Monthly Archives: July 2010

Coffee Link

Wes & I are adopting and there is this great website (Thank you, Jenny Bo Benny) where you can buy organic, free trade coffee.  When you buy from our page, we get a part of the proceeds.  We then get a check that we put into our adoption fund!

The guy who started it adopted two girls from Ethiopia and realized the great coffee in Africa and thought he could sell it AND help out orphans in Africa and other people who are adopting.

It is a great site and the coffee is YUM!

Just Love Coffee Link

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Gumbo is Yumbo!

So we had to use some of the okra in the fridge…what works best for okra?  You guessed it…GUMBO!

Yummy yet again – used the cast iron dutch oven this time (thanks Jeff & Yeva!) and I definitely think it works better.

Photos to come, as Wes did what he loves to do best – take photos of food from 800 angles!

Stir Fry

Two nights ago, made some yummy chicken stir fry.  The magic of stir fry is that you can pretty much use anything in it – vegetable-wise.  Whatever veggies are in the fridge can usually just get thrown in.

I used to do it different, but I have started using frozen chicken, b/c I can boil it and then use that water for cous cous, quinoa, or rice.  So I take water in a pot and add some spices – garlic, lemongrass, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, ginger – and then throw in about 2 frozen chicken breasts in the water and let that cook.  I take the chicken out, throw it in a bowl and put it in the fridge to cool down.  I strain that water and put it back in the pot I just used and make the starch.

While the chicken is cooking, I cut all the veggies.  The real pain about stir fry is the prep work, as you have to have time to cut all the veggies.  You can always cut them a day before or earlier in the day and just keep them in a bag or bowl in the fridge.  This last time, I did carrots, broccoli, green pepper, red onion…I think that was it.

So I put a little sesame oil (canola works too) in my wok *sidebar – LOVE my wok from IKEA.  Got it as a Christmas gift – affordable, works great, holds a lot of food – highly recommend getting one for cooking if you don’t have a wok already*….anyway – oil in the wok…

Put in the hard veggies first – carrots, white part of any bok choy, etc – let that cook for a few minutes and then add the softer veggies – onions, green pepper, broccoli – if you put in any leafy veggies, you add those very last.  Wes & I like our veggies a little crunchy, so I don’t over cook anything – magic of stir fry..it is QUICK!

I take the veggies out and put them in a bowl and then grab the chicken out of the fridge and pull it apart with my hands and put that in the wok (add more oil if necessary).  I let that saute a bit and while that is going, you make the ‘sauce’.

Rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger (fresh or ground), garlic (fresh or ground), lemongrass (I use ground), fish sauce (not really necessary, but I like the flavor) – don’t even ask me ‘how much’ b/c I do not measure and just put it in until it tastes good to me.  Then I take about a spoonful of cornstarch and mix it in a separate small bowl with about a tablespoon of water.  I pour that into the rest of it and mix it up.

Add the veggies back in with the chicken, mix it all together, and put in the ‘sauce’ – the cornstarch in this should allow everything to thicken up a little.  Mix it all up and let it cook for another few minutes…DONE!

Of course, there is a lot of this, as I cook for about 4-5 people so Wes and I can take lunch for a day or two.  THANK GOODNESS Wes likes leftovers like I do.

**Danielle and Chris do not like leftovers, so I would recommend that they only make this when people are coming over 🙂

very colorful, non?

Gumbo!!

As a lot of you know, Wes and I have a garden in the middle of our backyard.  Having a garden that you can just walk out to and pick food for the night is great.

We get our seeds from Baker Creek and everything is heirloom, something I love.  We grow some of the same stuff every year…tomatoes, lettuce, and OKRA!  We love okra and we always freeze a bunch to have in the winter.  When the okra is growing good, it means it is Gumbo Season!

I found a great recipe on Cooking Light for gumbo.

Crescent City Gumbo

I do not measure anything like they say and only go by eye.  It is a good recipe and I tend to add a few more things to it.  We also love to eat our gumbo over cous cous or quinoa instead of white rice, as those two grains are better for you.

The only pain about gumbo is making the roux, which is the thickening agent for it.  You have to stand over a hot stove and whisk fat (canola oil, in this case) and flour together until it is ‘pasty’ and then turns a medium brown color.  In the summer, standing over a hot stove is not fun.  This last time, Wes volunteered to learn to make the gumbo and he did all the standing and whisking – hooray for me!

I like this sausage you can find at the grocery (Kroger here) that is a spicy Cajun andouille.  Another good recommendation is to hit up a carniceria (Hispanic meat market/grocery) and get some spicy sausage there.  You start with sausage and chicken thighs.  I tend to buy the thighs on the bone and then de-bone them at home, using the bones for stock.  As this is also a pain for most people, you can buy bags of frozen chicken thighs – PERFECT for gumbo!

You remove that from the dutch over/large pot and add in the ‘trinity’ of cooking – onion, celery, and pepper.  I like to use red onion and 2-3 different colors of peppers.  Usually red and green.  That cooks and you add garlic, which I always add extra, thyme, crushed or finely ground red pepper, and S&P.  I, again, put in more red pepper than usually called for and then add some hot sauce.  Remove that from the pan and then add the rest of the oil and the flour – here is where the whisking begins.  Whisking is usually for about 5-10 minutes.  Then you, slowly, add the chicken stock while you are stirring constantly.  Put everything back in the pan, add the tomatoes and okra and about 3-4 bay leaves and let it cook for 45 minutes.  Then you add in your shrimp (again, you can just buy them frozen and already cleaned) and cook for about 5 more minutes!

So yummy!  Recipe is Crescent City Gumbo

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Hello world!

After an email from Stupidhead, I have decided to start a blog about what I make for dinner and what I cook.  This idea all started from me ‘almost’ moving to NC to live with Jenny.  Hence the name, ‘Hey Jenny’, for the blog.  Wes came into the picture and I stayed in GA.  Jenny often laments that she ‘could be eating that right now’.  I said I would do videos on youtube, but a blog works too!