Peas and Macaroni – Simple and Delicious

When I was younger every Friday my dad made dinner.  My favorite Friday dinner was when he made Peas and Macaroni.  I enjoyed watching him make it (he always seemed happy). I also enjoyed eating it, lots of it!!  I know this was a meal he had when he was growing up.  This is another “Depression” food but as far as I am concerned it is definitely not depressing!  One thing though, my mom always bought the LeSeur brand canned peas.  I also still buy the same peas.   Sometimes I will use frozen peas and a can of chicken broth.  It just doesn’t seem the same.  When I make this meal all I can  think of is my dad getting home from work on a Friday night, having a beer in the breezeway sitting on the steps, then coming in the kitchen and making the most delicious meal for all of us.  Don’t knock it until you have tried it!

Peas and Macaroni

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Ingredients

1 pound pasta (I use large elbows, you can use whatever you like.  I find the smaller pastas go better with this dish.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large or 2 small green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 – 15 ounce cans of peas, not drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1.  Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. While pasta is cooking add 2 Tablespoons olive oil to fry pan over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and peppers.  Cook until onion opaque, about 8-10 minutes.
3.  Add garlic, oregano and basil. Stir together.
4.  Add 2 cans of peas. Cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
5.  In the meantime drain pasta in colander, then put back in sauce pan.
6.  When peas are heated through add to the pasta.  Mix the pasta and peas together.

Enjoy!

French Onion Soup

I have been making this recipe for years.  Not sure where I got the recipe. All I know is your house will smell fabulous while those onions are caramelizing.  Way better than any restaurant.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced (I like sweet onions like Vidalia.  I usually use 4-5 onions.)March 025
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon flour
1 – 32 ounce box/can beef broth
6 slices French bread
2-3 cloves garlic, split
2 -3 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (you can use mozzarella too.  Any cheese that melts.  Gruyere is delicious though.)

Directions

  1.  Melt butter in large sauce pot over medium heat.
  2. Add next four ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 30-45 minutes or until onion is browned.
  3. Stir in flour and 2 Tablespoons broth.  Cook 1 minute.  Stir in remaining broth. March 029
  4. Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
  5. About 15 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place break on baking sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  Rub each side of toasted bread with garlic.
  7. Ladle soup into six oven proof bowls or crocks. Place 1 slice of bread in each, sprinkle with cheese to cover.March 026  Bake 15 minutes or until cheese meltsMarch 027

That’s it.  Simple and very delicious!  Enjoy!!

Sausage, Peppers and Onions – My favorite!

I LOVE sausage, peppers and onions.  This is a really quick meal you can make under an hour when you get home from work. I love it over rice, Kent loves it on a roll.  You could have in a roll, serve over pasta, rice or by itself.  Whatever works for YOU!

Sausage, Pepper and Onions

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Ingredients

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1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage (I like hot)
2 red bell peppers, sliced 1/4 inch thick slices
2 onions, sliced (I like Vidalia onions)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregan0
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (no fresh, try 1 teaspoon dried – that is what I had to do tonight)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup beef broth (or chicken broth or water or marsala wine – whatever works for you!)
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4-6 Italian rolls

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on both sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.May 003
2.  Keeping the pan over medium heat, add the peppers, onions, salt, and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. May 005Add the oregano, basil, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.
3.  Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the broth, tomatoes, and crushed red pepper, if using. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the browned bits. Bring to a simmer.
4.  Cut the sausages into 1/2-inch slices. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine. May 009Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes.May 010
5.  Serve in bowls alone or over pasta or rice. Or, if serving as a sandwich, split the rolls in half lengthwise. Hollow out the bread from the bottom side of each roll, being careful not to puncture the crust. Fill the bottom half of the roll with sausage mixture. Top and serve sandwiches immediately

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza

This was a pizza I made in 2012!!  When I was organizing my blog I saw it and thought I would give it another try tonight.  Martin2 and his friend Kaitlin along with Paige enjoyed this Simple and Delicious pizza.  It is funny, the last time I made this pizza was 3 years ago. Maybe I should organize my blog more often!

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza
(slightly adapted recipe from  Annie’s Eats blog)

May 003

Sauce

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 Tablespoon Sriracha Chili Sauce

Ingredients for pizza

Pizza Dough
Olive Oil, for brushing
8 slices bacon (cut into 1/2 inch pieces, cooked until crisp)
1 small yellow or vidalia onion
Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup freshly, grated Parmesan Cheese
2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1/2 cup diced strawberries

Directions

1.  Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook 3-4 minutes or until reduced by about have with a thick, syrupy texture.  I usually take off the heat after the 3-4 minute time period.  As the sauce cools it thickens.  (That is my experience at least.) In a small bowl, combine the balsamic reduction, strawberry jam and sriracha chili sauce.  Set Aside.

2.  To make the pizza, preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Be sure to preheat pizza stone for at least 30 minutes.  Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round.  Lightly brush perimeter of the dough with olive oil.  Spread the balsamic-strawberry mixture in a thin layer over the crust (You may not use all of it, I didn’t)  Layer with the bacon, strawberries, cheeses, onion and parsley. (I carmalized the onions and totally forgot to put them on the pizza.  I guess I will use them on a burger!  Next time I will add them. The pizza was still awesome!)

3.  Transfer pizza to oven onto stone.  Bake until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.  Enjoy this simple and delicious pizza!

LOVED it!!  Simple and Delicious.  Give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.  🙂

Sausage Soup, Stew or Chili

I love this time of year.  I enjoy being in my kitchen when it is cooler out.  I really enjoy being there when it is a cloudy, rainy, cool day.  This time of year is “comfort food” time.  I made a sausage soup that you can make and serve in less than an hour.  Serve with a salad, sandwich, fresh loaf of bread or all by itself.  This is super simple and incredibly delicious.  Here goes!

Sausage Soup (or stew or chili…you tell me!)

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1# hot sausage (I bought it out of casing.  If all you have is sausage in the casing, just take it out.  Also, I like a little spice.  If you don’t like that get mild or sweet Italian sausage.  It is your soup after all!)
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (You could use a 15 oz can.  I like tomatoes.)
1 15 oz can great northern beans, drained (or any beans you have in your pantry, kidney, black, whatever you like)
1 32 oz carton chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and Pepper

Directions

1.  Using a saucepan, fry the sausage until no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  I keep breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until crumbly.  Drain off excess fat.
2.  Add carrots and onion, saute with the sausage until onion is opaque, about 5 minutes.
3.  Add rest of ingredients, except basil.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Add basil last 5 minutes of simmering.  All done!

This is so easy.  I just threw it together one evening when I came home from work.  Find stuff in your fridge and pantry and have fun with it.  You never know, you may make something so delicious you will want to share it with others.  ENJOY!!