Crock-Pot Sausage, Spinach, and White Bean Soup

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I was given a crock-pot, and since then have been trying to find recipes as it makes life so much easier knowing I can be hard and work, and that when I get home and am tired I have dinner already made and waiting.

I got this off pinterest but it originally comes from D*** Delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1-12.8 oz Package of Smoked Andouille Sausage or Kielbasa Sausage
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 3 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, Diced
  • 2-15 oz Cans of Great Northern Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Cups of Baby Spinach
  • 2 Cups of Water

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 mins.
  3. Place sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano, and bay leaves into the slow cooker.
  4. Stir in chicken broth and water until well combined.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  7. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  8. Serve immediately.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I loved it. It was delicious and healthy.

For more Pinterest recipes, go to Hasselback Potatoes

For more Crock-pot recipes, go to Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

For more soup recipes, go to French Onion Soup

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Too Easy Hotdish

 

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Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

This recipe comes from the Hannah Swenson Mystery Apple Turnover Murder.

Hannah makes this dish for her boyfriend and sheriff deputy, Mike. Now before reading this book I had never heard of a hotdish, other than a hot dish, as in a dish that is hot. Apparently they are big in the Midwest and Northwest, but me being from California we don’t eat “hotdishes”, we eat casseroles. But I was willing to give it a try as to how they described it in the book made it sound extremely tasty.

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Ingredients:

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray or Butter
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs of Lean Ground Meat (such as hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, sausage, etc. Make sure it is lean as the fat does not drain out of this dish)
  • 2 -12oz Cans of Cream of anything
  • 1 lb Package of Tater Tots
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Be sure to use only one cup as too much can become an insulator and keep the bottom layers from cooking.)
  • Worcestershire Sauce (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° fahrenheit.
  2. Use the cooking spray or butter to coat a 9 by 13-inch pan.
  3. Put the ground meat in the bottom of the pan, spreading it as evenly as you can. Press it down with your hands or the back of a spatula.
  4. Spoon the two cans of cream-of-something on top of the meat. Make sure to spread it out as evenly as possible.
  5. Put the tater tots on top of the soup in a single layer. Spread them out as evenly as possible.
  6. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
  7. Do not cover your hotdish with anything. Slip the pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tater tots are browned and crispy.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

In a way this particular hotdish is like the poor man’s Shepherd’s pie. Instead of mashed potatoes, tater tots, and instead of gravy, cream of something. I am not a fan of Shepherd pie at all, I can hardly eat it, but I did enjoy this Hotdish.

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The only thing that I thought was wrong with this dish was that it was rather plain in seasoning. I recommend using the Cream of Chicken and Herb, as the herbs really helped along with adding a bit of Worcestershire sauce.

It was very easy to prepare and I recommend it for those of you who’s hours are crunched (working moms and college students) and need a fast dish to make and make quickly.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

I didn’t include a picture as it doesn’t photograph well, but do not let it’s looks deter you. It does taste great.

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For more Hannah Swenson recipes, go to Christmas Cheese Rounds

For more cassaroles, go to Ratatouille

Pizza Siciliana

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Thoughts Before Reading:

This recipe comes from an old cookbook from the ’70s, Time Life’s American Cooking: The Melting Pot, and covers all kind of recipes from the different cultures in the USA.

I am Sicilian so when I saw the pizza I had to try it. I decided to not make the pizza dough with the recipe they gave but followed every other facet.

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Unlike the familar round Neopolitan pizza,  Sicilian pizza is a newcomer to the pizza-loving Americans. It’s soft, breadlike crust and rectangular shape actually make it a more practical recipe for the home. The ingredients for the garnish are flexible; you can substitue such items as sliced cooked sausage, black olives or anchovies for the mushrooms and peppers-or add any or all of them to the recipe given here.”

-Time Life, 1971

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

  • 3 Cups of Lukewarm Water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 Packages of Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 8-10 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter, Softened

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of lukewarm water into a cup and sprinkle with yeast and sugar.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 2-3 mins, then stir.
  3. Place the cup in a warm, draft-free place (such as an unlighted oven) for about 10 mins, or until the yeast bubbles and the mixture doubles in volume.
  4. Place the 8 cups of flour and the salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  5. Pour in yeast mixture, the ret of the water, the vegetable oil; and with a large wooden spoon incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
  6. Continue to stir until the ingredients are well combined and can be shaped into a ball.
  7. Transfer the ball onto a floured surface and begin to knead; pressing the ball with the heel of your hand, pressing forward and folding back.
  8. Knead until dough is smooth, and an elastic medium-firm; (incorporate the 2 more cups of flour if you need to).
  9. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and the sides of the dough with butter.
  10. Place dough in a bowl and a warm drat-free place for 1-1.5 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. Punch it down with your fists and replace in the bowl to rise again.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce.
  12. When dough has completed its rising, punch it down and then cut it in half.
  13. Roll out each half to fit in a jelly-roll pan.
  14. Place the dough on the pans and then stretch it with your fingers so hat it fills the edges and corners.
  15. Drape with a towel and place in warm, draft-free place until dough has risen double.

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Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of finely Chopped Onions
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of finely chopped Garlic
  • 3-1lb cans of solid packed Tomatoes and their liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon of Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 6 oz can of Tomato Paste

Directions:

  1. In a 10-12 inch heavy skillet heat the olive oil, until a lught haze forms.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently until the onion become translucent.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and their liquid, oregano, sugar, black pepper, salt, and tomato paste.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour.

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Ingredients:

Pizza Garnish:

  • 1 lb of Mozzarella Cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 Cup of finely grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup of thinly sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Large Green Bell Peeper; seeded, deribbed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper; seeded, deribbed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup of thinly chopped Onions
  • Chopped Sausage
  • Sliced Olives
  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven tp 500 degrees F.
  2. Divide the sauce in half and coat the top of the dough.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 mintes, then sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, olives,  and sausage.
  4. Dribble the olive oil on top and bake for 10 minutes longer.\Cut pizza into squares and serve at once.

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pizzasciliana

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Thoughts After Baking:

Here is what I thought about this pizza:

pizza

It was amazing! The sauce was the best I have ever had and the only one I will ever make for pizza again. It was just so fantastic!

fantastic

You should definitely try this out for yourself!

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For more Italian recipes, go to Italian Wedding Soup

For more recipes, go to A is for Applesauce Cake

Misdemeanor Mushrooms

christmastree

Time for another holiday recipe:

Sugar Cookie Murder

So this recipe of mushrooms comes from Sugar Cookie Murder and the fictional Lake Eden Holiday Buffet Cookbook.

Thoughts Before Cooking:

I love mushrooms and these stuffed ones sounded so great that I decided they would be an excellent one to try out.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds of Ground Sausage
  • 3 Cloves of Finely Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of Ground Sage
  • 8-oz package of Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon of Parsley
  • 1 lb of Medium to Large Mushrooms (Big enough to stuff)
  • Parmesan Cheese (to sprinkle)
  • Butter
  1. In a large, non-stick skillet, combine the sausage, garlic and sage.
  2. Sauté until sausage is browned and garlic is translucent.
  3. Drain the fat from the skillet and add softened cubed cream cheese and parsley.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat, and cover.
  5. Wash mushrooms. Remove the stems and set the caps aside.
  6. Chop the stems very fine and stir into the sausage/cheese mixture.
  7. Brush caps with melted butter and arrange cap down on a non-stick baking sheet (if needed shave a bit from the bottom of the cap to make them flat).
  8. Fill each cap with a heaping mound of warm sausage mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 15 minutes.

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MisdemeanorMushrooms

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Thoughts after cooking:

These were great! They were delicious and could make a great appetizer or mean if paired with a salad.

The cream cheese might make them a little rich for some, but I’m definitely going to make them again.

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For more Hannah Swensen recipes, go to a Hole in One

For more recipes, go to Gingerbread Men Cookies