Up until now, there’s been exactly one way we’ve eaten sausage for dinner: on sandwich rolls with cooked peppers and onions. A little mayo, some mustard. This old link gets me thinking I really need to re-visit some of my early recipes – that picture makes the sausage look…well…unflattering, to say the least. The point is, we have traditions in my family and sausage sandwiches are one of them. Maybe ‘tradition’ isn’t the right word; a tradition implies that there’s a reason or a sentiment behind why you’ve always done it that way, but the fact is, we do it that way because it’s quick, easy, and comforting. Calling it a tradition covers up the fact that, when it comes down to it, I didn’t have any better alternative dinner recipes for sausage. A darn shame.
Little known fact: Snixy Kitchen is not my first blog. Back in 2007, I had a five-post stint as a blogger telling detailed classroom stories of teaching adventures, in which I replaced all my students’ names with Disney characters. I wrote about the time I discovered that 4th-grade Gaston had written, “Ms. Nix is next,” in the margin of his book (next for what?!), and the time Pocahontas raised her hand to, in complete seriousness, announce that she needed to poop. This blog lasted all of 5 days because I discovered that teaching is truly a more-than-full-time job.
I’ve missed you! You know that raw excitement a dog feels when its human friend returns after being away FOREVER…or, say, 15 minutes? That’s how I feel about seeing you again. Amidst all the chaos over the past couple of weeks, I’ve paused several times to think about how I haven’t been very fair to you. I just disappeared without notice and without any indication of where I went or when I’d be back. A lot has happened since we last met (including this mouth-watering sweet potato hash, but we’ll get to that later). For starters, we drove to my parents’ house two weekends ago and spent the entire time crafting for the wedding. I sacrificed a pair of jeans to a can of paint to make wedding signs from old fence boards and brush color-coordinating chevrons on our corn hole game.
When you’ve got chronic headaches, you’ll try just about anything to find a remedy. Over the past few years, I’ve exhausted nearly every possible option to get rid of them, short of adjusting what I eat. You see, when I tell myself “let’s just take a break from cheese to see if it’s a trigger,” I do really well for a day or two, but then on day three? I. MUST. EAT. CHEESE. All of the cheese in entire world. But alas folks, it’s come to that. A change in diet.
Howdy, folks! We returned from our trip to Texas (more on that in the next post), did a few loads of laundry, and quickly headed out again. Lucas to China and I to my parents’ house for a couple of weeks to write a dissertation proposal and work on wedding crafts. In the week leading up to our trip to The South, we planned only super healthy meals in preparation for the pounds of hot links and beef brisket doused in sweet spicy BBQ sauce we’d surely devour in Houston. We had to earn our Texas barbecue. Well, at least I had to; Lucas’s Sunday marathon entitled him to as much pulled pork as his heart desired. Before the trip, this vegetable quiche made our taste buds sing and our waistlines happy.
When Dad tells you he wants Lucas to bring work clothes to replace the fence over the 4-day Thankgiving weekend, he’s not joking. No matter how much you laugh at him, he’s dead serious. Dad doesn’t believe in wasting a perfectly sunny consecutive three days (okay, fine, you can have Thursday off). Even when he’s been on the road hours away from home during the week for the past five weeks. Even when his birthday happens to fall the very next Monday and he has to wake up at 3am to drive up into the middle of nowhere for work. Nope, when there’s work to be done and there is more than one pair of strong hands and two helpful dogs around, it’s going to get done. Lucky for me, I got out of manual labor by spending the better part of the weekend studying (which may not have been any better…), but this is how my dad spent his birthday weekend. By Sunday afternoon, he’d earned some tasty birthday treats, and since the fence replacement is primarily in preparation for my wedding, I had to make sure something delicious got put in the oven for the occasion.
Like I said, pumpkin is taking over my blog! That’s what happens when you don’t want to let just one spoonful of pumpkin purée go to waste. Who knows what’s next: Pumpkin cookies? Pumpkin cupcakes? Pumpkin cheesecake?! Clearly I’ve got a one track mind for sweets right now. To try to fulfill my pumpkin pie cravings in a healthier way, I bring to you: pumpkin pie oatmeal! I mean, let’s get real for a minute here, who hasn’t snuck a slice of pie before noon the day after Thanksgiving? (And then again for lunch…and dinner…and dessert). At least this way, you can feel much less guilty about it.
Fall is coming! Or at least there was a hint of fall approaching last Friday. The sky was overcast, the sun went down early, and there was a chill in the air. I spent the afternoon mourning the loss of summer, and by 5 o’clock, I was ready to bundle up in a blanket in front of the fireplace to watch a movie while sipping a mug of hot cocoa. With a dollop of whipped cream on top. I’d gotten used to the idea of fall weather. Convinced myself that it wasn’t all that bad. I mean, there are lots of great things about fall. Best of which are the endless possibilities for pumpkin desserts. So we marked the change in seasons with a heaping bowl of Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream Friday night, followed by these freshly baked pumpkin pie muffins in the morning.