One-Pot Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

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I’m loosing my blog writing steam.

I love blogging, but sometimes writing a little something personal before the recipe gets difficult.

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What is relevant? What will people be interested in reading? What do I want to write about? Are people even reading?

I’m in a lot of blogging groups on FB and I’ve been noticing some people feel the same way as me, esp when people poll each other about if they still really read blogs. Most people were saying they read their favorites but otherwise they skim the content of others, or just pin others and move on. (This all effects bounce rate and engagement!!)

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The blogging world has changed a lot since I started, shit it has even changed a lot in the last 6 months. It’s an evolving thing. Like commenting used to be a big thing, but now sometimes it’s like “hello, is this thing on?”. So sometimes I sit at the computer thinking about what to write longer than it takes to even make up the recipe and write that part up.

And then there are times when I feel hat writing about how I brought my pregnant neighbor some cake and we started talking about stuff like hospital mesh underwear that you wear after having a baby.

See, did that just get weird??

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Anyway, one pot pasta is the jam. Guys, for real!

I had been skeptical about them. Like how well the pasta would cook or how it would taste. But all of those apprehensions washed away when I was cooking this pot of deliciousness up.

The house smelled so good while it was cooking up since everything was saucy and coming together from the sauteed sausage and broccoli with the wine and sauce. And then it was love at first bite!

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One-Pot Sausage and Broccoli Pasta

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Cup diced onion
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, hot or sweet or a mix of both
  • 1 pound frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 Cup red wine
  • 1 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces of penne pasta
  • 32 ounces of water
  • 1 Cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 Cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 pound ball of fresh mozzerella, diced

Process

  1. In a large pot, warm oil over medium heat until it is shimmering. Saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sausage. Break up the sausage into small pieces while you brown it.
  3. Mix in the broccoli florets. Pour the wine in and cook for simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the marinara sauce and pasta to the pot. Add 24 ounces of water. Stir well.
  5. Cook the pasta 15 minutes. Simmer over medium-low heat, stir every 5 minutes, add water as needed.
  6. Add 3/4 Cup of torn fresh basil leaves. Mix well.
  7. Serve in the pot it was cooked in. Top with the remaining basil, toasted pine nuts, and mozzarella. Enjoy with a big glass of red wine!
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Mexican Chocolate Cake

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We got a big update on our house and its schedule today! So exciting!

I’ve been meaning to do a big house update but it keeps getting pushed aside in the busy holiday hustle and bustle. Plus, we had some drama related to some framing in our house and I didn’t think it was appropriate to write about it we figured it out.

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That being said, the drywall is up in our house and the stucco will be getting applied this week. Ultimately all of this will work out that our house will be move in ready for the end of January/ start of February. I just can’t wait to move in!

We have already purchased our fridge, washer, dryer, our bed frame, and dining room set. Other things have been picked out like Autumn’s bed and some artwork for some walls but we have lots of shopping to do! I’m currently obsessed with curtains so I’m trying to figure them out in all the different rooms. So far, we only have the curtains for the bonus room and I am in love with them. Plus, I got them for a steal as they were sale and I have a designer discount too!

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I’m looking forward to getting it all set up and feel like home. It is going to be so incredible!

In other news, I’m addicted to this cake.

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It’s the perfect balance of chocolate and spice. The spice being the cinnamon, so it’s not spicy, but it adds an extra perfect something that is killer in this cake. The way that salt brings out flavors, the cinnamon really amps up the flavors of the chocolate.

Plus, it has an incredible frosting on top that seals the deal. Bliss.

The cake and frosting are both really easy to make so I hope you’ll whip it up asap so you can enjoy a big slice, just like me!

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

Makes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting

  • 1/1 Cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound (1 package) confectioners’ powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 metal pan.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, oil, cocoa, and water. Heat until the butter is melted and everything is combined. The mixture just needs to be warm enough to melt the butter, do not make it to hot or it will scramble your eggs
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the melted butter mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Five minutes before the cake is done, prepare the icing. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat on medium until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat, the add the vanilla extract and the confectioners’ sugar. Then mix in the nuts.
  6. Let cake cool before you pour the icing over the whole cake.

Cake and frosting recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

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Slow Cooker Cheeseburgers

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I am really over due for a haircut. But I don’t want to get it cut.

That’s a lame predicament right there. I need to suck it up and go since my hair is looking stringy and it needs some proper attention.

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Mainly, my issue is this crappy FL water. It is wreaking havoc on my hair.

My dad has a water purifying system at his house but it’s still not super great. It feels weighed down and heavy. And I’ve stopped using conditioner at this point since that was just making it worse. It needs a nice cleansing treatment and 2″ off and I’ll be good as new. At least when it comes to my hair, the rest of me… ha!

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Anyway, this is my dream slow cooker dinner.

I can’t get over how amazing it is. It’s simple but I think that some of the simplest things are the best. Like pasta with butter, cheese, and sea salt. Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. Or brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts. Whatever, judge me.

So this is one of my new favorite family meals. I have been making it regularly when I don’t feel like cooking on the weekend. Esp on a Sunday.

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There is just something extra specical about these cheeseburgers cooking away while we hang out and watch football. It gives us a chance to lounge around (or do like 5 loads of laundry… it never ends!) and ta-da dinner is ready.

I was so interested when I saw these since I had never seen cheeseburgers like this before. They are like sloppy joe’s but with cheese.  It’s like a cheese burger but with more cheese.  It’s like a nacho topping but for a sandwich.  And it’s delicious!!

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Life will never be the same once you make these slow cooker cheeseburgers.

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Slow Cooker Cheeseburgers

Make 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I used 85/15)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

For serving

  • 8 buns, I suggest onion poppyseed ones
  • 8 slices of cheese
  • toppings like sliced tomato, pickles, and thinly sliced onions
  • french fries

 Process

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and diced onion. Breaking up the beef while you cook it until no pink remains and the onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Drain the meat.
  2. Transfer to the slow cooker and season with the salt and pepper. Stir in the Velveeta, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire Sauce.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 3 – 4 hours, stirring about once an hour.
  4. Serve on buns with another slice of cheese and other toppings. Enjoying with fries is encouraged🙂

Adapted from Fake Ginger

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Guava and Cream Cheese Turnovers (Guava Pastelillos)

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I don’t really know what to write about with today’s recipe. I just can’t form a real thought about what to write about.

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So here is just a random list of things going on…

I put a gold safety pin decal on my car. It make me happy. (reason why, etsy store)

Autumn wanted a swing, so my dad hung up one from his balcony so Autumn can swing from it in the foyer. Grandparents can do crazy crap like that at their houses. ha!

We have purple Christmas lights up. They also make me happy.

I have been making egg sandwiches every day for breakfast. My version of an egg mcmuffin. I have been eating them for dinner too. The toaster and microwave are my friends. I have sorta given up on cooking real food.

But I do want to make a lasagna this weekend. Maybe.

They are going to start the drywall on our house this week. HELL YA!

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These little Guava Pastelillo are addicting.

I wanted to make a fun treat for this week’s latest Taco Tuesday post.

I have a long list of things I want to make before the end of the year wraps things up on this series but I have been scattered. Like a kid in a candy shop. So many options! At the last minute I picked these delicious pillowy puffs.

I’m not sure if I’d call them a breakfast food since I could eat them 24/7.

I just love the combination of guava and cheese. It’s a traditional sweet and salty combo that just works so well together. I featured it last year in my Waffle Wednesday series as well when I made Guava and Chream Cheese Stuffed Puffle Waffles. Both are easy to make and both are so damn delicious.

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Be sure to take a big bite and savor the sweetness of the guava paste and the subtle tartness from the cream cheese. They are fantastic with a cup of coffee. Just be sure to wipe away the crumbs so you are not caught sneaking another one while you are in the kitchen. ha!

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Guava and Cream Cheese Turnovers (Guava Pastelillos)

Makes 16 puffs

Ingredients

  • 1 package Puff Pastry sheets
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • approx 6 oz.  Guava Paste
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer to thaw according to package instructions.
  3. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix well.
  4. Slice the guava paste into 1/4″ thick slices that are approx 1″ x 1 1/2″ in size. You need 16 slices.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets so they are approx 12″ x 12″. Slice them in half in 1 direction and then in 4 in another, creating 8 pieces with each sheet.
  6. Assemble the turn turnovers by placing a piece of guava paste on one half of the rectangle, while leaving a 1/2″ edge around the paste for sealing. Add a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture on top of the guava paste. Fold the other half of the puff pastry dough over and seal the 3 open edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining turnovers. ( I suggest doing both sheets at the same time so you can evenly portion out the cream cheese mixture among the puffs)
  7. Coat the top of the puffs with the egg wash mixture. Then sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Arrange the puffs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minute or until golden brown and puffy.
  9. Cool the turnovers on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

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I’m thankful that Thanksgiving is over.

I’m thankful that November is almost over. It’s been a rough month.

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Nothing catastrophic went down but I am glad the month is almost over. I had a health issue at the beginning of the month that kept me out of work for a week and since then I have had to take it easy (I’ll share when the time is appropriate). So sitting on my butt after Halloween and now Thanksgiving is making me feel soft and fat with a lot of pent of energy to burn off. I have also learned that health care in FL is annoying as eff to deal with (the only reason I wish I was back in Boston right now).

Then there was the election which has me wrecked. I can’t even think about it or I really freak out.

So, I am looking forward to December with the hopes of getting out of my slump. And hopefully get clearance to work out again.

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Anyway, since I’m trying to get out of my rut, I figure I’ll share with you one of my favorite soups.

I have made this more times than I have count over the years. I make it whenever I don’t feel like cooking. Slow cooker recipes are the best recipes for not cooking, but cooking up something great. (Don’t worry, if you don’t have a slow cooker you can certainly make this on the stove!)

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The soup is so flavorful from the fresh ginger, curry, and lime juice. The coconut milk brings all the flavors together while mellowing things out a bit too.

I quickly learned to skip the jalapeno for Autumn. whoops! I just spice up my own bowl instead now. But if you are serving this to people that enjoy some spicy flavors, then add the jalapeno. I now typically add some samabal or sriracha.

My favorite thing about the soup is that it is Whole30 complaint (if you use a complaint coconut milk!). When enjoying it when we are doing different rounds of Whole30, we skip the rice or rice noodles that I typically serve with it. Bowls of soup with slurp-able rice noodles are my favorite.

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Cozy up to a big bowl of this soup and you warm up from the hot soup and all the rich, warm flavors in no time.

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Makes 8-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken breast, trimmed of any fat
  • 2 Cups sliced carrots
  • 1 1/2 Cups sliced yellow onions (I used 2 onions)
  • 1 1/2 Cups sliced bellow pepper (I used 2 peppers)
  • 1 sliced jalapeno, optional
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 Cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium
  • 1 15-ounce can of lite coconut milk
  • 1/3 Cup lime juice
  • lime wedges for garnish

Process

  1. Combine the chicken breasts, carrots, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cilantro, paprika, salt and pepper in a 5-6 qt slow cooker. Add the broth to cover. Mix well.
  2. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  3. When the soup is done, remove the chicken breasts to shred.
  4. Add the shredded chicken back in with the coconut milk and lime juice. Mix well.
  5. Serve on its own with a lime wedge. Alternatively, serve with cooked white rice or rice noodles. Enjoy!

Inspired by Baked by Rachel 

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