Sunday, December 2, 2012


Note to self:  I am not allowed to cook without a recipe.

The past two nights, I had no real plan with what I was going to make:  I just had a meat and a starch, and I knew I wanted to combine it into something edible.  I ended up starting both components and then pondering what would taste good with it, throwing things in at random, and finally - somehow - ended up with dinner.

Friday night, I had hot Italian sausage and Ditalini.  I decided to try and make a cream sauce, so I threw some half-and-half in with the sausage.  Needed some seasoning, so rosemary, oregano and cinnamon went in - because everything needs cinnamon.  I also added a generous plop of sundried tomato pesto.  At this point, I tasted it and realized it needed some acid.  I went for apple cider vinegar, but I couldn't get the bottle open (no, really - blame the carpal tunnel surgery), so ended up with malt vinegar.  Too much.  Countered with honey.

Surprisingly, the result was quite good.  I wouldn't necessarily serve it to anyone, but it worked.

Saturday night, I had taco meat and arborio rice and decided to make a casserole.  I looked up a generic rice and hamburger casserole to get some ideas on cooking times, then proceeded to ignore it, adding cranberries, peas, almonds and yogurt - the latter so it would have some moisture and not dry up completely.  I picked yogurt for the tartness to complement the cranberries; the cranberries also got a bit of sugar in an attempt to sweet the deal (and them).  Also cinnamon (yes, there's always cinnamon), cumin and chili powder.

I think I'd go with dried cherries next time, but this is actually worth attempting again, with some modifications.

Still - goodness only knows what will end up in the pot next time.