Saturday, March 22, 2014

Whole Wheat Penne with Chicken Sausage

So, this past Thursday was Improv reveal day. I missed it. That's not to say I didn't participate--I just waited too long to post. Sigh. I will still give a nod to Kristen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for hosting this once-a-month event. Each month Kristen gives us two ingredients to combine into fun recipes. This month? Sausage and Cheese!

Why did it take me so long this month? Um, maybe because I was having such a hard time working that sausage and cheese into a cinnamon roll? That's probably it...I'm not used to posting non-baked goods. :)

I had to think about this theme. First, the husband and I have been overdoing the processed meats lately (you know the story...diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure...we have it all here). Then, I found some organic chicken and apple breakfast sausage....certainly that can't be bad for us, right? I wrapped a couple up in some scrambled eggs, melted a bit of cheese on top, stuffed it into half of a warm baguette and had myself a portable breakfast sandwich. Super good, but not very creative.

Using baguettes reminded me of Paris and a special "hot dog" I enjoyed from a street food vendor when I was there many years ago. This was no ordinary was a hot dog smothered in hot mustard and stuffed into a fresh baguette. I had to make one.

Note the Orangina in the wouldn't have been the same without it.

For these beauties I used a chicken and apple sausage that I found at Trader Joe's, a warm "take and bake" baguette that was sliced in half and hollowed out, a bit of shredded cheddar, and some Dijon mustard. Oh yes, I had to buy a bottle of Orangina (which didn't taste like I remembered...probably because they use high fructose corn syrup in it over here). Hubby and I both loved these, but I still felt it lacked in the creative department. I brought out my skillet....

Things started getting a little fuzzy, recipe-wise, at this point. A little olive oil went in first and then some chopped onion and sliced sausage. Later, I added some sliced fresh tomatoes, Italian seasonings and red pepper flakes. It needed some color, so I thought I pulled out some frozen turned out to be broccoli... but it turned out okay. Then, I boiled up some whole wheat penne and topped it all off with some Parmesan cheese. Whew.

This was even better the next day...

So, I had a whole day of sausage and cheese and no real recipe to show for it. I can think of worse things.

What would you make with Sausage and Cheese?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Big G Retro Cereals...and a Great Chocolate Cupcake Recipe! #CerealThrowback #Spon #PlatefullCoOp

Did you know Lucky Charms turns 50 this year? I really don't remember its debut, but I do remember how I loved that cereal. There was a ritual for me every Saturday....cartoons and Lucky Charms. After all, they were Magically Delicious!

I can't think of anyone who doesn't have a favorite cereal and many of them are having big birthdays this year. In fact, you can go Retro with some of your favorite Big G cereals exclusively at Target this month. For a limited time only, you can celebrate "A Delicious Debut" of classic breakfast cereal favorites featuring their original packaging from their first public appearance: Cheerios--1945, Lucky Charms--1964, Honey Nut Cheerios--1979, Cinnamon Toast Crunch--1984, and Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs--1994. How fun is this?!!

To help you celebrate, Target is offering its shoppers some great savings. Just visit for more information.

For me, a package of Lucky Charms came just at the right time...on St. Patrick's Day! I felt I had to celebrate by decorating my chocolate cupcakes with some Lucky Charm marshmallows. They were so cute...and were such a hit at work. As popular as these were with adults, think of how the kids would love them.

Make sure you put the marshmallows on right before serving or they will get soggy. They will still taste great, however.

Decorating these cupcakes can't get any easier....simply pipe some frosting on your favorite cupcake recipe and put a few Lucky Charm marshmallows on top. Need a good Chocolate Cupcake recipe? Of course I'll share...

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


1 egg
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa (I like to use the Hershey's Dark Chocolate for this)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 c. hot coffee


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with liners.

Combine egg, oil and buttermilk. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Combine the egg mixture and the flour mixture, mixing well. Slowly mix in hot coffee.
Fill the cupcakes pans about half full of batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack;  Frost when cooled. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Which Big G Retro Cereal is your favorite?

Disclosure: General Mills provided me with the information and with product so that I could write this post.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Gold Medal Train This 1893 photo shows the... it! :)

The Gold Medal Train This 1893 photo shows the...

The Gold Medal Train This 1893 photo shows the Gold Medal Flour train just before it was ready to roll between Minneapolis, Minn. and St. Louis, Mo. 

Sponsored post #PlateFullCoOp
Platefull Co-Op

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cheerios: Smart About Diabetes....#SmartAboutDiabetes #Cheerios

Did you know that February was Heart Healthy Month? I know you wouldn't know it by my blog posts...full of sweet rolls, lasagna, and banana bread. The truth is, we don't eat like that all of the time at my house. We have to practice moderation because my husband has Type II diabetes. That's not to say we don't fall off the wagon. In fact, February was especially hard for us--perhaps all of the cold weather had something to do with that...

Some of you may remember me talking about Pete's encounter with diabetes. We both thought that he was simply run down, stressed out from all that was going on in our lives. When I finally talked him into going to an urgent care clinic, he was just hours away from a diabetic coma! What followed was a full year of insulin shots and learning how to eat correctly (this was a big benefit to me too, as I was diagnosed with some fairly high cholesterol).  Luckily, he was able to reverse some of the damage that the diabetes had done. His eyesight went back to normal and he lost about thirty pounds of excess weight. Eventually, he was able to stop the insulin shots. While he does still take medication, the modifications he made to his diet really turned things around.

Adapting a new eating style wasn't as hard as it sounds. We were pretty much scared straight from the effects of Pete's diabetes, so we started by measuring out our foods and learning how to count carbs. One food that we didn't have to give up was our favorite breakfast food....Cheerios!

I'll bet you didn't know that Cheerios:

  • Contains beta-glucan, which can help to lower cholesterol*
  • Is a One Carb choice product
  • Has just One Gram of Sugar
  • Has 100% Whole Grain Oats as the first ingredient

  • *Three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain oat foods, like Cheerios cereal, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cheerios cereal provides 1 gram per serving.

    While Pete prefers regular Cheerios, my favorite is the new Dark Chocolate Multigrain Cheerios....Oh my! Look at this stuff!

    Seriously, just add some coconut-almond milk and you have the equivalent of a candy bar in your bowl...only better for you! 

    Have I talked you into wanting to get healthy? Start by making one small change and see what kind of impact you can make with your health. Visit and take The Pledge. I dare you.

    Disclosure: General Mills provided me with product and a gift card through Platefull Co-op. As always, all opinions are my own.