30 November 2010

Grinding Pork & Shumai

Mmm...pork! Yummy, yummy pig!!! Although I haven't ground a lot of meat, I find it enjoyable every time, and don't think it will ever lose it's appeal. There's just something so fun about shoving cold pieces of raw pig into a little hopper and watching it come out so beautifully ground. And it feels good when you squeeze it between your fingers.

Below you will see new loading tray I received from Aaron's parents a while ago. It just snaps onto the original tray, providing you with 4x's as much room. Which, at first I wasn't sure how necessary it was, until I was loading 5lbs of meat into that baby. And believe me, it was super handy. The Kitchen Aid is a beast, and it really sucks that meat down and chews it up quite fast, and it's great to be able to place a huge mound of meat on top and just help guide it in.
I've read a lot about making sure your meat is super duper cold when you grind it, and I believe that is very true. I've done it with refrigerated meat, and it works okay. But I've found that if I slice up the meat and then throw it in the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes or so, everything stays nice and cold the whole time I'm playing with it.
So what do you do with tons of freshly ground pork? The answer: anything you could ever want. Since I have been trying to fill my freezer with quick-cook foodie goodness, I thought dumplings would be perfect. You really can't go wrong with meat filled things. These shumai are so easy to prepare, they make a ton, and they cook quickly without thawing.

If you plan on freezing some of these, place them on a cookie sheet without touching and put in the freezer for at least 25 minutes. Once they are partially frozen, you can thrown them all into a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container, and they won't stick together! Oh, and use this trick for everything.

Great on their own, you could always add a dipping sauce to these. Something store bought, or do what I do, and just whip up a random concoction of soy cause, sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, and honey. I make something different every time, but one of these days I'll plunk down an actual recipe for you.
Pork, Ginger & Mushroom Shumai
  • 1 3/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup mushrooms, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onion
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100 round wonton wrappers
  • Sliced green onions for garnish
  1. In a large bowl, combine the pork, ginger, garlic, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg. Stir until well mixed.
  2. Lay a wonton wrapper in front of you. Wet the edges. Put 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling in the middle, taking care not to get too close to the edges. Gather up the edges of the wrapper and gently pleat so that it forms a basket shape, with the top of the filling exposed.
  3. Steam over boiling water until the filling is cooked through (5 to 10 minutes). Garnish with green onions.

26 November 2010

Hasselback Potatoes

I amuse myself while I blog sometimes. I've made the food I post here, and I definitely have already eaten it, so it shouldn't be surprising to me when I write about it, right? But take this for example. As I uploaded the photo, I'm looking at this and am like "wow, that looks really good" as if someone else made it. Aaron even walked past and acknowledged how good looking these potatoes were, and that means a lot coming from him. Normally I make the poor guy suffer each and every night while he smells food but I won't let him touch it until I take pictures of it. And then when he gets a piece, he inhales it as if it were oxygen, not wasting another second to look at what I've served.

But sometimes a good chunk of time passes from making it to when I blog about it. For example, these were made back in October. So when I dig them out of the Kacey's Kitchen Query, I am pleasantly surprised by food I made, that I forgot about.

I cooked these for what seemed like forever, and they ended up not being quite done on the side. I didn't cover them when I made them, so I've reflected what I believe will be appropriate changes, in the recipe below. Another option would be to microwave them for a few minutes prior to baking them, and cut back on the cooking time quit a bit.

Hasselback Potatoes

Printable recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen
  • 4 Baking Potatoes
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Put a potato on a chopping board, flat side down. Start from one end of the potato, cut almost all the way through, at about 1cm intervals. Repeat with all potatoes.
  3. Melt the butter with the EVOO. Mince the garlic and mix in with the butter and EVOO.
  4. Place potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Pour garlic and butter mixture over all the potatoes, rubbing garlic into all the crevasse.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover with tin foil and bake about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes or until the insides of the potatoes are soft and the outsides are crispy.
  7. Garnish with parsley if desired.

24 November 2010

Brussels Sprout Gratin

Trying out some new side dishes before the big holiday, I've been seeing a lot of gratins and brussels sprouts lately, and even a couple brussels sprouts gratins. I really see that as a win-win situation. I like brussels sprouts, and we all know I love anything cheesy.

So, here's another Food Network Magazine recipe. I chose this one simply out of convenience of being the first recipe I found in my binder. I know, I know, me and my well educated choices.

So, what did I think of this? It was easy enough. It was tasty enough. But there's just something that's not clicking with me to absolutely love it. Maybe because things like brussels sprouts don't exactly soak up the cream and cheese they way I would prefer. Maybe I just didn't let it sit long enough to get thick, I'm not sure. Would I make this again? Probably with some variations. But as is, I might want to spend those extra calories someplace else.

Like I said, it is good. And maybe it'll work for you better than it did for me, it is worth a shot.

Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Printable Recipe
by Food Network Magazine

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for the dish
  • Kosher salt
  • 1lb Brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems removed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and butter a 2-quart baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the Brussels sprouts and coarsely chop. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and toss with the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste, then spread out evenly. Pour the cream on top, sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs and dot with the butter pieces.
  3. Bake the gratin until bubbly and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

23 November 2010

Garlic Knots

Mmm...I just made these the other day, and while I have plenty of other recipes waiting to be posted, I NEEDED to share these with you before Thanksgiving. They are really, really, good. As in, I had to freeze most of them almost immediately after I baked them otherwise I would have eaten them all at once. By myself. All two sticks of butter and sweet garlicky bready goodness of them.

They remind me of garlic knots I use to get at Franks Pizza (or really any New Jersey Trattoria). Oh how I miss those. The casualness of them, the tastyness of them, the affordability of them. I took them for granted. Now I request that anyone who visits brings me food from them. I don't care what you need to do, smuggle it on the plane, overnight it, drive it here, just get it here. Except for the garlic knots. Because my friends, these are just as good, if not better. That's right, better. And I can make plenty of them myself in just a few hours.

They are sweet, they are salty, they are garlicky, they are addictive, and they are fun to eat (cause you can un tie them and pull them apart!). Don't be scared of the amount of butter...you should have plenty stocked up in your freezer for times like these anyway. Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic or rosemary either. In fact, don't be afraid of deliciousness. Cause if you are, then I'm afraid of you.
Mine came out fairly large, which I don't have a problem with at all and they tasted soooo good, but I might try making them slightly smaller so I can have MORE GARLIC KNOTS!!!

So go, print this out and make them as soon as possible!

Buttery Garlic Knots with Rosemary
Printable Recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen, Slightly Adapted from
Sass & Veracity
Dough
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp plus 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 envelope plus 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 5-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • dried parsley, for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp melted butter

Filling

  • 5 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  1. In a medium pan over low heat, warm milk and 3/4 cup of butter until it melts. Stir occasionally to prevent milk from burning. Let cool to approximately 120 degrees F.
  2. Combine warm water, 1 tsp sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes until it softens and begins to puff.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and remaining sugar at low speed until blended. Beat in the milk mixture.
  4. Gradually add 2-1/2 cup of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until blended smooth.
  5. Replace the whisk with the dough hook. Add the yeast mixture, salt, and 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat at medium low speed (2 on the KA mixer). You will have a very wet and loose dough that climbs the dough hook but falls back down into the bowl by this time.
  6. One tablespoon at a time, add enough flour to form a firm but sticky dough ball (This may be upwards of 10 tbsp). The dough ball will pull away from the sides of the bowl and not flop back to the sides. It will feel like "fly paper" when you touch it.
  7. Pour 1 tbsp melted butter in a large bowl (4 qt.). On a very lightly flour dusted counter, and with lightly floured hands, turn the dough out and give it 3-5 quick hand kneads to form a good dough ball. Then put it in the buttered bowl, turning it over to coat evenly. Cover the bowl tightly, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  8. Punch down the dough, fold it over in half, then in half again, and brush with melted butter. Cover the bowl again and let rise again in the same warm, draft-free place until double, about 1 hour.
  9. About 10 minutes before the last rise, in a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add the fresh rosemary and sea salt, mix well and scrape into a bowl. Set aside.
  10. When the last rise is done, you're ready to shape the rolls, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work space and cut it into 16 even pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into a rope about 11-inches long and flatten it.
  11. Spoon about 1/4 tsp of the garlic rosemary mixture along its length, then fold lengthwise and press the edges together. Twist lengthwise, then shape into a knot of your choosing.
  12. As you finish, place each on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Then let rise for about 45 minutes to an hour, until puffed.
  13. Before the end of this last rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Bake the knots for about 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and brush with remaining garlic rosemary mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and dried parsley.

22 November 2010

My First Veggie Stuffing

I have never made stuffing (or dressing I guess this would be called). My mom always made it. And it always came out awesome. There was no need for me to make it myself, until this year, when I won't be at my parents house to eat her crispy oven baked stuffing. And no, the stuffing isn't all that I'm gonna miss this year, but I'll try not to get too mushy on you guys. Not yet anyway.

Let's just stick to the food for now. While I could have called my mom and asked her for a complete stuffing walk through, I know better than to replicate my moms cooking. It would never be the same. Everything tastes better when mom makes it, you know? Well, if you don't know, I feel bad for you, and you should go over
my moms for Thanksgiving.

Anyway, I grabbed that little 50 Stuffings booklet out of my Food Network Magazine and went for the 'classic'. I figured that as long as I could get the technique down, it wouldn't matter too much for what I put in it down the road. As usual, I rarely follow recipes, so I just used this as a guide, not really measuring anything. And guess what? It actually came out pretty good. Now, it wasn't anywhere near my moms, but for my first try, not too shabby. I would definitely serve it to friends and family.

I read somewhere (maybe Cooks Illustrated) that it doesn't really matter what type of bread you use, as long as it's been dried or staled (and yes, there's a whole big debate on which of that is better as well). Because this was more of a trial for thanksgiving, and I didn't really want to spend a boatload on this side dish when I'll be having it again in a week, I ended up just using store brand whole wheat sandwich bread. But, my mom always uses a variety of different breads and rolls and allows them to stale on their own, and I do believe, it makes a huge difference.

So, until next time, I believe this version will hold us over.

Vegetable Stuffing
Printable Recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen, Adapted from Food Network Magazine
  • 1 large bag of whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 2 bunches celery with leaves
  • 1 large white/yellow onion
  • 1 small pkg. white mushrooms
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • pinch of thyme
  • 3 cups broth (veggie or chicken)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 250. Cut bread into cubes and arrange on baking sheet. Bake until dried, but not browned, about 40 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Increase oven to 350.
  3. Coarsely chop celery, onions, and mushrooms.
  4. In large skillet over medium heat, melt stick of butter. Add celery, onions, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or until onions and celery are tender.
  6. Add broth and simmer.
  7. Meanwhile, beat 2 eggs with parsley in a large bowl. Add all cubed bread.
  8. Pour the vegetable mixture in bowl and toss.
  9. Transfer to a large buttered baking dish and dot with butter.
  10. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes, or until it is a crispy as you desire (I like mine extra crispy)!
  11. Eat all of it yourself and blame it on the cat.

19 November 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The first time I ever had these was while I was working in an office. A whole bag of them sat on an end table near my desk. They didn't sit there long. I had one, then two. And then another one. And I felt kinda bad because not everyone in my office had a chance to have some. And then I decided that I didn't feel all that bad. So I ate all of them. Every. Single. One.

And it felt good. In my belly.

I haven't had them since until I made these about a week ago, but I thought of them. Although I did make a pumpkin muffin last year that was very similar.

These aren't your normal cookie. They are more of a muffin top. Very moist and soft, best eaten at room temperature or chilled. I can eat so many of these because they aren't overly sweet. If you are a person that needs super sweet treats, I suggest whipping up a batch of cream cheese icing and plopping some on top, or put some between 2 cookies!

I even made some of these without chocolate chips to bring to a friend who's son doesn't like chocolate. (It's that so bizarre???) Well, he seemed to enjoy them, and to be honest, I thought they were still pretty good!

So now that I'm all stocked up on canned pumpkin, I'll be able to make these whenever I want. (like tomorrow)

These are super quick and easy to make, you really have no excuse. It's just enough sweet, just enough pumpkin, just enough chocolate to be delicious! I've never made them with nuts as the recipe suggests, but it's worth a shot, maybe next time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Printable Recipe
by Jennifer, found at Allrecipes.com
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  5. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
***Note from Kacey's Kitchen: These are best chilled or at room temperature. They will remain very moist, soft, and delicious. You will eat all of them.

17 November 2010

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Sweet Cheeks made this for me, I believe in the beginning of the year. Although I'm not sure, it could have been last year. And until then (whenever then was), I was never a huge oatmeal person. Sure, I'd eat it if I had to, but my experience with oatmeal for breakfast was those little brown packets flavored with maple, and berries, and whatever other flavors they make. I passed on breakfast if those came around. Maybe it was the texture, maybe it was the blandness (yes, blandness, even with that cinnamon swirl), but I was starting to think I just wasn't an oatmeal type of gal.

That was, until I had this. Of course, until she reads this, Sweet Cheeks probably thought I always loved oatmeal. But the truth is...I just trusted whatever she wanted to make for me. And it was great! I really loved it! And I've been wanting it again for a long time.

I've been wanting to make this for a few months now, but apparently there are no stores in Florida that sell canned pumpkin year round. Every place explained to me that you have to wait until October to get it. So I had 2 choices. Ask someone from up north to mail me some. Or wait patiently and buy a shitload of canned pumpkin to stock up for another year.

I chose the latter. Every time I go to the store, I pick up 2-3 cans of it. I've only used 2 so far. I need more cabinet space.

If your not an oatmeal type of gal (or guy), it's probably because you've never experimented and had fun with it. But you should try it, it's awesome. And it warms you up from the inside on those cold New England Florida mornings.

Pumpkin Oatmeal
Printable Recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen, slightly adapted by Craftzine, found at Sweet Cheeks in the Kitchen

Oatmeal
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats not quick cook
  • 2½ tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp butter, softened
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup milk
Topping:
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped (or walnuts or almonds)
  • 2 tsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 4 individual-sized ramekins. Set aside.
  2. Combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Stir well.
  3. Add the vanilla, butter, pumpkin, and milk. Stir until combined.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between 4 individual-sized ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to move in and out of the oven.). Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping: chopped nuts, butter, and brown sugar. After the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove and divide the topping mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake an additional 7 minutes.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
***If you make and bake extra, you can refrigerate it for another day and microwave it when ready!

15 November 2010

Wicked Thai Chicken Soup

It might not look the prettiest (A sprig of cilantro would have helped out a bit), but it tasted great. I really enjoy soup and I've been trying to make more of it. All different kinds. I'd have to say though, that this is one of my favorites I've made recently. It has layers of flavor and it's pretty quick and easy to make!

Up until I made this, I had never bought those herb pastes in a tube, the ones near the refrigerated veggie section, and I gotta say that I really like them. Granted, I've only bought the lemongrass paste, but I've used it numerous times since then which is great, because it lasts forever, and actual lemongrass is hard to come by around here. The tubes are definitely handy for anyone who uses herbs enough to have to run to the store all the time, but not enough to use that whole bunch before it goes bad (or who don't just grow them yourself). I'm sure I'll be buying more.

I gotta be honest here, I'm careful around coconut. I like it, but just in moderation, and it's an easy flavor to overdo. In this recipe, I used the same amount of coconut it called for, and it was the perfect amount for me.

I look forward to making this again!
Wicked Thai Chicken Soup
Printable Recipe
by Food & Whine

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small dice
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Grass herb paste
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste (or Sriracha)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • Fresh cilantro, parsley or basil leaves shredded for garnish
  1. Cook rice and set aside (or use left-over cooked rice).
  2. Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook until golden and tender. Remove to a plate.
  3. In same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat. Add onion, red pepper, and saute just until softened.
  4. Return mushrooms to pot. Add broth and chicken and heat through.
  5. Add lemon grass paste, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Add milk, turn heat to low, then cover and simmer 2 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, add curry paste, Sambal Oelek, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch and mix until incorporated.
  7. Stir into soup until combined and heat until soup simmers, thickens very slightly and has a velvety appearance.
  8. Add cooked rice, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (You can also add more curry paste, tomato paste and/or Sambal Oelek to taste at this point, as well).
  9. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, parsley or basil leaves and serve with additional Sambal Oelek for those who prefer a hotter soup.

12 November 2010

Marie's Chef Soap

I participate in the Foodie Blogroll. You may have noticed the widget if you scroll down on the right side. You may have even clicked on a link or two. I've found some pretty interesting food blogs that way, and you may have even found me through Foodie Blogroll!

Anyway, asides from finding new food blogs out there, they hold lots of giveaways and cooking contests (which I really should be participating in, don't you think?). So a few months ago I ended up wining a drawing for Marie's Chef Soap. This provided me with a huge ass block of handsoap. And I say it's a huge ass block of soap, because it is. Weighing in at 16-oz, it's dimensions are approx. 3"x4.5"x2". But, this bar of soap is guaranteed to last a year!!!
You can see on the back of the package, that it is 100% natural and all that fun stuff, which means there's no scents to be transfered to your hands, or your food! It's made in Vermont (go Vermont!). It's supposed to fight germs and kill all those little microscopic creepy crawlies on your hands, and on the soap.
So what do I think? And do you really care? Of course you do!

Sometimes with 'natural soaps' I don't always feel clean. I know that sounds silly, but it's hard to explain. Sometimes they are filled with scrubby things, and oatmeal, and honey, and that sort of stuff. And all that feels too 'warm' for my liking. I know that makes absolutely no sense to you, I'm sorry.

This soap makes my hands feel clean as soon as I touch it, and after I finish washing them, they feel different, but in a good way. They feel really clean, like so clean that no soap residue is on them! (I know, that's totally the point, right?). But my hands feel really clean, and they don't smell like anything, just clean hands. AND, they aren't dry at all. They just feel like clean hands should feel, but in a better way than normal (even after I chopped tons of garlic!) I'm willing to bet that most of us wash our hands in the kitchen with dish soap, right? Cause it's right there, and it's convenient. But then your hands are dry, and crackly, and then you have to put thick, fragrant lotion on them. And then how do you hold a sharp knife?! Not me, not anymore! Not for the next year at least. I keep this honkin' brick of soap in a little bowl next to the sink and use it all the time.

I just checked out Marie's Soap website, and apparently they give you a free soap dish for this, would would have been really nice to have, I just have this sitting in a bowl right now. It's not cheap ($25 at Marie's or $20 on Amazon), but keep in mind that it will last a year.

Would I buy this product? Probably not, I have a hard time justifying $20 for hand soap, but that's just me.

Would I like to receive this as a gift? Definitely. It really does make my hands feel nice and clean and healthy.

Would I buy this as a gift for someone? If someone cooked a lot and I knew they had counter space for an extra block of soap like this (I suppose you could cut it in half), I would definitely get it for them. With a soap dish.

10 November 2010

Chicken Sausage Pasta

So after making a Chicken Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Mushroom Sandwich, and you have leftovers...what do you do? You have lots of options, including another delicious sandwich, but on this particular day, I went with something else, but equally easy and quick.

Throw all the leftovers into pasta! Yay!!! Serve crusty with bread! Yay!!! Add some cheese! Yay!!! Drink some wine! Yay!!!

See, there are ways to improve already quick and tasty meals. Another good reason to cook extra of something you enjoy...use it again! Something like sausage, peppers, onions, etc, freezes wonderfully. I happened to make this pasta dish the following night because I was short on time. But had you thrown it into the freezer and pulled it out to toss with some pasta, it would have been just as good. Very handy I say. Very handy indeed.

So...I think I'm getting back into my blogging groove. I seem to have acquired a little more time on my hands and I've been able to enjoy doing the things I love, instead of rushing through it.
For example:
  • I've been able to go grocery shopping. But not just any ole grocery shopping, I've been able to do Kacey's type of grocery shopping. The shopping where I wander and dilly-dally and stroll through the isles looking at things I want and brainstorming meals.
  • I've been able to cook respectable dinners. I made 4 batches of desserts over the weekend. I made bread on Monday.
  • I've done more dishes in the past 5 days than I have in 2 months. And it feels great.
  • I've been able to sit and blog. I feel like I'm almost starting over, tons of writers block, and a shit ton of pictures that I need filter through, edit, upload and write about.
  • I can watch Aaron walk the cat outside. It's a downtime project he's been tackling, and I haven't been able to witness it until recently. She's doing pretty well, and I think she might even enjoy it a little. Maybe I'll get some pictures to show you.
  • I've also had time to start working on the wedding photo album. It's going. Slowly. But it is going.
  • Oh...and I may have caught one or two Law and Order: SVU marathons in between.
So anyway, let's just hope this blogging groove sticks around for a while. Cause honestly, I've missed it.

Here's a breakdown of the chicken sausage pasta dish:

Chicken Sausage Pasta
Printable Recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen

Use leftover Chicken, Sausage, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms or start from scratch:
  • 4 chicken sausage links
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large handful of white mushrooms
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1lb penne, or your other favorite pasta
  • Italian bread
  1. Cook pasta until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, slice onion, peppers, mushrooms, and sausage. Mince garlic.
  3. In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add tomatoes (drained), onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic.
  4. Saute until soft and caramelized. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
  5. Add sausage and heat until warm.
  6. Toss with pasta, adding a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and eat!!!

08 November 2010

Chicken Sausage Sandwich with Mushrooms, Peppers, and Onions

Sausage, Peppers, Mushrooms, and Onions. On a sandwich. No matter what variation of this you use, you can't go wrong. This is a tasty, filling, and satisfying quick meal, and you might even have all the ingredients on hand!

I really enjoy chicken sausage, and I often try to keep it in my freezer to add it to sandwiches, pasta, pizza, etc... I usually pick some up at Sam's Club, which is super practical and affordable. They come in a variety of flavors, and I believe what I used this time was Roasted Red Pepper and Mozzarella Chicken Sausage. It's sold in 3 packs of 5 sausages, which makes it easier to freeze and pull out just what you need From what I recall, it only costs about $12 which is awesome when it lasts about 7-8 meals for the two of us.

Chicken Sausage, Pepper, Onion, and Mushroom Sandwich
Printable Recipe
by Kacey's Kitchen
  • 4 chicken sausage links
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large handful of white mushrooms
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • Italian bread or 4 rolls
  1. Slice onion, peppers, mushrooms, and sausage. Mince garlic.
  2. In large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Split open bread or rolls, lightly toast
  4. Saute until soft and caramelized. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
  5. Add sausage and heat until warm.
  6. Fill bread with sausage, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
  7. Eat!!!