Monthly Archives: September 2012

Gary’s Jambalya Recipe

For the Packers Saints Game we made Jambalaya and Beignets.

Here is the recipe for the Jambalaya.  This is adapted from Gary’s (my sister’s significant other) recipe.


  • Olive Oil
  • 1 ½  lb cubed chicken
  • ½ lb andouille sausage (I used Johnsonville – maybe not authentic, but I had a coupon for it and it was on sale )
  • 1 lb ham cubed
  • 3 bratwurst (I used Klements – again on sale, and I had a coupon)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper diced small
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 5 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 cans tomato paste (the small cans)
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (28oz can)
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsp red pepper flake
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaf (remove prior to eating)
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I had a rice loving crowd – I am talking about you Dad – so I actually made six cups of cooked rice, mixed three cups of rice into the jambalaya, and then served the jambalaya over rice as well.)


  1. Dice all meat to about ½ inch cubes.
  2. Add olive oil to pot, and, over medium to high heat, brown chicken in big pot, remove chicken.
  3. Turn heat to medium-low, add onion and sauté until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute
  5. Add celery, and bell pepper and sauté about 3 minutes.
  6. Add all the meat back into the pot.
  7. Add chicken stock, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and seasonings.  Simmer for 1hour.
  8. 10-20 min prior to serving add cooked rice to pot.

I made three extra cups of rice.  My parents were over, and my dad loves rice.  We served the jambalaya over the rice and it was delicious.  I have a feeling it will be delicious without the extra rice as well.

As the spice, I thought it was the right amount, but my mom thought it was a little spicy.  So, maybe I will tone it down a little next time.  I think I might have cooked it with a little white wine as well.  There is always next time!

Ryan said he would have liked it more, if we served it with bread of something for dipping – so any suggestions for next time? What do you serve jambalaya with?

I will post the Beignet recipe later this week.  As a bit of a teaser – these were baked not fried!

P.S. in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the “Mystery Wisconsin Ingredient” was bratwurst!

Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, the woman in front of me in line at the grocery store was digging around in her purse for six cents because she was trying to avoid breaking a dollar.  I had my wallet hand, and I knew I had a ton of change in there, so I gave her a dime.  She thought it was the nicest thing ever. Who knew that ten cents could make someone’s day!

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Packers v. Saints – Jambalaya and Beignets

So, I might have lied earlier.  I wasn’t making gumbo – I was making jambalaya.  But Gary’s Gumbo, just has a better ring to it than Gary’s Jambalaya.  Oh well, it was still delicious!  Ryan gave the overall meal a score of a 9.08.  Here is how the score broke down:

  • Delicousness – 15.5 out of 20
  • Authenticity – 8.5 out of 10
  • Complementary Items – 8.5 out of 10
  • Presentation – 4 out of 5
  • Quantity – 4.9 out of 5
  • Bonus – 4 out of 4

And now for Ryan’s review – in his southern accent  . . .

Or not, Ryan won’t saying anything other than “bush-hogging” and “from the snooter to the pooter.” So he is on a blogging review timeout.  Imposed by me.  He will be back next week, when he has rediscovered that he was born and raised in the Midwest.

As for the food, Ryan says he liked the spice.  I was warned that this is a spicy recipe, but I doubled the spice and added red pepper flake and paprika anyway.  What can I say, I like spicy.  I thought it was just barely spicy.  Ryan said it was just the right amount.

And now for some pictures of the meal.  Recipes to come.

Sign Number 1 that Ryan will probably like this meal – a lot of meat! And this is only half of it!  If you were wondering what the Wisconsin twist would be, this picture is a hint. Any idea what it is?

The finished product:

And now time for dessert – beignets with raspberry sauce:

Murphy helped with the dishes:

Yes, I did get powdered sugar all over the tablecloth.  Apparently, I am a messy cook.  But that spot on the wall is the reflection from the flash, even I could not get powdered sugar all the way over on the wall!

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Starting the Day Off Cooking . . . Ryan Style

Ryan decided to start football Sunday off right . . . with a peanut butter cheeseburger on an English Muffin.  (Yes people, this is what he would seriously cook for himself if it wasn’t for me).   I did not partake in this cholesterol-fest.

He informed me that this is what I am up against today.  And that yes, he says it is as good as it looks – for whatever that is worth.  He is currently pairing his cheeseburger concoction with a glass of Orange Juice.  I seriously question his taste buds and may need to put out an ad for a new food rater.

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I Reckon Today is Football Sunday

Today’s post is dedicated to Ryan’s new idol, and my current nemesis, Tony Malone.

You see, Tony apparently has the best accent ever, I mean EVER.  Ryan went on a work trip with Tony and now has decided that he must speak like Tony.  So now words like reckon, bush-hogging, and other words I have never heard of have permeated Ryan’s vocabulary.  He has also decided he needs to speak in a Southern accent. (In case you are wondering, Murpy still barks with a Midwest accent.)

Anyway, because Ryan’s new idol is from Southern Mississippi and is a Saints fan and the Packers play the Saints today, I decided to dedicate this blog to the man with the voice, Tony Malone.  Here is hoping that if Tony were here, he would said “I reckon that is some good cooking.”

Without further delay, here is today’s menu . . .

  • Gary’s Gumbo (with a Wisconsin twist – check back later to see what it is)
  • Beignets

Also, Ryan’s review will be posted in his new Southern Voice.


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Packers v. Seahawks – What to Make

Gumbo?      Jambalaya?     Red Beans and Rice?    Po-Boys?    Muffelleta?   Beignets?     Something else?

Help me decide!!!!!!!!

I went to New Orleans once.  For Mardi Gras.   It was fun, but I don’t think I will go back.  A person’s liver can only live through that once (Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, I was 21 – don’t worry).

P.S. Ryan returned today!! Yay!! And he loved the chili.  He didn’t have much to say about the dessert sushi.   Hmmmmm, I wonder why.

Anyway, we are very happy he is back.  Even though he has now adopted a Southern Accent.  And we are back to living in the dark (Ryan likes to “conserve” energy, so he pretty much follows me around and turns off all my lights).  Anyways, Murphy is a little confused by the accent, but as I write this the accent is fading, so as I often say, “This to shall pass.”  Ryan has to put up with weirder voices from me (I sometimes pretend to be the Hulk, and I often talk for Murphy), so I guess turnabout is fair play.

I take that back.  Things have gone from bad to worse.  Ryan now informs that he will no longer refer to mowing the lawn in normal people terms, but will instead “go bush-hogging.”  Today I am learning the meaning of “love is patient.”











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Murphy is Trying out as a Substitute Rufferee


Hello Everyone!  Murphy here.  Good news – Mom said that I can try out as a substitute rufferee for the NFL.




Even though I am probably going to spend most the game rolling in the grass instead of paying attention . .  .



And, I am often caught lying down on the job . . .


Mom said  I could try out for the NFL.  She said all you need is the shirt (no pants even!), and you can be a substitute referee for the NFL.  Good thing, they were on sale at Target today.

And yes, I am going to wear my bow tie during the game.  Why? Because I look good!







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Pretty Little Liar – Packers v. Seahawks Menu

Yup, that’s me, I am the liar.  Although I do prefer the term fibber, or maybe truth improver.

Anways, why am I a liar? Because I “made sushi.”  Well I put it on a plate – if made includes help food makes its way from the take-out container to the plate, well then yes, I made sushi.  I am also a liar, because I may have unilaterally decided that sushi has a connection to Seattle – probably more so than Wisconsin does. So there, I am not a liar, I am an improver of the truth.

Now I know how Ryan survived before we met.  I like to think he was just barely hanging in there until I came along, but I suppose that as long as there is take-out and frozen pizza, single men every where will be just fine.  And don’t get me started on frozen pizza.  Ryan says I do not cook it right, and I say that he most definitely does not cook it right.  If he ever gets me something shiny (that’s his code word for getting engaged), that is one thing I think we will most likely disagree about until we are 80.

Here is my “homemade sushi”

And I did make dessert sushi – that has to count for something!

I did do some cooking that was Seattle/Washingtonish.  Yesterday, Alyssa and I made apple pie in a bag, and I made homemade pumpkin spice latte’s (my ode to Starbucks without the price of Starbucks).   No latte for me tonight though, because otherwise this girl won’t sleep.


About the apple pie in a bag, you cook it in a brown paper bag.  Who knew, not me.  Not sure why I didn’t catch on with the name.  Oh well.  Anyway, I was fairly certain that the bag was going to light on fire in the oven (we have a gas oven), and that we were going to burn down the house.  Nope, pie baked just fine in the bag. Although we did have an almost fire incident (Ryan, I may or may not have neglected to tell you this last night . . . ooops.  But if you are reading this now, everything is fine, no need to worry, have a great trip!).  Anyway, that is a story for another day.  Luckily all are safe and sound.

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Football Chili

Ryan and I met on Halloween (that’s another story for another day), so there were only about three months left of football season when we met (yes, our relationship is measured in football milestones – I have accepted it).  Given that we had just started dating, and he was trying to impress me, he kept his football obsession slightly under wraps.   By the time football season rolled around again, we had been dating for about nine months (cue end of honeymoon girlfriend-wooing stage), and there was no hiding the football obsession.  Which meant that come Sunday, I needed to find other methods of entertainment.  Thus, began the early inspirations for this blog – I started by making chili every Sunday. Two people can only eat so much chili, so now we have introduced some variety.

Well, with Ryan being out of town this weekend, and me needing something to cook other than “Seattle” food (Seattle is in quotes, because my interpretation of Seattle food is, well, stretched – check back tomorrow to see just how far), I decided to go back in time via my trusty cooking time-machine, and make chili.  I had Murphy to keep me company with all of the cooking, although he was less than thrilled that I was not paying attention to him.  Here he is pouting because I won’t take him on a walk:

“Pppppplease, mom.  I just want to go for a walk, pppppplease”  Yes, He is a world champion of pouting.  In fact, if it was an olympic sport, I think he would take gold.

Don’t worry we aren’t bad pet owners.  There is a legitimate reason, I am not taking him on a walk.  He hurt his paw (we don’t know how), and he just stopped limping, so we haven’t been going for any walks.  Although I did take him for a short one this evening and he made it about seven minutes before he started limping again.  However, he loved every step of the walk, and yes he definitely wore one of his bow ties out on the walk. We have been spending extra time working on his commands to make up for the lack of walks.  He is finally starting to learn that touch doesn’t require him to keep his butt on the ground. Although for as athletic as he is, he only jumps about 1 cm off the ground.  Baby steps I guess.

For the record, I did not watch any football today – none. And it was awesome!!!! Although I will watch Sportscenter later (because I actually kind of like Sportscenter).  Right after I watch The Real Housewives.

Well, anyway, here is the chili recipe . . .


  • Olive Oil
  • Medium/large onion – diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 pounds chuck roast (to save money, I bought a roast and cut it myself instead of paying for pre-cut stew meat)
  • 2 28 ounce cans of petite diced tomoates
  • 2 cans kidney beans (any variety – I usually use red because I like the bright colors)
  • Spices
  • Wine/Beer


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix together 1-2 cups of wine (you don’t have to use wine, beer or any other liquid would suffice, but I had some leftover wine from dinner Friday) with whatever spices you like (I used ginger, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper).  I don’t really measure, and it usually ends up pretty spicy.  I usually use the lid of the spice container to measure.  For the ginger I used just a bit – maybe about a teaspoon.  I did about 3-4 capfuls of chili powder.  For all the other spices, I did about ½ to 1 capful of each.
  3. Add the meat to the wine/spice mix and toss to coat.  Let this sit while you sauté the onions and garlic.
  4. Sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent (about ten minutes) in a Dutch Oven. (Have I mentioned before that I love my Dutch Oven.
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for about five minutes.
  6. Add the meat and cook for about ten minutes.
  7. Add the kidney beans and tomatoes, cover, and place in the oven for approximately 3 hours or until meat is tender.

In the end, this is what you get . . .

And one with the The trusty Dutch Oven:

I know I have mentioned previously that I try and be health and budget conscious – I coupon, buy what’s on sale, and Ryan and I have recently taken up biking.  Later this week, I will post cost and nutritional information about this recipe.

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Guest Post – Beer, Bacon and Bears


Hello blogging world 🙂  My name is Alyssa and I love to cook.

When Lindsey and I lived together two years ago, we realized our shared love of cooking and wine.  Now that she lives with Ryan and Murphy, we try to occasionally get together for dinner, cooking or both, and always wine.  One day Lindsey and I will make an awesome cookbook together.  Lindsey writes pretty awesome books.  Anyway, I offered to help guest blog every once in a while so hopefully I will be writing to Lindsey’s wonderful fans occasionally.


So, enough with introductions, let’s get to the cooking.  When Lindsey and Ryan decided to throw Bears/Packers game, I offered to bring something.  Lindsey suggested fancy cupcakes because apparently people who live in big cities like Chicago eat fancy cupcakes.  But what kind of cupcakes would a bunch of guys want to eat while watching football?  And what would be the best food offering to bring to make a bunch of Packer fans like me while I was wearing a Bears jersey?  Beer bacon cupcakes of course!

The beer bacon cupcakes were delicious, as Ryan mentioned in a previous post.  As mentioned below, next time I would use a less sweet beer.  Also, I would recommend making cupcakes on the bigger side and NOT doubling the batch.  The cupcakes are awesome the first day or two, but if the cupcakes sit in the refrigerator for a while, the bacon gets a little bit soggy.


Below is the recipe for the beer bacon cupcakes that I used.  Enjoy!




For the cupcakes:
– 1 box Butter Cake Mix (just use the mix, do not follow the mixes instructions for eggs, water, etc.)
– 1 12 oz bottle of beer, reserve 1/4 cup for frosting  (or drink the rest and open a new beer for the frosting)
– 2 eggs

For the frosting:
– 1/2 cup salted butter, softened (1 stick)
– 2 cups powdered sugar (add more if the frosting is runny)
– 1/4 cup beer
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 9 strips of bacon
– 1/4 cup sugar brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Add cake mix, beer (I used Miller Lite but I think it would be better with a less sweet beer next time), and eggs to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer according to package directions. Fill cupcake pan three-quarters full with cake batter and bake according to package directions, generally 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool while you prep your frosting and bacon topper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with foil. Lay bacon flat on foil and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy and browned. Keep an eye on the bacon so that it doesn’t burn.  Set aside to cool completely.

Place softened butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beer, and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add extra powdered sugar if the frosting is too runny

Spread frosting over the tops of cupcakes and top decoratively with candied bacon.

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What Didn’t I Cook Today

Last week I didn’t have time to cook so we ate out a lot.  A lot!  Well, I don’t necessarily like eating out a ton (especially when its fast food and take-out) because it is expensive and not that good for you.

Well, to make up for that, Alyssa came over and we cooked everything one could imagine.  Some of it is for the food and football and some of the rest is just for fun.  Let me see if I can list them all . .

  • Chili
  • Vegetable Minestrone
  • Sweet apple challah bread (we are apparently celebrating the Jewish holiday, but I guess we are a little bit late)
  • Pumpkin scones
  • Apple Pie in a Bag
  • Spiced Pumpkin Lattes
  • Soft Pretzels

Yesterday I made sweet potato apple sauce, which despite its unusual appearance, garnered Alyssa’s approval.  Its made with absolutely no sugar, so it is pretty good for you.

And I discovered the Murphy looooves canned pumpkin.  What a wierdo.

Well, I will post the recipe for the chili later tonight and the food for the Packers v. Seahawks game and some of the rest tomorrow, and Alyssa will be providing a guest post shortly about the beer bacon cupcakes from last week and some of the goodies we made today.  She might be slightly delayed in posting though because Murphy has voted her the best person ever and is now comfortably resting in her lap. He still hasn’t got the memo that he is not a lap dog.

Also, because Ryan is out of town (Ryan don’t worry, Alyssa and I cleaned up the kitchen after we were done cooking so there won’t be a mess when you get home), Adrian (Alyssa’s hubby) will provide the ranking.

And because no post is complete without a picture, here is the furry friend that goes along with Alyssa, the love of Murphy life – Hoggy (real name Mahogany):



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