Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Sausage Alfredo Bake

I'm all for quick and easy recipes…..the kind of recipes that get you in and out of the kitchen fast.  I also love simple-to-make dishes that take very few ingredients. But I have just one rule: Whatever quick and simple recipe I’m making has to taste homemade. So, how do you get that homemade dish worthy of being called restaurant quality?  You make your own sauce!  Never buy Alfredo sauce in a jar when it takes less time to make it than to open it!  Here’s just an example of the perfect fast and simple recipe that you can make in less than 30 minutes, start to finish. Serve it with a side salad and some hot crusty bread and you’ll think you’re eating carryout from a high end Italian restaurant!

Sausage Alfredo Bake

1.5 lbs Italian Sausage (sweet or hot)1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box Penne or Penne Rigata Pasta (one has ridges one doesn't)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
homemade Alfredo Sauce (see below)
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Cut sausage into bite sized pieces. In a large skillet over a medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the sausage pieces and brown until done.  Remove from skillet and set aside. Add sliced mushrooms to the same skillet and saute until tender. Season the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper. Return sausage to skillet and mix them with the sausage and set aside.

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of boiling water and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain very well and return pasta to warm pot off the heat. While pasta cooks, make  your sauce.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream (must be heavy cream or whipping cream)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped garlic and saute until golden (about a minute or two). Add 2 cups of heavy cream and allow to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and whisk continuously until the cheese in completely melted. Salt and pepper to taste. That's how simple it is to make your own sauce! 

Add the sausage and mushrooms to your pot of cooked pasta and toss. Next, add the half cup of mozzarella cheese to your Alfredo sauce and stir until cheese has melted.  Then pour your sauce into the pot of pasta and stir to coat everything well.

Pour the pasta into a oven proof dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the cheese has melted.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and a salad. YUM!   

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

My Incredible Lasagna Roll Ups

The less time it takes me to make dinner the better. Especially lasagna! Who doesn’t love it but who wants to take all that time to make all those layers?   Rather than making a big pan of lasagna, these are perfect for dinner size portions.  I use a blend of three cheeses (Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan). Add some garlic bread and a side salad and you’ve got a delicious quick meal!   

My Incredible Lasagna Roll Ups
1 pound ground beef
12 lasagna noodles 
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, Onion Sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. Once cooked, lay them out in a single layer on wax paper.

In a skillet over medium heat, saut√© the onion and garlic until tender and transparent.  Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. After browning, drain the beef.  Add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, oregano and basil. Lower the heat to med-low and cook for 30 minutes covered.

Combine 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all of the ricotta cheese in a medium bowl. Add the egg, parsley, salt and pepper, then mix until all ingredients are combined. 

In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, spread 1 cup of the meat sauce or just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay out a lasagna noodles and spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle. Top with a little of the  meat sauce. 

Roll the lasagna noodles and place them seam side down in the pan.  Finish by topping with remaining meat sauce and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Cover with non-stick aluminum foil.

Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Southern Biscuits and Gravy

I’m from Maryland but when it comes to food, I am a true southern girl through and through. My Mom was born in Kentucky and raised in Tennessee and all I ever knew was her southern cooking growing up. You can’t claim to be southern if you don’t know this next recipe. I am crazy about Gravy and Biscuits and make them all the time.

Southern Gravy and Biscuits

Milk Gravy

1/4 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour2 cups milk, room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

I like to fry up some bacon for a side dish so I can use the drippings.  Once you fry it or bake it, remove the bacon to a plate.  What you have in the skillet then will be the base for your gravy.

Using the same frying pan that you cooked your bacon in, add flour to the drippings and whisk until it begins to turn a light brown. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook until the gravy is smooth and thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into small chunks about the size of sugar cubes
1 cup very cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Toss the butter chunks into the flour mixture.   Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash the butter chunks into quarter-sized pieces.  
Mix the cold buttermilk into the flour/butter mixture, tossing briskly with a fork to evenly distribute the buttermilk so no dry bits of flour are visible.  The dough will be sticky but should clear the sides of the bowl.

Scrape the biscuit mixture out onto a lightly-floured work surface and gather, with floured hands, into a ball.  Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  Fold into thirds and rotate dough 90 degrees, dusting work surface with flour.  Roll out to about 1-inch thick. 

Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, press down on the cutter, but do not turn or twist, dipping the cutter or glass into the flour after each cut.  Place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together.  Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes, without opening the oven door, until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and split or cut the biscuits in half and top with the prepared hot Milk Gravy. Serve warm.

Biscuits Making Hints and Tips:
For tender and flaky biscuits, make sure the butter is as cold as you can get it. I keep mine in the freezer.  Try to use your hands as little as possible. Excess handling causes tough biscuits.  

Always bake biscuits on cookie sheets or pans without sides.  The heat will circulate more evenly than on pans with sides.  Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


Want to find some wonderful recipes for Valentine's Day?  I have put some of my best in the Welcome Home Online Magazine! That's right. I have included some of my best mouth watering recipes in this issue so that you can make them for that special person. 

The magazine has nearly 800 never seen before recipes for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner and of course those decadent sweets for your sweet Valentine.  

It's through subscription only so you won't find these recipes any place else. Where else can you find nearly 800 of my exclusive recipes for only $2.00 a month.

And as a bonus, you will be added to the Facebook Fan club for subscribers only. Here you will find even more recipes as well as some new kitchen ideas and wonderful short cuts.

If you haven't subscribed yet, you can simply click on this link and you will have the magazine within minutes. All of the recipes will be there...all 773 of them! Click on this link to subscribe today!

Print Friendly and PDF