Brittany wrote this on 3 December 2013
Yes, it is a pile of saucy pasta with spicy sausage and fresh, sweet bell peppers (read: plate full of goodness) but that isn’t the reason for the grin stretching across my face. Ok. Fine. It is a part of the reason. But mainly it is because it reminds me of happy nights in high school.
I was a diver and a synchronized swimmer in my younger years and as any good swimmer will tell you, carbo feeds the night before big meets were part of the season. When my parents would host, this pasta is what my Dad served. Essentially it is a plain marinara loaded with italian sausage and tons of sweet bell peppers. For some reason, he always served it over fettuccini instead of spaghetti. As you may have heard me mention before, I am my Father’s daughter, ergo, I serve this over fettuccini as well. I swear it tastes better that way, but having never eaten it with any other kind of pasta, I am only speculating. However, my Dad knew his stuff, since the wide pasta stands up much better to big chunks of sausage and bite sized pieces of vegetables than a smaller pasta would. Its hearty, but not altogether unhealthy, and the bell peppers add a good dose of nutrients but also just look awesome.
Originally, this dish was always made with green and red bell peppers, but I like to use yellow or orange peppers instead of green because the flavor is better. But if you do use red and green, this is certainly the month to serve it! You can easily whip this up on a weeknight but it is special enough to put in front of company. And definitely special enough to put in front of a group of teenage girls who have more swim suits than shoes and smell like chlorine.
Two Years Ago: Sweet & Savory Mixed Nuts, Parmesan Dip & Butternut Squash Crostini
Three Years Ago: Rum Banana Bread
Fettuccini W/Sausage & Bell Peppers
Adding sautéed mushrooms to this is a wonderful idea.
two large sweet bell peppers, cored and sliced
1 lb sweet or spicy italian sausage links
2 quart jars of marinara, store-bought or homemade-I like this recipe
1 lb dried fettuccini, cooked according to package directions
Brown the sausage links in a large pan until seared on all sides. They don’t have to be cooked all the way through, as they will finish cooking in the sauce. Slice 1/2 inch thick on the bias and add to a large sauce pan. Add the bell peppers and marinara sauce and heat over medium low heat until just starting to bubble. Continue to cook until good and hot and the sausage is fully cooked. You want everything to be heated, but you want to barely cook the peppers so they are still firm and sweet when you serve it! Pour over fettuccini and serve with a green salad and a big hunk of bread! Leftover sauce freezes great.
Brittany wrote this on 29 November 2013
Before we get to the eats, I wanted to mention that Brittany’s Pantry has officially joined the land of INSTAGRAM!!! I am fully equipped to snap pictures of good food, culinary adventures, and other things gastronomically related. A cute little icon will eventually be added to the rest of the social media symbols on the top right, but for now, you can just click here to follow!!!
This recipe, of course, is posted today because using your leftover holiday turkey is what makes this sandwich so unbelievable scrumptious that is just may make your toes curl. If you have been reading this blog lately you know that my affinity for Apple Butter knows no bounds. The spices and richness of it make it such a great accompaniment to so many different foods. Apple butter on toast is one of my favorites, but I love the flavors paired with savory foods as well. When I thought about adding it to a sandwich with mustard, I immediately headed to my panini maker. I was once again reminded of my genius at getting one of those lovely little sandwich toasting appliances for my husband for Christmas last year. Smart move, Brittany. Smart move.
I will argue that this sandwich, although undoubtably autumnal themed, is good anytime you can get a fresh crunchy apple and decent sliced turkey. With the amount of scary chemicals used in commercially grown apples these days (it is quite frightening), we have switched to organic, a move that has prompted my four year old to say, “Why are these apples so good? They taste better than any apples we have ever had before!” Its organic, Baby!! Regardless, the tangy/sour snap of a cold, juicy apple with the salty turkey and then the creaminess of the melted cheese…gaaaaaah. That would be swoon worthy on its own. But then you have the chewiness of the bread and the vinegary bite of the mustard in there, only to top it all off with the spiced sweetness of the apple butter! It is texture and flavor explosion overload. In a good way. In a way that works. And makes your mouth water. And gives you goosebumps. And makes your socks roll up and down.
Shouldn’t all our meals do that?
Two Years Ago: Baked Doughnuts
Turkey Apple Panini
Wether you use sliced deli turkey, or thick slabs of a bird you roasted just a day or two ago (or even leftover roast chicken!) it is ALL good in this sandwich. A good dill pickle on the side is highly recommended.
granny smith-or other tart apple-cored and thinly sliced
dijon or grainy mustard
loaf of ciabatta bread, individual ciabatta rolls, or other thick and hearty crusty bread
garlic oil, olive oil, or grape seed oil
If using a loaf of bread, cut into thick slices, or halve the ciabatta, cutting into individual sandwich sizes if needed. Smear one half of the bread with mustard and the other half generously with apple butter. Lay a slice of swiss on the top and bottom. On the bottom half of the sandwich, layer on your turkey and then your apple slices. Top with the cheese/apple butter half and brush the outsides of the bread (top and bottom) with the garlic, olive, or grape seed oil. Press into a panini maker until the sandwich is flattened, toasted, and heated all the way through, melting the cheese. Remove carefully with a spatula and enjoy immediately! Alternatively, set the sandwiches in a hot skillet or cast iron pan and weight it down with another heavy pot or pan. Leave for three or four minutes and flip, weighing it down again. Serve immediately.
Brittany wrote this on 24 November 2013
I call these bars Ruby Bars because if their color (obviously) and I will tell you that they are filled with a cranberry and apple butter sauce. Intrigued? I was too. I am so excited to share this recipe with you, but before I do that, I have a quick little round-up of Thanksgiving ideas! Just in case the influx of holiday magazines, Pinterest boards, recipe flip books at the grocery store registers, and family traditions have completely robbed you of inspiration!
Lemon & Herb Deviled Eggs- You won’t believe how lovely these are. Just different enough to be interesting, but not weird enough to scare off your relatives.
Caramelized Onion Dip- There are certain places I am not allowed to show my face without this dip in my hands. Its that good. Make it the day before you need it to save yourself some time.
Instant Hummus- Guilt free snacking while you try to keep the kids fingers out of the jello salad.
White Sangria-Mmmm. Light, fruity, and the perfect pre-drink to a turkey dinner.
Hot Apple Cider- Classic for a reason.
Pomegranate Glazed Carrots- So good, they should have been at the first Thanksgiving.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes- Because you need them in your life.
Baked Garlic Brown Rice- A spectacular alternative to potatoes when you want to add a starch.
Classic Buttermilk Biscuits- The name says it all.
Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce- Make this today. It will last for a good week in the fridge!
Roast Broccoli- A healthy side that adds gorgeous color to your plate with minimal effort.
Plum Crunch- Just say yes.
Cranberry Maple Pudding Cake- You and your guests will be talking about this until next summer.
Rum Pumpkin Pie- Its pumpkin pie with rum, people. Need I say more?
The Best Carrot Cake EVER- Not a fan of pumpkin pie? You won’t miss it with this on your plate!
And now onto our feature recipe!!
This is such an amazing recipe, I don’t know why it took me so long to share it here. If you are someone who loves to make seasonal recipes but the thought of making a pie-wether from scratch or not-nearly causes you to swoon, this dessert is for you. In fact, when you bring it down to science, 98% of those who have eaten this in my presence actually prefer this to pie. To PIE, people!! Better than pie!
It follows your basic layer bar kind of format. You make an oatmeal butter cookie type of dough, put some of it in the bottom of the pan, pour in a filling, and sprinkle the last of the dough on top, making a crunchy, bar sort of deal. These go together just like the Oatmeal Caramel Bars that I can never stop eating. So naturally, I was drawn to this recipe. Add in the fact that it contains one of my favorite ingredients, i.e. apple butter, and I was pretty much helpless to resist.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the way the apple butter changes the flavor of the cranberries. They lose the ‘in your face’ sourness and mellow out to just taste like good, tangy, cranberries. It is quite lovely. A small hint of the spices but not enough sweetness to be too rich. Which is nice because there is plenty of that in the crust. Butter + oats + sugar = chewy and crunchy heaven. All together it is a stellar match. So not only are they a beautiful ruby color, but they are a great at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and on into the New Year.
Two Years Ago: Sun Dried Tomato Dip
Three Years Ago: Corn Casserole
Adapted from Pillsbury
My test subjects spanned more than a dozen people over the course of several years and no matter what I did or suggested, they were split 50/50 on wether or not they liked these bars with whipped cream. Serve some on the side and let your guests be the judge! I find that the store bought apple butter works best in this recipe because it tends to be a bit more spicy, but anything that you like would be great.
1-12 oz-bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1 c sugar
zest of 1 orange
1/4 c of OJ
1/2 c apple butter
2 T butter (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
In a medium sauce pan, combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest and orange juice and heat over medium low heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, turn the heat up to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the fruit pops and it starts to thicken. You can use the back of a spoon to help break up the fruit if you need to. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the apple butter, vanilla, and the butter, if using. Set aside to cool slightly.
3/4 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 c quick cooking oats
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the filling cools a bit, combine all crust ingredients with a mixer, hand mixer, or wooden spoon. Press 2/3 of the mixture into a sprayed 9X13 pan. Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining crust over the filling and pat slightly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into bars or they will fall apart when you try to serve them. Serve with or without whipped cream.