|Chopped cabbage, smothered down with the trinity of vegetables, ground sausage and tomatoes.|
Smothered Cabbage with Sausage and TomatoWell hey y'all - wow, it's 2017 already... Happy New Year! Okay we're more than a week into it now, but what can I say? I've been busy with life.
Mercy was it cold enough for everybody lately though? I know that in comparison to the rest of the country, here on the Gulf Coast we had it pretty easy. No snow, but the cold rain that rolled in right when the temps started dropping sure would have made for a pretty blanket of snow. We did have three nights in a row where things were freezing, two of which were hard freezes, and with the high winds, daytime temps weren't a whole lot better, so for us here in the Deep South, it was cold!
I enjoyed having our version of a snow day to be honest, because it gave me permission to just relax, plus I got to use some of my wintry Christmas gifts, namely my fleecy Cuddl Duds pjs, bootie slippers and Berkshire blanket sheets! I lived in those Cuddl Duds for days ya'll. I sleep pretty hot, with my personal summers (and if you're a woman of a certain age, you know exactly what that means), so they're a little too warm for sleeping, but I would change into them in the morning and then lounge around all day. I literally haven't been out of the house for days, and you know what? I've loved it!
I also picked up another Duraflame stove heater from a TSV on QVC for the fur babies recently, which came a day before the cold spell, right on time. I don't usually run the central heat at night, and this one has a thermostat and timer, so I put it in the mud room where they have their cat condo, and it was nice and cozy for them overnight, when it was the coldest. We're already back into 50s and 60s for lows and 60s and 70s for highs, so that may well have been our last big cold snap.
Soooo... how are your resolutions going? Or do you make them? I always start out with good intentions about the typical things we all do - weight, diet, organizing - and they wane after about a week.
This year though I added a couple of practical things that I've had some problems with this past year, one of which has to do with the perpetual state of disarray that my kitchen seems to always be in. You know that thing that happens when you don't get to putting away dishes right away, whether they've been machine or hand-washed?
Yeah, then the next thing that happens is that dirty, albeit rinsed, dishes pile up in the sink and then, on the counter, leading to a crazy cycle of messiness. So my promise to myself has been to do my best to empty the dishwasher as soon as it's done with the cycle and hand dry and put away dishes that I've hand washed right away - like the pans, plastics and my cutlery. So far I've been doing a lot better with that I'm happy to say!
I have this same problem with laundry. As I sit here looking at baskets of folded laundry, I realize I'm still working on that one. And my never-ending clutter.
The other thing is the same one many of us promise ourselves - to move more. My problem is that my exercise options are limited due to health issues that I have, so I'm pretty stuck with the low impact stuff. Seeing as I work from home and on a computer all day, a couple years ago I picked up a Garmin Vivofit as a way to nudge myself to get up and move. If you have been sitting too long, a red line begins to slow creep up across the watch, getting longer as you fail to move.
I just do this thing they call house walking - who knew that was a thing - meaning I walk the depth and length of my house fairly briskly in circles, and I've been pretty good at getting up and moving when the red lights come on. The problem is, that wasn't quite enough moving really, so I set myself a goal to walk at least 10 solid minutes when the red line comes on. I set a timer and walk until it goes off, and sometimes even a little bit longer. Generally this tends to get me in at least 30 minutes of steady walking, and that, together with my other moving around during the day, gets me pretty close to, and sometimes over, my 10,000 step goal, which the experts say is a good goal, even when broken up into segments.
I'm also a terrible clutter bug, so on my walks, I also try to pick up something that is out of its place, and return it to where it should be. I've been doing better with that too, so that's two more successes I hope I can manage to continue the rest of the year!
How about you? What goals did you add to your New Year's Day list, and how are you doing with them?
As far as New Year's Day food, along with pork, blackeyed peas and cornbread, I sometimes have greens, but always have cabbage in some form, and the past several years, it's been this cabbage. Some of you have been asking me to post it ever since, but every year I kinda played around with it a bit, and this year I finally measured things and wrote down what I did!
It's really a version of our beloved fried cabbage, containing a little extra veggies, and just a bit of some kind of meat - and since it's New Year's day, pork, though any other time, ground beef is delicious too. The key is, unless there is a massive amount of fat created in the browning process, you don't want to drain off the fat. Add in a little trinity, garlic, tomatoes and seasonings and you've got my recipe. Want more of a deconstructed cabbage roll feel? Stir in some cooked rice. Want a soup? Add in chicken broth. Any way you look at it, it's a pretty darned good way to consume some cabbage.
Here's how to make it.
Peel away and discard outside leaves of cabbage, core and chop. You should have about 10 cups total, which was about a half of a medium head of cabbage. Brown sausage in a deep pot or Dutch oven; DO NOT DRAIN. I'm using only a half pound of sausage here, because that's what I had leftover in the fridge, though I recommend the full pound. Use either Italian sausage, removed from the casings, or a nicely seasoned breakfast sausage, like Jimmy Dean or Tennessee Pride. Don't use plain raw sausage unless you bump up the seasonings. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cabbage.
Add seasonings, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, remaining ingredients and one tablespoon of the bacon fat or butter.
Cover and continue cooking cabbage about 15 to 20 minutes longer, or to desired consistency. Stir in remaining tablespoon bacon fat or butter, taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
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Recipe: Smothered Cabbage with Sausage and Tomatoes©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 35 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 10 cups chopped cabbage (about 1/2 a medium head)
- 1 pound mild or hot breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean/Tennessee Pride) or Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, optional
- 1 (14.5) ounce Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or unsalted butter, divided
Peel away and discard outside leaves of cabbage, core and chop; set aside. Brown sausage in a deep pot or Dutch oven; DO NOT DRAIN. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cabbage and seasonings, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes, vinegar, hot sauce, brown sugar and one tablespoon of the bacon fat or butter. Cover and continue cooking cabbage about 15 to 20 minutes longer, or to desired consistency. Stir in remaining tablespoon bacon fat or butter, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Double as needed for larger servings.
Cook's Notes: May substitute sliced, smoked sausage, ground beef or turkey. If you use plain diced tomatoes, add about 1/4 teaspoon each basil and oregano, to taste. May substitute tomatoes with green chilies (like mild or hot Rotel). Stir in 1 to 2 cups of cooked rice if desired. Turn into a soup by adding chicken broth.
Cabbage Gumbo: Saute 2 cups of sliced fresh or frozen thawed okra in pot with cooking oil first; remove and set aside, proceeding with recipe, increasing tomatoes to 2 cans and adding in 1 quart of water or chicken broth. Return okra to pot for last simmer.
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