Friday, November 29, 2013

PERFECT Frosting!

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving

Personally, I had a great Thanksgiving. I spent the day with my family at my MeMa's house and ate a TON. And when I say a ton, I mean it! I have no shame though, Thanksgiving only comes once a year and it is my favorite holiday next to Christmas :). MeMa's food is too good to pass up, she makes the best food EVER. Her delicious Thanksgiving spread included: apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, stuffing, corn custard, flakey butter rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, brussels sprouts with cranberries, candied carrots, and of course, turkey! 

And, we had something extra: cake! I know what you're thinking, cake isn't usually on a Thanksgiving menu. But, every Thanksgiving we celebrate my cousin Joey's birthday as well! (Hi Joey!) 

This is the birthday cake I made for him!

Since my golf-loving cousin isn't much of a cake fan, I made a square cookie cake topped with a square chocolate cake just for the "dirt and grass" affect(recipes for these will eventually be posted). I had made the cookie cake and chocolate cake before, so I know that they are recipes I can trust. However, I have been searching for the perfect frosting recipe for what seems like an eternity! Most frosting recipes call for butter, a ton of powdered sugar, vanilla, and some milk or cream. Some recipes call for shortening instead of butter, and others require you to "cook" the frosting. I can't stand when frostings are greasy, heavy, or overly sweet. As I searched and searched for a perfect frosting recipe, I came across this one. This frosting is made with marshmallow cream and very little powdered sugar, so knew it wouldn't be overly sweet but still fluffy and flavorful. After testing it out, liked it but I still felt like it wasn't light and fluffy enough. I wanted to have the perfect frosting for Joey's cake, so I decided to tweak this recipe a little bit. All I did was replace half of the butter with shortening. This must have been the best decision I ever made. It is the BEST frosting I have ever whipped up and my search for the perfect frosting recipe has finally ended! Yay! It's a whole lot lighter than buttercream, and tastes soooooo much better! Plus there is hardly any work involved in making it. Just beat the butter and shortening together, beat in the marshmallow cream, and then beat in the powdered sugar and a little bit of vanilla extract. After beating everything together, you will get a fluffy cloud-like frosting that is perfectly sweet and smooth. It tastes similar to the frosting used on birthday cakes from an actually bakery, which is amazing in my book :). So the next time you need to frost something, use this recipe. I dare you to try to keep your fingers out of the frosting-filled mixing bowl!

In addition to this recipe, I want to make a shout out to all my friends and family that have read and supported my blog! Thank you so much everyone! I truly appreciate your love and support. You guys are the best! 



1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream(such as Fluff)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
1/2 cup vegetable shortening(such as Crisco), softened  
1 cup powdered(confectioners) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla 
Pinch of salt 

*I doubled the recipe to fill and generously frost an 8"x8" double layer cake.

Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer fitted with a whisk attachment(paddle works too), beat the butter and shortening together on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in marshmallow cream until completely incorporated. 

Switch the speed to low, and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Increase the speed to high and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. 

*Please do not take this recipe or photos from my blog and use them as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Healthy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Oatmeal.

Hi everyone!

So, who loves peanut butter and chocolate?! I do! Who craves peanut butter and chocolate?! I do! This is the perfect recipe that allows you to get your choco-pb fix and have a healthy breakfast! Actually, this is barely even a recipe; you only need 3 ingredients!

All you will need is some peanut butter, chocolate chip oatmeal, and either water or milk. To make this wonderful, healthy breakfast, begin by making the oatmeal according to the packaged directions. After it has finished cooking, add in your peanut butter and swirl it through your bowl with a spoon. 

That's it! So easy, so quick, and sooooooooo delicious! I definitely look forward to eating this for breakfast! 



1 packet chocolate chip oatmeal(or you may use plain oatmeal and add in chocolate chips)
2/3 cup water or milk(for cooking the oatmeal) 
1 1/2 tsp. peanut butter

Prepare chocolate chip oatmeal according to packaged directions. 

Add peanut butter into the warm oatmeal and swirl it in. Be careful not to stir it too much,  the chocolate chips will melt.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Skinny-licious Cranberry Orange Scones!

HaPpY FrIdAy!!!

Today I will be sharing with you the second"Teresa Original" recipe! Yay! And wait for's a SKINNY RECIPE! I think these are perfect for this time of year; they embody some great fall/winter flavors and they won't completely interfere with healthy eating. I don't know about you, but I'm trying to save the sweets until Thanksgiving. You just enjoy things more when you don't always have them! These scones have little sugar and I cut out half of the butter. Most scones have one or more sticks of butter in the recipe- Yikes!  But I promise, cutting out the fat definitely does not sacrifice any flavor or texture. In my opinion, I actually like these better than some full fat scones I've had. I hate nothing more than biting into a scone to find out that it's hard, dry, and crumbly. Definitely not worth the calories. In this recipe, I replaced half of the butter with full-fat cream cheese. I have not tested this recipe with low-fat cream cheese, so I do not know if using that will allow for the same soft texture. I also added in some fat-free ricotta which made these scones light and moist, not brick-like. After all, ricotta is what makes my gnocchi so light and fluffy ;). 

Don't these look delish?!

See those bright little gems inside them? They're cranberries! And if you look close enough, you can see tiny orange flecks from orange zest! I love the combination of orange and cranberry; it's so refreshing and sweet. The sweet orange zest is the perfect compliment to the tart cranberries. Along with having a great flavor and awesome texture, these scones are very easy to make! First you begin by combining your dry ingredients in your a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the cranberries. Next, you grate your butter into the flour mixture. In order to grate the butter easily, I suggest sticking it in the freezer while you measure your dry ingredients. 

It's Mount Saint BUTTER! :D

After grating in your butter, add in your cream cheese. Now here's the fun part: combine the flour, butter, and cream cheese mixtures with your hands! Rub the flour, butter and cream cheese mixture together with your fingertips, just until everything is combined and the mixture is crumbly. In another bowl, whisk together your egg, ricotta, and orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and again combine both mixtures together with your hands(fun, right?!). Once everything is well blended, form the dough into a ball and place it on a cookie sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Gently pat the ball down so it forms a circle, about 3/4 in. high. Stick it in the oven, and viola! You've made your scones! However, when they came out of the oven, I thought they looked a bit bare; they needed an accessory. That is when the Cinnamon Vanilla Glaze comes into play! The cinnamon works great with the cranberry and orange. Just whisk it all up and drizzle it on your gorgeous scones! 



1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup sugar 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/4 cup unsalted butter 
4 tbsp.  full-fat cream cheese 
3/4 cup fresh cranberries 
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta 
1 egg, preferably room temperature 
1 tsp orange zest 
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
2 tsp. milk(any kind will be fine) 

Yields: 8 scones 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Put your butter in the freezer. 

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and cranberries. Remove butter from the freezer and grate it into the bowl. Add in your cream cheese. 

Using your fingertips, rub the butter, cream cheese, and flour mixture together until it looks crumbly and there are no big clumps of butter and cream cheese. 

In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the egg, ricotta, and orange zest. Add this mixture into the butter/flour mixture. Combine both mixtures with your hands just until they are completely blended. 

Form the dough into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Gently flatten the ball into a circle that's about 3/4 inches high. Cut the circle into 8 triangles, but don't separate them. Bake the scones for 15-18 minutes or until the top is slightly golden and and a toothpick inserted in them comes out cleans. Once removed from the oven, separate the triangles and transfer them to a cooling rack. 

To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Drizzle the glaze on the scones with a spoon or fork. 

Recipe From: Sweet Dreams and Sprinkles
*Please do not take this recipe or photos from my blog and use them as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Brown Butter Oatmeal Raisin Bars.

Happy Hump Day everybody! 

I think you will really enjoy today's recipe, even if you don't particularly like oatmeal raisin cookies (I don't know how that could be though, oatmeal raisin cookies are my fave!). They are the perfect way to celebrate the middle of the week! Or any day, in fact! These bars are a "Teresa Original"; it is the first recipe I've ever developed myself for a baked good! I was a bit weary at first about developing my own recipe, but I am (extremely)pleasantly surprised at the results! Now, I know what you may be thinking. Brown Butter?! How can I possibly make brown butter?! Trust me, it's not as hard as it may seem. However, it does take a little bit of patience. You must let the butter sit for a little bit after you are done whisking it. As soon as you see the little brown specks, remove the brown butter from the stove burner immediately. Brown butter can turn black within the matter of seconds! But still, don't be afraid to make it. These Oatmeal Raisin Bars would not be the same without brown butter. It gives the bars a wonderful deep and warm flavor! Brown butter not only makes the bars smell and taste amazing, but your kitchen smells absolutely divine as well! I wish I could just bottle it up the scent or make it into a scented candle. And yes, it is that amazing! 

Despite taking some extra time to make the brown butter, these bars actually come together pretty quickly! While your butter is browning on the stove, you can put your other ingredients together. The ingredient list is fairly simple: flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, an egg, oats, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. As your butter is doing its magic, you can combine your brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. In a small bowl, you can whisk together your dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, oats, cinnamon, and raisins. Add in your finished brown butter into the bowl with the sugar and egg mixture and give it a good whisk. Next, stir your dry ingredients your wet ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX.  Just as soon as you don't see any more clumps of dry flour in the batter, STOP MIXING.  Overworking the batter will make hard bars, and we certainly don't want that. Now here comes the really hard part: waiting for them to cool. You must let them cool completely, though; they will be difficult to cut and much too gooey inside if you do not. Once they have been cooled and cut, you have the option of drizzling on a sweet glaze. The glaze is supper easy to make, you only need powdered sugar and some milk. Personally, I think the glaze is a necessity ;). I hope you like these moist, chewy, and flavorful Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars! 



1/2 cup unsalted butter 
1 cup light brown sugar 
1 egg, room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
3/4 cup flour 
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon  
1/4 tsp. salt. 
2/3 cup raisins 
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
2-3 tbsp. milk(any kind will work)

Yields: 16 bars

Preheat oven to 350 and line a 8"x8" square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing some to hang over the sides of the pan. 

Brown the butter. Follow these instructions. While your butter is browning, combine the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla in a large bowl. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and raisins. 

Once the butter has finished browning, add it into the sugar/egg mixture and whisk to completely combine. Add in your dry ingredients, stirring JUST until combined. 

Transfer the batter into the baking pan. You may have to press down to fully spread the batter evenly throughout the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool  the bars in the pan on a wire rack until they are completely cool. Cut the bars into squares. 

To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until it is smooth and glossy. Drizzle on the cooled bars. 

Recipe From: Sweet Dreams and Sprinkles
*Please do not take this recipe or photos from my blog and use them as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Low Fat Banana Bread with a Cookie Butter Glaze.

Happy Monday! Today I will be sharing a recipe that will blow your mind, but won't blow your diet. I promise.

But before we begin, let's discuss Monday mornings first. They can be stressful, frustrating, and completely boring. First, you wake up and realize it's Monday, not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. Assuming that most people would agree with me, Mondays are NOT FUN. At all. The weekend, on the other hand, usually is fun. As our alarm clock startles us awake and interrupts our beauty sleep(even though we don't need any ;)) and our brain begins to process that it is indeed Monday and that our relaxing two days away from work or school has ended, we begin to dread the day ahead of us. However, Mondays don't have to be all bad. Despite the fact that it may be the start of a hard week filled with homework and studying, we can all make our Mondays a bit better by focusing on the little things that make us happy. These things can include grabbing a Dunkin' Donuts French Vanilla Coffee on the way to school, having a friend say hi to you, or even just making someone else smile. Or, you can treat yourself to this GUILT-LESS banana bread dripping with a sweet Cookie Butter Glaze! 

I ever so slightly adapted this banana bread recipe from Joy of Baking's website. The bread itself is extremely moist and tender from these ingredients: yogurt, oil, and brown sugar. The yogurt replaces the unhealthy butter that is used in most banana bread recipes, but it does not sacrifice any flavor or texture that would come from butter. I promise! The only thing you lose is the bad fat and calories, which is a good thing in my opinion :). There is only 1/4 cup of oil, but again, the moist-ness of a banana bread with more fat is not sacrificed.  In addition to the healthy yogurt and oil, the recipe calls for some whole wheat flour, just enough that it doesn't make the bread dense and dry. Now, here comes the strange one. You may wonder, how does brown sugar allow for a moist and delicious bread? Brown sugar has molasses, while granulated sugar does not. Because of this, baked goods made with brown sugar retain more moisture than baked goods made with granulated sugar. Along with a perfect texture, this banana bread also has an amazing flavor from cinnamon, vanilla, and of course, the bananas. In order to fully achieve the best flavor, make sure your bananas are VERY ripe and soft, like so: 

If your bananas are not adequately ripened, the bread will not be sweet nor banana-y enough. I also stress that you measure the amount of mashed banana you have. This particular recipe calls for one cup of mashed banana, usually from two large bananas. However, I needed two and a half bananas to meet the required amount of mashed banana, making the bread the best it could be. As delicious as this bread is alone, I still thought it needed a little something. I searched through the cabinets to find something extra to add onto the banana bread. Nutella? Good, but maybe another time. Peanut butter? Still great, but not now. Cookie Butter?! YES YES YES! 

If you have never had Cookie Butter, you are unfortunately missing out on Heaven in jar. Cookie Butter is Trader Joe's version of Biscoff spread. It is essentially made of ground-up speculoos cookies. And boy is it delicious! It tastes almost like a gingerbread cookie mushed up into a peanut butter-like consistency. The deep, warm, spicy flavor of the Cookie Butter pairs perfectly with anything banana and really brings out the cinnamon in bread. To make the Cookie Butter glaze, I simply melted it in a small sauce pan on the stove. 

So go ahead, mix up a loaf of this delicious banana bread and make your Monday a little better. You can also share a slice with someone else and make their Monday a little better too :). 

1 cup mashed banana
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt(any kind will be fine, I used Chobani Non-Fat Greek yogurt) 
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil 
3/4 cup light brown sugar 
2 large egg whites or one large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1/4 tsp. salt  
1/4 cup Cookie Butter or Biscoff spread

Yields: 12 generous slices 

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 8"x4" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, baking soda, and yogurt until well combined. Set this aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, egg whites/egg, and vanilla extract. Set this aside. 

In a separate large bowl, lightly whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. 

Add the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla mixture into the banana/yogurt mixture and stir until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until JUST combined and moistened. As soon as you don't see any dry clumps of flour, STOP STIRRING.

Pour the banana bread batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes just until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.  Allow the bread to cool inside the pan for about 3 minutes and then transfer it onto a wire rack to cool for about one hour. 

To Make the Cookie Butter Glaze: 
Melt the cookie butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle the glaze on top of the banana bread. You may do this while the bread is still warm. 



Recipe Slightly Adapted From:
*Please do not take this recipe or photos from my blog and use them as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanksgiving Pita Pockets.

So, who here loves Thanksgiving? I sure do. It is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Every year, my family and I cram ourselves into my grandmother's(who my cousins and I call MeMa) tiny townhouse. Although it becomes a little chaotic in the kitchen, everyone just enjoys being together and waiting anxiously to delve into MeMa's homemade Thanksgiving meal.

MeMa makes the best Thanksgiving dinner on the planet in my opinion; her corn custard, "normal"stuffing, pineapple stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pumpkin roll all contribute to the most wonderful eating experience you will ever have. She just has a way of making everything perfect. That is probably because she bakes and cooks out of love; love is her most important ingredient that brings our family together. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving only comes once a year. Besides eating leftovers, I am forced to wait another year until I can stuff my belly full of MeMa's delicious food. 

It is near impossible for me to wait 365 days. Even now, my excitement builds more and more as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. The cravings for stuffing and pie have long been set in, so I needed a little bit of Thanksgiving to hold me over until the official Turkey Day. That is where these Thanksgiving Pita Pockets come into play. They combine some of the best components of a Thanksgiving meal: turkey and anything with cranberries(MeMa puts cranberries in her apple pie and stuffing). I have to say, these are probably one of the best sandwiches/pita pockets I've ever eaten. They are simple yet so delicious, plus they are quite easy to make! And the ingredient list is short :D. The pita pockets are stuffed(and I mean STUFFED) with turkey, spinach, cranberry sauce, and fontina cheese. You will be amazed about how well all these flavors blend together! The melty cheese is a perfect compliment to the sweet cranberry sauce, while the turkey and spinach create harmony and balance within all the flavors. So go ahead, have a little unofficial taste of Thanksgiving :) 


Yields: 8 halves 

4 white or whole wheat pita pockets
Baby spinach 
1 cup shredded fontina 
1 cup whole cranberry sauce 
16 slices oven roasted turkey breast (about 1 lb.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Empty the cranberry sauce into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until softened. The cranberry should not be liquified; it should just be heated enough to slightly soften it. This step makes the cranberry sauce easier to measure out and spread inside the pita pocket.

Cut pitas in half and arrange on a baking sheet. Put them in oven for 3 minutes to soften and warm them.

Remove the pita pocket halves from the oven. Stuff each halve with some spinach, 2 slices of turkey, 2 tbsp cranberry sauce, and 2 tbsp fontina. 

Rearrange stuffed pitas on the baking and heat for an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. 



Recipe From: Sweet Dreams and Sprinkles 
*Please do not take this recipe from my blog and use it as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fat-Free Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi.

I think I have found sauce's new best friend! These Ricotta Gnocchi are the perfect blank canvas for any sauce your heart desires! If you have eaten gnocchi before, I can assume that you have had potato gnocchi. Or in my words, lead balls. The sit in your stomach like a pile of bricks for hours upon hours after eating them. Ew. Just ew. I prefer my gnocchi light and fluffy, like clouds. NOT bricks, thankyouverymuch. So how does one avoid lead ball gnocchi? Replace the potato with ricotta cheese. And trust me, these are so easy-peasy-lemon-sqeasy. In fact, you can make them while your
Delicious Sausage and Veggie Sauce is working its magic ;).  I must admit, I was absolutely terrified the first time I made gnocchi. But I was pleasantly surprised; they were like little clouds, just how I like 'em. *Plus you can freeze  them! I know,  awesome, right?! And...drumroll...they are completely FAT FREE when you make them with fat free ricotta! My great Aunt Helen(Hi Auntie!) gave me this recipe, and it will be one that I treasure forever. Along with the directions and ingredients, I have provided you with a step-by-step picture guide to take out the fear factor. Break out that flour and ricotta and lets get cooking!

Yields 4 generous servings.

Approximately 1 cup of flour, plus more for dusting your cutting board. 
Approximately 1 cup of ricotta cheese(fat free, skim, and full fat all work) 

Step 1: Combine the flour and ricotta together in a blow and mix with your hands until it can come together in a ball. It should be sticky but not sticky enough that it's wet. Add some ricotta if it feels too dry or add some flour if it feels too wet.

Step 2: Dust a cutting board with flour. Break off a small section of the dough and roll into a log that is about the width of your finger.

Step 3: Cut the log into 1 in. pieces. Take a table fork and turn it upside-down onto the cutting board, with the tongs on the board. Holding the fork upward in one hand and a gnocchi in the other, roll the gnocchi up the tongs of the fork with the tip of your index finger. Continue this step until the whole ball of dough is used. There should be lines on one side of the gnocchi and a little indent on the other, like so: 

(PS: These little crevices are perfect for catching sauce ;))

Step 4: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the gnocchi about 12 at a time, boiling them uncovered until they rise to the top of the water. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a glass or plastic plate. 

Ta-da! You just made gnocchi! Or little clouds, or pillows, or whatever you would like to call these adorable little creations :). 

*If you wish to freeze the gnocchi, complete steps 1-3. Coat them in flour(to keep them from sticking). Place them in an airtight container and transfer to your freezer. To cook them, allow them to thaw and complete step 5. 



**Please do no take my recipe, pictures, or words and use them on your own website without my permission. If you do wish to use any of those on your website, please email me or comment below to ask for permission. Thank you. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Delicious Sausage and Veggie Sauce.

Hi everyone! 

Have you ever been caught not knowing what to make for dinner? Well, that happens to my family and I a lot. It just so happens that this recipe was created during one of those situations. And let me tell you, this is one of the best things I have ever made. I have to give a lot of credit to my mom(Hi mom!) for inspiring this recipe. It came together one of those night when we were in rut about what to make for dinner(as usual), and she suggested pasta with marinara sauce and sausage. I grabbed my pots and pans and all the fresh veggies that I had on hand and got cooking. Not too much later, this beautiful sauce was born! See, everything happens for a reason! If we had something planned for dinner, I never would have even tried to make this! 

The recipe that I'm sharing with you today is one that will be a staple in your kitchen. This is the most flavorful sauce I have ever made, and I guarantee that you will love it just as much as I do! I don't know about you, but I can't stand a bitter, bland sauce. This sauce is neither of those. In my opinion, it is saucy-veggie-sausage perfection! The layers upon layers of flavor come from veggies, Italian chicken sausage, fresh basil, and just a touch of sugar.
Each of these components play an important role in the sauce: 

  1. Veggies: Carrots, celery, and mushrooms add a texture explosion!
  2. Sausage: The Italian Chicken Sausage adds a nice, deep, flavor and a bit of heat. 
  3. Sugar: The sugar is super important, it cuts out the bitterness of the crushed tomatoes that comes from the seeds. 
  4. Basil: The basil adds freshness, so the sauce isn't too heavy! 
Along with other simple ingredients, the veggies, sausage, and sugar all team up to form a dreamy and delicious sauce. Your spaghetti, lasagna, and gnocchi will never be the same! 

non-stick cooking spray 
8 oz. sliced mushrooms 
1 tbsp. EVOO(extra virgin olive oil) 
5 links(12 oz) sweet italian chicken sausage(I recommend Trader Joe's Sausage)
1 clove of garlic, minced 
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped 
2 small-medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp granulated sugar 
salt and pepper, to taste 
Handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped 

 First, sauté the mushrooms in a small skillet sprayed with the non-stick cooking spray until all of their water is released. Drain the mushrooms on a paper plate covered in paper towel. Set aside. 

 Heat the EVOO inside a large skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile,  cut the sausage links into small pieces and transfer them into a food processor. Pulse the sausage a few times *just* to break it up, you do not want it to turn into a paste. Sauté the sausage in the large skillet until it is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes into the large skillet and stir to combine it with the sausage. Stir in the garlic, celery, carrots, sugar, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the carrots and celery are soft, about 1 hour. 



Recipe From: Sweet Dreams and Sprinkles 
*Please do not take this recipe from my blog and use it as your own. If you do wish to post my recipe on your blog, please ask for permission by emailing me. Thank you.