Tag Archives: jambalaya

Donna’s simply divine jambalaya and have circus, will travel 

So Big Daddy worked at Farm Bureau for 14 years and over that time we made some really good friends. We’d take trips with the company and we would get to see those friends about once or twice a year. Well, Lloyd retired from Farm Bureau a few years ago and Big Daddy has moved on, so that leaves little opportunity for those bi-yearly visits. He and LLoyd text and talk pretty often and Donna and I keep in touch via Facebook, but sometimes little face to face is the best thing. But with 4 kids, 2 dogs, their grandkids and traveling, work…it was a daunting task to make it happen. But somehow we managed. It’s a miracle!! It’s so easy to say there is no time. It’s so easy after a long week to give in to just staying home and just talk about visiting friends. That’s one thing about Big Daddy…he is not all talk. He is a doer. When he sets his head to something, it’s happening. So we scheduled it, packed up on Friday and headed South. All 4 kids and the 2 dogs in tow in the mini van. Virtually our own little traveling circus! 

This little Cajun pup loves a good road trip!

So very glad we went through the trouble. Donna and Lloyd were so welcoming and gave the kids the run of the place.  They had some other friends from Raceland visiting, Anne and Alphonse, and they talked French and cut up and my kids had a ball. They picked blueberries from their many blueberry bushes, they fed the chickens and my baby got to pick up the freshly laid eggs.  We went shopping at the local Dirtcheap store. And as when visiting any Cajun friends, you can almost bet you will eat something delicious. And boy did we. She made a jambalaya so good and put it together so fast, I just knew I had to have the recipe. 


So Donna shared with me that this is her version of her brother in law, Don’s, award winning jambalaya recipe. He makes it for cook offs, different benefits and such…the point is this jambalaya feeds a crowd and people love it!! I have had numerous friends and readers ask me for my jambalaya recipe and until now I did not really have one. Jambalaya is not something I grew up eating very often. So I really hope you all will enjoy Donna’s truly fantastic (and easy) jambalaya as much as we enjoyed our visit with them.

Donna’s Divine Jambalaya 

Serves about 10 

Stuff you need~

2 bell peppers, diced 

4-6 smalll onions, diced

2 cups celery, chopped (optional) 

4 pounds of meat (pork, chicken, sausage)*

1 can Rotel 

4 cups rice (Zatarain’s parboiled rice only!!)**

Kitchen bouquet 

8 cups chicken broth (that’s about 4 cans or two 32 ounce boxes)

*Donna used 2 packs of pork chops, 2 packages chicken tenderloins, and 2 packs of sausage) 

**Donna says regular rice turns too mushy in this recipe. And said this is the only time she uses parboiled rice lol. 

What to do with the stuff~

Heat a little canola oil in your stock pot.*** Brown the diced onion. 

While this is happening cut up your meats. She sprinkled her chicken and pork liberally with Morton’s all seasoning. No not tony’s. Yes we Cajuns do love Tony’s but we don’t add it ad nauseum to every single dish.

 Add all your pork and chicken to this and brown the meat well. Let that all cook down. At the end, throw in the sausage and brown that too. 

Pour the undrained can of Rotel into the pot. Stir in the rice and stir it around so it can soak up all that juice from the meats and veggies. Pour in the chicken broth. Pour in a capful of Kitchen Bouquet (in the condiment aisle on the top shelf almost always in every grocery store, yellow top, black bottle). Stir in some salt and pepper. She did not give specific amounts. So I always say add a little and you can always add more to taste later. 


Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes on low. Stir about halfway through. Enjoy!! 

***Donna used a 7 1/2 quart non stick stock pot and it worked perfectly. I’ll be getting one from amazon asap. 

Me and the lady of the hour, this is THE Donna
Big Daddy and his padnuh, LLoyd
My #4bowlinbabes and LLoyd and Donna

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Crockpot jambalaya

I am about to tell y’all something. I may shock you. It’s quite the revelation. I have never made jambalaya that was not out of the box. And to go further, I cannot remember my mom ever making jambalaya. Maybe she did but I don’t remember. I mean, we ate lots of rice for sure, but not what I would call jambalaya. But I get asked often if I have a really good jambalaya recipe. My answer is always…”um…no”. I feel it is time to right this wrong. How can I call myself Cajun Mama without a good jambalaya recipe? And not jambalaya from a box. Also, I had brunch with my home chick, Joni today, I was inspired. No we did not eat jambalaya for brunch. She told me her husband, Heath, made a kick butt pot of jambalaya last night. So I knew the day had come. I hollered at my pal Google, and searched for an easy crockpot chicken and sausage jambalaya. Ole Google delivered, as usual. Here is the original link http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/easy-slow-cooker-jambalaya-10000001875863/. It was quite tasty, but the rice was a little chewy. Well now that I look at the recipe again, it says clearly to switch the slow cooker to high after you add rice. So my bad!! Cajun mama is not always so bright y’all. Learn from my mistakes and avoid chewy rice!

Crockpot jambalaya

serves 8 or more

Stuff you need

1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons of the jarred stuff)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 package smoked sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

What to do with the stuff

Add all the ingredients except the rice to a large (5 quart) slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 5 hours. It may take less time, mine took about 4 hours.
Now stir in the rice. Switch the Slow cooker to high and cook for 30 minutes. Season according to taste.

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Pastalaya and friendships that last

Funny thing about how friendships transpire.  Especially friendships between mommies.  You meet so many times, over and over, again.  Usually in a rush.  Frazzled.  Looking for one kid while nursing another.  Then you factor in personalities, the time it takes to develop a friendship and it is a wonder mommies ever make friends.  We see the same people all the time, yet it seems hard to establish a good friendship.  But sometimes, you get lucky.  Even after several awkward run ins and very different personalities, you get lucky enough to get a glimpse of her.  You know who I am talking about.  The woman she is.  Actually, the girl.  That person she was before she had 1,2,3,4 kids and was exhausted.  And you really like her.  And your kids just love one another.  And because you are both displaced Central and South Louisiana girls living in Shreveport, you form a close bond and form some sort of pseudo family.   That is what happened between my very dear, probably one of my best, friends, Betsy.  I won’t go in to much more of our back story, as it is long, but what you need to know is how very much I love her and that even though they now live in South Louisiana and we don’t talk as much as we used to (every day, numerous times) she is always with me in some form or fashion.  I am so grateful for our friendship and that we still remain very much a part of one another’s lives.  One thing we bonded over  was recipes.  Betsy loves to eat.  She will tell you that.  I am pretty sure she has a hollow leg, but that chick likes good food.  Her husband is a man of several talents.  Surgeon during the week and on the weekends he becomes super dad and chef extraordinaire.  I am not sure if every surgeon knows their way around a kitchen like he does and comes with awesome recipes like he does…but this guy has it.  So of course, friend wise, I hit the double jackpot.  So one day when Betsy was preggers with her fourth baby and we worked together at a local Mother’s Day Out, she brought out two Glad containers full of something so delicous I could not even stand it.  Pastalaya.  Say what?  Yes, you heard me.  Take out the rice from jambalaya and add in pasta and you have this amazing dish.  Matt had made some and she wanted to share.  I told ya’ll she is a good friend.  I wanted this recipe.  I needed it.  I was forcefully driven to get it.  Make it.  Could I?  Did I dare?  Could I recreate the deliciousness that was Pastalaya?  Well, I was dang sure going to try.  So, I did.  And it was so good.  So now, even though we are miles apart, when I want to make this dish, I pull out the food stained sheet of paper with the recipe Matt wrote for me in his handwriting.  And I feel a little closer to them.  I miss her, them, still terribly.  It is not the same but it is still there.  Good friendships never die.  They are solidified in memories and smiles and good times and if you are lucky, some really delicious recipes.  So, today I share not only a recipe for Pastalaya with you.  I share the joy, good times, and memories that come along with it.  Even still, when our two families are able to get together (that would be 8 kids and 4 adults), we enjoy good food and more love and laughter than our hearts can hold.  It took us a while to make that connection, but thank heavens, it stuck.  I hope that you make it for some people you know really well or hope to get to know better…I can’t promise it will create an Aimee/Betsy bond, but it dang sure can’t hurt.  Special friends, like really special recipes, don’t come along that often, but when they do…you should hold on to them. ~AMB

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Two of our sweet girls on Halloween 2011

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Our boys, Halloween, same year

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Our collective bunch 2013…that’s a lot of kiddos…and a lot of love

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I love her…that is all.  She is better than pastalaya.  

Matt’s Pastalaya 

Stuff you Need:

1 pack bacon

1 pack andouille sausage

1 pack boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 cans chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)

2 cans cream of mushroom

1 onion, chopped

1-2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet (this can be found near the condiments usually)

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Tony’s seasoning, to taste

12 oz. of UNCOOKED thin spaghetti

What to do with the stuff:

Cut your bacon, sausage, and chicken thighs to bite size pieces.  Cook on medium high heat in a large pot.  Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and a few shakes of Tony’s while the meat is cooking.  When the meats are almost cooked, stir in chopped onion.  Let this cook for a few minutes until onions are tender and meat is completely done.  Now, stir in chicken broth.  Let this sit for 5 minutes.  Stir in a teaspoon or two of Kitchen Bouquet (Matt always says a cap full of so) to darken.  Next, stir in the cream of mushroom and let this all sit for about 5 minutes.  Now, you are going to add the uncooked pasta and let this all cook on a low fire until the noodles are tender.  I give mine a few quick stirs during the cooking process to make sure nothing is sticking.  Serve with a lovely green salad and some garlic bread.  Let the inner Cajun in you rejoice!!!

*I am making this dish this weekend, so I will take a nice photo to post for ya’ll!!!