Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sauza Party!

Get ready to enjoy some great margaritas from Sauza.  This is perfect for the upcoming weekend!   Cinco de Mayo friends!

This one is found on AllRecipes from Sauza Tequila.

Get into the spring groove!  These sparkling margs will brighten your day.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Herdez Rockin Chicken Quesdillas

Herdez kindly provided 2 of their 4 new cooking sauces to AllRecipes Allstars.   This turned out to be an excellent gift!    Watch for these on your International Aisle of your grocery store.

The 2 sauces I received were:
Tomatillo Verde
Red Guajillo Chile

Both are wonderfully flavored and add an authentic touch to your Mexican dishes.  I can't wait to try it in more ways.

This recipe uses a crockpot to make shredded chicken.   My recipe lists only breasts but thighs can also be used.

Recipe provided here:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Veggie Lentil Soup (& Sausage)

I haven't had lentils since I was a kid.   I used to eat a lentil soup from Progresso and I loved it.   I was recipe searching for a lentil soup to try and I found a couple that looked great.   I blended two recipes and made this one.

4 slices bacon, chopped
2 links italian sausage, casings removed (I used chicken ital saus)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (leaves are good too!)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
10 cups chicken stock
3 cups dry lentils
Fresh thyme leaves
Fresh parsley leaves
2 bay leaves
Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Saute the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring frequently.   Add the italian sausage and break it up while stirring.   Pour off half the fat.   Add the onions, celery and garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.  Then add the carrots.  After a couple of minutes, add your tomatoes, chicken stock, herbs, salt and pepper.   Bring to a simmer and add the lentils.   Cover and continue to cook at a simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until your lentils are tender.  Remove bay leaves.   Use your stick blender to blend your soup to the desired consistency.   I did a partial blend as I like to have some lentils in my soup as well as some blended to make it a bit thicker.

This turned out really good.   It made a cozy dinner but not a heavy dinner.   I did freeze in individual portions which also turned out well.   It was easy to reheat and serve.  Crusty bread was also excellent with this.   

For a crockpot version, you could brown the meats in a pan, add to the crock pot and add the remaining ingredients.  For the stick blending, I would remove to a pot so you don't scratch your crockpot stoneware.   Or tear the plastic crock liner if you use those.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"Johnsonville" Italian Sausage Penne Casserole

This is a post with several exciting topics.

  • That pasta casserole was way good.
  • See that pretty yellow baking dish?   Johnsonville Sausage gave me a 3 baking dish set from Sur la Table!   I love both companies.
  • First time trying the new Johnsonville Pork and Chicken Italian Sausage with 50% less fat.   It's a winner.

I started to make a Johnsonville Italian Sausage recipe with Rigatoni and I may have tweaked it a little.

"Johnsonville" Italian Sausage Penne Casserole

1 pound box penne pasta, cooked till nearly done

Swizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
Garlic, minced  (not like 1 or 2 cloves, get in 8 cloves)
1 package Johnsonville Pork and Chicken Italian sauce, casings removed
Glug of Cabernet Sauvignon (some for me, some for the sauce)
2-28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
2-14oz cans diced tomatoes
10 oz package frozen spinach, defrosted
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
Salt/Ground Black Pepper
Italian seasoning (I use Pasta Sprinkle from The Spice House)
Crushed Red Pepper

1 small tub ricotta cheese
1 bag of Italian shredded cheese blend (I used Kraft)

Heat oil in a dutch oven and add onion and garlic.  Add sausage and break it up as it cooks.   Add wine if desired.  Let the sausage cook and the alcohol from the wine to evaporate.

Add in tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spices.   Simmer, simmer for about 2 hours.   Stir occasionally and check seasonings.  (You can get the pasta ready when the sauce is nearly done)

Mix sauce with the pasta and add the ricotta cheese.   Pour into baking dish and top with shredded cheese.   Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes.

I make this sauce a few times a year.  I love it over cheese tortellini too.   If you have a parmesan rind you can let it simmer in the sauce as well.  Yum.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweet and Smoky Barbeque Sauce - From AllRecipes!

Happy Monday Everyone!

***shh.  I'm at work***    In my defense, my work ID is being updated so I cannot actually work!   Oh no worries though, I'm sure I will have plenty of time to catch up and work during the evenings or weekends.   I joined a new department in November and am really enjoying it so I don't mind.

Another interesting tidbit is that I applied and was accepted to be an Allstar!   I'm really excited about joining their program as an ambassador and I hope to have more to share with you in the coming year.   

Above is a new recipe I tried this weekend from titled "Sweet and Smoky Barbeque Sauce".   

A couple of favorite points about this recipe is the rum (good addition) and I liked the simmering of the ingredients before the ketchup was added.   Definitely a good method to use with any BBQ sauce recipe.

I will make this one again but may omit the liquid smoke and add Chipotles.  I love those in BBQ sauce.

I used Baby Back Ribs, cut into sections, and seasoned (s&p&garlic pow).   Browned in a bit of vegetable oil, blotted on a paper towel and set into a crockpot with some of the BBQ sauce, bit of chicken stock, whole garlic cloves and a rough chopped onion.  It was "crocked" till the meat started to pull back from the bones.   Then I removed them and baked with a bit of fresh BBQ sauce.  I love this method in the winter.   

Do you make your own BBQ sauce?
Do you only grill your ribs or do you bake or crock them?