I'm delighted to announce that the winner of the Peanut Butter Guessing Game Giveaway, according to the famous random.org, is wonderful Gita, of delicious, flavorful, healthful Gita's Kitchen ! Gita, I hope you enjoy the peanut butter love coming your way! :-)
All of you, my wonderful readers, are stellar psychics, for an overwhelming majority correctly guessed the following fact to be the false one 3.) The reason I'm so terrified of spiders is because I used to have a pet tarantula, and I never quite got used to her (him?)... Then one day she (he?) escaped, and I've never quite recovered...
No spiders for me, indeed! I'm fine with other creepy crawleys, and I've long wished for a pet snake, but ever since I was a wee thing I've been terrified by the smallest of spiders! I do have a friend who once owned a pet tarantula - she's a far braver woman than I will ever be!
All of the rest of the facts are indeed true... Even the one about enjoying doing laundry and mowing the lawn, which also had lots of votes for being a lie! I feel a little sheepish admitting this, but I even go so far as to eagerly await the next lawn mowing - it's such a satisfying, mellow form of exercise!
1.) I'm an only child, but I grew up with 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses, and 60 sheep!True!It was a zoo - literally...
2.) I used to be allergic to broccoli and bananas, but thankfully I can enjoy both of them now!True - I'm SO glad I can savor them again!
4.) I learned how to ride a horse when I was 2 years old! I've been riding ever since, and during my sophomore year of college I seriously considered dropping out of college to ride horses professionally... Thankfully, I decided to be practical and stay in college. :-)True! Ah, the carefree dreams of youth... :-)
5.) When I was a child, the only food I didn't like... was chocolate.True! This one also received several votes for being a lie, understandably - even I can't quite fathom how this could be true... Yet I well remember turning down chocolate as a small child! So strange...
6.) My two favorite household chores (aside from cooking, of course :-), are doing laundry and mowing the lawn!True!Apparently, this is very embarrassing. :-)
7.) The top of my list of exciting things I long to try in my life: skydiving, surfing, and learning how to fly a plane!True! I hope these dreams will come true within the next few years!
Thank you all so much for playing along with the guessing game and entering the giveaway!! Sending big hugs to you all!
Now, for act two, time for a recipe! :-)
During our jaunt to Trader Joe's on Saturday, we discovered some scrumptious new vegetarian "sausage!"
High in protein, low in saturated fat, and deliciously slightly spicy, these are now our new favorite veggie-sausage. Lest I begin to sound like an advertisement, however, I shall fast forward to the dish we created with said sausages... St. Patty's Day Cabbage and Leeks!
"Time out, time out, I just saw the picture of the veggie sausages, and they're Italian style sausages! How on this green earth do they belong in a St. Patrick's Day dish?"
Well, um, I also confess this dish has a liberal helping of Cajun seasoning as well... Perhaps I should call this delightful, healthful, piquant dish I fixed last night, for our St. Patrick's Day weekend celebration, "St. Patrick's Day Fusion Cabbage and Leeks..."
I admit I felt a pang of guilt as I prepared this tremendously non-traditional dish last night, for I have long held my fondness for Irish cuisine especially close to my heart, treasuring my many cookbooks of traditional Irish country cooking, most of which I've owned since I was 16 and madly in love with the green Irish hillsides long before I ever gazed upon them in person. I should have been fixing Colcannon, I chided myself, especially since my colcannon, I must admit, has become so legendary within our family that it's requested every year for our Thanksgiving feast, right alongside the Southern Sweet Potato Casserole and Matzah Farfel Dressing.
Alas, though, my Colcannon's legendary status is likely due, at least in part, to the generous amounts of butter with which it's gilded... and we were envisioning more balanced, lighter fare last night. So, with apologies to my beloved Ireland, I decided upon cabbage and leeks lightly sauteed in olive oil - with Italian style vegetarian sausage and Cajun seasoning. Yet I would like to think that the tenacious, sprightly faeries of Irish legend would forgive me the culinary liberties I've taken, and perhaps even sample a nibble or two of this toothsome dish...
Sauteed Cabbage and Leeks, Fusion Style
1 package Italian-style vegetarian "sausage" (such as Trader Joe's), sliced OR 1 package Italian-style chicken sausage, sliced
3 T oil from olive oil-packed sundried tomatoes, divided
2 leeks, white parts only, roughly chopped
1/2 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
1 green cabbage, shredded
1/2 tsp celery seeds
Cajun seasoning to taste
~ In a large skillet, add 1 T of the oil from the sundried tomatoes, and cook the slices of vegetarian "sausage" or chicken sausage until well browned on each side. Remove from the heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
~ In a second large skillet, using the remaining 2 T of the oil from the sundried tomatoes, saute the leeks and bell pepper over medium high heat until the leeks are just tender.
~ Add the cabbage and continue to saute, stirring well until the cabbage just begins to soften.
~ Stir in the celery seeds, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage reaches the degree of tenderness you prefer (either crisp-tender, limp, or anything in-between).
~ Just before you're ready to serve, season the cabbage to taste with Cajun seasoning, stir in the vegetarian sausage or chicken sausage, season to taste with salt and pepper, and heat until just rewarmed, if needed.