Chicken Apple & Asparagus Pasta

Most days I’m not the adventurous type when it comes to making dinner. I prefer tried and true recipes that  I know I can’t mess up yet still taste good. However, after hosting Easter dinner this past weekend, I was left with a lot of leftover items in my refrigerator. David and I have been trying to get much better about about our grocery budget, spending less on food in general but also being more careful to use what we have and not waste a bunch of perfectly good food.

Tonight I decided I was going to be creative. Take what was in my refrigerator and make it work. I forewarned David that he would be a guinea pig when he got home. I told him if it was awful we would head to Chipotle. It was a deal. I was going to make a pasta and it was going to have chicken apple sausage, asparagus, and white wine in it. The rest was to be determined.

The result?

Chicken Apple & Asparagus Pasta

I’m pleased to share this wonderful healthy recipe. It turned out so well it’s most certainly blog worthy!! Unfortunately I didn’t know it was going to be as good as it was so I don’t have step by step pictures.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1  bunch asparagus, ends discarded, then cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 box whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • Grated Romano for topping

First, slice all sausage links into slices (side note — I recommend using Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage, it is a savory sausage, many of the chicken apple sausages on the market currently are meant to be used as a breakfast food, they have brown sugar in them, you don’t want a chicken apple sausage that has brown sugar in it or this dish will not turn out the same). On another cutting board, finely dice 2-3 cloves of garlic and cut asparagus into two inch slices. Next, brown both sides of the sausage in a skillet. Start boiling water for the noodles. Once the sausages are browned remove from skillet. Set aside. Add noodles to boiling water (wheat noodles will take longer so plan accordingly). In skillet, add 3 tbsp butter, melt, once melted add 1 tbsp flour. Create a roux by whisking butter and flour mixture together and cooking until lightly brown. Next, add half and half, white wine, garlic, red pepper flakes, italian seasoning and sun dried tomatoes. Let reduce. After reduced add milk until desired consistency and amount of sauce is correct. My sauce was thin, I didn’t want it thick, just enough to give everything a nice coat. Let sauce simmer and flavors blend for 5-10 mins. During last two minutes of pasta cooking time, toss asparagus in with pasta. At this point add sausage back to the sauce so it can heat through. Drain pasta and asparagus return to pot. Pour sauce over noodles. Mix well. Serve in pasta bowls and top with Romano cheese (this cheese makes the whole thing delicious!)

Eat and enjoy!

This together so easily and was so light yet incredibly flavorful! The white wine added a great depth of flavor. This is a perfect dish for a beautiful spring night.

To prove that this was a success I thought I would share a picture of David chowing down. He loved it, he had seconds and look forward to the leftovers for lunch!

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Be Mine

I have the best valentine in the entire wide world. I don’t care what you say. He’s amazing. I adore, respect, love and appreciate him. Even though I may be terrible at showing him those things some days, I hope he knows that I truly think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

My valentine was so sweet. You see, he’s no chef. In fact he really doesn’t like to cook, it’s frustrating to him. In our home I’m the chef and he’s the cleaner-upper. For Valentines day (a couple days early) he was sweet and thoughtful enough to make a beautiful dinner for us. He left me in charge of the appetizer and he took care of the main course. He made Peppered Shrimp Alfredo.

I thought I would do a pictorial of his prepartion of a wonderful dinner.

Step 1: Ingredient prep

Step 2: He softens the onions and starts to boil the noodles

Step 3: Add in the peppers and mushrooms

Step 4: Yay, time to add the shrimp!

Step 5: Add 1 jar of alfredo sauce, a little half and half and some cayenne pepper

and… Voila! a beautiful pasta dish

Can’t forget the appetizer and drinks!

That was his wonderful dinner. Then on Valentines night he surprised me with a heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s (which was delicious), 7 roses (for the number of valentines we’ve celebrated together), 2 chocolate covered strawberries and a mini tiramasu. Boy am I spoiled!!

I was not nearly as creative and just got him a card and made him chocolate chip cookie dough brownies. I need to do better next year.

It was a wonderful Valentines day! Thanks my dear for always making it so special! XOXO!

Superbowl Fooood

Well I was thinking that since I didn’t get this recipe posted before the Super Bowl that it was silly to still post it. But you know what, I think you’ll still like it. So I’m going to post it!

I for one am defenitely one of those superbowl people that could care less about the game and more about the eats, the friends and the commercials. This year we had our first Superbowl party at our new house. It was potluck style so everyone brought something to share. I whipped up a grand batch of my not so healthy but super yummy nacho sauce. This stuff is P-E-R-F-E-C-T for good ol’ Superbowl food. Not only is it a sinch to prepare, it’s a cheap and yummy way to feed a whole lotta hungries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large can of Hormel Chili (no beans)
  • 2 Cans of Rotel tomatoes (Original style)
  • 1-2 lbs of Ground Beef (depending on how many you’re looking to serve)
  • 1 Large brick of Velveeta
  • 1 Tbsp Dried onion

Fixins:

  • Sliced Olives
  • Sliced Jalepenos
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Sour Cream
  • Quacamole
  • Tortilla Chips

Directions:

1.) brown your ground beef and dried onion in a pan. Drain of excess grease.

2.) Pour browned ground beef into slow-cooker.

3.) Add to beef, 2 cans of Rotel, 1 can of Hormel Chili (no beans)

4.) Cut and cube your block of velveeta; add to crock pot. Mix together as best you can.

5.) Turn on slow cook to Low for  2 hours. Check in on slow cooker every half hour and give it a good mix. As the cheese starts to melt everything will combine. After 2 hours turn your slow cooker to Warm.

(of  course I would forget to take a picture of the finished product! Probably because I was to excited to eat it! Trust me it’s an ooey gooey cheesey sauce, perfect for nachos)

Serve on Top of chips and pile high with toppings and fixin’s. Enjoy!