Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes

This dish was definitely easy! You do have to have 30-45 minutes to bake/roast it… but it is completely worth it! Just a little chopping and peeling, a bit of stirring and you’ve got a filling and hearty meal that the whole family will LOVE! You could even use these same ingredients and put them in foil packets and toss them on the grill for a quick and easy meal as well! Either way it will turn out delicous!

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Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes
Serves 4

1 package of nitrite/nitrate free turkey kielbasa or smokes sausage
1/2 large yellow sweet onion, peeled and chopped
3 large yukon gold, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 TB butter
a handful of grated strong cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray cooking spray on a large 9×13 baking pan (casserole dish) or thinly coat with a bit of butter. Set aside.

Put the sausage rounds, onions and potatoes into a large bowl. Drizzle with a couple turns of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika, dill, oregano (and even a dash of cayenne powder for a bit of spice if you’d like!) and dried thyme. Toss together with until everything is evenly distributed. Pour this out into the baking dish, and spread it out as much as you can. Top with small pieces of the butter evenly across the top (optional) for nicely browned potatoes.

Place into the heated oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. Turn off the oven. Scatter the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes, Pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve immediately.

NOTE:  I would not use any more than 1/2 tsp of the dried thyme, unless you really, really like the flavour of thyme.

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

On cold, rainy blah days I usually feel like using the crock pot to cook. I like those days when I’m busy, or just don’t feel like standing in the kitchen in the evening, when I can toss something in the crockpot and just literally forget about it until dinner time. This is one of those meals.

Today I just had a lot to do. Catch up on laundry, do school with the kids, teach my son that you cannot put a little bit of a roll of toilet paper into the toilet and then flush repeatedly to let the ENTIRE roll go down the toilet. I also had to teach him that he still needs naps and that he cannot repeatedly come out of his room during naptime. He also learned that if he holds his food out towards our dog, Duke, and tell him “no”… Duke will not listen. He will eat the food being held out to him. The experiences today were the normal… 3 year old testing mommy on what she’ll say no to today… because yesterday I learned the other stuff she said no to. Exhausting. Tiring. But… rewarding. I wouldn’t change the opportunity to mother these babies for anything. Not a thing. I’m blessed beyond what I ever could have imagined.

Now… to the easy dinner I made. 🙂 I really think it took me MAYBE 10 minutes. Maybe.

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My recipe is adapted from this great blog: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/03/slow-cooker-smoky-bbq-pulled-pork.html

Ingredients:
2 lb pork shoulder roast (mine did not have the bone in)
1 Tablespoons paprika
2 1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
2 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 packet instant coffee (7 oz.)
1 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa
2 Tb olive oil
1 (16-20 oz) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Buns or… like me, if you don’t have any or time to make some… use sliced bread!

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Ok, take a minutes to look at the picture above. Seriously. I put that in the crockpot FROZEN with the seasoning rub on it. I then covered the crockpot with tin foil to keep all of the heat in it, and had it on LOW all day. The CRUST on the outside of that pork was AMAZING! It looked and tasted like I had it in a smoker or a grill. I didn’t even sear it!!!! The inside of the pork was juicy and tender and just fell apart!!! This was probably the best shredded pork I have had out of my crock pot to date. Amazing. My husband said “restaurant quality!”. Try it. Seriously.

Directions:
Spray the inside of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray (or use a slow cooker liner). Combine paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, unsweetened cocoa and instant coffee in a small bowl and set aside. Drizzle olive oil over the roast and rub in. (My roast was still frozen. I did NOT thaw or sear it at all, and it still came out AMAZING!) Take the seasoning and rub all over the roast, covering all sides. (Optional: poke your roast with a large fork a couple of times to let the flavors really soak in). Place lid on slow cooker and bake on low for 8-10 hours (or high 5-6 hours). Shred meat when finished and add bottle of BBQ sauce. Serve on buns or sliced bread and enjoy! You can serve this with a cold salad, cole slaw, potato salad.. or just some fruit and veggies! Endless options!

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For the quote of the day: There has been speak a lot in the media and different blogs that I follow that talk about mom shaming, bullying, just overall judging others. We all know it’s wrong too! What is it? Most likely insecurity. We’ve gotta stop it! Let’s look at ourselves in a positive light, and build others up around us. I’ll start! 🙂

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Crockpot Roasted Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

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I needed something with a lot of flavor, and something I could put in the crock pot since I didn’t have a ton of time to cook… SO, i picked up a whole chicken w/the skin on. I wanted to be able to use the leftovers for a couple of meals for my hubby while I am out of town this weekend!

I will have to post that recipe at a later time!!

Ok, so here is the Crockpot roasted chicken!

Peruvian Roasted Chicken
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: varies
Points+ with Skin: drumstick 2 pts, wing 3 pts, thigh 4 pts, 4 oz breast 5 pts

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 bottle IPA beer (or a light beer)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice of
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lime cut into slices
  • salt
  • paprika
Directions:

Wash chicken and remove any giblet bag that is in the cavity. Salt and pepper the chicken. Place into the crock put and put on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours. Pour the beer over the chicken, and the rest of the liquids. Put the lemons and limes inside of the chicken cavity. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix. Rub all over the chicken and place lid on. Put on low or high depending on cook time you want.

To test for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken; the thermometer should read about 160°F. The chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of 165°F, but after the chicken is done, it should basically be falling apart. I served it with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed green beans with onions.

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For the mashed sweet potatoes I did the following:

Ingredients:

8 SMALL sweet potatoes peeled, and cut into 8 pieces per potato
2 TB margarine or butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

Put the potatoes in a pot and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 9-12 minutes until a fork easily goes through the potatoes. Drain, and mash and add above ingredients. If you prefer it even smoother, you can take a hand mixer and whip them!

For the green beans, I just sautee them in a skillet with about 1/4 cup onion and 1 tsp minced garlic for 10 min until softened, but still a bit crunchy.

Voila!

Delish!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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