Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers

So this is what happened.  The Boy was studying for something at work.  An exam.  Grown up stuff.  But he forgot he had bought all the ingredients to make his Sausage and Peppers.  This is a meal that only he cooks.  I don’t mean that traditionally he’s the one who cooks Sausage and Peppers, I mean he’s the only one allowed to cook sausage and peppers. Ever.  But he’s busy now and the rest of us are hungry, so… I made them.  Gasp!! 😱 I know!!  But, it was Sunday, and Daughter #3 and I were binging something or other on Netflix, and I didn’t want to stand at the stove nursing vegetables and sausages.  So I went the sheet pan supper route, and oh boy did things go crazy!  The Boy emerged from his study cave, sat down, examined his Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers sandwich, took one bite and said it was… better than his! 😳 And he looked VERY disgruntled when he said it.  And then he ate every bite.  And then he got a second sandwich.  And then he came back with an extra serving of plain Sausage and Peppers.  I’m sorry (not sorry) for stealing his “King of Sausage and Peppers” crown but this went over REALLY well, is what I’m saying.  You should try it too.  Maybe there’s an Italian Nonna you want to make mad? (Read more…)

Shake and Bake Style Pork Chops

I grew up in the 70’s.  I’m not old, I’m a classic.  Anyway, in the 70’s, moms were just getting out into workforce in larger numbers (smoking their Virginia Slims and wearing Charlie! Cologne) and fast and easy meal solutions were really making headway in American kitchens.  There were TV dinners, of course, but there were also a number of instant sauces and coatings designed to make quick meals that tasted (allegedly) homemade.  My favorite of all these had to be Shake ‘n Bake.  Bread crumb seasoning mixes that you used to coat pork or chicken and baked for a “Better Than Frying” fast meal!  The commercials were GREAT, some little kid (with a Southern accent.  It was always a Southern kid) asking Grandma if she (always she, this was the 70’s) could help “fry up” supper.  That’s when Grandma would let the little tyke in on her secret 🤫 She doesn’t fry anymore – she uses Shake ‘n Bake!  Blah blah blah, they cook, the family loves it, “so tender and juicy” exclaims Grandpa.  Then the little tyke blurts out “Its Shake ‘n Bake, and I HELPED”!!

Well tykes, today we’ll learn how to make our own Shake and Bake style pork chops without any of the pesky modified food starch or sodium silicoaluminate (dang it!).  Just as easy, just as crispy, and just as tasty (dare I say more tasty?), as the original without frying!  (Read more…)

Maple Mustard Glazed Bratwurst

maple mustard bratwurst

It’s finally Fall!  Or Autumn.  Depending on where you are in the English speaking world.  That means the official return of Sheet Pan Supper season!  When I worked at the Book Behemoth my hours were crazy.  I might open one day, close the next, work a mid-shift, or worst of all be subjected to the dreaded CLOPEN!  That’s when you close the store and get home around midnight and have to turn around and open the store at eight the next morning 😴.  Besides never seeing my family,  I worried over what they would eat.  Yeah, The Boy is a grown up, but Daughter #3 was still in college and not around to enforce human eating patterns.  Left to his own devices, The Boy would just eat cold pizza or leftovers over the sink like some kind of beast.  So, enter the sheet pan supper!  I prepare it the day before and leave a sticky note with baking instructions on top.

My maple mustard bratwurst with Fall vegetables is a favorite.  It can be made ahead, everything cooks at the same time, and there’s no need to add anything else.  Just bake and eat.  How easy is that? (Read more..)