shrimp + sausage stew

Before I leave for my new adventure up north, I asked my mom to teach me how to make one of my favorite dishes of hers: shrimp + sausage stew! This soup is healthy, hearty, veggie-filled, and light enough that it works as well for dinner in the summer as it does in the winter. And turns out it’s not as tough to make as I would have guessed! Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

my mom’s shrimp + sausage stew
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 lb potatoes {my mom uses Yukon golds}
– 3 carrots
– 2 tsp minced garlic
– 1 medium onion
– 1 pkg {approx. 4-5 links} Italian-style chicken sausage
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 2 tbsp flour
– 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
– 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
– 1/2 cup chopped parsley

1. Scrub the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Thinly slice the potatoes, carrots and onions. {According to my mom, this is the most intensive step of the entire recipe!}

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the minced garlic, potatoes, onions and carrots. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper to your own taste. {Side note: your kitchen will smell AMAZING!}

3. Cook potato mixture for 15-18 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp-tender. You might have to keep stirring fairly frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. {If needed, you can always add a little water or chicken broth to unstick.}

shrimp stew 1

4. In a separate pan, cook the sausage over medium heat, turning occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Once the sausage is fully cooked, remove from pan and allow to cool on a paper towel before slicing.

sausage

5. Sprinkle flour over potato-and-veggie mixture. Add chicken broth and sausage. Bring to a boil.

stew cooking

6. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 5-8 more minutes.

7. If needed, clean and de-vein the shrimp!

shrimp

8. Add shrimp, cover and simmer 3-4 more minutes, until the shrimp are pink. {Mom’s tip: be careful not to overcook the shrimp!}

stew finished

9. Top with chopped parsley and serve. Ta da!

Optional: In my house, we love to serve this stew with freshly baked corn muffins! Yum!

corn muffins

Hope your weekend is filled with rest, relaxation, sunshine, and of course delicious eats! ūüôā

What do you have on tap for this weekend?

—-

if you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy:
potato, sausage & veggie bake
california white chicken chili & corn muffins
blended cauliflower and potato soup

happy mother’s day!

I feel so blessed that I am able to celebrate my sweet, kind, beautiful, brilliant mama today!

me and mama

We went for a morning walk at the beach, and now are relaxing on the couch. Later I’m making chili & corn muffins for dinner and pb cup¬†brownies for dessert. Oh, and I whipped up some apple-cinnamon-oatmeal muffins for breakfast this week. YUM!

apple oatmeal muffins

I hope it’s a restful, peaceful day for my mom — she deserves it! She works a full-time job managing her department at work, and my whole life she has been a living example that it is possible for women to have fulfilling careers AND be amazing, full-time mothers too! She is not just my mom, she is my best friend. We have shared so many fun memories, from hiking Mt. Whitney together when I was in high school to driving cross-country together when I moved to Indiana for grad school — plus innumerable shopping trips, girl talks, chick flicks, and lunch dates! I know I can call her anytime and she will always be there for me. I love you, Mom!

What are you doing to celebrate the mothers in your life today? Whatever your plans, I hope your day is marvelous!

year of kindness challenge: week 17

year of kindness button

Hello from California! I have moved back to my home state after finishing up my last semester of grad school, and it feels so nice to be back home in the sunshine with my family!

Last week flew by as I tried to get all my stuff packed up, my furniture sold on Craigslist, my apartment cleaned out … not to mention saying goodbye to the wonderful friends I made at Purdue! I was glad that the kindness challenge this past week was to focus on smiling at everyone you meet, because I was sad about having to say goodbye to people I love, and the extra smiles were a big boost that got me through an emotional week.

with friends

Saying goodbye to some friends at one of our favorite restaurants, an Irish pub

fiction friends

Saying goodbye to MFA friends Natalie and Tiffany.

My mom was so sweet and took off work the whole week to stay with me and help me get ready to move. We worked hard all day and in the evenings had a great time cooking dinner to use up the food left in my pantry, drinking wine and watching marathons of Friday Night Lights. I am a lucky daughter!

Here are some other kind acts I am grateful for that happened this past week:

  • my friend Terrance¬†helped carry¬†carried all by himself two heavy boxes of my stuff to ship home via UPS
  • my friends Shavonne and Tiffany gave me rides to the store and a professor’s goodbye party after I had sold my car and didn’t have transportation
  • my aunt Annie left a sweet message on my voicemail just checking in to see how I was doing
  • a group of students on Purdue’s campus were passing out free popcorn to boost spirits during finals week
  • I received a nice email from one of my students thanking me for “being a great teacher”

The Week 17 Kindness Challenge is to fight back against the litterbugs! Go on a walk at one of your favorite spots, bring along a plastic grocery bag, and pick up every piece of trash you see. Another option would be to challenge yourself to pick up at least one piece of litter every day this week. Or do both! ūüôā

As always, blog about your experiences and include your links in the comments section below, or feel free to send me an email at dallaswoodburn <AT> gmail <DOT> com.

Have a wonderful week!
Dallas

‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚ÄĒ‚Äď

year of kindness archives:
–¬†week 1 challenge: donate items to those in need
–¬†week 2 challenge: leave quarters & note at laundry machine
–¬†week 3 challenge: write & send a kind handwritten note
–¬†week 4 challenge: give hot chocolate to someone outside in the cold
–¬†week 5 challenge: do something kind for a neighbor
–¬†week 6 challenge: deliver valentines to a nursing home
–¬†week 7 challenge: donate to a food pantry
–¬†week 8 challenge: donate toiletries to a shelter
–¬†week 9 challenge: post a kind note in a public place
–¬†week 10 challenge: do something kind for a child
–¬†week 11 challenge: thank someone in a genuine & meaningful way
–¬†week 12 challenge: deliver baked goods to a fire station
–¬†week 13 challenge: give someone flowers
–¬†week 14 challenge: donate books
–¬†week 15 challenge: reach out and spend time with people
week 16 challenge: smile at everyone you meet

chocolate-chip banana muffins

One of the first baking recipes I ever learned to make was my mom’s banana bread. To me, banana bread just tastes like home. And it’s a great recipe for someone like me who hates to waste food. I prefer to eat bananas when they are just ripening, still a little green at the tips. When they begin to get brown spots, I really don’t care for them. But thanks to Mom, I don’t have to worry about them going to waste — I just whip up a batch of banana bread…

…or banana muffins! In the past few years I’ve gotten really into making muffins instead of bread because I just find muffins so much more portable — easy to slip into a lunchbox or grab for breakfast on the way out the door. {That said, you could easily adapt this recipe for a loaf of bread if you’d prefer!}

I added chocolate chips to Mom’s recipe for a little extra treat to start the school year off right. ūüôā¬†Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

DSC00005

chocolate-chip banana muffins

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour {I used whole-wheat flour}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas {I used two bananas}
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

4. Add a portion of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Then add a portion of the mashed bananas. Continue alternating dry ingredients and mashed bananas until the entire mixture is combined. {Batter will be slightly lumpy due to the bananas.}

DSC00052

5. Add chocolate chips.

6. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups, about 3/4 of the way full.

DSC00004

7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

DSC00006

Enjoy! These are great for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, and also make a great healthy dessert!

Hope your week is going great,
-Dallas

mom’s classic chocolate-chip cookies

My mom makes AMAZING chocolate-chip cookies! Back in college she’d send me big batches of chocolate-chip cookies and my dorm-mates would actually cheer. {I would share them of course!} Hmmm, thinking about it now, maybe I should thank Mom for helping me make friends! ūüôā

This year, Mom gave me her recipe and I tried my hand at making a batch … they didn’t turn out quite as well as hers, but still pretty darn delicious. Crispy, buttery edges; gooey chocolatey middles. It’s hard to go wrong with a chocolate-chip cookie!

chocolate chip cookies

mom’s classic chocolate-chip cookies

– 2 and 1/4 cups flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 cup butter, softened
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 large eggs
– 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter through sugar.

butter & sugar

3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

4. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

flour mixture

5. A little at a time, add flour mixture to wet ingredients, stirring well to combine thoroughly.

cookie batter

6. Add chocolate chips and cinnamon, if desired.

chocolate chip batter

7. Scoop by tablespoons onto a baking sheet.

cookies prebake

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are golden-brown and firm to the touch.

cookies baked

9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from baking sheet.

I like these cookies best when they’re still warm — and of course with a big tall glass of milk!

choc chip cookies

Hope you are enjoying these last couple days before Christmas!

-Dallas

———

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

butterscotch pudding cookies
aunt elaine’s peanut butter blossoms
apple, brown sugar & cinnamon cookies
pumpkin oatmeal cookies

This post is linked up to Menu-Plan Monday!

MPM-Winter

happy anniversary, mom & dad!

Today is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. They were college sweethearts and married young, right out of college — two years younger than I am now. I feel so grateful to have them as parents — I won the parent lottery! My whole life, they have been a living example of a real-life love story. I can’t ever remember seeing them argue or yell at each other. They talk through things; they admire and respect each other; and they laugh together all the time.

As I write this they are somewhere in the waters off Alaska, on a week-long cruise my mom has been dreaming about for years. I am so happy for them!

Congrats, Mom & Dad! I love you. Thanks for showing me every day how to love and be loved.

‚̧ Dallas