the gravy reaches the desired consistency. 
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen

One year ago...........................I made One pot Mac and Cheese.
Two years ago.........................I made Buffalo Chicken Soup.
Three years ago.......................I made Crab Rangoon.
Four years ago........................I made Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
Did you already know...............
-The first week of October tends to be ideal to observe the foliage in Vermont and Maine.
-This week the foliage is at its peak in Connecticut. 
-The red foliage are the foliage from sugar maple, dogwood, sourwood, Luquidamber, and black gum trees.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Irish Breakfast

Have you ever been to Ireland? Someday I'll visit but not today. Instead, I figured I would try making a breakfast like one in Ireland. I will admit I didn't look hard for black pudding (blood sausage) or white pudding (sausage with oatmeal). My son selected apple chicken sausage. Yes, we know this isn't an authentic Irish meal just similar. The kids thought this was pretty cool. My husband thought it was good. I can see the similarity between the Irish breakfast and the American breakfast.
 Irish Breakfast
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 package of bacon
1 package of sausage
1 package of black pudding and white pudding
1 can of beans
4 tomatoes
4 boiled potatoes
4 eggs

  1. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook the bacon until done but not crisp.
  3. Remove the bacon and place onto a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Place the bacon in the oven in the warming section to keep warm.
  5. Cook the sausage until golden brown. Add the sausage to the bacon.
  6. In a saucepan, heat the beans on low heat.
  7. Add the tomatoes to the pan and brown until golden. Place with the bacon.
  8. Slice the potatoes into the pan and brown until golden.
  9. Remove the potatoes and place on the plate to serve.
  10. Fry the egg and cook to desired doneness.
  11. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Food Ireland.

One year ago.......................I made Creamed Spinach Soup.
Two years ago.....................I made Lasagna French Bread Pizza.
Three years ago...................I made White on White Buttermilk Cupcakes.
Did you already know.....................
-Natural redheads make up 9% of the Irish population.
-In Ireland, the longest river is Shannon.
-In Gaelic, surnames with Mac or O' mean the son or grandson of.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pasta with Sausage and Gruyere sauce

Since my children were drawn to the free samples at the grocery store, we purchased some roasted garlic and gruyere cheese chicken sausage. I really couldn't decide what to do with it. I was leaning towards grilling it but what sides should I serve. In the end, I decided to make a pasta dish. It is always obvious when my daughter likes something since she will even eat it the next day. This recipe is one of those meals.
Pasta with sausage and Gruyere sauce
1 lb. shell pasta
12 oz. sausage
1 garlic, minced
1 cup spinach
1/8 cup red bell pepper, chopped small
1 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
Topping parsley, chopped

  1. Boil the pasta until al dente.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage onto a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  4. Add the garlic, spinach, and red bell pepper. Saute for 1 minute.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the spinach mixture. Stir gently for 1 minute.
  6. Whisk in the 2 cups of milk and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the Gruyere cheese.
  8. Once the cheese has melted, add the pasta and sausage. 
  9. Mix to combine and allow to cook for one minute.
  10. Top with parsley and serve.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago.............................I made BLT with aioli.
Did you already know.............
-General stores began with a clerk retrieving the desired products for customers.
-In the 1920s, the grocery store chains began to open.
-The first supermarket opened in the 1930s.

Monday, March 3, 2014


I know I live in Maine and there is an abundant of seafood but I normally don't serve it in meals. My husband and son love seafood. If we are eating at a restaurant and there is fried Maine shrimp, my husband will order it every time. He says Maine shrimp is more tender. We even have clam and lobster festivals in Maine. So, I figured I would make some jambalaya with Maine shrimp. I was surprised we had a hard time finding my husband's desired shrimp so I cheated and went with cocktail shrimp. I really liked this dish since it is a one pot meal with heat. It was very popular at my house.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
8 oz. sausage, cut into cubes
5 oz. chicken breast, cut into bite sizes
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 cup water
3/4 cup rice, uncooked
1 cup cooked small shrimp
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, chicken, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring often.
  4. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water.
  5. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the rice. Allow to boil.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes or rice is cooked.
  8. Stir in the shrimp and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
Receipt adapted from Epicurious.

One year ago...................................I made Macaroni and Cheese.
Two years ago.................................I made Butterscotch Fondue.
Did you already know....................
-In 2014, the shrimp fishing was banned in Maine.
-The last ban on shrimp fishing in Maine occurred over 35 years ago.
-As shrimp mature, male shrimp change their sex to females.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sausage Wonton appetizers

One of my favorite dishes my best friend brings over are some sausage wonton appetizers. They are so good. Well, I was thinking how much I like the Rotel Sausage Dip but I wanted to make it similar to my friend's way. They are easy way to serve dip while watching football. My youngest son helped me and we love them. My son didn't even want me to take some photos to share. He just wanted to eat them. So, I comprised with him and took a photo of him eating one. Boy, my son needs a haircut.
Photo by my youngest son!
Sausage Wonton appetizers
24 wonton wrappers
1 package of Jimmy Dean pork sausage
1/2 cup white onion, chopped fine
1 (10 oz.) can of Rotel, drained
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips

  1. Line a cupcake pan with one wonton wrapper in each cup.
  2. Place another wonton wrapper on top of the other with the second wonton square sides sticking up between the spaces of the first. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a large skillet, brown the pork sausage.
  5. Add the onion and cook until the pork sausage is fully cooked.
  6. Add the drained can of Rotel into the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute.
  7. Add the cheddar cheese and the cream cheese. Mix until well incorporated.
  8. Cook until the cheese is melted.
  9. Spoon the mixture into the center of the wonton cups until they are half full.
  10. Top the mixture with the crushed tortilla chips.
  11. Bake the won tons for 15 minutes or until the wonton wrappers are fully cooked.
  12. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Recipe adapted from here.

Two years ago.....................I made Burgundy Mushrooms.
My photographer
Did you already know..........
-Wontons originated from North China.
-Wonton means small dumpling or swallowing clouds.
-Wonton and dumplings tend to vary in size and thickness of the wrapper.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pizza Quesadilla

At school, my son likes hot lunches. The problem comes when they serve hot dogs since my husband has a chocking phobia. My son usually has to bring his lunch on those days. Well, we had just arrived home from being out of town so I hadn't realized the lunch menu for the day. Afterwards, I asked my son what he had for lunch that day. He told me that he picked pizza quesadillas over the hot dog. I asked him what was in the quesadilla but it sounded like cheddar cheese with pizza sauce. I figured I would make my own version. It came out great plus the best part about the recipe was no oven since it was already a hot day. My family loved it especially my husband. He didn't realize the extra vegetables I had added to the recipe.
Pizza Quesadilla
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage.
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup spinach
1 cup pizza sauce
12 tortillas about 8 inches
6 fresh large basil leaves
2 cups of cheese, grated (I used a blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, and Cheddar).
vegetable oil for frying

  1. In a large skillet, brown the sausage for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion with the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms with the spinach and saute for about 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the pizza sauce and coat the sausage mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
  5. Lay a tortilla on a plate then cover with about 2 Tbsp of sausage sauce but leave about 1 inch border from the edge with no sauce.
  6. Top the sausage sauce with 1 basil leaf and then with the grated cheese.
  7. Cover the grated cheese with another tortilla to form a sandwich. 
  8. In another skillet, heat over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  9. Carefully, add the quesadilla to the skillet and squish down.
  10. Cook for a minute or two before carefully flipping over. 
  11. Cook the quesadilla for another minute or until golden brown.
  12. Serve hot with additional toppings of cheese or pizza sauce.
Recipe created by Jen of Sweet Morris.

One year ago.........................I made Seven Cheese Bread.
Did you already know...........
-Over 50% of asphyxiations (choking) are caused by food.
-Hot dogs cause 17% of food related asphyxiations.
-According to AAP, children under 4 years old should not have hot dogs, whole grapes, popcorn to name a few items.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras

I normally dance with my daughters. I hadn't realized I don't just dance with my son without his sisters involved. Since he will be eight years old soon, he should learn to dance with just two people. I felt like we were in a mosh pit. I may be bruised up and down my sides. I'm not sure who taught him to dance like this but I have a feeling it may have been my oldest. We need a lot more practice or he may not have a date for prom. Yes, I think it may take that long.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. kielbasa, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
7 cups chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. In a large Dutch oven, combine the oil and flour over medium heat. 
  2. Stir constantly for 20 minutes or until the roux is the color of chocolate.
  3. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sausage, salt, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. Stir for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken broth and stir until well combined.
  6. Bring the gumbo to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.
  7. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. 
  8. In a bowl, combine the paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. 
  9. Season the chicken breast with the spice rub.
  10. Add the seasoned chicken to the pot. Stir to combine.
  11. Simmer for 2 hours. Skim off any fat that surfaces.
  12. Remove the gumbo from the heat. Remove the bay leaves.
  13. Serve over rice.
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse.  
One year ago.......................I made Wild Mushroom Soup.
Did you already know.........
-In mosh pits, dancers slam dance normally at hard rock concerts.
-There are different types of pits to participate in moshing.
-Moshing is a form of dancing to let out energy/aggression but not to hurt others.
Enjoy Mardi Gras!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fried Sausage Dumplings

I was trying to think of scary names for these sausage dumplings.  So, I asked the children if they wanted to help. I provided some examples but they didn't like any of them. Then my son said the dumplings name was Red Goblin Noses. I suggested how about just Goblin Noses but my son said it had to be Red Goblin Noses. I said but there is no red. My son replied so. Who am I to argue with such logic?
The first time I made sausage dumplings were over ten years ago. I can't even believe it was that long ago. I had never heard of a blog. I would watch a lot of Food Network for recipes. I learned how to make egg rolls from my Dad but I wanted to make some dishes with it when I saw this Oriental Pork Wrappers recipe. My pork was raw inside. I tried several other ways to cook the wrappers. When I served them to my family, they liked them. Well, my daughter really wanted to cook up some dumplings and crab rangoon (recipe posting soon). I think she did a pretty good job.
Fried Sausage Dumplings aka Red Goblin Noses
1 lb. ground pork
2 stalks of scallions
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of wonton wrappers
2 cups vegetable oil

  1. In a large skillet, brown the pork for about 3 minutes over medium heat. 
  2. Add the scallions and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and mix in the hoisin sauce.
  4. Add salt and pepper and incorporate well.
  5. Place about 1 Tbsp in the center of the wonton wrapper. 
  6. Moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper with water and fold over to form a triangle. Press securely to seal.
  7. In a large Dutch oven (large pot, deep fryer) , heat oil until the back of a wooden spoon bubbles.
  8. Carefully add the sausage dumplings one at a time without over crowding. Cook until golden brown and flip about a minute per a side.
  9. With tongs, remove the dumplings and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  10. Allow the dumplings to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Serve with a dipping sauce if desired.
One year ago I made..........Pork Chops with garlic and herbs.
Did you already know...
-The word Goblin is derived from the Greek word for rogue.
-Some goblins reside in grottoes which are caves if not your house.
-One of the most famous goblins is Rumpelstiltskin.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bangers and Mash

Since my oldest daughter just returned from England, I asked her if she had Bangers and Mash when she was over there. She said no so I asked her if she saw it on the menu. She said yes but she didn't know what it was. My Dad said she never asked. My Dad said Bangers and Mash is a common pub dish. 
I told my daughter that Bangers and Mash is sausage and mashed potatoes. She said she would have ate it if she had known. My family really liked this dish very much. It is an easy dish to make. The sausage and potatoes are served with a sauce or gravy. I will admit that I don't know how authentic my dishes will be this week but they taste good. The traditional gravy is made with a stock but when I went into the pantry I couldn't find any. The meal was done and I didn't feel like having anyone wait so I decided to make ours cheesy.
Bangers and Mash
2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and diced
8 links beef sausage
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 Tbsp flour
4 cups milk
 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp heavy cream
salt and pepper

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water.
  2. Bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. In a skillet, add the oil and heat over medium heat.
  4. Add the sausage to the skillet and brown.
  5. Remove the sausage and place on a plate to the side.
  6. To the skillet, add the onion to the pan. Cook the onion until soft about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the flour to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. 
  8. Whisk in the milk to the skillet and return the sausage to the pan.
  9. Cook the sausage for about 15 minutes until the liquid is reduce to the desired consistency. Stirring occasionally. 
  10. Stir in the cheese.
  11. When the potatoes are done, drain the potatoes and mash.
  12. To the mashed potatoes, add the butter, milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. 
  13. To serve, place the mashed potatoes on a plate. Place the sausage on top of the potatoes. Cover the sausage and potatoes with the cheese sauce. 
Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork. com.
Did you already know...
-Bangers and Mash is a traditional English meal. 
-Bangers and Mash are often served with an onion gravy.
-A popular side to Bangers and Mash is peas.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Days that start with a T

I make sure my children do not go hungry but sometimes I do joke with them about not feeding them. They do not even take me serious. However, my niece was over one day and said, "Aunt Jen, I am hungry." As she followed me into the kitchen, I said to her, "Oh sweetie, we don't eat on days that begin with T." She looked at me like I was serious and didn't know how to respond. My children informed her I was just joking. Don't worry I did give her something to eat and I went a step further. I even provided her with a drink. See, I try to be a good Aunt. 
My sister told me she tells her daughter that they don't eat on days that end with y but her daughter knew she wasn't serious since that would be everyday.
I decided to try this soup. I will disclose that we like kale. We really liked it. Since a couple of us have a cold, I think it was a good choice. I used a sweet Italian chicken sausage. Next time, I think I will fry the sausage first to make it a little crispy and leave some to use as a garnish for the soup.

Sausage and Kale Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cans of chicken broth, reduced sodium
1/2 bunch of kale, stemmed and shredded
12 oz. smoked chicken sausage, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes stirring.
  3. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the potatoes and chicken broth.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat. 
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the kale and sausage.
  8. Simmer until the kale is wilted about 10 to 15 minutes. 
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.
Did you already know........
-Kale is a form of cabbage.
-Kale is a good source of Vitamin A, C, and K.
-Kale has about 33 calories for 1 cup.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tortellini Pasta Bowl

My favorite friend brought over a tortellini kabob appetizer. It was so good. My youngest son loved it. He wanted me to make it for him. I said sure and my favorite friend gave me her recipe. She had seen it while waiting for an appointment. Since she was preparing the recipe from memory, she had to improvise.
I went out and purchased the ingredients then my husband asked what we were having for supper. I told him I was making the appetizer and some other snack kind of food. He said he was really hungry. I said I would think improvise. My son loved it. My husband was happy. I was glad since it came out well.
Tortellini Pasta Bowl

1 package of fresh tortellini
1 package Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
10 button mushrooms, sliced
1 pint of sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
pinch of sugar
10 mini fresh mozzarella balls
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh basil, torn into pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to directions.
While the pasta water is heating, in a medium bowl combine the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Add the cherry tomatoes with the mushrooms to the bowl. Set aside.
In a skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat for five minutes.
Remove the tomatoes and set in a small bowl.
Add the marinade with the mushrooms to the skillet. Mix with the sausage. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and gently incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes.
Toss in the mozzarella balls and the Parmesan cheese to the skillet. Cook for one minute.
Remove from the heat and add the tomatoes with the basil to the skillet.
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese as garnish.

Recipe from Jen of Sweet Morris with Peggy's help
Did you already know...............
-Tortellini is a ringed shaped pasta stuffed with either meat or cheese.
-Tortellini often served in sauce or broth.
-Bologna is known for its tortellini.
-Theories for the shape of the tortellini range from (the goddess of love) Venus's navel or a turtle.

Do you think the tortellini looks more like a person's navel or a turtle?
I always thought it looked more like a ring.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rotel Dip

Do you have any recipes you have been making forever? I say forever because I have been making this recipe dip for longer than my oldest daughter has been welcomed to this world. I have been making this recipe before there was the internet. If you are wondering my age, I will say I'm 29. Just remember, I am 29 right now and I was 29 last year. Next year, I will be 29 again.
I received this recipe from an Air Force friend. I did some research and I could not find this recipe on the Rotel website. I did find it posted on several other sites. This is my oldest daughter's favorite dip recipe.
 Rotel sausage dip

1 (10 oz.) can of Rotel
1 1/2 (12 oz.) package of cream cheese
1 package of Jimmy Dean or pork sausage
chips, crackers, vegetables, or other items for dipping

  1. Drain the can of Rotel.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese and Rotel for one minute.
  3. In a skillet, cook the sausage thoroughly.
  4. Add the cream cheese and Rotel to the skillet. 
  5. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.
Recipe adapted from Kelly but unknown original source.
 Did you already know..................
-Rotel is diced tomatoes with green chili peppers.
-In 1943, Carl Roettele with his wife opened his canning factory in Texas.
-Mr. Roettele named his product Ro-tel because he didn't think no one would be able to pronounce his name.
-ConAgra Foods now own Rotel.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stromboli, Mummy style

I love Halloween. When I was in school, the school lunch menu always had scary titles for the month like worms and eyeballs (aka. spaghetti and meatballs). Did your school do that? The school lunch menu that my children have doesn't have any creative scary titles. I don't want them to be missing out so of course we have "scary" tasty meals for the month.
The Stromboli gooey filling
Another reason I think I like Halloween is that it was the month to watch scary movies and scare everyone around you. I know I inherited this from my Dad since he would always scare us. Remember I warned you,  I will scare you if you watch a scary movie with me. I think I am immune to being scared by a scary movie. I can normally predict who will live and who will have to exit the movie early. My husband has banned me from the room while he watches them. One time my Dad's siblings came to visit and they decided to watch a scary movie. My poor husband was scared several times from them plus I helped.
 The mummy wrappings
 To celebrate Halloween I have decided to make a scary Stromboli. I am normally good and try not to buy the little cookbooks found at the grocery store checkout but I can not resist the Halloween ones. So again this year, I broke down and bought the Easy Halloween by Pillsbury. This stromboli recipe was inspired by their Mummy Stromboli. You could use refrigerated pizza dough or crust but I made mine.

Do you like his face?
Stromboli, Mummy style  
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion
3 clove of garlic
5-6 mushrooms
1 bunch of broccoli rabe
1/4 cup of red peppers
10 pepperoni
1 Pizza dough (see below for recipe)
8 oz. package of Italian cheese blend
3 slices of provolone
additional olive oil for brushing the dough

  1. Heat a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Place your dough on a flour surface and roll out. This should only take about a minute to do.
  3. Brown the sausage for several minutes.
  4. While the meat is browning, chop your vegetables. I chopped mine small except the broccoli rabe.
  5. Add the vegetables to the skillet.
  6. Chop the pepperoni and add it to the skillet.
  7. Stir the skillet mixture every few minutes for five to ten minutes until your sausage is cooked through.
  8. Add half the package of cheese to your skillet mixture and stir.
  9. (It will look gooey but its good because it will hide some of those vegetables.)
  10. Take your dough and roll out into a long rectangle about 7 x 11.
  11. Move the dough onto your cookie or pizza sheet.
  12. Take scissors and cut about 2 inches into the dough on the long sides of the rectangle. Keep doing this with about a 2 inch space between each cut. Repeat on other side. There needs to be a large space in the middle for the filling.You are basically cutting strips that will wrap around the top of the filling.
  13. Place half a slice of provolone down the middle of the dough. The cheese should not be on the sliced dough.
  14. Place the skillet mixture down the middle of the dough.
  15. Cover with the remaining cheese.
  16. Take a strip of the cut dough and pull over the skillet mixture. Alternate pulling the strips over the dough from both sides to make it look like a mummy.

Pizza Dough
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Prep Time: 1 hr 10 min

1 1/2 cups water, around 110 degrees F
1 envelope instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus a little additional
1 tsp oregano
A couple sprigs of rosemary

1.  Make sure your water if not too hot or too cold for the yeast. I do not use a thermometer but the inside
     of my wrist (like when you check the temperature inside a baby's bottle).
2.  Add the sugar to the water with the yeast. Stir and put aside. I like to do this just to check if the yeast is
3.  Grease the inside of a large bowl and set aside.
4.  Dust a clean area for rolling and leave some about 1/4 cup of extra flour on the side of the area.
5.  Mix the bread flour and salt in a bowl.
6.  Add the yeast water and the olive oil to the flour. Stir until it starts to clump together or becomes to hard to stir.
7.  Knead the dough together for about 3 minutes. Add the oregano and fresh rosemary and knead for 2 more minutes so the dough comes together and starts look smoother.
8.  Use the reserved flour on the side if the dough is sticky. If the dough becomes too dry, add only a little water.
9.  Add the dough to the greased bowl and flip it. This way both sides of the pizza dough is greased.
10.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and wait an hour or two. I do spray the plastic wrap with a nonstick before covering the dough.
11.The dough should have doubled in size in one hour. I have let it sat for two hours and it was fine.
12. Punch down and use above.
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

Did you already know........
-Stromboli are similar to a calzones.
-Stromboli are usually oblong in lenth. Calzone are usually a semi-circle.
-Stromboli originated in Pennsylvania and Calzones are from Italy.