Monday, July 25, 2016

Easy tomato and sausage ragu

Why settle for jarred pasta sauce when you can make this easy tomato and sausage ragu with mushrooms and fresh herbs instead? 

easy recipe for tomato and sausage with mushrooms and herbs

Can you believe I was nearly 30 years old before I discovered the awesome glory of sausage?

[Seriously -- if you a regular reader of the Ninj, pick yourself up off the floor, as you know I tend to add sausage or bacon to nearly everything. Are you new? Go ahead, search on "sausage" or "bacon" in the search box. I'll wait ... get it now?]

Growing up, sausage to me meant an oily, hot sausage-and-pepper grinder (hero, hoagie, sub, whatever) -- and those just grossed me out (they still do). Therefore, in my mind I didn't like sausage. Period.

While Mr. Ninj and I were dating, he would occasionally cook for me (ah, those were the days!), and once he made some pasta dish that involve browning sausage as the first step.

This is so pathetic to admit now, but I watched in utter amazement as he CUT THE CASING OFF and added just the ground meat to the pan to brown. Whhhhaaaaattt???? Crumbled sausage? Sausage that isn't in a log shape or drowning in soggy pepper juice? Pure genius!

It's been fast ride straight down the pork hill from that day. All the way to this easy, way-better-than-jarred tomato and sausage ragu.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Healthy one pot turkey pilaf

Master weeknight dinner with one pot turkey pilaf: only 30 minutes to a healthy delicious dinner with minimal clean up plus leftovers.

Healthy and easy one pot turkey pilaf

Another busy week means another entry for my list of healthy and easy weeknight meals that anyone can make -- one-pot turkey pilaf.

Lazy me is a big fan of easy, one-pot dishes, as evidenced by some of my favorite recipes, including one-pot tomato basil pasta and healthy one-pot Asian pasta. I mean, seriously, what's not to love?

In less than half an hour, from start to finish, you can have a healthy, delicious dinner on the table. With leftovers for lunch the next day, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Port wine cheese spread

Cheese and crackers go retro with this super easy port wine cheese spread; all the addictive flavor, none of the garish colors.

Port wine cheese spread

Summer is just the best time for parties and entertaining, isn't it? Who doesn't love celebrating al fresco with friends at a garden party, backyard cookout or cocktail party on the deck?

It's no wonder so many people choose to get married in the summer, too -- talk about an opportunity for a grand outdoor party!

To celebrate summer and special occasions like weddings and anniversaries, I've teamed up with the folks at Uncommon Goods to introduce you to some of the amazing items they have available in their unique catalog that are perfect for gift-giving or entertaining -- and to give you a chance to win a prize package of their wares.

Case in point: the cheese-and-cracker serving board and butter and cheese knife you see in these photos. In particular, the gorgeous, made-in-Vermont cheeseboard is featured in the Uncommon Collection, an exclusive assortment of products that meet their highest standards for uncommon design, sustainability and doing good. I love the kitschiness of the ampersand -- because we all know you've gotta have crackers AND cheese!