The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Faux Mardi Gras

It ended up being a pretty good thing that I got my dates mixed up regarding Mardi Gras.


#1. The meal didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped.


#2. We weren't really in the celebrating mood.

I know it is hard to believe that we actually have days where we don't feel like celebrating.... but we do. Kev has been so busy relocating his store and I... well, I've hardly slept in a week. Some thing that I blame on eating large spoonfuls of instant coffee grinds for my snack.

Every morning.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, it was a great trial run. And now I know what I should do differently... with the food. Because my costume was pretty spot on.

I decided to make the jambalaya with this...

It's healthy. And spicy. A winning combination. Except for we are not really fans of sausage - in any flavor. And even though the taste was good, we would have much rather had our usual jambalaya meat favorite- shrimp.

Also, we felt like it was missing some yummy vegetables. It was mainly sauce, sausage, and rice. With a lot of spices, of course.

But the next part of the meal completely made up for it.

It blew my socks off. And then some.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. I got the recipe from Macheesmo. And I suggest you do as well.

I realize that jalapeno cornbread isn't necessarily a staple of Cajun cooking... or maybe it is... but really I had just been DYING to make this recipe for months. Jalapenos plus cheddar. It's a no-brainer for me.

The only thing that I changed was that I used leeks instead of scallions. Because I had used all of my scallions two days before. Ooops.

Oh. And I used white cheddar cheese because I got a lot of it for a great price at Trader Joe's.

And I also may have used more than 6 oz. I measure cheese with my eyeballs. I can't help it that they are so big.

Remember that cast iron skillet I had been searching for a while back. Well, it was for this recipe. So, yes, I bought a skillet to make ONE recipe.

And it was SO worth it!
In fact, we used to think of cornbread as a "take it or leave it" kind of thing. We liked it just fine... but would choose a biscuit over the cornbread any day. But after eating this cheesy, scrumptious delight... we would eat this for any meal.
Kev proclaimed that it would go with anything! And then he pounded his fists on the table until I served him up some more.
Except for that he would never pound his fists.
He would just stomp his feet. And howl.
Regardless, I loved this bread so much that I took a slice to work. As my lunch. And I watched the clock all morning until I was able to eat it.
I need help. Clearly.
The whole meal...

And then came dessert..

I got this mix at World Market. It is actually what gave me the idea to do all of this in the first place. I realized that - in order to make my life complete - I HAD to make beignets and I HAD to share their deliciousness with Kev.
The same deliciousness that I experienced 27 years ago. (yikes!)

Two things you need to know about me.
#1. I am horrible at rolling out dough. It never looks right and my "A.D.D" doesn't give me the chance to fix it.
#2. I still haven't mastered the frying technique. Meaning my oil always gets too hot and very darkly cooks/burns every batch that I make after the first one.
Kev is in the market for a good thermometer right now.
The good thing is that these were pretty simple to make. And minus the over browning - they were scrumptious and made in just minutes.
I also seem to have cut them a little too small.... so, they ended up being more like beignet nuggets.

I imagine them being the perfect addition to coffee. (But not a spoonful of coffee grinds.) Or maybe with a little fresh whipped cream and some chocolate drizzle.
Or just by themselves. The way Kev liked them. He was pretty impressed with their yumminess.
And the good news is that I only used half of the mix... so, I'm already half way prepared for the real Mardi Gras.
March 8th.
I'll get it right this time.
And will hopefully get some beads.
And just to entertain you further... I decided to take a picture of what my kitchen looks like after I make a large meal....

Those are just SOME of the dishes I used. Because the rest are already inside the dishwasher being washed. Tonight was a 2 1/2 dishwashing night. Meaning I ran the dishwasher twice and filled it up once more- halfway. I can't figure out if I just use WAY TOO MANY utensils and pots and pans. OR if I don't know how to load a dishwasher properly. OR if my dishwasher is just extra small.
Let's just say that I am SO thankful that I have a dishwasher. Otherwise I would probably throw out the dishes nightly and then have to buy some more.


  1. That cornbread looks awesome. A Cajun staple in our house is red beans and rice, and the easiest thing to make ever. Carmy is half Cajun, you know. You just get a bag of dried red beans, cut up an onion and slice some spicy andouille sausage. (I use chicken sausage for less calories, but pork sausage tastes better.) You throw it all in a crock pot. Season it with a little garlic powder, salt, cayenne pepper and LOTS of Tabasco sauce. It has to be Tabasco because that's the only hot sauce real Cajuns use. Fill the water to about an inch and a half over the beans and cook on low for 8+ hours. Serve over white rice and don't substitute brown rice because it throws the consistency. I grew up on this stuff, and it's great for busy days when you don't have a lot prep time.

  2. I just use plain ole smoked sausage. If I'm feeling like being healthy that week, I use lite sausage. But the fat is what makes it taste awesome so using lite is a sacrifice on taste. The cornbread sounds awesome! Laura can make that for us when she comes to visit!

  3. YUM CITY!! Thanks ladies!! That sounds so good.. I will have to give it a try. I love recipes that make a lot so we can eat it for a couple of days... and I also love them if they go good with cornbread! :)