Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

A creamy, cozy rustic soup- this Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is the best way to soothe anything that ails you. Loaded with spicy Italian sausage, tender potato slices, and kale, it’s a full meal for the whole family when served with a slice of hearty bread.

Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

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{One Pot Wonder} Jambalaya Pasta

This pasta dish is creamy comfort in a single bowl! A single, quick and easy meal that cooks in a single pan. This {One Pot Wonder} Jambalaya Pasta is chock full of hearty meats and liberally seasoned with spices. It’s perfect for the busiest of nights, or even any day when time gets away from you.

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Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sliders with Maple Glaze

This recipe for Sausage Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sliders with Maple Glaze is going to quickly become your new favorite breakfast item. A layer of seasoned ground sausage, a light and fluffy scrambled egg patty, and slices of your favorite American or cheddar cheeses are sandwiched between a dozen butter flavored rolls before being brushed with a maple syrup glaze and baked. The result is a complete breakfast you can hold in your hand and really take a ‘bite’ out of.

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Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

Why order take-out, when you can make your own perfectly crisped egg rolls right at home and serve them with a yummy side of sauce? Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce are even better than take out. They’re downright gourmet.

Crispy Homemade Egg Rolls with a Sesame Ginger Dipping Sauce

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Sausage Breakfast Burritos

So if you’ve followed along with us for any amount of time, you know that this mama doesn’t do breakfast. Yes I make sure there are breakfast items available, but All self serve, a la carte style. Hot breakfast? Dad does giant brunches every Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise? It’s pretty much cold cereal ’round these parts.

 Sausage Breakfast Burritos

But I do occasionally take pity on my crew who put up with all my whims, and all my willfulness in the kitchen. What can I say? I run a tight ship, usually it goes my way or the highway, but every now and then I hear a request or two, or I just generally try to prevent a mutiny. And that’s where these handy, dandy breakfast burritos come in.

All cooked up and pre-packaged, all ready to heat and eat.

Sausage Breakfast Burritos

Sausage Breakfast Burritos 2

1 lb ground pork sausage
1-1/2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup diced green and/or red pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
12 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Picante sauce and sour cream, optional

Directions

1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain and set aside. Add the potatoes, onion and pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Pour the eggs in and stir, cooking until they’re set. Return the sausage to the skillet and stir everything together to evenly incorporate.
2. Spoon the filling off center onto each of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese evenly out over the filling. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Serve with Picante sauce and/or sour cream, if desired.
3. To freeze and reheat the burritos: Wrap each burrito in waxed paper and then again in foil. Freeze for up to 1 month. To use, remove the foil and the waxed paper. Place one burrito on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 2 to 2-1/4 minutes, turning the burrito over once during re-heating. Let stand for 20 seconds before eating. These also re-heat just as well in a toaster oven if a microwave isn’t an option.

One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Everybody runs their kitchens a little bit differently. It’s just one of those places that is immune to the laws and natural orders of the world and is totally unique to it’s user. And every cook is unique from their specific processes right on down to their individual food philosophies. We each have our favorite tricks of the trade and are partial to certain tools and certain methods. Be that as it may, there are certain things you’ll find in any well-stocked, well-used kitchen. They’re kitchen must-haves, and often their little multi-purpose, miracle working, border-line magical devices. Take the trusty dutch oven for example.

<Pardon the pause. I’ll be able to move on and find my train of thought again when the sons stop sniggering over my shoulder. Yes! I said Dutch oven. Now, moving right along …>

 Sausage Jambalaya

Its my my favorite one stop, one pot ‘thing’ in my entire kitchen.

Along with one pot recipes. Little one pot wonders. All cooked up in this bad boy right here. It even cooks up a perfect loaf of artisan style bread. See? Magic! If you don’t own a dutch oven, I’d highly, HIGHLY recommend investing in one. And if you’re thinking (like the hubs) that being limited on space as it is with X amount of people + Y amount of square cabinet space and = no more possible storage space for yet another kitchen gadget his crazy cook of a wife brings home, then you stop that right now. This instant. A dutch oven can do so many things you can potentially consolidate space. If not, then it’s definitely going to be a dirty dishes saver. And worst case scenario, you store that sucker in your oven. Out of sight, out of mind right? And for those days when you forget to check inside it before you turn it on, it’s oven safe 😉

And let me just mention again that this bad boy bakes. bread. Flawless, fool proof bread.

So, if you don’t have one … get one. Oh, and let’s add a nice little kick to our week night meal with the Cajun flavors of this jambalaya in a quick one pot meal that is also fool proof. And simple. Brown your meat, boil your rice, and mix everything together to finish cooking in the oven, all in one fantastic pot.

One Pot Sausage Jambalaya

Sausage Jambalaya 2

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 packages kielbasa, or andoullie, sausage, thinly sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1/2- 1 whole bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups long grain rice
2 (8 oz) cans of tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth, or stock

Directions

1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and once it’s good and hot, add in the oil and butter. Add in the sausage and allow it to brown a bit on both sides and caramelize. Remove the sausage to a bowl or a plate and set aside.
2. Next reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic to the sausage drippings in the dutch oven. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (paprika, garlic & onion powder, cumin, Cajun & Italian seasoning) over the veggies. Add the bay leaves and salt & pepper, as desired. Add in the tomato paste and let everything saute for a few minutes.
3. Add in the rice, stirring to make sure it’s evenly incorporated and well coated. Continue sauteing everything until the vegetables are just tender.
4. Add in the chicken broth and the tomato sauce, and return the sausage to the pot. Stir everything together, and salt and pepper again (if needed) to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Turn off the heat, immediately cover the dutch oven with it’s lid, and transfer the dutch oven to an oven preheated to 375 degrees.
6. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

If you don’t have a Dutch oven, fear not, you can still enjoy this meal at home. Follow steps 1-4 in a large pot or even a skillet. For step 5, transfer everything to a 9×13 casserole dish. Cover tightly with aluminum oil and bake as directed. You may need to add 45-10 minutes to the cook time to allow the rice to absorb all the liquid. Just keep an eye on it after the 30 minute mark.

Breakfast Eggrolls with Sausage Gravy

We’ve said it before, and well say it again. And probably again, again at some point in the future. We love breakfast. Any day, anytime. For actual breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. We also love egg rolls. Because… eggrolls. If you’re even remotely a fan of breakfast, then you need these Breakfast Eggrolls with Sausage Gravy in your life.

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Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

Do you ever have times where you feel the need to disconnect? To step away from the computer, from social media, altogether for a few days and just reconnect with the world around you? To reconnect with your family, your spouse, your children? For us, it’s been the past four or five days. All the kids are home and it’s summer and sometimes we find we just need to be ‘present’. It’s amazing all that we always manage to get done during our completely unhooked periods. We deep cleaned. I’m talking the whole house, furniture pulled away from walls and cleaned behind. Carpets washed. Walls painted. Clothes and toys purged. We had movie days and movie nights. We rode bikes and threw footballs. We spent time with family. We talked. It was a much-needed and refreshing change of pace. But, starting tomorrow we’ll be back on the blog, emails will be re-opened, and social media re-visited. Thanks guys for understanding the need to occasionally go off-line. I promise the rest of this week holds several goodies in store!

For me, the crock pot is a summer must-have for come dinnertime, because turning the oven on is so not happening. When we think crock pot cooking, I know I typically think warm winter stews and casseroles, but it’s actually the steamy miserably muggy months when the crock pot becomes my BFF. My let’s make beautiful kitchen magic together, and save me money at the same, time forever friend.

Chicken, sausage, and rice is another one of my favorite crock pot meals to make, whatever the season. The chicken comes out cooked to tender perfection and pairs perfectly with the sausage. So much flavor! Round out the meal by serving this with a nice, warm piece of crusty bread and a refreshing side salad.

Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

4 Sons 'R' Us: Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, and Rice

recipe adapted from Free WW Recipes 

1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp paprika
1 lb smoked sausage, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup sliced celery
1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
4 bay leaves
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
2 cups instant white rice
 
Directions
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry
2. Place sausage, bell peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, paprika, and garlic powder in slow cooker.
3. Stir to blend well.
4. Top with chicken and sprinkle with black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
5. Cover and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
7. Add rice and stir gently.
8. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes until rice is tender.
9. Remove bay leaves and chicken bones before serving.
IMPORTANT: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.