Well, FINALLY! (And Sausage Balls)

After five soul-sucking months at work, I finally got my kitchen crafting mojo back. Two days before Christmas.

There is a long story about work that I will save for another time, but suffice it to say it drained me both mentally and physically, and my former boss would do well to be in jail. Or maybe prison. Pound him in the ass federal prison… And this is just my personal opinion, nothing factual.

Like I said, another story for another time…

I wasn’t a Scrooge this year, but I didn’t put up the tree, or otherwise decorate, except to put out the Christmas snowflake oven handle towel. The grand babies are scattered, and I just didn’t feel like expending what little energy I had after Thanksgiving to putting up the tree. Maybe next year, LOL…

That said? My husband loves sausage balls, so we took our annual trek over to the pork center where I picked up hot and mild sausage for the above mentioned goody, as well as some other pork staples that we enjoy throughout the winter months.

Note to self (and anyone using a stand mixer to do these): Start out with the paddle to initially mix and then switch to the dough hook to ensure whatever cheese and Bisquick is at the bottom of the bowl gets incorporated to the mix. Recipe at the end. 🙂

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Raw Nahunta sausage, Bisquick and cheddar sausage balls. Yum!

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The finished product… ❤

I managed to put a pan of sausage balls into the oven and another into the freezer for later, and am currently working on a custom body butter for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I still have wrapping to do, but at least the shopping is done. I should get a prize for that. Really.

Sausage balls are also really useful when you need to drug your sixty pound rescue outdoor dog for a much needed shave and bath. According to my Fitbit Alta, I burned a crap-ton of calories scalping and bathing Petey. He is a yard dog by (his) choice, but he is getting older, and the nights are getting colder, so we needed to really cut his hair and bathe him because he smelled really BAD. And if we were going to bring him in for the winter, he needed to smell better than wet dog, even when he was dry. He has an aversion to brushes, scissors and trimmers, so we did what we needed to do, and OMG, he is so soft under that shaggy coat, and he smells amazing! 😉

Okay, so here is the sausage ball recipe I said I’d share with you:

  • 1 pound of pork bulk sausage. (I use half a pound of Nahunta hot and half a pound of Nahunta mild, but I understand Jimmy Dean and Tennessee Pride are good, too.)
  • Scant 3 cups of Bisquick
  • 4 cups (aka 1 pound) grated cheddar cheese

Warm your sausage and cheese up to room temperature and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Mix until combined. If using a stand mixer, start with your paddle, then use your dough hook. If mixing by hand, I will send up a prayer, LOL. Just stir till everything is combined.

Scoop rounded teaspoons of blended goo and roll into 1-1 1/2 inch balls and place on your choice of: greased jelly roll pan; greased broiler pan, or a greased cooling rack placed into a jelly roll pan. (I did the latter, and I really had an issue getting them off without them tearing up, so next time, I will try the broiler pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on outside.

Now, I placed half of mine on a foil wrapped cookie sheet and placed in the deep freeze and am about to pull them and put the into freezer bags. These can be baked right out of the freezer; just add 2-3 minutes baking time. I used a cookie sheet to keep them from sticking together, and now that they are frozen, I will transfer them to the freezer bags. 🙂

Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and a Joyous Holiday season whatever your belief system.

Until next time…

Out With the Old…

2013_03…and in with the new.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but 2012 was pretty awesome as a whole.

Yes, it did have it’s roller coaster moments, but overall, the good moments were REALLY awesome. The down side is that the bad times were really bad. That said, it’s comforting to know that even when the chips were down, we all still managed to get through it.

I was just talking to a friend of mine about how quickly this year flew by. I mean, doesn’t seem like almost an entire year has gone by since we taped fifty $1.00 bills to her desk to commemorate that milestone 50th birthday, but apparently it has, because she just confirmed her birthday is this coming Saturday.

Are any of you making resolutions? I’m not. I gave them up for Lent last spring. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding…Sorry, Mom!) They are so fragile that I tend to break them without meaning to, so I am not having any of that in 2013.

As for the whole Mayan 12/21-thing? I’m relieved that we, as a planet, didn’t implode, explode, or cease to exist by some horrendous natural disaster. And relieved does not mean surprised.  I honestly didn’t think that the physical world was going to end. I am, for the record, waiting on the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. I am not terribly well-versed in things of such a spiritual nature, however, if astrological ages change every couple of thousand years or so, and changes come with that? Sounds like a good idea to me. After all…Look at the state of the world as it sits today. I would like to think that it can’t get much worse, so the only place to go is up. Based on much of what I’ve read about this, we should be moving toward a kinder, gentler world. Now THAT would be something to write home about!

I wish for all of you prosperity, success, happiness, health, and most importantly LOVE and lots of it in the coming year.

 

imagesGood-bye, 2012. You have been a learning experience, that’s for sure. Thanks for the memories!

 

Until next year…err…time…

Commercialism at its Finest (?)

I think I realized that commercials were starting to get bizarre about a year ago; around the time back to school commercials were starting to air in 2011. The ones that specifically stick out in my mind are the ones from Target. Do y’all remember the dorky music teacher singing about denim? That damn jingle became the ear-worm from hell for me. I could not get that song out of my head until Christmas.

Then, too, was that same year’s crazy homemaker who spent weeks warming up and training for the Black Friday sale at (where else?) Target.

Fast forward to this year’s back to school season…Not only did Target absolutely deface some of my all time favorite 80’s retro songs, but JCP came out with a bone chilling commercial that I found utterly depressing.

It was still early August out here in “go to the beach” country; the free kids’ cuts in August commercial. They showed this adorable little girl swinging across the rings in a swimsuit, with the wonderful backdrop of the beach. But then the angle shifts, and we see the poor thing finishing her journey on the rings and landing, dressed in her new school clothes, in the school yard and grinning like back to school is just the best! (insert gushing voice here) thing ever! Now, at my age, you know it’s been a good, oh, I don’t know? Ten or fifteen years since a back to school commercial really got under my skin, but this one absolutely did.

Yesterday, as I was sucking down coffee with the Hubs and watching Good Morning America, I heard one of the hosts refer to Black Friday as the “annual orgy of capitalism,” and I literally laughed out loud. You see, this girl avoids retail like the plague pretty much from Thanksgiving until after the new year. Shoppers can be scary this time of year, and while I am generally a pacifist, my mouth has been known to get away from me during rare excursions to my local retail outlet. Let’s be honest. There are only so many times a person can be rammed by shopping carts in a single trip to the store before even the most peace-loving person will go off. Folks are just rude during the holidays! Drives me nuts, so I shop online. Safer for everyone that way, trust me.

I think the commercials that tickle me the most are the ones where people are getting cars for Christmas. Cars? Really? I am happy with a new bathrobe, so a car is inconceivable to me. Johnny, on the other hand, is a little creeped out by the talking exclamation point in the Big Lots commercials. This happy little piece of punctuation is a whole lot more realistic to me than the idea of finding that brand new Benz in the driveway with a big red bow on it. Just sayin’

And Target? For Black Friday, they did not disappoint, again this year. There are two that made me want to switch channels as soon as I saw them the first time, and only one got better the more I heard it, because we both laugh at it. The other? The more I saw it, the more I wanted to throw something at the TV.

So, in honor of the season, I present to you these, in order of preference, if you can call it that:

and

Which commercials do you love this time of year? Which ones can’t you stand? I look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.

Until Next Time….