Jambalaya

Jambalaya 1 - My Daughter and I

The other day I made this delicious and spicy jambalaya and everyone loved it.  I had been wanting to try a jambalaya for a while, and when I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven, I knew this was the one.  I love her blog- she always has great recipes!

Anyway, I modified the recipe slightly, only because I didn’t have all the ingredients that I thought I had.  The original recipe called for several classic jambalaya ingredients such as shrimp and okra  – for the original recipe, click here: www.gimmesomeoven.  The jambalaya turned out great and I can’t wait to make it again.  I wanted to make it with brown rice, but I waited too long to get dinner going and I was afraid that the rice would never cook, so I used white rice.  Next time I will plan ahead and try brown rice.  If you decide to make it with brown rice, you will need to increase the cook time and probably add a bit more chicken stock.

Jambalaya 2- My Daughter and I

California Jambalaya

3 T olive oil

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 white onion, diced

3 small bell peppers, cored and diced – any colors you choose.  I only had red and yellow –  I think green would be a nice addition.

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 lb. sausage, sliced – I used Polska-Kielbasa

2 cups chicken stock

1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 to 2 T Creole seasoning *

2 tsp. Chili paste *

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. thyme, crushed

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper *

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add celery, onion, bell peppers, and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and mostly cooked.  Add the remaining T of olive oil, chicken and sausage and stir to combine.  Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink and mostly cooked.

Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, rice, and all the spices/seasonings.  Stir well to combine.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 25 -30 minutes, or until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

Once the rice is tender, taste and add in any additional seasonings.  You could add the shrimp and okra in at this time – if you like those kinds of things!  : )  Shrimp I would use next time – okra, never!  ewwww!

Remove the bay leaf and serve with garnishes such as fresh parsley, green onions, and hot sauce of desired.

*We like very spicy food – and this was spicy!  You may want to cut back a bit on some of the heat and taste it before adding all the seasoning I added.  Also the original recipe called for jalapenos and by some freak of nature we didn’t have any.  I substituted in the chili paste to make up for the lack of jalapenos.  I loved the hot chili paste flavor, but I would add in jalapenos next time too.

This would be delicious served with corn bread and a salad.

 

Cindy

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Fashion Friday- Favorites

Last Monday I decided to get ahead of the game and start this week’s Fashion Friday post. Feeling very productive, I began my weekly search of the recent arrivals of some of my favorite websites, and after about 45 minutes, I had nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

If you were expecting some sort of story that involves me looking for hours upon hours and finding the perfect 9-10 pieces to share with all of you dedicated readers, you’ll be sadly disappointed.

I gave up. I know. It’s a hard (and dramatic) life 😉

Anyway, because of my lack of style inspiration, I decided to try something a bit different this week. Here are my favorite things that I found this week- ranging from frosting to bulldogs.

 

Favorite food gawk- Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing

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I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at this recipe. And I still haven’t made it! I really do need to try it though- it seems like it would be absolutely delicious on top of a chocolate cake. Or on a spoon.

 

Favorite look- Circle Skirts

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I have a thing for skirts. Especially circle skirts. This Pinterest board is perfect for skirt inspiration.

 

Favorite new website- NoiseTrade

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Free music downloads (with a suggested tip), uploaded by up and coming new artists?  Yes, please!

 

Favorite wish list item- BonLook Eyeglasses

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I absolutely love these.

 

Favorite new blog- Delightfully Tacky

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Okay. So here’s the reasons I’m so glad I discovered Delightfully Tacky:

1. Her hair. I mean really. Look at that. And she changes her hair color up often, which is so fun!

2. She’s wearing these BonLook glasses. 

3. Her hair.

4. She’s not afraid to mix prints- something that I really appreciate.

5. Her hair. I love it (in case that wasn’t already clear). In fact, I feel like I might have just a bit of hair envy.

 

Favorite cute animal- Sophie the Bulldog Puppy

Travis sent this to me the other day and I can’t get over how cute it is.

 

Favorite food gawk, round 2- Five ingredient bacon asparagus pasta

5 ingredient pasta

I feel like that picture is pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?

 

Favorite Italian villa- Antique Mill House

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This is an amazing house- and it’s in Italy no less. Here’s another favorite.

 

Favorite worship song (right this minute)- Like an Avalanche

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So beautiful and completely true.

 

Jordan

 

 

 

Spring Citrus Smoothie

Spring Citrus Smoothie 1 - My Daughter and I

Past Smoothie Posts: Breakfast Smoothie, and Green Breakfast Smoothie

Jordan and I make a smoothie almost every morning for breakfast. Today I felt like I needed to mix things up a bit with today’s smoothie! I had a bunch of strawberries in the refrigerator that I wanted to use up, so this is what I ended up with. The smoothie was bright, citrus-y and delicious! Jordan kept saying that it tasted like a Jamba Juice smoothie- it was so yummy.

Spring Citrus Smoothie
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup strawberries
1 banana
1 orange
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
Juice from 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together in blender and enjoy!

Cindy

Banana Bread

Banana Bread 1- My Daughter and I

Way back in June, we posted our Best Banana Bread recipe, minus finished product pictures. Some unfortunate circumstances (a.k.a. hungry boys) led to a shocking lack of pictures.

The other day we decided to make a loaf of banana bread and we realized that it would be the perfect time to re-do the post. So here’s the same delicious, amazing recipe with pictures!

Banana Bread 2- My Daughter and I

Banana Bread

2 sticks butter

1 and a 1/2 cups +2 Tablespoons sugar

3 eggs

3-4 mashed ripe bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups + 2 Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 and a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 and a 1/2 cups sour cream

1 cup chopped walnuts or mini chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour bundt pan or two loaf pans.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at at time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Add mashed bananas and beat. Add vanilla and mix well.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl. Beat well until all combined. Add chopped nuts or mini chocolate chips, if desired.

Pour into bundt pan or loaf pans and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes for bundt pan, and 1 hour for loaf pans, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Invert on a cooling rack and allow bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

 

Jordan

Throwback: S’mores Pie

Smores Pie 1 - my daughter and I

Our very first post! We’re very rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of this blog, so here’s a throwback post to the very beginning!

Who doesn’t love s’mores made over a campfire?? This is the same idea, only in a rich, creamy pie version. Totally yummy and super decadent! The chocolate pie itself would be delicious on it’s own, but the marshmallow topping makes it even better.

smores pie 2 - My Daughter and I

S’mores Pie

Makes one 9 1/2 inch pie.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 cups of finely ground graham crackers (about 15-16)
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the topping:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350*. Grind graham crackers in food processor until they are crushed into a fine crumb. Place graham cracker crumbs into pie plate, add the melted butter. Mix well until combined. Press crumbs to bottom and side of pan with the palm of your hand until evenly distributed.

Place chocolate chips and butter into a heat-safe bowl. Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan until it simmers, pour hot cream over the chocolate chips and butter, and whisk until melted and combined. Add whole eggs and egg yolk and mix until combined add vanilla, mix well.

Pour chocolate mixture into pie crust and bake 20-25 minutes until pie filling is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Place pie in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1-2 hours before starting the marshmallow topping.

To prepare the marshmallow topping place egg whites, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, and cream of tartar in a bowl, and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Slowly add sugar and mix well.

Add the topping to the pie, creating decorative peaks with a spatula as you go.

Place pie under broiler for 1-2 minutes until marshmallow topping is toasted and golden brown. Watch carefully- the marshmallow burns quickly.

Serve immediately, store leftovers in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

Cindy & Jordan