Jul 152016
 

Creamy alfredo sauce, spicy and smoky? We’d have this all the time if it was healthy, too!

We do eat it with kale on the side. That helps, right? If I put the kale in it would that make it better? No? That’s okay.

We really don’t eat like this all the time, but once in awhile, a rich and creamy, smoky and spicy dish really hits the spot. Paired with garlic bread and kale lightly fried in olive oil… yum!

Spicy Creamy Smoked Sausage Bake
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Ingredients
  1. 16 ounces dry Rotini pasta
  2. 12 ounces cooked smoked sausage
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 cups chicken broth
  5. 2 Tablespoons Clear Gel, Flour or corn starch
  6. 2 cups half and half
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  10. 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  11. 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  12. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  13. 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook Rotini al dente according to package directions and drain.
  3. In large skillet, fry sausage over medium heat until browned on both sides.
  4. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth and stir or whisk until smooth.
  6. Combine Clear Gel, flour or corn starch and half and half. Stir slowly into skillet mixture and heat until thickened.
  7. Add pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
  8. Add parsley. Stir until mixed.
  9. In 9x13 pan, add noddles and pour sausage mixture over pasta. Top with remaining cup of mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese on top is fully melted and as brown (or not) as you like it.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Spicy Creamy Smoked Sausage Bake

Jul 122016
 

I started listening to Scott Sigler’s podcast back in 2005 when he was podcasting his novel Earth Core. At the time, I was working nights doing tedious, boring data entry and Scott, along with several other podcasting authors and personalities, saved my sanity.

I enjoyed both the tales Sigler spun and the personality behind the mic. He was a blast to listen to but caused me to disrupt others on occasion. Sometimes, I couldn’t stifle my reactions and would audibly laugh or gasp. Glares from those around me burned holes in the back of my head in the otherwise silent room. Silent save the click-clacking of keys on ancient keyboards.

I listened to the first two books in the series via his podcast and I enjoyed them so much I bought them. Infected and Contagious hold an honored place on my bookshelf.

Scott Sigler’s Infected shocked readers with a visceral, up-close account of physical metamorphosis and one man’s desperate fight for sanity and survival, as “Scary” Perry Dawsey suffered the impact of an alien pathogen’s early attempts at mass extinction. In the sequel Contagious, Sigler pulled back the camera and let the reader experience the frantic national response to this growing cataclysm.

And now in Pandemic, the entire human race balances on the razor’s edge of annihilation, beset by an enemy that turns our own bodies against us, that changes normal people into psychopaths or transforms them into nightmares.

To some, Doctor Margaret Montoya is a hero—a brilliant scientist who saved the human race from an alien intelligence determined to exterminate all of humanity. To others, she’s a monster—a mass murderer single-handedly responsible for the worst atrocity ever to take place on American soil.

All Margaret knows is that she’s broken. The blood of a million deaths is on her hands. Guilt and nightmares have turned her into a shut-in, too mired in self-hatred even to salvage her marriage, let alone be the warrior she once was.

But she is about to be called into action again. Because before the murderous intelligence was destroyed, it launched one last payload — a soda can–sized container filled with deadly microorganisms that make humans feed upon their own kind.

That harmless-looking container has languished a thousand feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.

Part Cthulhu epic, part zombie apocalypse and part blockbuster alien-invasion tale, Pandemic completes the Infected trilogy and sets a new high-water mark in the world of horror fiction.

Summary from Amazon.com

Jul 112016
 

The flat spiral is the first bracelet I learned how to make, thanks to a friend taking the time to teach me, and what started my jewelry making hobby. Over the years, I’ve posted many pictures of the flat spiral bracelets I’ve made, still my favorite design for a quick and easy gift, but I’ve never posted a tutorial.

Like I said in my last craft post, I’ve toyed with making my own tutorials, but there are already so many out there with better production quality than I could manage. Maybe if I come up with more of my own designs I’ll have something new to add. Until then, Beading4perfectionists has a great tutorial for the flat spiral.

I still have several flat spiral bracelets left if anyone is looking for a quick gift. If you’d like to buy one, use the contact page and let me know.

I have other designs as well. If you’re local, let me know if you’d like to drop by and take a look.

Jul 082016
 

Another great recipe for small slow cookers. I’ve found that since I’m only cooking for two now, the small slow cookers are wonderful for training myself to stop cooking for an army. I still love loading up my 6-quart slow cooker and having tons of leftovers for future meals and to freeze, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a small meal with less cleanup.

On occasion, I’ve started to make this recipe only to find that my ketchup has disappeared. Honest, I never remember using the last of it. Undaunted, I replace the ketchup and brown sugar with 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce and it’s just as good.

If you don’t like peppers, you can replace them with any vegetable you think would taste good with ketchup and brown sugar. I’ve tried zucchini and squash, both were pretty good. Fresh, thick sliced tomatoes were wonderful. Green beans and potatoes were my favorite substitutions. If you decide to use potatoes, I suggest sticking them on the bottom with the onions on top of the pork chops.

Slow Cooker Rancher's Pork Chops
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Cook Time
8 hr
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  2. 2 pork chops
  3. 1 small onion, sliced
  4. 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  5. 1/4 cup ketchup
  6. 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in skillet until crispy. Allow to cool, crumble and refrigerate for later.
  2. Brown pork chops in bacon grease for about a minute on each side.
  3. Place onion slices in bottom of 1.5 quart crock. Might fit in a 1 quart. Works well in a 2 quart. Place pork chops on top of onions then peppers on top of pork chops.
  4. Mix together ketchup and brown sugar, pour over peppers in crock.
  5. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
  6. Add crumbled bacon before serving.
Notes
  1. Don't like peppers? Omit or replace!
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Slow Cooker Ranchers Pork Chops

Jul 062016
 

On Writing by Stephen King is not just a book about writing, but also a memoir about the craft and the life of King. I agreed with him wholeheartedly at points, grudgingly at others, but King’s advice is still a source of inspiration for me. I’ve read it numerous times and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

If you don’t own the book, the article below has a few helpful bits of advice from the book. I’m still struggling with a few of the bits listed. #3 and #4 (Don’t waste time trying to please people and Write primarily for yourself) go together for me. It’s not that I have a hard time writing for myself, it’s the blasted editing that gets me. I’m hoping some day that others will read my work. I want them to be pleased, but the truth of the matter is, I write because I love it. I write what I want to write, not what I think others will want to read. It’s during the editing phase that I start worrying about pleasing people.

And remember, as King says “the road to hell is paved with adverbs.” I’m still working on that one, too.

Check out the article, but if you get the chance, even if you’re not a writer, read the whole book. King has so much more to say about writing. And his memoir is an interesting and entertaining read.

Timeless advice from bestselling author Stephen King on how to be an excellent writer.

Source: Stephen King on how to write – Business Insider


Jul 042016
 

It has been some time since I set off fireworks on the 4th. Most of the time I sit outside and watch the fireworks the neighbors set off. I can look in any direction and see brilliant light shows I would have missed if I was setting off my own. My neighbors explode the good stuff.

Hopefully, when my grandson gets older, we’ll set off our own again. I remember the 4th when I was a kid and how much I enjoyed setting off fireworks and I remember how much my daughter loved it when she was young.

Until then, I’ll keep watching my neighbor’s celebration efforts and cringe when I hear something hit the roof.

happy-4th

Jul 012016
 

Spicy, meaty and easy!

We don’t usually eat soup when it’s warm outside, but this soup we eat year round. To cool it down and make it seem less like soup during the summer we add sour cream, avocado slices and sliced green onions.

This also makes a fantastic camping soup because you can use all canned foods, which frees up room in the cooler. Some of the garnishes have to remain cold, but you can pick and choose which garnishes to take or leave them out completely.

Taco Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed)
  2. 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 can 15 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed)
  3. 2 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can 14.5 ounces diced or petite diced tomatoes, drained)
  4. 1 bag 12 ounces frozen sweet corn (or 1 can 15.25 ounce sweet corn, drained)
  5. 1 pound shredded cooked chicken, BBQ, rotisserie, pan fried or however you like it (or 1 can 12.5 ounce chicken breast, drained)
  6. 1 can 10.75 ounces cream of onion soup
  7. 1 can 10 ounces red enchilada sauce (or 1 can 10 ounces green enchilada sauce)
  8. 2 cups chicken broth (or 1 can 14 ounces chicken broth)
  9. 1/2 taco seasoning recipe (or 1 packet taco seasoning)
Instructions
  1. Stove Top and Camping Directions:
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot.
  3. Heat until warm (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  4. Serve with your choice of garnishes.
  5. Slow Cooker Directions:
  6. Mix all ingredients except beans in crock pot.
  7. Cook on low for 3 hours, add beans, stir and cook for another hour.
  8. Serve with your choice of garnishes.
Notes
  1. Garnish suggestions: tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, shredded monterey jack, green onions, red onions, avocado slices, fresh chopped cilantro, ancho or poblano peppers, warmed tortillas, guacamole or whatever you like with your Mexican food.
  2. Love rice? Add a cup of cooked rice before serving for something a little different.
  3. Love pasta? Try frying some Pastina in butter, boil until al dente and add to soup before serving.
  4. Replace chicken with cooked hamburger or shredded cooked steak to make Beef Taco Soup.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Taco Soup

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