Category Archives: Recipe

Recipe: Sausage Alfredo (Gluten-Free)

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SausageAlfredo.v1

Sausage Alfredo with gluten-free lasagna noodles. We’re going to try linguine next time.

 

Every once in a while, I get a hankering for Alfredo sauce—not the slimy kind that comes from a jar, but Mom’s can’t-get-enough homemade Alfredo. For years, the idea of making a cream-based sauce seemed daunting, right up there with homemade biscuits. But my craving overcame my fear last month, and I gave it a shot. I’m so glad I did!

The following recipe for Sausage Alfredo is actually my own creation. I compiled several different recipes, keeping the ingredients I liked and substituting the ones I didn’t. Of course, Mom gets all the credit for the Alfredo sauce.

I think you’ll agree, the result is a meal worthy of a Saturday night but easy enough for the roughest Monday.

 

Ingredients:

1 Package of mild, cooked sausage (I like turkey kielbasa.)
Capers (to taste)
Noodles (I use gluten-free linguine.)
Tomatoes (either fresh, halved cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes)
Other options: Matchstick carrots, sliced bell peppers, black olives

 

Ingredients for Alfredo sauce:

½ Cup – 1 Cup of Half-and-Half
2 Tbsp butter
Parmesan cheese (fresh, grated)
Chili powder (1 or 2 dashes; you don’t want to taste it)

 

Directions:

Boil water for the noodles.

At the same time, cut up the sausage and brown in a skillet. Once browned, remove the sausage and set aside.

To maximize flavor, make the Alfredo sauce in the same pan you browned the sausage. Simply add the ingredients together and heat while stirring, careful not to burn the sauce. Once it is heated through, add the capers and continue to heat while stirring. Then add the browned sausage and mix together. Continue to heat while stirring.

Once the noodles are cooked, add them to the sausage and sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese to taste, and top with fresh tomatoes. Serve immediately.

I do hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it yourself and find new ways to make it, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.

Taco Soup (Recipe!)

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Taco Soup with toppings. (Food and Photo by Ashley Jones)

The holidays are finally upon us and, if you’re like me, you’re dreaming of your mom’s dressing, your aunt’s pecan pie, and an extra slice of pumpkin pie. However, by the time Christmas comes, most of us are “turkeyed out,” looking for something with a little more flavor. And since it’s turning cold out there, it needs to be nice and warm.

This time of year, the go-to meal in our family is my mother-in-law’s famous Taco Soup. She made it the very first time I went to visit them, and I’ve been making it ever since. Although it’s called a soup, it’s hardy enough to be a chili. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive, it tastes great heated up the next day, and it would keep well in a crockpot if you want to take it to a potluck. Oh, and it’s gluten free. You just can’t lose with the Joneses’ Taco Soup!

 

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1 lb. hamburger meat
  • Onion, chopped
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can “Ranch Style” pinto beans *
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with peppers, regular heat
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix, mild or regular heat
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix

Toppings

  • Fritos corn chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream

* Ranch Style beans are seasoned pinto beans. If you can’t find them in your grocery store, just use two cans of regular pinto beans.

 

Directions

Brown the hamburger meat with some of the onion and taco mix. In a large pot, add the remaining soup ingredients to the hamburger and simmer until ready (about 30 minutes). You may want to add a little water, but the consistency should be between a soup and chili.

Serve in a nice crock bowl and let each person add their own cheese, sour cream, and Fritos.

Depending on how spicy your ingredients are, this can be a medium to hot dish. Have something cool and sweet ready for dessert.

 

Helpful Hint

Did you know you can freeze soup in Mason jars? Just leave about an inch at the top for the liquid to expand and use a regular lid. Wait for the soup to cool before placing in the freezer, and freeze the jar upright.

Defrost the jar in the fridge or in your lunch bag if you’re at work. You can even heat the jar in the microwave, but be sure to defrost it and remove the lid first.

WARNING: A rapid temperature change can cause any glass container to shatter. This is why it’s important to defrost the jar before heating it in the microwave. Similarly, you shouldn’t place hot glass (like a coffee pot) in cold water.

Serving Taco Salads (Recipe!)

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Serving Taco Salads

When you think of ministering to others, what comes to mind? Flying across the world to an impoverished nation? Running an orphanage? Being a full-time preacher? What about taco salads?

Matthew 25:34-40 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (Jesus speaking)

What Jesus is saying here is that He wants a relationship with us, but He also wants us to take the next step and become His hands and feet in the world. When we serve others in God’s name, we are ultimately serving God Himself.

I think most of us understand this idea, but we blow it up a bit, adding our own requirements…it has to be hundreds of miles away; it has to hurt a little, or even a lot, to really count; it has to take a lot of time; etc.

But when we add those requirements to God’s word,  we are just making it harder to serve Him and serve others – and we really end up serving the god of pride.

Practical Service

Matthew 25 is such a beautiful chapter because it shows us more of God’s heart, and it gives us practical ways to share Him with others – just by seeing the needs around us and doing something about it.

When I was growing up, I usually had at least one friend who had a rough home life or didn’t have enough to eat all the time. Then I had friends who wanted to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and baby showers, but they didn’t have a lot of money for food and decorations. And then there were funerals and other sad or difficult times when we needed to gather round and support one another.

You can probably relate to these situations. And what do they all involve? Food! We all need to eat, right?

In these times, you and I get the opportunity to be the real hands and feet of Jesus. The good news is that we don’t have to be professional chefs, or spend a bunch of money, but we do need to be prepared. What would you make if a friend needed your help tomorrow?

From time to time, I’ll share some recipes with you that I’ve found helpful – easy to make and big enough to share.

This first one is…

Mom’s Famous Taco Salad

Ingredients

Taco Salad Ingredients (Photo by Ashley Jones)

Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef
Taco seasoning packet
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
Shredded cheese
Salsa (fresh is best)
Shredded lettuce
Tortilla chips
Sour cream

Dressing (optional)

Mayonnaise (4-6 tbsp to start)
Chili powder
Cumin

Directions

Brown the ground beef, drain the extra grease, and add the taco seasoning packet. Place the prepared beef in the bottom of the serving bowl. Set aside.

Taco salad in a large serving bowl, surrounded with blue and yellow corn chips. Yummy! (Photo by Ashley Jones)

Make the dressing by mixing several dashes of chili powder and one dash of cumin in about 4-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Continue to season until it tastes yummy. (If you serve the taco salad with sour cream, you can skip this step if you prefer.)

Spread the dressing on top of the ground beef. Then add the remaining ingredients in layers: beans, corn, cheese, salsa, and lettuce.

Serve with plenty tortilla chips, sour cream, extra salsa, and other condiments of your choosing, such as guacamole

Most of us take food for granted, assuming our friends and neighbors have as much in the fridge as we do. Sadly, that’s probably not true. According to http://www.feedingamerica.org, in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in “food insecure households,” including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. Think of all the folks that would sleep better tonight, with full bellies, if we each shared a taco salad.

If this encourages you, and you do make a taco salad for someone you care about, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment and let me know how you used this as an opportunity to serve and be a blessing to someone else.