Sausage with Cajun Alfredo

Sausagewithcajunalfredo

I feel like a genius after having made this dinner. This only came about because I thought I had everything I needed for dinner…until time to make dinner and it turns out I had about half. Half one one recipe and half of another.

My first reaction was panic. I’m not usually the “wing it” cook. But, I knew the two recipes well enough that I thought I could mix it. Of course, when Hubs asked what was for dinner I answered with a  “we’ll see!” Turns out, it was a blessing for our tummies!

So I combined my Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce (cajun style) with my Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo.

Sausage Cajun Alfredo

You’ll need:

 

 

For the Alfredo:
2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block)
2 Tbs flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese ( or Cheddar!)20160516_171323.jpg

For the Sausage pasta:
8+ ounces penne pasta (or whatever you prefer, I used small shells)
12 oz smoked sausage or Chicken!
14-oz can petite diced tomatoes with onion, drained well
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

First, I started my pasta cooking and then made the Alfredo just as I do for the regular recipe:

Use a mixer or blender to mix together the milk, flour, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth. I also added butter to this mix and heated it until it thickens then added the shredded cheese and let it sit.

Then, while those two were going, I sliced up my sausage and sautéed it and then added my tomatoes and onion, garlic and cajun spices, and a little S&P. Mix well

Finally, once my Alfredo was ready I slowly stirred it into my pan of sausage. making sure to coat everything and mix in the cajun spice. Then I added the pasta and mixed again.

This was one of the best outcomes of not having what you need!! This mix may be one of my favorites!

Broccoli & Grape Salad

Broccoli & Grape Salad

Broccoli & Grape Salad!! This is a refreshing salad that will be great for all of your summer BBQ’s! I recently made it for my Kentucky Derby Party and it was a delicious hit! Below is the recipe I got from my mama, but there are SO many variations of this on pinterest, like this one. Some add celery, some add onion, but all are the same basic idea.

You’ll need:

1 bunch broccoli florets

2 cups seedless red grapes halved

1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 lb bacon fried crisp and crumbled

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

Optional: 1 cup of raisins

Dressing:

1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon white vinegar

How to make:

Once you’ve got everything prepped, it’s just 4 easy steps!
1. Mix dressing in a small bowl
2. Mix all other ingredients, except grapes in a large bowl
3. Add dressing and mix
4. Gently fold in grapes

Seriously. It’s that easy. You spend more time halving the grapes than anything else.

Make ahead!

You can made it a day ahead of time too. I don’t mix anything, but just cut up my broccoli and grapes and put in the fridge in separate containers. I also mix up my dressing too. The next day all I have to do is put it all into my serving bowl with the bacon and nuts. Easy Peasy!!

Have you tried this salad? Do you have a different version? Share in the comments!

 

Easy Derby Pies

Mini Derby Pies

This is by far one of my favorite things…and parts of Derby time. DERBY PIE! We have been making this pie for years & I honestly have no idea where I found the recipe. If I do find out I’ll share it! But just know, you can’t have just one piece.

Crust:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

1 1/4 all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3-4 tablespoons water

Mix flour butter sugar salt until coarse with a few small clumps of butter remain.

Add 2 tablespoons of water, mix until it holds together, adding a little water at a time as necessary. You want it to hold together but still be crumbly.

Shape into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap until firm, about 1 hour up to 3 days.

Filling:

*This makes quite a bit*

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup

4 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup chopped pecans

*Optional is a 1/4 cup bourbon. We don’t make it with bourbon and it is fantastic.

Here we go:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then you want to roll out your dough.

This time we decided to make mini pies as well as a full size. For the full 10 inch dish, roll it out larger than the dish and use you fingers to pinch of the top around the edges. I used a little extra dough this year and made a braid that I added to the top before baking.

For the minis I highly suggest Demarle cookware! I cut out small rounds of dough and lightly placed onto the muffin cups. When these were done cooking they easily POPPED out of the molds! It’s the best bake ware I’ve used. You barely even have to wash the stuff it cooks so cleanly and perfectly!

Alright…off my soapbox…

So once you have your dough in place, in a large mixing bowl, whisk butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, and bourbon (if your using it) until frothy.

Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Mix.

Pour into your pie crust, or spoon into your mini crusts. Cook at 350 for 50-60 minutes (full size) 25-30 for the minis, or until it is set, meaning not jiggly.

Slice and serve with some cool whip or ice cream. SO GOOD!!!

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DIY Derby Trophy CenterpieceWindow Glass ArtDerby Wreath DIYMaking a Hat 1Derby printables and coloring pagesDerby Hat TutorialDerby party cover

Zucchini fritters!

 

Zucchini Fritters final

Corn. Green beans. Broccoli. Potatoes. I feel like we do the same veggie sides all the time. Mostly because those are the few we like and are easy.

But I recently saw this pin from Just a Taste for 5 ingredient zucchini fritters. I’ve recently developed a liking for zucchini,  although I’m the only one in the family to do so.

After a small eye roll from the hubby I started grating my zucchini while he cooked us up some steaks. Click here for the instructions by Just a Taste,  keep reading for mine.

What you’ll need:
4 cups shredded zucchini
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs slightly beaten
1/3 cup scallions
Vegetable oil
Sour cream (optional)

Grate your zucchini, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Lightly salt it and add it to a bowl. Just a Taste suggests putting it in a colander and letting it sit for 10 minutes also.

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Then add your flour,  eggs, scallions,  salt and pepper. Mix. Mix. Mix.

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Line a plate with paper towels to set your fritters on. Coat the bottom of a pan with oil and heat over a medium-high heat.
When hot,  scoop your zucchini mixture(about 3 tablespoons each) into the hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes each side or until golden brown.

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Place on the plate and sprinkle with salt. Continue the steps until you’ve used all the mix.

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To be honest,  I forgot to buy scallions so they aren’t added to mine. Let me say,  I think these would have been excellent with them. While my eye rolling husband loved them anyway,  I thought they needed a bit more (thus the scallions). Maybe a spicy aioli? But not bad for a first attempt. This may not be in full rotation yet,  but it’s definitely something I’m going to work on.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. How would you change it?

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing final

Every time I make this I always think about the movie Steel Magnolias. Annelle wants to make something that “freezes beautifully.” While I think she had something else in mind,  this is my beautiful.
Not only is this delightful and fulfilling like comfort food,  but it freezes beautifully!  I usually make two at a time,  one for dinner and one to freeze.
Plus,  it fits all my other requirements like,  easy and fast. It’s a win win.
I found this pin from Or So She Says for the Swiss Cheese Chicken. (Click there for their recipe) below is my variation that we really enjoy. Did I say this was easy?

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All you need: (just double for 2)
1lb chicken breast
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
Stove Top Stuffing of choice (one box is enough for two since you only use half)
1/4 cup of butter
Pepper Jack cheese slices, the original uses swiss cheese slices (both are yummy)

I spray both my freezer pan and glass dish with cooking spray first. Then put my chicken down.

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Next you want to layer the cheese slices on the chicken.  Four slices work for me in my 8×8 pan,  but I sometimes add one or two more.

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Now you want to combine the milk and can of Cream of Chicken.  I do one at a time just to make it easier. Combine one,  add it on top of the cheese,  combine one and to the other. It looks like yummy cake batter pouring out over the cheese. Just spread it around to fully cover the pan.

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Here is where you split. If making two, cover your dish you’re freezing,  label, and add directions of how to finish.

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To the other you now add half of a package of stuffing and then pour 1/4 cup melted butter on that. Pop it into the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350°.

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I usually let it cook for the full hour.
Serve it over rice and voila, wonderful dinner that you made 2 of, in about 10 minutes of prep time!
I have also made this with a small bag of frozen broccoli under the cream of chicken mix. It’s a good way to get your veggies in!

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Crowd Pleaser Donuts!

Crowd Pleaser Donuts final

I’ve never been much of a fan of Valentine’s day, I mean,  we should love each other every day, right? (Har har har) This was always a plus for my hubby too. No gifts,  no flowers (even though I usually get some),  no special night out. All of that is pretty much the same but now I have two kids to do fun crafts and food with!
My son has developed my same love for themed foods so i wanted to do something heart shaped for Valentine’s day. While looking through Pinterest,  I found donuts and I thought they would be a “sweet” way to start the day.
Hot oil and I don’t really get along but these were so easy to make! Not to mention, delicious!
Head on over to Little Bit Funky to get her full instruction that I  followed.

So all you need are a can of biscuits, oil, a cinnamon and sugar mix, butter, and something to cut holes or like I did,  a heart shape!
I laid all the biscuits out and used my awesome Dollar Store find, (5 heart shape cookie cutters for $1!) to cut out the centers.

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Once the oil was heated up,  med heat,  in went my dough. Just a couple minutes on each side until they are brown.

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You could stop there but why? After you pull the wonderful fried dough from their oil bath place them on a paper towel lined plate. Then place one side down in melted butter,  flip,  then swirl your buttery donut in the cinnamon and sugar mix.

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Take a moment to pat yourself on the back then dig in! These are so good and there are so many toppings you could do.

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I’ve got another Valentine’s day goodie coming up! Stay tuned!

Crab Bites

No matter if it’s Sunday, Monday, Thursday, or Saturday, you’re probably watching football. Let’s face it, the game is always more fun when you invite people over to watch it with you. This delicious appetizer will fill you up and have your guests inviting themselves over for the next game. My hubby LOVES these and it has become a staple snack in our house.  This was given to me from a former co-worker. While I didn’t get this from Pinterest, I hope it will make it now! These are too good not to share.

The best part? You can freeze batches ahead of time and just pop them into the oven as needed!

Crab Bites

Ingredients:

6 English Muffins

5oz Old English Cheese

8oz Crab meat, imitation or real, we prefer the real deal!

1 stick of butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

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Directions:

1. Combine cheese spread, butter, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl. I like to soften the cheese spread and butter first so its easier to mix and dish out. Then mix in your crab meat.

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2. Separate your english muffins into halves, then cut each half into 1/4’s. Then set them out on baking sheets.

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3. Scoop out your crab mixture onto each piece if the muffins. About a tablespoon size per piece. You can always go back over with the remainder.

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4. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 1 hour, or even for up to several weeks. When you’re ready, just pop them in the broiler for about 10 min. Just remember to watch them to make sure they don’t burn. Enjoy!