Defeat Garden

I have made this so many times, but I never realized it wasn’t on here!  I thought I should rectify that situation today.

Isn’t it beautiful?  🙂

It’s made out of 4 (well, 5) ingredients, so that qualifies it as easy enough for anyone to make, right?

1 head of cauliflower (or you could probably use a package of frozen)

1 pound sausage (I love it with spicy sausage, but the man likes it less spicy)

1 8 oz package of cream cheese

about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (I use half cheddar and half mozarella, but you can use any kind, they’re all good!)

Cut up the cauliflower (unless it’s already cut up), boil or steam it until it’s cooked through, then mash it (with a potato masher or fork – but much easier with a potato masher!) and mix in the cream cheese.  You can also do this step in the food processor.  This is a great way to fool your children (or other picky eaters) into thinking that they are eating mashed potatoes and then surprise them with the truth!

Cook the sausage through.

Shred your cheese (unless it’s already shredded 🙂 )

Now you layer it together – half the cauliflower mixture, half the sausage, half the cheese, and repeat

Bake it at 350 for half an hour, and it should be nice and browned on top and absolutely delicious!

Enjoy 🙂

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Now that I’ve made a few recipes in the new Dutch oven we got, I figured maybe I should actually post one.  And this one I really liked 🙂

Yum!

The girl took pictures tonight while I was layering everything in – you may even catch a glimpse of my hands….

I did kind of think ahead for this recipe – I normally don’t have anything thawed, but I left out a pound of spicy sausage (in the fridge!) on Saturday after I got groceries so that this would be fairly easy to prepare.

You can spray your Dutch oven if you want, but I don’t have any spray, so I just pour a little oil in and then rub it around the sides.  It’s as close as I’ve gotten for a really long time to greasing a cake pan.  Sad, isn’t it?

First I de-seeded 3 peppers and sliced them. That was really the most labor-intensive part of this recipe. 🙂

Then I put 1 1/2 cups of quinoa in the bottom of the pan, poured in a can of chicken broth, and stirred to combine.

(see, there’s the elusive hand)

I got lazy (again) with the sausage and sliced up the pound and laid it in like that, right on top of the quinoa.

I think that next time I make this, I won’t use the spicy sausage – it was a bit much!  And I think I might be a little less lazy and crumble the sausage up a little more.  But then again, it was pretty nice to be lazy!

After that, I sprinkled in the peppers that I had sliced up.

Aren’t they pretty?  Colored peppers were actually less than green peppers at the store this weekend.  That’s pretty unusual!

Then I put in a can of chopped tomatoes.  Again, just layered it right on top 🙂

Then cover it up and bake it at 450 for about 45 minutes.

Voila!

***disclaimer***

I did use a recipe, but I changed a few things.  We got quinoa at Trader Joe’s, and the girl wanted multi-colored, so that’s the first change. (The recipe did say quinoa – which you should try, it’s amazingly good!), but it didn’t specify which kind – they also had just plain old one colored, but who wants that???)

Also, I was supposed to use a green pepper, but since the others were cheaper, I went with that!

And, the recipe called for sausage links.  However, I love – I mean really LOVE – the Farmland spicy sausage.  I could eat it every week.  So, I used that instead.  But, as stated above, I probably would just use regular sausage next time.  Still, I wouldn’t use sausage links, because normally a pound of sausage is cheaper 🙂

The last substitution I made was with the tomatoes.  Really, tomatoes just aren’t good right now.  However, canned tomatoes are good!  The recipe said to wedge a few Roma tomatoes, but I traded that out, as well.

I have been really bad about updating this blog – for any of you who actually read this, I apologize!

I don’t even have a really good excuse – except that maybe most of the food I make is already on here.  I tend to use this more for me than for anything else – I’m always looking up previous recipes to check ingredients, and so on and so forth.  Maybe I need to shake up my meal rotations and make something new!

Actually, we did get a new dish for Christmas – a Dutch oven.  I’ve been making a few recipes from the book that we got with it still trying to get used to how it works.  Maybe I’ll start making something up from that soon 🙂

Other than that, life is good.  Busy with the kids in activities – the boy is out of the house 2 nights a week for wrestling practice, and his meets are every weekend (pretty much), and the girl is involved in Destination Imagination (www.idodi.org) which is really a pretty cool program, so we’ve been going at least once a week to those meetings, and she’s also going to do a show choir clinic in about a week.  It should be fun!

What’s new in your lives? Any new recipes I can try to mix up our food lives?

This may not be the most appetizing name for a dish, but it’s what my Mom called it for years when I was growing up, so that’s what I’m sticking with!

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We’ve found a great restaurant nearby called The Black Crow (you can find their Facebook page here), and the man and I went there a few weeks ago on a date.  I had an amazing bacon-wrapped pork loin with chunky apples, sauerkraut, and some delicious whipped mashed sweet potatoes.  I’ve been thinking about trying to recreate it, but didn’t want to try because I was afraid I would ruin the memory!  I finally gave in this week and tried to recreate the main course:

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I know I don’t normally post twice in one day (especially after such a long time!) but this recipe was too good NOT to share!  I saw this recipe in one of the blogs I read (Two Peas and Their Pod) and had to try it because I had all sorts of rhubarb in my refrigerator just waiting to be used up.

It’s really simple and turned out so delicious!!!

I didn’t take a picture of the ingredients, but it’s pretty easy:

2 apples, peeled and chopped

2-4 sticks of rhubarb, chopped

1/2 cup sugar

Put ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until they get mushy.  You can smash the pieces so they’re smaller, or leave them big, either way this is great!  It’s good warm, and just as good cold – a real winning recipe :o)

I’m a big fan of cucumbers.  I don’t remember liking them very much when I was younger, but I definitely like them now!  Since I’ve grown up, I’ve enjoyed using them to make salads or to put on salads.  I’ve even made my own version of my Aunt’s famous (at least in our family!) cukes and onions.  I found this recipe last year and made it for myself (because the man doesn’t really like cucumbers, and my kids don’t really like jalapenos), and this year I finally got someone else to try it (thanks Dad!).  Don’t tell my Aunt, but Dad said it might even be better than her cukes and onions.

This is very simple if you have a food processor (I think that’s part of why I like it so much!)  If you don’t, it wouldn’t be very difficult, but I’m not a big fan of cutting jalapenos – I always forget gloves and end up with painful hands!

Use:

2 cucumbers, quartered

1/2 onion (red would be good, but I used vidalia)

1 jalapeno (core it and scrape out the seeds if you don’t want it to be very hot)

a few cloves of garlic

about 1/2 cup of rice vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

If you have a food processor:

Put the onion, garlic and jalapeno in the bowl and chop until it’s small.

Put the slicing blade on and feed the cucumbers through.

Mix it all together with the rice vinegar (which adds a nice sweet taste to this!) salt and pepper and let it sit for a few minutes or overnight to let the flavors blend.

If you don’t have a food processor:

Dice/mince the onion/jalapeno/garlic.

Slice the cucumbers as thin as you can.

Mix it all together.

That’s not really a great picture, but the taste is great.  There’s a little heat from the jalapeno and a little sweet from the rice vinegar.  Enjoy!