Tomato Basil Sausage and Noodles

Yesterday, my family and I went to the Hartville Flea Market. They had different kinds of noodles (Mrs. Miller’s brand), so I bought the tomato basil and spinach. I couldn’t wait to make something with the noodles!

My mom makes chicken and noodles all the time, and it’s delicious. I used what I know from watching her but mixed up and played with the ingredients.

Tomato Basil Sausage and Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Mrs. Miller’s Tomato Basil noodles
  • 2 boxes of chicken broth
  • butter
  • carrots and onions (1 whole onion, about 15 baby carrots cut)
  • tomato basil seasoning (or just regular Italian)
  • large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 pounds of loose hot sausage (go with the sriracha or jalapeno if you like it hotter!)

Directions

Sautee your carrots and onions over medium heat in a stock pot for about 10 minutes. While this is cooking, brown and drain the sausage in another pan.

Add the diced tomatoes, sausage, and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the noodles, and cook until tender (about 10 minutes).

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

 

Italian Ground Beef Casserole

Adapted from Taste and Tell

Italian Ground Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 can of sweet corn (drained)
  • Italian seasoning (2 tablespoons)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Hot or regular paprika (1/2 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 24 slices of provolone cheese
  • 16 oz tube of refrigerated biscuit dough
  • butter
  • pepper

Directions

Season and brown your ground beef (adding the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce as well). Add the carrots, onion, and celery and cook until they soften (about 10 minutes).

Add the can of diced tomatoes and the can of corn, and cook for about 20 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently.

Stir in the cup of ricotta cheese.

Spoon half of the ground beef mixture into a 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer the 12 slices of provolone. Cover with the rest of the mixture, and then layer in the other 12 slices.

Top with the biscuit dough. Brush the biscuits with butter and sprinkle them with pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are pretty easy to make when you have ground beef and a can of Manwich. I had the ground beef…but no Manwich. I decided to make my own!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of fresh ground chuck
  • 1 onion
  • 2.5 cups of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons of mustard
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon each of the following: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of the following: crushed red pepper flakes, sriracha, red curry powder, turmeric

*You can add whatever spices you want. I threw in whatever I felt like. Just make sure you have enough salt & pepper.

Directions

Season your ground beef with all the dried spices. Brown your ground beef, and drain the fat.

Add your onion to the skillet (with the ground beef), and cook til it softens.

Mix up the sauces and water. Pour over the ground beef mixture and stir. Let this cook over medium heat for at least 10 minutes. The longer it cooks or the longer it sits, the better it tastes! If you have time to let it cook longer, cook over medium/low heat.

Serve with delicious hard rolls, buns, or over hot dogs. Enjoy!

Smoky Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti is one of the easiest things for me to make at work because I don’t have to babysit it. This is a rich, delicious sauce with some kick to it.

Smoky Italian Spaghetti Sauce

This fed 8 people, and they each had 2 servings! I still have almost a 1/2 a pot of sauce left.

Ingredients

  • 1 box of pasta (I used angel hair and then another gluten free in a different pan)
  • 2-3 pounds of fresh, loose (bulk-not in casing) Mild Hot Sausage
  • 1.5 pounds of Smoked Italian Sausage
  • 1 can of Hunt’s tomato sauce (the 6 pound 9 ounce huge one)
  • 1/4 cup of sriracha (omit if you don’t like it too spicy)
  • 1 tsp paprika (not necessary…I add it to literally everything)
  • 1 tsp of fresh, chopped garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Directions

Brown your Mild Hot Sausage until there is little to no pink. Set aside to drain.

Cut your Smoked Italian Sausage (I cut it in half, and then cut it into little chunks). Brown for 5 minutes. Set aside to drain.

Peel your onion, but leave it whole. Add all your ingredients to a large pot. Cook on medium high (covered) for one hour stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, remove the onion (I throw it away), and boil your pasta as the directions recommend.

That’s it! Serve and enjoy!

It’s easy, it tastes awesome, and it feeds a bunch of people.

*If you’re feeding less people, just scale everything way down.

**You won’t need to add any salt or pepper. The sausage adds all the flavor you need.

***I leave my pasta and sauce in separate containers because I usually have leftover sauce.

BBQ Ribs

I walked into the processing room yesterday, and Chops & Ronnie were cutting some pork chops on the saw. When they have nice end pieces on the pork loins, they use them to make country style ribs. I’ve yet to meet a rib that I didn’t like, but I am especially fond of country style ribs. They’re meatier and if cooked correctly, very tender. I also like to use them in soup, but that’s a recipe for another day.

BBQ Country Style Ribs

Ingredients

  • Country Style Ribs (they’re large, so 2-3 ribs will feed one person; adjust to the amount you’re serving)
  • Rib Rub (I made 6 large ribs and used half a can of the Hungarian rib rub we sell)
  • Salt & Pepper (use sparingly; taste your rib rub first)
  • I also added some hot paprika and a dash of turmeric to my rub. I only recommend this if you like a kick to your ribs.
  • BBQ Sauce (I used Carolina Style, the one we sell)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking dish (I used a glass Pyrex type) with foil. Rub both sides of your ribs with the seasoning. Cook your ribs for 20 minutes, uncovered. If you’re using 2 racks, switch them halfway through (this stage is used to brown the ribs).

Lower the oven heat to 250 degrees. Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Cook for 2.5-3 hours. Check on the ribs to see if they’re fork tender. If desired, brush with more BBQ sauce, and place ribs under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Watch them because if you put them under for too long, they’ll burn.

Let them rest for at least 5 minutes before you dig in. Mine were so tender that they fell off the bone!

This past weekend, we had graduation, graduation parties, and a birthday party to attend. A weekend chock full of delicious fried chicken, potatoes, pizza, cake, and alcohol left me craving something healthy. And easy. I’m all about easy.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 seedless cucumbers (or with seeds. whatever you like)
  • 6 yellow tomatoes (or red. hey, this is your salad too)
  • 1 small onion
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey

Directions

I chopped up all the veggies and added them to a large bowl. It filled it almost to the top.

Start small with your other ingredients. Mix it into the veggies with your hands or 2 spoons. Taste, then add to suit your taste.

I never measure my salad ingredients, and it always turns out fine.

*You could also add basil, other herbs & spices, and cheese.

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Meat Info

We get lots of questions asking us how to cook meat and how long it can be left in the refrigerator. I will admit that because we work with meat, we’re vigilant about germs and safety.

Buzzfeed has a great info-graphic with all different kinds of foods. Check it out!

Pork and poultry have to be cooked until they reach a temperature of 165 degrees. Invest in a meat thermometer. You won’t be sorry. Chicken is cooked when the juices run clear (they’re pink and cloudy when the chicken is raw). Beef should be cooked until it reaches 160 degrees. E-coli is killed at a temperature of 155 degrees which is why the FDA recommends 160-165 for meat.

Raw pork, poultry, and beef should not be kept in the refrigerator for more than 2 days.

I think the easiest way to thaw meat is to pull it out of the freezer the day or night before you would like to cook it, and thaw it on a plate in your refrigerator. You can also submerge your meat in cold water. Not hot, not lukewarm. Cold. Anything warm could potentially cook the meat, and that is gross.

Any other questions? Leave ’em in the comments!

Beef Stock

I love to make soup because it’s easy, and it feeds lots of people. Whenever I make a huge pot, there isn’t very much leftover! I like to make a really flavorful beef stock as a base for my soups and stews.

Beef Stock

Ingredients

3 large soup bones

carrots (at least 4)

onions (at least 1)

peppercorns (1 tablespoon)

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1 handful of fresh basil

*Really, you can add whatever you want. It’s your stock, and your recipe. Do as you please!

Directions

Throw everything into the pot (I use a large soup pot). Fill the pot with water until it’s 3/4 of the way full (any more and it might boil over). Bring it to a boil, and let it boil for 10 minutes. You might have to skim the top a few times as it boils. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for at least 2 hours. Let the stock cool a bit, and then remove all the ingredients but the liquid.

That’s it! You’re done!

Well, sort of. Then you can make soup,or let it cool. I usually freeze my stock in leftover chicken salad containers (the 5 # containers are great for this) for later use.

*This is a rich, flavorful broth and will reduce quite a bit. When I make soup, I usually add water to the stock (enough to fill the pot 3/4 of the way full).