Logan’s Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo, one of the most iconic dishes that defines cajun cooking. Originating in Louisiana from creole influence, over the centuries everyone has developed their own take on their style of cooking gumbo. With every gumbo having similarities and many of the same ingredients and spices, different variations and styles is what makes this dish so unique and special. No matter how it’s made, its unbelievably comforting and delicious. This gumbo recipe is one that my husband Logan has perfected over the years, combining the traditional andouille sausage with shrimp, a hybrid of chicken/sausage gumbo and seafood gumbo, we think it’s the best of both worlds.

A short history about Gumbo, is that the world itself derives from a West African word for okra, which is often included in the dish. I personally love adding okra but many people choose to omit. Roux, originating from French cuisine, is a simple flour and fat combination cooked over heat until desired level of color, a gumbo roux should always be dark in color. It always contains the Holy Trinity, which is bell pepper, yellow onion, and celery. Similar to the French mirepoix of carrot, onion, and celery, the Holy Trinity is the basis of all cajun cooking, included in dishes like jambalaya, étouffée, and red beans and rice. Gumbo is complex, yet simple. It requires patience to make and a whole lot of love. When the creoles in New Orleans made gumbo, it was a celebration of culture and family.

Now, the roots of Texas are rich and diverse in history, with many nations that led to the Republic of Texas and now, the U.S. State of Texas. Two of the six flags of Texas, are in fact, France and Spain. Creole people are early French or Spanish settlers of the U.S. Gulf states as well as  person of mixed French or Spanish background. So, gumbo may have not originated in Texas, but Texans love this culture all the same and pay homage to those early creoles that help build Texas into what it is today.

We hope that you enjoy making this very special recipe, as we know that you won’t regret making it and eating it until your heart is content!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  • 1.5 # large gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 14 oz andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or equal parts thyme, oregano, & basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bag of frozen okra, 14-16 oz, or to your liking
  • 1 cup cooked long grain white rice


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, on medium high heat, for a few minutes. Whisk in the flour and lower the heat to medium. Stir almost constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir. This part is very important, it is a process that cannot be rushed. to achieve the dark color desired, it takes about 30 minutes of stirring.
  • After the roux is to desired color, sauté the vegetables (bell pepper, onion, and celery), add the salt to this step to help sweat the vegetables. Stir until vegetables appear tender. Add garlic and continue to stir.
  • Add the chicken stock, remaining seasonings, andouille, shrimp. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • At this point, add the frozen okra and simmer for another 30. You can cook gumbo on a low simmer to develop flavor for as long as you choose, but at this point, everything is cooked.
  • Serve atop cooked white rice or mixed with rice, if you please!

Sausage, Spinach, & Butternut Squash Soup

I’m a fan of all things with butternut squash. It is such “buttery” and “nutty” autumn vegetable. The name truly does describe its flavor profile. It can be used in so many different ways, and I love it about just as much as I love pumpkin when the seasons change from summer to fall. When I found this recipe, It seemed absolutely perfect for an easy weeknight dinner, on an evening where the weather may be a bit chillier. I made this when I was hoping for cooler weather, since south Texas has decided to boycott fall and every day has been 90°. Here’s to hoping for cool days and warm and soulful meals in the coming months *fingers crossed*. As for this dish, it’s great no matter the weather and truly may have ranked itself as one of the best soups I’ve ever made!


  • 1# spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups butternut squash peeled and cut in ½ in. cubes (can use store-bought pre-cut in bag)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 14 oz cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano reggiano optional garnish *but highly recommended


  • Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and coat with a bit of olive oil. Add raw sausage to pot.
  • Brown sausage for 7-8 minutes using a potato masher or wooden spoon to break into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add garlic, diced onion and red pepper to pan (as well as a pinch of salt and pepper) and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.
  • When sausage is nicely browned, add broth to pan using a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Raise heat to high then bring soup to a boil. Add butternut squash cubes and cook for 15-20 minutes or until softened.
  • Five minutes before serving, add spinach and beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano if you wish.

Greek Spinach Orzo Salad with Grilled Chicken

Greek salad is my favorite salad of all time. I absolutely love Mediterranean flavors; dill, oregano, mint, garlic, onion, lemon. Feta cheese and kalamata olives! These flavors are always refreshing and make for a light but fulfilling meal. I have been making greek salad for many years using cous cous or orzo, sometimes without the grain/pasta and just on its own, full of veggies. This salad is perfect leftover and also great to take to parties. Everything marinates together with time, so it can be eaten on for days! We accompanied this recipe with homemade Tzatziki sauce and pita bread and it really tied the whole meal together!

Ingredients for Salad

  • 9oz bag of fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced and pits removed
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil *high quality
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Greek Chicken Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the chicken pieces in a freezer bag or a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the lemon juice and olive oil to a medium size bowl. Add the minced garlic, oregano, paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper to the bowl and stir. Pour half of the marinade into the freezer bag or the bowl with the chicken pieces and reserve the other half of the marinade for basting. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  • When ready to grill, prepare the grill by lightly oiling the grate with olive oil and set to medium high heat.
  • Grill the chicken, basting with the reserved marinade and turning often so each side browns and has light grill marks, until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serve atop the salad.
  • Begin boiling 2 cups water in a saucepan for the orzo pasta. Once boiling, put 1 cup orzo into boiling water and reduce to a simmer. Boil for about 14 minutes or until tender (check your orzo bag for instructions)
  • For the salad, chop the spinach roughly. Chop cucumber, Roma tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Mix all produce together in large bowl, then toss in the crumbled feta.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, dill, olive oil, and kosher salt for dressing. Add to bowl of cut salad ingredients.
  • Once Orzo is cooked, drain water and place in bowl with salad. Add the dressing. Toss all ingredients until mixed.
  • Serve in wide bowl and top with grilled chicken slices
  • Optional- serve with homemade Tzatziki and pita bread!

Poblano Chicken Soup

I love soups because they are easy, make great leftovers, and can be stored in the freezer to thaw out on a night when you don’t feel like cooking. This particular recipe I found on Pinterest but we decided to change it up a bit by omitting some ingredients and adding a few different ones. We loved the blend of poblano, tomatillo, cilantro, and the texture of the cauliflower. This recipe is low-carb, Keto friendly, and tasty for everyone! I topped with Monterey Jack for a little extra deliciousness. You can make this recipe in a crock pot, high 3 hours, low 6 hours, or on the stove on medium simmer for about 1.5 hours, then low for as long as you need to until serving.


  • 3 each tomatillo, quartered and boiled
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 3 poblano peppers, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, diced
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast, large chunks
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2.5 cups water or chicken broth
  • Monterey Jack cheese, for topping, optional*


  • After chopping the tomatillos, add to a pot of boiling water (just enough to cover the tomatillos) for about 15 minutes to boil. Add the remaining chopped ingredients to the pot, 1 cup yellow onion, 3 poblanos, 1 cup cauliflower, 1.5 pounds chicken breast, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, 1-2 tsp salt, and 2.5 cup water/chicken broth.
  • Allow pot to get to a rolling boil for about 15 minutes then reduce to a simmer. After chicken breast is cooked, remove with tongs.
  • Using an immersion blender, roughly puree the soup and vegetables.
  • Shred the chicken and put back into the pot until heated through.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Logan’s Texas Chili

The feud between those who like their chili with beans, and those who grew up without beans in their chili is forever ongoing. Personally, I grew up having “traditional Texas chili” without beans. I absolutely love beans but when I’m craving a bowl of chili, I want it just how my Mom would make it…full of robust flavors and extra meaty. This recipe is a spinoff from the recipe I was raised on, but the few added ingredients (especially the Asian Chili Garlic sauce), gives it so much delicious spice that it leaves you wanting a second bowl. Top with a little shredded cheddar, and even a dollop of daisy how I like to do, with some fresh baked buttery cornbread…and you’ve got yourself a good ol’ Texas chilly night chili dinner! My Mom always served it with cornbread on the side, and Fritos on top… let’s just say carbs were never skimped in my household.
P.S.- for you beans in your chili people…you can add beans to this recipe but just keep your filthy secret to yourself cause I don’t wanna know about you defiling this masterpiece!


  • 2# ground beef 80/20
  • 2 Roma tomatoes (quartered) 
  • 1/2 yellow onion (diced)  
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced) 
  • 1/2 jar marinara sauce (we used Central Market brand)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced) 
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam Chili Garlic Sauce


Cut up tomato (quartered), boil in a cup of water. Simmer for about 30 mins. 

Begin to brown the meat, don’t completely cook as it will finish cooking as the chili simmers. 

Take the meat out of the pan and put into pot with boiling tomato. 

In the beef grease, sauté the diced yellow onion, green bell pepper, and a few chunks of the boiled tomato. 

Strain the sautéed vegetables to rid of the grease. Put them into the pot with meat and tomatoes. 

Add 1/2 jar marinara sauce, then add 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 garlic clove, 1 tsp dried cilantro, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp salt (or to taste), 1 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste), and 2 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce. 

After mixing all spices into pot, let simmer for 30 minutes or longer. The longer you simmer the more flavorful it will be. You can even throw all this into a slow cooker and cook on low for a few hours. 

Complimented by fresh baked cornbread with butter… Yum!

Cast Iron Cornbread


  • 1 cup Quaker yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease a small 8-9” cast iron skillet or an 8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, egg and oil. Beat until fairly smooth, about 1 minute. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 23 minutes, 25-30 for a cast iron, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve with butter!!!

Dianne’s Charro Beans

This is my Mom’s recipe and I can somehow never make them as well as she does. Beans are never a bad idea, such a southern staple, especially when it’s cold outside! My mom would tell me stories of my grandmother having a pot of beans at least weekly, serving it with hot homemade cornbread. They go great as a side dish or as a main, no matter the time of year. I will never say no to a hearty and flavorful pot of beans. Beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat… well you know the rest. 


  • 1 lb pinto beans
  • 1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes with green Chile’s (Rotel)
  • 1 jalapeno diced (optional)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (chopped, no stems)   
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp salt (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 lb bacon pieces  


  • Start by rinsing your beans very well, checking for any beans to discard, dirt etc. Soak them overnight in a pot of water (or quick soak method: boil pot of water with beans, turn off when boiled. Cover and let soak for 1 hour).
    Cover with water or chicken broth in crockpot, about 6 cups liquid (at least 2 inches above beans) 4 cups broth/2 cups water. Chop cilantro, onion, and garlic add all to beans. Add spices, stir well. Roughly chop Bacon and add to beans.  Then add in 1 can of  tomatoes with green chiles. Watch beans for swelling throughout cooking process to add more water if necessary. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.  Serve alone or with cornbread or tortillas!

Alternatively, if you do not use crock pot, you can cook on stove low boil for 1.5 hours, checking often to make sure there is still enough water. Don’t skip the soaking part, or it will take much longer to cook.

Hearty Beef Stew

When it is cool in the fall, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup. I have always been a fan of “stews” more than soups, because they have more substance and leave you feeling comforted from the inside out. I made this crock-pot beef stew the day of the last cool front, and enjoyed it outside by my fire pit. Thankful for cool fall evenings where I can enjoy a hearty warm meal and feel the joy of the season.


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth separated
  • 4 medium size potatoes diced into approximately 1-inch pieces
  • 4 large carrots sliced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2-3 tsp cornstarch


  • Prepare a Crock Pot or slow cooker by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, salt, paprika and pepper and place into a large freezer style Ziploc bag.
  • Place half the meat into the back and shake to coat beef.
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and diced onions to pan and saute. Add the flour coated beef to the pan and sear on all sides. Once browned, remove meat, onions and garlic from pan and place in crock pot.
  • Place remaining meat into bag with flour and seasonings, and shake to coat. Repeat process of searing, then transfer to slow cooker.
  • Once all meat has been removed from pan, pour approximately 1/2 of the beef broth into the hot pan to deglaze. Use a spatula to scrape the brown bits off of the bottom. Pour beef broth, with browned bits, into the Crock Pot.
  • Pour remaining beef broth into Crock Pot, along with Worcestershire sauce. Seal slow cooker and cook on high for two hours or on low for four hours.
  • After cooking for two or four hours, remove lid and add potatoes and carrots. Gently stir to combine. Place lid back on Crock Pot and continue to cook for 1 and 1/2 hours on high or three hours on low.
  • Create a slurry. Carefully scoop a small amount of the liquid out of the slow cooker (approximately 1/4 cup is fine) and transfer to a small heat resistant bowl or glass. Add 2-3 teaspoons of cornstarch to the liquid and whisk immediately to blend. Once blended and no lumps remain, pour mixture back into slow cooker and gently stir to combine.
  • Peas can be added at this point if desired, or added 10 minutes before cooking is complete.
  • Cook for an additional 30 minutes, then serve.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables, so rich, creamy, flavorful, yet so simple. It’s good on its own, cubed and roasted with a little evoo and salt, or mixed into a comforting pot of soup. My mother would make butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving, served prior to the main course. Everyone looked forward to having her butternut squash soup, especially served in her special pumpkin shaped bowls. Serve this with a buttery grilled sandwich on a hearty artisan bread, I used rosemary sourdough to make a turkey and cheese melt and it was DIVINE. This is one of my favorite fall recipes and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (r white pepper if you don’t want the dark flakes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • fresh thyme sprigs and/or heavy cream for garnish


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper, and thyme, and saute until the onion is soft and transparent.
  3. Add the cubed butternut squash and toss in the onion mixture.
  4. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine (You might need to add a little more or less stock, depending on the size of your squash. The liquid level should be just slightly lower than the squash).
  5. Add the lid to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  6. Once the soup reaches a boil turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is very tender when you pierce it with a fork.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and add the half and half.
  8. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender, or puree in batches in a regular counter-top blender.
  9. Serve immediately with a garnish of fresh thyme and some coconut cream or yogurt, or store in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer.

Pozole Verde

Hearty and comforting, this spicy Pozole Verde is made with slow cooked shredded chicken, hominy, and a spicy tomatillo and pepper blend. I tried pozole verde years ago and have wanted to make it ever since. I decided it would be a fabulous choice for my housewarming fiesta, as an alternative to the usual Mexican dishes served at a fiesta-themed party. My very talented (and handsome) boyfriend Logan helped me make this for all of my guests, we have said we will most definitely make this again. Served with tostadas, and topped with your choice of limes, avocado slices, radishes, and cilantro, it is the most authentic and deliciosa dish!

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 pound tomatillos husked and halved
  • 1 small yellow onion quartered
  • 2 poblano chiles chopped
  • 2 jalapeños chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 large garlic cloves smashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro stems and leaves; plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 cans hominy drained
  • Red radishes sliced; for serving
  • Avocado sliced; for serving
  • Lime wedges for serving


  1. In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, tomatillos, onion, poblanos and jalapenos, oregano, and salt. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes until tender.
  2. Carefully remove chicken from pot and shred the meat, discarding the bones and skin. Skim fat from the cooking liquid and reserve.
  3. Place a large fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the broth through it. Set aside.
  4. Transfer the solids to a blender. Add garlic cloves, cilantro, and 1 cup of the broth and puree until it reaches your desired smoothness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Return Dutch oven to stovetop, setting it over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the skimmed fat to the pot and allow to cook and sizzle for 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the tomatillo puree to the pot and stir, being careful not to get splattered with the hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium. Add the stock and stir to combine, then stir in the shredded chicken and drained hominy. Cook for 10 minutes until warmed through, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve the pozole garnished with cilantro, sliced radishes and jalapeno, avocado, and lime wedges.