Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms (and Jalapeños)

I love mushrooms – seriously love mushrooms! They are, without a doubt, one of my favorite foods. They add depth to so many dishes and, as is the case with this recipe, they can even stand alone.

The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple. Most everything is easy to find. The most elusive ingredient may be the Alouette spreadable cheese – but, make sure you’re looking for it in the deli section of the grocery store, as many stock it there, rather than with the other cheeses.

As I had some jalapeños, I decided to stuff both the mushrooms and the jalapeños. Both worked out well, but I – personally – enjoyed the mushrooms the most. If you wanted to use this stuffing for just mushrooms, I would either halve the stuffing or use an additional dozen mushroom caps (or enjoy the extra stuffing on it’s own – my oldest daughter seemed to!).

The stems are removed from the mushrooms and the jalapeños are halved and seeded. Also, chop a small, seeded, jalapeño and the stems from the mushrooms – this will he used in the stuffing.

After prepping the mushrooms and peppers, I made the stuffing.

In a skillet over medium to high heat, I browned the sausage, along with the garlic, mushrooms and jalapeño.

Once the sausage was fully cooked, lower the heat and add in the cheeses. Stir until the cheeses have melted and are well combined with the sausage.

Finally, add in the bread crumbs and cook until the bread crumbs are nicely browned.

The next step is to stuff the mushrooms and jalapeños with the stuffing, top with a little more parmesan and bread crumbs – finally, drizzle with olive oil and into the oven the go!

Cook them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms (and Jalapeños)

1 dozen Baby Bella Mushrooms
6-8 Jalapeños, halved and seeded
Olive Oil

1/2 chub sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
4 tbsp Alouette Garlic and Herbs Soft Spreadable Cheese
3 tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 cup Italian Panko Crumbs
Mushroom stems, finely chopped
1 small seeded jalapeño, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp garlic

  • Remove stem from mushrooms, save for stuffing
  • Halve jalapeños and remove seeds
  • Finely dice both the mushroom stems and a small jalapeño
  • In a skillet, cook the sausage, garlic, mushroom stems and diced jalapeño
  • Once the sausage is cooked through, reduce the heat and add in the Alouette cheese and the parmesan, letting the cheeses melt and mix in well with the sausage
  • After cheese is well incorporated, add in the panko crumbs and mix well – cook until the panko crumbs are nicely browned
  • On lined cooking sheet, place mushrooms and peppers cut side up
  • Add stuffing to each of the mushrooms and peppers
  • Top stuffed mushrooms and peppers with more parmesan cheese and bread crumbs
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Cook in 400 degree oven, for 20 minutes
  • Best served warm

Easy Apple Pie

It’s fall y’all! Doesn’t fall make everyone want apple pies? It certainly makes me want an apple pie. And, all week long, I’ve been waiting to make this pie! Finally – the work week was over and it was time – yay!!

I started with refrigerated, store bought, pie crusts. Certainly, you could make homemade pie crust – and, more power to you!! But, I just went the easy route!

For the filling, I used 8 apples (I added one after the picture!), the juice of 1 lemon, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.

I sliced the apples thin and tossed them with the lemon juice. Then, I added in the sugars, cinnamon and flour and mixed through, ensuring that all of the apples were coated. In hindsight, it might be easier to mix the dry ingredients separately and then add – live and learn!

I then piled the apples into the pie plate, where I had added the first pie crust…

Finally, I topped the apples with the remaining pie crust – and sealed the edges, by pinching together the top and bottom pie crusts together at the edge of the pie plate. I added a simple egg wash (1 egg and 2 tsp of cream) to the top and sprinkled with sugar.

The pie was baked for 50 minutes in a 425 degree oven. It came out perfectly golden brown. And, then, the waiting started…

In order to allow the filling to fully set, I let the pie sit for at least 1 1/2 hours (truly, it would have probably been better to wait just a bit longer – but, COME ON!, how long is one expected to wait around while smelling that deliciousness!).

Easy Apple Pie

Refrigerated Pie Crust (2 pieces – for top and bottom)
7-8 small apples (probably about the equivalent of 7 cups when sliced) , sliced thin
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Slice apples and toss with juice of 1 lemon
  • Mix in the sugars, flour and cinnamon, ensuring to coat all the apples
  • In pie pan, add one of the pieces of pastry, pushing down into pie plate (trim off any excess if there is any)
  • Add apples into pie plate
  • Top with other piece of pastry and pinch the bottom and top crusts together, to seal the pie
  • Apply egg wash to top of crust and sprinkle with sugar
  • Vent the pie dough, by cutting small slits in the top
  • Bake in 425 degree (I usually bump mine up 25 degrees, so you may want to try 400 degrees) for 45-50 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let rest for at least an hour and half, prior to serving

Weekday Chicken Pot Pie

As I didn’t make a homemade crust, I guess this is a cheater chicken pot pie – or, I like Weekday Chicken Pot Pie better, since using a prepared pie crust makes it super easy!

While I didn’t make a homemade pie crust, I did use fresh veggies – carrots, celery, onion and potatoes to be exact. All chopped similar size. I also cooked 2 large chicken breasts, in my instant pot, and shredded them. To make this recipe even easier – you could use frozen veggies and rotisserie chicken!

In a pan, with some butter, I softened the onions – then added the remaining vegetables and seasonings, to cook a bit on the stove.

After cooking for 5-10 minutes, I added in some flour (which will help to thicken the filling as it cooks). I stirred the mixture well, allowing the flour to get well distributed in the pan. Finally, I added in chicken (along with the stock from when I cooked it and shredded it in the instant pot – you can see how I do this, on this post. I will never do shredded chicken any way but this way, ever again! It is so easy and I can start with frozen chicken!!) – and mixed through.

I added in the additional stock and the milk, and mixed well. I allowed the filling to cook until it was the thickness I like for my chicken pot pie.

While the filling was thickening, I prepared my casserole by adding one of the pie crusts to the bottom. I, ultimately, needed to cut a bit off of the other pie crust to ensure that the full casserole was covered.

Once the filling was the appropriate thickness, I removed it from the stove and spooned it into the casserole dish.

Finally, I topped the mixture with the remaining pie crust. I cut a few vents and crimped the edges to create a good seal.

The pot pie is baked for a little more than hour in a 400 degree oven. After 40 minutes, I did end up putting a little bit of melted butter on top – cooking for 10 more minutes, uncovered. Then, for the remaining time, I covered it with tin foil (to avoid too much browning of the crust).

After removing from the oven, I allowed it to sit for about 10 minutes and it was ready to go! Fairly quick, super easy, very delicious Weekday Chicken Pot Pie!

Weekday Chicken Pot Pie

1 box refrigerated pie crusts (for top and bottom) – or make your own pie crust
2 chicken breasts, shredded (reserve stock from cooking)
2 1/2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 flour
1/2 cup milk (I used 1/4 cup skim and 1/4 cup heavy cream)
1/2 cup chicken stock (in addition to the stock from when you cooked chicken)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Umami seasoning

  • Cook and shred chicken breasts, set aside
  • Chop vegetables to similar size
  • In large skillet, melt butter and add onions and cook 2-3 minutes
  • Add in remaining vegetables, along with seasonings and cook until they start to soften (probably 5-10 minutes)
  • Add in flour and mix well
  • Add chicken (with stock from cooking chicken) into pan
  • Add in additonal stock and stir well
  • Add in milk and allow filling to thicken, slightly
  • Once filling is desired thickness, add into a casserole dish, which has been lined with one of the pie crusts
  • Top with remaining pie crust
  • Vent top of crust and cook for 1 hour (you may want to top with foil after 40 minutes or so, so your crust doesn’t get too brown) @ 400 degrees.

Beef and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes

This meal tastes way more complex than it is to make – thanks, in great part, to the use of a packet of Au Jus Gravy mix (if you don’t want to use a prepacked mix, feel free to make gravy as you normally would). While I didn’t put mushrooms in this dish (my youngest doesn’t care for mushrooms), it would be delicious with mushrooms.

I started with one thinly sliced onion and some garlic. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – most delicious things start with onion and garlic! I cooked the onion and garlic in a hot pan, with a bit of olive oil and butter. I let them cook until soft.

Then I added in the meat – I used beef stew meat and it worked great – and browned it. Then I added in the remaining butter and stirred through, before adding in the Au Jus mix and broth.

I let the broth come to a boil, then I reduced the heat to a simmer, covered the pan and allowed it to simmer for 45 minutes.

To finish the gravy, I added in some heavy cream and let it thicken. If it isn’t as thick as you’d like – you can also do a simple slurry to thicken it.

I served it over mashed potatoes (I’ve blogged about my mashed potatoes before – when I made Cheeseburger Pie – I’m very particular about mashed potatoes). You can check out the recipe for the potatoes on that blog post.

Paired with some asparagus, and it was a fantastic meal!

Beef and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes

Total prep and cooking time approx 1 hour 15 minutes

2 – 2 1/2 lbs beef tips (or beef stew meat)
1 onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 pack Au jus gravy mix
1 1/2 cups stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp olive oil

Mashed Potatoes – you can find my recipe for mashed potatoes as part of this blog post.

  • In hot pan, add olive oil and 1/2 of the butter
  • Add in the onion and garlic, cook until soft
  • Add in meat and brown, add in the remaining butter and stir through
  • Add in the au jus gravy mix and then the stock, lower to a simmer – cover and cook for 45 minutes
  • Add in cream and allow to thicken (if it doesn’t thicken as much as you’d like, you can make a slurry and stir in until it is to your desired thickness)

Serve over mashed potatoes (Or rice, is you prefer!)

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

The other night, I made a pork chop skillet, which I served with pan roasted brussel sprouts. We love brussel sprouts and this is a quick and easy way to make them!

We do occasionally buy fresh brussel sprouts, but more times than not I buy frozen ones. On the bag, it says to steam in the microwave (and we do cook them that way a lot), but in my opinion pan roasting them is even better!

Just let them thaw out a little bit, then slice them in half.

In a hot skillet, add the brussel sprouts and some avocado oil, salt and pepper. Let them sit for a bit, to get some browning and then toss them a bit, to allow for more browning. Cook until they are warmed through and have good color.

Easy Peasy!

Meatless Monday: Hearty Lentil Stew {vegetarian}

Yesterday, we decided to (mostly – not counting lunch, which was leftovers and had meat) do a Meatless Monday! A hearty lentil stew seemed appropriate. Loaded with lots of vegetables and bright flavors, this stew hits the spot.

I knew I was going to use celery, carrots and potatoes. When I found myself at Trader Joe’s today and saw that they had Delicata squash, I decided to add that in. Then when I got home, I remembered that I had a few baby bella mushrooms, so decided to use those too.

Once all of the veggies were chopped, I put them (all but the potatoes) in a medium-high heat dutch oven, with a bit of olive oil to saute. I cooked them for about 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables started to soften.

Then I added in the can of diced tomatoes, with the juice, vegetable stock, potatoes and seasonings and brought it up to a boil. I then, reduced the heat – covered the pot and simmered for 15 minutes.

I then added in the lentils and the quinoa and cooked for another 20 minutes.

Finally, I added in the spinach and the lemon juice and let it simmer, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes more.

Serve with finely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese.

Hearty Lentil Stew

Total Prep and Cook time: 1 hour 20 min

2 cups lentils
1/3 cup quinoa
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
6 oz fresh spinach
4 red potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1 winter squash (I used delicata), chopped
5-6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning

  • Chop all vegetables to similar size
  • In large dutch oven, or pot, put small amount of olive oil – heat over medium – high heat
  • Add chopped veggies (all except the potatoes) and saute until veggies start to get soft
  • Pour in canned tomatoes, vegetable stock and potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce heat
  • Add in seasonings, cover and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add in lentils and quinoa and allow to cook for another 20 minutes
  • Add in the spinach and lemon juice and simmer for 5-10 more minutes
  • Serve with finely grated parmesan or asiago cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

When making Brunswick Stew, I bought and cooked a 4.5 pound Boston Butt roast, so – clearly, I had leftovers. And, I still had some of Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough from when I made my Blueberry Pizza. Having both of those things, I decided to make a pulled pork BBQ pizza.

I decided to keep the ingredients pretty simple: Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough, pulled pork, Alouette Garlic and Herb spreadable cheese, Monterey Jack Cheese and Sweet Baby Ray’s Mustard BBQ sauce.

I rolled the dough out into something, loosely, resembling a circle. Then added the Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese as the base.

Then I added some of the pulled pork. It was cold, fresh from the fridge – no need to heat it up, since it is going into a very hot oven! Next, the pizza was topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. And, lastly, drizzled on some of the BBQ sauce.

I cooked it on parchment paper (on top of a pizza stone) in my oven, for 20 minutes, at 500 degrees.

Biz’s dough crisps up so well and really can hold a topping!

The savory flavor of the Alouette garlic and herb cheese, coupled with the tangy sweetness of the BBQ sauce was AMAZING!! So good!!

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Biz’s Skinny Pizza Dough
Pulled Pork
Alouette Garlic and Herb Spreadable Cheese
Monterey Jack Cheese

  • Roll out the dough (doing it on parchment paper makes it easier to put it in and take it out of the oven)
  • Add Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese to the top of the dough
  • Top with pulled pork and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Drizzle on the BBQ sauce
  • Cook for 20 minutes in 500 degree oven

** Note I didn’t measure anything when I was making this, so just kind of eyeball it, depending on how much dough you use.