Monthly Archives: February 2012

Sausage, Onion and Roasted Potato Skillet

This was so perfect with our rainy, nasty, cold weather we were having last night. It was warm and cozy and perfect with a green salad and a glass of red wine.

1 package pre-cooked sausages, sliced into thin coins
*I used Trader Joe’s Spinach, Fontina & Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage
Olive oil
1 medium onion sliced thinly
1 pound small potatoes, chopped into quarters

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Microwave potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes to par-cook them. This will greatly reduce the time required to roast them.

Arrange par-cooked potatoes on a cookie sheet and spray or brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt (course salt if you have it). Put in oven and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes start to turn golden.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil in pan and add onions and sausages. Cook until onions are soft and sausages are heated and preferably a little crispy on the outside.

Grind pepper over sausages and onions.

When potatoes are done, toss all ingredients together and serve.

What did the family think? I picked this recipe because I figured, if nothing else, the kids would like the sausage. WRONG!!! They did finally eat some drowned in ketchup, which is a shame because this recipe was DELISH!!!

Where did this recipe come from? Half-Assed Kitchen

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less

One-Minute Brownie Sundaes

Okay, so these actually take maybe more like two minutes, but that’s because you have to let them cool off for a bit before you add the ice cream. These are (reportedly) super yummy and can be made at a moment’s notice.

1 T cocoa powder
1 T flour
1 T brown sugar
1 T water
1 T vegetable oil
1 scoop of your favorite ice cream

Put everything but the ice cream in a microwaveable mug, stir and microwave for one minute.

Let if cool off just a bit and add the ice cream. Stir up for a cold and warm and creamy treat.

What did the family think? I didn’t have one, but I made them for the hubs and the kids and they LOVED them.

Where did this recipe come from? adapted from a recipe from Food Network

image from On the Table

Leave a Comment

Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Baked Parmesan and Herb Salmon

We eat salmon every Sunday for dinner per my husband’s request. You can imagine that it might get a little boring if I don’t figure out different ways to make it. I usually just sprinkle a little lemon pepper on it and call it good, but this evening I got a little adventurous.

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 T Parmesan
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dast of garlic powder
1 lb salmon filet

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray glass cooking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except the salmon.

Place salmon skin-side down in glass baking dish and sprinkle breading mixture on top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

We had this with Lemony Green Beans and a baguette.

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked it.

Where did this recipe come from? adapted from a recipe from Allrecipes

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Fish, Italian, Lent

Pesto, Meatballs and Orzo

This dish was a huge ginormous hit at our house. I have to admit that as I was making it I wasn’t sure how it was going to go over. First, I thought I had bought the right type of pasta, but it turned out I didn’t and then I wasn’t sure I had enough meatballs. Did I mention that I didn’t even start cooking dinner until after 8:00? If this dish was a bomb I had no idea what Plan B was going to be, especially since it was so late. Thankfully everything worked out beautifully and there were happy bellies all around the table.

1 (16-ounce) package frozen precooked meatballs, thawed
1 (16-ounce) package orzo pasta (or any other type of small pasta)
1-1/2 cups baby frozen peas
1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (6 to 7-ounce) container basil pesto
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until almost al dente, about 1 minute less cooking time than the package suggests.

Place peas in colander and drain pasta over peas; return all to pot. Add meatballs, Alfredo sauce, sour cream, milk, and pesto and mix gently. Pour milk into Alfredo sauce jar, close lid, and shake; add that to the pasta mixture and stir. (By doing this you can get more of the Alfredo sauce out of the jar.)

Pour into 2-1/2 quart casserole dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes until casserole is bubbly and top begins to brown.

What did the family think? They loved it! I think everyone had seconds.

Did I change anything? I left out the peas…no time for drama at the dinner table last night. Also, since I didn’t have the right type of pasta, I used some pasta that I had bought for another recipe that never got made…it was teeny tiny star-shaped pasta…it worked beautifully.

Where did this recipe come from? Busycooks

photo from Busycooks

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Melted Ice Cream Cake

I made this cake for Mardi Gras and to say that my boys inhaled it would be an understatement. Seriously. They inhaled it and they aren’t even huge cake fans, especially when there’s not any icing involved. What I loved about this cake is all the possibilities. It’s just three things: cake mix, ice cream and eggs, but you could make it with strawberry ice cream and vanilla cake mix or cinnamon ice cream and chocolate cake mix and the list goes on and on and on.

1 box cake mix (18.25 oz) in any flavor
1 pint ice cream, soft, but not totally melted
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease cake pan liberally with cooking spray and flour.

Mix the cake mix, eggs and ice cream together and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Follow box for baking times. Time will vary based on type of pan you use. I used a bundt cake pan.

Let cool and remove from pan.

Allow to cool on wire rack.

If you want to use a glaze on it (which I highly recommend)…

1/4 cup milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In medium saucepan combine ingredients with a whisk over low heat.

Stir until glaze is smooth.

Pour over cake. Most of the glaze will run off. I always put the cake on a cooling rack and put a cookie sheet underneath since I made a bundt cake and had to take it out of the pan anyways.

What did the family think? They inhaled it.

Where did this recipe come from? Cookies and Cups

Leave a Comment

Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Lasagna Bites

My kids like lasagna and I thought maybe they’d like it in a little muffin cup. These are super easy to make and are easy to heat up if you have leftovers, too.

2 packages plain or buttermilk biscuits
1 jar pasta sauce, divided
1 lb Italian sausage
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
Ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook Italian sausage in a pan over medium heat.

Spray muffin pan.

Press one biscuit into each muffin cup, pressing around the edges forming a cup.

Mix sausage, cheese, and 1/2 cup pasta sauce in a mixing bowl.

Place a spoonful of the sausage/cheese mixture in each muffin cup and
top with a small dollop of ricotta cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Serve with pasta sauce on the side for dipping.

What did the family think? These went over VERY well. I think our oldest went back for thirds.

Where did this recipe come from? Spark Recipes

Leave a Comment

Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Six Ingredients or Less

CrockPot Salsa Verde Burrito Bowls

These are so good, so easy and so versatile. Hopefully everyone in your family will be able to find something in these that they like. Isn’t it awesome when that happens? 🙂

2-3 lb pork loin roast
2 jars (8 oz each) Mexican salsa verde sauce
Pinto beans or black beans
Shredded cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar)
Sour cream

Pour salsa verde in slow cooker. Add two salsa jars of water to slow cooker. Place pork roast on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or high for 4-5). About one hour before you plan to serve roast, shred with two forks.

Prepare rice according to package directions.

To assemble burrito bowls: Scoop a spoonful of rice into bowl, top with cilantro, beans, pork, salsa, guacamole, sour cream or whatever else you would normally put on your Mexican food.

What did the family think? Everyone in our house who is into eating something that’s not pasta loved it. In other words, our youngest was not into it, but I am SO TIRED of telling you that. Also, he does eat. I promise. And not just candy.

Where did this recipe come from?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Mexican, Pork

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

My husband described this dish as “awesome” and wanted to know if there was enough for seconds before he even had a bite.

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup coarse breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or thyme
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped ham (about 1 ounce)

* If you can’t find small ones, then just buy two large ones and cut them in half.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt.

Combine Swiss cheese and cream cheese in a bowl.

Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper with breadcrumbs and parsley (or thyme) in another bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the center so all pieces are touching. Spread with the cheese mixture, sprinkle with ham, then top with the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes.

We had this with mac and cheese and broccoli.

What did the family think? Hubby and I loved it. Kids were not impressed, but our oldest did eat it. Our kids just aren’t huge chicken eaters…that would be an understatement for the youngest one.

Where did this recipe come from? Eating Well

photo from Eating Well

Leave a Comment

Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again

Warm Your Soul Tuscan Soup

I have never been to Tuscany, but if this is what people are eating there, then I need to get myself there ASAP.

1 lb mild Italian sausage
32 oz chicken broth
12 oz evaporated
6-8 red potatoes, diced
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach

Cook the sausage in the same large stew pot you’ll use to cook the soup, drain excess fat and return sausage to pot.

Add the chicken broth and evaporated milk and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat so soup simmers. Add potatoes, onions, seasoning, salt and pepper.

The soup is done when the potatoes are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Add spinach during the last few minutes of cooking.

What did the family think? My husband is not a huge soup-for-dinner fan and he loved this. I loved it too. The kids did not…they like miso, occasionally a little chicken noodle and any kind of soup with meatballs in it, but that’s about it.

Where did this recipe come from?

photo from

Leave a Comment

Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Italian, Stew/Soup

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

This was our special Superbowl treat that we munched on last night after we’d had dinner. There’s nothing like a little Madonna and Cee Lo while you’re snacking on some chocolatey oatmeal yumminess.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups rolled oats
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla with electric mixer on high.

Stir in flour, salt, and baking soda, all at the same time. Stir in oats. Last, add chocolate chips and stir them in.

Press cookie dough into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Dough should be somewhat flattened, but it’s okay for some cracks to remain.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden and cookies are set in the middle.

Cool for 20 minutes; cut into 24 squares. Delicious warm or cold!

What did the family think? These are so crazy good, especially with a nice big ice cold glass of milk.

Did I change anything? I reduced the amount of sugar a little. The changes are reflected about. Also, the original recipe called for walnuts which I left out.

Where did this recipe come from? Allrecipes

photo from Tammy’s Recipes

Leave a Comment

Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Vegetarian