Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earthly Desires

Happy Earth Day all!

The skies have been mostly blue here in Seattle, and that means it has been time for sipping cocktails and using the grill (without having to use all of the rain gear)!

Recently I had a chance to try three tequilas from Casa Noble-their Blanco, Anejo, and Reposado. As an added bonus to spur my culinary whims, they sent a gift card for Whole Foods. Tequila and food?! Yes, please!

With Earth Day in mind, I wanted to stay as sustainable, go organic, and stick with non-GMO products. The great news? Case Noble fits that bill.

So knowing that Earth Day is a great chance to live sustainably, as well as to get outside and enjoy the sun, I put together a tasty menu to celebrate spring and all that is good with Seattle:

Welcome Drink:
The Mariposa, made with Casa Noble's Anejo Tequila

Main Dish:
Gulf Prawns, sustainably caught, marinated in lime, cilantro, scotch bonnet pepper and Casa Noble's Blanco Tequila.

Main Course Drink:
Bloody Maria, with house made organic veggie juice and seasonings, local bacon, and organic house made pickles made boozy by Casa Noble's Reposado Tequila.

Do I have your attention? No? How about some tasty eye candy and recipes? There you go, now I have you!  Read on!

I know, right?

Lets continue with the recipes!
The Welcome Drink, the Mariposa, 
Combine 2 ounces of tequila- I used the Anejo
1.5 ounces of elder flower liquor
2 ounces of blood orange simple syrup
the juice of one lime
1/2 of a large, very ripe grapfruit
Add seltzer to taste
Gently shake to combine
Coat the rim of the glass in vanilla sugar, and pour this delicious cocktail into your pretty glass. Enjoy with a side of great company and sunshine!

Round Two-The Bloody Maria
2 ounces Tequila-I used the Reposado (more if you like a heavy handed drink)
2 cups (approximately) Veggie Juice (I blended carrots, tomato, kale, beets and celery, and garlic to make mine, but you can also make your own with whatever veggies you have, or go easy and get something pre-made!)
Horseradish to taste
Pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce-two hearty splashes
Hot sauce to taste (I like tapatio)
Splash of seltzer to thin it out a bit
-Shake your main ingredients up
-Coat the rim of a glass with a combination of smoked salt and chili powder, and garnish with your fave treats. I used:
Pickles (I make my own, so I have them on hand)
Bacon, delicious bacon...there's no recommended maximum, but you should include it!

Oh yes...so good.

And for the main course: Spicy prawns, marinated with tequila blanco, cilantro, lime and garlic; served of whole grain wild rice with organic bell pepper and black beans.
1 cup wild rice (Bluebird Farms makes a great one), cooked.
1/2 cup organic black beans
1/2 organic bell pepper, diced-your choice, keep it raw, or saute lightly with garlic and olive oil
1/2 lb shrimp or prawns-our prawns came from Whole Foods, and were sustainably caught in the gulf (also tested for contaminants)
The marinade:
1 lime, juiced (about 2 Tbspns)
1 hearty Tblspn Blanco Tequila (and a drink for you, dear chef!)
1/4 tspn smoked paprika
1 tspn olive oil
1/8 tspn fresh ground pepper
1 pinch kosher salt
1/4-1/8 scotch bonnet pepper (depending on how spicy you like it)
Mix all the ingredients for the marinade, and add prawns, letting it all meld together in tasty goodness for 30 minutes. 
Sip one of your delicious cocktails and preheat your grill
Place the prawns on the grill and cook until they start to curl up and are no longer translucent.

Place shrimp over your rice, sprinkle with beans and bell peppers, topping with cilantro and hot sauce. Sit back, sip your cocktail and enjoy!

Thank you again to Casa Noble for the opportunity to try out the fun spirits!  Now, dear reader, it's your turn!

What are you cooking and drinking?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oh grains...you make me happy when skies are gray.

I LOVE meat. I LOVE bacon. I love rich, tasty foods that comfort.

Last night, I didn't want any of that. I wanted a light and easy to throw together meal that packed a punch with protein and fiber and well, tasted good.  It's also been crazy cold here, and I want it to be spring since I miss those fresh, bright flavors. As I wandered around Trader Joe's, piece by piece my meal came to me. I found my trusty Trader Joe's cooked French lentils in the refrigerated area, and headed over to the pasta/grain area for the 10 minute farro.

I'll pause here.

What is farro? It's an ancient grain, with a higher protein level than other grains. It cooks up fluffy, has a slightly toasty note, and when paired with beans (or in my case lentils), packs a punch to keep you full. Sorry folks, it's not gluten free.

Back to Trader Joe's-I grabbed a small package of grape tomatoes, and some feta and made my way to the register. I was ready to cook!  A note-this is a relatively cheap recipe, but if you buy your farro in bulk and get dried versus cooked lentils in bulk, it becomes crazy cheap, like cheaper than a college kid's ramen budget.

Ready to give it a try?  Read on!

~Why Can't It Be Spring Salad~
Serves 2 as a main course, with plenty left over

Red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup
Olive Oil, a good long drizzle
Crushed oregano-1/2 tspn or more to taste
pepper, to taste
a small palm-full  of green olives, sliced
2 big hand fulls of grape/cherry tomatoes (or diced regular tomatoes)
Handful of onion, very thinly sliced strands
1/2 of a cucumber
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pushed through a garlic press.
8 ounces of cooked lentils, cooled
Half of a bag of Trader Joe's 10 minute farro (5 ounces, dried), cooked and cooled
Feta-as much as you like
Juice of 1/2 lemon
*Note: There's no added salt here. Between the olives and the feta, I was happy without it, but if you like your salt, add it in!

-I hate biting into oregano that is still dried. To remedy that, mix 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your oregano and let it sit while you prep everything.
-If you're using uncooked lentils, you'll want to start those now
-Cook your farro according to the directions on the package
-Chop your onion, olives, cucumber, tomato and garlic and add to a large bowl.
-Add your pepper and your olive oil, vinegar, oregano mixture.
-Once your lentils and your farro are cooked and cooled, add these and mix together. The goal is to have a fair amount of everything, so you get a bite of tomato and cucumber with every spoon full of grain/lentil mixture. If you would like more of something, now's the time to add it.
-Add your feta to taste-if you like a lot, go for it!
-Give your mixture a good toss and drizzle in more of the red wine vinegar and olive oil. You should only need another 1-2 tablespoons of both. You want a nice light dressing that coats everything, so go slow on this step.
-Spoon into a bowl, squeeze a lemon over the whole thing and enjoy.

It's even better when left in the fridge overnight, as the flavors will have a chance to meld, so this is definitely something that can be made ahead of time (although, I would wait to add your feta, so it doesn't get all squishy).



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guest Blogger! Nikki schools us on making bread!

I. Am. So. Excited.

My old neighbor and fellow homesteader, Nikki, from For the Love of Homesteading dropped by to school us on a simple favorite-bread. Oh...the smell of fresh baked bread-there's nothing like it.  Nikki shares my passion for good food, great times with family, and just like me, works to live as sustainable as possible-growing veggies, canning food, reducing preservative-based foods.  We had no idea how much we actually had in common until after she moved away from Seattle. We keep up with each other via Facebook and emails, comparing notes on child-rearing and talking about food.

I'm so excited that she started a new blog, so I can follow what she's up to and drool. Read on and enjoy-and when you're done, go to her blog and check out her post on butter! Thanks, Nikki!

Hello Awesome Blog Readers!! My name is Nikki and I am a (previous neighbor) of the fabulous Miss Raina. Unfortunately I hadn't discovered Raina's fabulousness until AFTER I moved out of Seattle but here we are and better late than never right??
Anyhoo, Raina knows that I am constantly posting new culinary adventures and asked if I would be interested in contributing to her awesome blog! How could I pass up such an opportunity?!?

One of the foods that I am absolutely passionate about is Bread. I love bread. Like REALLY love bread. And all kinds of bread. My favorite food of all time, I would say, would have to be toast. Simple right? But that's just it. Good food....like truly well made food....doesn't have to be extravagant. A slice of quality made bread, toasted lightly with just a pat of grass-fed organic butter....That is heaven to me.

In my house we make all our bread from scratch. A lot of people look at me cross eyed when I tell them that. Who makes bread anymore?? I do, and it really doesn't have to be intimidating. I make two kinds of bread on a regular basis for my family: Sourdough and crusty white. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite recipes for crusty white bread; it’s super easy and doesn't even require a kitchen aide. All you need is a Dutch oven (or heavy oven safe pot with lid preferably cast iron).

Crusty White (no knead bread)


3 cups white unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp salt (I use kosher salt)
1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup warm water (to activate yeast)


1.) Activate the yeast in a bowl with 1/4 cup of warm water. Let that sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk together flour and salt in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Once the yeast has gotten nice and frothy, add the yeast to the flour as well and mix.

2.) Slowly mix in 1 1/2 cup water. This is going to look nice and shaggy after it is all incorporated. That's what its supposed to look like so don't worry.

3.) Cover with saran wrap and let sit for 12-18 hours. Set on counter and walk away. Work DONE. Do not stick in the fridge. This needs to rise. All that's left to do is bake!

4.) The next day it will be nice and "wet" looking. Stick your dutch oven with lid (or pot with lid) in oven and preheat at 450 for 30 minutes. While your oven is preheating, lightly dump your dough onto a HEAVILY floured surface and shape into a circular loaf. Mine always looks circular-ish lol but I think it just adds character. Let bread rest until oven is done preheating. Once 30 minute preheat has completed, CAREFULLY dump your your bread into dutch oven, replace lid and bake for 30 minutes.

5.) 30 minutes has completed and.....remove lid. I know it totally looks done but just wait. Now, with lid removed, continue to bake another 15 minutes. You will not regret this. This is what gives the bread that nice crust!

That is IT!! Awesomely simple right?! You can also change up your bread a bit and add fun mix-ins when you are mixing the flour with the salt and yeast. Add cheese and your favorite herbs for a nice artisan bread; the possibilities are endless!! Good Luck!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful in so many ways, and hungry!

It's Thanksgiving.  It's cold and foggy outside, and warm and quiet inside. I just finished writing my Thanksgiving menu. I know, I know-last minute.  I ended up taking a stroll through Pike Place Market yesterday which helped shape my menu.

Before I get to posting that, I want to take a few minutes to say how grateful I am, to my friends, my family, my blog readers, to my coworkers, and my community. Each one has shaped me into who I am and I am so, so lucky for all that I have. So, thank you, to each of you for the love, support and encouragement.

I am also grateful for a loving partner and a beautiful and healthy daughter. Watching her learn and grow has been nothing short of amazing and inspiring; may we all look upon the world in as much wonder each day.

On that note, I'll leave you with my menu, enjoy!
  • Wild mushroom and Organic Root Vegetable Stuffing (with chanterelles and black trumpeter mushrooms)
  • A locally grown turkey, with sage, lemon and thyme
  • Garlic thyme gravy, with a touch of lemon
  • Sautéed broccolini with black trumpeter mushrooms and prosciutto
  • Green beans with garlic and prosciutto
  • Mashed potatoes with garlic and goat cheese
  • Cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon and calvados
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • The wildcard-celeriac soup, or mashed in with the potatoes...I'll decide this one on the fly!
  • Sparkling cider and wine for mom and I, and a dark beer for Nick
All my best and love, this wonderful holiday season!

Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful, has fallen asleep in life. 
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oh Lucky Day!

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day and after being out of commission last year, we were all ready to do some celebrating-albeit less than in past years.
My tradition is to get together with friends, make corned beef and cabbage, have guinness and eventually get talked into an Irish Car Bomb drink. If you've never had one, it's a pint of Guinness with a shot of Irish cream mixed with whiskey which is dropped into the glass and slammed down. If you don't do it quickly, you end up with a curdled mess in your mouth. Inevitably we all dribble this concoction on ourselves too. I've never been skilled at slamming drinks, so I end up chewing the last  part of my drink.
So when I saw a recipe for a Jell-O Shot version, I thought, 'Hey, I can do that'. I get to revisit my college years, and escape the gross curdled mess from not being a skilled beer-slammer.  Win and win, plus my friends get to escape dribbling dark beer on themselves. Since I would have Guinness on hand, I also decided to make Guinness cupcakes-who doesn't like a little dessert after all the delicious corned beef?

Irish Car Bomb Jell-O Shot
Makes 6 medium shots

1.5 packets of plain gelatin powder
1/2 tspn of sugar-I used dark brown sugar, packed
1 tspn of dark cocoa powder-get the good stuff here
1 cup Guinness
1/4 cup of Irish cream
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey-I prefer Jameson or Bushmills
pam or a little olive oil

First, prep your shot glasses.  I didn't do this, nor did I use silicone molds, so my shots required a little work to remove.  To do this, wipe a little pam or olive oil on the inside of your shot glasses. You don't want a lot, just enough to make a slight sheen. Or, you can go smart, and get the traditional plastic Jell-O shot cups, or the bendy silicone molds. Your call.
Add the Guinness to a small sauce pan and heat up on low-medium heat, and add 1 packet of gelatin, stirring for one minute. Add in your sugar and cocoa powder until everything has dissolved. I put this into a measuring glass with a pouring lip, so I didn't make a big mess. Pour mixture to about half way up the shot glass. Put this in the fridge to set up, waiting about 20-30 minutes before starting the next layer.  Rinse your sauce pan and measuring cup with hot water now, so you can reuse it and the gelatin doesn't set.
After waiting, and hopefully enjoying some Guinness, start layer number 2! Warm up the Irish cream, add your 1/2 packet of gelatin and stir. Once the gelatin is incorporated, add your whiskey and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.  Pour this mixture over the Guinness layer of your shot glasses 1/4 the height of the first layer. The effect will be that the shot looks like a tiny glass of Guinness. Added bonus? You won't dribble on yourself.   If for any reason your shot doesn't want to release, grab a toothpick and run it along the side of the glass.

I love cupcakes and I love beer. I hate precise measurements, which is pretty much baking defined; but this recipe is pretty hard to foul up and combines cupcakes AND beer. If I could add bacon, it may even be more perfect.
Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting
Makes 12
1 cup Guinness
hearty splash of Irish cream
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 stick of butter
3/4 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tspn salt
1 egg
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cupcake tin and liners for as many cupcakes as you need. 

You rinsed out that sauce pan after running your finger along the side to taste the Irish cream gelatin, right? Go ahead and grab that, and add your Guinness, turning the stove up to medium. Add your butter, your cocoa powder and your splash of Irish cream (a splash is just a couple of tablespoons at most). Let this warm up and stir. Of note, you should slowly add the cocoa powder versus plopping it all in, so it can dissolve and not get gloopy.  As this heats, mix up your dry ingredients in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a mixer stand and set aside.  Once your Guinness mixture is all dissolved and looking like deep, dark, chocolaty heaven, pour this into your flour mixture. You can let it cool, but I didn't, and the world didn't end.
Take that traditional baking!
Stir it all around until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add your egg and your sour cream and mix until it's incorporated too.
Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Irish Cream Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese-softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup Irish cream-this is more than you may need
A note. I don't like sickeningly sweet frosting, so there's not a ton of sugar in here. Taste as you go, and add more sugar as you go.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine your sugar and your cream cheese and blend until all is incorporated, slowly add your Irish cream until you have consistency that you want. Finish up by slathering your delicious cupcakes with the yummy goop. 

That's it, two delicious treats for St Patrick's Day. What's your go to dish for St Pat's?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Beery Review

One of the things I missed during pregnancy was Beer Friday. Every Friday, a group of us would hit a local brewery and have drinks, hit the local pub and grab dinner. It was the social time that I missed, and I won't lie; after a long week, a beer (or a few) was a welcomed treat.  The picture above is from a trip to Glacier National Park, where I happily lounged in my hammock with one of my favorite beers, Baron Brewing's Uber-Weisse. Shortly after Jen and I got pregnant, the brewery went out of business. That was our Friday staple. Coincidence?  Who knows.

I worried that once I had Tiny Beast I wouldn't be able to hit any fun places for a Friday treat. Babies and bars don't mix so well. Luckily, most brewery taprooms ARE kid friendly and are much more quiet, and well, less full of drunk, touchy, and germy people.

Without further adieu, I offer a column for all of us who want to get out and have a night out with an adult beverage, but who have their kids in tow. As I hit new breweries, I'll add them to the blog as Beer Friday, and write my reviews. If there's anything that would be helpful to read about, leave a comment and I'll add that in for future additions. If there's a place that you know of in Washington or else where, please add that as well! I'm sure I should put in a disclaimer that you should never drink and drive and that you should keep your imbibing to a level that doesn't impair your ability to care for your kid. I'll assume you are a savvy adult and have mastered common sense, but just in case...please see my prior sentence.

The rundown so far:
Big Al's Brewing-White Center (Seattle).
I love this place. It's no Baron, but it's close. The bartender noted that he hadn't seen me in ages and was super excited to hear about Tiny Beast. They also have a board for "Beer it Forward", so you can buy someone a beer who isn't there with you. It's nice as its mostly the same folks each time, so you know what you're getting into. There's two stories, and kids are welcome upstairs. There are couches and a big screen, darts, board games and an Atari. AN ATARI!  If that doesn't sell it right there, I don't know what does!  The beers are solid, and they rotate guest taps. They play soccer, but that's about as sporty as this place gets.  right now, I am loving their Blonde.
Parking? Plentiful, but street
Noise level? Upstairs isn't bad and you can carry on a conversation without raising your voice
Beers on a scale of 1-10? 8. Nick says 7. I say he's silly.
Food? None, but they do have a Soup thing on Sundays and you are welcome to bring your own food-there's great Soul Food, pho and a BBQ joint close by. Oh, and Full Tilt Ice cream. So good.
Playtime? Fellow parents bring their kids, too.
Website? http://www.bigalbrewing.com/

Machine House Brewing-Georgetown (Seattle)
This is a new brewery and the third in Georgetown and that shows in the set up. It's not super obvious where it is, so it can be hard to find. What does that mean for you? It's not cram packed full of hipsters prefunking prior to hitting another bar. The vibe is mellow, and it's in an old Machine house along Airport Way. The beer list is still small, there were 4 beers available when we went, but they were good. I had the Machine House Mild-an English Dark Mild. It was what I would want to drink in the summer, when it was too hot for a Guinness. Yep, a light bodied dark beer. Nick had the Bitter, a smooth beer that wasn't overwhelmingly hoppy. We're heading back there Friday with Friends and will try something else!  They also had a gingered version of their Gold. It reminded me of my days drinking with the guys from Trade Route Brewing, before they moved south and changed and then were bought out.  Nostalgia aside...this wasn't my favorite beer. If the ginger was toned down, I'd like it more. Of note-this place is COLD. Seriously. Its in an old machine house, with high ceilings, and big windows. Bring a coat, and bundle up the tots. I wore gloves.
Parking: Lot and Street (yay!), but it is Georgetown so keep that in mind for Friday & Saturday nights
Noise Level? We went on a Sunday afternoon, so it was pretty quiet. I'll update after going Friday night.
Beers on a scale of 1-10? Nick says 8, I say 7
Food? Nope, but they have peanuts and outside food is ok, which is great, since Stellar Pizza is just down the street
Playtime? We saw one other couple there with a toddler. There's a wooden train set toy and plenty of seating
Website? http://www.machinehousebrewery.com/

Urban Family Brewing-Ballard (Seattle)
I bought a Living Social deal for them, which prompted me to check them out. They have a few beers of their own and choose really awesome guest taps. I had a Maritime Navigator Dunkle that I loved, and Nick had an End of Reason from Gigantic Brewing-also super delish. We got there about 7 pm, and they were already out of their own beers (after opening at 5), which was a bummer, but they did have a little of their Pils on reserve. Since we came out and had Tiny Beast in tow, they comped us a beer for free (yay!). The customer service was awesome. The gal had us try quite a few samples after asking us what we were into, she was fast and super attentive.  The food was really good too. Nick had the Smokehouse burger with chili and I had the Bacon & Blue with a salad. They have a couple appetizers, and a vegetarian option. One thing to note, this place makes their burgers right, pinkish red in the middle. Yum!
Parking? Ugh. It's Ballard. Street parking that takes a while to find.
Noise Level? This place is pretty packed and there's music and a lot of people talking. Keep that in mind if your kiddo is overwhelmed easily.
Food? Yes!  YAY!  Burgers run about $11, with a side.
Playtime? We saw one other baby there
Beers on a scale of 1-10? Guest taps, 9. Their beer, the pils was a 6. Not sure about the others.
Website? http://www.urbanfamilypublichouse.com/

Well, there's the start folks. Next on tap (ha, get it?) will be Two Beers (where all the Baron patrons seemed to have gone off to) and Schooner Exact, a tap room I haven't been for over a year.

What family friendly tap rooms do you like?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Little Southern Love

Eep! It's been a while since I have posted. I have been cooking, but the culinary experiments aren't making it to the blog. I really need to start writing things down as I go.  Fat Tuesday came and went, and to celebrate I made Gumbo!  One of the things I miss most about living near the Gulf of Mexico is the delicious seafood-fish, crab, you name it.  The seafood in the Northwest is amazing, don't get me wrong, but there's something about the warm water that produces a different taste.

I love gumbo. It's hearty, spicy, and you can throw it together with whatever you have on hand. You don't need much; just some good stock, veggies and protein. The only thing you can't skimp on is a good roux.

Let's start with thickeners.
My main go-to is roux, which is equal parts fat and flour. It's cooked to varying colors which give it, and your dish, different tastes. The longer you cook it, the darker it is and the better (smokier/nuttier) the flavor. For gumbo, I like to cook my roux until it is a rich medium to dark medium golden color. I try to have some blonde (light) roux in the fridge to help speed up cooking sauces and soups. Some recipes will have you add your ingredients to the roux and then add the stock, and then the protein in stages. This is entirely up to you. Just remember to thoroughly cook your roux to avoid the flour taste. File' is also a traditional thickener I like to have on hand, since darker roux tends to not thicken as well as a lighter roux-you can add this at the end, or to individual bowls. Lastly, okra is used as a thickener, as it breaks down, it releases it's ooey-gooey goodness, and acts as a thickener. There's probably real science behind this, but I prefer to just keep my understanding at this: it is delicious and thickens up what I want to eat. I don't always use okra since here in the Northwest, it's not always readily available and when it is available it can be pricey.

What else makes this dish so good?  The Holy Trinity of cooking-onions, celery and bell pepper, diced up rough. This meal is rustic, so remember that when you're prepping your ingredients. Sure you can make everything uniform, but when you're hungry and chilly and just want a hot steaming bowl of yummy, anything that gets you there quicker is good.

Lets jump to the ingredients
1 lb chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 lb sausage-I like andouille, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 lb medium shrimp, cleaned and deveined. I like to remove the tail, too.
Crab meat-Optional, if using get the real stuff!
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
5-6 stalks celery, diced (your bell pepper and celery amounts should match, but be slightly less than your onion amount)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb okra sliced into small bite sized pieces (optional)
1 tin or 2 cups diced tomatoes
2 Tbspn Olive Oil, butter or bacon fat
4-6 cups Chicken or fish stock, whichever you have on hand
yummy white wine to deglaze the pot-about 1/2 cup
1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper or more to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne or more/less to taste
1/4 tsp thyme (use 1/8 tsp if using ground. If using leaves, rub it in your hands before throwing in, or chop if using fresh)
1-2 bay leaves
2 hearty splashes of Worcester sauce
Cooked rice for the gumbo to go on-I have also used cous cous and quinoa.
Hot sauce

3 ounces fat-I use bacon fat, since I generally have that on hand
3 ounces flour.
There's a great tutorial located here that walks you through how to do it step by step. The run down is pretty easy- melt your fat over low heat, slowly add your flour while whisking to avoid clumps. Cook until you get the color you want. The idea is to keep it moving, it will eventually clump up, and you can smoosh it and flip it and smoosh it again as you go. Once it is a very light golden color, you're done, or you can keep cooking it for more flavor.

The how:
In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat up 2 Tbspn of olive oil , bacon fat or butter (your choice), until shimmering (use medium heat), add your chicken in small batches and brown, replacing with the next batch until all browned. You don't need to cook it through. Add your sausage and sear as well and remove.
You should have delicious brown nibbly bits on the bottom of the pan, to which you will add your wine. Scrape all of that delicious stuff off of the bottom, and add your onions, and cook about 1-2 minutes or until they start to soften up a bit. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and your seasonings and stir, adding in the stock, your chicken and sausage. Go ahead and cover the pot and cook the stock/meat/veggie combination for approximately 10-15 minutes, until the flavors start to come together.  While you're cooking this up, now is a good time to start your roux-when the roux is done, cover and leave to be added later.

After 10-15 minutes, taste for seasonings, adding anything that you would like more of. At this time, you should add the tomatoes and okra (if using). You will also add your roux at this time. To do this, grab your roux and place in a small dish. Take 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from your gumbo and add this slowly to the roux, and stir until it is the consistency of a thick paste. Add this mixture and any of the left over cooking mixture to the pot. Why this extra step? You ensure your roux fully dissolves and no one ends up with a taste of plain roux instead of a delicious shrimp.

Now, check the level of the fluid.  Everything should be covered, but not "swimming" in the liquid.  If you need, add more liquid to cover the ingredients, and put the lid back on. If there is too much liquid, put the lid back on but not all the way on, to let steam out.  Cook for another 10 minutes or until the okra is starting to break down and your gumbo starts to thicken up-you know you're close when you can coat a spoon with the delicious broth.

Lastly, add your shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp are cooked through.  In a deep bowl, add your cooked rice and top with gumbo and enjoy with some tobasco, or your favorite hot sauce!

Depending on how big of a serving you eat, this should serve 4-6.