My husband loves hot sausage, but my daughter and I could do without. She and I like sweet sausage, but sometimes we’ve got to make him happy as well. Especially when he buys hot sausage and I have to cook it so it doesn’t just sit in the freezer for months on end!

I asked some of the girls on my cooking board for a few suggestions. I wanted something that would use up the spicy sausage, but would mute it just a bit so my daughter and I would enjoy it as well. This was one of the recipes that immediately got bookmarked. I knew between the pasta and cream it would be perfect for me and he would be happy as well. I didn’t realize just how happy he would be though! Before I finished snapping a picture of my plate for the blog he was headed back for a second serving!

A Taste of Home provided a great kitchen tip as well. To avoid a messy cutting board, use kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes while they’re still inside the can. Perfect!

Bow ties with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bow tie pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional only if you want more heat)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz. can Italian-style plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the directions on the package and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender and translucent. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir cooked pasta into sauce and heat through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Source: A Taste of Home Cooking, modified from Allrecipes.com

Violet Gumdrop Flowers

Anyone can make pretty little flowers to garnish your desserts. Whether you don’t want to get involved with piping frosting flowers or you want a different look, these gumdrop violets are easy and add a beautiful touch. You can also use the same blossom cutter to make pink phlox or yellow forsythia. I have had this little magazine page tucked into my recipe book for years and finally decided to have a go with it. I can’t believe I waited this long. I absolutely love the look and sometimes I just don’t feel like piping! An added plus is that guests, mostly little ones, loved sneaking a flower or two off of the cake!

Violet Gumdrop Flowers

  • Gumdrops
  • granulated sugar
  • blossom cutter

Flatten the gumdrop between your thumb and forefingers to 1/8″ thickness. Using the blossom cutter, cut the shape. Slightly flatten the cut gumdrop again and dredge in granulated sugar. Pinch the center of the cut gumdrop from behind, gently squeezing to form a bell-shaped blossom. Repeat until you have the number of blossoms you desire. Line the bottom of your cake with the violets and use mint leaves for garnish.

Source: Southern Living, April 2008

With a bountiful harvest of zucchini this summer, I knew I was going to try my hand at the classic zucchini bread. I did a few searches and found a recipe I liked. I was able to whip this delicious bread up very quickly on a Saturday morning, which is good since it takes a while to cook and everyone was licking their chops. This recipe makes two loaves and they were both gone within five days! It was so moist and delicious and we just loved the cinnamon in it. I made this last weekend and it will be back on the agenda for this weekend as well! We skipped the nuts since my daughter has a nut allergy, but I’m sure the walnuts only make it even better.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Fold in the zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and completely cool.

This bread can be frozen with great results. It keeps at room temperature for a week and in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. If it lasts that long!?

Source: Allrecipes.com

 

Chicken Marsala

This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember. As I’ve gotten older I have really grown to love Marsala. Luckily, my husband loved it when he tried it so we can have it often in our house.

The recipe actually originated from Paul Newman. My parents used to frequent Watkins Glen, NY and Limerock, CT back in the 70’s and 80’s as my father worked for Race Communications. Back when Paul Newman was in his early days of racing with Sports Car Club of America he would cook for his crew and friends. He loved sharing recipes and joining everyone on the campgrounds. It is no surprise with what he ended up doing with Newman’s Own! I was very happy to have Newman’s Own Organics help me celebrate my one millionth hit on my blog this spring since I’ve enjoyed several of his recipes growing up!

This is a very simple approach to a wonderful tasting meal. Serve it family style or make an intimate dinner for two. Either way, you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.

Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken cutlets, thinly sliced
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 10 oz can beef consomme
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 heaping Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Marsala wine (Go to the wine aisle, not the stuff by the cooking wines!)

Lightly flour the very thin chicken cutlets. Salt and pepper each side of the cutlet.

On medium heat, add some oil and a tablespoon butter to a large skillet. Slowly brown the chicken.

In a separate pan, saute mushrooms in a tablespoon of butter. Add beef consomme, basil, and parsley and let it cook down a bit, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove chicken from skillet and set aside under tinfoil to remain warm.

Turn down the skillet to low heat. Slowly, pour Marsala wine in the skillet the chicken was just removed from. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with the mushrooms and consomme mixture. Add another tablespoon of butter in and give it a light stir. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serve over pasta.

Source: The Way to His Heart via Paul Newman

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