Sausage, Peppers, and Pasta

The days are getting warmer and longer!  I love being able to sit outside and enjoy dinner.  My lilacs are finally blooming and it smells so heavenly!

Our bushes this year are FILLED with flowers.  It looks so beautiful.   I needed a quick dinner, because my schedule in May is nothing less than insane, so I made sausage, peppers, and onions on the grill and cooked off a pan of pasta.

sausage, peppers and pasta

I grabbed a mix package of Italian sausage, half hot, half sweet.  The hubby prefers hot, I like the sweet, so we were both happy!  I cut up three peppers – they were on sale so I got the yellow, orange, and red ones for color.   I added two sliced onions, tossed all of the vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before loading them into a disposable aluminum pan and putting them on the grill with the sausage.

I came inside, heated up a bit of tomato sauce and boiled a pot of water for the pasta.  Dinner was on the table in just under thirty minutes.  We were able to sit outside and Mother Nature treated us to a lovely sunset.  Dinners like this definitely make me incredibly happy – SPRING IS HERE and summer is just around the corner.

Garlic Knots

I have to tell you, one of the best things about making pizza on the grill is having leftover dough to make garlic knots.  I LOVE garlic knots.  My poor Mom, she can’t handle garlic, it just doesn’t agree with her, me, garlic is AWESOME!

Making knots from pizza dough is super simple, just grab a ball of dough, roll it into a rope and tie a knot in it.  I put in on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake it for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.  While the dough is cooking, I dice up some garlic and add it to a heap of butter.  Normally I add a generous helping of minced parsley for color, but I didn’t have any on hand and I was in no mood to run to the store.   The deer have decimated my garden this year so grabbing some from there wasn’t an option.  Oh well, we didn’t need the parsley, they tasted wonderful, fresh from the oven, bathed in buttery, garlicky goodness.

garlic knots

I added a dusting of grated Parmesan cheese, but really, what food doesn’t taste better with cheese?  They made a nice accompaniment to our dinner of yellow squash, turkey, and rice.


Can you tell I had no desire to be creative, I just wanted to get dinner on the table? Heck everything on the plate is the same darn color!  At least it tasted better than it looked….

Zucchini Bread

You know you are a sucker when the little girls next door come over to tell you that they signed you up to make dessert for them.  Heck, I was even given instructions as to what I was making and how much…..yup, SUCKER, right across the fore head, in big red letters.

Anyway,what they wanted to zucchini bread, two loaves, for church on Sunday.  I had zucchini from the garden on the counter, but I knew I would have to make the bread on Saturday morning, before I left for work.

Thankfully, I was able to make the bread and leave it cooling on the counter.  I texted their Mom to let them know it was ready and they could pick it up anytime. Then I went upstairs to get ready and I headed out to the Jersey Shore for our annual Alumni Happy Hour down the shore.

zucchini bread

It wasn’t until the next afternoon that I saw the girls and they told me the bread was a big hit.  To thank me, and ensure a never ending supply of zucchini bread, they brought me over a HUGE zucchini from their Dad’s garden.  Hopefully he knows that they gave it to me….!


Grilled Chicken with Zucchini from the Garden

We have had a plethora of zucchini and yellow squash from the garden this year.  Far more yellow squash than zucchini, but after last year, I am not complaining!

I have been grilling, sauteing, and frying zucchini and yellow squash all week.  In fact, there hasn’t been a meal that hasn’t included one of two for the last few days.  I have resorted to bringing them in to work and fostering them off on my co-workers.  Thankfully, they are all happy with the arrangement!

chx cauli zucc

I picked up a family pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and marinated them in a lemon garlic marinade.   The hubby was kind enough to grill them along with some of the zucchini from the garden.   I had picked up a bag of fresh, raw cauliflower that had been diced to resemble rice.  I figured, heck, why not try it.  It was super simple and super quick to cook!

I intend on using the chicken for my lunches this week, the hubby is traveling and the temperatures are supposed to be oppressive so I figured nice cool salads would be the perfect dinner choice.  Hopefully I don’t get sick of chicken, chicken, chicken by the end of the week!

While we were sitting outside on the deck enjoying our dinner, we happened to see not one, but two hot air balloons fly overhead.  They were both flying really, really low.  It turns out they were looking for a place to land.   I took quite a few shots with my camera, but I think this one is the best for showing you just how close to our house them came.


Grilled Meatloaf

I love the convenience of grilled meatloaf for dinner during the week. Since you have to make it ahead of time to give it enough time to completely cool, you get to come home, relax for a bit on the deck before jumping into dinner prep.  I tend to make mine with meatloaf mix (pork, beef, and veal), I add a ton of shredded veggies (onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash), and a bit of bread soaked in milk.  I round that out with some Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper.   Once I put the meatloaf in the pan, I top it with bacon, because honestly, bacon makes everything better!

grilled meatloaf

We cut thick slices of the cooled meatloaf and placed them on a searing hot grill.   Since the meat is already cooked, all you are really doing is charring the outside and heating it through. We smear a bit of BBQ sauce on the slices just before taking them off the grill.

We have both yellow squash and zucchini coming out our ears right now.  The garden has been quite prolific, thank you very much.  We are grilling both squash and zucchini on a nightly basis around here.  We have so much coming out of the garden right now, that I am bringing it to work and handing them out to whoever will take me up on my offer of fresh veggies!


London Broil

Our weather has been a bit crazy, lots of late day thunderstorms, pretty much what you expect this time of year!  I was tired from a long weekend, so I opted for an easy dinner on Monday night.  I picked up a beautiful London Broil from the local market.  I poured a bottle of store bought marinade over the meat, turning it once to coat the entire piece, then covered it with foil and placed it in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.  It is a recipe that I learned from one of my line cooks at work.

The meat was so tender,  you didn’t even need a knife to cut it. This is such an easy recipe and I like that you put it in the oven hours before you are going to serve it.  It only leaves you with a few side dishes to make at the last minute and as an added bonus, the house smells delicious!

london broil

I made a batch of mashed potatoes and sauteed some zucchini from our garden with a bit of red onion and tomatoes.   I even indulged in some mashed potatoes, my favorite food on the planet, thank you very much!

There was just enough left over for the hubby to have it again for lunch on Tuesday.  Not a bad way to end a four day holiday!

Stuffed Peppers

I feel like I have been in a rut with our dinners lately, so I decided to change things up a bit.  I picked up some glorious red peppers from the store.  They were actually cheaper than the green peppers this week, go figure! Anyway, I added a pound of bulk sweet Italian sausage to the cart and a couple of cans of tomato sauce.

When I got home, I sauteed the meat with some onions and garlic.   While that was cooking, I made a batch of white rice.  When both were done, I combined them in a bowl with a healthy handful of grated Romano cheese.   Using a spoon, I thoroughly combined the mixture then stuffed it into the cleaned peppers.

In the winter, I bake our stuffed peppers in the oven, but in the summer, I prefer to put them in a disposable aluminum pan and bake them on the grill.   It is so easy and honestly they cook faster than if they were in the oven.

I poured the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan, snuggled the stuffed peppers, one in each corner of the pan.  I added the rest of the rice/meat mixture to the sauce in the center, covered the pan with foil and placed it on the grill.

stuffed peppers

It took about 20 minutes on the grill.  Since the mixture was already fully cooked, all I needed to do was cook the peppers and make sure the filling was hot.

We have been getting tons of yellow squash out of the garden so I sliced up a few and grilled them to go alongside the peppers.  It was a really pretty combination, the red peppers, the white filling and the yellow squash.  Now if I had only thought to take a photo before we dug in…..ah well….trust me when I tell you it was amazing and looked really pretty on the plate.