Monday, November 30, 2015

Stay Home Because You're Well Day

Since my bosses never want to believe that I'm sick, I wonder how they'd react if I called in for this?!?

What would I do? Read, sleep, eat, got to the bookstore if I have money or the library if I didn't. In other words, the same stuff I'd do on my regular day off, but with the added satisfaction of just not having to go to work!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Foodie Weekend Bonus Edition- More Soup

Because it's cold & nasty, and soup is perfect for this time of year. Found here.

Tortellini Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage & Spinach
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes



1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb Italian Sausage
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 medium sized onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-32. oz. box of vegetable broth (chicken works too)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 package tortellini
1 cup packed fresh spinach

1 Baguette
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese



Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Heat vegetable oil and add diced onion. Saute until onions are soft.
Crumble Italian Sausage and garlic with the onion. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, vegetable (or chicken) broth, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. Let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add tortellini and spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, until pasta is tender.
Serve with shredded Parmesan.

Slice baguette into 1/2 inch thick slices. Butter one side and place butter side down in a hot skillet until golden brown. Flip bread slices over and sprinkle with Parmesan while the other side gets golden brown. Transfer to a plate and immediately cover loosely with foil if cheese has not completely melted.

For a creamier soup, add a half cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Foodie Friday- Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches

What do you do with leftover turkey? Try this easy & delicious sandwich! Also a Kentucky specialty, so I had to share it with you.

Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches

5 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups grated muenster or monterey jack cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 thick slices white bread, toasted
Dijon mustard, for spreading
1 tomato, sliced
3 cups shredded or sliced roast turkey or rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the broiler. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet.

Make the gravy: Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, 1 more minute. Increase the heat to medium high, add the milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Spread each slice with mustard, then drizzle with some of the gravy and top with the sliced tomato. Toss the turkey with the remaining gravy in the skillet. Divide the turkey evenly among the bread slices, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until golden, about 2 minutes.

Crumble the bacon over the sandwiches; sprinkle with the parsley.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving, hell! It's Cake Day!

Ok, fine. Here's a Thanksgiving dinner, which I might add looks NOTHING like anything my family puts together. We don't have the patience to make it pretty- we just want to EAT!

Now for the good stuff!

Carrot Cake

Chocolate Cake (my favorite)

Spice Cake, with a cream cheese icing

Apple Walnut Cake- my version is made with a cream cheese glaze, but this one looks pretty good!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Today is Go For A Ride Day

Going for a ride used to be one of my favorite things to do as a kid. Sometimes, on one of his rare days off, Daddy would announce that he felt like going for a drive and we'd scramble to the car. Never had a destination in mind, always had a good time. Well, except for the time we got t-boned in New Bern...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Foodie Friday- Cornbread and Bacon Dressing

I love cornbread dressing/stuffing! Oddly enough, it never occurred to me to add bacon to it until I found this recipe while i was looking for new versions to try.

Cornbread and Bacon Dressing


1 (1-pound) package cornbread mix, like Marie Callender organic cornbread mix
6 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 shallot, cut into small dice
2 celery ribs, cut into small dice
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth


Cook cornbread according to package directions. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
While cornbread cools, cook bacon in a 375°F oven until desired crispiness reached. Drain the bacon on a paper towel, and reserve bacon grease. Once bacon is cool to touch, crumble it into small pieces.
In a sauté pan, heat pan over medium-high heat, then heat 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Cook shallots until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add poultry seasoning and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and transfer to a plate to cool.
Grease a 9-inch square casserole dish with bacon grease.
Once all components are cool to room temperature, crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add bacon and vegetables, and stir. Stir in eggs. Stir in enough vegetable broth to make mixture moist but moldable.
Transfer to casserole dish, and bake in a 375°F oven for 1 hour, or until casserole sets and top appears golden and crispy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Button Day!

I admit it- I'm a button junkie. I love them. Somewhere in my closet is a jar full of them. I'm still mad that my Gramma's old collection got pitched. it's nice to know that I'm not alone, and that there's a day for us. I don't collect them for value, just for the way they look. I really should dig my collection out and do a craft project with them.

There's a mystery series about a button collector/seller, BTW. Kylie Logan wrote it. Here's the first book in the series:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Today is Clean Out Your Fridge Day

This is actually a fridge I could aspire to. I'm not crazy enough to post a pic of my actual fridge- my mother would have a heart attack if she stumbled across that online!

This, on the other hand, is close to what our Office fridge often looks like. We won't discuss the smell.

Work or home, this is something many of us could benefit from!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Foodie Friday- Roasted Cabbage With Mushrooms and Bacon

When I was a child, my mother could rarely get me to eat cabbage. It's still not really my favorite, but I have come around to eating it more readily than I did in those days. This has become a preferred method of preparing it for me!

Roasted Cabbage With Mushrooms and Bacon

1/2 large head cabbage, tough outer leaves removed
8 ounces mushrooms
6 slices bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Cut the half a head of cabbage in half, then slice each half into thirds, ending with six slices of cabbage. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Trim the stems off of the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. (If you prefer larger pieces of mushrooms, only cut them in half). Fill in the spaces around the cabbage slices with the mushrooms. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch wide slices. Top the cabbage and the mushrooms with the little bits of bacon. Drizzle the cabbage, mushrooms, and bacon with the olive oil, and season with the salt and pepper.
Roast for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage slices with a spatula and continue to roast for 15 more minutes, or until the cabbage and mushrooms are as crispy as you like.

Yield: Serves 3-4

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Today is Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

This is a day I can totally get behind!
Dark chocolate with almonds is still my hands down favorite candy, although I can't eat it as much as I used to.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Today is Saxophone Day

The sax is probably my favorite instrument, so I was tickled to find that it had an official day! I'm going to celebrate by putting on some jazz cd's and letting them take my mind away. Here are some of my favorites:

Don't judge me for that last one! I really liked the track "Havana" and several others.


In all honesty, I haven't tried these yet, but I plan too, and soon! Mom was appalled when she found out I'd eaten (and enjoyed!) a sausage roll that I'd bought from a vendor on the London Underground on our trip many moons ago. I'm going to have her try one of these babies when I make them, and maybe then she'll understand why I was curious enough to try them!


20 mins
25 mins
45 mins

"The secret is the bacon..." It really takes this sausage roll to another level! Also, sautéing the onion and celery before mixing into the filling makes it sweet and more moist than the usual. The addition of fennel adds an extra burst of flavour - pork and fennel are great mates - and using panko instead of normal breadcrumbs also contributes to making the filling of this sausage roll so moist.

Serves: 20
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp olive oil
1 lb / 500g pork mince (NOT lean)
4 rashers streaky (fatty) bacon, or 2 rashers middle bacon
1 tbsp whole fennel seeds, toasted
Black pepper
2 heaped tsp flaked sea salt
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
2½ sheets puff pastry, cut into half each (so you have five 30cm / 12" x 15cm / 6" rectangles)
Extra egg for egg wash

Preheat oven to 390F/200C.
Sautee onion, celery, garlic over medium heat until soft and sweet. Do not brown. Set aside to cool.
Chop the bacon very finely, so it is a similar grain to the mince. You need the pieces to be small enough to blend in with the pork mince when it cooks.
Combine onion mixture, mince, bacon, fennel seeds, salt and pepper (lots - 10 turns), and use hands to mix well.
Mix in the panko bread crumbs, then mix in the whole egg.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour (preferable, but not critical step).
Lay out a rectangle of pastry, long edge closest to you. Get ⅕ th of the filling and shape into a long log shape down the middle of the pastry. Ensure the meat is tight and compact, without gaps.
Roll up the log and use some egg wash to seal.
Brush with egg wash (optional), then cut the log into four equal lengths, or just two if you want full size sausage rolls.
Repeat with the remainder of the pastry and mince so you have 20 rolls.
Place on a baking tray (you will need 2) lightly sprayed with oil and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Leave to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1. Panko - you can substitute for normal breadcrumbs, but as it is finer and therefore denser, reduce the quantity to ½ cup otherwise the filling won't be as moist.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Use Your Common Sense Day!

The world would be so much better if more people used theirs!

It's also Stress Awareness Day. Most of mine is caused by people not using their common sense!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Belated Swapoween Reveal

So, I participated in the Chaotic Goddesses Halloween swap this year. What did my partner send me?

Mandy sent me a great stash of treats & decorations, as you can see. Below is the stitched piece that I got matted & framed to send to her. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I started a few other things that I wanted to send, but didn't get them finished in time, dagnabit!

Thanks to the Goddesses for another fun exchange!