Thursday, February 23, 2012

Beads, rice, and everything nice.

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks filled with fun little holidays and plenty of excuses to celebrate. Last weekend, we had a little party for our friend J.Fal. He turned 23 this week. I made his favorite: Bobby Kennedy Pie. (He REQUESTED it...yesss!) 
Happy Birthday, Juicy J! We lurve you.
He and I also celebrated the 1st Annual Red-head Haircut Weekend.

Sundays are becoming my favorite days. This week, we continued our Atlanta brunching adventures at Zocalo in Midtown. It’s this cool little Mexican place near Piedmont Park. It was absolutely delicious. I really like trying new places, but I like it even more when the place is THIS good. I got the black bean cakes with roasted tomato salsa. YUM. And it was very reasonably priced, too. Chris and I both want to go back for lunch or dinner soon. Later in the day, my Dad came over to hang out, and grilled ribs and burgers for everyone. Such a fun day.
The fam.

I also had a fabulous President’s Day off on Monday. I spent it doing yoga, laundry, dishes, and taxes. It was great.

Then (Fat) Tuesday was Mardi Gras! What an awesome holiday. It’s all about the party…what could be better?! Shannon got a HUGE King Cake delivered straight from New Orleans to our office that morning. It certainly was pretty and smelled amazing. And was obviously full of gluten. Sad. Then I realized… traditional Fat Tuesday fixin’s are not GF friendly. In my pre-gluten-free days, I used to eat a huge pancake breakfast (dinner) on Mardi Gras with my family. Well, not anymore. But if you know anything about Chris and I, you know we’re festive. And we like to dress up and celebrate any chance we get. So we didn’t let a little gluten ruin our Tuesday of Fatness!

Upon further research on Pinterest and on Kroger’s sale flyer, we decided we could make Cajun Red Beans and Rice with smoked sausage! Thanks to Barb, we wore some beads and did things up right. It ended up being super cheap, and easy meal (except for a rice miscommunication), in a fat in a fairly healthy way. We find ourselves eating a lot of the same things, so it was fun to step outside the box. I think we’re broadening each other’s horizons, too (I’m turning Chris McBacon-lover into a sausage fan!)

Beach season is around the corner, so before we got started cooking, we did a little yoga DVD. We were feeling GOOD. 

We were so excited about this meal that we somehow managed to mess up cooking the rice. YEP, the rice. I’m still not sure where we went wrong, but we ended up with too much water, mushy, oatmeal-ish rice, and a difficult pot to clean. I don’t know. I trust that you all will be better direction followers than I was that night.

Here’s the recipe we used.

2 cups Brown rice
4 cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
1 pkg Turkey Smoked Sausage (on sale!)
1 can red beans

Start with the rice. Pour the rice and the hot water into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 30-ish minutes. Meanwhile, slice the sausage into thin pieces. 
Barb's beads and my yoga get-up
 Next, heat a skillet to about medium, and add the EVOO and the sausage, and add as much Cajun seasoning as you’d like. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until it is cooked to your liking.

Then, add the drained can of red beans to the sausage. Combine them and cook until warm. 

The rice should be done soon there after. Serve rice with sausage/bean mixture on top. Feel free to be a ragin’ Cajun and add more spice.

We ate off of the china and watched the first episode of “Downton Abbey”, and it was great. We felt fat and happy. We both decided that we enjoyed this meal so much (the taste and the price tag), that we may add it into the rotation. 

My first gluten-free Mardi Gras was fabulous. Although, I do think it's a little unfair that gluten-free folks have zero to no chance of finding the baby in a King Cake. Next year: New Orleans and maybe a GF King Cake.

P.S. Here's a little voo doo gem:


  1. I will find a GF King Cake recipe to make next year so you all can enjoy Fat Tuesday!!

  2. ARGH!!! GF Aliens!!!