Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar

This sounded odd. Sausage and grapes? But we like sausage, and the Fudgelet has been on a whole grape kick lately, so I figured it was worth a try. We ended up loving it. There was originally mint in the recipe which I used but wasn’t a fan. I’m leaving it out next time. Because yes, we will definitely make this again. It’s easy and full of flavor.


Continue reading

Beer, Brats, Onions, and Peppers

By the way…if this post looks familiar, it is probably because I was writing it near the end of December and forgot to change the year before I scheduled it. Oops! So some of you got an email about it. Well….it is up now. 🙂

When my dad and M visited us, they bought some tasty sausages. Since then, I have only been buying these sausages for our Italian nights. On a recent visit to the store, I decided to pick up their bratwurst sausage and give it a try. I came across this easy recipe, and they turned out so good! It all cooks in one pan. I was nervous that my cast iron skillet wasn’t large enough, so I used the Dutch oven. It worked just fine, and I would probably use it again (just to avoid a mess). Unfortunately, I was too excited to eat and didn’t take extra pictures of the finished product. We ate them on toasted Hoagie rolls with a bit of mayonnaise and they were so good!


Continue reading

Cavatelli with Tomatoes, Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms

If you were here last week, you saw I made cavatelli from scratch. And, I mentioned having it two ways. This is not that different from the other method, but we liked it a bunch, so I want to share my steps here. My pictures aren’t the best, and some don’t quite match what I say to do. But, you know, do as I say, not as I do and all that. 😉 Cooking while trying to keep a baby happy? A bit tricky. Well, a lot tricky, actually.


Continue reading

Beef Stew, Take Two: With Beer

Not too long ago I shared a beef stew recipe. K really wanted a beef stew with beer. While I was planning our dinner for the week, I came across some similar recipes with beer and decided to do a version of the one I made before, but with a couple changes. This one might have required a bit less work. Just a bit. All in all, they were similar, but I enjoyed it and had improved my beef stew technique in making this. Now I can say I have mastered the basic beef stew! I used a Newcastle Brown Ale because that is what I was able to find for a decent price (we’re not beer drinkers), but you could play around with different varieties and find your favorite.

Beef Stew with Beer

Now, it’s not mandatory, but I do recommend this stew with mashed potatoes. It is a bit runny, so you might need a bowl, but it works so well poured over the fluffy potatoes.


Continue reading

Braised Potatoes and Onions

The final post for Starch Week. I won’t lie. Originally this was supposed to be Grains Week because I thought I had three posts of grains. Apparently I had been counting potatoes as a grain. Hmm. Oh well. So, small changes later and we have starches! Yay! Besides, I think starches get a bad rap. They might have some bad stuff in them, but hey, some people get mad at fruit for having sugar. *sigh* So, you know, I don’t care that potatoes have some problems, too. No food is perfect, but we should enjoy food and take the nutrients we can. Potatoes pair so well with chicken, and that’s how we had these. This recipe is a little more involved than roasted potatoes, but still mostly hands off. If you are in the mood for potatoes that are super soft, almost like mashed potatoes, then you will love these. It works best with golden potatoes, not the waxy purple or red potatoes. But, this recipe still softens them some. It makes purple-potato-haters like my husband bigger fans.


Continue reading

Chicken “Sausages” with Mushrooms and Onions

After pouring through my Jacques Pepin “Essential Pepin” cookbook I found a couple more recipes to make. I like that he tends to keep the recipes simple and fuss-free. Both recipes required me to only pick up a few produce items, which makes them keepers in my book. The first one is this sausages recipe. K immediately said “but we’re already having sausage this week!” and I told him that he needed to listen to the inflection…they are not sausages, but “sausages”. Confused yet? Basically, you use chicken but do not turn it into sausages, you just end up rolling it in that shape. You could call them logs, Twinkies, or whatever your favorite cylinder-shaped object is. I am sticking with sausages because it causes fun confusion.

Do you have any foods you are not fond of? I can pretty much guarantee that you will not see any eggplant recipes on here, or recipes for liver. The closest I come to pork is bacon and the occasional ham. But no pork loin, barbecued pork, or the rest. Bleck.

I apologize for the non-onion people out there (sorry, Monica), but this does have quite a few. You could get around it by using more mushrooms or adding other items for seasoning. To be fair, half of them are supposed to be shallots which are not as strong (I just did not feel like using them). As it is, I would have liked more mushrooms. I could see doing easily another cup of them, so if you buy the packages at the store, pick up two just to be on the safe side.

Continue reading


We had a different Labor Day weekend than we’ve had before. I’m used to spending it with my family but people were going to be a bit scattered and it’s an expensive time for flying back, so we decided to stay in Seattle this year. The first day was some food shopping followed by a trip on a friend’s boat. Sunday was spent mostly at the PAX convention. This was clearly for K, although I was a fan of getting to dance to the Dance Central 3 game early. For dinner that night, I wanted something that was not a dish to try during the week, but was light enough since we would be eating some junk food at the convention. I’ve never had this German dish but it didn’t stop me from wanting to try it. I was a little nervous about the process of making the noodles because I don’t have a specific tool for it, but it was fun!

If you’re like me and have never had this before, then the best way I can describe the texture is almost like dumplings, as in the chicken and dumplings. They have a bit of a chew to them, and then are soft. The taste is close to pasta because of the flour and eggs. They are fluffy and you can certainly add more seasoning to kick them up a bit.

Continue reading