Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Who's ready for another awesome weeknight meal?  ALL IN ONE PAN!  We love this one enough that it's in our regular rotation, so we have it at least once a month.  The hubs loves it because it's meaty and cheesy, I like it because it's fast, easy, and tastes great.  This is another recipe that's perfect for your cast iron skillet.

Brought to you by Kevin & Amanda:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage (I use reduced-fat kielbasa)
1.5 cups diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir.  Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Bread - Pioneer Woman

My husband jokes that I try to serve bread with every dinner.  While that is a huge over exaggeration, there is a wee bit of truth to it.  I mean, how else am I going to sop up all the awesome juice and/or gravy left on my plate?

I adore the Pioneer Woman's way of cooking.  I believe in using the real deal in my recipes - butter, whole milk, etc.  I eat pretty light for breakfast and lunch, so when it's time for dinner I want my food to be real.  Know what I mean? I will use a can of condensed soup here and there and every once in a while there is no substitution for some good ol' fashioned Velveeta.  But I prefer full-fat ingredients for a majority of my cooking.  This is a perfect example of why - 2 ingredient bread that melts in your mouth.  Try it.  Watch it close at the end, though, you don't want to burn it!  You want it to blacken just a smidge.

The Bread by the Pioneer Woman

1 loaf French bread, split lengthwise
2 sticks butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread one stick of softened butter on each half of the loaf.  Yes, really.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until butter is melted and starting to soak into the bread.  Crank on broiler and broil bread for 3 to 5 minutes, watching the whole time. Remove when butter has started to brown and blacken. Slice into strips and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Creamy Cucumber Salad

The abundance of fresh veggies and herbs are one of my favorite parts of summer.  Late summer, I will nearly eat my weight in fresh tomatoes from my friends' gardens.  I've always wanted to have my own garden, but I was not blessed with a green thumb.  Thankfully, everyone seems to have more than they know what to do with and I benefit from that greatly. 

I really love cucumber salad.  There are a lot of different versions of it, but I think this one is the best.  I was gifted a ton of cucumbers recently, so of course I had to make this:

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 C. cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 C. onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C. sour cream
  • 1/2 C. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine cucumbers and onions in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir the sour cream mixture into the cucumbers and chill.