Monthly Archives: March 2019

Italian Sausage Seasoning

I use this seasoning often to make Italian turkey sausage which I use in my Italian Sausage Lasagna and turkey patties.  I modified the original recipe to reduce the heat factor (replacing red pepper flakes with a dash of cayenne.  I when I heard “this tastes just like Italian sausage!”, I knew we had a winner.

I’ve listed the ingredients as I use them for 2 pounds of ground turkey, with adjustments below for a 1.25 lb which I buy at Trader Joe’s.  For best results, combine the seasoning and meat in advance and place in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or overnight to allow the seasonings to incorporate and intensify the flavor. If you don’t have this time, it still tastes great!

For 2 pounds ground beef or turkey (or other ground meat):

  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. fennel seed (whole or crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic (fresh)
  • 1 tsp. minced onion (fresh)

For 1.25 pounds meat (the package size I buy at Trader Joe’s):

  • 1.25 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1.25 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. fennel seed (whole or crushed; about the same as for 2 pounds meat)
  • 1/3 tsp. paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1.25 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced onion

Favorite Banana Bread

I settled on this recipe in my search for “the best” banana bread.  All the others I tried were good, but this one scores high on taste as well as appearance, with a toasty-brown top that rises high from the pan.  The clincher was when someone told me “it was one of the best banana breads” she’d ever eaten. Score!

I started with the Sour Cream Banana Bread at Genius Kitchen and made a few modifications to make it my own. It doubles very easily, and I always freeze at least 1 loaf to save or give away.  I hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 3 small to medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1-1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 1 large 9×5″ loaf pan.  Bring all ingredients to room temperature.

Combine the apple cider vinegar and milk and allow to sit while preparing the remaining ingredients.  Mash and measure the bananas.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl; blend well with a fork or whisk.

Cream the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Add the banana, nuts, and milk-vinegar mixture.  Mix well.

Pour into greased pan.  Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


  • I double the recipe and bake it in either 2 large loaf pans or 4 small pans + 1 loaf pan.
  • To freeze baked loaf:  Wrap tightly in foil or parchment paper, then wrap in plastic wrap to completely seal out the air.  Place in a ziploc freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, label it with a date, and store in freezer for 1-3 months.
  • To use frozen loaf:  Remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature inside the wrapping.  Remove plastic wrap and place foil-wrapped bread in a 275-300F oven for about 1 hour to reheat.  Allow to cool before slicing.
  • To serve:  I like to cut smaller pieces by cutting it lengthwise down the middle, then cut each half crosswise into 12 pieces, yielding a total of 24 pieces.  If you want large gargantuan pieces smothered with peanut butter or Nutella, then go for it! 🙂