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Snow Cream

Friday, January 25, 2013



Growing up in North Carolina, we did not get much snow during the winter months. So, naturally, when it did snow, it was a big event. Me, my sister and my cousins would all play outside until our cheeks were cherry red and our feet were frozen. When we would come inside, my nana  would make us all big bowls of snow cream. Yummy, vanilla flavored ice. It is one of my fondest memories  of growing up. All grown up and living in Pennsylvania, my kids see there fair share of snow. Every time it starts to snow, I  automatically want to grab a bowl to put outside to catch the snow  in preparation for snow cream later on in the day. But if I made snow cream every time it snowed here, we would have it nearly every day. So I make it once or twice a season so the kids will enjoy it. The recipe is super easy. Just make sure you have clean snow. Not cool  to mix it up and find dead leaves, dirt or other things in the snow. Fresh fallen snow is best.

Snow Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon snow
  • 3/4  cup white sugar (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (add more to your taste)
  • 2 cups milk

Directions

  1. When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.




Sweet Sausage Soup





I have to admit, I love making soups. I usually double the recipe, serve a salad and a few loaves of bread, and I know my husband and sons will walk away from the table with full bellies. I think I probably serve soup about twice a week from October to April!Not to mention that for the most part, soup is so inexpensive to make and I can always make it stretch if I add pasta or extra vegetables. This sausage soup is one that uses simple ingredients, is simple to make and a big kid pleaser. The addition of the sweet sausage is a nice change of pace from ground sirloin . My younger two boys love wagon wheel pasta, so I always make this soup using those. But macaroni or small penne would be great as well. Stay tuned for a few more soups being posted this week. I have made a couple wonderful, quick ones for lunches this week that will knock your socks off!


Sausage Soup

1 lb sweet italian sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped  ( I use vidalia )
1 can (16oz) stewed tomatoes
24oz can beef broth ( I use organic)
2 cups water
2 cups pasta (macaroni or wagon wheel work great)
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan cheese , grated (optional)

1.Remove the sausage from its casing and brown the sausage and the onion in a large pan.Drain fat off.
2. Stir in the tomatoes,beef broth and water.Bring to a boil.
3.Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the pasta and simmer for another 20 minutes or so, until the pasta is done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve hot with shredded cheese (optional)

Italian Sausage Cottage Pie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013




Oh did my kids love these cottage pies! This is one o f those recipes that I put together at the very last minute. I have an eye infection, and really did not want to make anything. But the alternative was to take 6 people , in freezing weather, to a restaurant. So I decided to put something together. I had a pound of hot italian sausage, red peppers , potatoes and onions so I decided to make an italians sausage base and a pot of mashed potatoes tp go on top, It had a very italian twist to it, especially with the creamy potatoes topped with seasoned breadcrumbs and shaved parmesan cheese. I mixed it up a little and put them into individual ramekins. I will definitely make these again. Especially since  the boys all said they loved it and went for seconds.

Italian Sausage Cottage Pie
Ingredients:

     8-10 yukon gold potatoes, diced
     salt and pepper  to taste
     1/4 cup butter
     1 lb hot Italian sausage
     2 tablespoons canola oil
     1 small onion, diced
     2 red bell peppers, diced
     3 garlic cloves, minced
     salt and pepper
     1/2 tsp oregano
     1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
      1/2 c parmesan cheese, shaved
 
Directions:
 
  • Preheat oven 375°F.
  • Cook the potatoes in salted water until they are cooked. Drain them. Mash them with the butter and season them with salt and pepper. Put aside. 
  • Take the sausages out of their casing and set on a plate.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the peppers and the onions and cook for  about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add salt,pepper   and  oregano.         
  • Put back the frying pan on the stove and cook the sausage meat until cooked. Drain the fat out of the pan. Add the pepper-onion mixture into the meat.
  • Put the meat evenly in 6 ramekins , or a  8x8 dish. Add the mashed potatoes on top of the meat and top with the breadcrumbs and shaved parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 25 minutes for the ramekins, and 35-40 for the baking dish. The potatoes will be slightly browned and the cheese melted and bubbly.
 
 

Orange Fluff Salad

Sunday, January 20, 2013



This salad is one that I make very often. It is orangey (is that a word?) and creamy and so simple to make. I love to keep it in the fridge for quick school morning breakfasts. You know, on those mornings when you don't want to make a real breakfast with eggs,bacon and toast, but don't want to throw sugar laden cereal down their throat. Just serve with fresh fruit and a glass of milk or juice and they are off. The recipe I grew up with calls for regular small curd cottage cheese and a separate can of pineapple tidbits . But I do not care for the large pineapple bits in my salad, so I buy the tub of cottage cheese with pineapple . Feel free to use  the tidbits, just make sure they are drained well ( the oranges too) or the salad will become very watery and will separate when refrigerated. (It will still get slightly watery after a day or so, just stir gently to recombine). This salad is also great for a mid afternoon snack.


Orange Fluff Salad

1 box orange flavored jello
1 small container cottage cheese with pineapple
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained well
1 container fat free cool whip

In a large bowl, mix the jello powder into the cottage cheese,mixing well. Add the orange segments and fold in the cool whip. Mix well.Refrigerate until chilled.