Thankful Thursday: 2nd Sunday Dinner

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Neighborhood Dinner!!!

Hey All, So after the blog conference we were experimenting with the camera and didn’t quite get it back to proper settings for ‘normal’ shots. I apologize for the blurriness, but I’ve included a few pics anyway.


  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • New Orleans Red Beans & Rice (my recipe on site)
  • Rolls and butter
  • Best Fudge Cake (my recipe on site)
  • Valentine White Chocolate Bark (my recipe on site)
  • Sweetheart Palmiers (my recipe on site)
  • Valentines Muddy Buddy’s (my recipe on site)

Pictured:   The center is the chicken noodle soup. Did you know that if you add oil to your pasta cooking water it will not absorb the liquid as readily? So depending on what your purpose is for the pasta, that determines whether you add oil or not. I did not want the noodles in the soup to take in extra broth causing them to be limp, so I added the oil to the cooking water. However, when I want pasta for a sauce, I do not add the oil do it will soak up the wonderful flavors.

This tip and tons more are in my new cookbook, “Carrie’s Cooking For Keeps”

Also, in my cookbook I teach you how to make perfect white or brown rice on the stove that will not fail you.

Thanks to all who came and to all of you out there who send love and warm wishes for our 2nd Sunday dinner, though distance makes it impossible for you to join us. Carrie













New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

Best Authentic New Orleans Red Beans and Rice

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New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

Living in Utah you might wonder if this is authentic and worth trying. All I can tell you is that every time I make it, people LOVE it and eat it to the last drop in the pan. Don’t be frightened away by the list of ingredients  – it’s super easy to make in the crock pot. If you live by a Honey Baked Ham store, go in and ask to buy a ham bone; put one in the freezer for next batch.   Their bones come with a ton of ham on them, and the sweet, smokey taste,  just makes this all the better. ENJOY! 

Best Authentic New Orleans Red Beans and Rice


1 lb. (2 cups) dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over

1 – 1 1/2 lbs. chopped ham*

1 – 2 lbs. smoked ham hocks*

*Use a Honey Baked ham bone with some of the leftover meat on it as a replacement for the chopped ham and ham hocks.  Either option works well.

1 medium to large onion, chopped

4-5 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium – large green bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbl. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. Emerills Original Seasoning

1 tsp. hot sauce

4 bay leaves

3 Tbl. dried parsley

1 tsp. thyme leaves

1/2 lb. smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into ½” pieces

3 oz. diced pepperoni

3 Tbl. chopped garlic

5 Knorr chicken boullion cubes (to desired taste)

8 cups water (more if needed as beans cook)

2 cans pinto beans in it’s juice, pureed

Cooked white rice


Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with 4-5 inches of water over top of beans. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight.New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 2Drain and rinse well.New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 3Cut up sausage into bite sized pieces and pepperoni into sections.New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 4Beginning with ham, then the beansNew Orleans Red Beans & Rice 5

Combine all the ingredients (except pureed pinto beans and rice) in at least a 6 qt. crock pot.  Add in the water, more may be needed during cooking processNew Orleans Red Beans & Rice 6

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, until beans are tender, but not mushy. 

New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 7When the beans are tender, remove the ham bone with meat if that is what you used.

Allow to cool a bit, then remove the meat from bone, cut into bite-sized pieces and return the meat to the crock pot with the other ingredients. 

Continue to cook 30 minutes or so.New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 9

Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Puree the pinto beans along with the juices they are packed in.

Add to the bean and meat mixture. 

Cook another 15 minutes.

New Orleans Red Beans & Rice 8


To serve, place a scoop of cooked rice in a bowl, spoon on the bean mixture and top with green onion if desired.

Serve with a bottle of hot sauce for those who like extra.

This recipe gets better after sitting in the fridge to allow flavors to marry, so making it ahead a day or two ahead is good. This also freezes very well. After thawing if it is too thick, add in a bit of broth or bouillon and water.

Carrie Groneman’s recipe. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

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