I went last night with some friends from school to a painting studio.  It was lots of fun.  We all rode together and it was nice to have actual grown-up conversations and to laugh and have fun.  The painting we chose was this gorgeous tree.  The cool thing was that, even though we all started with the same picture, all of our paintings turned out differently.



Here’s mine:


I know it’s not perfect, but I’m pretty proud of it!  I’m going to add a verse later.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 – To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

I love fall.  I just love when the leaves start to fall and there’s a cool nip in the air.  It just makes me happy.  Snuggled under a blanket in front of the fireplace.  Sitting outside around the fire pit, roasting marshmallows.  It’s my favorite season.

I also love it because it’s the perfect time to start making all of those soups and stews that are so suited for cooler weather.  I made a huge pot of gumbo today.  Such a traditional Louisiana food!  There are as many recipes as there are Louisiana cooks.  I, of course, take lots of short cuts!


  • 4 14.5-ounce cans of cut okra
  • 4 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 12-ounce bag of frozen seasoning blend
  • 2 pounds of smoked link sausage, cut into slices
  • Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken
  • Water
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Salt
  • Dry roux mix

Add first five ingredients into a large stock pot and stir to combine.  Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning.  Add one quart of water.  To the second quart of water, add 1/2 cup of dry roux mix and mix thoroughly before adding to the pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 hours, stirring now and then.  Mix together 1 cup of cool water and 1/2 cup of roux mix and stir into the gumbo.  Taste for seasoning and add more, if needed.  Cook for about 30 minutes more.  Serve over rice.

Well Duh #1:  Of course, you can start with your own roux.  I do it all the time.  This recipe is just about saving time!

Well Duh #2:  You don’t have to use rotisserie chicken.  You can boil and shred a whole 3-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts. I just found rotisserie chicken on sale today!

Well Duh #3:  If you can’t find canned okra, the frozen kind will work just fine!

Well Duh #4:  I remembered after we had eaten that I totally forgot to add the shrimp!  I don’t always use shrimp or crawfish.  In fact, most of the time, I just make sausage and chicken gumbo, but I had found shrimp on sale at the grocery store.  I just heated the gumbo back to a boil.  As soon as it bubbled, I poured in the thawed, raw shrimp.  I reduced the heat to low and cooked it for about 10 minutes and the shrimp was done!



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