Tag Archives: cream

sausage, mushroom, and parmesan bread pudding

sausage, mushroom, and parmesan bread pudding | dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.comI am pretty sure Lauren was fully convinced of my craziness upon serving this meal. Bread pudding? For dinner? Without ice cream? Pretty crazy ideas in this household.

This dish definitely deserves one of those “Best of…” stamps of approval they put in magazines. Not that I don’t love every dish on here… I wouldn’t post them without my utmost approval But, this dish is something special. It’s savory, crunchy, and creamy all at the same time. Yum.

I swear I am not crazy.

I promise I am not certifiable, but some people might think I am crazy. Well, more ditzy than crazy… and trust me, that’s not by my own definition. But, I promise I know what I am talking about. Most of the time.

I wouldn’t necessarily call myself ditzy. Just smart… in a unique, not duct-taped glasses, frizzy hair, and nasal-y voice sort of way. And not smart in the way that I sound like I actually know the answer when I give you an answer. And let’s be honest, I never ever raise my hand in class.

I am just unique. And I am okay with that.

I am also okay with a second helping of this dinner…

sausage, mushroom, and parmesan bread pudding | dragitthroughthegarden.wordpress.com

sausage, mushroom, and parmesan bread pudding

Makes 10-12 Servings

1 1-pound loaf of bread (I used challah, but use whatever you like), cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz. Italian seasoned pork sausage, casings removed
6 tablespoons butter
12 oz. assorted mushrooms (I used all cremini), cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
8 large eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss bread with ¼ cup olive oil, thyme, and garlic and salt and pepper to taste on a sheet pan. Spread out in a single layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally so that all sides are toasty.

Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook through, about 10 minutes, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon. Remove to a separate plate.

Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender and juices have evaporated, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggs, and salt and pepper.

Once vegetables are cooked, toss together toasted bread, sausage, and vegetables. Distribute in the prepared baking dish. Evenly pour cream mixture over the top. Bake in the preheated oven until custard is set and top is browned, about 60 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving. 

Source: Adapted from Epicurious



creamy chicken gnocchi soup

creamy chicken gnocchi soup | drag it through the garden

It has gotten pretty darn cold here in St. Louis for the region. Now, if this were Chicago or any part of Northern United States (or Canada), I would be telling a different story. But, at least for me, it’s the perfect weather for a warm bowl of soup… perhaps some creamy chicken gnocchi soup? I would definitely be all in for that.

It snowed all day here on Monday (that was New Year’s Eve). So, I was trapped in the house since my little car can’t get up and down the hills in my subdivision with the slightest covering of snow. And my parent’s big four-wheel drive SUV was down at the Lake of the Ozarks with the two of them.

So, it was just the dogs and me here all by ourselves. And all the things that go bump in the night.

I do surprisingly well by myself when I am alone in my apartment at school. Well, besides the incident when I swore there was someone going door-to-door murdering people in their sleep.

But, being alone here? It wouldn’t have been so bad if both of the dogs hadn’t started growling at absolutely nothing. And then started doing their freaking-out barking. At 2:00 am.

And that’s when every single creak and crack turned into someone trying to break into the house.

Turns out the dogs were just growling at the deer in the backyard. I checked the next morning and there were deer tracks all over the place.

But, no worries. I survived. And now all I want is a bowl of this chicken soup… or any soup for that matter.

creamy chicken gnocchi soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free half and half
1 cup milk
1 10.75-oz. can chicken broth (plus one can water)
1 lb. gnocchi
2 poached chicken breasts, chopped (or you can just buy prepared rotisserie chicken)

In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onions, carrots, and thyme and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick your carrot slices are). Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Add flour and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the flour just turns golden. Slowly whisk in half and half, milk, chicken broth, and a can of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes, until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in gnocchi and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, until gnocchi is cooked through. Add chicken and cook for about 2 minutes, until warmed through. Serve.

Source: Slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

orecchiette with gorgonzola and chicken

I love those special edition magazines that you see in stores occasionally that are loaded with tons of great-looking recipes. I think they’re completely overpriced, but totally worth what you get. So, I recently bought Better Homes and Gardens’ Ultimate Italian magazine, not only because of the beautiful lasagna on the cover, but from all the amazing recipes inside as well.

This is the first dish I’ve made from this magazine: Gorgonzola and chicken pasta. As soon as I read the title, I knew I had to cook it. The Gorgonzola adds a nice tanginess to the creamy sauce. And, who doesn’t love the mushrooms inside?

Anyhow, I’ve been cooking a lot of pasta lately, but the leftovers keep so well, I end up munching off of it all week long, perfect for the nights when I don’t feel like doing anything or I’m too bogged down with homework to figure something out.


Orecchiette with Gorgonzola and Chicken

Adapted, only slightly, from BHG SIP: Ultimate Italian
Makes about 6-8 servings


1 lb. chicken tenderloins, cut into ½-inch slices
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. cremini mushrooms (or any other desired), sliced
2 c. whipping cream
5 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
2/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. orecchiette (or any other desired shape of pasta)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to heated skillet and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

At this point, add pasta to salted boiling water and cook for about 11 minutes, according to package directions. Drain and set aside when done.

Reduce heat on skillet to medium. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 5 – 8  minutes, until all liquid from mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms are soft, stirring occasionally.

Return chicken to skillet. Add cream. Bring to boil and boil for about 3 minutes, until mixture has slightly thickened. Add half of Gorgonzola and all of Parmesan and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Heat for about 1 more minute, until cheese has melted.

In a large bowl or pot, mix together chicken and cream mixture, pasta, and remaining Gorgonzola cheese. Toss. Serve. Top with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.