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Italian Sausage Marinara with Penne

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I'm Italian, so this month's Improv Cooking Challenge should have been a no-brainer for me.  The first required ingredient was Italian Seasoning, which I buy in bulk because I go through it so fast.  The second, wine, was a little trickier.  I don't drink it, but I do keep a bottle of red and a bottle of white on hand for when recipes require it.

One of my 2019 cooking resolutions has been trying to reduce my freezer and pantry stashes, and I'd accumulated a stockpile of turkey sausage links. A quick recipe search turned up several recipes, but this sausage marinara from Teresa K. also would help to clear out a box of pasta plus a few cans of tomatoes as well.

Since I was using hot Italian turkey sausage, I reduced amount of hot sauce called for in the recipe.  I used 2 giant cloves of garlic, which would probably be closer to 4 normal sized cloves.  Other than that, I made the recipe as stated.  The hour simmer time seemed much longer than that, because I was starving…

Quick & Easy Chocolate Sauce

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This is going to be a hectic week, with a storm on the way and lots of errands to run.  I love to treat my guys to something special for Valentine's day, but I know that I'm just not going to be able to fit baking something complicated into my schedule.

I searched the Taste of Home site for ideas that I could make ahead, and the title of this one completely got my attention: Quick & Easy Chocolate Sauce.   I always have a stockpile of baking chips in the cabinet, and had some heavy cream left over from another recipe, so I was good to go.

Three ingredients, one pan, and in no time at all you have a lovely, delicious sauce that's great for pouring over ice cream, drizzling on frozen bananas. It would be great with angel food cake and strawberries.  It's also great by the spoonful, straight from the fridge ;) Thanks so much to Mike M. for sharing his recipe!


On Tuesdays I like to share what the other Volunteer Field Editors are making.  You can see their reviews by …

Chocolate Chip Scones

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I've watched every season of the Great British Bake Off that I can get my hands on, I just love it.  When the opportunity came up to try British inspired dishes with the Baking Bloggers, I spent hours looking through recipes. There was so much to choose from!  As always, I have to take into account my families allergies and general pickiness, so I settled on scones.

But even narrowing it down to that led me to so many amazing variations. I decided to look through my cabinets and let the ingredients I had dictate the flavors. Since I am overrun with baking chips at the moment, that made these Chocolate Chip Scones from Taste of Home the perfect choice.

These were so quick and simple to make!  You definitely could use any flavor chips you like, or even dried fruit. I'd have loved some chopped dried cherries mixed in along with the chips, but my my guys wouldn't have.  Next time I'll make a batch just for myself that way.

These were perfect with a cup of tea, and made gre…

Sausage Stuffed Red Potatoes

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February is National Potato Lovers Month, and in this house, we are truly smitten.  Red, purple, white, gold, mashed, baked, fried, serve them up, we're in! Because it's one of our most often eaten sides, I'm always looking for new ways to make them.

I found these Sausage Stuffed Red Potatoes on the Taste of Home site and used it as jumping off point.  I used hot Italian turkey sausage, and I also added about half a small jalapeno that I diced up along with the red bell pepper. The directions call for added the cheese in with the sausage mixture, but I just sprinkled it on top and then heated it up. 

These will be perfect for parties, or for game day.  Since I dialed the heat up with the sausage and jalapeno, I enjoyed them with a little dollop of sour cream on top.  So many different ways you could spin these by changing up the protein and the vegetables too.

Be sure to go and check out all the other amazing recipes that the #FoodieExtravaganza bloggers are sharing by cl…

Chocolate Glazed Brownies

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So happy to be joining my fellow Volunteer Field Editors for Taste of Home Tuesday this week, it's been a while.  I've still been making lots of great recipes from Taste of Home, in fact, I've already tried 15 in 2019! Our favorite so far had been the Old Fashioned Fudge Cake, but I think these Chocolate Glazed Brownies have definitely tied for first place.

Now I've got to say, my guys are picky.  I know, I've said it before.  But they are, and they've also been known to pronounce things "too chocolatey." What?!!  I don't even know what that means.  But once I saw Deb A's recipe, I knew that I had to give it a try.

I loved that the recipe used things that I already had in my pantry. My only change was to add about 1/4c of mini chocolate chips to the batter because my pan was 8.5" x 8.5" and I was afraid there wouldn't be enough batter.  It still worried me when I spread it into the pan, but I popped them in the oven and hoped for…

Valentine's Day Recipe Round Up

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Welcome to the monthly recipe round-up featuring myself and ten other bloggers. February means it is time for recipe ideas that are fitting for Valentine's Day - sweet treats, chocolate, romantic dinners, pink and red foods, and more! Check out all the recipes we have to help you plan out your meals and festivities for this month.

~Breakfast~
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Oatmeal Muffins from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck
White Chocolate & Raspberry Crescents from Blogghetti
Beet Pancakes from Savory Moments
~Sides & Drinks~
White Hot Chocolate from Pies and Plots
Cupid Floats from Jolene's Recipe Journal
Artichoke Heart Palmier from The Saucy Southerner
Rustic Tomato Lentil Soup from Girl Gone Mom
Homemade Spaetzle w/ Dill from Faith, Hope, Love, Luck
~Main Dishes~
Shrimp Scampi from Crafty Cooking Mama
Grilled Ribeye w/ Garlic Blue Cheese Mustard Sauce from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Lasagne for Two from Palatable Pastime
Jerk Scallops w/ Pineapple Salsa over Coconut Rice from Books n' …

Spicy Touchdown Chili

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We're big football fans here, and we're even bigger fans of football food!  Ever since my son was little, we've always had special game day meals.  Nachos are a staple, and so are mini corn dog muffins.  This year I decided I wanted chili, and I've been testing out a few recipes. This Spicy Touchdown Chili caught my eye because in addition to the usual ingredients, it also has bacon!

I made a few changes to the recipe.  I used hot Italian turkey sausage instead of pork.  For all of the beans, I bought reduced sodium versions.  Instead of the beer, I used beef broth.  Because I couldn't find the diced tomatoes with onions, I upped the fresh onion to a medium sized one.

I love this one because you can make it early in the day, pop it in the slow cooker and not have to miss any of the game.  While it's great by itself, it also would make awesome nachos, or poured on top of a baked potato or a nice grilled hot dog.  I was very happy with the heat level, but you ca…