Friday, November 30, 2012

{FPP} - Guest Post from Mary

My FPP for this month asked to write a guest post since she doesn't have a blog.  Here's Mary's take on the goodies I sent her!

I love receiving Foodie Pen Pal treasures in the mail, and Lauren's package far exceeded my expectations.  Each item was thoughtfully selected, and everything has been consumed except for the Pepper Jam, which I am saving to make an appetizer for Christmas Eve.  The apple butter was devoured at a meal of chili and homemade biscuits.  The honey, pumpkin bark, and tea mints were confiscated by my grandchildren (and only the honey lasted long enough to make it to their house).  While all those items were amazing, my absolute favorite was the home canned tomatoes.

The day the package arrived I had tried my hand at making Tasso Ham.  I have a Big Green Egg, and have been experimenting with all things smoked.   I was also responsible for the main dish at a pot luck on the following day, and was preparing a cassoulet using the Tasso and smoked sausage.  I put my 28 oz. can of tomatoes back into the cupboard, and used the jar of canned tomatoes.  YUMMY!!

Sausage Cassoulet

2 T. olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 lbs assorted fully cooked smoked sausages (kielbasa, andouille, smoked sausage, ham)
3 to 5 toes garlic, pressed
2 cup red wine
2 Knorr Beef Homestyle Stock Concentrate
3 T. Tomato Paste
2-15 ounce cans Pinto Beans
2-14 ounce cans great northern beans
2-14 ounce cans butter beans
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons dry rubbed sage
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Saute onions in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add sausage/ham/etc. and saute for another 3 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic, wine, stock concentrate, and tomato paste, stirring until stock is dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1/2 hour.

I made it the day before, let the flavors develop, and then reheated in a crock pot.  It can also be warmed in a 350 degree oven, in a casserole dish, for 1 hour.

The original recipe suggested using 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 cups diced country style bread, 1 lb tomatoes seeded and diced, and 1/2 cup chopped parsley.  Saute the bread cubes in the olive oil until golden brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes.  Combine fresh tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl; and mix in the bread.  Spoon over the warm cassoulet,and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.  I just opted to have it served with crusty bread....easier for me.

This was my second time of participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  I was surprised at the amount of foods, the great quality of the items, and the fun I had with the consumption of the awesome food items that were sent.  Thanks Lauren, for the wonderful treats, and for allowing me to write a guest entry for your blog.

You're very welcome, Mary.  I'm so glad you thoroughly enjoyed everything.  And if anyone wants to get in on the FPP fun, check out Lindsay's blog The Lean Green Bean

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