Category Archives: meat

I’m not a stickler for having a well-rounded meal with all the parts: meat, veggie, starch, dessert. I’m more of a “just feed my family something wholesome (not full of preservatives) and hope everyone likes it.” So the dishes you find here are easily served with whatever suits your family. Often it’s a pile of grapes or ramekin of applesauce and I call it dinner.

Sausage and mixed potatoes

Growing up one of my favorite meals, that my dad always made, was sausage and potatoes. I always thought it was his recipe. I asked him about it recently and he said it was, in fact, my grandmother’s recipe. His mother-in-law, not his mother. My mom’s mom. So cute. She must’ve made it when they were dating or early in their marriage because I remember this meal from early in my childhood. And I remember my dad making it. Anyway, I’ve adapted it to make it a little more wholesome by adding sweet potatoes for fiber and vitamins but that doesn’t mean I’m not still dipping each bite into plain yellow mustard like I’m a ten year old.

Sausage and Mixed Potatoes

(I don’t have a picture of this. It’s potatoes and ground sausage on a plate. Use your imagination.)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

one pound of loose country sausage or sweet Italian sausage links (sausage removed from the casings).

1 large sweet potato cut into bite sized chunks

1 large russet potato cut into bite sized chunks

1 large or 2 medium yukon gold potatoes cut into bite sized chunks

1 medium sweet onion or half a large vidalia onion cut into small pieces (Make the onions smaller than the potatoes. This is a bite that accents the sausage and potatoes, not a giant chunk of onion that gives you the chills kind of bite.)

Spray a 9×13 casserole pan with nonstick spray. Mix the potatoes and onion in the dish. Rip chunks of the sausage and dapple/sprinkle/dollop it around the potatoes and onions. (Forgive me, I can’t think of the right word.)

Place the casserole dish, uncovered, into the oven and bake it until you smell it (isn’t that a song from the 60′s?). Mix the potatoes and sausage mixture around and poke each type of potato (because they are all different in density) and if it slides off the knife, you’re done. If you don’t trust your nose, open the oven and toss the sausage and potatoes after about 30 minutes. Poke a chunk of each type of potato with a sharp knife and if it slides off the knife you are done. If not, close the oven and allow to cook another 15 minutes. It could take up to an hour. You are looking for roasted, fork tender potatoes but not so soft they turn into mashed potatoes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a little bit. Oh and serve with a little childish pile of yellow mustard. Or ketchup… if that’s your thing.

 

 

 

Baked Rice Pudding with Cinnamon

Baked Rice Pudding

Not the prettiest picture. But pretty tasty.

This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called: Cheap Fast Good by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks because it has a lot to read and not just hoity toity recipes that require you to make a special trip to the store.

The other day I made pesto fish. Tilapia marinated with pesto and baked in the oven and then served over white rice. Served with pineapple wedges. Pretty looking dinner. Very easy on a busy night. Anyway, when I make rice I make way more than I have to so I can make leftovers with it. Namely RICE PUDDING. It’s one of my favorites.

So this recipe was adapted because I never have whole milk. I often have skim milk and I always have sweetened vanilla almond milk. So I adjusted the sugar, vanilla, and  rice because of the almond milk substitution.

Here’s MY recipe. The original follows below. By all means, if you have whole milk, follow the original.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 1/2 cups already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups vanilla almond milk (sweetened)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice is rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

I ate mine with Adrian standing at the stove with the steam billowing off the spoonful of rice pudding thinking, “I’m sure this is going to burn my mouth.” So right before we ate it I told Adrian I had to put something in it. He pointed his finger up at me and said, “I know! ICE!” I said, “Oooh, that might not be the right choice. Let’s try some milk.” So after adding a touch of milk it was just the right temperature. He ate two helpings. I had two helpings. And then scraped some more right out of the pan with a big wooden spoon.

Here is the exact recipe from the cookbook.

Ingredients:

Butter or cooking spray for preparing the pan

1 cup already cooked rice

3 large eggs

1/2 cup raisins (if desired)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups whole or 2% milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Lightly butter or spray an 8×8 square pan

2. combine rice and raisins in saucepan with 1 cup of water and heat over medium heat until the rice and raisins are rehydrated; about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the drained plumped rice and raisins and stir well. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake the pudding, uncovered, until the center is just jiggly and a knife inserted about an inch from the edge comes out clean. (About 45 minutes) Serve warm, room temp, or chilled.

ENJOY either way.

roast pork loin

balsamic and mustard marinated pork loin

balsamic and mustard marinated pork loin

Roast Pork Loin. It’s so easy. So so easy. Well, I think so. And you look like a genius when you slice it and serve it alongside a veggie and some crusty baguette slices. This was one of those super yummy EASY pork loin roasts and I hope you give it a try. This recipe serves 4 with NO leftovers. It’s a small pork loin.

Roast Pork Loin

1 pound pork loin – unflavored! (they come in so many flavors so make sure you get a plain pork loin!!)

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T whole grain mustard or brown mustard

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried thyme or 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme (no need to remove the little leaves from the stems. Just throw the sprigs in the bag.)

Place all ingredients in a ziptop bag and smear that tasty goodness all over the pork loin inside the bag. Roll the bag up to push the air out and close tightly. Place in fridge for a few hours. Mine was about 5 hours! Note: you should have enough marinade here for a 2-3 pound piece of pork loin. Any larger and you should add more marinade.

Bring piece of pork loin to room temp before dinner by letting it rest on the counter in the bag for about 20 minutes. Place skillet over medium high heat with a touch of olive oil. Remove pork loin from bag and shake off excess marinade. Place pork in hot pan and sear on all sides. (this adds flavor and creates a bit of a caramelized crust which helps keep the interior of the meat nice and moist.) Once seared on all sides place skillet in the oven at 375F (make sure skillet is oven safe! If not, move pork to casserole dish and place IT in the oven.) Bake for 15 minutes and check the temperature (I recommend 15 minutes per pound of pork. If it’s a two pound loin, roast for 30 minutes and check temp). If it’s not hot enough, put it back in. It should be around 140F internally when you remove it from the oven. (Don’t poke it a hundred times to check the temperature or all the juice will run out of the holes and you’ll be left with an old dried up hockey puck on your plate.) Allow pork loin to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. It will be juicier this way. Note: pork should have a hint of pink when you cut into it. That’s REALLY the best way to serve it. Unless you like chewing your hockey puck four-hundred and fifty times before you wash it down with a glass of water. Cough hack.

Serve with baguette and green beans.