Great Recipes

Linguine Sausage Mushroom Spinach Alfredo

I am very behind on any reading right now.  I am finishing up with Grad school and I have a ton of final projects due this and next week.  I haven’t had any freetime to read anything at all!  Even my normal thirty minutes in the morning where I wait for students to arrive in homeroom has been taken up with work for grad school. I can’t wait to have my life back ASAP!

In the meantime, I saw a recipe very similar to this and adapted it to my likes! When I find the original, I’ll make sure to link it. That recipe utilzes kale and is vegetarian. In my household, it’s very rare to get away with a meatless dinner.

This tastes great and can be made on any pasta you prefer. I like angel hair but I used linguine. I can also just see putting this on top of a biscuit. It’s a bit thick like a gravy or can be with a little added flower.

I have to admit, this makes A LOT. I half it sometimes for just the two of us but I often make the the entire recipe because of the busy schedule and love leftovers. If you don’t like leftovers like I do, cut down a bit on the ingredients but not the ingredients that make the sauce like the milk and flower.

Linguine with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach Alfredo

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  1. One pound of Italian sausage without the casing
  2. 16 oz of sliced mushrooms
  3. 4 tablespoons of butter
  4. Two cups of spinach (it’ll wilt to nothing)
  5. 4 Garlic cloves
  6. 2 Tablespoons of flour
  7. 2 Cups of milk
  8.  1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  9. One box of linguine or other favorite long noodle
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Parmesean cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Over medum-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter to a pan with 3 of t the minced garlic cloves. Once melted, saute the mushrooms until golden brown which is about five minutes. Set aside.
  2. Put water on stove to boil.
  3. In the same pan, add the pound of Italian sausage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.  My sausage is usually seasoned enough from the butcher. Cook through for about 8 minutes stirring often. Set aside with the mushrooms.
  4. Pour pasta into boiling wate (and cook according to package).
  5. In the same pan used for the mushrooms and sausge, add remaining butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Make a roux and stir often in order to prevent burning (about one minute)
  6. Add the milk in slowly while stirring. Keep stirring so there are no lumps. The sauce should thicken and be simmering. Lower the heat if needed.
  7. Add spinach to the sauce as well as the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Use red pepper flakes or any other spice according to your taste at this time.  Cook while stirring for about two minutes until the spinach has wilted down.
  8. Add mushrooms and sausage to sauce.
  9. Drain pasta.
  10. Plate pasta first and add a scoop of the gravy sauce to your liking (DO NOT MIX TOGETHER BECAUSE IF THERE ARE LEFTOVERS, IT WILL NOT SIT WELL IN THE FRIDGE FOR SECOND HELPINGS THE NEXT DAY. STORE SEPERATELY IF NEEDED)
  11. Sprinkle parmesean cheese on individual servings.

 

 

 

Great Reads

Sorority – ARC REVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publish Date : 5/22/18
Author: Genevieve Sly Crane
Started: 4/15/18
Finished: 4/18/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of Sorority from Netgalley, Gallery/Scout Press, and author Genevieve Sly Crane in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

Summary from Goodreads:

Prep meets Girls in White Dresses in Genevieve Sly Crane’s deliciously addictive, compulsively readable exploration of female friendship and coming of age that will appeal to anyone who has ever been curious about what goes on in a sorority house…

Margot is dead.

There’s a rumor she died because she couldn’t take the pressure of being a pledge. You may not ask what happened to her. It’s not your business. But it wasn’t a suicide, if you’re wondering.

Spring Fling will not be cancelled. The deposit is non-refundable. And Margot would have wanted the sisterhood to continue in her absence, if only to protect her sisters’ secrets: Shannon is the thinnest girl in the house (the other sisters hate her for it, but they know her sacrifice: she only uses the bathroom by the laundry room); Kyra has slept with twenty-nine boys since she started college (they are all different and all the same); Amanda is a virgin (her mincing gait and sloping posture give it away); and while half the sisters are too new to have known Margot, Deirdre remembers her—she always remembers.

With a keen sense of character and unflinching, observant prose, Crane exposes the undercurrents of tension in a world where perfection comes at a cost and the best things in life are painful—if not impossible—to acquire: Beauty. A mother’s love. And friendship…or at least the appearance of it

Continue reading “Sorority – ARC REVIEW”

Great Restaurants

Tsaocaa & BBQ Chicken

Hey Philly, want to get some teas and Korean fried chicken? Come try out the new Tsaocaa & BBQ Chicken place over in Chinatown.

BBQ chicken here is not what you’re thinking. You won’t find any BBQ sauce smothered chicken 🍗. BBQ stands for “best of the best quality” and that’s for certain! This is a major chain that started in Korea. I believe there are 16 locations in the US at the moment. As for the Tsaocaa Tea, this is the first location here in the US. The combination of the two chains is killer! The milk tea and other varieties compliment the spice in the chicken so well. It is definitely something to try.

I’ll start with the chicken first. The chicken is beyond crispy. It’s fried in olive oil and only one time! The meat stays crazy juicy and the coating stays super crisp. You will find a variety of sauces from mild to hot. The sauces are: red hot garlic, hot spicy, soy garlic, secret spicy, honey garlic, a more Korean authentic gang-jeong and CHEESLING. Cheesling is a mix of two powdered cheeses. Don’t knock it until you try it. I think we were all in agreeance that it was our favorite! It was different and delicious. I can’t wait until I get to try them again. All the sauces were delicious. Cheeseling was awesome and so was the Secret Spicy which is more sweet than just spicy. A little more kick than your traditional Asian Sweet Chili Sauce in my opinion.  You can also get them without sauce. I won’t call these dry because they’re not dry, they’re unsauced! They’re still amazing and have a distinct taste that seperates them from American fried chicken.  My next order will definitly be some of the secret spicy, some cheeslings, and then believe it or not, the original unsauced! I’m a big fan on bone-in wings. I feel like they give you a more satisfying tasty crunch but here, I liked all the boneless a tad bit more. I think they held the sauce better but a mixture of the two would be a perfect combo!

Unsauced Crunchy Original Olive Chicken – Look at that crunch!

Mmm, saucy

The left side is the cheesling variety. So delicious and different. The pickled radish pictured above is also a must!

Gang-jeong

There was a large variety of tea. It was the first time I’ve sampled the milk teas with cheese. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is but it’s great. It’s not a cheddar cheese kinda deal so don’t be afraid. It’s quite good. We had it on top of a blueberry drink and a mango drink.The mango drink was my favorite of the two. It was a mango puree and delicious!

My favorite drink of them all was the “More Than See You” – an iced grapefruit tea. I COULD DRINK THIS EVERY DAY. NO, I COULD BATHE IN THIS. IT WAS THE MOST DELICIOUS DRINK, EVER! It was also Patrick, the owner’s, very favorite too! We sampled so many and they were all great!

Blueberry cheese, mango cheese, grapefruit iced tea, and a peach oolong tea

Tea Menu

Looking at Grubhub and Yelp reviews, the biggest complaint seems to be the delivery service and long waits. I didn’t experience either obviously because we dined in and had as fast service as can be expected. This chicken IS MADE TO ORDER. No pre-fried soggy chicken is found here. Speaking of soggy, to be honest, it took us a half hour to take pictures and the chicken was still as crunchy as when it came out hot! And the room temp didn’t bother me at all! It was just as delicious.

Seriously, there’s a menu disclaimer!

They can be found at:
938 Race Street
Philadelphia PA 19107 (Chinatown)

You can also try out the North Wales location at:
1222 Welsh Rd Unit B7,
North Wales, PA 19454 (inside ASSI Plaza)

The locations here in Philly is only serving the olive chicken and the Tsaocaa Teas but you can find the BBQ headquarters website here: BBQ CHICKEN OMG YES! And I have yet to find a Tsaocaa website that is translated in English so I’m not sure which is a main website but for some pictures of the teas we tried you can click riiiiiighttttt… HERE! Lol.

Make sure you follow myself and the other foodies who tried out this place and check out their thoughts!:

@littleteacherbigappetite (me)
@phillyfoodgal
@215foodguy
@ingoodtastephilly

And while you’re at it, definitely do not forget to look at the restaurant instagrams!
@tsaocaabbqchicken
@tsaocaa

@bbqchickenpa

Now this is what I call a feast!

Great Reads

From Twinkle with Love -ARC REVIEW

twinkle

Publish Date : 5/22/18
Author: Sandhya Menon
Started: 4/8/18
Finished: 4/15/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of From Twinkle with Love Houses from Netgalley, Simon Pulse,  and author Sandhya Menon in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

Summary from Goodreads:

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you. Continue reading “From Twinkle with Love -ARC REVIEW”

Great Reads

White Houses

whitehouses

Publish Date : 2/13/18
Author: Amy Bloom
Started: 4/8/18
Finished: 4/8/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of White Houses from Netgalley, Random House Publishing, and author Amy Bloom Judy in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

I finished this in one sitting. So happy that I did! Read below to find out why:

Summary from Goodreads:

Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, “Hick,” as she’s known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor. But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers. After she takes a job in the Roosevelt administration, promoting and protecting both Roosevelts, she comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend, capable of changing lives even after his death. Through it all, even as Hick’s bond with Eleanor is tested by forces both extraordinary and common, and as she grows as a woman and a writer, she never loses sight of the love of her life.

From Washington, D.C. to Hyde Park, from a little white house on Long Island to an apartment on Manhattan’s Washington Square, Amy Bloom’s new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity.

Praise for White Houses

“Amy Bloom brings an untold slice of history so dazzlingly and devastatingly to life, it took my breath away.”–Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

“Vivid and tender . . . Bloom–interweaving fact and fancy–lavishes attention on [Hickok], bringing Hick, the novel’s narrator and true subject, to radiant life.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Radiant . . . an indelible love story, one propelled not by unlined youth and beauty but by the kind of soul-mate connection even distance, age, and impossible circumstances couldn’t dim . . . Bloom’s goal is less to relitigate history than to portray the blandly sexless figurehead of First Lady as something the job rarely allows those women to be–a loving, breathing human being. And she does it brilliantly.”Entertainment Weekly

Continue reading “White Houses”

Great Reads

The High Season – ARC REVIEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publish Date : 5/22/18
Author: Judy Blundell
Started: 4/2/18
Finished: 4/7/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of The High Season from Netgalley, Random House Publishing, and author Judy Blundell in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

Summary from Goodreads:

In a beach town overrun with vacationers and newly colonized by socialites, one woman goes to extreme lengths when the life she loves is upended. The ultimate summer read, this novel of money, class, and family is perfect for fans of Meg Wolitzer, Curtis Sittenfeld, and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest.

No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet village two ferry rides from the glitzier Hamptons, the house is Ruthie’s nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson.

The widow of a blue-chip artist, in a world defined by luxury and ease, Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life. Is Adeline just being her fabulous self, or is she out to take what she wants?

When an eccentric billionaire, his wayward daughter, a coterie of social climbers, and Ruthie’s old flame are thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. But as Ruthie loses her grasp on her job, her home, and her family, she discovers a new talent for pushing back. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same—least of all Ruthie.

In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons—a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings.

“Sharply observed and beautifully written, The High Season is like a cold martini on a hot summer night: Refreshing and intoxicating at the same time.”—Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear

“Judy Blundell’s debut novel The High Season will hit the summer like a blazing comet of wit, poignancy, and lines that make one stop and sizzle with awe. I’m a fan of Judy Blundell for life!”—Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion

Continue reading “The High Season – ARC REVIEW”

Great Reads

March Wrap Up

I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’ve been so busy this week that I have barely been able to read. I’m only on page 117 of my current read and have no clue when I’ll get to pick it up again. I wanted to at least leave a little bit of something something here on the page so I figured I should at least do my March Wrap Up. I read a total of 10 books this March (thank you, Spring Break) and here’s what I thought:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Lady Be Good by Amber Brock

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️:
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Educated by Tara Westover
Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

⭐️⭐️⭐️:
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh
Walls of Silence by Ruth Wade

⭐️⭐️:
Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

How many books did you finish this month? Did you read any ofthese too?

Great Reads

Lady Be Good – ARC REVIEW

lady be good

Publish Date : 6/26/18
Author: Amber Brock
Started: 3/31/18
Finished: 4/1/18
Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received an advanced copy of Lady Be Good from Netgalley, Crown Publishing, and author Amber Brock in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by those mentioned above.

Summary from Goodreads:

Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good is Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana. 

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement: Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiance, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.

Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.

“Kitty Tessler, a headstrong glamour girl determined to move up in the world, steals the spotlight in Amber Brock’s latest, a tour-de-force filled with intrigue and surprises.” — Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Address and The Dollhouse Continue reading “Lady Be Good – ARC REVIEW”