Yesterday was the first day in a very long time where Bebe and I didn’t have plans and we quietly enjoyed our solitude at home. After a very busy weekend and another broken household item, the slower pace was welcoming.
Unfortunately, I’ve been on a bad luck streak and I’ve broken several things over the last week, including today. Has this ever happened to you?
I first broke our vacuum cleaner. Usually hubs is the one who vacuums but on this rare occasion I hauled the heavy vacuum out and started going about my business but then I vacuumed up a few things I wasn’t supposed to and soon the vacuum cleaner was smoking and it smelled like something was burning. End of that chore…
Next, over the weekend I broke my husband’s iPad. I’d like to say that this wasn’t entirely my fault as he left it on the corner of the counter and when I reached over it, I accidentally pushed it off the counter and it crash landed awkwardly and the glass surrounding the iPad’s home button cracked. Major fail. Major guilt. But… I didn’t leave it dangerously hanging over the edge of the counter? Ok, still my bad.
Finally, this morning I was putting away dishes when the plastic top to my trusty blender slipped out of my hands as I watched in slow motion as it strangely fell and landed right-side up. I thought because of the way it fell it would be fine. But, NO, of course it wasn’t fine. It was cracked and when I touched the crack a piece of the plastic fell right off. And I thought I was being so healthy and awesome with the green smoothie I just made. Clearly, I’m not awesome.
Yup, it’s been an unlucky few days for me. I’ve been thinking if would be best if I just stayed home and didn’t drive, but strangely things in the house seem to be safer when I’m out of the house, not in it.
As always, what I cook at home is primarily driven by my cravings. I had an inkling for gumbo last week, and of course our recent heat wave didn’t really factor into my craving for a stew that was hot and spicy.
I never really cared for gumbo only because the few times that I ordered it while dining out, the spiciness was too hot to handle. Fortunately, I met a great gal at a former place of work who brought homemade gumbo to an office potluck. The recipe is straightforward, simple and easy to make.
Not surprisingly, even the Bebe eats it. Before I add all the chili powder, I cook everything together and scoop out a portion for her no-spice version. Then I add the chili powder to our portion and hers stays spice-free.
I almost want to dare you to make spicy gumbo in this blazing heat wave we’re experiencing! ;) It won’t disappoint… as long as you have your A/C blasting.
- 1 14 ½ -ounce can chicken broth
- 1 14 ½ -ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 4 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red (or green) bell pepper, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 to 4 tablespoons chili powder, to taste (add more if desired)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 5 chicken breast tenderloins, cooked and shredded (frozen)
- 2 – 3 cups large raw shrimp (frozen)
- ½ pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced crosswise (substitute with andouille)
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cup fresh okra, sliced (optionally use frozen)
- 3 cup cooked brown rice, for serving
- Tapatio or other hot sauce for garnish (optional)
- Sliced green onions or chopped parsley for garnish, (optional)
- Chili powder for garnish, (optional)
- In a large pot, saute butter with onions, celery, parsley and bell pepper until tender over medium heat.
- Add sausage and chicken, along with bay leaf, thyme, chili powder, cayenne pepper (optional), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes, water and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add okra and shrimp and simmer on medium low heat for additional 30 to 40 minutes. The cooked brown rice can be added to the pot at this point and simmered with the okra, shrimp and gumbo. I prefer to serve the rice separate, on top of the gumbo.
- Garnish with additional parsley, chili powder, and hot sauce.