Tuesday, July 20, 2010

John Besh's Jumbalaya

I have found a new show hosted by John Besh, one of my favorite chefs (hey that rhymes!). The show is called Inedible to Incredible. Basically friends and family nominate someone they think could be the worst cook in America. John Besh shows up, tastes their food (very brave move on his part) then remakes their "signature" dishes so they can actually be eaten. Some of the signature dish gems include: hamburgers with Special K and strawberries (yup strawberries IN the hamburgers), steak and fig newtons, puree'd veggies with frozen meatballs and sliced fake american cheese. YUM! While watching this show with Chad, John Besh makes a Jumbalaya recipe that had us drooling. The results were delicous! I'll admit, the andouille sausage was a little spicy for me. I think next time I'll put andouille in Chad's jumbalaya and a milder sausage in mine. I cut this recipe in half and we still had enough leftover for two lunch servings.

1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 pound Andouille sausage, diced
2 Tbs canola oil
1 pound fresh pork sausage, removed from casings
4 skinless boneless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 1 inch cubes
freshly ground black pepper
3 onions, diced
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
5 stalks celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 1/2cups converted Louisiana white rice
1 Teaspoons dried thyme
1 dried bay leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons pimenton de la Vera or smoked paprika
1/2 Teaspoon celery salt
3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3 cups basic chicken stock
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped


1.First, you’ll need to heat a very large pot over a high heat until it is hot, then reduce the heat to moderate.This will allow the heat to be uniform all over, preventing those little hot spots that are likely to burn.

2.Render the bacon with the sausages and the lard in the hot pot, stirring slowly with a long wooden spoon. While the pork is rendering, go ahead and season the chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.

3.Add the chicken to the pot, stirring and cook until the chicken becomes golden brown, about 5 minutes.

4.After the chicken has browned, add the onions to the pot and allow them to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the bell peppers, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Continue stirring from time to time so that everything in the pot cooks evenly.

5.Next add the rice, thyme, bay leaves, pimenton, cayenne, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, and celery salt to the pot and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.

6.Increase the heat to high, and add the tomatoes and Basic Chicken Stock to the pot. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

7.After the rice has simmered for 15 minutes, go ahead, remove the lid from the pot and fold in the green onions.

8.Turn off the heat and let everything continue to cook in the hot covered pot, for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the Jambalaya, and serve!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Some random musings

I am so much enjoying these boys. Just a smile, laugh or kiss brightens my day and makes me smile. So I thought I would share some of my favorite recent moments.

This chair was meant to be Keegan's. But his brother Reece seems to be getting more use out of it. Boy is he proud of himself when he gets in there all by himself.

Yet, another thing that is meant to be Keegan's but Reece gets into alot. And also just as proud of himself when he gets on it all by himself. He's even pushed himself around a little.

Does no one in this house use their own stuff?! ;) Keegan wearing Daddy's hat to work in the sandbox.

Can't find Reece anywhere?! Look in his favorite hiding spot. Because of how our living room is arranged, one of the couches is partly in front of a very large bookshelf. Creating the perfect getaway.

That there is a whoopie pie cookie stuck to my sons nose.

Finally! Someone is using something that belongs to them. Keegan's new bike helmet. His new bike is due to arrive tomorrow! I can't wait!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Whoopie Pies

These wonderful little treats have many different names, there's even a smaller version made by Oreo, but they are still a wonderful dessert or snack. They are one of my favorite things to pack in a picnic. Soft chewy chocolate cookies sandwich a light fluffy filling. Very easy to make.

Whoopie Pie


1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets.

To Make Cookies: In a large bowl cream 1/2 cup of shortening , 1 cup sugar and 2 egg yolks. (Set egg whites aside for filling.) NOTE: If you don't want to use raw egg white in the filling, leave it out. Substitute 1 whole egg for the 2 egg yolks in the cookie recipe so you don't end up with leftover whites!!

In a separate bowl sift together 2 cups flour, 5 T cocoa, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 1 t baking soda. Add to other mixture alternately with milk, beating well. Add vanilla at the end.

Drop by large spoonful on greased pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

To Make Filling: Beat together 3/4 cup shortening, 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 egg whites and dash of salt till light. Add 1 tsp. vanilla.

To assemble: Spread the flat side of one cookie circle with a spoonful of filling. Top with another.