Tonight’s Dinner: Sausage & Gravy on Biscuits

I love this meal because it’s fast and can almost always be made with ingredients on hand if you have some sausage in your freezer. I crumble, saute, and drain sausage in advance, then freeze it in small and large freezer bags. The small ones come out on a weekend to add to breakfast, or get tossed in a soup for some extra flavor, or can be used for a quick pizza topping. The large ones can be used for sausage gravy or as a main pasta dish.

Sausage Gravy with Biscuits
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  1. 2 pounds crumbled sausage, cooked
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 3-4 cups milk
  4. salt
  5. pepper
  6. refrigerated, frozen, or homemade biscuits
  1. Add sausage to a pan and cover with the flour. Stir and saute for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in milk. You can adjust the amount of milk as the the gravy thickens. To thin it out, simply add a little more milk at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over warm biscuits.
  1. In my opinion, this dish needs a liberal amount of freshly cracked black pepper!
The Excellent Wife


Wow, big hit here…




I made this version of goulash tonight that was pretty tasty. We even added it to our Thumbs Up List. My excellent husband would consider this combination of beef and pasta a comfort food .  I was quite comfortable eating it!  The meal could be made lower in carbs by serving it over spaghetti squash or some type of vegetable medley.

Fast & easy comfort food which uses beef and pasta.
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  1. 2.5 pounds ground meat (I used beef, but lamb or a combo would also work)
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2-3 T Worcestershire sauce
  5. 3 T paprika of your choice
  6. 2 t crushed rosemary
  7. 1-14.5 oz can beef broth
  8. 4 T tomato paste
  9. 2 red peppers, roasted and chopped in large pieces (or 1 jar roasted peppers)
  10. 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In a large pot, brown the meat and drain. Remove meat from pot and saute onions till soft. Add garlic and saute one minute longer. Return meat to pot. Add Worcestershire, paprika, and rosemary. Stir. Add tomato paste and broth. Bring to a simmer, then add roasted red peppers.
  2. You can simmer the meat for 10 minutes and up to a few hours if you keep it low and mostly covered. To serve, add the sour cream and stir. Serve over buttered extra-wide egg noodles (or spaghetti squash) sprinkled with fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Pass extra sour cream on the side.
Adapted from Rachel Ray
Adapted from Rachel Ray
The Excellent Wife

Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce

Since the northeast’s winter has been so brutally cold, we were thrilled to welcome in a 55+ degree day with grilling.  The chicken satay turned out to be a winner, so I’m adding it to the 5 Petey Thumbs Up list.


Chicken Satay with Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
This dish has a nice Thai flavor, but the chicken skewers are good enough to eat without the peanut sauce if you prefer.
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For the marinade
  1. 3-4 lbs of chicken breasts
  2. 5T soy sauce
  3. 4T lime juice (from approx. 1 lime)
  4. 3t turmeric
  5. 3t cumin
  6. 5t coriander
  7. 3T vegetable oil
For the peanut dipping sauce
  1. 1/4-1/2 c peanut butter (depending on your peanut-y preference)
  2. 3T brown sugar
  3. 3T soy sauce
  4. 1t coriander
  5. 1t cumin
  6. 1/2t turmeric
  7. 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  8. 1/4 c hot water (adjust amount to get desired consistency)
  9. 3T cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  10. Lime wedges for garnish
  11. Skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
  1. Chop chicken into even skewer-sized pieces and place in seal-able gallon bag. Mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl, whisking in oil at the end. Cover chicken pieces with marinade, seal bag, and put in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but several hours is better.
  2. Put all dipping sauce ingredients in a food processor, except water. Add the hot water, more or less, to get the consistency you desire. Taste and adjust any of the seasonings you prefer.
  3. Remove chicken from bag and place 3-4 pieces on each skewer. Grill for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish with lime wedges. Pass the dipping sauce.
The Excellent Wife

Asian Beef Salad

I have leftover grilled steak so I’m making an Asian Beef Salad. I love this meal & thought I’d share it.

Leftover London Broil












Asian Beef Salad

For the salad layer:

Chopped, fresh spinach leaves
Any combo of: snow peas, broccoli, string beans, red peppers

For the noodle layer:

Cooked thin spaghetti or rice noodles
Sesame seeds, toasted
Olive oil (or sesame)

For the dressing:

1/4c lime juice
1/4c soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic (or more!)
1/3c olive oil
1/2t sesame oil (if you have it)
1/2t minced ginger

For the beef:

Leftover sliced steak OR;
Steak marinated in lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, and cilantro, then grilled & sliced

So here’s what you do: Mix up the salad ingredients. Toss them with enough dressing to coat. Plate them. Toss the noodles with the noodle ingredients & enough oil to prevent sticking. Plate noodles on top of salad. Place the sliced steak on top of noodles. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds and/or cashews. Pass extra dressing on the side.

Our Father’s Day Weekend


And let the wife see to it
that she respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

     Honor your father and mother.
Ephesians 6:2

We spent Father’s Day with my dad, affectionately known as Pop Pop to our children.  He’s an avid golfer.  So along with watching the U.S. Open and eating a delicious dinner, we also enjoyed this cute little golf cake.

Chocolate cake, vanilla butter cream. Nothing fancy, but very cute.

Our menu was very simple and not necessarily coordinated:  Colletti burgers and homemade vegetable spring rolls.  What’s that?  Never heard of a Colletti burger?  Well, it’s just the most incredible burger you’ll eat this side of heaven.  And it’s created by our famous chef cousin, Michael Colletti.  Hence the name!  You can find a recipe here.

Applewood smoked bacon, homemade smokey chipotle bbq sauce, bacon, cheddar, and onion rings top this burger served on a potato bun.

It was my first time making spring rolls, but boy were they SO easy to make!  So long as you can find spring roll wrappers you can have these tasty, yet healthy, beauties made in no time.  We found ours at our local Asian market.  The wrappers can be made of rice or flour and are usually found dried in the noodle aisle.  Fill them with whatever veggies and, if desired meats or shrimp, you have on hand. I used this recipe, with a few modifications.

Serve with dipping sauces like sweet & sour, or Thai peanut, or sesame-garlic.

Of course I am not creative enough to make up that cute cake.  You can find the recipe & instructions, where else? Pinterest:

April Fool’s Dinner for Dessert!

Yesterday I showed you our funky April Fool’s cake for dinner. Today I’ll show you the “dinner” that we have for dessert!

Grilled cheese sandwiches for dessert? Nope.  Just toasted pound cake with vanilla frosting!

Here’s how to do it:

Slice pound cake to the size of regular bread & toast to the golden brown color shown above.  Add just the right mixture of yellow and red to vanilla frosting so it will resemble the color of American cheese.  Spread the “cheese” between two slices of  “toast” and cut the sandwich on a diagonal.

Putting some raw broccoli on the side of the plate helps the overall look you’re going for!

Be blessed!

Roast Beef. It’s THAT Easy.

I’ve been married 13 years and have only just made my second roast beef last night.  What took me so long?  I guess I was just intimidated by that large slab of meat begging me to turn it into tough rubber.

Well I’m not afraid any longer!  The following is the simplest way to roast a piece of meat for a tender, juicy result.

Here’s how I do it:

Brown a 4-5lb hunk of bottom round roast on all sides in a dutch oven.  Turn off heat & place 2 sliced onions under the roast.  Add 2 cans of beef broth.  Put the pot in the oven, uncovered, at 275 degrees until the internal temperature meets 130 degrees for medium rare (about 2 hours depending on size of meat).

Remove the meat and let it sit while you thicken the gravy.  Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a bit of water to make a paste. Whisk this into the gravy until thickened.  Add any juices accumulated on the cutting board after carving too.  Experiment with adding red wine or a pat of butter or herbs to this gravy.  But it’s delicious just as it is.

Slice the meat any way you like (thick or thin – we love paper thin), but just do so against the grain.  Serve with mashed potatoes & veggies.

Leftovers make for great Roast Beef on Weck sandwiches.  Serving these with a combo of mayo & horseradish is a must.


Asian BBQ Grilled Chicken

Wow, were these tasty!  And easy too.

Here’s how to make them:

In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup ketchup, 4 tablespoons hoison sauce, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of oil (sesame would be tasty).  Reserve a 1/2 cup of this mixture for dipping when served. Add 5 pounds of the cut of chicken of your choice  and toss with the sauce.

Over medium-high heat, grill the chicken with lid down for 2 minutes, turn chicken over and grill lid down for 2 minutes.  Then baste with leftover sauce and grill till cooked through with a nice crunchy coat of sauce on the outside.

Serve with a bag of broccoli slaw mixed with mayo, dijon, and horseradish sauce.

Italian Hot Dogs

As a break from the traditional summer grilled dog, tonight we’re making some Italian hot dogs.  My youngest son is cooking them over a campfire he’s built while his older brother is making the potatoes and onions.  Fresh out of the oven are my daughter’s homemade hot dog rolls.  The house smells fantastic!

Here’s how to do it:

Grill, broil, fry, or boil X-amount of hot dogs.

Saute till soft in olive oil, 2lbs of diced potatoes, and 3 diced onions with salt and pepper.

To make the rolls:

Add 4.5 teaspoons (2 pkgs) of instant yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 cup flour into a stand mixer bowl.  Let stand a few minutes till it bubbles.

Add to bowl and knead 1 cup luke warm milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 large beaten egg, and 4-5 cups of flour until a soft, elastic dough is formed.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise about 20 minutes.  Prepare a baking sheet with butter.

Deflate dough and divide into 16 pieces.  Shape into small hot dogs bun shapes (they’ll grow).  Set on the prepared sheet with a little space between them, cover and let double about 20 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water together and brush over tops of buns.  Liberally spread a mixture of 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of oregano, salt and pepper over the buns.

Bake 15-18 minutes till tops are browned.

Remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Savor the faces of those who coming running asking, “What’s that delicious smell?”   Then kindly and lovingly, patting them on their little heads,  and tell them to shoo till it’s dinner time.

Split the rolls halfway through from top to bottom.  Add potatoes & onions, top with hot dog and your favorite dijon, grainy, or dark mustard.  Then call back all the hungry critters that showed up when the rolls were baking and watch them delight in the meal as you kiss the tops of their beautiful heads and thank God for His blessings!

We’re serving a tomato & cucumber salad from the garden with this dinner.

Pizza Dough

Pizza: A clever way for me to rid the refrigerator of leftover meats, vegetables, and cheeses.  Whether we have red sauce or olive oil as the base, the pizzas are always delicious.  Have children make their own for fun!

While you’re at the dough making, why not double the recipe and freeze your pre-baked crusts so you don’t have to go through the process next week?  This way you’re only making dough twice a month.


(t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon)

Dissolve 1 package (or 2 and 1/4 teaspoons) yeast in:

1/4c 110 degree water
1t sugar

In a food processor pulse till combined:

4c flour
1/2t salt

Add to flour in food processor:

Dissolved yeast mixture
1T olive oil
1 1/4c cold water

Pulse till dough comes together and forms a ball. Do not over mix. Take dough out to floured surface and knead till smooth (about 5 minutes). Let rest 3 minutes. Put in oiled bowl covered with damp, clean towel. Put bowl in draft-free place. (In winter, I turn my oven on 200 degrees for about 2 minutes before I even start making the dough. This way it’s just a little warmer than room temp for rising.)

Let rise till doubled (about 1 hour). Mine rarely doubles fully. But it still comes out fine.

Punch dough down. Divide into 6 balls for personal size pizzas, 4 for slightly bigger, and 2 for larger pizzas. Let rest 30 more minutes covered with towel.

Shape dough by pushing it with your hands into a circle shape, or by rolling out. I pre-bake my crust, one at a time under the broiler. When the crust just starts to get brown I take it out and flip it and do the same to the other side. Then I take it out, cool it down, wrap them, and freeze them. This way I only have to make dough once a month or so.

Take pre-baked crust and put toppings on. Bake at 400 till brown on top or desired doneness.