Monday, April 27, 2009

Upcoming recipes

I've had a busy few weeks, but I've also made a few wonderful things I have not had a chance to blog. Here's a preview of the recipes you can expect to see this week:

Chicken Braised in Red Wine

Zesty Macaroni and Cheese - From Shelly!

Homemade French Bread

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spicy Sausage Pasta - now with more pictures!

This is a favorite of ours and it takes about 30 minutes. Its really good and full of flavor. It makes enough for 4 people but is great leftover.

Spicy Sausage Pasta


3-4 italian sausage links
2 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp italian seasoning
2 tsp oregano
Dash of leaf basil
Dash of parsley
Red pepper flakes to taste
Tabasco to taste
1 tbsp minced onion
1 jar of basic pasta sauce
1/4 cup shredded parmersean cheese


Remove the sausage meat from the casing. To do this, carefully cut the casing along the long side of the sausage and pull the meat out. You can leave it in the casing and cut it, but I find that you get a better flavor and overall look.

In a deep frying pan, heat a small amount of olive oil and then add the garlic. Heat the garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add the sausage, broken up like ground beef. 
Now you're going to add the spices. Add everything from the italian seasoning to the minced onion.  Here's a hint: When you're using italian seasoning and oregano, the full flavor of these spices, when dried, isn't fully realized unless you "reactivate" the flavor. To do this, put the spices in your hand and rub them back and forth, which will crush the spices and reactivate them to give you more flavor. 

Cook the sausage completely, stirring often. 
Turn down the heat and add the pasta sauce.  You may want to add more spices to the sauce, but there was plenty on the sausage. Sometimes I add more garlic here, as well as some salt and pepper to finish off the flavor. A few minutes before you're ready to serve, add the 1/4 cup pamersean cheese and mix completely to allow it to melt.
Boil and drain your pasta. Serve the sauce with a little more parmersean cheese on top. 

The Wrong Pie

So I set out to make the pie I used to ask for on my birthday every year. I never loved cake, and to this day I greatly prefer the icing to actual cake.  In my head, the pie I asked for was French Silk Pie. I set out to make one for the very first time and I was very excited to learn that I had all the ingridients in house! 

It wasn't until I was nearly finished when I realized: Mom always made me a German chocolate pie. Not a French silk pie. A fatal error. 

My French silk pie is really very good. Its just not quite what I wanted. I have no pictures of the finished pie because I was mad at myself, and I'm too lazy to go get it out of the fridge to take a picture. He're's the recipe of the pie and the pastry shell I made. 

The Wrong Pie: French Silk


Shell - 
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening (I used butter)
3 tbsp cold water

Filling - 

1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar
2 oz unsweeteneed chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (you don't bake this pie... so use egg substitute)


You're going to make your pastry shell first because it needs to cool completely before you fill it. First, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, cutting in the shortening until the mixture is clumpy. I did this in my mixer using the basic mixer thingy. Sprinkle in the cold water 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture is moist. Add more water if necessary to make sure the mixture stays together when you squeeze it. 

Put the dough on the counter and spread into a disc shape. Chill for 2 hours or freeze for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the dough from the fridge/freezer and let stand at RT for 5 minutes. Then, spread the dough into a pie plate, cutting off any excess.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, then let it cool completely

For the filling, first melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then set aside to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar in your mixture until it becomes lightly colored and fluffy.

Stir in the cooled chocolate and the vanilla. Mix well, then turn the mixer up to medium. Add the eggs 1 at a time (1/4 c egg substitute at a time) and mix for 5 minutes on medium speed after each egg. 

Spoon the mixture into the shell. Refridgerate for 2 hours, then serve!

Pancake Bunny

Pancake Bunny
Sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing.