For example -- ladies out there, I'm especially talking to you -- French braiding hair. Few skills elude me quite like that one. I can't French braid a friend's hair, much less dream of doing it to my own locks. I've tried. And tried. And tried some more with no success whatsoever.
I've tried with dry curly hair, wet hair, wavy brushed hair, and three day old unwashed hair. I've turned three strands of hair into two and knotted my hair in multiple places, but I've never created a decent looking French braid.
The genuine rage that I've felt attempting to do so can be compared to little else, possibly only Matt's frustration with the "recalculating" function on our Garmin. So, whenever a girl with her hair styled in a smooth and symmetrical braid chirps, "Oh, it's so easy. You can totally do it!" I want to shout, "IT IS NOT EASY!"
Slow cooker chicken sausage and shrimp gumbo!
(That's doctor speak for tailbone. It's just more fun to say. And a little dirty sounding, but it's allowed because many medical professionals said it repeatedly without as much as a smirk or giggle.)
What was fun, though, was having a main dish planned that took about 5 minutes of active prep and 8 hours of sitting on a doughnut pillow watching pre-show coverage a.k.a. "inactive cooking time." Major props to my cohostess, Julie, for picking such an awesome and fuss-free recipe! If you have a knife, a cutting board, and basic chopping skills, this recipe is for you.
The smell was so intoxicating that I snuck a bowl for myself early before everyone arrived. My justification was that I'd be doing hostess duties and might not have time to dig into a bowl o' gumbo. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious, y'all!
It's the ultimate in comfort food and so easy to make. Not French braid easy, but broken tailbone easy. There's a big difference, friends. See for yourself! Minus the broken bones of course.
One year ago: Pineapple and shrimp skewers
Two years ago: Black and white cookies
Slow Cooker Chicken Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo
(adapted slightly from Hungry Girl's recipe)
A few notes: Any kind of sausage will do. Also, feel free to use 8 ounces of boneless skinless chicken or turkey breast, cut into small pieces, in place of the shrimp. Finally, you can make this as mild or spicy as you like. When in doubt, start small and add more cayenne or red pepper flakes to taste. P.S. Leftovers are amazing!
8 ounces shrimp, raw or cooked, tails removed
12 ounces (about 4 links) chicken sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with chilis
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups frozen okra
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (or 1/8 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes)
Combine all ingredients except shrimp in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 to 8 hours. Add shrimp about 30 minutes before serving, stirring to combine. Serve and enjoy! Store leftovers in fridge for up to 5 days.