• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

16 October 2009

sick day and a recipe for fatness (or, "can i have your tots, napoleon?")

Is anyone else out there feeling like they *might* be catching the swine flu (but probably aren't)? Wednesday night night I felt so hot, feverish, sore throaty, and nauseated. I still felt that way yesterday morning, and decided to stay home from work. Wouldn't wanna infect anyone, ya know?

Well, I still feel shitty today but it really hasn't gotten any worse. False alarm? Or maybe the worst is yet to come? I figure it's probably some kind of regular flu. But then, why'd I get a damn flu shot?

Anyway. The day, in pictures [which aren't the best photos ever, since I snapped them with the Ricoh rather than mess with the E-500].

Ok dip

I was at this state of feeling 'yucky' where I felt bad when I didn't eat, but also felt bad when I ate. Never a fan of 'sick people food,' I decided to just eat like normal. Then, whatever happened would happen. (If I barfed, I barfed, then I'd feel better! I did not barf from this philly dip.)

When I wasn't just kind of lying there staring in to space (or in this case, in to my front yard), I was editing photos. Finished my friend's engagement session yesterday, finally.

Rusty is not a good helper. He gets in the way and is too interested in stuff moving on the screen. Also, he attacks fingers that are typing, and puts his paws on the trackpad (frequently clicking the mouse button by himself). So innocent though, right?

Those eyes

About halfway through the day I decided to make us a hotdish for dinner. Hotdish is one of those things you just have to know how to make if you live in this part of the country. It's basically where you take a bunch of ingredients from your pantry (almost always including a can of Cream-of-something soup), layer it up in a glass dish and cook it for about an hour. Yeah, it's like 'casserole,' but we do not call it that. Here, it's hotdish. Just like soda is pop. It's not hard to make, and it 'sticks to the ribs' and 'warms the bones' (that is, it makes you fat).

I made a variation of the local favorite "tator tot hotdish" - it's pretty much a spicy version of that dish. (Hotdish is many things but it generally is not spicy.)

I had hot italian sausage, so I cooked that up with some diced garlic, onion and Serrano peppers. I had some cilantro in my fridge too so I decided to 'go crazy' and toss that in too. (That's the spirit of 'hot dish', am I right?)


Then I put all the various things in the dish, poured a can of nacho-cheese soup over it and cooked it for about 40 minutes. After that I broiled it for another 4 or 5... I like a slightly crisp top on my hotdish.


Here it is.

cooked up

Pink Hubby had not had this dish before, and he remarked that it "smells interesting" when he came home from work. He's generally not a fan of lots of texture variation in his food. (So he doesn't like stuff like Stir Fry or Supreme Pizza.)

This? Unappetizing? How could it be?!


But I like to push his boundaries. It's my job, I think. He actually did like it, so I was pleased. He did say it wasn't something he'd want every day (which is good, 'cause we'd weigh 400 lbs each).

[That said, I need to go stick some of the leftover in the microwave for myself...]

If you're daring enough to try this dish, here's what you need.

1 lb of ground meat - cook it. I used hot italian sausage.
1 lb of frozen tator tots
1 can of cream-of-whatever soup (I used Campbells Fiesta Nacho; I recommend Campbells Chicken Verde if you can find it in your store.)
1 soup-can worth of milk
Some shredded cheese (a cup or so - I used sharp cheddar, but pepper jack would have been better)
Some veggies (I used fresh diced pepper, onion and garlic. Not really veggies, heh. The original recipe called for a pound of frozen mixed veggies.)

Layer all that stuff in your 8x8 baking dish. Half the Meat --> Half the Veggies --> Half the Tots --> Half the Cheese --> Other half of Meat --> Other half of Veggies --> Other half of Tots. Save out half of the cheese (don't put the final layer of cheese on top). Wisk the soup and the milk together in a bowl, then pour it over the top of all your layered stuff.

Bake that dish for 35 minutes at 350 (don't cover it). Then put the remaining cheese on top, and bake another 5 minutes. Then, broil it a little after that (if you want it crisp on top).

And you've got yourself a hotdish.

P.S. This didn't make me barf, either. I still feel like crap. I just have a stomach of steel I guess. Next test: juice glass of tequila? Errr.. maybe that's not the best idea.