Sausage & Tortellini

ImageI’m always eager to read recipes on Pinterest that claim to be “one pot” meals. A quick, delicious meal that’s easy to prepare and only requires my husband me to clean one pan? Tell me more.

More often than not, I’m disappointed my those recipes, though. Most of them seem to be a slight variation of the same tired, boring dishes.

Not this sausuage and tortellini recipe, though. I knew immediately it would be different from others I’d seen because, even though it includes pasta, I didn’t have to boil it.

Epic, right? And if that isn’t enough to convince you, the smoky sausage, tangy Parmesan, and subtle spices will do the trick. This meal comes together in under 20 minutes, making it an easy weeknight meal that will taste as if you cooked all day.
Sausage & Tortellini
adapted from here

1 14 oz. package smoked sausage
2-2 1/2 cups tortellini pasta (I use the smaller size package of Buitoni Three Cheese)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
shredded or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Begin by slicing sausage into 1/2 inch rounds (I like to go one step further and cut mine into half moons). Cook the sausage in a skillet coated with nonstick spray for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat, or until sausage is browning. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes. Next, add the chicken broth, pasta sauce, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. When mixture begins to simmer, add the pasta and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes more- I usually taste a piece of pasta to test if it’s done. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Looking for another super simple but delicious pasta dish? Try my most popular recipe.

I want to know: what types of recipes do you go crazy over on Pinterest?

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Baked Chicken & Pepper Egg Rolls

I wasn’t a fan of onions or peppers when I was younger.

Now that I’m not as young, I love them. Can’t get enough of them. I’m fairly certain peppers and onions are my love language.

This recipe pairs the two perfectly, along with garlic and some Asian flavors. The egg rolls are baked instead of frying, making this meal healthy and easy enough for a weeknight family meal.

As with many of my recipes- specifically this one and this one- this recipe can be fully customized to suit your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand.

Baked Chicken & Pepper Egg Rolls
recipe adapted from here

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
1 large onion
2 bell peppers in the color(s) of your choice
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 c. stir fry sauce (optional)
12-14 egg roll wrappers
oil or cooking spray
kosher salt for sprinkling

1. Cut chicken, onions, and peppers into thin strips; mince garlic.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet and add chicken. When the chicken is no longer pink, add the peppers and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the garlic, soy sauce, and stir fry sauce, if using. Cook for five minutes more.

4. Allow mixture to cool. If you like to make meals ahead, you could stop at this point and refrigerate the chicken and vegetable mixture.

5. When you’re ready to fill the egg roll wrappers, place a couple spoonfuls of the mixture onto the wrapper. Roll the paper according to the package instructions.

6. Place rolls on a lightly sprayed foil-lined baking sheet. Spray them all lightly with cooking spray or brush with oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Note that rolls will not turn golden like they would if they were fried.

**I haven’t tried reheating these, so I can’t vouch for how they would taste. If you aren’t eating them all at once, I suggest baking only enough for one meal, then saving the mixture and baking more later.

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Frosted Sugar Cookies

Frosted Sugar Cookies by Mother on a Mission

These cookies. These cookies.

Let’s be real for a second. Is there anything tastier than a well-made sugar cookie? I’m not talking about those crumbly, under-baked messes you buy from the “bakery” section of the grocery store. I’m talking about the real thing. The homemade version, with the slightly crunchy, buttery outside and the chewy, firm inside.

My mom makes a darn good sugar cookie. But since she lives 3000 miles away, I was forced to take things into my own hands this year. And I have to say, that was a pretty good call.

And to answer my previous question? No, no there isn’t.

Frosted Sugar Cookies
cookie recipe adapted slightly from here, frosting recipe adapted slightly from here

1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

1. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
2. Add in the vanilla, eggs, and milk and mix until well combined.
3. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder and mix just until everything comes together.
4. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
5. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, cut cookie shapes with cookie cutters, and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.
6. Cool completely before frosting.

3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp whole milk or cream

1. Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sifted powdered sugar.
2. Add vanilla and milk or cream and mix until frosting comes together.

I want to know: what’s your favorite sugar cookie occasion?

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Weekly Goals: May 20-26

Weekly Goals


It’s been nearly a month since I set specific weekly goals. I’m hoping that getting back on track will help boost my productivity this week. Here’s what I hope to do:

1. Attend my nephew’s last t-ball game

2. Try one new recipe

3. Make a batch of English muffin bread

4. Go through my closet and send a bag of clothes to Twice

5. Go though the children’s closets and send a bag of clothes to ThredUp

6. Plan meals and make a food packing list for our beach trip next week

7. Bake a loaf of our favorite sandwich bread

I want to know: what are your goals this week?

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Menu Plan Monday: May 20-26

Menu Plan Monday

I’ve taken a break from blogging for the last few weeks. With several big tests to study for, something had to give, and blogging was the obvious choice. I’ve missed it though, so I’m hoping to find my groove again, even with the upcoming craziness that is summer.

With my break from blogging came a break from menu planning; we ate a lot of what we had in the freezer and a lot of simple, quick meals. Now that I’m- hopefully- through testing, I’m looking forward to getting back to cooking regularly. here’s what we’re having this week:

Monday: snacky supper (Jonathan will be gone to his cousin’s graduation in Alabama; the kids and I will have something easy)

Tuesday: mini bacon and cheese frittatas

Wednesday: baked chicken taquitos

Thursday: chocolate chip cookie pancakes

Friday: slow cooker creamy spaghetti

Saturday: homemade pizza

Sunday: grilled sandwiches and fries

I want to know: what’s on your menu this week?

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Homemade Strawberry Sauce

homemade strawberry sauce: lemonade, french toast, cheesecake, waffles...the possibilities are endless.

Does anything say summer time quite as much as fresh strawberries?

I doubt it.

That’s why I love this fresh strawberry sauce. As soon as strawberries start appearing in the grocery store produce section- sometime in February- I start making this sauce.

It’s super easy and contains only three ingredients, yet it has the ability to transform, and elevate, any dish you add it to.

The possibilities for this sauce are endless, really, but a few of my favorites are:

-add it to lemonade for a restaurant-quality strawberry lemonade

-pour it over waffles, french toast, or pancakes (especially these yummy chocolate chip pancakes)

-use it as an ice cream topping

-spoon it over cheesecake

-serve it with shortcake or angel food cake and homemade whipped cream

Homemade Strawberry Sauce

homemade strawberry sauce: lemonade, french toast, cheesecake, waffles...the possibilities are endless.

-2 c. sliced or diced strawberries

-1/3 c. sugar

-2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes, until berries begin to breakdown and sauce begins to form. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

If you want a sauce with no berry chunks, you can run it through a blender or magic bullet. That’s what I do if I know I’ll be using the sauce for lemonade. If I plan to serve it over waffles or pancakes and want the sauce to have more texture, I just use a potato masher and break up the berries in the saucepan as they cool.

Store sauce in the refrigerator for a week or two. I doubt it will last that long.

homemade strawberry sauce: lemonade, french toast, cheesecake, waffles...the possibilities are endless.

I want to know: what will you do with your sauce?

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Potato-Crusted Sausage Quiche

Potato-Crusted Sausage Quiche

I originally posted this recipe on my first blog more than two years ago. I’m not sure why I haven’t made it in quite a while, other than because we don’t eat many potatoes. I have to make a special effort to buy one when I know this quiche is on the menu.

I did just that, though, last week, and I’m glad I did. Every time I make this, Jon and I both look at each other and say “this is so good”. And it is so good. The crust gets crunchy while the rest is fluffy and cheesy. Let’s be honest here: sausage, cheese, potatoes, sweet bell peppers… I see no downside.

I know I’ve posted eggs-for-dinner recipes before. But based on the way my mini bacon and cheese frittatas recipe has blown up on Pinterest, I’m not the only one who enjoys a meal like this. Since I aim to please, here is another delicious brinner recipe.

Potato-Crusted Sausage Quiche

Potato-Crusted Sausage Quiche

  • 2 c. shredded potatoes (you can use frozen shredded hash browns; I usually use a regular baking potato and shred it using a cheese grater)
  • 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey or pork sausage, cooked and drained
  • 1 c. vegetables of choice (I used orange and yellow bell peppers; broccoli, spinach, or asparagus would be great, too. If you don’t want to use vegetables, just use another 1/2 lb. of sausage.)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • dash of hot sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If using a grated potato, pat gently with paper towels to absorb some of the moisture. Mix potatoes and oil in a pie plate and press to form a pie crust shape. Bake for 15 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.

While crust is cooking, combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. When crust has cooked, sprinkle with half of cheese, then sausage and vegetables. Pour egg mixture over the sausage and vegetables and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until top is golden and eggs are set.

**Note: if the people you’re making this for have divergent tastes, you can totally add certain ingredients to only half of the quiche. That’s what I did in the one in the photos and it worked beautifully.

Potato-Crusted Sausage Quiche

I want to know: potatoes and eggs: just for breakfast, or fair game all day?


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Weekly Goals: April 15-21

Weekly Goals

I thought I totally bombed last week’s goals, but when I started crossing them off, I realized I didn’t do quite as bad as I’d thought. Not perfect, but not horrible either.

1. Try one new recipe.

2. Work on two guest postsGot one completely done and ready to submit!

3. Have a play date with cousins.

4. Continue with the 30-Day House Cleaning ChallengeNot so much…when things got crazy, this was the first thing to go.

5. Continue with 30-Day Shred.

6. Bake whole wheat English muffinsUgh, nope. But I hope to try them this week.

7. Study for Praxis II.

8. Take family pictures with the oh-so-talented Ashley KnightWe got rained and Masters-ed out.

9. Start Bennie on solid foods.

10. Have a date night. We had a great time bowling!

This week’s goals:

1. Submit a guest post and work on another.

2. Continue with 30 Day Shred.

3. Make whole wheat English muffins.

4. Try one new supper recipe.

5. Attend at least one of my nephew’s two t-ball games this week.

6. Go through the kids’ clothes for a yard sale.

7. Have a play date with cousins Jack and Harry.

8. Take family photos.

9. Bake a treat for our Sunday school class.


I want to know: what are your goals this week?

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Menu Plan Monday: April 15-21

Menu Plan Monday

We didn’t stick to last week’s menu at all. I didn’t have an ingredient for one meal, we had leftovers that needed eating another night, and I ended up juggling things around and completely redoing our menu plan for the month. I think this week will be more on track, though.

Monday: sandwiches and fries

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: baked chicken flautas

Thursday: yeasted waffles

Friday: deep-dish mini pizzas using this dough

Saturday: baked spaghetti

Sunday: breakfast sandwiches

Baking/Freezer Cooking: whole wheat English muffins, overnight cinnamon rolls, sandwich bread

I want to know: what’s on your menu this week?

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Healthier Banana Cookies (with frosting?)

Healthier Banana Cookies | Mother on a Mission

I love to bake with bananas.

They’re an inexpensive ingredient and a great way to sweeten a recipe without adding so much white sugar. We often have overripe bananas that need to be baked, and I always have a tough time choosing which of my favorite banana recipes to use.

This time, I found a completely new recipe. It looked delicious, but I wasn’t sold on all of the unhealthy ingredients. I felt certain I could make a version that was just as tasty, but didn’t use butter, shortening, or so much sugar.

I’m happy to report that I was successful. These cookies are light and chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness. I think they taste great on their own, but I went ahead and made some frosting anyway. Partly so they wouldn’t look so lonely when I photographed them, and partly just to see how much better it made them.

See? See how lonely they look?

Healthier Banana Cookies | Mother on a Mission

Although the frosting was a tasty addition, I don’t think it’s at all necessary. If a plain banana cookie doesn’t sound appealing to you, there are lots of options other than frosting. I think they’d be great spread with peanut butter. You could add mini chocolate chips to the batter, or even chopped nuts, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Healthier Banana Cookies | Mother on a Mission

Healthier Banana Cookies with Optional Frosting

heavily adapted from here

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c.  honey
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. nonfat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (if using vanilla yogurt, decrease amount to 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugar, honey, applesauce, yogurt, eggs, bananas, milk, and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and stir just until combined. Drop batter by the large tablespoonful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a greased baking sheet). Bake 9-11 minutes, or until cookies are matte and just beginning to turn golden around the edges. After baking, transfer immediately to cooling rack.

For the frosting:

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 tbs. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat together all ingredients until well combined. Spread onto cookies, or lay cookies out, sides touching, on a sheet of wax paper and drizzle frosting over all of them at once.

Healthier Banana Cookies | Mother on a Mission

I want to know: what’s your favorite way to use overripe bananas?

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