Roasted Potatoes, Sausage, & Peppers

Original Recipe HERE

I don't like working with uncooked sausage because so often you're asked to remove it from its casing.  And that procedure is nasty enough to make me lose my appetite.  But this one allows you to leave the sausage in its virginal state, so I was able to prepare the recipe without too much dry heaving.  And cooked sausage is well worth the torture it puts my gag reflect through.  The amounts and varieties of ingredients here are very forgiving: use a green pepper, use different potatoes, or use different seasonings.  The end result, as I made it, was delicious.  Husband claimed the leftovers for lunch the next day before he'd even finished eating.  The kids ate the potatoes and sausage voluntarily and begrudgingly ate the few vegetable pieces I insisted upon.

Apparently it reheated well, so I think this would also be a good meal to bring to a pot luck or to a family that just had a baby or something along those lines.  Hence the label I'm going to create right now: good for sharing.  Not creative at all, but it's enough to jog my memory.  I think it might be redundant with my "potluck" label, but I'll just use both to be safe.

1.5 pounds potatoes [I used red]
1 medium onion
2 red bell peppers
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary (fresh or dry)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
olive oil spray
1 pound uncooked Italian chicken sausage

(1) Preheat oven to 375°. Spray one large non-stick baking sheet (or 2 small ones) with olive oil spray.  Line with foil first if desired.
(2) Scrub potatoes.  Leave skin on if desired.  Cut into 1x1/2" pieces.
(3) De-seed red peppers.  Cut into 1" pieces.
(4) In a large bowl, combine potatoes, peppers, olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic powder.  Mix well to ensure even coating.
(5) Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the center of the oven; bake 15 minutes.
(6) While cooking, peel onion. Cut into quarters; cut outer layers one more time so pieces are uniform size. Separate layers.
(7) Slice each sausage link into 6 or 7 pieces.
(8) Add the sausage and onions to the baking sheet.  Continue to bake, tossing once or twice, for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.  Monitor carefully to ensure vegetables don't char.

Kid Participation: None.  And exposing them to uncooked sausage might turn them into vegetarians.


Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Original Recipe HERE

I was looking for a frosting recipe that was more interesting than a basic buttercream and thought this was seasonally appropriate.  Poor Husband; his birthday always is the guinea pig one where I try recipes I've never made before.  Luckily this one turned out well.  It's not sweet, so pairing it with the chocolate zucchini cake (which also wasn't very sweet) was a good match since I wasn't looking for a traditional sugar-laden dessert.  And if Husband didn't like it, there's always next year to try something new.  I'm sure he's already anticipating it with dread excitement.

I doubled it for a 9x13" sheet cake and it was more than enough.

Ingredients (for non-doubled recipe)
8 oz Philadelphia 1/3 fat cream cheese (do not use fat free)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
5 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

(1) Allow cream cheese to soften to room temperature.
(2) Add pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar to cream cheese.  Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth.

Cream Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Original Recipe HERE

This is definitely not a recipe for anyone trying to lose weight (or avoid a heart attack), but it was great "comfort"-style food.  I was a little confused on the sausage to buy, but I found a 12-ounce pack of Bob Evans links (a 12 count).  It was a bit hard to crumble it well enough, and I ended up chopping it further on a cutting board.  Next time I'll try one of those large packages that seems to be ready to burst and makes me wonder if that sudden tingling I'm feeling in my left arm is imaginary or cause for concern.  Or I'll spring for chicken sausage if I can find it.

It wasn't until I had started making this for dinner that I realized in the original post that it's a breakfast food.  Oops.  That has never stopped me before...and it just meant that I didn't have to wait another 24 hours to justify eating the leftovers.  *J* didn't eat much, but he has entered a picky phase.  *N* ate it and asked for a second bowl (which she didn't finish).  However, both kids enjoyed having the biscuits the next morning spread with honey and jelly.

* Cream Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream [I only had 1 cup and used half-and-half for the rest]
* Sausage Gravy
12 oz bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion [optional]
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk [I used 1 cup 2%  and 1 cup skim]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

* Cream Biscuits
(1) Preheat oven to 425ยบ. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
(2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
(3) Stir in 1 1/4 cups of cream with a wooden spoon until a dough forms (about 30 seconds). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
(4) Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cream to moisten any flour left in the bowl; add to the dough. Gather into a ball and knead for about 30 seconds or until smooth.
(5) Shape the dough into a 3/4" thick circle. Using a 2 1/2" floured cutter (approximately), cut the biscuits into rounds and place on prepared baking sheet. Reshape the dough once to cut additional biscuits.
(6) Bake biscuits until golden brown (about 15 minutes), rotating the pan halfway through baking.
* Sausage Gravy (prepare while biscuits are in the oven)
(1) Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until well-browned (about 7 minutes), breaking it up as much as possible.
(2) Transfer to a plate and set aside, keeping the rendered fat in the pan.
(3) Add onion to skillet; sautee until just tender.
(4) Sprinkle flour into skillet and whisk for about 1 minute.
(5) Continue whisking while slowly adding the milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 2 minutes. (6) Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Stir in sausage.  Serve over split biscuits.

Kid Participation:
* Whisk dry biscuit ingredients
* Knead dough
* Roll dough
* Cut out biscuit shapes (or free-form their own)