Archive for March, 2013


Crock Pot Jambalaya

Crock Pot JambalayaLike a little zip in your food? Then this just might be the thing for you!

I’d bought some andouille sausage and threw it in the freezer because I didn’t use it right away. When I found this recipe, I remembered that spicy sausage in my freezer and knew I had to try it!

This was a crazy-easy recipe! The hardest part was chopping the onion and green pepper. Other than that, everything is just tossed into the crock pot and then you wait. I even stuck the chicken in the crock pot when it was still frozen!

Easy enough, right?

And I’m sure you want to know if it was good. Well, here’s what The Pretty One had to say (excuse the texting language):

“What the [whoops!] did you put in this soup my mouth catches on fire every bite i love it

i couldn’t taste anything for a week [he’d been sick] then I ate this and flavor exploded in my mouth!”

How do you like that endorsement? I had to agree with him – it was really good!

Crock Pot JambalayaNow I’ve got to say if you aren’t a fan of spicy food, you can cut back the heat but still keep the flavor profile. You can reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper, and cut back the Cajun seasoning. I’d still use 1 teaspoon Cajun / blackened seasoning for the flavor.

And you can always start mild and add more Cajun seasoning or cayenne later. Or pass those and everyone can add more spice if they like more of a bite.

Andouille sausage is a bit spicy, but I wouldn’t call it “hot.” It’s got great flavor so if you can handle some spice, I’d use it. If not, you can swap it out for regular smoked sausage.

This recipe is definitely a winner — great flavor with minimum effort. That’s how I like to cook!!

 

SLOW COOKER JAMBALAYA

Slightly adapted from Cats and Casseroles

Stuff you need:

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast [I used frozen chicken breasts and stuck them in the pot still frozen.]
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced [I used Eckrich or Johnsonville.]
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun (blackened) seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 c instant rice

Now what?
Place all ingredients except rice in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken and shred. Return to crock pot.

Cook rice according to package instructions. Add rice, as desired, into each individual serving of jambalaya. Store rice separately from rest of stew.

We were getting ready for another big storm to hit KC. Like most people, I’m sick of the snow but what are you gonna do, right?

Well, with nasty weather coming in, I did what most normal women would do to get ready. First, I got a pedi. Everything’s better with fresh nails, right? And then, I baked cookies!Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

With fresh nails, warm cookies, books on my Kindle and plenty of movies, I don’t mind being snowed in!

We “lucked out” and this last round wasn’t as bad as it might have been. Still, I’m home waiting for the snowplow. We live on a cul-de-sac and are the last ones to be plowed out. It’s usually a combination of a bobcat and a snowplow. So far I haven’t seen either, but that’s OK with me. I’ve got cookies!

This recipe is simple and tasty. It doesn’t use any weird ingredients, so if you’re snowed in you might have everything in your pantry to make these now. I used peanut butter chips and no nuts, but you could use any combo of chips and nuts you like.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Slightly adapted from She Makes and Bakes

Stuff you need:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups oats (quick or regular – both work)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts [use any combination of chips and nuts that equals 1 cup]

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips [use any combination of chips and nuts that equals 1 cup]

Now what?

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugars until soft and mixed.

Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add in the vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low until combined.

Mix the cocoa powder and flour together and add gradually with mixer at low speed.

Once combined, add in the oats and mix.

Stir in the nuts and chips and mix until just incorporated.

Form the dough into one-inch balls or use a cookie scoop and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until set, but don’t overbake.

Let them cool for one minute on the sheet and then remove to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container or bag.

Spring is soon approaching (fingers crossed!), and my thoughts are turning to grilling! Here is a recipe that gets more requests from friends than almost any other –  Two Step BBQ Sauce. Sounds easy, IS easy, and is SOooooo much better than anything you can buy at the store!Two Step BBQ Sauce

My kids’ school even asked me to provide a half gallon of this sauce to auction off with a Pig Roast (Pastor favorite!)  Not to brag (much!) but when the auctioneer mentioned it came with Alicia’s Special BBQ sauce, the bidding went up and they got TWICE what they normally do for the pig alone!!

Two Step BBQ SauceIf I could eat it with a spoon (NOT that I ever HAVE….ahem), this would be the sauce I’d want to eat!!   You can adjust the seasonings to taste.  One note: The amount of cayenne shown does NOT make it hot. Just gives it a nice “twang.” And this amount of sugar is needed to offset the dark flavors of the malt vinegar, soy and Worcestershire.

This sauce is red gold!! Great on chicken, ribs, burgers, and well….. even a spoon! J

Two Step Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook by Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins

Stuff you need:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 Tablespoons minced or pressed garlic

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste – make the sauce, simmer and then add more if you like)

60 oz. Ketchup (1 40-oz bottle, and 1 20-oz bottle)

1/2 cup Malt Vinegar

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (natural liquid smoke flavoring)

Now what?

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add the onion, garlic, cumin and cayenne. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened (about 10 minutes).

Put in large Ball jars (about 3 will do), or another container, and refrigerate. Keeps in fridge pretty much forever (due to ketchup and amount of sugar).

Sit back and wait for the compliments (and requests) to start rolling in!