You will never guess what I did today…
I arrive at work, head down to my desk and notice that there’s something a little “off” about my walk. After each step, my right foot is hitting the ground sooner than the left one… Omg, did one of my legs suddenly get shorter? Is the right side of my body shrinking?? What’s happening?!
EPIC SHOE FAIL! I have two pairs of black loafers (yep I wear loafers, they’re super comf) and this morning I accidently put on one shoe from each pair! D’OH! One of the pairs has a higher heel than the other, hence the reason why my walk was so lopsided. Thankfully, (hopefully?) I don’t think anyone noticed since the shoes look pretty similar at a quick glance. I blame the dimly lit hallway closet that I have to fish my shoes out from every morning…
Shoe disasters aside, I had a great day. The sun was shining and Ben came down to have lunch with me. Plus, it’s Fat Tuesday!
Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, is the day before the beginning of Lent. Traditionally, it’s a day to eat rich and sinfully delectable foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. It can also mean drinking copious amounts of Hurricanes and flinging beads every which way. You know, normal, everyday stuff.
In the IGE household, Fat Tuesday means Jambalaya for dinner!
Jambalaya is a very popular Cajun/Creole dish that usually combines the southern holy trinity of green peppers, onions & celery, with chicken, sausage, seafood, spices and rice, to create a big bubbling pot of ultimate yumminess.
I used Martha Stewart’s recipe as a guide to make my own Mardi Gras staple!
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Salt & pepper
2 celery sticks, chopped fine
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 medium bell pepper, minced
1 lb turkey kielbasa, chopped into half moons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
Hot sauce, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1-14oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup long grain rice
2 dried bay leaves
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear chicken pieces, seasoning with salt & pepper, until barely cooked through, ~5 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, heat remaining olive oil and cook vegetables until tender, ~8-10 minutes. Add kielbasa and cook for 3 more minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
- Add in seasoning, hot sauce & peppers, chicken broth, water and crushed tomatoes. Bring the whole mixture to a boil and add in the chicken, rice and bay leaves. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes then put the cover on the Dutch oven and remove it from the heat. Let stand until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, ~35 minutes. Enjoy!
Cracking open the heavy lid of the Dutch oven, after anxiously waiting for everything to cook, was like opening a present on Christmas Day!
The rice soaks up all the delicious flavors and wraps everything up into one delectable dish. Comfort food at its finest.
I used this long grain Basmati rice. It was really easy to work with.
Oh and to make it a little healthier, I used turkey kielbasa instead of the traditional andouille sausage. It was just perfect!
To go with, I made some Grandma’s Buttermilk Cornbread. This meal was all Southern, baby.
I could eat this cornbread for every single meal – it’s THAT good. Massive kudos go out to the Grandma that made up this recipe!
Whew – we are so full! This was an unforgettable meal, and I’m so happy we could channel a little bit of the South right here in the Midwest.
I suppose this would be a good segue into telling you where Ben and I are going for Spring Break… We’re heading to The Big Easy – aka New Orleans!
We (well, mostly me) like our relaxing beach vacations, but we most definitely love our getting out and exploring vacations! Oh, and you will never believe what’s taking place during our stay – the New Orleans Roadfood Festival!!
Can you say good timing?! Check out these highlights:
- Unique dishes from New Orleans, from around Louisiana, and from the top-ranking Roadfood restaurants all across America will be served in affordable, sample-size portions.
- 5 blocks of Royal Street in the heart of The French Quarter will be the home of 20 vendors serving regional specialties unavailable elsewhere.
- The world’s longest oyster po’boy, and beignet-eating contest.
We had no idea this was going to be going on when we booked our trip and are seriously giddy with anticipation. FYI – I plan on entering, and winning, the beignet-eating contest.
Needless to say, we are beyond excited to see the sights and taste the food of New Orleans. Neither Ben nor I have ever been, so if you have any suggestions as to must see/must do/must eat items – we are all ears (and mouths)!
In the meantime, I’m going to go digest and get ready to watch Lost. Stay tuned tomorrow for my 40 day Lenten challenge. Goodnight!
Do you like Southern Food?