Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Polenta Casserole Recipe, and Makeup Brush Storage Update

A couple weeks ago I posted this picture and had some requests for the recipe. Since I clearly didn't make it (Aaron did) I had to find said recipe, but here it is at last.

Rustic Sausage and Spinach Polenta Casserole

5 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c instant polenta (They're very specific about using INSTANT polenta.)
3 oz grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 medium garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper

1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb Italian sausage, removed from casing
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
8 oz spinach, chopped coarse
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees with oven rack in middle position
  2. For the Polenta: Combine the water, polenta and 1 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl, cover and microwave on high power until most of the water is absorbed, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir thoroughly, then continue to microwave, uncovered, until creamy and fully cooked, 1 to 3 minutes longer. Stir in Parmesan, butter, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm, set aside.
  3. For the Topping: Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat into large chunks with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes with juice, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Smooth the cooked polenta evenly into a 13 x 9 baking dish. Spoon the sausage mixture on top and sprinkle with Parmesan.
  6. Bake until polenta is heated through and cheese is melted and just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with parsley and serve.

This recipe came from The Best One-Dish Suppers by the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. We've been subscribing to Cook's Illustrated for years and Aaron gets a lot of recipes from them. This book has a lot of great recipes (the chicken pot pie on the cover is delicious!) and you can get it from Amazon.

Click on picture to go to Amazon

Last week I posted step one of getting myself organized beginning with the bathroom drawer. I mentioned that I still wanted to do something with my makeup brushes and Steph at Life According to Steph suggested doing something that's been all over Pinterest. Well, I'm not as prolific with my Pinterest account as some of my friends so I didn't even know what she meant. So I did a search and found this:

From Pinterest via The Home Daybook

Wouldn't you know, I happened to have a rectangular vase and decorative stones and they were doing NOTHING. We bought the vase at Ikea because it was cool but we've never really put anything in it. We do use the stones if we have fresh flowers, but that doesn't happen all that often either, mostly because our cats like to snack on fresh flowers.

So here's the final result:

My vase is a lot bigger than the ones I saw on Pinterest, but I also have this handy dandy windowsill that fit perfectly so I'm not taking up tons of counter space.

There you have it. I actually did a DIY project! Yeah, yeah, I know it's not much, but for me it's huge.

Stay Tuned,

The Gila

Linking up with Helene and Emily:


  1. I love the makeup thing. I also have a vase and rocks that are doing nothing, I might try that. Right after I actually CLEAN all of my makeup brushes. They're dying for that. Fo' real.

    Maybe tonight! Thanks for the inspiration.

    And the polenta recipe.

  2. The rocks look great! I basically have the same exact thing, instead of rocks I used little beads. Same concept. The rocks give it a nice earthy feel. I've been on a makeup organization kick, I've been watching lots of You Tube videos for inspiration.

    That recipe sounds delicious!


Send me some love and leave a comment!