It is a New Year, and I guess from the looks of the ‘blog land’ we now live in, I am supposed to write a blog instructing you and your family to eat healthier. Honestly why preach that now in January? This is what I talk about all year long. I do not need a New Year to arrive to begin my preaching. I cannot in good conscious impose my beliefs onto you. I only wish to help those of you like myself who need a safe and easy place to go to help create memories in the kitchen with your family. I do believe as parents, caretakers, siblings, grandparents, etc. we have a responsibility to ensure that those we love and care for eat well and in moderation.
What does that mean? Well, it is like a finger print. It means something different to each and every one of us. There are all kinds of new or recycled Food Revolutions happening out there. You can’t join every single revolution, can you? There’s the currently hot Paleo Diet, adding to the Clean Eating Revolution, while the Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Raw Food Idea’s are being talked about everywhere. The fact is each of these Revolutions has their benefits as well as their draw backs, and only you can know what works for your body, lifestyle, and budget. I myself choose to just follow a simple thought: I eat and cook with as fresh ingredients as I can afford to, ensure my plate and the plates I serve to my family are balanced ones, and reduce as much of the processed, over-salted, over-sugared food I can from our lives.
My biggest goal is to get families to cook together. Those that do tend to have stronger bonds, healthier relationships, and solid morals. There is no better place in the world to bond with those you love than over a meal, especially if you cooked it together.
I work full time, and I struggle each month to purchase healthy food for my family. I am no different then perhaps many of you are, yet what gets me through some of the hardest times is my family and my love for the kitchen and cooking. I learned some of the hardest lessons in my Mother’s kitchen, lessons that allow me to be tough and persevere through the toughest of times today. Without those discussions, without those moments of cooking and talking I can say I probably would not be here.
So here is what I have to say about the New Year. Yes it is a time of renewal, a time to perhaps try something different, a time to make some changes, but Biggest of all — it is a time like every other time you’ll have this year and those that follow, to get in the kitchen and cook something, anything, with your family. So get as adventurous as you dare. Try a new type of cuisine, learn a new culinary skill, create a signature family dish, whatever it may be just get in the kitchen and do it. And do it your way. Remember you and your family are as unique as a finger print and so is what and how you eat.
Here is an easy but fun Family favorite Recipe for you to try with your family:
My Mom made this for my family a lot while I was growing up. She used Jones sausages, but I like to elevate mine a bit and use either Italian Sweet Sausage or some of Eric’s favorite German Sausages like bratwurst, weisswurst or knockwurst (as seen in the above Photo). It is a super easy, budget friendly dinner recipe that I know you and your family will love.
Rice and Sausage Pie:
6-8 sausages, depends on the size, you can use any type of sausage you like
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 can stewed Italian style tomatoes include their juice, do not strain.
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth, or any type of broth you like, even just plain water will work
2 tablespoons fresh mint, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon soft butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brown your Sausage first in a large hot skillet, they should not be cooked all the way through, as they will be cooking in the oven for an hour. All you want is a nice sear on the outside of the sausages, once achieved put aside.
- butter a 9 or 10 inch heat resistant glass or ceramic pie plate
- pour the rice into the buttered pie plate
- Pour the tomatoes and their juice over the rice
- In a small bowl mix together the broth, Worceshire, and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour liquid over the tomatoes and rice.
- Place the sausage on top of the tomatoes in a sunburst formation, or however you can fit them in.
- Sprinkle over the mint.
- Bake for 1 hour