Pup Party!

A great time was had by all at the Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul Basset Hound Club’s Valentine party! About 25 food slaves and their Bassets (and wannabes) ¬†gathered at The Ruff House (in Edina) to celebrate the day and just have some plain old fun! A raffle was held and winners walked away very pleased! The favorite item was the amazing basset themed quilt made by Barb.

The Ruff House is an amazing indoor dog park. You have to check it out! Very nice for play time and for groups to have events. I think the club will be back! We thank them for their hospitality!

Enjoy the photos!

Our sweet little Gracie was exhausted after a long afternoon of play and perched herself on a throne.

Italian Sausage & Pepper Pasta


Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta

This is one of those easy meals that has so many variations. It does call for red wine but being an alcohol free home I just omit that.

  • 1/2 pound uncooked turkey sausage, Italian style with casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow peppers, cut into strips (I like to use yellow, green and/or red for a little color variation)
  • 1 medium uncooked onion, thinly cut (I have found that using green onions works well and those onion-dislikers in the house to not mind them as much)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted garlic is suggested, do not drain
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse table salt (I prefer using sea salt)
  • 8 ounce uncooked whole wheat pasta (I use whole wheat and rainbow rotini combined)
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. 

Meanwhile, to make sauce, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, stirring and breaking up meat with back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove to a plate.

  • Heat oil in same skillet. Add yellow peppers and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are lightly colored and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and garlic; cook until most of liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper, salt and browned sausage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is heated through, about 10 minutes.
  • While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot. Add sauce and basil; toss to mix and coat. Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving.
A few notes:  I use different meats. pork Italian sausage and venison work well with this recipe. I also may add fennel for a bit of zip to the flavor. The sauce is great over rice, too.