Sausage “Alfredo”

For some reason I’m drawn to the dishes that are a play or rip-off of other dishes.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I feel like this play-on-another-dish is an underdog and I kind of feel like Robin Hood, giving that dish a chance.  Or I could feel a little like Peter Pan, with the dishes that never want to grow up and be the big, bold dish it could have been.  No, stay, play, have fun!  Or, maybe it’s just that these dishes are easier than the actual dish.  Ya, I have to go with that last one.  As much as I’d like to be Robin Hood or Peter Pan, I just don’t look good in tights.  


1 Pkg Hillshire Farm smoked sausage
12 oz cooked pasta, drained
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 Tsp garlic salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups frozen peas


Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

While preparing pasta, cut sausage in ½” – 1″ thick slices.  Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium – high heat.  Sauté sausage for about 5 minutes, until crispy.  Drain any grease.  Add cream, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Add tomatoes and peas. Simmer 4-5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

Stir in Parmesan and add to pasta.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy

Serves 6 – 8

Total time: 30 minutes

Sausage "Alfredo"

Sausage “Alfredo”

*Derived from: Hillshire Farms

Spring Mix with Apples, Toasted Almonds and Basalmic Dressing

Even though I had planned the menu completely, on this particular evening, I just needed something simple.  The kids, of course, voted for plain pasta with butter.  Not something I’ll usually go for, but this was not a usual type day.  That left me, and the hubs, who was still at work.  I wanted something light, that would fill me up without making me feel heavy.  I pulled our container of spring mix salad from the refrigerator.  Grabbed an avocado and some cherry tomatoes.  Whoops.  That avocado doesn’t feel to good.  And it wasn’t.  Hmm, back to the drawing board.  After digging around I came up with a couple of Golden Delicious apples, a container of shaved almonds and also some shaved parmesan.  This is the result.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!



2 cups baby spring mix (such as Organic Girl)
1 ½ Apples thinly sliced (I would have had 2 whole apples had little hands not stolen so many slices 🙂 )
1/3 cup shaved almonds
1/2 – 1 cup shaved parmesan


3 Tbs red wine vinegar
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper


In a small jar combine red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Close lid and shake vigorously to mix.  Set aside.

Put almonds on toaster oven safe tray.  Spread flat and toast lightly, stirring occasionally.

While almonds toast, thinly slice apple and add to a large bowl with spring mix and shaved parmesan.  When almonds are lightly toasted, allow to cool slightly and add to salad mix.  Give jar of dressing one more shake and slowly drizzle over salad to desired amount.  Toss to coat evenly.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4 as side or 2 as main course

Total time: 15 minutes

Salad with Apples and Toasted Almonds

Salad with Apples and Toasted Almonds

*Original Serves-4 Recipe

Broccoli and Cheese Penne

Along with the slow cooker, this time of year brings a distinct desire for all things . . . casserolish.  Anything baked in a big dish with cheese.  Making it oozy and gooey.  The house gets warm from the heat and the aroma makes everyone come running, mouth-watering, asking when dinner will be ready.  Fall is by far my favorite time of year.  We’ve been so exposed during the summer, to the sun, to the heat, to the chlorine from the pool.  With Fall, I welcome that chance to cover up a little.  Wear v-neck sweaters and boots.  The mornings are chilly, the evenings crisp, but the afternoons still shine brightly beckoning at lunch or the early evening to head outside and soak up the final rays.


1½ cups penne pasta (or use whatever tube pasta you have on hand)
1 lb broccoli, cut into florets (or by the fresh broccoli steam bags in the produce section, save yourself a step!)
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1/3 cup milk
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese (depends on how cheesy you like it.  I used 2 cups)
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425°.  With nonstick cooking spray, evenly spray the inside of a deep, 8-cup baking dish.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add broccoli to pasta water the last 5 minutes of cooking time; drain.  Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.

Combine pasta, broccoli, eggs, cream, milk, and cheddar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.  In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and garlic.  Spoon broccoli mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with breadcrumbs mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Burgundy, White
Chardonnay, New World (fruity)
Chardonnay, Old World (buttery)

Serves 6 large portions

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 40 minutes

photo (1)
*Derived from Food Republic

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