Smoked Sausage & Peppers with Angel Hair Pasta

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Sausage and peppers… oh how I appreciate your deliciousness! This dish is very inexpensive to make and you can put it with rice, pasta or even potatoes. What I like mostly about this dish is that you can really do it however you want- more sauce, less sauce or no sauce at all! Since I like the flavor of crushed tomato sauce I decided to use about 2-3 cups and let it cook down for about 15-20 minutes.

IMG_1820 Prep: 10 minutes. Cook time:35 minutes. Total: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg of hillshire farm smoked sausage
  • 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 whole brown onion slided
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper sliced
  • 2 tbs of parsley
  • 1 box of angel hair pasta

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Perfect slices and dices! lol IMG_1802

Prep makes cooking so much easier!IMG_1803

Sliced smoked sausage.IMG_1804

DIRECTIONS:

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive in a pan. Saute smoked sausage in a pan on medium heat for 10 minutes or until brown.

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Take out sausages and transfer into a bowl. In the same pan, add peppers, onions and garlic. Season with sea-salt and creole seasoning or Cajun seasoning.

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Add 1 teaspoon of parsley, sausage and continue to saute together for 5 minutes. IMG_1814

Add 2-3 cups of crushed tomato and let it simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. While the sauce cooks down, begin cooking your angel hair as directed on the box. IMG_1815

Once it is finished, garnish with more parsley, serve and ENJOY!IMG_1818   IMG_1821

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Six Cheese Spinach and Spicy Italian Sausage Lasagna with Carmelized Onions and Roasted Garlic

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This dish is a mouthful! But don’t be fooled!! It is much easier than it sounds! You can opt to using the Classico Brand of sauce or any other brand of jarred tomato sauce. The trick is caramelizing the onions and roasting garlic in the oven then adding it to the jarred sauce for that homemade flavor without the work of making a homemade sauce! Note: if you want to make a homemade sauce, please see the ‘saucy meatballs’ recipe in the pasta section.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg of spicy Italian sausage, ground or you can use the links, just cut it out of the casing.

  • 1 whole brown onion
  •  jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 1pkg of Johnsonville hot Italian sausage
  • 4 cups of ricotta cheese
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 box of lasagna pasta
  • 2pkgs of Kraft Italian 5 cheese blend
  •  extra virgin olive oil ( 2-3 teaspoons or a few drizzles when sauteing and baking the onions and garlic)

Directions: In a small baking pan, drizzle extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan. Add 1 shallot, 1/2 brown onion and 6 cloves of garlic. Cook on 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The onions will begin to caramelize.

When finished, allow it to cool then coarsely chop onion, shallot and garlic and saute in a pan with olive oil for 5 minutes then add Italian sausage. To take the casing off, cut 1 long slit down the middle and pull back the casing, removing the sausage meat. IMG_1630Use a wooden spoon to chop the sausage as it cooks in the skillet. Once the sauce has browned, add half the jar of sauce.     ( the other half will be used to pour on top once the lasagna is assembled)

Add 1 bunch of fresh spinach. Cooking the spinach with the sauce and sausage makes it easier to layer and give the spinach a great flavor! Cook down for 20 minutes on low. While the sauce thickens, bring cooking lasagna pasta. I recommend do not cook the pasta fully, cook the pasta half way because it will finish cooking in the oven. You do not want to over cook the pasta! You want your pasta al dente ( cooked to be firm to the bite).

IMG_1631 IMG_1632 IMG_1633Once the pasta is half cooked, ( i would say 12 lasagna strips, 4 each layer) lay it out to dry and get ready to layer! If the pasta seems a little hard, don’t worry, like i said it will finish cooking in the oven.

In a casserole dish, drizzle a little olive oil about 2 teaspoons. Start with the pasta ( 4 strips), then the meat mixture/sauce, Italian 5 cheese blend, and then ricotta. ( this is by far the best order to layer it, trust me I have tried several different ways!)  lol

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End with a top layer of pasta. Now add the rest of your sauce ( i heated mine up for 2 minutes in a pan, but you can just pour it over if you prefer. Then top with the Italian 5 cheese blend. Garnish with parsley if you desire!

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Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lasagna begins to bubble and the cheese is slightly brown.

Let it cool, slice in big fat chunky squares and ENJOY!

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Bananas Foster

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Banana’s Foster is a dessert that originated in New Orleans. Typically it is bananas, rum, banana liqueur, cinnamon, and brown sugar. In my recipe, I omitted the liqueur and cinnamon- but I did not taste the difference!! This dessert is so easy to make that it is not necessary to be confined to all the ingredients! Do as you please and of course, ENJOY IT! It will be delicious no matter what!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of rum
  • 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter

In a skillet, add butter, bananas and brown sugar. Allow all the ingredients to caramelize about 10 minutes on medium to low heat. Add rum. Flambe ( please be careful not to catch your hair on fire!) lol. The purpose of the flambe is to give the bananas a nice flavor, and of course the fire burns off the alcohol, but keeps the flavor. As soon as it caramelizes, serve over vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Profiteroles with Vanilla Chantilly Creme and Hot Chocolate Sauce

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Profiteroles ( cream puffs) are basically these small, hollow pastries typically filled with cream and covered with a chocolate sauce. This is a French dessert choux pastry that can be decorated or even left plain.

If angels had a favorite dessert, it would be this one! lol I recommend getting a pastry bag for this recipe, it makes it much easier to fill the profiteroles using a pastry bag.

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Choux Pastry Puffs:

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1  cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs

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  1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. stirring with a wooden spoon gently.  IMG_1592
  3. When mixture begins to boil add flour all at once and stir quickly. You will notice how easily the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. It almost becomes a mashed potato consistency. Remove from heat. IMG_1593 IMG_1594
  4. Allow paste to cool, stirring a couple of times. It takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each egg addition. Make sure each egg is well incorporated. IMG_1595
  6. Transfer the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe 1 1/2 inch high mounds onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Light sprinkle puffs with water immediately to prevent from burning, also the water will help create steam which also allows the puffs to rise nicely. Bake until golden brown, 5-30 minutes. Turn oven off and allow the puffs to cool.
  8. Remove from oven; poke the puffs underneath to let the steam escape. Transfer puffs to a cool surface. IMG_1596 IMG_1598

Chantilly Creme:

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of confectioners sugar, sifted. Note: If you have a hard time getting the mixture to get creamy, add more sugar.

In a bow whisk together vanilla, cream and sugar. Stir vigorously or use a mixer ( using a mixer will make it much easier). You will notice the mixture beginning to thicken. Refrigerate until you are ready to inject the creme into your puffs.

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Hot Chocolate Sauce:

  • 6-7 ounces of good quality dark chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of half & half

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Place chocolate into a double boiler. ( Heat a pat with about 2 cups of water, bring to boil. Then sit another pot on top and add chocolate and half & half. The steam from the pot will then heat the chocolate safely without burning it. Stir as the chocolate begins to melt. Sit aside in a warm spot until you are ready to drizzle over puffs.

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Assembling the Profiteroles

  1. Transfer the Chantilly into a large piping bag with a small pin tip. Pierce the base of the puff with the tip and pipe in creme. If you prefer you can even slice the puff in half and spoon in the creme.IMG_1603
  2. Once you are finished piping, drizzle with chocolate! And ENJOY! IMG_1604

Birthday Cake Chocolate Bark

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This was my first time making these little delicate and delicious treats! Ok so I have to tell you all, I just bought a book that has hundreds of recipes showing you how to make different types of candies, chocolates and suckers. I am super excited. I never knew what chocolate bark was until I peeped chapter 6! I was amazed….sooooo many different types of bark!!! This will be one of many candy recipes I will post. I can’t wait to share them with ya’ll! ( I know I am such a nerd) lol.

photo 4(1) photo 5(1)INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-7 oz dark chocolate
  • 12 oz. white chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon yellow cake mix
  • Colored sprinkles

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Omg the smell of this chocolate bar was amazing. IMG_1495

Line a 9×13 pan with foil or parchment paper. Melt down dark chocolate in a double broiler and pour into the pan.

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Put the pan into the freezer for 20 minutes.

Melt down the white chocolate in a double boiler. As soon as it’s melted, whisk in the cake mix. Take off of heat and let for cool for 3 minutes, until it thickens.

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Pull the dark chocolate out of the freezer and immediately pour on the white chocolate mix.

IMG_1513 IMG_1514Top with sprinkles, put it back in the freezer for 20 more minutes. Once it’s set, break into bark-y pieces. Keep it in the freezer or refrigerated and ENJOY!

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Lorissa’s Mint Sweet Tea w/ Citrus Vodka

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This was created in the middle of a HOT Saturday afternoon! It was about 104 outside and I wanted something refreshing with a little kick of course 😉 The fresh lime juice and mint really kick up the sweet tea. This can also be enjoyed if you omit the citrus vodka.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • sliced lemons and limes
  • Arizona sweet tea ( or whatever brand you prefer)
  • orange juice
  • sprigs of fresh mint
  • fresh lime juice
  • citrus flavored vodka

Directions: Combine 2 oz of vodka, 1 oz of Arizona sweet tea, 1/2 oz of orange juice combine in a shaker. Pour over ice, squeeze in fresh lime juice and stir. Garnish with mint, lemon and lime. ENJOY!

Seasoned Cajun Potato Wedges

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This was done on the fly! I have to admit, I was just trying to use up my potatoes before I had to throw them away! lol I really hate wasting food. So, this is a great way to use up those potatoes…and why is it always like 5 random, oddly-shaped looking potatoes left in the bag?! lol This recipe is so easy, I used a deep fryer, it took 8 minutes on 375 degrees. But you can use a regular frying pan if you want, but I highly recommend using a fryer because they cook up quickly and evenly- no fuss!

photo 3 photo 5  INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 russet potatoes, washed and sliced  (skin on)
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 cups of flour
  • sprinkle generously with Cajun or creole seasoning. I used this combination.photo 1

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine potatoes, seasonings and flour. Coat the potatoes generously

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Deep fry on 375 degrees for 8 minutes until potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain excess oil and ENJOY!

You can add a dollop of sour cream and chives IF YOU MUST 😉 I did! lol

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