Jambalaya ~ Past, Present, and Future

The first time I tasted Jambalaya was at a grown-up girls’ slumber party in the late 1970’s. Several of the seven females from the Class of ’76 reunited over dinner at a former classmate’s apartment in Minneapolis (she moved away before junior high but we kept in touch) and as I mentioned earlier, I have fond memories of the Twin Cities. Her Jambalaya was one of them. Never tasted anything like it until I moved South of the Minnesota-Iowa border. Good times and great flavors.

The Magnificent Seven (not including our former classmate) were outnumbered by 29 boys — yes, my graduating class totaled 36 — and although we girls were small but mighty, we were outspoken. Probably the apt word from that era is: dissenting. We weren’t afaid to disagree, protest, or try flavors foreign to our smalltown digs. The boys seemed to like our cooking, too. Memorable moment before we voted to cater subsequent class reunions: mega-batches of potato salad made in my kitchen.

Ditto on good times.

The Girls of ’76 went on to lead lives — culinary and otherwise — beyond the confines of our rural hometown. (Some of the boys, too.) But OH, how I remember that post-high school Jambalaya with shrimp, Andouille sausage, chicken, and the “Holy Trinity of the South” — sautee’d peppers, celery, and onion (hadn’t heard of that before either) — in a flavorful tomato sauce over rice.

Fast forward to present day when Joy The Baker added eggs (her Jambalaya Egg Bake was featured in Better Homes & Gardens where I first spied this recipe — with full credit going to Joy The Baker and Better Homes & Gardens.) Thanks both for featuring this flavor-fest blast from my past. Similar to Shakshuka (also discovered post-high school), it appealed to my beyond-the-border sensibilites and reminded me that there’s a lot left to experience in life — waaay beyond the the Prom floor or the bland Tuna Hotdishes I’d grown accustomed to on previous weekends.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook (thank you!) I recently posted photos of my Chocolate Roux and BBQ. (Different flavors and methods; same South of the Minnesota border spin.) Follow the links.

I’ll be making all of them again in the future. Hope y’all try ’em, too!

Enjoying past, present, and future Jambalaya — among other things,

~ Kim

A Quick Post and a Quick BBQ Sauce

Generally, I put a lot of time and thought into my posts, but our air conditioner quit at 4:00 this morning and the A/C guy isn’t here yet.

(In case you haven’t heard, Oklahoma’s temps have been in the 100’s for the past two months…)

Here’s what our inside temp reads now.

  (P.S.  It’s 10° “warmer” in my writing nook…)

Thankfully, I have a cool place to retreat to as soon as I’m done with this, and thankfully I planned a barbecue for dinner tonight.

Last night I made my Quick BBQ sauce and it was delish brushed over barbecued ham steaks.  (How does one spell BBQ correctly anyway?)

But patience, sweet ones, patience… it really is better the next day.

I also fooled around with my camera just for fun… :)

This is as basic as BBQ Sauce gets!

Quick BBQ Sauce

1/2 c. ketchup (I used Heinz)

3 Tbsp. honey

1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard

1/2 tsp. liquid smoke

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

(Optional add-in’s:  red pepper flakes to taste, a dash of hot sauce, a shot of whiskey)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cool, then store in the refrigerator.

Bring to room temperature before applying to grilled meats.

Brush sauce on during the last minutes of grilling and ENJOY!

Ooof… here’s what our temp was last time I looked, and it went up a degree after I uploaded the picture!

Enjoying the prospect of grilling… but not indoors…. gotta run!

~ Kim

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Who Ate The Evidence?

Most days, my “meal plan” consists of two steps:

1)  What can I make that’s flavorful?

and

2)  How soon can I sit on the deck?

(To say that I’m driven by leisure is an accurate assessment…)

After blog hopping all week, my inspiration from food-related chronicles was at an all-time high.  Many blogs I visited (including those of my Blog Roll buddies) featured step-by-step-photographs guiding readers through prep work to the final, mouth-watering photo.  (That takes dedication, which I know you appreciate, because I certainly do.)

Unfortunately (and more often than not), my appetite overrules my artistic inclinations.  To keep my food-blogging credibility intact, I fought the urge to lounge…  I give you:

BBQ Chicken “Before”…

Soakin' Up The Smoke

and BBQ Chicken “After”…

Done To Perfection

That’s two pictures, folks — hope you’re proud of me. :)
In concluding today’s “tutorial,” I’d like to give credit where it’s due.  A few weeks ago, I entered a barbecue sauce give-away on Miss in the Kitchen (still can’t believe I won — thank you, Milisa!) and my “prize” arrived this week.  Then I read about a super-quick-chicken-cooking-method on Jenna’s Everything Blog (which I now use to avoid undercooked chicken on the grill — thank you, Jenna!) and I was able to make this/plate this in under 30 minutes.  You can, too!
But wait, there’s more…
This was the first time I tried Slatherin’ Sauce and I can honestly say that both of their versions were wonderful.
(All opinions expressed are my own.  Batteries not included.)
Enjoying life one glorious barbecue at a time,
~Kim

All Decked Out

What do you do on a Friday night when the temperature’s above 70 degrees and the wind speed is below 5 m.p.h….?  Fire up the grill!

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it.  Our standard-sized “Weber-wanna-be” is a far cry from the industrial-sized smokers gracing many a back yard, but it does the job.

Not only did it satisfy my longing for something sizzlin’ for supper, it accommodated the weekend’s menu in one fell swoop: grilled chicken breasts for a Caesar salad, pork chops to accompany a mighty tasty batch of coleslaw (with leftovers destined for fajitas or makeshift pulled pork sandwiches), garlic bread to go with all of the above, three roasted peppers, two skewers of veggies, and a partridge in a pear tree…

What’s your favorite thing to do on Friday night?  While you’re thinkin’ about it, here’s a sunset for you to enjoy…

What we lack in mandatory BBQ equipment, God makes up for with the view.

Enjoying life one briquet at a time,

Kim