Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

Hello winter, I have been dreading your arrival. You can hurry up and leave now please! Now that the cold days and even colder nights have arrived, I crave comfort food. This sandwich is perfect for the nights when the kids are gone and I want something filling that won’t feed and army.

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The sandwich consists of all the things I love: cheese, sourdough, sauerkraut and kielbasa. Mmmm I am drooling just thinking about it! Of course, if you are going to open a can of kraut and cook the sausage, you might want to make more than one sandwich, but I find that both ingredients freeze well. Depending on how thick you slice the kielbasa, you may need to put a weight on the sandwich while it cooks, like a heavy skillet.

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Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 13 oz package kielbasa (I used turkey kielbasa)
  • 14 oz can sauerkraut
  • 1 package sliced Swiss or provolone cheese
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • butter

Instructions

Cook kielbasa according to package instructions. While kielbasa is cooking, drain sauerkraut well.

Heat skillet over medium heat. Butter two slices of bread. Slice the sausage into 1/4 inch slices, and layer cheese, kielbasa and sauerkraut onto bread. Place sandwich, butter side down, into preheated pan. Cook until golden and cheese is starting to melt, then flip and cook on other side. Serve immediately.

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Chewy, Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brookies

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These bars are my love language. Brownies and chocolate cookies are two of my favorite desserts, and to combine the two?? I am disappointed with myself that it took me 29 years to try this. Honestly though, what held me back was sheer laziness. I have only ever seen “brookies” in cookie form, not bars. So when I saw these one day while cruising through Pinterest, I knew I must try. So much simpler than having to form the two dough’s together, just spread them in a pan and get them in the oven!

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The recipe is from Cookies & Cows, and its everything I could ever dream of. Chewy, melty, chocoaltely. Absolute perfection in every bite. And topped with a scoop and vanilla ice cream might seem excessive to some, but to me would be the best. thing. EVER.

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Recipe Source: Cookies & Cows

Chewy, Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brookies

Ingredients

  • Cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups all-­purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 11.5 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • Brownies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup all-­purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°

2. Grease a 9x13­inch pan and set aside.

Cookies:

1. In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.

2. Add the brown sugar and sugar. Stir until completely combined. All of the butter should be incorporated into the

sugar!

3. Then add the vanilla and eggs. Stir to combine.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the butter mixture, stirring just until

combined.

5. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Brownies:

1. In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla.

2. Add the oil and stir until completely combined.

3. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

4. Add to the sugar mixture, stirring just until combined.

5. Pour the brownie batter into the 9x13­inch pan and spread it evenly.

6. Place in the oven at 350° for 5 minutes.

7. Remove the brownies after 5 minutes and top with the chocolate chip cookie batter. Drop spoonfuls of the batter

across the pan, then gently spread until the brownie is completely covered. This will be easier than with other

brookie recipes because of the melted butter.

8. Place the pan back in the oven and continue to bake for 25­30 minutes.

9. Cool completely on a wire rack.

10. Use a plastic knife to cut into squares.

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Blackberry Lime Scones

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Comfort: That word has so many definitions for different people. For me, my ultimate comfort is Saturday morning. Wrapped in a fuzzy blanket on the couch, a cup of hot coffee in hand, and a delicious pastry at my side. No rush, just cuddling with my babies and basking in two days free of work and responsibility. Perfect comfort for me.

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These scones make the perfect lazy weekend morning snack. So tender, with the perfect crumb. The berries and lime zest add the perfect amount of tart to go with the sweet!

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These freeze fantastic, just heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and they will be just as delicious for a quick weekday morning treat.

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Blackberry Lime Scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pint blackberries*
  • Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons lime juice, plus more if needed.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the blackberries, tossing to coat. Shred the cold butter with a box grater. Add to the flour mixture and toss gently. Place bowl in the freezer to keep cold. Mix together the cream, lime juice, lime zest and egg with a fork. Place in fridge to keep cold. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper. Add cream and egg mixture to the flour. Stir just until combined.

On a well floured surface, knead the scone dough just until combined. Press dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into eight pieces with a sharp knife, or into circles using a biscuit cutter. Place on cookie sheet, if desired brush with additional cream. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden around edges. Move to wire rack to cool.

To make glaze, mix the powdered sugar and lime juice until thick but pour-able. Pour glaze over scones, allow to set before serving.

*Frozen blackberries can be used, do not thaw.

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Bacon Ranch Cheesy Bread

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I have been doing a cleanse/detox, and its amazing how much better I feel. I usually eat pretty well, but I still feel better when every now and then I rid my body of some of those toxins that are part of our world now.

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That being said, some days a girl just needs some comfort. No comfort was ever found in a salad or green smoothie, and that’s where cheesy carbs come into play. Its all about balance I say! I served this bread with homemade tomato soup and didn’t feel the least bit bad about eating it.

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Cheesy bacon covered carbs are where it’s at! I used a loaf of Homemade French Bread, but store bought is perfect for this recipe. This bread makes a perfect side dish, is delicious paired with a salad, and is a great snack for football watching.

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Recipe adapted from: Mom On Time Out

Bacon Ranch Cheesy Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of French bread
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and jack)
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tbsp sliced green onion

Instructions

Preheat the broiler, and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise.

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, butter, ranch, shredded cheese, bacon and green onion.

Spread the cheese mixture on each half of the bread. Place under the broiler until golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Let cool slightly before cutting into pieces and serving.

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Hot Cocoa Mix

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Sibling rivalry. It’s making me crazy people. I love those two kids of mine, but why they insist on arguing about everything that ever existed is beyond me. I remember my mother telling my brother and I when we were little that someday we would have kids that would fight, and we too, would go crazy. Well guess what, she wasn’t wrong. I may have to lock them in separate rooms until….14 years from now.

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Hot cocoa is one of my kids’ favorite winter treats, and instant cocoa mix is so simple to make. Just a few ingredients and you have a large batch of mix ready to get you through the colder months. I love hot cocoa because it’s so easily customized. Add a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon, caramel sauce, peppermint schnapps, peanut butter. Something for everyone, and hopefully, no arguments included!

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Recipe Source: Alton Brown

Auto Draft

Ingredients

  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
  • 2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

Combine the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt and cornstarch in a large airtight container. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine, and remember to shake prior to every use.

To serve: Place 2 tablespoons of the mix in a mug and add about 2 fluid ounces hot water or milk. Stir to combine. Fill the mug with more hot water or milk and enjoy.

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Pumpkin Spice Churro Bites and Caramel Sauce

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Its me, and I’m back with another pumpkin recipe! Although, this one doesn’t include any acutal pumpkin. Just pupmkin pie spice, and lots of butter and cinnamon 🙂

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Churros are delicious, but I don’t like deep frying so its something I don’t do often. These churro bites come together with just a handful of ingredients and are a fun snack to make for guests. I used store bought caramel sauce, but if you have the time I strongly recommend making this Pumpkin Caramel Sauce. So good!!!!!!!!!!!

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These are best served immediately, but I did freeze most of them and then popped in the microwave for a few minutes to defrost and they were still delicious.

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Pumpkin Spice Churro Bites and Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 puff pastry sheet-thawed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter-melted
  • 1 cup caramel sauce

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper, silpat, or spray with cooking spray.

Unfold the puff pastry and cut it in half (lengthwise), then cut into strips (less than 1 inch wide)

Gently transfer the strips onto baking sheets and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

While the churros are baking melt the butter and set aside.

Combine cinnamon, pumpkin spice and sugar and set aside.

While they are still warm, roll baked churro sticks into melted butter ( don't soak them, just coat all the sides) then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll and dip one stick at the time.

Serve with caramel sauce. Churro bites freeze well, just heat in microwave for 20 seconds to defrost.

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Recipe adapted from OMGChocolateDesserts

Fall Recipe Roundup

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Golden leaves falling, crisp mornings, pumpkins and apples everywhere. Fall is here! I’ve compiled a roundup of some of my favorite fall recipes from the past years on the blog. From sweet to savory, there’s something to satisfy any craving!

slowcookertacosoup

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

salted-caramel

Salted Caramel Sauce

pumpkinspicepopcorn

Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Caramel Corn

pumpkinpasta

Pumpkin & Chicken Sausage Pasta

pumpkin-it-soda

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Italian Soda

pumpkin-cornbread

Pumpkin Cornbread with Compound Butter-2 ways!

pumpkincinnrolls

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

caramelapplepopcorn

Caramel Apple Popcorn

broccolicheddarsoup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup in Bread Bowls

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Harvest Salad

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Sausage Ricotta & Pumpkin Pizza

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Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

Harvest Salad

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The season of hearty, calorie laden comfort food is upon us! I do love big bowls of chowder, pumpkin bread and anything creamy and cheesy as much as the next person, but my motto is “everything in moderation.” I eat a lot of salad, and I really do love it. I ate my fill of caprese and salads topped with fresh corn  and garden tomatoes this summer, but now fall produce is getting its turn.

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Spring mix is topped with crisp apples, tart dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect way to enjoy fall flavors while being both light and delicious.

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While you could buy candied pecans, homemade are so simple to make and completely customize-able. Add a little cinnamon or even a pinch cayenne for flavor. If you want to switch it up some, replace the apples with pears and the blue cheese with goat cheese.

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Harvest Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens
  • 1 apple (I used Fuji), cored and chopped (to equal about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
  • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt
  • Candied Pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons water
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

For pecans: Mix together all ingredients but the pecans. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell them, they're done.

Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.

Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.

Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.

For the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).

Sprinkle apples, pecans, cranberries, and cheese over top of greens.

For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.

Dress salad just before serving.

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Recipe Source: Two Healthy Kitchens

Sausage and Pumpkin Pizza

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Anyone else feel as blue as I do when fall comes around? Something about the end of summer, school starting and the approach of winter gets we all kinds of melancholy every year.

This year I am going to try to battle the “fall blues” by trying to actually enjoy the season. I know, who would have thought???

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Naturally, part of enjoying fall is eating all the pumpkin things. I wanted something that isn’t a baked good, and this pizza didn’t disappoint.

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I used my favorite pizza dough recipe, and with a short ingredient list this pizza comes together in a snap. Don’t skip the pumpkin seeds on the top, they add the perfect crunch! I know the combo seems a bit different than the pizza you are used to , but trust me this was delicious!

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If you are looking for another fun dinner idea using pumpkin try my Pumpkin and Chicken Sausage Pasta. YUM!

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Sausage and Pumpkin Pizza

Ingredients

  • One recipe Fast and Easy Pizza Dough
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained of grease
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepita)

Instructions

Preheat the oven according to 450 degrees. Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness.

Mix together the ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, the salt, garlic powder and oregano in a bowl.

Divide the mixture in half and spread equally on the pizza dough.

Spread the sausage, mozzarella cheese and pumpkin seeds evenly on pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.

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Pumpkin Biscotti

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Can we talk for a minute about how being an adult is the worst? I keep telling my kids, but they don’t believe me. Guess that is their loss, they are going to grow up someday and wish they hadn’t!

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I just paid the bill from my tonsilectomy this summer. Not my favorite check to write, but that is part of adulting, right? If you need me, I will be nursing my woes with a cup of coffee and a few of these biscotti.

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Perfectly spiced, with a drizzle of chocolate and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. These aren’t so hard that you will chip a tooth, but the perfect texture for dunking. They make a big batch, so they are perfect for sharing. Maybe with your fellow bill paying adult friend? 😉

Pumpkin Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pumpkin seeds

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Using a mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and pumpkin purée and continue beating. Add the flour and beat just until combined. (The dough will be very sticky.)

Transfer the dough onto the prepared baking sheet and divide it in half. Shape each piece into two 10x2 1/2-inch logs then pat the logs into rectangles.

Bake the biscotti for 25 minutes then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.

Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut each rectangle into 12 slices at a diagonal. Return the biscotti to the baking sheet, standing them up on the bottom edge and spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Return the biscotti to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes until golden and crispy. (The biscotti will still be soft in the centers.) Turn off the oven, crack open the oven door and let the biscotti cool in the oven. Once they are completely cool, remove the biscotti from the oven.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler until smooth. Drizzle the biscotti with the chocolate then sprinkle them with the chopped pumpkin seeds. Let cool until the chocolate fully hardens. Serve or store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

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Recipe Source Just a Taste