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I made dirty rice for the fam tonight.  This is my first attempt at this recipe. Brian loved it. Since, it is so easy I will use the recipe again. If you are looking for something quick and easy. Here it is:


Makes 6 servings.

2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1lb browned ground beef cup (or 1 cup andouille sausage, removed from casing and chopped in food processor)
1  rib  celery, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced bell pepper
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 package Zatarain’s® Dirty Rice Mix
2 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon minced parsley


1.  Make dark roux (mine wasn’t very dark – I used olive oil which I don’t think was fat enough for a good roux) by combining cooking oil and flour in heavy bottomed 6 to 8-quart saucepot over low heat.  Stir constantly using wooden spoon.  

2.  When roux is finished, stir in onion and allow to brown, leaving heat on low.  Next, add beef or andouille, celery, bell pepper and garlic.  Add Rice Mix and stir for 5 minutes to toast rice. 

3.  Stir in broth, allow mixture to come to a boil.  Cover with lid and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.

4.  Before serving, season with minced green onion and parsley.

*Photo by by innocentcharmer


I made pork chops with gravy the other night for Brian. Ah, very southern, very “soul.” Ah, very un-Christy-like and way to messy and elaborate sounding.  But, I knew it sounded like something he would like.  He claims it is the best meal that I have ever made and the best gravy he has ever tasted.  Brian…is there something that you want, honey?  Maybe he was just buttering me up.  But, maybe it really was delicious. I think it was the latter because I loved it, too!

Here’s the recipe: Fried pork chops retain their tenderness and moisture when they are not cooked to death.  Cook 1/2 inch chops 5 minutes on each side; 3/4 inch chops only 8 minutes; 1-inch chops 10 minutes on each side. Anything thicker should be lightly browned and then braised in liquid.  All are especially nice served with a snowdrift of mashed potatoes.

4 – 6 pork chops, cut 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons flour
Olive Oil
1/2 cup of chicken broth

Put several tablespoons of flour on a plate. Salt & Pepper the flour.  Lightly dust the chops with flour, shaking off excess. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil (or shortening) in the skillet and Brown the chops over medium heat for 10 -2 12 minutes, as directed above.  Remove the chops from the pan. Pour off all but two tablespoons of grease.  Splash with broth and stir in bits of remaining flour until desired consistency is achieved. 

*Apple Cider can be substituted for the broth]

Fannie Farmer 100Th Anniversary The recipe was adapted from my all time favorite recipe book: Fanny Farmer Cookbook, by Marion Cunningham.  This book, very specific and accurate, was originally written for the Boston Cooking School.  It is GREAT for someone like me who isn’t a highly skilled cook.  It’s excellent for beginners and experts, too. 

*Photo by thisvintagechica on flickr 

Update from Decorated Sugar Cookies for Baby Shower Post: 

The bowl came home empty!  I translate that as “a hit.”  Thank you Pilsbury!

To see the original post click here.

I spent the evening making cookies to accompany the Diaper Cake for Kelly’s Shower.  Concedingly, the confections look a like, well, a fifth grader bedecked them.  I wish that I could share a fancy recipe with you. 

Realistically though, I have Pilsbury  to thank.  Create-n-Bake The already mixed and rolled-into-a-tube dough was perfect. 

The whole task was relatively simple.  I baked the cookies. Let them cool. Then, decorated with Cake Mate Icing tubes. Cake Mate Cake Icing used on CookiesI highly recommend this type/brand of icing because it hardens.  This is critical for easy transporting.  The icing hardens so the cookies can be stacked.  The other type of icing required the little-rings-of-sugar-gold to be placed side by side. That is simply too much trouble for mwa.  

My only compaint about the icing is the color selection. Bi-Lo only carried the primary colors. Since the shower is for a little girl, I really wanted barbie-pink or something sparkley.  Oh, well. The good news is the color of the cookies will match the sunny diaper cake. DSCN0419

There are sixteen, actually there are 15 cookies.  I snuck one. I am sorry I couldn’t resist.  But anyway, I am taking 15 cookies.  Let’s see how many people actually eat one tomorrow. 

Do you think these will be a hit or miss? 

Stay tuned. I will post the results.

I made banana bread muffins for the mommy brunch tomorrow.  They are burnt around the edges. 

Rats!  I was so proud that I cooked them before the “day-of.”  All the work for coal-edged muffins.  Nasty! Oh, well.  You win some. You lose some. 

Hmm…I guess I will just pick up some doughnuts. The theme is “comfort foods.” Doughnuts classify as a comfort food, right?

*Photo from Africankelly on flickr

The aroma of fresh baked bread fills the kitchen.  An opened jar of pimientos colorfully decorates the counter while diced black olives are stacked nearby.  “Hey babe, what are you cooking?” my husband questions as he enters my lair.  “Oh, nothing,” I answered.  “Nothing,” he questions. “It sure looks good,” he smiles while rubbing his belly. “If you insist on knowing, I am making snakes,” I surrender my secret.  “Yikes!” he exclaimed. 

Realizing it rings creepy, yes I am making snakes, snakes for B’s Halloween Party.  Tomorrow, tomorrow.  Tomorrow is B’s  very first Halloween Party!   Admittedly she has shown little enthusiasm for the affair. But, I am bubbling with excitement.  After hours of shopping and deliberating over her costume I finally selected a Tom Arma bunny.   I love it!   Usually, I am attracted to homemade costumes.  This one is so cute, however.  I couldn’t resist the image of B dressed up in this number.  She looks like a plush bunny rabbit.  It makes you want to squeeze her, hug her, and whisk her off to bed!  I assume this will be one of the only years that I have total control over her selection.  Mama can choose what Mama wants to choose.  So, I better enjoy it to the fullest.  I am!

Equally as excited with the costume as with the party, I have been looking forward to making my first goodies for her.  It makes me feel like a “real mother.”  The only requirement of the party is that you bring a healthy snack.  Being a Mother is so much fun!  Just call me Christy Cleaver.  My mind has been whirling all week.  What in the world can I make for Halloween that is healthy and fun?  I finally decided that I would make snakes out of bread stick dough, snap on two eyes out of sliced black olives, and stitch in a pimiento tongue.  Ssssss.

Until tomorrow I sign this post,

B’s Mamasssssssss