John Wayne is one tasty dish.
No, not John Wayne the cowboy. Although he does have that whole wild, rugged look going on. (Wait! On second thought…)
In the latest edition of Mississippi Magazine there is an article titled “Dish It Out”, about the John Wayne Casserole a local hospital serves in their cafeteria.
As it so happens, I got my mitts on a serving of the very same casserole today.
It was a generous 5″x4″x3″ block of layered biscuit mix, ground beef, creamy filling, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. For hospital food, it wasn’t half bad in regards to taste. In fact, it was quite filling, but I could have done without the mayonnaise.
The article isn’t online at the magazine website, but using my refined computer hacking skills (kidding), I dug up the text and John Wayne Casserole recipe on The Free Library website. It looks pretty easy and the ingredients might already be in your kitchen. Be sure to cut the quantities in half, unless you are cooking for a football team.
Clouds have descended upon the land for the fourth day in a row.
It’s a mystery how the folks in the Pacific Northwest stay sane.
On days painted with gray skies and rain showers, I want nothing more than a blanket, a warm cup of tea and pajamas. Maybe a new Netflix movie. Oh, and to stay at home.
Above all else, I crave soup for every meal. Luckily we had the necessary ingredients for Ben’s favorite soup stockpiled in our pantry.
Yes, this is Ben’s favorite soup, of all time. It includes spinach, therefore I deem it fairly healthy except for the part about sausage. Serving it with a grilled cheese sandwich is a must for us.
For more soup and meal ideas check out my Recipe page.
Italian Sausage White Bean Soup
Note: This a very forgiving recipe. If you can’t find Italian sausage use regular sausage and add Italian seasonings. If you don’t like sausage use ground turkey. If you don’t have fresh spinach use frozen. Occasionally I throw in extra vegetables (carrots, celery, potatoes), just because I can.
1-2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. Italian sausage, ground
2 – 16 oz. cans white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
3 c. chicken stock
1 c. water
1 bunch or around 4c. of fresh spinach
salt and pepper
Optional: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Once heated, stir in the onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic.
Move the mixture to the perimeter of the pot and brown the sausage in the middle. Break up the sausage and combine it with the onions and garlic.
While the sausage is cooking open the cans of beans. Take a fork and mush the beans against the side of the can (this thickens the soup and makes it slightly creamy), do this for one can.
When the sausage has been cooked thoroughly stir in both cans of beans. Pour in the chicken stock and water, scrape the bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and throw in spinach, it will wilt once combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, squeeze in fresh lemon juice (if you want.)
For a print-friendly version, click the Print & PDF button below. For more recipes check out my Recipe page.
Dish: A cherry-cheese danish and a hunk of Tiramisu
A $5 gift card to Broad Street Bakery was burning a hole in my pocket, or rather my stomach. It expired March 31 and I simply could not let it go to waste.
I stopped by on Saturday, gawked at the bakery case for a good 15 minutes and chose these two beauties. Passing over the cookies, bars, brownies and cupcakes the deciding factor was, “items I like but don’t want to make myself”.
The danish was more cherry than cheese and the tiramisu didn’t have a strong espresso flavor, but both vanished like donuts left on my office counter – in mere minutes.
Broad Street Bakery
Banner Hall Shopping Center
I-55 North & Northside Drive
West Frontage Road
Strange, funny and weird things entertaining me today…
25 More Terrible (Or Awesome) Breakfast Cereals: The Consumerist
I’m not sure which is better, the headline of the article or this discontinued C-3PO’s cereal.
The PAC-MAN version looks strangely familiar from my childhood memories. ET on a box is just wrong, he freaks me out, always has and always will.
Video: How to Kill a Squirrel and Eat It: Serious Eats
This tutorial could be helpful in case things get real bad, hunger strikes, or you need to make an example of one for the others to take heed. The remaining squirrels in your yard would quickly fall in line.
When Parents Text
I’m waiting for the day my mom gives me content to submit.
One dark and stormy morning, we drove through sheets of rain to attend a wedding in a nearby town.
For some twisted reason (probably to raise the spirits of a disheartened bride), it’s been said a rainy wedding day is a favorable omen for the marriage. This bride and groom should have good luck for many years to come.
Our fondness for the Natchez Trace parkway led us to the historic path turned road once again, heading west towards Natchez. Carefully inching along we eventually reached the end, or rather, the beginning, and pulled into a quintessential small Southern town sitting on the banks of the Mississippi river.
It was my first visit to Natchez, and prior to our trip I did what I do whenever venturing somewhere new – research the restaurants.
I begin by scanning posts on Chowhound for eating options in a specific geographical area. Then I read newspaper websites, food websites and fellow local food blogs for reviews. Once I have gathered a few places, I check out the restaurant’s site and preview the menu. (Priorities people.)
The process allows me to arrive with list of strong contenders of where to eat. I don’t always get my way depending on the trip, company or situation, so when meal decisions arise I’m prepared to make suggestions. Options are a food lovers best friend.
Amidst celebrating the love of two friends uniting for life, we had one opportunity to eat out during the weekend. The possibilities for Natchez included: Mammy’s Cupboard, Fat Mama’s Tamales, Pig Out BBQ, Planet Thailand and the Castle Restaurant at the Dunleith.
The tumultuous weather affected our travel plans and we didn’t make it to Mammy’s Cupboard which closes at 1 p.m. We pushed on to the Grand hotel and for the sake of proximity and ease, walked down the street to grab lunch at the Pig Out Inn. (Fat Mama’s was a close second, also in walking distance, but I was dissuaded by the Cynical Cook.)
Approaching the restaurant the inviting scent of barbeque wafted through the air. Fittingly, both the exterior and interior of the Pig Out Inn are blanketed with pig decorations. Momentarily distracted by the huge Ode-to-the-South wall mural, I snapped back to the barbeque laden menu above the counter.
Ben and I both ordered pulled pork, he got a large sandwich with two sides and I got a small sandwich. For the sides he chose baked beans and cole slaw, and I picked up a bag of jalapeno flavored Zapp’s potato chips. Armed with two half and half iced teas (half sweet tea, half regular), we were ready to dig in.
The pork was tender, smokey and oddly chopped up into chunks. I prefer pulled pork to be shredded, but that’s just how I like it. The meat comes bare, so I promptly covered my sandwich with barbeque sauce from the bottle on the table, which had a slight kick. It was satisfyingly standard barbeque fare, but then again my Kansas City roots are hard to impress.
Perhaps Rebecca Black’s recent comments about her debut music video Friday, can also be applied here. The Pig Out In isn’t the worst barbeque nor is it the best, nevertheless it’s good on some level.
Pig Out Inn Barbeque
116 South Canal Street
Natchez, MS 39120