With Polska Kielbasa and a few simple ingredients, you can make a quick and delicious dinner that everyone will love. At one point in life I was in between houses and my BFF was kind enough to let me crash on the futon in her spare room. During this extended sleepover, my bestie Laura introduced me to her Kielbasa Pasta and I’ve been a fan ever since. A simple fresh meal that tastes great and makes awesome leftovers.
1 13 oz. package of Polska Kielbasa
Large Onion (chopped)
2 cloves of Garlic minced
Large Green pepper (chopped)
Large Tomato (chopped)
One box of dry Pasta (Rotini works best)
Colby jack cheese shredded
Slice sausage on the bias and chop onion into medium sized pieces. Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven with a bit of olive oil. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, covered until onion is translucent. Add chopped up green pepper. Start the water for noodles. Add diced up tomatoes to the sausage pan when you add the pasta to to the water. Stir sausage mix while pasta cooks. When pasta is finished, drain and add to the sausage mix and remove from heat. stir to coat pasta. Plate pasta and sprinkle cheese on top. (I’m a cheese hound and get generous with it).
Sometimes you gotta go with whatever pasta you have on hand. Bowties are OK but Rotini is better.Also fresh mozzarella works great in lieu of shredded cheese. Laura says you can swap out pasta for potatoes too. This is just one of those great recipes you can make your own.
Kristmas Krak was my dad’s favorite Christmas snack. He would make a huge batch and bring it to every party and give it out as gifts. Enjoy your new addiction!
1 box of Kellogg’s Crispix cereal (12 oz.)
12 oz. (2 – 6 oz. tins) of cashews
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter (do not use margarine!)
2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup light Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon baking soda
- Pre-heat oven to 250 °
- Mix dry ingredients in a very large bowl.
- In a large sauce pan, slowly melt butter then whisk in Karo syrup, and finally, the brown sugar.
- When well blended, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
- Add vanilla and baking soda
- Beat vigorously until light and frothy.
- Pour Saucepan mixture over the cereal/nut mixture and gently stir to thoroughly mix together all the ingredients .
- Spread mixture onto two large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper; gently breaking up the large clumps until you have a fairly uniformed layer on each pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. Swap the rack position of the pans each time you return them to the oven. Not doing so may result in one tray over-baked and one tray under-baked.
- When mixture is completely cooled, transfer to the Krak to air-tight storage containers.
I’m thinking about doing cute mason jars full of the stuff as gifts for my UPS guy, folks at work and other friends. Merry Christmas everyone!
Click here for a printable PDF version!
- Dress Shoes
- Comfortable shoes
- Workout clothes
- Swimsuits (2 at least so one dries while the other in use)
- Suit Coverup
- Undies and bras
- Formal Evening Wear for Captain’s Dinner night
- Dinner Wear for formal dining room dinners
- Light sweater-Hoodie
- Hair ties/clips
- Razors-shave gel
- Curling or Flat Iron (After some debate they do allow these on the boat. Yay!)
- Face moisturizer (even if you don’t do this at home – trust me)
- Nail clippers/file/polish
- Prescription Glasses
- Contact Lenses/Solution
- Medicine (aspirin, pepto, bandaids, vitamins, eye drops)
- Medical ID info
- Birth Control Pills/Condoms
- Prescription medicine and medical devices
Documents & Misc.
- Cell phone & Charger
- USB wall plug
- Multiplug for outlet (Usually there’s one outlet and many things to charge)
- Laptop/Tablet & Charger (I wouldn’t recommend this, you might be tempted to work and the wi-fi is really expensive out to sea)
- Credit Cards-Debit Card
- Money (Most ports of call take US cash)
- I.D.-Drivers License
- Birth Certificate if no passport
- Tickets – boarding passes – confirmation #’s
- Luggage Tags
- Luggage Locks/keys
- Safety pins-sewing kit
- Ziploc bags
- Cigs, Lighter, E-Cigarette-Charger
- A leisurely book or magazine
- Your Hangover Cure
Don’t forget to…
- Throw out stuff in the fridge that will be gross by the time you get back
- Lock all doors and windows- set alarm
- Lock your car
- Have neighbor check the mail/feed animals
- Go shopping for missing items-in travel sizes!!!
- Put ID tags inside luggage in case your luggage tags fall off
- Change $40 into small bills for street vendor purchases and tips
- Put all nail files, scissors in checked luggage if flying
- Send email to important people (I’ll be out of the country…)
- Get a ride to the port
- Call mom – give her your itinerary, she worries you know
- Pay bills that will come due while you’re gone
- Put all “necessities” in the carry-on, you may not get your bags delivered for hours
- Double check all reservations – you need ID, ticket and boarding pass
- Get to the port early – plan to spend time parking whether on-site or off-site
- Bring goodies for theme nights
- I generally change 3 times a day. Pj’s to shorts and tee, to swimsuit, to dinner wear back to PJs. Yes, bring that crazy print shirt, nows the time for these type of things.
- I listed shampoo and soap because I can’t use any old brand, that will be in the room as will a blow dryer.
- Make sure you don’t pack your ID and boarding pass in your checked luggage
- You may not be able to get into your room right away, don’t carry on too much
- Your bags wont arrive at your room right away, don’t leave necessities in them
- You are allowed to bring one regular sized bottle of wine per person, it must be in your carry-on. Get screw top so you don’t need an opener.
- If you get tipsy on 2 drinks or don’t drink, don’t get the drink package, Otherwise, get the drink package! Drink package allows you to grab bottled water at the bar. Bring a few back to the room so you don’t drink the expensive mini-bar offerings in desperation. Also sink water kind of ick to brush your teeth with.
- Room service is free and it’s nice to have a coffee and some fruit before you go battle the crowds at breakfast. Put your request outside your door before you go to bed.
- Make your room number your phone lock screen.
- Every day your room attendant will leave a brochure of ship activities for you. Be sure to read it so you don’t miss out on Bingo or an amazing theater show. Last trip my roomie paid for the whole cruise by winning Bingo.
Click here for a printable PDF version!
So every year my lovely and talented friend Tasha throws a Mongolian BBQ for her boyfriend Mike on his birthday. The party is always a hit and every year it gets bigger and bigger. Let me preface this instruction with the notion that this party takes a lot of prep! I only help dice and slice and my hands still smell like garlic. But the result is always amazing. You can base the amount of food you prep depending on the number of party goers. I would suggest starting small, a dozen or so people and work your way up to Tasha and Mike’s level of 50-100. Here’s what you’ll need:
- An outdoor wok or a grill with a flat tray to grill up your food
- A meat slicer – otherwise you’ll be doing it all by hand
- Disposable bowls for raw ingredients
- Bowls for finished product
- Clothespins for identifying whose bowl is whose
- Utensils for cooking and eating including chopsticks for fun
Sauces: Make as many as you can for diverse tastes. Garlic water is always the biggest hit so make plenty. Add boiling water or chicken broth to ingredients to bring out the most flavor and let cool. Water is what makes the food cook quickly and evenly. So be sure to have plenty of flavored water on hand. Here are some of the ones Tasha offered.
- Garlic Water
- Garlic Lemon
- Sweet and Sour
- Hoisin Wasabi
- Mushroom and Eggplant
- Ginger and Black Pepper
- Hot Pepper
- Soy Sauce
- Sugar water
Meats and Noodles: Slicing can be done days in advance and frozen until the day of the party. Soba noodles can be cooked the night before and left in a drizzle of sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.
- Sliced Beef
- Slice Chicken
- Sliced Pork
- Large Shrimp
- Diced Tofu
- Soba Noodles
Vegetables: Be sure to dice in similar sizes so that the food cooks evenly. Include anything you would enjoy in a stir fry type meal. Some of these can done the day before but most are best when done the day of the party.
- Bok Choy
- Napa Cabbage
- Red Cabbage
- Green Beans
- Water Chestnuts
- Pea Pods
- Bean Sprouts
- Green peas
- Baby Corn
- Bamboo Shoots
- Sesame seeds
Guest Prep: Making signs with instructions is the easiest way to let guests know how the process works. We got inventive with our list:
Be sure your wok or grill is nice and hot before you begin. Here in Florida, the chef gets pretty warm in the outdoor kitchen so be sure to keep the cold beverages coming. It’s best to have 2 chefs so one can cover for the other so everyone can enjoy the party. It also helps to have a sous chef of sorts to help keep bowls in the order they were turned in.
Bowls cook really quickly. Add oil to the wok before adding a bowl. Constantly stir to get an even cook on all pieces. Be sure to cook chicken and pork thoroughly. Beware of any guests with allergies. We couldn’t do shrimp or pineapple for this reason. Be sure to clean your wok with water occasionally to get out old pieces of food that may burn and effect future bowls. Also clean after your friend who likes things spicy has theirs done. You don’t want a 5 year old getting residual heat in their bowl.
A constant stream of bowls will be coming in so it’s best to have the prep chef not be the same as the chef that cooks the bowls. Because, well… exhaustion. Be sure to have a pitcher of plain water on hand for guests who didn’t add enough liquid to their bowl. Bowl should be filled to the brim with water after meats and veggies are added.
And this is me, a happy girl with a bowl of Mongolian! Enjoy your Mongolian Barbeque!