Wednesday, August 31, 2016


All of you know by now how much I love cajun/creole food. I never had much exposure to it before moving to Virginia and meeting people from Louisianna, but now it's become a favorite that I cannot live without. From jambalaya to gumbo to fantastic beignets, I can't get enough of cajun food.

This is a very easy recipe that comes together with plenty of leftovers.

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 lb andouille sausage, cut into thin coins
  • 2 lbs white shrimp, belled and de-veined
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
  • 2 tomatoes or approx one can diced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp cajun seasoninng
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large dutch oven, brown coins of andouille sausage in a little oil until well browned. Drain off excess oil and remove sausage.
  2. Brown onion, garlic, peppers, celery in pot, scraping up stuff on the bottom. Add sausage back to the pot with tomatoes, rice, thyme, and cajun seasoning. Stir well and add chicken stock
  3. Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add raw shrimp, stir into rice and let stand another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with okra or greens.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Mint Rosemary Leg of Lamb

It's finally Secret Recipe Club time of the month again and I am FINALLY settled enough to really begin cooking again.

As you may know, my husband and I moved to Los Angeles about 1 month ago. It has been several hectic weeks of starting jobs, starting school, getting settled, catching up with old friends and making our new apartment really feel like home. We're still not quite there yet. We're still looking for a dining table and have been eating most of our emails on the couch/coffee table while we find one, but it feels like home now.

I must admit, I waited until the last minute for this recipe. I knew I wanted to make this lamb recipe, but with so many other groceries to by and so much pantry to restock, I knew this might need to wait. But after an extremely long week of school and work and so many other things happening, I thought we both deserved a treat. The best part: This lamb can be cooked in the crockpot. I threw it in Friday morning and all I had to do when I got home was roast some potatoes and brussel sprouts.

This month, I was assigned "My Whole Food Family" by Susan, an Aussie mom of 3 kids. Her blog features a bunch of not fussy recipes with real ingredients that even kids will eat. As you know, I opted to make her Slow cooked Leg of Lamb, which she had previously made for Australia day. It was so juicy and flavorful. I've made slow cooked lamb before that was dry, but this was wonderful. It looks and tastes impressive without being any effort and it's enough to feed a crowd with leftovers for days.

Thank you Susan. I will absolutely include this recipe in our regular rotation of special occasion meals.


  • 1 leg of lamb, bone in (about 5 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 heaping tsp dry oregano
  • 2 heaping tsp dry basil
  • 1 heaping tsp dry rosemary
  • 4 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  1. In a food processor, combine water, garlic, serrano pepper, paprika, oregano, basil, rosemary, mint, lemon and kosher salt. Pulse until well combined
  2. Rub mixture over all sides of the lamb and place in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight
  3. The next morning, place lamb in the slow cooker with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Slice 1 onion thinly and add to the crockpot on top of the lamb.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours. Slice lamb and serve with the onion and a little extra chiffonade of fresh mint

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Hello again. Long time no see.

I love how busy life has been since moving to LA. Every week, we have an event going on. Every day I'm at work (love it, busy and hell and not stressed). Every day I have lots of chores to do while my husband is in school. I have lots of food to make now that I no longer work in hospitality and no longer have a chef to make me delicious food. I don't cook as much as I would like anymore because I'm so busy, but I'm more challenged and happier than I've been in a while. I wish I saw my husband more, but it's okay. Life is good.

One of the things I miss most about Virginia is the chef at my old work. He made the most excellent cajun and creole food. I loved the gumbo and jambalaya and shrimp etouffe that I can get here, but not as easily (no as cheaply). I made this at home and it was honestly one of the best things I've ever made. I highly recommend it. Best of all, all my coworkers were jealous of my lunch all week long.;


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb andouille or smoked hot sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 clubs beef stock
  • Worcestershire sauce (8 dashes or so)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups okra, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped curly parsley
  1. Place oil in a large dutch oven. Season chicken with salt and pepper and sear in the oil until well browned. Remove.
  2. Add butter and flour to the oil and cook, stirring consistently, until a very dark roux forms.
  3. Add celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic to the roux and cook a few minutes until tender. Add cajun seasoning, rosemary, bay leaves, stock and worcestershire, stirring until well combined. Cover and cook for 1 hour
  4. Add tomatoes, parsley and okra. Cover halfway and cook another 45 minutes to an hour.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice and extra fresh parsley.
One year ago: Chicken Pho
Four years ago: Rye Hot Dog Buns
Five years ago: Smoked Salmon Baked Eggs
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