Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Braised Sausage with Cheddar Cheese Grits

I think I am totally opposite of most people when it comes to their spouse being out of town. When my husband is home alone he goes right for a take out place with cheese dip...always. And most other people I know get take out of some sort, usually something they like that their spouse doesn't. Well, when my husband recently went out of town for a few days, I went right for the kitchen...and lots of ingredients I know he doesn't like.

A month or two ago, I had made some homemade sausages and the remainder were in the freezer, so I thawed out two and sliced them thin. I cooked them in some beef stock with some chopped baby bella mushrooms. Beer would have been great, if I only liked beer. Once the mushrooms and sausages were cooked through, I took them out and left the liquid in the pan. I kneaded together a little butter and flour and added it to the remaining liquid. I cooked the sauce until it thickened nicely and poured it over my sausage and mushrooms.

At the same time, I made myself some cheddar cheese grits. I love to make the grits using half milk and half water, then add a little butter to it to make it that much creamier. Once the grits are thick, I add a handful of cheddar cheese. A wonderful treat, in my opinion (but not my husbands...he would be good with the cheddar, just forget all those grits things!).

To round out my dinner, I steamed some broccoli with garlic, salt and pepper. A quick side dish that often makes an appearance in my home. It is super easy to make, takes only a few minutes and it tastes great.

Christmas Baking...a little late update

Ack!! I just realized that it has been 2 months since I last posted. I guess that is what happens around Christmastime. I was too busy baking that I totally forgot to take pictures of all the wonderful things I made.

For Christmas gifts, I made homemade cheddar crackers, sugar plums, Mississippi Mud cookies, cake truffles (of course), butter rum caramels, pecan pralines, among other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.

I think the sleeper hit was the Mississippi mud cookies, which my mom has declared her new favorite cookie. So much so that I had brought some home with me for Christmas, and she made me make two more batches while I was there. The first because she wanted more and the second so she could watch me and make sure she knew just how to make them.

I got the recipe from Southern Living and these are double chocolate cookies with chopped pecans and topped with mini marshmallows. What could go wrong there? Absolutely nothing. And the best part is that these cookies are unbelievably soft and chewy, just the way I like them. I always prefer chewy cookies over crunchy ones.