Welcome back friends! This week we will be cooking up Tiana’s gumbo from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!
This recipe is featured at the beginning of the film when Tiana makes gumbo for her family and community. It’s one of my favorite moments in the movie, revealing the loving relationship she shared with her father and how much she looked up to him, her passion for cooking and her generosity within her community.
This recipe is delicious! Absolutely perfect for this time of the year or whenever you need something warm and comforting.
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/2 pound of smoked beef sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup of onion, chopped
- 1 cup frozen orka, thawed
- 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of cajun or creole seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 pound of frozen cooked shrimp
- Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a dutch oven and brown the sausage in it.
- Remove the cooked sausage and set it aside.
- Whisk the 1/3 cup of flour into the butter and meat drippings until combined.
- Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, for about 10 to 20 minutes or until it turns a dark amber-brown. If it’s cooking too quickly, or starts to smell faintly burnt, turn the heat down a little.
- Stir in the bell pepper, celery, garlic, onion and okra until they are completely coated in the roux.
- Cook these ingredients for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften, stirring every 10-15 seconds.
- Once the vegetables have begun to soften, add the tomatoes and the chicken broth, stirring as you go to smooth the roux into the broth.
- Add the bay leaf, black pepper, cajun or creole seasoning, chili powder, hot pepper sauce and salt; stir to combine.
- Bring the gumbo to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the shrimp, then cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp thaw and cook through.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve the gumbo on its own or over cooked white rice. We recommend Jasmine Rice!
Welcome to the spooky month of October my friends!
My family and I have created a playlist of family friendly Halloween music for you and yours! Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!
This year we’ve decided to focus more on jazzy halloween inspired music with a few other songs sprinkled in that fit the mood. The Disney and Danny Elfman presence in this list is strong and I found myself wishing I could find more jazz covers of the Disney Villains songs.
Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly halloween favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!
Family Friendly Halloween Playlist 2020
- Linus and Lucy | Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Monsters, Inc. | Randy Newman
- Charlie Brown Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio
- The Scare Floor | Randy Newman
- Great Pumpkin Waltz | Vince Guaraldi Trio
- The Piano Duet (The Corpse Bride) | Danny Elfman
- Overture (The Nightmare Before Christmas) | Danny Elfman
- This is Halloween | The Citizens of Halloweentown
- Grim, Grinning Ghosts | The Haunted Mansion Happy Haunts
- Sally’s Song | Catherine O’hara
- Jack and Sally Montage | Danny Elfman
- Jack’s Lament | Danny Elfman
- Ball & Socket Lounge Music #1 | Danny Elfman
- Remains of the Day | Danny Elfman
- They Don’t Scare Me | Mickey Mouse
- Monster Mash | Bobby “Boris” Pickett
- The Munsters | Jack Marshall
- Trust in Me | Scarlett Johansson
- Snuff Out the Light | Eartha Kitt
- Witchy Woman | The Eagles
- I Put a Spell On You | Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
- Friends on the Other Side | Keith David
- Man with the Hex | The Atomic Fireballs
- The Headless Horseman | Thurl Ravenscroft
- Superstition | Stevie Wonder
- Remains of the Day (Combo Lounge Version) | Danny Elfman
- Cruella De Vil | Dr. John
- Ball & Socket Lounge Music #2 | Danny Elfman
- Little Birdie (Instrumental) | Vince Guaraldi Trio
- Thanksgiving Theme | Vince Guaraldi Trio
Family Friendly Halloween Playlist on Spotify
I love Autumn, it has to be my favorite season of the year!
After creating a Summer-themed ocean wave bottle, I felt inspired to create a sensory bottle for each season and I immediately thought of swirling multi-hued Autumn leaves! Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. And, if I’m being completely honest, I find sensory bottles fascinating too, so let’s make one!
- 16 ounce clear, plastic bottle
- 6 ounces of hot water
- Clear glue
- Slender whisk
- Leaf-shaped glitter
- Regular glitter (optional)
- More hot water
- Glue for the lid
- Pour the 6 ounces of hot (as hot as your tap will run) water into your bottle.
- Add 2.5 to 3 ounces (or more) of glue to the hot water in your bottle. The more glue you add, the slower your leaves will swirl and fall.
- Whisk the glue in the hot water until well incorporated. You can also replace the lid of the bottle and shake, however this created a lot of foam bubbles for me. They will go away, but it will slow down your progress.
- Measure 1 to 2 tablespoons of Glycerin and whisk or replace the lid and shake again.
- Add your glitter. I used several different hues of leaf shaped glitter and a few pinches of regular gold glitter.
- Pour more hot water into the bottle. Stop before reaching the top, replace the lid and turn the bottle over several times to check how everything moves. At this point you can add more glitter, more glue to make it fall slower, and/or more glycerin to smooth everything out.
- After you’re satisfied with the flow of the bottle’s contents, remove the lid again and fill the bottle all the way to the top with the hot water.
- If your child is older and you worry about him/her undoing the lid, you can coat the inside of the lid with glue, then screw it back onto the bottle. This will secure the lid and make it harder for little ones to unscrew the lid and create a leak or spill the bottle’s contents.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up Little John’s beef stew featured in Disney’s animated feature, Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood and Little John are taking a break in the woods. Unfortunately Little John leaves Robin to tend the stew, and Robin starts daydreaming, effectively burning the stew (don’t worry we won’t burn ours). Friar Tuck shows up while Little John is trying to salvage the food; he tries the stew, coughs a bit, and comments “well done, ain’t it?”
I love a good, hearty stew! I thought burning it would be in poor taste (#momjoke), so I kept an eye on it. I also feel like Little John takes pride in his cooking so I kept it simple based on ingredients they may have been able to obtain, but not so simple as to insult his enthusiasm.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 pound of beef stew meat, cubed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
- 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 cup of tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups of water
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 potatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1/4 cup of water (additional)
- Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat.
- Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper, then add it to the pot and brown all sides.
- Once browned, remove the meat and allow it to rest on a plate with its juices.
- Add the onions, basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt, and thyme to the meat drippings within the dutch oven and sauté for about four or five minutes.
- Add the garlic and celery, then sauté for another two to three minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with a little water (enough to loosen up the food particles left behind from cooking the meat and aromatics) and stir, then allow everything to cook for another five minutes.
- Add the beef (and its accumulated juices) back into the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and two cups of water.
- Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the beef is fork tender.
- Add in the carrots and potatoes and bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another thirty to forty minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it into the stew.
- Continue cooking and stirring the pot until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes).
- Serve warm and enjoy!
I love snacking on roasted pumpkin seeds! So delicious, easy to eat and prepare, and with numerous health benefits, who could say no? Traditionally I make large batches every year after we carve our Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and snack on them for weeks!
I do not use oil in this recipe.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Seasoned salt (optional)
As you carve your pumpkins, keep all the seeds in a bowl. I find it easier to separate the seeds and pulp into two separate bowls as I go, rather than sort that mess out later.
Throw the seeds into a colander and rinse under cold water, stirring with your hands to make sure all the seeds are all rinsed thoroughly.
Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt for each half cup of seeds.
Bring the saltwater and seeds to a boil for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Coat a baking sheet with whichever nonstick cooking spray you prefer and spread the drained seeds out in a single layer.
I took this opportunity to sprinkle seasoned salt over the damp seeds. You are welcome to leave them with just the salt that was boiled into them, or add any variety of other toppings depending on your taste.
Cook the seeds until dry and crispy, this could take an hour or more. Remember to stir occasionally so the seeds get baked evenly.
Let them cool for a few minutes…then let the snacking begin!