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A Peppers & Onions Potluck: Hot Sausage Spaghetti

3 Jan

This recipe was introduced to me when a guy from my THON committee brought it to our spaghetti potluck. My last minute, store-bought meatballs paled in comparison.  I love this combination of spaghetti sauce, sautéed peppers & onions and sweet spicy sausage.  Thursday, I decided to cook this for my family & thought it would be a great recipe to share with you all on LION BITES.  Enjoy! And don’t thank me, thank the guy on my THON committee!!

What You’ll Need:

  • appx 1 lb sausage (use hot, italian style, mild, smoked, whichever you prefer!)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (24-26 oz — I used Delgrosso’s)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • Italian Blend or Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • seasonings: garlic or garlic powder, salt & pepper, cayenne pepper
  • a Crock Pot!!


Start off by boiling water & cooking the sausage according to the directions on the package. While the water is boiling, begin by seeding and cutting the bell peppers in to long thin strips (julienning) and slice/chop 1/2 of a small onion.  Sauté these in a pan with the olive oil (and garlic if you so choose).

Start to heat up your crock pot on high with the spaghetti sauce in it. When the onions & peppers are ready, add them to the crock pot as well.  After boiling your sausage, allow it to cool for a minute and slice into 1/2 inch chunks.  Sauté them in the pan that you took the vegetables out of, just allowing them to get a nice brown color, and then add them to the crock pot as well.

Simmer in the crock pot for a few hours...

I left the crock pot set on high until the sauce began to bubble (checking regularly) and then I added a dash of garlic powder & a dash of cayenne pepper and mixed it all in.  I let it continue to cook on high for about 20 minutes and then reduced the heat to low for about 2 1/2 hours.  After 2 hours, I switched the crock pot to warm, just to keep it hot.

When you are about ready to eat, boil a large pot of water on the stove and cook your spaghetti to preference.  Drain & serve spaghetti topped with sausage & peppers “sauce” from the crock pot.  Top with cheese if desired and enjoy!!!



10 Minute White Pizza w/Spinach, Chicken & Roma Tomatoes!

5 Sep

Hey everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend!  For today’s LION BITE we’re cooking up a pizza that takes less than 10 minutes from prep to clean-up! Super easy, super quick, & super delicious!

What You’ll Need: Lavah bread, Italian cheese blend (I used Sargento’s Six Cheese Italian), baby spinach, 1 roma tomato (per two pizzas), precooked diced chicken breasts (I used Oscar Myer), 1 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper, basil (optional)

So the reason this is such a quick dish is obviously the use of many ready-to-use ingredients, but trust me, this doesn’t cut down on flavor at all!  I started out by preheating my oven to 400 degrees F. Then I seeded & diced my Roma tomato. This is pretty much the only work involved in the dish at all!

Brush the center of your lavah bread with the olive oil, covering the the entire center, up until where you want your crust to end.  Next, top with lots of yummy cheese!  You could also use mozzarella cheese here, if that’s what you’ve got on hand.  The Italian blend has more flavors & really compliments the spinach & tomatoes though!

After you add the cheese, tear up the baby spinach into smaller pieces and put that & your diced tomatoes on the pizza. Toss your diced chicken in a bowl with a tiny squirt of olive oil, salt & pepper and add it to your pizza as well.  You can also add the basil if you have/like it.  I used it, because let’s face it, next to garlic, basil is one of my favorite ingredients!

Then just slid the pizza in the oven, placing directly onto the top rack for 3-5 minutes or until the crust browns & the cheese is melted. Be sure to keep your eye on this because it will be done quick!!!

Mmm! My mouth is watering just thinking about this pizza!  It really does take less than 10 minutes to make & it was so yummy I had to make two!

My Tips:

  • This a great way to use leftover chicken breast from the night before if you want to instead of buying pre-diced chicken.
  • Clean-up your cutting board & such while the pizza is in the oven (you want to be completely done & ready to enjoy this delicious meal in 10 minutes!
  • You can fold this pizza up really easy (think Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme) and take it with you.  I did that with my second one!


Yummy Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

1 Sep

Yay for a special mid-week update! This is an awesome and delicious little snack or appetizer for get-togethers.  Who doesn’t like bruschetta? I made this the other day for lunch. It’s super quick and a super yummy treat for yourself.

What you’ll need: A baguette, 1 Roma tomato per person, olive oil, 2 cloves fresh garlic, 1 tsp white wine vinegar, garlic power (optional),  fresh or freeze dried basil (I don’t really like dried basil with bruschetta, but it’s up to you if you want to try it)

Start off with slicing your baguette with a into 1/2 slices (rounds), brush with olive oil & then rub with a clove of peeled garlic on the top side.  Pop those in the oven at 400 degrees F on a  piece of aluminum foil or cookie sheet.  Keep an eye on these and take them out when they’re golden brown.

Next you’ll want to slice up your tomatoes.  Cut into quarter slices and remove the seeds, then dice.  If you are using fresh basil, now would be the time to chop it up.  Roll the leaves into a tube & slice long-ways down the middle and then across into small pieces.

Heat up some olive oil (about 1 tbsp) in a sauce pan on high heat.  While it’s heating, mince another clove of garlic very finely & add to the oil.  Add the garlic & diced tomatoes to the olive oil.  Allow to simmer and add 1 tsp white wine vinegar & your basil & a dash of garlic powder (if desired) and blend together, simmering for a minute.

Top your baguette slices with the tomato basil mixture and enjoy! I’ve made this many times for myself as well as for Longaberger parties my mom has had and everyone has really enjoyed this!  If you prefer cold tomatoes, you can just stick this in the fridge to cool it down.  It’s delicious both ways.

Yummm! 🙂

My Tips:

  • Don’t worry about running to the store to get a fresh baguette.  Day old bread really works just as well, if not better.
  • If you’ve got it, you can add mozzarella or goat cheese to the mixture (after removing from the hot pan)


Pizza autentica di Margherita

11 Jul

Today began adventure numero uno in my kitchen.
What started of as a lazy day around the apartment turned into a pizza adventure.  I’ve been craving some yummy pizza for the last few days but I am SO sick of the same old frozen pizzas & even my beloved Pizza Hut.  I was really in the mood for something a little closer to authentic Italian, and thus the Margherita Pizza Adventure began.

I got the basic idea/guideline from a Tyler Florence recipe then headed over to Giant to pick up the necessary items.

Shopping List: Pizza dough or dough mix, fresh mozzarella, 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes, thyme, basil, oregano, garlic and some Roma tomatoes

So I ended up with this generic Betty Crocker pizza dough mix (I was feeling adventurous but not enough to really make my own dough an a lazy Sunday!).  To make it less bland I added some Parm cheese to the dough mix & reduced the water slightly.   At first I thought this was a huge disaster because it was still really goopy. Yuck. But once it rested & I pressed it out with some flour it worked out pretty well.

While the dough rested, I just vaguely followed the Tyler Florence recipe to make some sauce out of the canned tomatoes (which I drained & crushed), thyme, minced garlic, & some oregano.  It smelled amazing and tasted awesome with some nice chunky pieces of tomato and of course garlic (lovvveee garlic!).

So then obviously you just top the pizza with the sauce & slices of the fresh mozzarella, diced Roma tomatoes, basil & a drizzle of olive oil (Secret: I used freeze-dried basil instead of fresh! It stores better & you don’t waste any extra basil leaves! You still get great flavor!)  To get nice brown crust I brushed the edges of the dough with EVOO.

Into the oven it went (and of course I burned myself.. but what’s an adventure without a battle wound anyways?) and waited.

15 minutes later…

It was delicious!!! The crust was perfectly crisp & the sauce was nice and sweet.  I definitely enjoyed this pizza. I downed like half of it in 10 minutes. I definitely recommend this one to anyone needing a little break from typical delivered or frozen pizzas.

If you wanna try this, check out Tyler Florence’s recipe here:

My Tips:

  • Check out the freeze dried herbs at your grocery store & give them a try
  • Start the crust first so it can rest
  • If you like a lot of sauce maybe try two cans of tomatoes
  • Don’t burn yourself like I did

WE ARE…making delicious pizza!