Monday, January 30, 2017

Jambalaya For Days

I'm calling this "Jambalaya for days" because of the size of the batch and the size of the meal I'm making. For one or two people it would be "for days" but I'm actually feeding three (maybe four) apartments/households with it tonight.

To give you an idea, I'm using:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 whole loop Kielbasa, coined and halved
  • 3 cups of diced cooked ham
  • 5 cups of Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup of Isarma's Jambalaya Spice Mix (see below)
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Smoke flavoring
  • 5 Bay Leaves (one per cup of rice)

Cooking this thing in a power cooker that adds pressure to the cooking process makes this dish not take quite as long as it might otherwise. 5 cups of rice don't cook quite as efficiently as 2 cups would, especially with spices and stuff added in. Besides, the power cooker has a nice, tight-fitting lid to properly steam the rice.

I pre-cooked the chicken in a little bit of bacon grease since the kielbasa sausage and the ham were already cooked. I used the chicken juice/broth as part of the "water" for the rice. Also, the bacon added a little more smoky flavor. Besides, who *doesn't* like bacon?? You can always adjust this to olive oil or something trendier if you like (animal fats aren't as bad as we were once told, as long as you use a *little* of them.)

This came out a little spicy so you can adjust the spices accordingly. Also, make sure you don't eat the bay leaves - they're great for flavor, horrible to swallow. Just don't do it. Me personally, garlic is a food group, so you can always tone it down with a little less garlic, but I'd tone down the cayenne, black pepper, and chili powder LONG before I delete any garlic. Your tastes may vary, however.

Top with shredded Cheddar  Cheese, Ranch Dressing or Sour Cream (or any combination of the three) for a one-pot dinner that wins everyone over. Even our picky eater Rachael.

Isarma's Jambalaya Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Celery Salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Garlic Granules
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Onion
  • 1/8 cup Black Pepper (or white, or mix)
  • 1/8 cup Salt (+/-)
  • 4 teaspoons Gumbo File (ground sassafrass leaves)
  • 3 teaspoons Cumin

Mix well with a wire whisk in a glass bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, store in a tight-sealing container (great use for that recycled glass spaghetti jar you saved,) and use within 1 year.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Barbeque Sauce #1

My first attempt at homemade BBQ sauce was a hit, tell me what you think.

All the amounts in this recipie are aproximate.

1C brown sugar
1C Apple Cider vinegar
1 1/2 T onion powder
2 T Garlic powder
3/4 Worchestershire sauce
1 t celery salt
1 t ground white pepper
1 t Ground dry mustard
1 t sweet paprika
2 1/2 C Heinz Ketchup

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the ketchup in a pot, stir over a medium heat until it bubbles well, then add the ketchup until it's all warm, just shy of bubbly or lightly bubbly.

This went really well over pulled apart left over pork roast (pulled pork) and placed in buns.
Everyone loved it.


A wonderful cookie for both the holidays and everyday, these are easy to make, and great as gifts.

Hermit Cookies

2 cups  brown sugar
1 cup  butter or vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup  cold coffee
3 1/2 cups  flour
1 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp  salt
1 tsp  ground nutmeg
1 tsp  ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups  raisins
1 cup  chopped walnuts, pecans, or nuts
of your choice

Beat the sugar, butter, and eggs until thoroughly combined. Stir in the coffee. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together and
stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the raisins and nuts and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Drop by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400F oven just until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.

Lemon Cookie Bars

Frequently made for the holidays, these are also amazing made during the summer and served with Iced Tea.

1 package sugar cookie mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1.   Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir together crust ingredients. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan, press mixture evenly. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown.
2.   Meanwhile, in same large bowl, stir together filling ingredients except lemon juice. Stir in lemon juice. Pour mixture over warm crust.
3.   Bake 25 to 30 minutes longer or until top is light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

Banana Nut Bread

Another favorite in the family, this also freezes well after baking, like Zucchini Bread. Prepared and cooked in a similar way, the bread is quick and easy to make, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser as bread and muffins. Nuts ARE optional.

2 Cups Sugar                                          2 Cubes Butter, softened
6 Medium Bananas, soft                          4 well-beaten Eggs
2 1/2 Cups Flour                                     1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda                        1 Cup Chopped Nuts

Preheat oven to 350* and grease and flour  2 large loaf pans or muffin tins

Cream Sugar and butter together until creamy. Add Bananas, and eggs and blend well.  In another bowl, sift Flour, Salt, and Soda 3 times then add to wet ingredients until WELL blended.   Add Chopped Nuts.

Pour into pans and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before wraping to freeze or slicing.

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