Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Pleasant Surprise

I've recently been bogged down by studying for a large exam, and my husband graciously has picked up the slack in the kitchen. Last weekend he did all of the grocery shopping, and even picked out a few new recipes for us to try. This is one that I was wishing he hadn't picked. To be completely honest, it just didn't look appealing to me at all. I doubted it right up until the first bite.

I'm happy to report that I was dead wrong on this one. This meal is simple, delicious and probably the cheapest dinner we can make. Trust me on this ... it's worth a try.

2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
5 cups frozen shredded hash browns (~1/2 of a 26 oz package)
1 t. dried crushed thyme
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 lb. smoked sausage, chopped
1 medium apple (such as golden delicious), cored and cut into thin wedges

In a 10 inch skillet, heat oil and 1 T. butter over medium heat. Add potatoes in an even layer. Cook about 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Stir in half of the thyme and all of the pepper. Using a spatula, press potatoes down firmly into a cake. Cook for about 8 minutes more until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, melt the remaining 1 T butter over medium heat. Add sausage and apple. Cook about 10 minutes or until apple is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining thyme.

Slide potatoes onto a cool plate; cover with another plate and flip the plates over so the nicely browned side of the potato pancake is on top. Spoon sausage-apple mixture over the potatoes and season to taste with salt.

Makes 4 servings (but when we eat this it's more like 3)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blog Addict

I have never been much of a TV watcher. I have a few shows I've followed now and then, but I don't typically spend a lot of time in front of the television. (Two exceptions: 1. The Olympics...we were total junkies. 2. The Food Network...I could watch all day on the rare occasions we have cable.)

But, with the internet, one no longer needs the television to waste copious amounts of time. And, it's no longer the original internet activities, looking up interesting information, following the news or shopping for clothes. No, now there is Blogland where I can get lost for hours reading about other peoples' lives, people I don't even know and will probably never meet, but I'm captivated by their stories.

I have recently discovered Google Reader. It's like an inbox for all the new blog entries that are posted on your favorite sites. You no longer have to click through your "favorites" checking to see if the blog has been updated. It's now delivered straight to Google Reader. At first, I thought, "What a time saver!" Now, I'm thinking something different. Google Reader makes these recommendations of other blogs you might enjoy based on your subscriptions. Oh, brother. I think I should probably go back to the "old" way of just pulling up the site once in awhile. I have way more posts to read than I can get to in a day!

All that to say, I'm inspired to post more on this blog and maybe another one where I talk about something other than recipes.

So, here's the Strawberry Sorbet recipe I mentioned last week. This is so very good!

Strawberry Sorbet

2 c. strawberries, hulled and quartered (can substitute 16 oz frozen strawberries, thawed)
2 c. buttermilk
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Process strawberries in a food processor/blender 30 seconds or until smooth, scraping down sides. Pour strawberry puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon. Discard solids. Add buttermilk, sugar and vanilla to puree. Stir until well blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Pour strawberry mixture into the freezer container of a 1 1/2 quart electric ice cream maker and freeze according to package directions. Yum!

After the ice cream was frozen we put it in a bowl and froze it overnight so that it was good and hard. This is not essential but allowed the ice cream to set up a little more.