I bought only four lemons for both the pudding cake (recipe called for four) and the orzo (recipe called for one) ... and still came out on the other end with leftover zest and juice. Going to keep the leftovers and toss it at random into one of my weekday meals, if I remember to. Thus verily do I slowly approached Chopped basket status.
Some last minute tweaks with the sausage loaf because I hadn't measured appropriately before shopping: only had about half a cup of dried cranberries, so used some dried cherries as well; didn't have quite enough mozzarella, so threw in peccorino romano; and although the recipe called for 20 oz of sausage, lo and behold, my grocery store sells packages of 19.76 oz. I could not make these numbers up.
(By now, I shouldn't even have to mention that I cut down the onions in both. Just assume where applicable that Lindsey used half or less of the recommended dosage of onion.)
I don't have a handmixer, so the pudding cake required me to waste an unnecessary number of bowls - had to beat something, transfer it to another bowl, clean the standmixer bowl, lather, rinse, repeat ... wait, that's implied in "clean the bowl." I don't think I got the proper peaks in the whites - some of the yolk ran into them, too - so the consistency of my pudding cake may not have been quite right ...
Final verdict (pudding cake): But the taste is lovely! Perfect amount of lemon and very ... well ... pudding-y. Recommended.
I had no idea just how long it was going to take me to dice one apple. Have I mentioned before that I hate cutting things? Actually, that's inaccurate: I hate cutting food. I love cutting words. Beyond that, it wasn't hard to prepare the sausage loaf right up until the point where it was supposed to be rolled ...
I just have to face it: I wasn't meant to put food inside other food. Every time I've had a recipe where I've had to roll, fold or stuff, something goes drastically, to-the-point-of scrap-this-meal-and-eat-tinfoil wrong. This time, the loaf split. Maybe my Bisquick was too old? I made additional amounts and patched it, but it was still a mess.
After that, the orzo, which I had expected to be labor intensive, went along with ease. I'm not sure I had it fully toasted, but I was pleased with how easily it prepped and surprised how rapidly it soaked up the liquid.
Final verdict (sausage loaf): No. Not worth it. This is the first recipe I've pitched in a while. I may have overbaked it, but it wasn't even close enough to justify fixing. The filling is slightly sweet, but otherwise tasteless. It needed so much more spice and life that one might as well just find another recipe.
Final verdict (orzo): The orzo, on the other hand, was a delight. The mint and lemon in it are very subtle - I might kick it up a bit for the future, but quite satisfying as-is. A satisfying and easy side.