Family Favorites

Mexican Skillet: This has become one of our favorite dishes with a surprising ingredient – turkey sausage. I had never really eaten much turkey growing up, so trying turkey sausage was contrary to my nature. But, Little Man’s food sensitivities dictated variety in the diet, so home from the grocery store it came – and we love it! This dish is relatively easy to prepare, and very customizable so that you can add in whatever sounds good or whatever you have on hand.

Mexican Skillett

I got the idea for this recipe from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless. A very thorough cookbook if you want an education in authentic mexican cooking. I prefer to reference this book for ideas and general food and flavor combinations, and then improvise with my own ideas based on my pallette and pantry stock. This flexibility is one of my favorite characteristics of mexican cuisine. Which surprisingly is very friendly to those with dairy and gluten allergies since with the use of corn in mexican cooking, and the elimination of cheese from the recipe, you can easily have a hearty, satisfying, delicious meal.

Mexcian Skillett Main Ingredients: sweet turkey sausage, potatos, beans.

That’s it. Can’t get much more simple than that. Peel the potatos and cube. Fry in a heavy skillet until crisp covering for the first 10 or 12 minutes to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Stir every 5-7 minutes or so so they crisp. In a second skillet/griddle fry up the turkey sausage, breaking into chunks. When the potatos are done add in 2 cups of beans (black or pinto). I use pre-cooked dried beans, but you could use drained canned beans too. Stir until any liquid from the beans has reduced into a sauce and the beans are heated through. Pour into a large serving bowl and top with the sausage.

Optional Ingredients: cilantro, garlic, onion, jalenpeno, tomatillo sauce are things I’ve added in at times, but you can keep it simple and it’s just as tasty.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread:

This is a favorite snack for me and the kids. It has gone through several variations as my son’s food sensitivities flare up and down. But, this is my modified version from a recipe that I originally got from King Arthur’s website. Unfortunately, the recipe is no longer listed there because it sure is yummy. If you try it let me know what you think.

2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
1 can (2 cups) pumpkin (not pie filling)
2/3 cup milk
3 1/3 cup flour or white spelt flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. This recipe makes 2 loaves. My favorite loaf pans to bake it in are Sante’s Cast Iron Bread Pan (pictured above). See my allergy-free page for a gluten-free and dairy-free variation that is just as good if not better than this one.

New Skillet: Sausage, beans and greens!

I got the idea for this recipe from a post in my Pulse feed on Simply Recipes. Here’s what I did. It turned out great and even the kids ate it. 🙂

Eariler in the day I cooked 1lb. of bacon in the oven on a baking stone (400 degress for about 35 minutes until crispy) and 1/2 pound of great northern beans (pre-soaked) with some homemade chicken bullion cubes (scroll down for the recipe). I set both aside.

At dinner time I browned 2 lbs. of ground pork and seasoned it with salt (1 tsp.), pepper (1/2 tsp.), garlic powder (3 tsp.), Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning  (1/2 tsp.), a pinch of cayenne and winter savory  (2 tsp.). [Note: These measurements are estimated. I never measure anything. So adjust to your taste.] This makes a great homemade sausage recipe. It’s really good.

Then I coarsely chopped my washed greens. This was a combination of CSA greens. I don’t know what they all were…. some kale, beet greens, mustard greens, etc. Put them in the skillet with the sausage and poured the soup/broth from the beans that I had cooked earlier in the day over them. Then I covered the pan with the lid and let it simmer until all the greens were wilted, stirring occasionally.

Once the greens were wilted I crumbled 1/2 lb. of the cooked bacon in the pan and poured in the beans. Stir everything and serve with crusty bread. Yum!

Chocolate Sauce:

This chocolate sauce is easy, versatile and sooooo delicious. It’s easy to whip up as a hot fudge topping for ice cream, icing for a cake, or just to eat by the spoonful. Mmmmm.

Half, double or triple the recipe depending on the amount of sauce you need.

Using a double boiler or the microwave melt 1 cup of chocolate chips. (Note: if using the microwave check every 30 or 45 seconds and only heat until they are just melted as it’s easy to burn in the microwave.)

Stir in 2 tbl. of butter until melted and mixed. Then add 1/4 cup of half and half (add more cream if you want your end product to be more like drizzle.) Add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla and stir until combined.

That’s it.

Note: The sauce will harden when it cools. If you want it to remain spreadable once cool, then double the amount of cream. This will last for a week or more in the fridge.

Visit the Allergy-friendly page for dairy free version of this recipe.

Mexican Skillett 015Homemade Sausage Seasoning:

Who doesn’t like sausage right? But finding one in the store that doesn’t have all those chemicals and preservatives is tricky and expensive. This sausage seasoning is delicious. I was trying to replicate the flavors of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and this is what I came up with. It’s not exactly the same as that, but our whole family loves it. And I love that it’s good for us. I like adding it to ground pork and using it in pasta and skillett dishes. Enjoy!

Add to 1.5 to 2 lbs of meat.

1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, 1-2 tbl. parsely,  1 tbl. winter savory, 1 tbl. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning (like Tony’s) or seasoned salt can substitute.


Everyone seems to ask me for my granola recipe. So here it is. This way I can just tell everyone, “It’s on my blog.” 🙂

First mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

6 cups oats (I prefer regular, not quick-cooking)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (You can use any nut you like or have on hand. I usually use walnuts but almonds or pecans even work.)
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

Stir the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then mix in following.

1 cup mild- tasting oil (whatever you’ve got – coconut (melted), canola, light olive oil, etc.)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir well until all the oats are coated. Put in a baking pan with sides and bake on 350 for 20 minutes removing at the 10 minute mark to stir. When you stir be sure that you are careful to pull it away from the sides as the honey burns easily along the edges otherwise. When it has cooled off, stir in 2 cups of raisins. Makes a yummy breakfast or snack.

Crock Pot Sausage Stew:

Note: This recipe is for an 8-quart crock pot or two 4-quart crock pots. Adjust for your crock pot size.

7.29.13 048drizzle of olive oil
2 lbs. Italian sausage (sweet or spicy)
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
6-8 carrots peeled and sliced
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
half of a large yellow onion, chopped
one head of garlic, minced
one can tomato paste
heaping tbls. flour
salt and pepper to taste
water (fill halfway up the crock pot)

Turn the crock pot on high and let it begin to warm.  Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of the crock pot. Add your sausage removing the casings and cutting into chunks with kitchen shears. Let the meat begin to brown while you chop your veggies.

When you are done chopping your vegetables, sprinkle salt, pepper and a tablespoon of flour in the sausage. Stir until the flour has disappeared by absorbing the oil. This is a roux and will thicken the stew for you.

Now throw in all your chopped veggies, and fill the crock pot half way up with water. Put the lid on. Cook on high for four hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Enjoy! Mmmm.

yummy goodness yummy goodness

Chocolate Banana Bread

3 frozen ripe bananas (thawed)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add mashed bananas. I think using previously frozen bananas is what causes this to be super moist.

2 cups flour (I like White Flour or King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat)
2 tbl. cocoa powder (or more if you want more chocolate – just compensate with 2 tbls. of sugar for each extra tbl. of cocoa powder added)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir until just combined. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about 55 minutes.

Chicken Spaghetti:

3.9.14 001 We dug right in.

This was a family favorite that my Grandmother used to make. We all loved it. She used Velveeta. But, I’ve adjusted it to make a real food version which tastes exactly the same.

Begin by cooking your chicken. I use chicken leg quarters and cook them all day in the crock pot with sea salt, pepper, a dash of cayenne and a head of crushed garlic cloves. When the chicken is done done remove the meat and bones and strain the broth. Pour into a stock pot. You need about 2 quarts (8 cups) of broth, so add more water and homemade chicken bullion cubes if needed. Next, add 1 cup of chopped celery and 1 cup of chopped onion. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add 1 lb. of spaghetti noodles and 2 tbs. of parsley and salt and pepper to taste. When the noodles are done, stir in 8 oz of cream cheese (cubed) and 8 oz. of sharp cheddar (shredded). Stir until all the cheeses have melted and are well combined. Fold in the cooked chicken meat which you have removed from the bone. Now pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake on 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This recipe will fill 1 large casserole (8×14″) and one small one (8×8″). So, invite some friends over or enjoy your leftovers. Yum.

3.9.14 007

More Recipes:

Stir Fry

Beef stir fry with ginger and garlic. Mmmm.

Family Favorite: Scrapple

Scrapple Scrapple

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Homemade flour tortilla chips. Homemade flour tortilla chips.

Black-eyed Pea Salsa

Photo taken from Jan 2014 issue of Family Circle Magazine Photo taken from Jan 2014 issue of Family Circle Magazine

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

2 thoughts on “Family Favorites

  1. Pingback: New Recipes – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread with a Gluten and dairy-free version « Maggie Lane

  2. Pingback: What to do with all those CSA greens? A yummy skillet recipe… « Maggie Lane

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