Frost covered the trees and grass and rooftops this morning as I trekked out in the minus 30 degree temperatures with Big Zoom to do the grocery shopping. I’m a big fan of one pot meals, especially during the winter months when warm dinners are an absolute must. They also make for quick cleanup and typically freeze well for leftovers.
A few years back, my mother made an incredible gift for me for Christmas. I was living in Dublin, Ireland at the time, trying to find my way around Irish cooking, and failing pretty miserably with the slightly different ingredient lists and somewhat bland flavors. For Christmas that year, as I was celebrating far away with Mr. Zoom’s family, my mother sent me over a handmade scrapbook style cookbook full of some our family’s favorite recipes. This Jambalaya recipe was in there, and is in my opinion one of the best one pot meals in my repertoire. It may not look like much; it certainly isn’t the most beautiful dish to come out of my kitchen but it warms us and tastes delicious.
Mama’s New Orleans Style Jambalaya
Melt butter in large heavy pot. Add flour and stir until blended; then add sausage (crumble) and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, tomatoes, water, onions, garlic, and parsley. Bring to a boil, add rice, and stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Sitr occasionally.
This recipe makes an absolute ton of food. You’ll definitely have leftovers (unless you are feeding an army of teenage boys), and it will certainly freeze well.
I have a new favorite coffee shop: Jubala Village Coffee! Tonight I decided to head out of the house for a couple hours with my computer and my camera to work on learning photoshop distraction free. I never realized how challenging it would be to carve out some alone time with babies around. I realize now that before the kids were born, I was alone all the time! In the car, in the bathroom, while shopping; there was so much time to be quiet with my thoughts. Now with one baby in my arms practically all day long, I realize that I am constantly thinking and doing for them. What a nice treat it has been to take some time to engage my mind in grown up things tonight!
Here’s a picture I snapped while sipping my coffee tonight. Jubala has this insanely big chalkboard wall across from their coffee bar filled with colorful words. What brings me joy? My family. Even as I sit here enjoying my two hours of peace, I look forward to tomorrow with my crazy boys, my crazy dog, and a husband that keeps me calm.