I frogged my checkerboard.
(For those of you who aren't knit enthusiasts)...
Frog: (v) When the knitter makes a mistake, but does not notice the mistake for a while, and is forced to rip out multiple rows of a project, a process known as frogging.
So, again, I frogged my checkerboard. Complete frog. Earlier this week I came to a mistake row, tried to fix it, made it worse, tried to take it out, got stitches crossed and backwards... so I frogged it.
Back to square 1... I've been knitting it all over again since Wednesday.
But it's ok! It's a fun pattern to knit, I learned something through my mess up, and I'd rather it be knitted well than almost done and all messy.
I made Cajun Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya. It is Sooooo good.
Originally, I was going to try Mom on the Run's recipe, which looks fabulous. But I was e-mailed one from a blog friend... he's a military fighter pilot guy who had a blog that helped him clear his head, but he was afraid it would be too easy for others to decipher his wannabe-anonymous identity. So he took the blog private.
But before doing so, he e-mailed me this Jambalaya recipe! And it is so fabulous... it's so amazing that even if you're a vegetarian I would at least suggest trying to make this with tofu or something. Ok... not sure if that would work. But... seriously, the flavor is amazing. Hmm... now I'm trying to think of what veggies you could use to replace all the meat. I'll keep thinking...
I thought I would post the recipe exactly how he e-mailed it, with my comments interjected of course! :)
-2 or 3 chicken breasts [Sarah's note: I used 3]
-Package of andouille sausage (the pepperage farm stuff will do just fine. they make a "cajun" version.) [Sarah's note: I went pepperage farm!]
-A pound or so of shrimp (I'd suggest no smaller than medium. Large works well but sometimes they're too large and people wont get a lot per serving)
-3 ripe tomatoes (use fresh, ive tried to make this with canned and you lose a lot) [Sarah's note: Glad he told me that... I use canned tomatoes a lot with cooking, 'cause I'm a wimp, but he convinced me not to]
-2 or 3 cups of rice (I prefer jasmine but that's the filipino in me)[Sarah's note: I used 2.5 cups Jasmine rice]
-4 cloves of garlic
-1 whole medium red onion
-Red pepper flakes
-Salt and pepper
okay. this is an easy, one pot (or two) dish.
First, the prep:
-Garlic - chop fine
-Red onion - chop fine as well
-Tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and chopped fine. my trick is to core the tomatoes. make an "X" on the bottom of it with a knife. then to put them into boiling water for a minute. take them out and immediately place them into ice cold water to "shock" them. That allows you to peel the tomatoes (from the X) quite easily. once peeled, cut in half and squeeze the seeds out. after that's all done, you can chop up the tomatoes into small pieces. dont worry though, the tomatoes will cook thoroughly and dissolve into the stew. [Sarah's note: This was SO helpful! I had no idea how to do this. It was fairly quick and easy. And he was right, the tomatoes dissolved right into the jambalaya, which is great because I'm not big on tomato chunks. So cool. I love recipes that help me learn...]
-Chicken - chop into smallish, 1 or 2" bite sized pieces.
-Sausage - cut diagonally
-Shrimp - peel. devine if you so choose. I don't. [Sarah's note: I bought some that were already peeled and deveined... wimp, I know. One thing at a time, people.]
-In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat up some olive oil. add red pepper flakes to infuse the oil. [Sarah's Note: I used 1.5 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes. I thought it was a perfect amount, but I am a slight spice wimp. Use your gut] Add onion and let simmer for a couple minutes.
-Next add garlic and simmer being careful not to burn the garlic.
-Salt, pepper, and add cajun seasoning. I wish I could tell you how much, just game it. [Sarah's Note: I used what I felt like was a lot... 4tbsp cajun, 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp pepper. But it turned out great. I love "taste and see" recipes!]
-Next add chicken and sausage and let saute for a couple minutes. I add some more salt and pepper and cajun seasonings.
-After a couple minutes of sauteing (you dont need long) add the tomatoes and stir. last chance to adjust seasonings so one last taste test.
-Add the rice and follow the instructions for the amount of liquid/chicken stock (usually 1.5-2 parts liquid to rice). [Sarah's note: I used 2.5 cups rice, 5 cups chicken stock]
-Give one good stir then cover.
-Bring stew to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. DO NOT OPEN THE LID ONCE CLOSED!
-Rice usually takes 20 mins to cook so around minute 16-17, add the shrimp to the stew and cover again. this allows the shrimp to cook but not become rubbery from being overcooked.
-Once rice is fully cooked, remove from heat. salt and pepper to taste.
I find that it tastes better if you can perfect the seasoning before the rice gets in. Remember the rice is going to absorb a lot of it. i have a tendency to overseason though so i have to really be timid with it.
Thanks, blog friend! Like I said-- it turned out really great. I'm loving the leftovers!
Tonight's cooking goal: Donna--FFW's Stuffed Flank Steak. EEeek! Soo excited...
Matt's birthday is this Sunday! One day after the 4th :) It would be cool if he was born on Independence Day... because then we'd both kinda be born on holidays... but one day off isn't bad.
I am so looking forward to his birthday! I love his birthday. We always do something fun...
Here's us two years ago when I took him kayaking:
We kayaked to this little inlet in Wilmington and had a lovely picnic, just the two of us!
Then a storm came in and we almost died getting back, trying to dodge all the 4th of July vacation boats who were trying to hurry back as well. But that story another day :)
And one year ago, when we celebrated his birthday in Charleston...
Here we are, a little tipsy after lots of good food and good drinks at a fancy restaurant in downtown Charleston...
So, what big surprise do we have for his birthday this year??
So, what big surprise do we have for his birthday this year??
Unfortunately, he has 20 hours of online courses to complete this weekend for his CFP stuff. I know, on the 4th and on his birthday! So no big surprises like previous years... but it's ok; Sunday night we're going out to The Melting Pot, a fun, swanky fondue restaurant. We've never been!
I've got a couple fun surprises planned... a yummy surprise cake, some fun presents, and a treat at the restaurant... but I can't post JUST in case he looks at the blog. Not that he'll have any time to this weekend with his class... but I don't want to risk it. I'll fill you in later, hopefully with pictures of us fondue-dipping!
It's definitely not kayaking or traveling... but it's going to be a good weekend :)
-Tom's in China! Cool... he'll be there till about July 10th, home just in time for him and my Mom to take my younger sisters on a big camping trip
-Happy Birthday, America! My Dad will be enjoying the 4th from Baghdad, so send happy thoughts that way :)
-Winston is here! I've blogged about Winston before... he's a family friend's dog that I dog sit sometimes. Winston's parents are enjoying the beach this weekend, so he's here keeping me company while Matt studies... (actually, he's lying under the table by Matt while Matt studies and pets him. He's supposed to be playing with me... dogs always like Matt better than me. What is that?!)
-Juggling 3 web projects right now: two volunteer, one paid. Phew! It's taking up a lot of time!
Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!
Your checkers-frogging, web-designing,
New Girl Blogger