Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Meal to Dissolve a Bad Day....

Today was just one of those days. Started at 2am with being awakened because I was fighting (violently, evidently) with my pillow and had knocked over my night time glass of water. Then work was pretty epically bad (for me, anyway - I snapped at a manager when I am but a lowly underling, and she wasn't even deserving of my snapping, really....), I'm sore and have a migraine hangover (ie:the day after a God-awful migraine tends to lack energy and brain power). Add to all that the dunderheads on the expressway (really, people, where did you get your licenses? A Cracker Jack box??) and the vicious circle automated phone system that I was attempting to navigate and, yeah, it was a pretty crappy Tuesday-that-is-like-my-Friday-but-felt-just-like-a-Monday. Oh yeah, and I get bitchy with Hans for no real reason.

And yet, despite my bad attitude, he made dinner. Not just any dinner, but a true family favorite: Sausage Rice Casserole from the cookbook his parents made for him when he went off to college.

It's one of those dishes that just comes together. It's simple, it's hearty and it's tasty as all hell. It's one that I like to have leftovers of, too, because it melds well for lunch the next day, but one that we have very little left over!

Hans also had bought a fresh pineapple at Aldi last week as a special treat for the girls. He decided to cut it tonight, and the next thing I know, he's putting a fresh pina colada into my hand!

Ah, yes. Good food, good drink, healing and restorative powers....

And now, the recipe for the Sausage Rice Casserole, as written, with our modifications in blue.

Grandmommy's Sausage Rice Casserole

1lb bulk pork sausage (we use sage sausage, but have had great luck with plain sausage and hot sausage as well. We even used leftover chicken once. Tasty, but the whole dish was just a bit beige....)
1c. uncooked rice (may use white or brown)
2 pkg dehydrated chicken soup (we use chicken bouillon)
1/4c. finely chopped onion
1c. sliced celery
2 1/2c. water (may use chicken stock or broth instead, but omit bouillon/dehydrated soup)
1Tbs. soy sauce (we usually use 2-3 Tbs.)
1/2c. sliced almonds (I've been known to use chopped or slivered, if that's what I have on hand)

Break apart sausage and brown. Pour off grease. Mix sausage, uncooked rice, soup, onions, celery and place in 2qt. casserole (we like to use our dutch oven because we can brown the sausage in it, drain it, then use the same pot to bake the casserole. Less dishes! Yay!). At this point you may refrigerate to bake within 24 hours, seal and freeze to bake at a later time (after thawing, of course) or finish.

Mix soy sauce with water, add almonds, then mix. Pour over sausage rice mixture. Cover and bake in oven preheated to 350° for at least 1 hour, or until rice is done.

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