Well it has been such a long time since I have posted anything, I wonder if anyone has just completely forgotten this site even exists! I’m back and I plan on making sure that I consistently post to keep this going and keep your interest.
Where to begin about all that has happened since my last post, so you all know or if you don’t let me refresh your memory, I’m now living in Atlanta and have since started a job at Georgia Tech. Through some great connections I was able to start working a temporary position that ended up turning into a permanent position in mid-September. Before that happened, Adam and I began the home search. Let’s just say that happened a lot quicker than either of us expected it to. We thought we would start researching what was out there, what we wanted, where we wanted to end up, and take our time. Well the real estate market had another thing planned for us. We found the absolute perfect house and when you are a first time home buyer, the opportunities come and go quickly in Atlanta. So we made a move and closed on our first home on August 21. To say that when you make the right decision taking a leap of faith and doing what is best for your life is a blessing waiting to happen is a huge understatement for what my life has been in the last few months.
Over the few months since we moved in, we have been able to do a lot of little things to make the house our own. It didn’t even need much which is why we fell in love with it, but any homeowner has certain things they want a certain way. There have been days where I wake up and go through the motions of my morning and then realize, “dang this house is really spoiling. we are so fortunate”. It makes me so happy sometimes, it’s almost nauseating!
The kitchen is an AWESOME one that gives us so much space to prepare food, cook, and entertain. It truly is the center of the home and open to everything! It has been fun being able to cook us meals that we can eat in our first home and make memories with.
I’ve had the chance to travel a few times with work for conferences and one of those weekends Adam went deer hunting with his Dad and brother. He was successful and our freezer is now full of venison meat to cook (or me learn how to cook)! Christmas was an amazing experience being able to spend it with his family in Louisiana. Learning all of his family traditions and just being able to spend time with his family was a lot of fun and such a blessing. After all of that time and travel though, we both ended up getting sick. New Years for us was spent on the couch in sweats and medicated. Fun times! I did make sure though that we had the necessities for New Years Day though. Thankfully though, Adam’s mom sent home with his brother and sister-in-law some peas, greens, and ham. The peas were AMAZING so I will be getting that recipe to post soon!
I had some turnip greens left over to figure out how to use and then wanted to use some of the venison we had in our freezer. Searching I went to find something I could us and I stumbled upon an easy recipe. It is a Southern Living White Bean, Sausage, and Turnip Green Stew.
The first thing I did was thaw some of the venison sausage that we have and get all of the other ingredients together. As the recipe calls for, one pound of turnip greens came out of the refrigerator and I washed them. Then those were boiled until they were tender. The recipe calls for around five minutes of boiling them, but I opted to do them longer so they were pretty tender. Adam started grilling the sausage to help that aspect of the recipe be done, instead of sautéing like the recipe called for. It gave the sausage such a great smokey flavor in the stew.
I started getting the other ingredients ready to go in the stew once those first two items were ready. You will notice the recipe calls for actual turnips and leeks, but with a picky eater in the house (and I can be included in this one) I opted not to do those! Also I changed the red bell pepper to little yellow sweet peppers. The other ingredients were white beans (cannellini beans) and chicken broth.
Once all of the items were ready the recipe calls for the sausage, peppers, and turnip greens to be sautéed. The broth is added after that and then comes to a boil and simmered. Of course with any good stew, you have to have cornbread and with the intolerances that I have it’s hard to find a good one, but Krusteaz has a great one that we stock in our pantry and use a lot. As any good southerner knows, you have to put your oil in your cast iron and let that warm up in the over while you are preparing your batter. Once that has warmed up enough, you add the batter and if you have done it right you’ll hear a little sizzle which means the outside of your cornbread will be nice and crispy.
After the stew simmered for a while and the cornbread had cooked, we had a great meal on a cold Sunday night. All before we both went back to work on a Monday in the New Year. I hope you all are ready for what hopes to be an amazing year with lots of blessings and fun. My goals are to focus on my health more and simplify my life in lots of ways, so I will keep you updated on that journey as we go along with this “life without pizza”!
Here is the recipe for the stew:
White Bean, Sausage, and Turnip Green Stew
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 (1-lb.) package fresh chopped turnip greens
2 cups diced smoked sausage (we used venison sausage and grilled it before adding it in)
2 olive oil
3 medium turnips (about 1 lb.), chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (32-oz.) container reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 ground black pepper
*Like I mentioned earlier, I chose not to add in the leeks and turnips. Just used the greens.I also clearly did not add cheese!
1. Bring 2 qt. water and 1/4 cup kosher salt to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add turnip greens, and boil 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.
2. Cook sausage in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in turnips, and cook 5 minutes. Add leeks and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until leeks are tender.
3. Increase heat to high. Add turnip greens and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, black pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt.