Once again we are coasting towards the end of the month. With the extra expense this month of Thanksgiving and then Christmas, right around the corner, we are trying to use up the food in our freezer and only buying small amounts of groceries this month. The food for Thanksgiving that we eat – appetizers all day, is not overly expensive as I will be making most of them from scratch and we have stocked up on all the special sales for potatoes, turkey, cranberries, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes. I can use some when we celebrate Thanksgiving later this month or when I make appetizers on Thanksgiving Day.
Right now our menu for Thanksgiving Day is Slow Cooker Cocktail Wienies, a vegetable tray, a fruit platter, homemade cheese ball and bacon and cheese covered homemade French fries. Most of it is simple and can be done ahead of time so we can play all day. I can’t wait until everyone is home and we can play games, decorate the tree, make hot cocoa and even a batch of cookies, or two!
Christmas is my favorite time of year. I listen to Christmas music year round and love the entire holiday season. We are expecting our first measurable snow fall this weekend! I know this excitement won’t last for long as I go into my normal January hibernation when the temperatures drop into the negative numbers but for now I love it!
This was yummy! A simple one pan meal is great for the business of the season. The best part is you customize the toppings and spices for your family. Be brave and taste the tomato sauce and add spices until you feel like it tastes good to you. What I may think are the perfect spice proportions for my family (we love basil and garlic) may be awful for your family. Explore what your family likes and learn to work with the spices.
I served this with a side of green beans and a green side salad. This would also be good with a loaf of crusty Italian bread.
- 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage or sausage removed from casings
- 4 oz. sliced pepperoni
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 (22 oz.) bag frozen tortellini
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (22 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pepper, diced
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- your choice of toppings including – olives, mushrooms, banana peppers, bacon, diced meatballs (anything you would put on your pizza)
- dried basil, dried oregano, powdered garlic, powdered onion, salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet or wok (pan must be able to go into the oven) heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to pan and stir often.
- Allow onions to begin to cook and add sausage and peppers to pan.
- Break the sausage up into little pieces with the side of the spoon as it cooks.
- Once sausage is completely cooked through, drain off any extra fat from your pan just leaving a bit in the bottom.
- Add garlic to the pan and continue to stir until garlic becomes warm and fragrant about 1 minute.
- Add stock, tomato paste, petite diced tomatoes and tortellini to pan. Stir until well combined. Bring mixture to a boil and cover. Allow the tortellini to cook for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
- Turn on broiler and make sure racks are low enough that your pan will fit in the oven.
- Add basil, oregano, powdered garlic, powdered onion, salt and pepper to taste. This is where you make this as spicy or as bland as you think your family will want it.
- Once sauce is set sprinkle cheese over the top of the tortellini. Add any extra pizza toppings you wish over the top of the cheese.
- Broil for 1-2 minutes until the top becomes slightly brown around the edges and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and serve while hot.