Re-kindleing Your Inner Cook


Things change.(Brilliant observation, I know)


Life ebbs and f-l-ooooo-w-s. (I’m on fire aren’t I?)


One minute you’re all over something and the next- not so much.


One season looks promising, and then… the bottom falls out.


You have a great idea, only to find out you don’t have the resources, or it conflicts with your weekly massage appointment.


Priorities are a wicked task master.


So it is with some trepidation that I am finally able to admit, that…


After 32+ years of cooking nearly Every. Damn. Day… I’m uninspired.


Burned out.

Do we really need to eat?

Can’t we just have cheese, crackers and wine?

Ben’s been very good about all of this. No eye rolling. No ‘humpf’ when he walks in the door. No making me feel guilty. (I do that plenty all on my own).

You see, I always felt it was one of the ways I could contribute to family life.

Now, don’t go and get your knickers all in a twist.

It was never because I thought it was my ‘place’.

If I had chosen to never cook a meal then that would have been our routine.

I chose to make it my contribution and I enjoyed it- looked forward to it, learned valuable skills, even honed the Art of the Meal.

I was (am)a good cook, but I’m just not feeling it- lately. My ‘Fire’ is waning (among other things, but thats’ a post for another day. EeGads).

Maybe it’s because we live in New Orleans, and seriously- I can throw a stone and find a great meal?

Especially on Mondays.

It’s Red Beans and Rice anywhere you go, and sometimes, when my flame re-kindles…

even in my kitchen.




Red Beans & Rice



1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and drained

10 cups water

one ham bone

one cup cubed smoked ham

one pound uncooked smoked sausage sliced

3 pressed garlic cloves or 2 tablespoons minced prepared garlic

one medium sized yellow onion, diced

one medium sized green peppers, diced

two stalks of celery, diced

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

a smidge of chopped parsley

2 teaspoons salt

one bay leaf

and 4 cups of cooked rice



1. Combine the rinsed beans, the ham bone, the cubed ham chunks, and water in a large saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1/2 hour.

4. Add the sausage, stir, cover, and simmer for an additional hour.

5. Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the rice) re-cover, and simmer another hour to an hour and 1/2 (Check for bean tenderness), stirring occasionally.

6. Remove bay leaf and the ham bone.

7. Plate the rice and add a large ladle of the Red Beans and a lot of attitude.

  • Linda Roy - This sounds and looks so good. I wish I could get my kids to eat beans. But dammit, I’ll make this for my husband and me and I’ll make the kids something else. This is just the type of thing we like.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - I love the beans! And as they cook-down in this recipe they sorta get creamy. Yummy. I’m going to TRY and cook more this week. Tomorrow will be Gazpacho and then Wed- steamed mussels in white wine sauce. Wish me luck!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa Senecal - Yum!! I grew up in north Loisiana and I miss the Cajun cooking most of all!! My 2dear darlings don’t like spicy as much as I do so it’s a challenge to make it at home!! I do manage to put together a jambalaya every once in awhile but what I wouldn’t give for a mountain of fresh crawfish and and an authentic Muffaletta!!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Don’t want to make you jealous- but- just got back from a crawfish boil- with all the fixin’s- mushrooms, corn, garlic cloves, sausage…. and Daiquiris. OMG!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - I see nothing wrong with cheese, crackers and wine.


    I’m in love with New Orleans. Haven’t been in years, but the fam is coon-ass and I growed up on lots of red beans and rice.

    (I meant to say ‘growed’…just in case you thought I was an imbecile.)

    I will be most definitely printing this little gem out!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Coon-ass are my fav’s! They cook- really COOK. If you want the beans a little creamier reduce the water to 8 cups. Tell me what you think!ReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Fluhr - I am sooooo beyond tired of my own cooking—-and unlike you, I’m not a particularly good cook. One of my go to standards is “Choice Night”—-a/k/a Every man (and woman) for themselves. ReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - Yum, yum. I’m heading for the cooker the instant I’ve submitted this comment. Well, not really; but I’ll check out whether my good lady might rustle it up. (I’m such a modern man).ReplyCancel

  • Debbie Wrinkled-Mommy McCormick - I think women should write more about cooking block instead of writer’s block. I am going through both right now – but especially “cooking block”…and “school lunch block.” I have a pantry full of things that are cluttering up my space but won’t make a meal. Your recipe looks really good- my husband would like that so I may get my butt in gear and try it out.ReplyCancel

  • Carol Cassara - Gotta make this.

  • William Kendall - Admittedly, if I can get away with not eating any kind of bean for the rest of my life, I’ll do so!ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Legumes. Legumes. Legumes. My Kingdom for a Legume!ReplyCancel

  • Mari Collier - I never really cared much about either beans or rice. You have the ham (essential when cooking beans), but neglect to say what kind of sausage. I can think of several kinds that would do well. Why would I cook that if I didn’t care for it? My husband loved pinto beans. I had a killer recipe.ReplyCancel

  • MJM - I am a horrible cook, and I’m sure even at your worst, you’re probably way better than I am. Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to forward it to my mom to see if she’ll make it for me.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - Terrific! Not your not being able to cook- but having your Mom make it! Nicely played MJ.ReplyCancel

  • Rena McDaniel - This looks really good! Been a rut lately myself tired of cooking every damn day in and day out! You know the old saying “same shit 《 different day”! That’s where I am at.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - I never even heard of red beans and rice, so let teaching unworldly people like me about exotic dishes be your inner cook inspiration.ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - It’s VERY NOLA. On Mondays. I think it’s a combo of African American/Haiti/Creole… like so much food here. You really have to try it Sue. It’s addicting.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) - Though I don’t eat ham OR sausage, I kind of want to make this into some sort of recipe for me. Mmmmn.

    And YES. YES. I SO KNOW.

    Enough with the cooking already, right?ReplyCancel

    • Cheryl - ENOUGH! It’s killing me!
      Do you eat beef? If so, maybe substitute ground chuck for the ham and sausage? It’s just that pork adds such a complex flavor to the chicken. Maybe some beef would do the same thing? If you try it- let me know!ReplyCancel

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