Bow-Tie Pasta with Sausage and Sweet Peppers

Bow Tie Pasta with Sausage

If you like sausage, you’re going to love this savory pasta. This dish is packed full of flavor–with two types of sausage, tons of fresh mushrooms, green and red peppers, onions, garlic, and beef broth, it’s a party in your mouth. I’ve been serving this dish for years and it always receives rave reviews. I found the original recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine but I’ve changed it significantly over the years. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make bow-tie pasta with sausage and sweet peppers:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bow tie pasta
  • 3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. bulk sausage
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 packages fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to the  saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the casings from the Italian sausage and cut it into bite-sized pieces. In a very  large skillet (or wok) cook the Italian sausage, ground sausage, red and green peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms over medium-high heat until the sausage and mushrooms are browned. Drain well.
  3.  Stir the beef broth and black pepper into the skillet, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour over the pasta. Toss gently to coat. Top with freshly grated parmigiana reggiano cheese.
  4. Enjoy!

Rose Petal Fairy iPad Case

Rose Petal Fairy iPad Case

Rose Petal Fairy iPad Case4

My daughter surprised me with this lovely iPad case featuring my rose petal fairy yesterday. She ordered it from CafePress. I like that the image is a full bleed and that it’s printed on both sides of the case. If you’re not familiar with CafePress, hop on over there and check it out. You can have your artwork produced on hundreds of items like business cards, thank you notes, coffee mugs, household goods, apparel, computer accessories, jewelry, and lots more.

You can create a private shop and purchase items for yourself or open a public shop (similar to an Etsy shop) and sell products featuring your artwork to anyone wishing to purchase them. I spent the evening creating a shop, now I have to get busy and fill it full of goodies.

Miltonia Orchids in Watercolor

Miltonia Orchids1 Small

Miltonia Orchids Close Up Small

My daughter painted these gorgeous miltonia orchids during a recent late night mother-daughter painting session. I love the bits of white she left on the edges of the petals and the one bright white flower to the left of the center of the painting she chose as her focal point. And of course I love the bright, highly saturated colors.

This painting was based on a tutorial in Ann Mortimer’s newly released book, “Orchids in Watercolor.”

Quick Macaroni Salad

Quick Macaroni Salad

I promised I’d share my recipe for macaroni salad when I posted my Texas Hot Dog Sauce recipe last week. Homemade macaroni salad is so easy and quick to prepare–it’s ready in about 10 minutes–that there’s no excuse for serving grocery store or deli prepared macaroni salad. Store-bought salads don’t compare in quality, texture, or flavor to homemade macaroni salad and they’re always a disappointment. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make macaroni salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-oz. box elbow macaroni, cooked al dente (approximately 6-8 minutes)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s mayonnaise–it tastes closest to homemade mayo)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare macaroni according to package directions (cook it al dente–approximately 6-8 minutes), drain, rinse, and place it in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add diced onions, tomatoes, and green peppers.
  3. Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Pour sauce over the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

A Castle for Frodo

Frodo's Toad Castle2

Now here’s a castle fit a king–King Frodo, that is. And speaking of Frodo, he should be emerging from his long winter nap in April and climbing my deck stairs to enjoy his evening meals. This cute Big Top Toad Castle from grandinroad.com will offer Frodo a shady spot to escape the harsh summer sun. I can’t wait for Frodo to make his first appearance and grab some photos of him. He’s been hanging out on my deck for 10 years now and I’ve grown quite fond of him. Here’s hoping that he’ll be back again this year.

Onion Tart (Torta di Cipolla)

Onion Tart

I found this recipe for an onion tart on CiaoItalia.com and tucked it away last summer, but it got lost in my ever-growing stack of recipes that I want to try. I had some onions that I needed to use, so I remembered this recipe and pulled it out of my stack. And, boy, am I glad that I did. This recipe was super easy to make, it calls for simple ingredients that are readily available, it looks gorgeous, and it tastes even better. It has a subtle flavor that would satisfy even picky eaters and could be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, plus it heats up in the microwave (1 minute per slice) beautifully. I served this onion tart for lunch yesterday with a side salad and then popped it into the microwave and ate it again for breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee–it was that good. Get the recipe here. Doesn’t this look great?

Onion Tart3

Enjoying My Favorite Starbucks Beverages At Home

Latte Station

My daughter surprised me with this fabulous Starbucks Verismo 580 coffee machine and all the supplies necessary to brew my own Starbucks quality espressos, vanilla lattes, mocha lattes, caramel macchiatos, and more in the comfort of my home. So I set up this handy barista station in my kitchen so I can enjoy lattes any time, day or night. What a lovely surprise.

You can purchase a Starbucks Verismo 580 coffee machine and a variety of supplies at the Starbucks Online Store.