Do you know what I’m not doing tonight? Work. I’m done. I had a long day – work at my lab from 9-2, class from 2:30-4, meeting from 4-5, osteology lab from 5-6, and grocery shopping from 6-7. I’m tired of working. I’m laying in bed, blogging. And no one will stop me. (I may even eat some chocolate kisses – getting wild over here!)
All this work seems even more difficult and taxing than usual. Why? Because I just got done with a glorious week-long, restful, fun spring break. No, I didn’t do anything wild – no beaches or cross-country travel. I went home to visit my parents. And since none of my friends were in town I spent a lot of time with family, which is just what I needed.
I love being home. My parents are such excellent and supportive people, every time I’m home it’s a mental break. I actually did a lot of crafting while I was home too – I’m finishing up an infinity scarf and I got started on a t-shirt quilt (which I’ll be sure to blog about when finished). Thank God my mom knew something about sewing… or I would have ended up with a mess.
Another reason I love being home is that they always have a stocked fridge (and a cast-iron skillet)! I ate tons of vegetables and fruits, so my body got a break too. But, I couldn’t resist cooking up one not-so-healthy dish. This has a bit of a kick (keep in mind – I’m a complete baby with spice) and the parents seemed to like it. We all definitely noticed that it seems like a grown-up version of a childhood meal: hotdogs cut up in macaroni and cheese!
Recap: perfect break, perfect meal
“Kickin’ Sausage and Cheese Pasta”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds
- 2 cups diced onion
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, original style
- 1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
- 12 ounces uncooked penne pasta (you can add more or less depending on skillet size)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- I highly recommend to have everything sliced and, if possible, measured out. Once you start cooking, it will go quickly and you’ll want to be ready!
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet (or another pan that’s safe for the oven). Wait until the oil smokes (and it will)!
- Throw in the sausage and onion, cooking until the onions start to brown, around 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add broth, Ro-Tel, milk, uncooked pasta, and pepper. Stir the deliciousness.
- Bring to a boil and cover the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Heat until the pasta is tender, around 15 minutes. Stir once or twice while cooking (I stirred every 5 minutes).
- Preheat the broiler.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Top with 1/2 cup of cheese and broil until the cheese is melted (around 3 minutes).
Like I said, this had a bit of a kick to it and I actually enjoyed the leftovers more, after the flavors were able to mix. It’s an easy meal and I’ll definitely be making it again once I see sausages on sale.
As for now, I’m going to head to bed early after reading my book set in Rome. Daydreaming until I can get there… not too much longer! I wish I was still home relaxing, but only 7 more weeks until I’m done with my first year of grad school! Honestly – how does time go so quickly?