Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I actually like stuffed mushrooms better than stuffed peppers. However, I haven’t been able to find a good local mushroom guy in this town. I really miss my old mushroom guy. Fresh grown mushrooms just taste so much better than the store ones. But anyway, I decided to channel my desire for something stuffed into this sausage stuffed peppers.

RECIPE: Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Makes 3 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0145
Cutting Board
Knife
Oven set to 400
Baking pan
Cast iron pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS: 
Homemade Italian Sausage
Tomatoes
3 Medium Green Peppers
Mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
Cut the tops off three green peppers and remove the seeds and insides.
2) Put the peppers standing up in a baking pan and place in the hot oven for 15-25 minutes or until soft.
3) Begin browning the sausage in a cast iron pan.
4) Roughly chop up the tomatoes and add them to the cooking sausage.DSCF0147
5) Slice some mozzarella.
6) Fill the cooked peppers with the sausage and tomato mixture, and then top with the mozzarella.
7) Place back in the oven until the cheese melts.DSCF0155

Butternut Squash Soup

It may still be in the 80’s outside, but I am in denial and pretending that its fall! As part of this denial, I decided to make a quintessential autumn meal. This butternut squash soup recipe will not only fill you up for dinner, but will give you plenty of servings for the rest of the week. I think this meal is one of the first times I’ve heard my husband say he was completely full after a single bowl!

RECIPE: Butternut Squash Soup 
Makes 8 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0158
Cutting Board
Knife
Glass Roasting Pans
Oven set to 400
Pot
Spoon
Immersion Blender
Ladle

INGREDIENTS: 
1 Butternut Squash
3 Carrots
1 Onion
5 Cloves Garlic
Chicken Broth
Ground Pepper
Fresh Nutmeg
Sage
Ginger

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF01601) 
Cut the butternut squash into chunks and lay them skin down in a glass baking dish.
2) Chunk up the three carrots and lay them in the baking dish with the butternut squash.
3) Roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
4) Remove the vegetables from the oven when they are nice and soft. Let cool while you begin preparing the rest of the soup ingredients.
5) Dice up an onion and let it begin cooking in the pot.
6) Mince up the garlic cloves and add them to the onion.
7) Using your fingers, remove the the skin from the butternut squash and toss the soft squash meat and the carrots into the pot.
8) Pour the box of broth over the vegetables, give it a good stir, and let it cook.

9) When everything has cooked together and is soft, use the immersion blender to turn all the ingredients into a single smooth soup.
10) Season the soup with sage, freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, and black pepper to your personal taste, but trust me that you don’t want to skimp on the nutmeg!
11) Serve fresh or let cool slightly before storing in the fridge for lunches. DSCF0168

This is not a thin soup. This is a thick, stick to your bones, keep you warm all winter kind of soup.

Toasty Sandwich

With our homemade Habanero mustard and the spicy pickles finally ready for consumption, my husband can not get enough of these toasty sandwiches! This is a really simple dinner and you after a long day at the office is minimal effort for a great reward.

RECIPE: Toasty Sandwich
Makes 3 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF5015
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast iron pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS: 
Cheddar Cheese
Smoked Ham
Whole Wheat Bread
Butter
Habanero Mustard
Spicy Pickle Slices

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
Prepare the sandwich makings by slicing the extra sharp cheddar cheese and creating 1 ounce stacks of smoked ham.
2) Take six slices of whole wheat bread and spread butter on one side of each slice.
3) On the other side of three of the slices, spread a thick layer of habanero mustard.
4) Place the butter side down in a cast iron pan warmed over medium heat.

5) On top of the habanero mustard, layer the ham, pickle slices, and cheddar cheese, before placing a side of buttered bread on top, butter facing out.
6) After the sandwich toasts on one side, flip and brown the other side. DSCF5019

Cream Cheese Pie aka Cheesecake

Cream Cheese pie is what my family recipe is called, but I like to think of it as the best cheesecake ever. My husband was craving cheesecake, and who am i to deny his request? This is a straight forward, no frills, no fuss, cheesecake!

RECIPE: Cream Cheese Pie aka Cheesecake
Makes 8 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF4992
Food Processor
Microwave safe bowl
Bowl
Electric Beater
Pie Dish
Oven heated to 375

INGREDIENTS: 
1 Packet Graham Crackers
1/2 Stick Butter
1lb Cream Cheese
2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
In a food processor, pulverize one bag or 1/3 of a box of graham crackers.DSCF4993
2) Melt butter in the microwave and pour in just enough to moisten all the graham cracker mixture in the food processor.
3) Press the graham cracker mixture into the pie pan with your hands.
4) In a bowl, beat together the 1 lb of cream cheese, the 2 eggs, the vanilla, and sugar. Do not over beat to the point of being fluffy, but beat it until its a smoother mixture.
5) Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust.
6) Bake for 30-45 minutes until set. Cool, and then chill in a fridge overnight.
DSCF4995

Rye-licious Pizza

So I have had so much sour dough pizza in the past few months that I decided it was time for something new. This rye pizza dough is a mixture of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and rye flour. It is amazing! I wish I took measurements when I made it, but I just used up what was left of the whole wheat and rye flour I had in the house. I will be sure to take measurements next time I make it!

RECIPE: Rye-licious Pizza
Makes 3 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF5034
Spatula
Cast iron pan
Cutting Boards
Knife
Round pizza tray
Cheese Grater
Oven set to 450-500 degrees
Pizza Cutter

INGREDIENTS:
Leftover tomato sauce
Diced tomatoes
Oil
Rye pizza dough
Mozzarella
Onion
Pickled Peppers

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a cast iron pan, begin reheating the leftover homemade tomato sauce and add a can of diced tomatoes to it to make it enough sauce for the pizza.
2) Grease the pizza pan and press out the pizza dough to the desired size and thickness. I tend to go with thinner pizzas personally.

DSCF50393) Shred the mozzarella cheese and put to the side.
4) Cut up about 1/4 to a 1/2 of an onion into slivers.
5) Top the pizza dough with the expanded pizza sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and then top with onions and pickled peppers.
6) Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and the crust is crispy. I actually prefer for the cheese to begin browning a bit too before I take it out of the oven.
7) Move the pizza to a cutting board and let cool for a minute or two before slicing and serving. DSCF5040

This pizza goes exactly with a nice home brewed beer or hard apple cider. I actually love the rye flavor of the dough and can’t wait to make it again. Absolutely amazing!

Cashew Chicken Stir Fry

I was really in the mood for Chinese food the other night, but we were in the middle of a no take out month. So I decided I would make some cashew chicken stir fry! As noted in the ingredient picture, I was going to cheat and use a packet for the seasoning. However, my husband decided to get his hands dirty in the kitchen and made a homemade stir fry sauce.

Also, I recommend using a wok for this recipe. However, our flat top stove is not a fan of cooperating with our wok.

RECIPE: Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Makes 4 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF5027
Spatula
Cutting Boards
Knife
Cast iron pans

INGREDIENTS:
Rice
Sesame Oil
Water
Chicken Breasts
Onion
Stir Fry Sauce
Green Beans
Water Chestnuts
Cashews

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a cast iron pan, begin slightly toasting the rice in some sesame oil. When lightly toasted, cover in water and let rice begin cooking.
2) On a plastic cutting board, cut the chicken into chunks or strips.
3) Begin cooking the chicken in a cast iron pan.

4) On a wooden cutting board, cut half on onion into rings and then cut the rings in half to have long strips of onion. Toss them in with the chicken.
5) When the sauce is ready, pour it over the chicken and onions.
6) Wash and remove the ends from the green beans and add them to the mix while stirring.
7) Quickly cut the water chestnuts in half and toss them and about 1/2 a can of cashews into the pan, stirring and cooking only until they are heated. You want them to stay crisp.
8) Serve the cashew chicken stir fry over rice and enjoy! DSCF5032

Pizza Potato Rounds

I decided to make a healthier version of my usual garbage potatoes. This completely baked dish is just as delicious and pizza themed! Great flavor combinations and still easy to eat like regular garbage fries.

RECIPE: Pizza Potato Rounds
Makes 4 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF5004
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast iron pans
Oven set to 350
Cheese Grater

INGREDIENTS:
Red Potatoes
Avocado Oil
Tomatoes
Banana Peppers
Mozzarella Cheese
Italian Sausage
Basil

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF50071) Cut the red potatoes into round slices and lay them down in circles inside a cast iron pan.
2) In another cast iron pan, begin cooking up the sausage.
3) Sprinkle the potatoes with a small drizzle of avocado oil and then bake for about 5-10 minutes.
4) While the potatoes bake, chop up the tomatoes, slice the banana peppers, and shred the mozzarella cheese.
5) Remove the potatoes from the oven. Top with a layer of tomatoes, then mozzarella cheese, then banana peppers, and finally some Italian sausage.

6) Sprinkle liberally with basil before putting bake in the oven.
7) Bake until all the cheese melts and then serve as is.

DSCF5012

I absolutely adored this dinner. It was full of vegetables, flavor, and homemade sausage!

Squash Trio Casserole

Who doesn’t love squash? With the summer harvests coming to a close, I wanted to celebrate the wonderful flavors of squash and zucchini. It would have been much more enjoyable if it was fall harvest weather, but for some reason its still in the 80’s and 90’s around here.

RECIPE: Squash Trio Casserole
Makes 6 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF4985
Cutting Board
Knife
Cast iron pan
Oven set to 350
Glass Baking Dish
Spoon

INGREDIENTS:
Butter
Patty Pan Squash
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Onion
Sour Cream
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Parmesan
Ritz Crackers

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a cast iron pan, begin melting a pad of butter over low heat.
2) First chop up the patty pan squash and add it to the pan. Then do the same with the zucchini and yellow squash.


3) Stir the squash medley together and let it cook while you dice up an onion.
4) Cook until the squash and onion is tender and then pour it into a glass baking dish.
5) Add a scoop of sour cream, about 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, lots of garlic powder, and a hearty dose of black pepper.
6) Stir the mixture until the squash is evenly coated.

7) Crush up a sleeve of Ritz crackers and sprinkle them over the entire casserole.
8) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it is hot throughout.
IMG_3402

We were going to have a protein along with this for dinner, but we ended up just having the casserole for the main course instead! You can see that my husband helped himself to some before I even had time to take a picture! Between the three types of squash, it was chock full of flavor. It also reheated well for lunches.

Turkey Taco Throwback

When I was a kid, we would always have ground turkey tacos in crunchy shells. As I was walking down the protein aisle at the market and saw the ground turkey breast on sale, I knew that I just had to have turkey tacos for dinner! My husband prefers the soft shell over crunchy, so I got crunchy taco shells for myself and whole wheat tortillas for him.

RECIPE: Turkey Taco Throwback
Makes Dinner for 2 and several lunches worth of leftovers 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF4997
Cast iron pan
Spatula
Cutting Board
Knife
Taco Tray
Oven set to 375

INGREDIENTS:
Corn Shells
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Ground Turkey Breast
Chili Powder
Cumin Powder
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Paprika
Grilled Corn
Tomato
Onion
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF49991) Put two corn shells and two whole wheat tortillas in the taco tray and in the oven to bake for 5-7 minutes.
2) In a cast iron pan, begin cooking the ground turkey breast.
3) Season the turkey breast with cumin, garlic, onion, paprika, and some homemade chili powder! If the seasoning doesn’t spread well, add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help make the flavor more consistent throughout. DSCF5001
4) While the turkey cooks, give it an occasional stir and begin prepping the toppings.
5) Cut the corn off the grilled cob, chop up half an onion, slice up some cheddar cheese, and dice up a tomato or two from the garden.
6) Remove the taco shells and tortillas from the oven and fill it with turkey, corn, onion, tomatoes, and top it with a slice of cheese to hold it all in!
DSCF5003

Blackberry Cinnamon Apple Jelly

I hate food waste. While I do try to compost or save scraps for making stock, it can hurt to see the giant bowl filled with cores and skins after you finish canning up apple butter or apple sauce. This year, I decided that I would put these apple scraps to good use and make the perfect autumn jelly!

RECIPE: Blackberry Cinnamon Apple Jelly
Makes 3 and 1/2 pints 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF4952
Canning Tools
2 Large Pots
Strainer
Measuring Cup
Spoon
Small Pot

INGREDIENTS:
Apple Scraps
Water
Sugar
Lemon Juice
Cinnamon Sticks
Black Berries

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF49541) Place all your apple scraps in a large pot and fill with water until the scraps are just about covered.
2) Put a lid on the pot and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the apple scraps are soft and falling apart.
3) Scoop the liquid out of the pot and strain it into a measuring cup. It is important to know how much apple liquid you are pouring in your second large pot.
4) For each cup of apple juice, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar. For every cup of liquid, add about a 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice. I tend to go lower on sugar since apples and blackberries are already sweet, but I know some people really like sweet jellies for their toast. DSCF4953
5) In a small pot, begin cooking down some black berries until they are just a mash of juicy mess.
6) Add 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks to the pot of apple juice and sugar. Let it start simmering, stirring often.
7) Strain the black berry juice into the apple jelly mixture.
8) Keep cooking and stirring until the jelly begins to set. If you don’t have enough pectin from the cores it may be necessary to add some liquid or powdered pectin to help the jelly set.
9) Pour the jelly into sterilized jars, I used pint because I was out of half pint, and process for 10 minutes for 1/2 pints and 15 minutes for pints.
10) Let cool overnight before labeling and storing in a cool dark place. IMG_3436