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Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions

The first time I tasted Italian sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions was at Grapevine Mills mall in Texas. It was at this really cool eatery. And it featured all my favorite flavors: garlic, tomato, and onions on a crispy roll. But it was many years until I decided to try my hand at making the recipe.

These sandwiches are great for when you have company like a tailgating party.  And they contain delicious Italian sausage and sautéed vegetables. They are also really easy to make.  So, please enjoy this recipe.

Ingredients for Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions:

Italian sausage cooking in a saucepan on the stove
  • ~1-1/2 lb of Mild or Sweet Italian Sausage links
  • 6 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Seeded and Sliced
  • 1 Onion, Peeled and Thinly Sliced
  • 1/8 C Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

You’re probably familiar with cooking sausage. Maybe you grill it or broil it. You possibly even cook it on the stove in some oil.

However, the way I’m going to cover it might seem a little strange. Although, this way is better for cooking the sausages completely through. And also browning them evenly.

Instructions for Cooking Italian Sausage Sandwiches with Peppers and Onions:

  • First, put Italian sausage links in a saucepan. And fill pan with cold water until the sausages are covered.
  • Next, put the saucepan on the stove on med to med-hi heat.
  • Then, in another saucepan, melt the butter on med heat. And add your vegetables, salt, and pepper. Next, cover, cooking on med to med-low until vegetables are tender.
  • When the water begins to simmer in the sausage saucepan, cook ~6‐8 mins.
  • The internal temperature of the sausages should be at least 165 degrees; so, if they’ve reached that, then remove the pan from the burner.
  • Finally, turn off the heat source.
sliced red bell pepper, sliced white onion, and sliced tomato sautéing in pan

Now the sausage links are fully cooked. But they appear to be washed out. Though they won’t be for long.

Final Instructions:

  • Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. And spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Next, place Italian sausage links on aluminum foil.
  • Then, turn the oven broiler on hi heat.
  • Finally, put the jelly roll pan under the broiler for 3-5 mins. Then flip sausages over to the other side. And broiler another 3-4 mins.

When the sausages are browned the way you like, take them out of the oven, and turn off the broiler.

We slice our Italian sausages in order for them to fit the Ciabatta rolls better. Though you can do it however you want. Then add your sautéed vegetables. And that’s it. A lot of times I’ll add sliced and seeded tomatoes as well. But you could also add Mozzarella cheese if you wanted.

Serve with your favorite side like roasted vegetables.

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Banana Pineapple Cream Cheese Dessert

When I was very young, I remember my mom made this banana pineapple cream cheese dessert.  But I don’t recall exactly where she got the recipe, except it was through a friend of hers. I also know that I loved it.  And then I started making it when I was old enough. 

Furthermore, there are several ways to make this recipe, as well as different fillings. And it’s a deceptively rich dessert with all of the layers: bananas, pineapple cream cheese, and chocolate, topped with whipped cream.  So, if you have a sweet tooth, this is a very satisfying dessert.

Ingredients for Banana Pineapple Cream Cheese Dessert:

  • 1 box of Nilla wafers
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • 3-4 bananas
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), room temperature
  • 1/4 c white sugar; 4 TBSP white sugar
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (drained), reserving 1/3 of the can
  • ~5.9 oz package (or family size) of instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 c whipping cream
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans or almonds
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained
layer of bananas on a Nilla wafer crust

Instructions for crust:

  • First, crush Nilla wafers and combine with 1/2 stick melted butter
  • Then press wafer mixture firmly in bottom of 9X13 pan and chill in refrigerator for 10-15 mins

Instructions for banana layer:

  • Slice bananas and add to crust layer
  • Then refrigerate pan with crust and bananas while preparing fillings
cream cheese and pineapple blended in a mixing bowl with a spatula
This is the pineapple layer with drained crushed pineapple, cream cheese, butter, and sugar or Truvia.

Instructions for pineapple cream cheese layer:

  • First, mix cream cheese, remaining 1/2 c of butter, and remainder of sugar together with blender
  • Next, add drained, crushed pineapple, and blend in thoroughly
  • And then spread onto banana layer and refrigerate

Instructions for pudding layer:

  • Prepare instant chocolate pudding according to directions
  • Moreover, when it’s set-up, spread it onto pineapple layer and refrigerate
chocolate pudding layered in 9x13 glass pan
The next level is the chocolate pudding.

Instructions for final layer of banana pineapple dessert:

  • With mixer, beat whipping cream and 4 TBSP white sugar until stiff peaks form
  • Next, spread liberally onto chocolate pudding layer
  • Then, top with chopped nuts, maraschino cherries, and remaining crushed pineapple
  • And refrigerate 8 hours or overnight before serving
  • Finally, serve and enjoy!
banana pineapple cream cheese dessert with layers of whipping cream, cherries, pineapple, chopped nuts

Have you ever made this dessert or one of its variations? What do you think of it? Your comments are appreciated.

If you enjoyed this post, please like, share, and please don’t forget to follow!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

I started making this recipe many years ago when we lived in Dallas. This chicken tortilla soup is very easy to make. And I usually prepare it with chicken quesadillas after the chicken is cooked and shredded. But you can have it either way, because it’s delicious.


  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs Chicken Breasts
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 3 cans Water
  • 1/2 can Rotel, drained (I use Mild, but you can use whichever you want)
  • 1/4 tsp each Salt, Garlic Powder, and Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1 pkg of Tri-color Tortilla Strips
  • 1 Avocado
  • and 1 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese


  • First, put the first 6 ingredients in a pot over medium-hi, and heat till the liquid starts to boil.
  • Next, once boiling, put burner on low, cover, and simmer till chicken is cooked.
  • Then, shred chicken and put back into the pot.
  • And serve over sliced avocado, tortilla strips, and shredded cheese.

If you want to make chicken quesadillas, you’ll need flour tortillas and shredded Mexican blend cheese. I usually use soft taco size tortillas. However, you can use whatever you prefer.

Place one tortilla on a plate, add some shredded chicken, and sprinkle with plenty of shredded cheese. And finally you’ll top it with another tortilla before placing the quesadilla in a pan on low heat. Heat through, till bottom is browned. Then flip over with a spatula, heating that side till it is browned as well.

chicken quesadillas

If you made this recipe, what did you think of it? Do you have your own for chicken tortilla soup or quesadillas? Your comments are appreciated.

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Recipe for Quick Mexican Rice

This isn’t really a traditional recipe for my family. Although, when I was a child, my mom got this recipe for quick Mexican rice when we were living in Arizona from one of her friends. She’s made it ever since. And so I started making it for my family as well. It’s easy to make, delicious, and can be served with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex food.

Ingredients for quick Mexican rice:

  • 1 1/2 Cups parboiled rice (like Uncle Ben’s converted)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 Tbsp each minced garlic, tomato bouillon, and cumin
  • 1/8 Tsp ground pepper
  • 1 Tsp each dried oregano and dried cilantro
  • 3 Cups of water

Instructions for quick Mexican rice:

  • First, put olive oil in saucepan and heat to medium-medium high. Add garlic and diced tomato until softened.
  • Next, add rice, stirring until it starts to brown.
  • Then add water and spices, and lower temperature to low.
  • Finally, cook for 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed. And enjoy!

I typically make this side dish with chicken tacos or burritos. If you made this, what did you think of it? Your comments are appreciated!

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Sicilian Cod Fish Recipe

This Sicilian cod fish recipe is another one of my mom’s recipes from when she was growing up. It was passed down from her grandma.  And it’s delicious and easy to make. There are other ones out there, however they typically feature black olives. But I’m not sure if the difference in ingredients is due to where in Sicily each person/ group was located. Or perhaps it was because of money, or even preference. Though I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients for Sicilian Cod Fish Recipe:

  • 4 cod fillets
  • 1or 2 baking potatoes, (depending on the size) washed, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, diced or pulsed in food processor
  • 1 red or white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • And Italian seasoning to taste
prepping Sicilian cod fish recipe

Instructions for Sicilian Cod Fish:

  • Heat oven to 350.
  • Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together. And then coat the cod fillets with the flour mixture.
  • In a skillet, on medium heat, add just enough olive oil to sauté the fillets until they are lightly brown on each side.
  • Remove the fish when they’re browned on each side. And in the same pan, add the sliced potatoes, and cook till almost fork tender.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, in another skillet on medium heat, add olive oil and cook diced onion and minced garlic until onion is transparent, not burned.
  • When onion is transparent, add diced tomatoes and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Simmer and then place fish and potatoes in an oven-proof casserole dish.  Pour the onion and tomato mix over the fish and the potatoes. Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and tender.
prepping Sicilian cod fish recipe

I used red potatoes when I made this. But, the recipe calls for baking potatoes. However I just used what I had on hand.

Sicilian cod fish and potatoes

Thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget to leave a comment! And if you made this, let me know what you think.

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The Best Homemade Taco Salad

This is one of my own recipes that I just threw together one day, several years ago. And I’ve been making it ever since. I like it, because it’s easy, and I’m all about easy when it comes to preparing food. But it also tastes great. Tell me what you think after you’ve made the best homemade taco salad.

Ingredients for Homemade Taco Salad:

  • 16 oz of ground beef
  • 1 pkg of taco seasoning mix
  • 24 oz pkg of salad kit (I use the ones with shredded carrots, cabbage, and/or different types of lettuce)
  • 1 large tomato or 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 c-1/2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Optional–garnish with avocado or guacamole

Instructions Taco Salad:

  • First, cook the ground beef in a skillet till beef is all browned; drain and put beef back in skillet.
  • Next, add taco seasoning mix according to the instructions and simmer, covered ~ 15 minutes
  • Then, while the beef is simmering, pour the salad mix into a large bowl and add the diced tomato.
  • When the beef is ready, make sure there isn’t a lot of liquid in the pan, and add the meat to the salad.
  • Next, add in the Mexican blend cheese and toss the salad.
  • Then mix in the tortilla chips last; toss once or twice.
  • And garnish with guacamole or avocado.
  • Finally, serve immediately and enjoy.
Taco Salad

When I make this salad, the taco seasoning blend is usually flavor enough that I don’t add any dressing. However, if you prefer, there are plenty of recipes out there to choose from. Or you can pick up something from the store.

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Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos

When my husband worked as a fireman, he came up with this easy sheet pan chicken nachos recipe for his shift, which he then shared with me. I make it frequently, because it’s tasty and very simple. Especially for nights when I don’t really want to cook or time is an issue. It combines canned chicken meat, refried beans, tortilla chips, seasoning, and some garnishes for a yummy snack or meal, whatever one prefers.

Ingredients for Easy Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 12.5 oz Can of Drained Chicken Breast
  • 15 oz Can of Refried Beans
  • 1/2 oz Guacamole Seasoning Packet
  • 16 oz Bag of Tortilla Chips
  • Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese

Instructions for Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos:

white nachos topped with cheese and guacamole on a floral plate
  • First, grease jellyroll pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Next, put 1 Tbsp olive oil in medium to large pan.
  • Then, drain canned chicken breast and put chicken in pan over medium to medium high heat.
  • Add refried beans and 1/2 oz of guacamole seasoning; stir till well combined and warmed through. Remove from heat.
  • Next, spread tortilla chips on greased jellyroll pan.
  • Then drop chicken/bean mix by spoonfuls onto chips, careful to get the dip on most of the chips.
  • Add desired amount of shredded Mexican blend cheese to nachos when finished adding chicken/bean mix.
  • And broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Finally, serve immediately.

I hope you and yours enjoy this as much as we do. Let me know what you think!

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Chicken Soup With Acini Di Pepe

This chicken soup with Acini di Pepe recipe was passed down through the generations on my mother’s side. It goes back when, I’m told, her ancestors lived in Sicily till they emigrated to New York.

My mother learned this recipe from her mom. And she probably started making it by the time she was a pre-teen. Then she handed it down to her daughters. It’s one of my kids’ favorite things to eat when they go to her house, even if it has stewed tomatoes in it. Even though it can be considered an old recipe, it’s quite simple to make. And I’ve even made some tweaks of my own.

Ingredients for Chicken Soup with Acini di Pepe

 chicken soup with mixed vegetables in cream colored bowl
  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 small diced red onion
  • 2 diced celery, leaves removed
  • 1 diced carrot or 10 oz package of mixed vegetables
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fresh or canned whole tomato, diced or pulsed in food processor
  • 1 Tbsp dry parsley
  • And 1/2 cup Acini di Pepe (Da Vinci is the brand I use)


  • First, cook chicken with 1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base in 2 1/2 quarts of water over medium high heat. When it starts to boil, lower to a simmer, and put a lid on the pot.
  • Next, when the chicken is cooked, check if it has enough salt, and add salt to taste, if needed.
  • Then, remove chicken and shred once it’s cooked through.
  • Add pepper, onion, celery, tomatoes, and carrots or mixed vegetables to pot, and simmer for 9 minutes.
  • Next, add parsley, and increase heat to medium high, to get water boiling.
  • And add Acini di Pepe last, when everything is cooked, and cook for 8-9 minutes more in boiling water.
  • Then put shredded chicken back in pot and heat through.
  • Finally, serve immediately.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you make this soup, please let me know what you think! Also, feel free to change it as you like!

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Polish Cabbage Pierogi Recipe

Every New Year’s Day I grew up having pierogis and gwumpkies at my maternal grandparents house until we moved to another state. That’s when I was entering 3rd grade. Pierogis are one of my absolute favorite foods. It’s probably because there’s a mixture of dough and butter. Regardless, the Polish cabbage pierogi recipe is the one I’m going to share today. And the one that I love the most.

In case you didn’t know, Pierogis are filled dumplings. Plus, they’re mostly associated with the cooking of Central and Eastern European nations. However, they go by different names in those nations. In Poland they’re referred to as pierogis. Though, in Russia, they’re known by vareniki.

Moreover, in this recipe, the pierogis are filled with cabbage. But, more commonly, they are filled with potatoes. In other nations, they fill theirs with meats. I imagine the choices can be endless, although these are the traditional selections.

Polish Cabbage Pierogi Filling Ingredients

  • Cabbage
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • And Salt and Pepper to Taste

Ingredients for Dough

  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • And 1/2 Cup Cold Water

Pierogi Filling Instructions

  • First, chop onion and shred cabbage.
  • Next, cook onion and cabbage in 3 tbsp of butter in frying pan on medium-low heat; season to taste w/ salt and pepper.
  • Then, simmer until tender.

Dough Instructions, and Putting it all Together

  • First, sift flour and salt together, and then add egg, and work ingredients into a dough, gradually adding 1/2 cup cold water.
  • Next, knead dough on floured surface until firm and smooth.
  • Then roll into ball and let it set for 10 minutes beneath a warm inverted bowl.
  • Next, take 1/3 dough at a time, roll thin, and then with a biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles.
  • And place a spoonful of filling in center of circle, fold in half and press edges together and crimp to ensure seal.
  • Then drop pierogis into boiling, salted water, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, after pierogis are filled and cook, pour melted butter over them.

These are my all-time favorite pierogis. However, I have also had them with fruit filling as a dessert, and they were unexpectedly wonderful. As I’ve mentioned before, I have some Sicilian in me on my mother’s side, because her mom was Sicilian. Though, I’m also Polish, which comes from my mom’s dad.

person making half moon shaped pastries on a counter

Holiday Traditions

When we lived in Arizona, meals at my maternal grandparents house were always a treat. Because, not only did they have quite a spread, but it was very ethnic; Italian on one side and Polish on the other side.

Gwumpkies or golumpkies, aka Polish stuffed cabbage rolls, were another Polish dish my grandpa would make for New Year’s day. This also features cabbage. However, rather than stuffing the cabbage, the meat and rice is stuffed into cooked cabbage leaves.

That’s not a recipe that I have ever cooked personally. Though my mom still faithfully prepares a lot of the recipes that were passed down to her.

What are your favorite holiday recipes? Is there some favorite dish that was handed down in your family? Or is there something that you make every year that gets requested? Please feel free to share, because I love trying new recipes!

I hope everyone has a blessed New Year’s day and a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2021!

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This recipe is one that’s been handed down to me from my mom, which was handed down to her from her own mom; then back generations, originating in Sicily. And they resemble biscotti in a lot of ways, only they are Sicilian cookies. Also, when looking up Papatelli, I saw pictures of them that looked like biscotti. However none looked quite like the ones passed down in our family. They also sound like Italian pepper cookies, in the way that the recipes resemble each other with similar ingredients. Though our cookies are called Papatelli. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for Papatelli

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp each of Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, and Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Orange Rind with juice
  • 1 Cup of Raisins
  • 12 oz of Sliced Almonds; (recipe originally calls for 1 lb, but we add a little bit less)
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil; (I use Grapeseed Oil)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Milk for Moistening; (just a splash to moisten the dough)
papatelli dough
The remaining dough after rolling up half into the shape of a sausage.


  • First, preheat oven to 375°.
  • Next, measure and mix all dry ingredients, except raisins and nuts.
  • In separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, orange juice, and vegetable oil.
  • Then, gradually add dry mix into the wet mix, mixing on low to medium speed. And add splash of milk as needed.
  • Last, add nuts and raisins, and continue to mix by hand, adding more flour to your hands if needed to keep dough together.
  • Then, on a floured surface, split dough into 2 and roll out like sausages, 1 inch wide and slice diagonally, ~ 1-1.5 inches long.
  • Next, place the dough 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
  • Then bake for 15 mins.
  • Finally, cool and enjoy!
Sicilian pepper cookie or papatelli dough
What the dough ends up looking like.

Now everyone in my extended family makes these cookies with a white glaze for extra sweetness. However we don’t, since my daughters and I love these cookies just as they are out of the oven, once they’ve cooled. The blend of spices, chocolate, nuts, and raisins make these cookies the perfect snack. Furthermore, they’re deceptively easy to forget how many calories you’re ingesting. We can readily eat several of these before a meal, after a meal, or in place of a meal. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

Sicilian pepper cookie or papatelli

What are your Christmas traditions? Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that you make in your own family?