Tag Archives: celery

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

16 Aug


I apologize that the picture above isn’t the best, but I forgot to take one of the finished product!  Had a busy day yesterday.  Anyway, this gumbo is delicious and something I only make occasionally, just because it is rather time-consuming.  Plus, the roux can be tricky to get just right.  This particular recipe calls for a dark brown roux, which doesn’t mean burned, it will become a dark brown color after 30-45 minutes of cooking.  This article from allrecipes.com has a great explanation of how to make a roux, with pictures of the different shades of roux to use as a guide.  Once the roux is right, the rest is easy and can be done either on the stove top or in the slow cooker.  This recipe uses sausage and shrimp, but you could also add chicken or substitute chicken for the shrimp or sausage.  I used my last bag of Zaycon Foods shrimp (sniff, sniff) to make this, along with smoked andouille sausage.  You can also change-up the vegetables a little if you want, I sometimes won’t use okra if I don’t have it and will use extra corn or celery in place of it.


Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
Original recipe here

What you need:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra
2 cups whole corn kernels
3 cups seafood stock (use vegetable or chicken stock if you can’t find seafood stock)
1 cup bottled clam juice (or use another 1 cup of stock in place of this)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I use Louisiana Cajun seasoning)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked smoked sausage, sliced diagonally (I used Johnsonville Andouille)
2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined
Cooked white rice

How to make it:

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the flour, and cook on low heat until the roux is dark brown; about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring constantly.  Be careful not to burn the roux.

Add the onions, celery, peppers and garlic and saute until translucent.

Mix in the remaining ingredients, except the rice, and simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 1 hour.  Remove the bay leaves.  Serve over white rice.

Slow Cooker Method:

Make the roux the same as above, and saute the onions, celery, peppers, and garlic until translucent.  Transfer this all to the slow cooker and add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, except the rice.  Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or high heat for 3-4 hours.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve over white rice.

Slow Cooker Lentil and Kale Soup

12 Aug


I have been on the hunt for recipes using lentils since I got a 25 pound bag recently from Bountiful Baskets.  After getting Tuscan kale this weekend from Bountiful Baskets, I started to look at soup recipes online to see what I could find.  So, I came across this recipe, that also used celery and carrots, which I also got from Bountiful Baskets, and onion, which I have plenty of on hand.  I thought this was very good, my 5-year-old enjoyed it as well, although she ate mostly the kale.  My husband and 3-year-old turned up their noses at it, but their loss, more for me!


Slow Cooker Lentil and Kale Soup
Original recipe here

What you need:

1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
8 cups water
3 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely diced
1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced
2 whole onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups kale, leaves removed from stems and chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sage
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Our 4th of July Barbecue

4 Jul

Today is a day we celebrate our freedom in the USA.  So, I planned to make a little extra food today in celebration.  We had invited a friend over to join us, but he ended up cancelling.  We had a ton of food ready to go, but the extra will take us through the next few days with some spin-off dishes.  So, what did we have?

We had top sirloin steaks, which I got on sale for $3.99/lb at Safeway last week, that I marinated in Dale’s Seasoning.  The shrimp was from Zaycon Foods, and I marinated to give it a spicy, garlic, lime flavor (see recipe below).  I also grilled corn on the cob, and to do that I cut each corn cob in half, sprayed with olive oil, sprinkled a little salt and ground black pepper on, and wrapped in aluminum foil, and put on the grill for 10-15 minutes.  Finally, I made a potato salad.  Unfortunately, I was in a bit of a hurry and didn’t cook the potatoes quite right and so they were a little crunchy, but the rest of the taste was right on.  This recipe called for sweet relish and onion, so since I had made Refrigerator Pickles a couple days ago, I chopped up the onions and “pickles” to add to the potato salad.  The recipe for this is below as well.

I have quite a bit of steak and corn left, so I am thinking I will cut up the leftover steak and saute with green peppers and onions to make steak fajitas.  Then, I will use the corn to make Roasted Corn Salsa as a side to go with it.  I also made a few extra hard-boiled eggs when I boiled eggs for the potato salad, so I chopped them up and chopped up more of the onions and pickles to mix in with it, and then mixed in some mayonnaise and mustard to make egg salad for sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.


Spicy Garlic Lime Shrimp

What you need:

1 pound large shrimp, fully cooked, peeled, and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons tequila, optional (I omitted)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (red) pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make it:

Mix together all ingredients, and toss to coat shrimp well.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Option 1: Place shrimp on metal skewers.  If using bamboo skewers, soak the skewers in water while the shrimp marinades.  Heat a grill to high and lightly oil the grate.  Place shrimp on grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Option 2:  Heat a large skillet on the stove to medium high heat.  Pour contents of bowl into the skillet.  Stir, and cook about 5 minutes, just enough to heat shrimp through.


Potato Salad

What you need:

1 lb potatoes
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish (I chopped my Refrigerator Pickles and some onions from that for the relish and onions)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Ground black pepper to taste

How to make it:

Peel and chop potatoes.  Place in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Place on stove and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender, but not mushy.  Drain water and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and the rest of the ingredients.  Stir well.  Chill in refrigerator before serving.

How to Freshen up Wilted Celery

18 Apr

A while back I posted a tip for freshening up wilted lettuce.  I recently got some celery and wasn’t able to cut and bag it right away, so it got soft and wilted.  I remembered reading that you could freshen it up similar to lettuce, so I wanted to see if it would work.  But, I tried a different method than I did with the lettuce.

To start, you need a tall pitcher or vase.  Trim the tops from the celery to fit the size of your pitcher or vase because only the fully submerged parts will crisp up.

Put the pitcher or vase with the celery in water into the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.  I did mine before I went to bed, then checked it in the morning.  And, it was crispy again!  You will notice that mine is not fully submerged, that was an experiment on my part.  The top that was not in water was still soft, but the rest that was in water was crispy.  I cut and put in a vacuum sealed zipper bag (I have a FoodSaver FreshSaver to do this, great tool!) to have as snacks for the rest of the week.  Ok, maybe a day in my house because my kids and I love celery.

So, before you throw out that wilted celery again, give this a try to see if you can get the crispness back!

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

4 Mar


I guess I should really call this just a Turkey Wreath since I don’t normally add in cranberry.  I saw this demonstrated at a Pampered Chef party, and I believe it is from one of their cookbooks.  This is perfect to make with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but I didn’t get to make it this year because I used my leftovers in other ways. This would also be good with chicken in place of the turkey.  The pictures I have are from when I first made it 3 years ago so that I would remember how to make it the next time.  Unfortunately, I thought to take the pictures a little too late, but it at least helps some visually.


Turkey Cranberry Wreath

What you need:

2 packages of refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I usually leave these out)
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded (I sometimes use shredded mozzarella)
1/4 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped
1 egg, separated

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a medium bowl, mix together turkey, celery, cranberries, cheese, walnuts, mayonnaise, mustard, black pepper and parsley.  Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle.

Separate crescent roll dough into 16 triangles.  Arrange 8 triangles in a circle with wide ends of triangles toward the center on a large round baking stone. The corners of wide ends should overlap and points will extend 1 inch beyond baking stone.  Arrange the remaining 8 triangles in center, matching the wide ends together. Seal the wide end seams using a roller.  The points of these 8 triangles will overlap in the center, do not seal them together.

Lift the inner dough triangles across the filling and tuck under other side of filling.  They should go over on a diagonal, however, in my picture below, they look folded straight over.


Continue with the outer triangles, lifting them over the filling and at the opposite diagonal direction from the inner triangles.

Beat egg white of the separated egg lightly; brush over dough. Discard the yoke.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut and serve.

Homemade Chicken Broth

18 Feb

Last night, I made Kotopoulo Lemonato, and when we had finished, I just couldn’t throw out the chicken bones.  I had started a scraps bag of carrots, celery, and onion in the freezer to make broth some day, plus I have plenty of celery, carrots, and onion on hand.  So, I decided it was time to try to make chicken broth.  I was going to do the stove top, but decided to try out the slow cooker instead.  I have a 5.5 quart slow cooker, so it was a nice big size to get everything in.


Homemade Chicken Broth

What you need:

Whole chicken carcass or bones
1 onion, quartered
3-4 celery ribs
1 carrot, cut in pieces
Spices (I used a bay leaf, 3 cloves of garlic, fresh ground black pepper, and the chicken had some spices still from cooking, which was rosemary and oregano.  I did not use any salt.)

How to make it:

Place chicken bones, vegetables, and spices in slow cooker.


Pour in water to be just level with the top of the slow cooker.  Turn on low, and allow to simmer for at least 8 hours, I did mine for just over 14 hours.

Allow to cool slightly and pour through a mesh strainer to separate the liquid out.  Discard the vegetables and bones.  Pour liquid into containers to cool.

Once at room temperature, cover and put in the refrigerator to allow the fat to separate.  Remove fat from top and you have chicken broth ready to go!

This yielded 6 cups of broth for me.  I divided into 3 cups each.  Most soup recipes I have call for 1 quart of chicken broth, so I will just add a cup of water to this and use it as a base for those soups.  I made Avgolemono Soup (recipe coming!) with 3 cups of it tonight, and I will use the other 3 cups for Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup in a few days.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles

29 Jan

This is something I haven’t made in quite a while.  Since I got celery and carrots this week with Bountiful Baskets, I decided to make it.  I made it a little differently than I have in the past, and I was very pleased with the results.  I made it with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could also use 2 pounds of chicken breasts with bones or 2 pounds of thigh and drumstick pieces with bones.  You just need to make sure that you get all the bones out since the chicken will be very tender after cooking in the slow cooker.   Also, I made this with egg noodles, but you could use homemade noodles, or some other kind of pasta, or even rice.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
Serves 6

What you need:

2 cups sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 cup celery
1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 2 lbs chicken with bones, skins removed
1 tsp poultry seasoning
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups cooked egg noodles, pasta, or rice

How to make it:

Place carrots, onions, and celery in the slow cooker.  Place chicken on top of vegetables, sprinkle with poultry seasoning.  Pour in chicken broth and water.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.

After finished cooking, remove chicken.  If using boneless chicken, cut or shred chicken into bite size pieces.  If using chicken with bones, remove chicken from bones and cut or shred into bite size pieces.  Discard bones.  Return chicken pieces to slow cooker.  Stir in cooked noodles, pasta, or rice.  Serve.

Bread & Celery Dressing

24 Nov

I admit, I love Stove Top stuffing.  My kids do too.  And it’s quick and easy.  But, occasionally, I like to make it from scratch, not from a box.  Now, I have made it the last 3 years for our Thanksgiving meal, but haven’t seemed to get it just right.  This year, I made it exactly how my husband and I like it.  I used the 9 grain bread from Bountiful Baskets for the bread cubes, celery that I had blanched and frozen, and an onion I got recently in a basket.  This turned out not too soggy, not too dry, just right.

Bread & Celery Dressing

What you need:

1 loaf of bread
3/4 cup butter
2 cups celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 egg, beaten

How to make it:

Cut bread into cubes and let air dry 1-2 hours.

Melt butter in a large pot.  Add celery and onion until it becomes soft.  Add poultry seasoning and mix well.  Stir in the bread cubes until they are moistened evenly.  Pour in egg and chicken broth., and gently stir until coated evenly.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish and evenly spread the dressing mixture into the dish.   Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.

How to Freeze Celery

15 Nov

This week for Bountiful Baskets, I got celery.  Normally, I just cut it into sticks for my kids to eat, but with Thanksgiving coming up, I need celery for bread and celery dressing.  Since I never know what I will get week to week from Bountiful Baskets, I decided it would be best to freeze this celery to have ready for Thanksgiving.  Celery doesn’t seem like a vegetable that can be frozen, but it can.  After you freeze it, it’s not going to be ready for a veggie tray once you thaw it, but you can use it for cooking, like in soups or dressing.

First, you want to wash and slice up your celery.  Then, you need to blanch it.  To blanch it, you boil water, then add the celery and allow it to boil for 3 minutes.  Drain.  Then, put in a bowl of ice water for 3 minutes.  Drain.  Store in vacuum sealed bags or zipper bags with the air let out.  To get the air out of a zipper bag, zip the bag leaving one end slightly open, then insert a straw in the opening.  Suck out as much air as you can.  Label with the date, and put in freezer until you are ready to use it.  I measured mine out into 1 cup portions and placed in snack size zipper bags.


Blanching is a process done with quite a few vegetables.  Last year, I did it for a bunch of green beans I had gotten.

%d bloggers like this: