What I ate on my summer vacation
The scale is finally moving -- bring on the Rockettes!

Showing off my mad skillet skills for BlogHer

Charlton frying panI’ll give you my 12-inch nonstick skillet when you take it from my cold, dead hands.

Is that a bit strong?

That’s just how I feel about my indispensible kitchen tool (it’s a Todd English stainless GreenPan, BTW). Most nights, that’s where dinner originates – I’m all about keeping it simple and stove-top cooking is just that.

But I’ll be leaving the guys (even the dog is a guy) to their own devices for the weekend – I’ll be at the BlogHer conference in New York. And my mad skillet skills will be on display at the Hillshire Farm booth.  It is letting bloggers create their own “Simplicious Dishes” with their smoked sausages, fresh vegetables and herbs and spices. And one of my creations will be on display, using Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Chicken Apple With Gouda sausage, which is only 160 calories a serving.

Usually I’ll do sausage and peppers with loads of red and green peppers, red or Vidalia onion and lots of sweating (the vegetables, not me). The caramelized vegetables go great with the slightly sweet sausage.

Step 3
Here’s my BlogHer recipe

I kept the peppers and onions from our usual sausage and peppers but added sliced Granny Smith apples and fresh cilantro, and served it over a bed of baby spinach with an apple vinaigrette. That way the spinach wilts from the heat of the sauté, making it a warm salad. You could also add a little brown rice to the dish.

Sausage-Pepper-Apple Saute Over Wilted Baby Spinach With Apple Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings

Apple Vinaigrette:

¼ cup apple juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Cholula Chili Lime) or ground cayenne pepper to taste


Sausage-Pepper-Apple Saute:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved and sliced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, halved and sliced

1 medium red onion, halved and sliced thinly

1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored, halved and sliced

1 package Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Chicken Apple With Gouda sausage, sliced into ½-inch rounds

Fresh cilantro, chopped (I ADORE cilantro, so I used the entire bunch)

8 cups baby spinach, cleaned

For the vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add hot sauce and salt to taste. Set aside.

Step 2For the sauté: Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onion and sauté until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and gently stir in the apple and the sausage, cooking another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro.

To serve: Place 2 cups of baby spinach in each pasta dish, then spoon the contents of the skillet over the each dish of spinach. (Don’t stir it around; let the mixture wilt the baby spinach.)  Give the vinaigrette a quick whisking again and pour a quarter of it over each dish.