A New Food Review – Jambalaya

Ok, don’t judge me. I’m sure Louisianans would never recommend that my first taste of Jambalaya would be from a box.

But hey – this challenge only says I have to buy something I haven’t purchased before and make it and eat it. (My challenge. I make the rules.) I don’t remember having Jambalaya.

So I decided to try it.

Actually, before I got out my pans, I looked the product up on Amazon to read the reviews to see how good this stuff really is.

Surprisingly, people who seem to know what real Jambalaya tastes like, gave this product 5 stars …  and said it was a good substitute for the real thing which is rather astonishing for a boxed dinner.

I also bought myself some smoked sausage (like the directions told me to).

From there I followed the packaged instructions.

My take on it all? Not bad.

When I consider it had to get pass two of my “not-favorite” things to eat – that is spicy. (I’m not a big fan of overly spicy food) and boxed dinners (I’m a fan of fresh), I thought it was ok. Maybe a 3.  I did eat about a cup and a half of it which is more than I’m willing to eat if I don’t like something.

So if like Jambalaya or want to try Jambalya – give it a go.



State Photo – New York

So now I’m doing two things on the blog (along with other stuff, maybe) – new foods (one a week) and state photos.

This very cute picture of my grandson was taken several years ago at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Back in 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was working at his parents’ bar when a bunch of his friends stopped by looking for food.

Dominic’s mom deep-fried some chicken wings, covered them with a secret sauce and that’s why they’re named Buffalo wings (because they were created in Buffalo)

6a00d8341c06ad53ef00e54f1861978833-800wiWe went there with one of my childhood friends (who lives in Buffalo) and had a great time have the Anchor Bar experience – chicken wings and pizza.

And yes, they were delicious.




So I get a lot of ideas in life because I’m always curious about my surroundings – a lot of things I want to do and start to do with good intentions. However, sometimes those ideas don’t last very long.


And with that introduction, I am embarking on another fun quest.

Last weekend I was walking through Jewel doing some basic shopping when I noticed a package of kumatos. And I wondered what they were and just like that I thought, How fun would it be to buy one thing at a grocery store each week that I’ve never purchased before?

So these are my rules –

  1. One item a week.
  2. Something I haven’t purchased even though it might be fairly common in the homes of other people.
  3. I need to eat it (but doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe), and report on it.
  4. Or another option would be to order a dish at a restaurant that I have never had before.

And with that start to my new quest, I bought myself some kumatos.

But not before looking them up on my phone and discovering that kumatos are cultivated in Spain and called olmeca. They are basically a brown tomato grown by a private company that only sells seed to selected growers. In other words, you can’t go somewhere and by a kumato seed. Most of the recipes mixed kumato with our more familiar tomato.

What I did with them was make bruschetta.img_6065

I covered slices of tuscan bread with olive oil and broiled them for a few minutes. They I topped the bread with chopped kumato, chopped tomato, avocado, mixed with garlic, basil leaves and balsamic vinagerette, salt and pepper. The only kind of cheese I had was parmesan, so I sprinkled that on top.

My take on it all? Delicious. In fact, after eating two bruschetta, I finished off the rest of the kumato/tomato mixture with a spoon and that alone was also good.

So my kumato experiment was a 5.



Highway 50 across Nevada is called the loneliest road in America and for good reason. Mile after mile of uninhabited land. We drove across it during the “magic hours” of evening when the sun paints landscapes into fantastical beauty. Every turn provided a photo op.

We did wonder if it would be the first night ever that we couldn’t find a hotel – but an hour or two after darkness fell, we did reach a town that had a good hotel – with vacancies.

This picture was taken the next morning at the Great Basin National Park.

State Photo – Nevada

State Photo – Missouri

st_louis_058.jpgSo many places to visit and so many that I would like to visit again.

The arch is not one of them.

I am not particularly claustrophobic – though I don’t go out of my way to be in crowded spaces, but standing in line to go up the arch to the top … and then once there … standing in line to go down was not particularly fun for me. I just didn’t like it and I can’t even tell you why.

I’m not afraid of heights and I could even see the Cubs playing the Cardinals just a few blocks away while we were at the top, but still was glad to once again get out in the fresh air.

But it is a cool site as you go down the highway through St. Louis.

And I know Mi comes before Mo.