Moron Test Kitchen Monday – A Casserole

About once a month, our church sends out an email request for people to provide meals for a new mother, someone who’s been ill, people struggling with a death in the family – you get the idea. I always delete the message guiltily and try not to think back to those first few days with a newborn where I was constantly starving and BLESSED by the meals people brought. It’s not that I don’t WANT to help….but you may have noticed that I can’t cook!

So I went to these two ladies for help –


Meet my friends and fellow bridge players, Patty and Katie.  Katie used to own a restaurant on 10th street in Atlanta called Yarborough’s, and Patty learned how to cook at her knee. They are GREAT cooks, everything from fried grits to lemon pie. When I told Patty what I wanted – an easy, yummy casserole suitable for church functions, she sent me to page 55 of her family cookbook. Today’s feature is St. John’s Rice.


I think one of the main problems with my cooking is that I can’t read a recipe. It’s a definite drawback. The recipe calls for 1 cup of rice, 2 packages of Lipton chicken soup mix ( I forgot the type and bought onion..oops) a large onion, 1 cup of shredded carrots, 1 cup of green pepper, 2.5 cups of celery, a can of black beans (uh…Honey, can you run back to the store?) and 1 cup of sliced almonds.

Cook Rice and Soup Mix with water. ( I originally thought this meant to cook the rice, and the soup, then mix with water. Don’t do that.) While that’s cooking, chop up your veggies.



They look GOOD. Saute them for 4 minutes. (I hate stuff like that in recipes. What if I go 4.5? 3.8?)

Then cook 2 things of sausage. Packages? Pounds? Squishy tubes? Yes, those things. Drain.

Once the rice is done, mix everything together in a large casserole dish. DON’T forget the can of black beans. The recipe also calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, but because the rice and soup mix tasted pretty salty to me, I ignored it. Top everything with 1 cup of sliced almonds. Of course I didn’t read that right and just bought 2/3 cup. 


Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.


This was GOOD, filling, and easy. I can totally see a new mom digging into this and being happily satisfied. I got a little bored with all of the chopping, but I guess that goes with the whole “cooking” thing. And it wasn’t the prettiest dish I’ve ever seen. I’d give it a Moron Grade of A for ease and hardiness. Patty, Katie, you and RACHEL could all probably make a better tasting batch than I did, but I’d give it a solid B. I mean it was GOOD, it just wasn’t INCREDIBLE. I only ate two bowls, I didn’t lick the pan or anything. And I’ve been known to lick the pan.

Maybe I shouldn’t be taking people food after all.

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