Monday, August 29, 2016

Roasted Sausage and Summer Vegetables

I love fresh summer vegetables.  I don't grow them myself, but my local grocery store does a good job of stocking locally grown produce this time of year.  I always try to be sure to incorporate some into my menu.  I especially love the summer zucchini and squash.  There are several recipes similar to this one floating around.  I made this one similar to how I like to roast my vegetables in my other recipes.  It turned out really well.  I debated on how much oil to use.  This time I used 1/cup.  I think I may try reducing that to ¼ cup the next time I make it.  That may depend on your own taste.  This recipe is a good, quick recipe that we all need during the busy back to school season!

Roasted Sausage and Summer Vegetables

2 13 oz packages of turkey kielbasa, sliced*
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 medium yellow squash, quartered and sliced
1 sweet onion, cubed
1 orange bell pepper, cubed
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 t seasoned salt*
1 t pepper
1 t Italian blend seasoning
¼ - 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425o.  After slicing and chopping, place sausage and vegetables in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with garlic and spices.  Drizzle with oil.  With a large spoon, gently mix until oil and spices are evenly coated.  Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spread sausage and vegetable mixture evenly on pans.  Place both pans in preheated oven.  (The pans can be placed on two different oven racks.)  Bake for about 30-45 minutes.  While cooking, stirring once or twice and rotate pans to roast evenly.  Serve with your favorite couscous*, quinoa or rice.

*These items could contain gluten.  If you have a gluten allergy, check the labels carefully or use a safe substitute.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe several years ago.  They were good, especially warm, but would harden once completely cooled.  So, I was always looking for a way to adjust them to improve the texture.  I finally figured it out!  One of my kid's teachers apparently makes better chocolate chip cookies than Mommy.  I found out that she puts pudding mix in the batter.  So, I adjusted my recipe to include some.  Ahhhh... cookie perfection!!  So good!  

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ c butter (salted) 
½ c vegetable shortening
¼ c sugar
¾ c brown sugar
1 small package instant vanilla pudding
1 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2½ c flour
1/3 c milk
1½ c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375o Cream together the butter, shortening, both sugars, pudding mix and vanilla.  Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt mixing constantly.  Slowly mix in the flour.  Add milk one tablespoon at a time until dough starts to stick together.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Note:  If you use unsalted butter, add ½ t salt.