Not In N'awlins

Happy Friday!!! I am so excited the weekend is here!

This afternoon was busy, busy, busy at work – that helped the day go by faster, that’s for sure.

My stomach started feeling like it was eating itself around 3:45, so I broke into this:


My first ever Luna cookie! I cannot buy these anywhere around here, so the awesome Allison from Clif sent me a sample.


I’m kinda’ sad I liked it so much, because no stores carry them here. This chocolate mint one was so good – it was like 2 z-bars put together, but a refreshing chocolate mint flavor. I hope some stores start getting them soon here! If you haven’t tried the Luna cookies, you should.

The weather today actually turned out pretty nice by the end of the day, so I’m hopeful for our kayaking trip tomorrow.

Nick also finished some stuff today in the lab, so since it was also Friday, we had to have a fun dinner + brews.


Now, I may not like their football team (Jess)  :) , but Charlottesville does make some good beer. Nick and I really love all the Star Hill ones we’ve tried, but I think this one is our favorite.

I had one while making dinner tonight and it was the perfect way to end the work week.


I give you Gumbo-laya!

I made a dish that’s not really gumbo, not really jambalaya, but close to both so that’s what I’m calling it.

  • 2 sweet pepper chicken sausages, diced
  • 1 bag frozen veggies: red pepper, onion, corn, okra, celery
  • about 1 lb. kale
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quick cooking barley
  • smoked paprika (KEY!)
  • pinch cayenne
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat and add sausage. Let cook until browned.
  2. Add in bag of frozen veggies and seasonings.
  3. Once veggies are heated through, stir in tomatoes and water.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in barley, turn down heat and let simmer 10 minutes or so until barley is cooked through.
  6. Stir in kale and let cook a few minutes.
  7. Drop in shrimp, stir and let cook 3-5 minutes until shrimp is done.


Alright – What Not to Wear just came on and I have a date with that, Nick, and my pjs.

I hope to see you tomorrow morning – Nick and I have a pretty exciting yet ridiculous breakfast planned  :)


  1. excellent dish! I’m going to New Orleans on Tuesday and this recipe will definitely be good to keep on tab when I miss all that food :)

  2. Wow, the gumbo-laya looks amazing! Bookmarked for sure.

  3. I’m watching that right now! haha. have a great night!

  4. I am absolutley, fantastically IN LOVE with your gumbo-laya! SO cool, esp with the chewy barley…YUM!

  5. Mmmm chicken sausage AND shrimp AND veggies. Doesn’t get much better than that! Enjoy your relaxing evening :)

  6. brilliant idea with the gumbo-laya! two excellent dishes rolled into one :-)

    and your toilet casualty had me laughing out loud. oh, the dangers of public restrooms!! i hope your foot heals quickly!

  7. I love the gumbo-laya! It looks so thick and delicious :D

  8. I can’t get Luna cookies here either :( I live in Sweden. But I do remember getting one a while back when I was in the US. I think it was pomegranate flavor or something. And if I remember correctly, it was good :)

  9. Love the dinner! I’ve never had real gumbo before!! Or grits, or biscuits and gravy, or jambalaya, or chili with cornbread (separately only!). I need to take a course in southern eating ;)

  10. looks great! the barley looks awesome and chewy :)

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