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Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Florentine Pasta Sauce

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


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Ladies and gentlemen, you have been warned! This is a recipe that you will go back to and make for years to come! I have a few spaghetti sauces in my arsenal, like this one that my nana made in humongous batches when I was growing up. I make both of these sauces quite frequently , but this one is a quick, no fuss recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals. It is just that easy to whip up and not have to worry about dinner.Just brown the sausage and dump the ingredients into a slow cooker to simmer all day. Add it to your favorite pasta, pop in a loaf of garlic bread to crisp up in the oven and toss a quick salad and dinner is done.  The spinach in it is awesome! And...if you have picky eaters who eat by sight and you think that the spinach with deter them.... it cooks down and turns dark , so it blends in with the sausage and the tomato sauce. They won't be able to pick out the green stuff! Score one for mom !!!! Woot woot! (Just don't let them watch you drain the spinach and put it in the pot. ;) * You can sub the hot italian sausage with sweet sausage or a milder version. We like the hot variety. Whatever works for you. Happy Eating!!!!~Liz

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Florentine Pasta
2 lbs ground hot italian sausage
2 jars your favorite pasta sauce ( I use Classico brand  )
1 10oz frozen package spinach, thawed,drained and squeezed dry
1 box pasta , cooked al dente
grated parmesan cheese , optional
In a medium skillet, cook the sausage until cooked through and crumbly (drain fat if needed
Place cooked sausage in the slow cooker and add the two jars of pasta sauce.
After you thaw the spinach, squeeze it a few times to drain the juice and then place between paper towels to dry it out. Then add the spinach to the sauce and meat in the slow cooker.
Stir well to combine and cook on low 5-6 hours or high 2-4.
Spoon sauce over cooked pasta and sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese. (optional)
Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Autumn is just around the corner and that puts me in a happy place. It is my favorite season of the year. I have been making these pumpkin Whoopie Pies for a few years now and they are great. My kids love pumpkin flavored foods, so this is  a treat for them. Easy to make, and so easy to eat :)

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
recipe by Rachael Ray

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1 2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.
3. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
5. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.