Jambalaya Recipe + Giveaway

My mom is quite a cook. I didn’t fully appreciate this until I got older, but now I look back on her lemon squares, magic bars, snickerdoodles, and chicken cheese spaghetti in awe. She somehow managed to wrangle all 3 of us kids and cook delicious food.

I think there are two dishes she is best known for bringing to family potlucks — the chicken cheese spaghetti (my favorite) and her favorite, jambalaya. Now, let me make something perfectly clear. My mom “doesn’t like spicy food.”

zooey eye roll

She’ll be the first to tell you if a Mexican restaurant’s salsa is too hot, but my mom makes this jambalaya and I think sometimes she wings it because there have been times it would light you up. Other times it’s not so warm. Either way, everyone loves it and I’ve always wondered about the recipe, but didn’t bother to ask until now, thinking it was something she came up with herself. I don’t know why I always assume that. I really thought it was some secret recipe of her own making. When I called her up to inquire about this a few weeks ago I found the truth.

It’s from a cookbook I bought at An Affair of the Heart in the 1980s.


Cute, huh?

Along with a photo of the cookbook itself, she sent me one of the well-loved recipe, accompanied by an apology for how dirty the page was. But you know that just means it’s good.


So when I was asked to share a recipe using Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, this had to be the one. The sausage adds a lot of flavor and on top of that it’s a really simple option and so easy to prepare. There’s a lot of depth to to the flavors here and I suspect it’s because you don’t do away with any of the drippings. That information is included in the recipe above, which I’m not typing up here in my post, but feel free to check out the full size version of the photo if the print is too small for you here.


You start off by sautéing the sausage. Once it’s a little browned, remove from the pan (I’m using my Le Creuset dutch oven because I’m in love with it and there’s a baking step later on).


Optional step: Avoid looking at my dirty stovetop.

Add oil and sauté the vegetables.


Then add your tomatoes, broth, and green onion. Stir in your spices and then add the rice.


Add the sausage back to the pot and cook for another 30 minutes, covered.


After most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, add the shrimp and cook until pink. Now, mine was already cooked and my grocery store only had shell- and tail-on shrimp, otherwise I would have stirred it in a little. Because of the situation I left the shrimp on the top.

Next, you either transfer it to a baking dish OR leave it in the pot if you made it in a dutch oven like I did. Bake for 25 minutes.


Put a slice of garlic bread on the side and you are ready to go!

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 10.50.24 AM

It’s a really simple dish that’s easy to prepare, but tastes like you put a lot of effort into it. For the record, my attempt at this recipe turned out delicious, but still just as spicy as my mom’s. I’m going to work on the ratio next time to make a milder version for people who can’t handle the pepper.

Want to try this out for yourself? I’m giving away a coupon for a free Hillshire Farm product. Just leave a comment saying you’re interested and I’ll randomly draw numbers at the end of the week.

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Posted in Daily, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

What I’m Reading

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what i'm reading


Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire — Goodreads recommended this series to me and the premise sounded interesting, so I picked I up. It’s about this “animal kid” named Gus. “Animal kid” what he calls himself and all the other kids like him. Gus was raised in the woods, on a wildlife preserve, by his overprotective father who spouts a lot of religious stuff about how they are not ever supposed to leave and evil lives outside the woods. Then his father dies and Gus is left to fend for himself. It’s an interesting concept, pretty original, other than being yet another post-apocalyptic dystopia. Flew through the first volume and checked to see if any of the subsequent volumes were available at the library. There were, all 5 of them (there are 6 volumes total in this series) and I put them on hold immediately. I read the first 5 books in the span of a week, but waited until a month later to read the last one. There are ups and downs in the series. Not all of the volumes are stellar. My favorites were Volumes 3 and 6, for reasons I can’t explain without giving away a lot of the story. It’s interesting and I wanted to see it through to the end, but the slow moving plot in some of the volumes made this tedious.

Three Ladies Beside The Sea and Cautionary Tales for Children, illustrated by Edward Gorey — I’ve always loved Edward Gorey’s art. I’ve been watching Mystery! on PBS since before I could walk and I remember my first trip to Barnes & Noble (first time ever!) when I picked up a copy of The Gashlycrumb Tinies, recognized the drawings, and flipped through the whole thing before my mom could catch me. These two books were nice. The first was based on a short poem, so there wasn’t much to read, but the illustrations tell such a nice story. I really enjoyed it. The second, well, if you know his work, you can guess what this was like. Mischievous kids meeting their end under bizarre circumstances.

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon — I think this book should never have happened. I thought the story was a little choppy and hard to follow and I’ve read Outlander. This graphic novel is essentially the first 1/3 or something of Outlander told from Jamie’s perspective. There is some additional stuff at the beginning about Jamie coming back to Scotland, but I didn’t feel like it added much to the story. The thing that had me making faces at this book the entire time was the illustrations. Good grief. No nurse walks around like that. No real nurse.

Blue Iris: Poems and Essays by Mary Oliver — She is a favorite of mine and I was so glad I picked up this collection of poems. Her observations of the world around her and the attention to the tiniest detail make some of the finest poems. If you enjoy poetry or nature or both, look for this book.

Currently reading: Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

What are you reading?

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Sunday Morning Coffee


This morning it’s lemon ginger tea with some extra slices of ginger. I’ve felt like I was fighting a virus or infection for a few days now and I’ve been trying to get ahead of it. The swollen gland at the base of my skull isn’t so swollen now, so maybe something is working.

Posted in Daily, Sunday Morning Coffee | 1 Comment