Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dinner Dash: Sausage and Beans

Growing up we had Italian sausage and baked beans every Thursday night.  And, while I like sausage and I like beans, I cringe slightly when I am offered sausage and beans.  Yet after I cringe, I find myself thinking – “mmm, that doesn’t sound too bad” then I find myself making it for dinner  and now it is becoming a regular part of my meal rotation.  I’m not serving sausage and baked beans every Thursday night, I’m not even serving sausage and baked beans, but I am serving a variation of this classic at least once a month.

One of our favorite variations is sausage, white beans and spinach.  I like to use Italian sausage, but any type of sausage can be used.   Same for the greens, I often use spinach but kale or arugula are just as tasty.

The dish comes together super quickly making it perfect for the weeknight dinner dash. Simply take the sausage out of it’s casing or cut into slices and put into a hot saute pan.

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Once the sausage is cooked through add a little white wine, or liquid of your choice, the beans and spinach.

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Continue cooking until spinach is wilted and beans are warm.  Serve with a crusty bread, or whatever you have on hand.

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Sausage and White Beans
printer ready

1 lb Italian sausage
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
¼ cup white wine
2 15 oz cans of white beans (drained and rinsed)
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon thyme (or 1 sprig fresh thyme)

Over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large saute pan.
Remove sausage from casing and add to hot pan.  Cook sausage until no longer pink.  Drain grease from pan, then return to heat.  Add garlic and white wine, cook for 2-3 minutes then add beans and spinach.  Once spinach has wilted add thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to Train you Dragon 2

Who else is excited?

Starting this Friday, June 13th, the second chapter of DreamWorks Animation’s belovedHow to Train Your Dragon franchise is soaring to all IMAX theatres domestically in select engagements. The IMAX 3D release will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®, creating a unique environment that will make audiences feel as though they are flying alongside heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon, Toothless.

Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig reprise their respective voice roles, joined this time by Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett, Djimon Honsou and Kit Harington.

For more information about How to Train Your Dragon 2, please visit DreamWorks Animation’s official website.

I think I need to come up with some tasty dragon snacks and a few crafts to get us in the mood.

Have you read the books with your kids yet?  If not be sure to add it to your summer reading list, they are great read aloud books.

*promotional information has been provided by IMAX


Fancy Fruit Salad

I find that my kids are always looking to help when help is the last thing I want.  If we are having friends over and I am rushing around trying to get everything ready then everybody will be asking for a job, or more likely suggesting something that should be done.  While I love that my kids want to help, their idea of helping and my idea of helping  usually very different.  They always want to do the most difficult job, while I just want them to wash the fruits and veggies.  I don’t want to loose the help, which means I am scrambling to find something to do that will keep them busy and let me get other things accomplished.

After many times of scrambling around trying to find jobs that make everyone happy I am finally starting to plan ahead.  I have learned that it is much easier to do some prep work so if my helpers comes calling I am ready for them.  A favorite job for my girls is to help make salads.  They love cutting fruit and veggies, but sometimes cutting can be difficult for little hands and requires a lot of supervision.  I want my kids to learn knife skills, but an hour before company arrives isn’t the time for it.  That’s when I break out the cookie cutters.

I love cookie cutters, but have recently started collecting small decorative cutters that are perfect for cutting melons, apples, cucumbers or any large fruit or veggie.  My girls not only love being able to have a job they can call their own, but the salads they produce always get tons of oohs and aahs.

fruit salad

To make it easy I cut the fruit in to slices ahead of time and then when the girls come looking for something to do it is all set for them to get to work.  Once they have cut out all the fruit they like to make a yogurt dip to serve with the fruit salad, again super easy for the kids and requires little supervision.

Fruity Yogurt
printer ready

2 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In small mixing bowl add all ingredients, stir to combine.