Hi, all. I have a variety of things that I want to discuss. I could probably make a few separate posts, but I'm feeling chatty right now.
Number one. Cabbage. I love cabbage. I bought a head at the Clemson Farmer's Market yesterday and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. After a bit of research, I had plenty of things to make with it and had to choose. I ended up with Cabbage Jambalaya. I found the recipe on All Recipes, which I use constantly. I love that you can get a recipe for virtually anything, and it's already been tested by twenty other people, and they've all left a review and tips or changes they made to the recipe. My Jambalaya turned out great! I tinkered with the recipe a bit, and I'll post what I came up with at the end. It turned out beautifully, and I made some Jiffy corn muffins to go along with it.
I know, I know, I should have done the corn muffins from scratch, but Jiffy Corn Muffin mix is really the best option. It's always delicious, done in 20 minutes, and usually costs about $0.50 a box. That's the only thing I will almost always choose to make from the box instead of scratch.
This dish would be great for a pot luck, and you can choose how spicy or mild you make it by changing up the hotness of the sausage and which spices you use. I used super hot sausage and put quite a bit of black pepper in it. If you wanted it even hotter, you could add hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper. For a milder version, use sweet sausage and leave out the peppers. Mine was just the right amount of heat for me... although I was a little red in the face by the end.
Number two. Rude people. What is it about EVERYONE I've e-mailed in the past month that makes them ignore me? Ok, when I just submit my application materials for a job, I'm sure they get hundreds of applicants so I understand them not e-mailing me to let me know they've received my resume. When I e-mail a potential employer with specific questions, or a property management company about renting an apartment, I expect an answer. Is that too much to ask?
I've e-mailed three theatres in the past week with specific questions, to the e-mail address that the website said to contact with questions. Am I so undesirable as an employee that they can't even acknowledge me? If they pretend I don't exist, I'll go away? The apartment rental people are even worse. They should want people to be interested in their rentals... ignoring potential tenants is NOT a good way to get them to rent.
Ok, this concludes our rant portion of this post. :-P
Number three. Hiking. I've got the hiking bug. Ever since my short excursion to the Twin Falls, I've been all over trail sites. This weekend I'm going to go find the Yellow Branch Falls in Oconee County. It's a pretty clearly marked trail, and only a mile and a half each way, but I think I should start out slow. I'll save those eight mile hikes for later! My problem is, all of my hiking/camping equipment is in PA. I really only need my hiking boots, which... I probably need new ones anyway since I probably haven't bought any since junior high. The rest of the things I need, I can get fairly inexpensively so it's not a big deal. I probably don't even need half of it, but 10 years of Boy Scouts taught me to have enough supplies to last me days of being lost in the woods... even if it is just a two-hour hike.
So that's my life at the moment. I am cooking and baking as much as ever, NO ONE WILL RETURN MY E-MAILS, and I have a new hobby... a healthy, outdoorsy hobby. Who'da thunk it? :-P
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. smoked (hot or mild) sausage, cut into 1/4" slices.
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 3/4 cups, + 1/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked whole grain rice
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
In a large stock pot over med. heat, combine the ground beef, sausage, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beef is completely browned.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, 1/4 c. water, basil, and garlic powder. Add the tomato mixture, cabbage, the rest of the water, the rice, and the salt and pepper (or any other spices you want) to the pot. (It'll look like a LOT of cabbage, but it'll cook down.) Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35-45 minutes - until the rice is done.