Spicy Sausage and Shrimp Alfredo

My husband and I are guilty of being lovers of a good cheese sauce covering pasta or vegetables… Particularly when it is alfredo sauce! Alfredo is easy to make homemade once you understand how to make a rue – once you have the technique down… Fattening cheese sauce can be on your menu far more than it should ūüėČ

  
Spicy Sausage and Shrimp Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • Spicy sausage links (we used 3 Johnsonville Hot Links)
  • Frozen cooked large shrimp (ours happened to be from ALDI…cleaned, deveined, with tails on)
  • 2/3 box of Pasta (bow ties this time)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups Freshly grated Parmesan (we also used some Gouda we had on hand – not necessary!)
  • 2 -3 cups Fresh broccoli florets (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups Half and half
  • 2 tbsp Butter (salted)
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  • Grill sausage on a cast iron pan or in a skillet. We used our large skillet that makes grill marks. Once cooked through, transfer the sausage to a cutting board and cook defrosted shrimp in the same pan, sprinkling with Cajun seasoning on both sides until browned. The shrimp is already cooked… We are just getting nice color and spice. Transfer to a dish. Slice sausage into small slices on a diagonal. 
  • Boil water for your favorite pasta. We almost always make a pound to have leftover pasta for other meals during the week. 
  • Steam broccoli  – we do so using our large pot with steamer insert. Broccoli should be slightly tender but not mushy. 
  • Begin cooking your pasta. 
  • Start the sauce… In a pot, melt butter (about 2 tablespoons) over medium heat  to begin your rue. To that, add about 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until you get a nice brown color. Add in about 1.5 cups of half and half but keep whisking. You should not be able to see bits of flour. Add in 1.5 to 2 cups of cheese once the mixture is warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste after the cheese melts. Remove from heat or simmer on low heat… Stir to prevent sticking. 
  • Combine everything with your sauce (steamed broccoli, cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, cooked sausage). Taste and season as you like! 

I like diced sundried tomatoes in mine… This dish helps me have one of my favorite meals at home instead of spending a fortune out… And we had 2 huge dinner servings plus about 3 lunch sized portions too. Enjoy!

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Pecan Baklava

This is a keeper recipe, folks! ¬†I decided to make baklava for Thanksgiving and I am so glad I did. ¬†I decided to use the following Pioneer Woman recipe… I am convinced everything that comes out of her kitchen is just perfect! ¬†This baklava came out sweet, nicely browned, and delicious! ¬†Ree suggests walnuts or pecans but I definitely went with the chopped pecan variety. ¬†Delish!

Baklava @ Pioneer Woman

Pecan Baklava @ HappyWifey.net

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Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I find making meat of any kind very daunting! However, today I stepped up to the plate and made my first pork tenderloin (that didn’t end up as pulled pork!). It came out good! Here we go… Thanks for stopping by!

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Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack pork tenderloin (my package contained 2 pot tenderloins)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • canola oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (except oil) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. When marinating, we use our Food Saver marinating bowl and suck the air out if it. It works great!

Heat oil in a heavy pan when you are ready to cook. Place the tenderloins in the hot pan and cook 3-5 minutes on each side. I started with high heat and had to put it in medium while turning. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Cook the pork for 15 more minutes in the oven (I used a glass Pyrex dish) until juices run clear.

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Speedy Mini Cornbread Loaves

You know me – I always love a made from scratch recipe. ¬†BUT – there is a time and place for everything… and there is even a time and a place for shortcuts! ¬†This is one of my favorite shortcuts. ¬†All you need is 2 boxes of jiffy corn muffin mix, milk, sour cream (light will do), and two eggs!

HappyWifey.net - Speedy Mini Cornbread Loaves

Speedy Mini Cornbread Loaves

Makes 8 mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • Jiffy corn muffin mix (the blue box), 2 boxes
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (I used light)
  • 2 eggs
  • shortening

Happywifey.net - Speedy Mini Cornbread Loaves

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a mini loaf pan with shortening.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine mix, milk, sour cream, and eggs. ¬†The batter will be slightly lumpy.
  • Fill each little pan up about 2/3 of the way. ¬†Sometimes I have too much batter and make a few little muffins with my silicone cups.
  • Bake for 18 minutes! ¬†If your loaves don’t look golden enough, rotate the pan and cook 2-4 more minutes.
  • Let them sit in the pan for just a few minutes, and then turn them out! ¬†You can use a knife around the side of each well to help coax them out if they get stuck.

I served these for two dinners already!  I love whipping them up for BBQ season.. the boxes of mix are under 50 cents at ALDI and these are really a treat.  The addition of the sour cream helps make them more light and airy.

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The Best Cake I Make: Double Chocolate Layer Cake

I would like to share with you the best cake that I make… The recipe was shared with me by my lovely friend Joanna (visit her here) and is by Ina Garten. ¬†You can find the recipe here.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake @ HappyWifey.netThere are a LOT of things I like about this cake:

  1. I have made this cake at LEAST four times, and it has been good every time.
  2. The buttermilk in the cake makes the actual cake AWESOME and it is the only from-scratch cake I have excelled at yet.  Who needs Pillsbury?
  3. The coffee that is in the icing and in the cake really gives it a deep mocha flavor!
  4. The icing is really easy to work with and I am getting better at icing it each time.
  5. EVERYONE loves this cake!

Double Chocolate Layer Cake @ HappyWifey.netLook at ALL of the chocolate!!!!!  Here she is all done:

Double Chocolate Layer Cake @ HappyWifey.netThis lovely cake was made for my Dad’s 64th birthday earlier this month. ¬†He loved it! ¬†Sometimes it is so so lovely to make someone you love a from-scratch cake.

Check out my icing writing on the top! ¬†I wish I could show you my last cake’s attempts… it is safe to say that I am getting better! ¬†You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake @ HappyWifey.net

 

This cake makes me smile!

 

 

 

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French Toast Sticks

So… obviously my skillet skills need some work, but here is my first try at french toast sticks! ¬†I had a good chunk of this Sweet Hawaiian bread left and thought it would come out best as sticks! ¬†It did not disappoint.

French Toast Sticks @ Happy Wifey.netFrench Toast Sticks

Ingredients:

  • Bread, cut into sticks [I used this bread, and it was a few days old]
  • 2 or 3 eggs, depending on how many you’re making
  • Splash of milk or cream
  • Vanilla, cinnamon, and/or nutmeg to taste
  • Butter, for your skillet

Directions:

  • Cut your bread to desired strip size.
  • Whisk eggs with a splash or two of milk or cream in a bowl.
  • Add in vanilla, nutmeg, and/or cinnamon.
  • Soak the bread strips in the mixture, turning to coat.
  • Add at least 1 tbsp of butter to a skillet (I used a cast iron pan).
  • When hot and butter begins to melt, add battered sticks to pan.
  • Let each stick cook on all four sides until they turn a desired color and texture. ¬†I don’t like soggy french toast, which is why mine turned out a little “well done”.

I have no doubt that french toast turning will improve with practice!  Enjoy :)  You can also add a little bit of orange juice to the batter to give your french toast sticks a little more flavor.  I love mine dipped in pancake syrup!

 

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