Monthly Archives: September 2009

Sausage with Ravishing Rice

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Wow, now that I’ve posted an SMS recipe on a Sunday, let’s try getting back into blogging on a regular basis!  It finally started to feel like fall here today.  I think everyone on campus walked out of their apartment or dorm this morning and promptly turned around to grab a coat.  It was one of those days that’s perfectly comfortable in the sun, but when there’s a breeze or you’re in the shade you need to keep your hands in your pockets.  Well, at least, I did.  But I get cold just thinking about snow.

This baked casserole-style meal was perfect for this kind of weather.  My roommates and I only eat together about twice each week because of conflicting schedules, date nights, etc.  Oh, and because we all have such different tastes…  Everyone liked this dish, though!  It’s a slightly spicy, surprisingly filling rice and noodle dish, flavored with onions and peppers.  It’s a little bit time-consuming because of the baking, but could easily be prepped the night before.  I think next time I’ll reduce the onions to 3/4 cup, or maybe caramelize the onions beforehand, because the onion taste was a little bit strong for our tastes.  Other than that, though, we loved this!  We had it with leftover SMS muffins that I froze, which were a lovely side.

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All of your ingredients!

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No product placement intended, but I went to a couple of different stores and this was the only package of two pouches that measured 4.2 ounces, so I’m assuming it’s what Ms. Deen was referring to.

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Brown your sausage.  This was the only other small source of confusion, I didn’t know if the recipe meant Italian sausage, country sausage, or what.  I went with Italian.

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Bring your water to a boil, and add your rice and the chicken noodle soup pouches.  Boil for 10 minutes.

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Chop your onion, green (or orange) pepper, and celery.

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Add your veggies, sausage, butter, and all the spices except the paprika and almonds.  Pour the mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish.  Honestly, if you have a 2 1/2-quart dish, I would seriously recommend that.  If not, make sure you put a baking sheet under the dish.

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Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Eat!

Sausage with Ravishing Rice

from The Lady and Sons, Too! by Paula Deen

Serves 6-8 (recipe says 10-12, but I think they’re lying)

1 pound fresh sausage

5 c. water

1 c. raw long-grain white rice

2 packages dry chicken noodle soup mix from a 4.2 ounce box (I used Lipton brand)

1 c. chopped onion

1 large green bell pepper, chopped (I used orange)

1 c. finely chopped celery

¼ c. butter

½ tsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp. house seasoning (or use ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper, and ¼ tsp. garlic powder)

¼ c. chopped fresh parsley

¼ c. slivered almonds (I left these out because I didn’t have them)

1/8 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crumble the sausage and cook in a skillet over medium heat until nicely browned; drain well and set aside.  In a large, heavy pot, bring the water to a boil, add the rice and soup mix, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, butter, seasonings, and parsley.  Pour into a greased 2-quart casserole dish, top with almonds, and sprinkle with paprika.  Bake the casserole for 40-50 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

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SMS: Caramelized Onion, Sage, and Cheddar Muffins

Hey everyone!  I’m back for real this time, and even posting (albeit quickly) on a Sunday!  I re-took the LSAT yesterday (the reason I’ve been locked up in my room, away from blogging and all my other fun activities the last several weeks), and I feel like it went really well.  I’m hoping this isn’t one of those scenarios where you feel awesome and then find out you did awful…  But I really don’t think it is.  I only guessed on two questions the whole test (of about 120 questions total), and I also found out that the LSAT I took in June was one of the hardest ones they’ve given in several years.  If I could survive that one and still do well, this one should be no sweat!  Also, I didn’t have any mental snaps and spend several minutes this time trying to figure out if dinosaurs could have been mauve like I did in June, which is most certainly a step in the positive direction 😉

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Anyway, muffins.  This week Hanaa of Hanaa’s Kitchen chose what I’m pretty sure is our first savory recipe, Caramelized Onion, Sage, and Cheddar Muffins.  Or, in my case, thyme muffins.  Yeah, I forgot to pick up sage.  Anyway, while I think these would be great with sage, they were AWESOME with thyme.  Man, I love thyme.  I also left the onions out of half of them for my rather picky roommates.  The muffin batter was really much more of a dough, very thick and solid.  I thought for a second about adding more liquid, but left the dough as it was.  Fortunately, they exceeded my expectations and didn’t turn out really dry.  They had a tiny bit of kick from them due to the cayenne pepper, which I might increase next time because I really liked it.  I was also a little bit short on the cheddar, so I’m looking forward to making them again with the full amount of cheddar, or maybe even extra!  And believe me, I will be making these again!  They went with two different meals fantastically.

Maybe I could add bacon next time…

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Ok, and one more picture.  I’ve had basically no social life the last several weeks courtesy of the LSAT, but I did make it out for Formal Pledging for Mike’s fraternity.  A bunch of the house girlfriends got together beforehand, and we got a pretty cute group picture.  I’m in the red dress (please ignore the weird poof thing it’s doing in the front).  Best of all, though, is the girl right next to me.  Her name’s Jackie, and we’ve been best friends since kindergarten.  We go to different schools, though, and don’t see each other often.  Also, she’s a theater major, and once rehearsals start she can’t go anywhere on weekends, so it was a huge treat for her to come into town.  We had Fat Sandwich (got the Fat Chief), pretty much the least healthy restaurant in existance, and just generally had an awesome weekend.

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SMS Wrap-Up

Hey everyone.  I know I told you a while ago that I was back in business, but there was one pesky detail keeping me from blogging, and I finally resolved it today.  After all of my unpacking, I couldn’t find my camera anywhere!  I couldn’t bear to post for a cooking and baking blog without pictures, so I just didn’t post at all.  Not the most logical decision, but my decision nonetheless.  Fortunately, I found my camera in a box of random TV cables and nick-nacks (knick-knacks?  I’ve never known how to spell that.).  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the SMS recipes I’ve baked lately, so I’ll just try to fill you in from memory.

First, Stephanie of Ice Cream Before Dinner chose the Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies for August 16.  Unfortunately, this was the first SMS recipe I’ve made that I just didn’t like.  My dough was really soft, and the cookies spread like mad, resulting in very thin, not-so-chewy cookies.  I might tweak the recipe (adding vanilla and more flour) someday, but in all likelihood I’ll just use my standard recipe.

After that, Spike the Baker stepped in as an emergency host and chose Snickerdoodles.  There was a lot of discussion on the boards on how to prevent spreading (caused by the peanut butter cookies, perhaps?), and a lot of good tips were thrown out, like chilling the dough, chilling the cookie sheets, using insulated sheets, and checking that baking soda and powder are still fresh.  I was pretty happy with this recipe, although I thought it was odd that again there was no vanilla.  I added a tiny bit of freshly grated nutmeg, because I think nutmeg rocks in snickerdoodles.  I will be making these again, but I don’t know that they’ll completely replace any of my other snickerdoodle recipes.

Next, I believe Annie of Living Life Foodcariously hosted Hazelnut Truffles.  You have no idea how bummed I was that I skipped this recipe, but I was at home and both of my parents are dieting, and I couldn’t fathom just making the truffles for my brother and I.  Not to say we wouldn’t have eaten them, it just seemed like a bad idea.  I’m really looking forward to the other truffle recipes in the book.

Then Joy of Hot Oven, Warm Heart hosted the Banana Apple Bread.  This looked awesome, and I thought my mom could take it into work, but then found out she’d already made banana bread using her church cookbook recipe that week.  If my roommates are banana bread people, I might give this one a whirl later this semester, once it gets more fall-like.

The last week I missed was the Fresh Peach Muffins hosted by JoVonn of The Givens Chronicles.  I had high hopes for this recipe, which were squashed by the lack of good peaches at the grocery store.  I’m pretty sure they were just super picked-over because of all the college kids who were suddenly back in town.  Anyway, this is definitely on my to-make list.

The most recent recipe was one I actually made.  For this week, Sarah of Blue Ridge Baker chose the Fallen Chocolate Souffle Cake.  This was my first time ever baking a souffle, and I was pretty nervous.  Can you imagine how nervous I would have been if I didn’t go into it expecting the souffle to fall?  I made the full recipe but split it up and baked it in my 4″ springform pans.  I probably should have gotten 6 cakes from it, but I got 7 because I didn’t fill the first two up nearly full enough.  I baked each one for 16-17 minutes.  While I liked the recipe, I’m not sure I was overwhelmed by it.  That’s partially my fault, though.  We were out of oranges for zesting (they were all bald because of a chocolate-and-orange recipe I made earlier in the week), and on top of that I forgot to add the triple sec.  I tried making a simple syrup flavored with the triple sec, but it didn’t impart as much orange flavor as I was hoping.  I might make these again, but to be honest if I’m looking for chocolate-orange flavor I’ll probably just make the cookies I made earlier.  I promise I will post about them once I make them again, I’m not just stringing you along!

As for the Perfect Pound Cake… I’ll tell you about that in a while.  I’m not ready to talk about it yet…  But I promise, the issues were all my fault.

If you’re interested in what all the SMS’ers have thought of our recipes, definitely check out the blogroll.  And if you’re interested in the book, which I would very highly recommend, it’s the Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy, owner of the Sweet Melissa Patisserie in New York City.  It’s only about $17 on Amazon, and I can honestly say that I’ll be giving away at least one copy of it, come Christmas.  Actually, I might just give it to my friend for her birthday, to keep her from stealing it from me!

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And just in case this wasn’t long enough, here’s a picture of my new fish, Gilligan!  I’ve had him for a week, and he finally ate something tonight.  It was really freaking me out that I got a fish that wouldn’t eat, I’m suspicious enough of people who don’t eat.  Anyway, I really like him, and isn’t he so pretty?  Sorry about the flash on the tank, it was the only way I could get the shutter speed fast enough before he moved!

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