Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta

Main Dishes, Recipes | January 9, 2018 | By

Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I have talked to you! I try and get posts up regularly, I really really do, but sometimes life just gets too busy. We actually have some big news….my husband and I are expecting baby #3.  We are very excited! The first trimester was rough, as usual, but I have made it into my 17th week and am feeling a lot better. That means food is no longer my enemy….YAY!! 

Today I bring you the recipe for my beloved Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta. Oh man, this is a good one. This pasta is near and dear to my heart because it brings back so many memories for me. I came up with this recipe when my husband and I were dating. I would go to his house after work or school and make a big pot of this pasta, often times sharing it with his Grandpa, who lived with him at the time. I usually made way to much for one sitting so I would eat the leftovers everyday for lunch until it was gone. It became my go to lunch. Now my husband would always be working during lunchtime, so he never actually got to eat this pasta very often and I never realized how much he loved it! When I made a batch to photograph for this post he said, “I love when you make this, it’s amazing” (as he devoured bowl after bowl full). I have now vowed to make it more often.

As I am typing this, I am trying to figure out a way to explain why this simple pasta dish is so special. It only takes 4 ingredients to make, if you don’t count the salt and pepper, and about 20 minutes to put together. I think the red peppers are delicious in this and add a nice sweetness. You can use whatever sausages you like. I always like trying different kinds of specialty sausages and the Chicken Caprese Sausages that I found at Costco are incredibly delicious! Those are a new favorite! 

 

This Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta is a great throw together dinner or lunch that is sure to please the whole family. You can make it for a crowd or just for yourself. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know that you think!

Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta

Ingredients

  • 6 Sausages (I used Chicken Caprese)
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • 1lb Penne Pasta
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Boil the sausages until cooked through. About 8-10 minutes. Remove the sausages from the pot and place them on a cutting board. Do not dump out the water.
  2. Bring the water back to a boil and add salt. Drop in your pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  3. Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch rounds. Heat up a skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the chopped red peppers, salt and pepper, and cook until tender. About 5 minutes. Add in the sausage slices and work them in the pan until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Add the pasta and sausage mixture to the pot the water was in and add enough olive oil to coat the pasta. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. Top with fresh parsley if you like.
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Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes | July 6, 2017 | By

I have mentioned before how much I love watching cooking shows on TV. I don’t know why, but whenever I see a new chef I don’t fully trust what they have to say until I try a recipe for myself OR until I hear them say something like “More butter is always better”. A couple months ago, I found Ayesha Curry’s cooking show and fell in love with it. She was making these Pulled Chicken Tacos and served them up in Seasoned Taco Shells! Why have I never thought to give some extra love to store bought taco shells? Well, I am glad she told me to because these are incredible! I gave the recipe a try soon after seeing that episode and we have eaten them countless times since.

These Pulled Chicken Tacos are a great weeknight meal because they don’t take long to throw together. Using a store bought rotisserie chicken cuts down on your prep time! They are also great for entertaining! Set up a taco bar with lots of delicious toppings. We like ours with Cotija cheese, red cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

The first step is to soften some sliced onions in a pan and then add in green chiles and lots of flavorful spices like: ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and oregano. The first time I made these I thought they were going to be too spicy for me BUT not at all! It’s the perfect blend of flavors. They add a nice smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. After the onions, chiles, and spices have had time to mingle, it’s time to add in the tomato sauce and water. This simmers until thickened and then the shredded chicken joins the party.  

While the chicken warms through, those ordinary store bought taco shells are ready for their transformation. Each side of the shell gets brushed with oil and then sprinkled with a blend of salt, ancho chile powder, coriander, and cumin. They bake in the oven for 6 minutes until nice and crisp. Now it’s time to serve!

These quickly became a favorite in my family and I know they will be in yours too! This also tastes great the next day as a taco salad piled high on a bed of romaine lettuce!

Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbls. light brown sugar
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • For the Taco Shells:
  • 2 tsps. ground cumin
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • kosher salt
  • 12 hard tacos shells
  • 3 tbls. vegetable oil
  • Toppings:
  • Limes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Avocado

Instructions

  1. In a straight sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and green chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the ancho chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and a cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You want the sauce to coat the chicken and not be too soupy. While the sauce thickens, prepare your taco shells.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Arrange the taco shells in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle on the seasoning mix. Flip over and oil and season the other side. Bake until crispy about 6 minutes. Flipping them over halfway through.
  5. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Source: Ayesha Curry

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Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

The weather has been beautiful lately, and that means dinner most nights is cooked out on the grill and eaten on our back porch. I just love it! I have been trying my hardest to get the hang of this whole grilling thing and I have been doing quite well, if I do say so myself. It helps when the recipe I am cooking is super simple and only requires one flip…now that I can master. These Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta are the perfect dinner for a hot Summer evening with my family.

My sister Laura made these burgers for the first time a few years ago and we have been hooked on them ever since. These burgers are a favorite for many reasons. One, they are very simple to make. Two, they grill up in no time. Three, they look beautiful. Just look at all of the colorful ingredients that go into them: Italian parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Four, and most importantly, they taste amazing!

These Turkey Burgers are perfect for a hot Summer evening because they aren’t heavy like a traditional beef burger. Now I love me some beef burgers, but this turkey burger and all its sun-dried tomato and feta cheese goodness is just what I need sometimes. They have so much flavor and pair wonderfully with a cooling Tzatziki sauce and peppery arugula.

If you are looking for a delicious burger that can lighten things up this Summer, this one is for you. Happy grilling!

Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your grill to high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 6 even patties.
  3. Reduce the grill heat to medium and lightly grease the grill. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side, closing the grill in between flipping the burgers. You may need less time depending on your grill. Just keep an eye on them so they don't over cook.
  4. Serve on a fresh bun with tzatziki sauce and baby arugula.
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Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Main Dishes, Recipes | December 15, 2016 | By

Well that stinks. I just sat down to edit photos from a delicious breakfast casserole I made and for some reason they were all blurry. (I have been struggling with lighting now that it gets dark so early). I wanted to get that up on the blog but I will have to postpone it. That’s okay though because that means I will have to make it again soon, which means I get to eat it again soon! I guess I am fine with that ;). I am glad I have another recipe photographed and ready to go though! Say hello to Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya.

I saw Ina Garten make this on the Food Network a couple of years ago and I was immediately intrigued. It looked absolutely delicious. I whipped up a pot of this Jambalaya that evening and I have been making it ever since. This is such a comforting and impressive dish. 

It may look like this Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya calls for a lot of ingredients and that’s because well….it does. But don’t let that scare you! This dish needs love. Lots of love. There are meats that need to be browned in order to build flavor. The veggies need to soften and marry with the spices. The rice needs to simmer until it’s cooked and slightly sticky. The shrimp need to steam gently inside the rice. And the final seasonings need to be added at the end. But don’t run away! Don’t say you can’t do it! This Jambalaya is so flavorful and so completely worth all the effort that goes in it. I love to go in my kitchen (also known as my happy place), turn on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and cook me some Jambalaya! There is something very relaxing about it.

This is a great dish to entertain with because it makes a big ole pot. This may actually, literally, feed an army. Once my Dutch Oven is filled to the brim with colorful and flavorful Jambalaya, I pop it down in the middle of the table and everyone digs in. You can top it with fresh herbs, scallions, and more hot sauce if you like.

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Grandma’s Shrimp Creole

Main Dishes, Recipes | October 30, 2016 | By

I have finally done it! I made my Grandmother’s recipe for Shrimp Creole. I have been hearing about how amazing this dish is from my Dad for many years and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to give it a try. Better late than never right? I am regretting it though. Think about how many years I have wasted not eating this on a regular basis! My Grandma was so kind to let me share the recipe with all of you and I may have raided her recipe box, so there will be lots more to come from her kitchen to yours. I am very excited about that. If you haven’t yet seen her recipe for Crab Casserole, be sure to check that out!

I have already given you some background information on my wonderful Grandma Gloria in my post about the Crab Casserole. She and my Grandfather are getting ready to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary! Many people say she’s a saint for putting up with that man for so many years but I think she still sees that cute football player she fell in love with back in high school. If anyone can handle Pops, it’s Grandma. Sure he’s feisty, but so is she! Now let’s make some Shrimp Creole!

Shrimp Creole

At the supermarket I found some beautiful shrimp from North Carolina. Yes, these will do nicely. This dish doesn’t call for any fancy ingredients and I was shocked how deep the flavor was for as little effort as it required. This is also a one pan dinner and who doesn’t love that? First, peel and devein one pound of shrimp. Usually they come cleaned but this time for me they didn’t. No problem! Next, gather all of your ingredients. You will need, diced onion, celery, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, sugar, salt, and minced green peppers. The celery and onions get sautéed in olive oil until tender. Next, the tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, and seasonings get added. This simmers on low for 45 minutes.

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Now that the sauce is thick and rich, the raw shrimp and green peppers join the party. It won’t be long now. The shrimp just need to cook through and then it’s time to eat!

Shrimp Creole

What a delicious meal. The sauce is packed full of flavor from the chili powder but it’s not too spicy. It goes perfectly with the juicy sweet shrimp. Serving it over white rice is best because it soaks up all of the flavor. I will be making this for my family over and over again!Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

Grandma’s Shrimp Creole

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup green peppers, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • 2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsps. salt
  • 1 tbls. sugar
  • 1 tbls. chili powder
  • 1 tbls. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash tabasco
  • 1lb raw shrimp

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, saute the onion and celery in olive oil until tender but not brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire, and tabasco. Simmer on low uncovered for 45 minutes. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little bit of water.
  2. Add the shrimp and green peppers and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked.
  3. Serve over white rice.
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Grandma's Shrimp Creole