Well from here on out I will probably have house pictures for you, mostly because we are out there a lot, and each time something new has been finished in the kitchen.
Like the microwave…. And we moved the fridge (it’s a long story–the kitchen designer screwed up and it has been a pain).
The kitchen is a bit cleaner, allowing you to get a better idea of the layout….
Anyway, as you can imagine right now cooking is about the last thing on my mind. I am still baking but all these people who post on their blogs what they are making for gifts–either their recipients must not read their blogs or they must not care if it is a surprise. Well I do care and my family does, so I will just have to share later! Dinners on the other hand I have NO inspiration for right now. I am just sick and tired of miserable, cramped kitchens, and I have already packed up about a third of my stuff anyway (which has not seemed to help the clutter–go figure).
So right now I am either ordering out or looking for really easy stuff to do in the kitchen.
A few weeks back I mentioned my new found love for Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. I also mentioned this fabulous recipe for Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage, which I did not have a picture for at the time. Well now I do–it was so easy and so good that I made it again today.
Some of you might be surprised by my love for this dish–especially if you know I am not the biggest fan of Italian American food. 2 things stand out for me about this casserole: First I love the smoked sausage, which is very different from Italian sausage and its sweet fennel taste (which I do not care for). Second, tomatoes and cream are a match made in heaven. I particularly dislike white sauces (bland!) and I find red sauces too harshly acidic, but “pink” sauces are a perfect blending of both, erasing the flaws of each and hi-lighting their strengths. Kind of like mochas–I have always found hot cocoa and chocolate milk both too sweet and coffee too bitter, but when you put them together, hot or cold, I am pretty much an addict.
The first time I made it, I followed the recipe completely. John found the spinach taste a little too strong (while I did not–and I am not a huge fan of spinach, so I recommend trying the full amount), so I cut the spinach to 5 ounces instead. I also did not bother precooking the spinach. For the pasta this time, I went around my kitchen, hunting down all of the almost used up boxes, and came out with whole wheat penne and “regular” rotini and bow-ties. I think rigatoni works best for this recipe, but it was fine also just using whatever was on hand (and has the added bonus of me not moving 3 nearly empty boxes of pasta over to the new house). I suspect I increased the cheese–I never measure cheese and it is a common failing on my part to increase it. I did use the vodka both times.