I hope everyone is hanging in there during this very uncertain time we are all going through together. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are actually living this new way of life indefinitely. I try to stay positive and optimistic every day but I’m not going to lie, some days it feels very hard.
I really miss my friends and family. I really miss being able to go to work and make money. I really miss going out to restaurants and experiencing everything my beautiful city of Austin has to offer. Before coronavirus wrecked havoc on our lives, my family and I had plans to celebrate the Easter holiday here in Austin. My mom was supposed to fly in (today!) and we would spend the entire week together before my dad would join us on Easter weekend. Mitch’s restaurant was supposed to be opening around this time, too. Now, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see my parents again and who knows when we will be able to celebrate the grand opening of Mitch’s new restaurant. I’m sad that plans are put on hold but I know that there is a bigger mission for all of us to complete at this time.
One thing that I keep reminding myself is that this time in isolation is forcing us to get back to basics. Whether you live with others or on your own, you have to prepare yourself meals, do your laundry, find ways to keep yourself occupied, etc. We can’t go to work, out to the movies, out to dinner, shopping at the mall, etc. We have to stay home and find ways to stay busy and hopefully, positive. I have really used this quarantine time to do things that I always wished I had more time do to which is cooking, blogging and reading more. I’ve actually started reading my bible more which to be honest, I don’t think I would have had it not been for everything going on in the world today.
Whether you believe in God or some other higher power, right now is definitely the time we should all be faithful and hopeful and trust that the bigger picture will be revealed at a later time.
Anyways! Let’s talk about food, shall we? It’s not easy trying to find everything we need at the grocery stores. Earlier, I felt as if I was preparing for war while I was getting ready to go to the grocery store. I put on my sweatshirt, close-toed shoes, gloves, bandana, hair in a bun and headed out the door. I had my list ready to go so I could be in & out of the grocery as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, several things on my list were not available. As much as I want to experiment with new recipes, it really isn’t possible to buy anything & everything. So, I’m sticking with easy & delicious shelf-stable recipes. My red beans & rice is delicious, cheap and perfect for leftovers.
Red Beans & Rice
- Crock Pot OR Large Pot
- 1 lb dried red beans
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 1 green bell pepper small dice
- 1 yellow onion small dice
- 4 celery stalks chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb andouille sausage sliced into 1/2" half moons
- 3 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups long grain rice cooked
- hot sauce optional
- green onion optional
- pickled jalapeno optional
- Begin by placing the first 9 ingredients into a large pot or crock pot.
- Cover and cook until beans are tender. Low heat for 8 hours; high heat for 4 hours.
- Spoon any grease off the top of the stew. Discard bay leaves.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste and as much hot sauce as you can handle.
- Serve with hot cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onions & pickled jalapeños.
This recipe makes me miss my home state of Louisiana. I know New Orleans has been hit pretty hard with COVID-19 and I’m thinking of everyone affected during this time.
Stay healthy & safe everyone!!