Welcome to Autumn

It’s official – today is the first day of fall. Of all the seasons, I think I love Autumn best. Spring is wonderful with all it’s colors. Summer is too hot, winter too cold. Autumn is just right. Colorful, warm during the day, crisp at night. It just makes me feel all cozy inside.

Continue reading “Welcome to Autumn”

Casarecce Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Do you shop at Costco? I don’t know about other big box stores, but Costco has assorted Pastas bundled together. Three different types of pasta in one pound bags sold as a package deal. Yeah, six pounds of short pastas.

Continue reading “Casarecce Pasta with Smoked Sausage”

Smoked Sausage and Potato Bake with Roasted Carrots

Those who have been following for a while now might remember how much Brother Dear loved smoked sausage. For that matter, how much he loved all things fried – unless it was a vegetable other than a potato. Cooking for Brother Dear could be a bit of a challenge. He was stubborn as a mule and as picky as most two-year-olds when it came to his food. (Notice that I say most – my children were adventurous at mealtime, as is Kiddo. The table was never a battlefield). My mom allowed Brother Dear to eat Chocolate Cake for dinner rather than to fight with him. He never outgrew those childish habits. It was up to me, and later our younger sister to come up with variations of his favorites to keep him from starving. We tried Kilebasa Sausage with Herbed Potatoes and Corn  and A Corny Take on Smoked Sausage with Fried Potatoes. These variations of Brother Dear’s Smokes Sausage and Fried Potatoes met with his stamp of approval. That is all but one. For one thing, the entire dish was baked, not fried. And I had the audacity to include carrots! Try as I might to convince him that he could pick out the carrots, he was convinced that the carrots had somehow gotten their carrot cooties on everything. (Ha! Little did he know about all the times I minced carrots so finely to put into sauces and such).

Word of advice to parents everywhere: Don’t raise picky eaters. Encourage your children to try new things. Well-rounded children grow up to be well-rounded adults. Life is overflowing with wonder and flavor and color and . . . you get the idea. Embrace it all!

Smoked Sausage and Potato Bake with Roasted Carrots
1 ½ lbs small Red Potatoes, cut in haves or quartered
1 Onion, slivered thin
½ lb Baby Carrots
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Thyme leaves
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Packages Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage, coin-cut

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.

Clean and cut Red Potatoes. Place in a large bowl.

Add onions, carrots, butter and seasonings to potatoes. Toss to coat evenly.

Place potato mixture into prepared casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking, coin-cut smoked sausage, set aside until ready to use.

Add sausage to potato mixture, mix well. Continue to bake 15-20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and golden.

Note: For more color, try Purple Potatoes (when you can find them) or Red Onions.

A Corny Take on Smoked Sausage with Fried Potatoes

One of the things we keep in the freezer for effortless yet yummy suppers such as this is Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef or Kielbasa Sausages. Whenever we find them on sale, we stock up. The great thing about these Sausages is that you can barbecue them, cook them with potatoes, add them to a pasta . . . great for quick comfort food. When Brother Dear lived with us, simple comfort food was important and vegetables beyond corn needed to be hidden. I cannot express fully just how difficult it was to get Brother Dear to eat anything beyond McDonalds, Pizzas or Turkey Sandwiches.

This dish is almost the same as one I posted earlier – Brother Dear’s Smokes Sausage and Fried Potatoes – almost. Only this dish calls for Yukon Gold Potatoes rather than Russets that are cut into cubes rather than sliced thin. While both dishes include corn, instead of serving sweet corn as a side, it goes right into the skillet with the potatoes and sausage, making this a one-skillet supper.

A Corny Take on Smoked Sausage with Fried Potatoes
6 Medium Size Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
2 Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage, coin cut
1 Can Corn, well-drained
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Yukon Potatoes

Scrub potatoes. No need to peel. The peel of these potatoes will add extra flavor, texture and fiber to the dish. Cut into bite-size cubes. Place into a microwave safe dish. Drizzle potatoes with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

corny-smoked-sausage-fried-potatoes-2

Microwave potatoes for about 10 minutes, until almost cooked through. Test doneness by piercing the potato with a cake tester or toothpick. It should glide into the potato effortlessly.

corny-smoked-sausage-fried-potatoes-4

Empty potatoes into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Allow potatoes to begin to brown.

While the potatoes are browning, coin cut Smoked Beef Sausage. Once the potatoes brown, add sausage to skillet. Stir, toss to mix well.

Drain corn, and rinse under cold water to remove any packing salt. Add corn to skillet. Stir, toss to mix well.

Lower heat to about medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and sausage is heated through. Depending upon size of potatoes, this should take about 10 minutes.

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Serve and enjoy.


Another delicious way to serve up Kielbasa or Smoked Beef Sausages is so simple, it only takes two ingredients and about 20 minutes of time . . . we love Grilled Sausages with Barbecue Sauce. Yum!

Smoked Sausage Coins with Potatoes and Green Beans

This Smoked Sausage One-Dish suppers is one that I know my picky Broth Dear would have grumbled about. How he loved his smoke sausage and potatoes. I swear, he could have eaten smoked sausage seven days a week and not grown tired of it. As much as he loved sausage roasted with potatoes, there is no way he would have even tried this recipe. That’s because this yummy, one-pan wonder has green beans. Delicious, bright oven roasted green beans. And we all know what happens when something green comes in contact with other foods – it becomes contaminated with vegetable goobers. Brother Dear never knew what he was missing.

This is an awesomely easy recipe that I picked up from 78 Recipes. It’s one of those perfect recipes when you really don’t feel like cooking but your family is hungry.

Smoked Sausage with Potatoes and Green Beans
2 lbs Smoked Beef Sausage, sliced
¾ lb. fresh Green Beans, trimmed
1 lb Small Red Potatoes, quartered
1 medium white onion, coarsely cut
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt or to taste
½ teaspoon Black pepper or to taste
½ teaspoon of organic garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coin cut smoked sausage and place in a large bowl.

Trim green beans, add to the bowl with the sausage.

Wash red potatoes, cut into quarters. Add to the bowl with the sausage

Rinse and trim the green beans, add to the bowl.

Drizzle mixture with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil

Place in the heated oven and bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil, stir the mixture and continue to bake for an addition 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

This is a complete supper in a single dish. All you need to do now is serve and enjoy.

Grilled Smoked Sausages with Barbecue Sauce

06-26-2013-4This is almost a silly posting – such a simple “recipe” – yet one of the favorites with my guys for a quick, easy dinner. Only two ingredients. From prep to table in about 20 minutes. Can’t beat that for easy. It’s one of those family favorite “junk” comfort foods. Coupled with the right sides, it’s both filling and delicious. There is a little more to this posting then what meets the eye. When I miss Brother Dear, I take to cooking his kind of grub. Grilled Smoked Sausage was one of his favorites.

These yummy grilled sausages not only make a great quick and easy supper, they would feel right at home at any backyard barbecue. Served along side such popular backyard favorites as barbecued chicken, these grilled sausages bring a little variety to the feast while stretching your food dollar in the process. The flavors of the grilled sausages and barbecue chicken would complement one another and take very little time to prepare. A boneless chicken thigh or two cooked up on the grill and kissed with your favorite barbecue sauce, a serving of “J” shaped barbecued sausage, some fried potatoes and maybe an ear of corn – your guests will be both full and satisfied. Sometimes we’ll have a “big barbecue” – some chicken, maybe a tri-tip or two, and I’ll trow on a few Smoked Sausages, knowing that Brother Dear will be sitting at the table with us, if only in spirit.

Grilled Smoked Sausages with Barbecue Sauce 
2 Packages Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce, any flavor

Heat small gas grill for direct cooking. Split sausages in half width-wise to create 2 halves. Split again lengthwise to open sausage. You will now have 8 “J” shaped sausages.

When grill is ready, place sausage haves on grill skin side up until nicely cooked. Turn, brush with barbecue sauce and continue to grill until heated through.

Serve with additional barbecue sausage if desired.

Great with Country Style Southern Fried Taters and corn.


Looking for more of Brother Dear’s favorite sausage? Try Brother Dear’s Smokes Sausage and Fried Potatoes

Brother Dear’s Smokes Sausage and Fried Potatoes

jimboI’ve been thumbing through my recipe repertoire, looking for a few of my brother’s favorites to share. He has been in my heart (always) and my thoughts – especially of late with what should have been his 61st birthday just around the corner. I miss him at my table, even if he was a pain to cook for with all his picky dislikes. There will always been certain foods that I cook and when I do, he will fill the room with his presence. In my heart, I can see his face, with that twinkle of mischief in his dark brown eyes and a warm smile that lights up the room.

One of his favorite “comfort” suppers is Smoked Sausage and Fried Potatoes with a side of corn. When he lived with us, I tried to make this once a week because I knew it was something he would eat. Since my baby brother went be with our mother, I don’t make it nearly as often. Yet whenever I do, Kiddo says “Uncle Jimbo’s favorite.” And we smile.

In our house, we’ve always put food on the table in the same order – vegetables at one end, (to my right), with potatoes (rice or what have you) at the other end, and the meat or main dish in the middle. Hubby usually has seconds of meat and potato servings, while I like a second helping of veggies. When my baby brother came to live with us for a while, his end of the table just happened to be the end with the vegetables – green beans, squash, asparagus, wilted spinach – the good stuff. He would take his place at the dinner table, survey the evening’s offerings and then ask the same question “How come you always put the yucky stuff by me?” His question always got the same reply from Kiddo “She’s hoping maybe you’ll take the hint and eat something green.” My brother would wrinkle his nose, let out a big laugh and pass his plate down to the far end of the table so Hubby could load him up with a big helping of starch and meat. You can see why Smoked Sausage and Fried Potatoes with a side of corn was one of his favorite meals. No “yucky” stuff on the entire table.

Smoked Sausage & Fried Potato Skillet Dinner
3 Packages Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage, coin cut
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
6-8 Medium Size Red or Russet Potatoes (about 1 ½ – 2 lbs) cut into thin slices
Onion Powder to taste (about a tablespoon)
Plenty of Salt & Pepper to Taste
A dash or two of Paprika for color

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Wash the potatoes and slice into thin slices.

Sauté potatoes, stirring to coat the slices with the warm butter and oil. Season with onion powder, salt, pepper and a dash or two of paprika. Add a little water, cover and allow potatoes to “steam” fry with a well-fitted lid until almost soft, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent over-browning.

Remove cover, add sausage and continue to cook until nicely browned, 8-10 minutes longer, turning as necessary to prevent burning.


As far as Brother Dear was concerned, this meal wasn’t complete without some buttery corn straight from the can . . .

buttery cornButtery Canned Corn
1 Can Corn, well-drained
¼ Cup butter
Kosher Salt to taste

Drain corn and rinse well to remove any of the packing liquid.

Place corn in a saucepan over low heat until all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add butter, increase heat to medium. When butter melts, stir into corn. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to heat until corn is hot, about 5-10 minutes.  Transfer corn to serving bowl and serve.


To my baby brother – I love you every day!

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