Sausage and Potato Skillet

This is a quick dish that I know I can turn to after a hectic day because it takes very little thought and hits the table in a jiffy.  It is also made with pantry staples, so its great for times when I haven’t been able to menu plan or prep for the week.

Sausage and Potato Skillet

4 small red potatoes, cubed

3 tablespoons water

1 pound smoked kielbasa, cut into slices

1 small onion, coarsly chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped or sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

5 or 6 strips of bacon

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp ground dried thyme

lots of cracked black pepper

Place the cubed potatoes and water in a dish.  Cover tightly and microwave about 5 minutes on high or until tender.  Check and stir halfway thru.  Drain off water once they are done.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel and then crumble.  Drain the fat from the skillet.

Add to the skillet the kielbasa, onion, pepper, and garlic.  Saute until onion is tender, then add the potatoes and saute another 3 minutes or until potatoes are slightly browned.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, thyme, and pepper. Then add it to the skillet.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 3-5 minutes or until heated thru.  Top with the crumbled bacon and serve.

Upside Down Pizza


Lately I have really been favoring one pot meals like casseroles.  They just involve less planning and usually only require pantry staples.  The recipe for last night’s meal was adapted from my hometown’s church cookbook.  You can easily adapt it to include your own favorite pizza topping.  For example, add mushrooms or olives to the meat and sauce mixture and omit the peppers.  Whatever you prefer is fine.

You’ll notice that the recipe calls for one and a half tubes of crescent rolls.  You could probably get by with crescents from just one tube if you roll and press them to cover.  We like a thick topping though, so I always use 1.5 tubes.  With the remaining 4 crescents, sprinkle inside and out with cinnamon and sugar, roll and bake as you normally would.


Upside Down Pizza

serves 6


1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped {Last night I used 3 or 4 jalapeno peppers}

1 package pepperoni {I strongly suggest using turkey pepperoni or somehow blotting the grease off regular pepperoni before adding it.}

1 {15 oz.} can tomato sauce

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 and a 1/2 tubes crescent rolls

2 or 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350*.

Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion and pepper.  Drain.  Add tomato sauce to the meat and spread in ungreased 9×13 inch baking dish.  Then, make a layer of pepperoni.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream and mozzarella cheese.  Spoon it over the meat.  Top with a layer of crescent rolls.  Brush crescents with melted butter and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.



Pantry Staples

What ingredients do you keep on hand in your kitchen?  This question is asked a lot on the cooking message board that I frequent.  So, I thought I would go ahead and leave my list here for people to reference.

Freezer staples:

boneless skinless chicken breasts

ground beef

hot and sweet Italian, kielbasa, and breakfast sausage

bacon (separated into bundles of 4 pieces)

veggies (stir-fry mix, corn, green beans, peas, broccoli, etc…)

fruit (blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries)

juice concentrates (lemonade, orange juice, limeade)

whipped topping

homemade waffles

pizza dough


skim milk



sour cream

fresh produce (lettuce, carrots, celery, bell peppers, apples, citrus fruits, etc…)

coffee and creamer

lots of cheese, assorted kinds

cream cheese


crescent rolls

olives, pickles

ketchup, mayo, mustards, worcestershire, hot sauce, soy sauce, salad dressing, jam/jelly, other condiments


beer and soda


dry pasta, multiple shapes and sizes






corn meal




canned and dry beans

canned tomato products (paste, sauce, diced, etc…)

chicken, beef, and veggie broth/stock


canned fruits and veggies



cans of olives, mushrooms, green chilies

cream of ____ soups

bottles of juice (cranberry, pineapple, tomato…)

granola bars



peanut butter

hot chocolate mix

vinegars (red & white wine, rice, balsamic, white, apple cider, etc…)

oil (EVOO, canola, vegetable, olive, sesame)

spices (dried basil, Italian seasoning, grilling spices, cloves, allspice, cumin, red pepper, cayenne, chili powder, lemon pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and many more)

onion soup mix

ranch dressing mix

taco seasoning

bouillon cubes



all purpose flour

biscuit mix



white sugar, powdered sugar, light brown and dark brown sugar

kosher salt

cocoa powder


corn syrup, molasses, and maple syrup

evaporated and sweetened condensed milk

Pam nonstick spray


baking chips (chocolate, white, etc…)



extracts (vanilla, clear vanilla, orange, almond, lemon, mint, maple, etc…)

baking powder and baking soda

corn starch

cream of tarter

meringue powder

food coloring and decorating sugars/sprinkles

dried cranberries, raisins

nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachio, cashews), sesame and sunflower seeds

brownie mix

corn bread mix