Later in life I discovered Brussel Sprouts were actually delicious when prepared properly. This pasta recipe sounded delicious and it didn’t disappoint. Iowa Girl Eats has another winner!
Sausage Brussel Sprouts Parmesan Pasta
1/2 lb. spaghetti (gluten free of not
8oz. sweet Italian sausage
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + a few drizzles
9 oz. shredded brussels sprouts
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a large, 12” skillet over heat that’s just a touch above medium. Add sausage then brown, breaking it up as it cooks but taking care not to break the sausage up into too small of crumbles. Scoop sausage onto a plate then set aside.
Drop pasta into salted, boiling water then cook until it’s just under al dente – pasta will continue to cook a little bit in the skillet later. DO NOT DRAIN PASTA WATER when pasta is done cooking.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the skillet then add brussels sprouts and red chili pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the brussels sprout are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute or until very fragrant.
Using tongs, transfer spaghetti from pot to skillet then add parmesan cheese and cooked sausage. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enough pasta cooking water to help the parmesan cheese melt and evenly coat the pasta. Taste then season with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and then serve.
White Chicken Chili is a stick to your ribs, flavorful soup for cold weather. The original recipe does not have corn and thickens the chili with flour and milk. I chose to add cream cheese, inspired by other recipes. I serve with cilantro, cheese and chips but add whatever inspires you.
A great recipe to make for a crowd, perhaps New Years Day!
Crockpot White Chicken Chili
1 lb. chicken breasts (~2 large chicken breasts)
15 oz. can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
4 oz. can chopped green chiles
1-2 fresh jalapenos, seeded then minced (use 1 for mild chili)
Sopa de la Casa is a recipe I discovered in the early 1980s. It reminded me of the scrumptious tortilla soup that I first enjoyed at Tijuana Tilly’s, in Tijuana, Mexico. Sopa de la Casa was a regular on my table before my daughters were born and it was time to revisit this easy, delicous recipe. It was just as I remembered!
Sopa de la Casa
8 slices bacon, diced
1 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1 1/4 c. finely chopped celery
2 green peppers, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
1 can (31 oz.) refried beans
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. chili powder
In a soup pot, cook bacon until crisp. Move cooked bacon to a separate bowl. Drain half of the bacon drippings. Add onion, celery, green pepper and garlic. Cook until tender.
Blend in chicken broth, cooked bacon, refried beans, pepper and chili powder. Bring to boil. Remove from heat.
Garnish with tortilla chips and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Harvest Bowl is one of my favorite recipes of all times. There are a multiple of flavors and textures to enjoy. I added bits cooked pork roast, a delicious addition. However, the bowl with a meat addition is equally delicious. The best temperature for serving is slightly warm. Leftovers are great for 3-4 days, slightly warmed in the microwave. This the first time I’ve cooked with fig jam and I loved it. For a different twist, it could be interesting to try apple butter. Anyway you make it, you’ll love it!
Wild Rice Harvest Bowls with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup wild-brown rice blend (I recommend Lundberg)
1-3/4 cup gluten-free chicken broth
3 cups 1” butternut squash cubes (about 1 small squash)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon
salt and pepper
9 oz thinly shredded brussels sprouts
1 large or 2 small apples, chopped
3 oz white cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup sliced almonds or pepitas
1/3 cup dried cranberries
For the Fig Dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, microplaned or minced
2 Tablespoons fig jam
salt and pepper
Add rice and chicken broth to a small saucepan then bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes or until rice is al dente (verify liquid amount and cooking method with rice package directions.) Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add butternut squash cubes, 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
Meanwhile, line another half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add shredded brussels sprouts, remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Add to oven after stirring the squash then roast together for 8-10 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown.
For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette: Combine ingredients in a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid then whisk or shake to combine (might need to microwave for 15-20 seconds to help melt the fig jam.) Taste then add more salt, pepper, and/or fig jam if desired.
In a large bowl combine cooked rice, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries. Drizzle Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette on top then toss to coat and serve. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days.
Breakast for dinner is a thing. I fondly remember my Mother making pancakes and sausage for dinner on occasion and we loved it. My oldest grandson loves breakfast for any meal and typically requested breakfast for all three meals on his birthday. One day he was at my house and asked for breakfast for dinner and what to make? I found this easy, yet delicious recipe, and we both enjoyed our unusual dinner. Eggs in Hole it is!
Sheet Pan Egg in a Hole
1 dozen eggs (I made 1/4 of a recipe)
12 slices bread
seasoning like fresh-ground salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
1 bag shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the non-stick silicone baking mat in your large baking sheet and spray the edges of your baking sheet with cooking spray (as the bread and cheese will touch the ends).
Lay your slices of bread on the silicone baking mat and puzzle piece so they fit tight and nicely.
Use the edge of your teaspoon to make a rectangle in the bread, pressing down hard to create a “well” where the egg will lay once cracked. Press down in the well to ensure the bread is as flat as possible, providing the egg as much room as it needs.
Using a small basting brush, spread softened butter on the bread edges that weren’t pressed. The butter adds a wonderful flavor and helps the cheese stay on the bread.
Season your bread all over.
Crack an egg into each well for every piece of bread.
Season lightly over top.
Generously add the shredded cheese to all the buttered parts of the bread.
Bake in the preheated oven on the top rack for 15-20 minutes.
Place the pan on the bottom rack for 5-10 more minutes depending upon how you’d like your egg cooked.
Cooking with Chef Lucas during the COVID lockdown and cautionary period was a bright light in during dark days. Our family came together to cook together and enjoy a wonderful meal of unique dishes. Mint and Cheese Greek Pies did not disappoint. Thanks to Chef Lucas and InVINtions for offering such a great program and helping our family create wonderful memories.
Irish Potato Casserole is a favorite recipe shared with me by my sister-in-law, Betty, many years ago. I have served it often as a side with Prime Rib or with Baked Ham with many compliments. This is a wonderful potato dish that you can prepare the day before and have ready for the oven before your guests arrive. Over the years, I’ve substituted low-fat cream cheese and sour cream with equally good results. It’s a winner, winner chicken dinner kind of recipe!
I’ve shared a photo of the casserole before baking. Every time I make this, I am in such a hurry to serve the meal, that I forget to take a picture after. The after picture would be very similar but with a browned top….never said I was a professional blogger!
This Christmas we will again, have the Irish Potato Casserole with Prime Rib and other family favorites!
IRISH POTATO CASSEROLE
8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt paprika
Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash.
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add potatoes and all other ingredients (except paprika) and beat until well combined.
Spoon into lightly buttered casserole and sprinkle with paprika.
Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before baking. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Fresh local sweet corn, zucchini from the garden and delicious mushrooms are a wonderful combination for this savory pie. My daughters do not like mushrooms, but another vegetable (roasted peppers, additional corn, etc.) would be just as good. I have served the pie warm and cold and enjoyed them both. This pie is so versatile it could be served for brunch or a light summer supper with a salad or with juicy garden tomatoes.
Sweet Corn & Zucchini Pie
4 tablespoons butter
half of a yellow onion, diced
2 ears sweet corn
2 large zucchini, sliced very thinly (about 4 cups)
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces shredded cheese (I used both Mozzarella)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, zucchini, and mushrooms. While the veggies saute, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add them to the pan and continue to saute until the veggies are soft, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Once the mixture has cooled for a few minutes, stir in the basil, oregano, salt, cheese, and the beaten eggs. Line a pie pan (9-inch or larger) with parchment paper or just grease a pan with nonstick spray. Transfer the mixture to the pan. Arrange the top so the zucchini slices lay flat and look nice. Top with a little extra cheese for looks, cover with greased foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting into slices.
Chlebíčky are open-faced sandwiches served in the Czech Republic. The sandwiches include meat, cheese and vegetables and are meant to be eaten in a few small bites. Think of them as an appetizer, often served with wine or beer.
Czech hospitality is like a warm hug from your Babicka, or Grandma. While visiting the Czech Republic and visiting my ancestors villages, we were almost always asked to enter their home and enjoy a treat, be it Chlebíčky, pastry, dandelion tea, or even a little sip (or two) of Slivovice.
Our Colorado Czech/Slovak/Rusyn Genealogy Group used to gather once a quarter (before COVID), often sharing Czech treats. I made Chlebíčky for one of our potlucks, using recipes from Czechcookbook.com. They are easy to make and you can customize the ingredients to your liking. I’ve included links at the bottom to the recipes as well as a link to more information on the history of these delightful bites!
Czech Spread (vlašský salát) (Recipe follows)
thinly sliced ham
thinly sliced cheese (baby swiss)
hardboiled eggs, sliced
dill pickles, sliced
bell peppers, cut into strips
cheese for grating
Czech Spread – Vlašský salát
3 small potatoes (13 oz.)
10 mini carrots or 2 medium (4-5oz)
2 pickles (preferably dill pickles)
1 tsp pickle juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
little bit pepper
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/3 cup canned peas
4 oz. bologna or ham
1 cup mayo