Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back In the Saddle

I thought I'd stick with the music theme since that's what my last two posts have been about. We're finally getting back into the swing of things. It's been a whirlwind since Robert arrived home. I've started teaching for UMUC (University of Maryland University College...if I could use one word to describe this name it would have to be redundant :D) on Kadena Air Station here in Okinawa. I absolutely love it but I designed the entire class from scratch so it's been quite a bit of work. Enough about all that...one of the first things we did when Robert got home was through a big ol party.

This was our appetizer...Marinated Cheese! Sounds kind of crazy, but it tastes delicious..it was a big hit. Here's the recipe. I'll be honest and admit that when I'm running a little behind I marinate it in Italian dressing marinade and add pimientos on top. I served it with sliced and toasted french baguettes, lightly seasoned with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and rosemary.

We also had shrimp etouffee and gumbo, two of Robert's favorites...can you tell he was born in Louisiana? As you can see, Tony Chachere's is a staple in our house and I can honestly say that everything I've put it on has been great: chicken, eggs, fish, beef, bratwurst, mac & cheese, fries, crackers...you get the general idea. 

Above is the shrimp etouffee which I cooked the night before in our giant cast iron dutch oven (pictured below). Our cast iron pot was a present from Robert's parents. As each one of our friends came in for dinner that night almost everyone of the said...wow, that is one huge pot! Huge thanks to in-laws for such impressive cookware. :D

We had about 15 people over for dinner which was a fabulous way to break in our brand....new.....TABLE!!! (as I was typing I definitely said that last line like I was Bob Barker). 

We got it at a store out in town that was going out of business. It was marked down by 50% and we LOVED it!

It's from Thailand and it makes are apartment feel so homey. What better way to break in our new table than gumbo and shrimp etouffee with good friends?!

The detail of the chairs are my favorite part. Plus the fact that we can have more than two people over at a time to eat dinner...haha! Enjoy!


  1. Now I think I'm homesick! Miss you both. Sounds like good food and good times in Okinawa!

  2. I love love love the table! So glass you found one! And so glad you and Robert are back to normal life!

  3. Yummy Tony's! My dad was born in MS and yah, we can't live without it. And BEAUTIFUL dining set Jana! OMG, I love looking past it into the house too, lol. You truly deserve the title of Martha Stewart. It looks like something out of a magazine!

  4. Oh Jana i just love your blog! Super great table too! :)