Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet Italian Sausage with Zucchini and Tomatoes

This has been an awesome summer addition to our dinners.  There is just something great about tomatoes and sausage together!  Even my three year old had multiple servings.

6 links Whole Ranch Sweet Italian Sausage (I just used the horseshoe shaped ones I get from Sam's or Costco)
2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4-6 large garlic cloves finely chopped
3 TBS fresh oregano finely chopped (or 1 TBS dried oregano)
1 pound of zucchini cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 pound mixed red and yellow cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half (I only had red)
1/2 C chopped fresh basil (I used about 1 1/2 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare sausages according to package directions, either in a sauté pan or on the grill. While they are cooking, heat olive oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and oregano, stir for a few seconds, then add zucchini and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

When sausages are cooked, cut into large bite-sized pieces and add to pan along with tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until tomatoes are just softened, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a large platter and serve.

**The first time I made this I followed the directions as outlined above.  I felt like between the olive oil and the grease from the sausage in was a bit to much.  So the second time I did not use the olive oil.  I just cooked the sliced sausage pieces until heated through and then add the remaining ingredients and followed the remainder of the recipe as above.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Crispy Herb Baked Chicken

Crispy Herb Baked Chicken

2/3 C dry potato flakes
1/3 C grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1 TB Italian seasoning
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder
3 lbs of chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
1/3 C olive oil

Heat oven to 375°. Grease or line with foil a baking sheet or a 9 x 13 baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chicken and oil. Stir until well mixed. Dip
chicken into oil and then roll in potato flake mixture to coat. Place in prepared pan.
Bake 45-60 or until chicken is golden brown.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

These brownies are flour less and are made out of black beans.  This recipe came from the Whole Foods Application on our iPod.  I would say they have much more of a fudge texture than a  brownie texture, but not bad at all, just VERY rich. They were easy to make...just put everything in the blender and pour into the pan.

1 15 oz. can of black beans rinsed and drained (no salt added)
3 large eggs
1/3 C melted butter
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C + 2 TB sugar
1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place first 6 ingredients into blender.  Process until blended smooth.  Stir in chips and nuts.  Pour into greased or sprayed 8x8 pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes (until cooked in the center).
Remove and cool.

*I did not have unsalted beans, so I just omitted the 1/8 tsp salt.

Friday, June 11, 2010


My brother's wedding is coming up and the gal in charge of making the desserts called and asked me for a GF crepe recipe.  I had made some in the past by just switching out the flour for a GF flour blend.  Knowing that it would be a hassle for her to go and find all the flours she would need, I thought there has to be other versions out there.  Sure enough...thank goodness for Google Search!  This recipe was the most common one I kept finding.  It calls for very few ingredients and tasted awesome!  The great thing about crepes is that they are very versitile.  You can make them with fruit and cream, cheeses, thinly sliced meats or meats and cheeses together.  Since I had some fresh raspberries in the fridge, that is what we used.

2 eggs
¾ cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cornstarch

In a blender, combine eggs, milk, corn oil, salt and cornstarch; blend 30 seconds or until smooth.

I have a crepe maker which works really nice.  If you do not have one you can use the following method.

Spray small nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat well over med-high heat. Pour about 2 T batter into center of skillet, rotating quickly to evenly coat pan. Cook about 30 seconds until the edges begin to brown and pull away from pan. Carefully turn crepe; cook 30 seconds longer. Slide out of skillet onto holding dish. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes about 10 six-inch crepes.  Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Fill crepe with your choice of fruit and cream, meat and or cheese and roll up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crockpot Peanut Clusters

2 lbs salted dry roasted peanuts
4oz Bakers German Sweet Choc
1 12 oz pkg semisweet choc chips
2 ½ lbs of white almond bark ( I used white baking chips)
Cupcake or candy liners

Put the peanuts in bottom of a 4 quart crock pot. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts starting with the
German sweet choc, choc chips, and then the almond bark. Cook on low for 3 hours.


After 3 hours stir mixture with wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake liners (I  used
candy liners)  Allow candy to cool completely before removing liners.
Makes 30 to 40 pieces with cupcake liners.
( I made half a batch and filled small candy liners with 1 TBS of peanuts.  I didn't count, but it was enough to line an entire cookie sheet.)