Monday, May 05, 2008


I didn't get the memo about blogs by moms needing to have a weekly post with a recipe or cooking demonstration, but as I surf the worldwide web, I see I have been neglecting a motherly duty! So, here goes:

I love to cook. I am definitely no gourmet cook, but I love cooking, especially when I have the time to make things I really like. Of course, many nights call for spaghetti or tacos, and those things are fine, but I like getting off of work early and taking the time to cook dinner. Today Jeff was picking up Caroline from school, so I took the opportunity to leave work a wee bit early and get home to cook red beans and rice. Some of my favorite things to cook are traditional Louisiana dishes: red beans, gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffe, etc. Oh and I have a funny Tennessee story about Louisiana food. A classmate and I were eating lunch at the same table one day when I was a 1L and he was asking questions about the foods people eat in Louisiana. He asked, "So do y'all really eat something that's supposed be good, but is really just rice and beans?" I laughed and said, "Well, it's called red beans and rice, and I think you'd like it if you tried it." He also pronounced jambalaya like this: "JAM-bay-la".

Just in case you haven't received the memo either, moms post pictures of their culinary creations on their blogs, so here goes!

Here's a look at the pot before I added the beans:

Here's a look at the pot with the beans:

And for good measure, here's my red beans and rice recipe:

1 lb. dried red beans
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
1 or 2 tblsp oil
one package sausage (smoked is best, usually andouille or something like that)
3 or 4 bay leaves
cayenne pepper
cooked rice

Soak the beans all day in a bowl of water (or overnight if you're cooking in the AM). In a cast iron pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. add the onions, celery, and bell pepper. Add the thyme, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Cook for about five to ten minutes. Don't brown the vegetables, just cook them until soft. Add the sausage and bay leaves. Cook another five minutes. Add the garlic and beans. Add enough water to cover. Let this come to a boil. Once it boils, turn down heat to medium and let cook uncovered for at least an hour to an hour and a half. You may need to add more water at this point if the beans have gotten too thick. Test the tenderness of the beans by mashing a few against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. If the beans are not tender enough, continue simmering. Once the beans are soft enough, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to help thicken the mixture. Simmer for additional hour to hour and a half. Taste it and adjust the spices to your taste. Serve hot over a bowl of rice!
I rarely measure spices, so I just do all of these to taste.

There's my cooking post! I feel like I'm up on the times now.
And I know you can't tell tone over the internet, so I want to make a disclaimer that I'm not being condescending. I love blogs that show great cooking pictures and share delicious recipes.

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