Cheesy Sausage Squares | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheesy Sausage Squares

Cheesy Sausage Squares | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

After two and a half years living in the UK, not only do I have to fork over all my money to renew my visa, but I have also finally started to figure out how to make British ingredients mock some of my American favorites. 

This recipe involves two American products that I love and was so sad to have to live without. The first is Jimmy Dean sausage, and the second is Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Put those two things together, and you are basically guaranteed to be eating something awesome. Their absence left a sad hole in my life. 

Cheesy Sausage Squares | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve managed to partially fill those holes. Jus-Roll croissants are not 100% exactly the same as crescent rolls, but they’re pretty damn awesome. I have been known to eat all six of them by myself in one day. They also perform really well in recipes like this, better than just regular puff pastry.

Jimmy Dean sausage is a bit trickier to pin down, but I’ve found that if you add cumin and and crushed red pepper flakes to Cumberland sausage, it’s tasty enough to be getting on with. 

I’ve been testing lots of recipes lately, and nothing had really been exciting me until I made these Cheesy Sausage Squares. I mean, it’s hard to say no to something this loaded with cheese. We send that spicy sausage swimming in some cream cheese, lay some shredded cheddar on top of that, and wrap the whole thing in pastry by way of buttery, flaky croissants in a can. We like to keep it classy around here.

Cheesy Sausage Squares | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

It takes some time to figure life out, but occasionally you solve some problems and then get to eat delicious things. These Cheesy Sausage Squares were an excellent discovery.

Cheesy Sausage Squares
Serves 6
Cheesy Crescent Squares are an absolutely creamy delicious start to your morning.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can croissants or crescent squares
  2. 1 pound sausage, casings removed
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  5. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 8 ounces cream cheese
  7. 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F and lightly grease a rectangular casserole or baking dish.
  2. Unroll your croissants and cover the bottom of your pan with the dough. Trim off the excess of the roll and save it for the top.
  3. Cook your sausage over medium heat in a large skillet, breaking it up with your wooden spoon as it cooks. While it's cooking, add the cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and black pepper, and stir it through evenly.
  4. Once your sausage is cooked through, add the cream cheese to the skillet, and stir as it melts to combine it with the sausage.
  5. Add your sausage cream cheese mixture to your casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar evenly over the sausage, then cover the whole thing with another layer of your croissant dough. If you have any excess, trim it off.
  6. Bake the whole thing for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is browned.
  7. Allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
Adapted from Pilsbury
Adapted from Pilsbury
http://awesomeon20.com/
Santa Lucia Mocktail | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we’ve got a new mess maker living in our house. Within eight hours of moving in, she smashed the glass in our living room door and peed on the rug on which I do my yoga. Right where my face would go when I’m in downward dog. I doubt she did it for irony.

Eevee is our mystery-breed rescue puppy, and if you know me at all, you know she was not my idea. I know a lot of you will judge me for not being a dog person. I’m an introvert who finds pleasure in a certain level of order, routine, and general chillness. Dogs are rambunctious, messy, and constantly want to interact. And by constantly, I mean chasing a ball basically non-stop since she got here. If I don’t qualify as a cat person, no one does.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To comfort myself through this new upheaval, I’m going to need a lot of cheese. These meatballs each have a chunk of fresh mozzarella hidden inside.  You can use your favorite jarred or homemade tomato sauce to bake them in. Other than a little light assembly, these really couldn’t be simpler.

I like to serve these on a soft roll, but you can do ’em up any way you like. They’d be great as a meatball sub, or serve with spaghetti. Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs are fantastic, sliders or no.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

We do strange things for the people we love, even inviting a dirty, smelly dog into your once peaceful and not entirely unattractive home. For that, we get to eat Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders whenever we want.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders
Serves 6
Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders are so delicious, they make nearly anything bearable.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  5. 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  10. 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  11. 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  12. 2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce
  13. Your favorite soft rolls
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a casserole or baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, oil, parmesan, seasonings, and breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix the ingredients gently so that you don't overwork the meat.
  3. Form the meat mixture into golfball size meatballs, burying and completely surrounding a cube of mozzarella in each one.
  4. Pour about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of your pasta sauce into your baking pan. Make sure it covers the bottom. Place meatballs in pan, add more pasta sauce over the top, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and a bit more parmesan if you have it.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Allow the dish to cool long enough for the sauce to stop acting like molten lava.
  6. Scoop meatballs, with some extra cheesy sauce, onto a roll, and go to town.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For the past week I’ve been living the Olympic dream. I’ve been carefully honing my time management technique and training hard on my fast forwarding skills to get through about 16 hours of BBC Olympic coverage every day. At the halfway point, I’m all caught up, and I’ve taken in all the Olympic glory. I’m ready to go for the gold in week two.

My favorite is always the figure skating, and I don’t care how many time he falls down, Patrick Chan of Canada is absolutely exquisite. His performance is masterful and draws me right in. I did also love the two Japanese men. They were the perfect contrast of earth and air. Hanyu was light and ethereal while Uno is supremely grounded and powerful.  Who was your favorite on the ice?

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While I watch athletes at peak physical form, I am perfecting my butt groove in my couch and eating food that almost certainly would not be allowed in the Olympic village. A prime example is this BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. Al dente pasta is loaded up with masses of cheese and complimented with salty, sweet, and spicy pulled pork. It’s a real winner.

This dish is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork if you’d made your own, but it’s certainly not necessary. I used store bought pulled pork, or you could pick up a takeaway portion from your favorite smokehouse. Being a stovetop mac, this dish won’t dry out and the cheese stays super silky. Stir in as much of your favorite BBQ sauce as you like. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I will never be an Olympic champion, and I certainly don’t want to eat like an elite athlete, but I feel like a star when I serve something as awesome as BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. You’ve got to try it.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim and it was plenty rich)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces pulled pork
  • 1/8 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then sprinkle the flour over it. Whisk butter and flour together into a paste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until it smells nutty.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Try to prevent lumps. Add garlic powder and cayenne. Let it thicken until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Stir in the cheese and mix until smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir pulled pork and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl.
  6. After you've drained your pasta, return it to the pot. Pour over the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Fold in pulled pork mixture. You can add pepper if you like, but taste it before adding any salt. You may not need it since the pork is so salty.
  7. Drizzle on some extra barbecue sauce at the end if you like.
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http://awesomeon20.com/bbq-pulled-pork-stovetop-mac-cheese/

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