I am hiding from the bathroom reno by cooking. Enjoy!

Posting two days in a row? Who am I and what has happened to my slacker ways?? Basically I'm hiding from my construction beleaguered husband, who claims he loves to do renovation projects around the house yet turns into a world class grump while in the middle of them. God forbid I actually take a moment to drink my coffee after making him breakfast; don't I know there is work to be done?! Guaranteed he'll be full of the the passive aggressives when he gets back from the latest Home Depot run because I'm still sitting, mug in hand, and not out buying a vanity. However, I need to shower before going out and he has turned off the water. Impasse! Luckily, he's almost always pretty great, tremendous wedgies in his cranky construction pants aside, and he happens to do a pretty nice job on these projects, so I guess I'll keep him.

It has been a very kitchen-y weekend so far. It started with Friday Pizza Night. My fridge is a mess, as I have been thrown off of my cooking game of late, and I wasn't sure what I would have to work with in the way of pizza toppings. After perusing the inventory, I decided to chop up some tomatoes and scallions and toss them with a little bit of EVOO, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I rolled out the dough and covered it in a thick coating of freshly grated mozzarella, then sprinkled on the tomato and scallion dressing. It went into the 525 degree oven until it was golden and bubbly, and OMG -- amazing. This is definitely going into the regular rotation.

The cooking continued last night, with another old family classic -- sausages sautéed in red wine. This is SO easy, and really delicious. I bought a half dozen sweet Italian sausages from the butcher and popped them into a sauté pan with a little EVOO over high-ish heat (about an 8 on my crappy electric stove (OH HOW I AM COUNTING THE DAYS UNTIL I HAVE A GAS STOVE IN THE NEW HOUSE) (APPROXIMATELY 146)). Pour in red wine, any kind you would be happy drinking, about 1/3 of the way up the sausages. It's going to be very bubbly, so just keep turning the sausages every minute or so until the wine is nearly absorbed. Once the wine is almost absorbed, add in another blob of wine and turn the heat down to medium. Cover the pan and let the sausages simmer until nearly cooked through, flipping them once or twice (about 15 or so minutes). At this point, pull the sausages out of the pan, turn the heat back up, and add in about 3/4 c of water to deglaze. Throw the sausages back into the bubbly sauce and keep flipping them to coat. Once it reduces enough, it will start spitting grease, so throw the cover back on and let the outside of the sausages caramelize a little. That's it! I served them with TJ's asparagus risotto and lightly roasted, garlicky haricot verts. Awesome.

The best part of the sausages is how good they are left over. My gram would make sandwiches from very thinly sliced sausages on lightly buttered bread (this is possibly a beloved childhood treat from Grandma that is actually gross to adults other than Gram's grandchildren, a la boxed chocolate cake with Cool Whip frosting). Today I decided to humor my resident construction worker with an egg scramble for breakfast. Mark hates eggs, basically. He will eat them as a binder for a whole mess of meat, cheese, meat, and more meat, and very much enjoys them this way and only this way. I never make them this way because, dude, how much grease do you really need before noon? Today I relented though. I took applewood smoked bacon from the butcher and laid it out on a baking rack on a foil-covered sheet pan. Stick it in a cold oven and turn it on to 400, bake for 20 minutes, flip, and cook 5 minutes more and it's PERFECT. Still flexible, yet fully cooked and crispy. While the bacon was cooking, I diced up some red potatoes and got started on home fries. I also sliced some of the sausages left from dinner. Once everything was ready to go, I stuck the sausage, chopped bacon, and potatoes into a big skillet and scrambled in some eggs. A dusting of cheese, and Mark's ideal egg breakfast was ready to go. Pretty tasty, but UGH. I feel mentally fatter already.


Next up is a sirloin and bean chili that my mom sent a recipe for last week. She claims it is fairly low in fat/calories while also delicious. I certainly hope so after the nutritional atrocity that was breakfast. I will report back...


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