Ronn and I couldn’t have been more happier than we were this past weekend or this past year for that matter. We have been blessed with good friends, good health, wonderful kids and supportive fans. This is what we celebrated on September 25th, which marked our first year together as husband and wife. It’s been an amazing year of traveling for us as a family and for business. Italy still remains our second home and when we are at home in LA long enough to enjoy it; we love having our friends over for dinners. Our dear friends, Wally and Lori Crowder hosted a little dinner celebration with some of our wedding party including, Cindy Margolis, Nadia Bjorlin and Tina Hillstrom. The weather was lovely and the dinner was catered beautifully. Ronn and I got to do something we didn’t get to do on our wedding day, eat! We are grateful to have such wonderful friends and feel blessed and honored to have each other. Thank you all for the wonderful gifts and comments on our special day. We love you all!
I thought you’d guys would like something Cajun, just had that feeling. So here is a great Jambalaya dish. Devin’s Kickass Cajun Seasoning makes it extra zesty!
- 5 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, and breast halves with skin and bones)
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 pounds andouille* or other spicy smoked pork sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained well
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
- Devin’s Kickass Cajun Seasoning
Pat chicken dry and season with salt. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken in batches, without crowding, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes total (add remaining 2 tablespoons oil as needed between batches). Transfer to a bowl as browned.
Reduce heat to moderate and brown sausage in 4 batches in fat remaining in skillet, turning, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined bowl as browned.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon fat from skillet, then cook onions, celery, and bell pepper in skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1 cup stock and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a wide 8-quart heavy pot and add chicken, water, tomatoes, cayenne (if using), and remaining cup stock. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Transfer chicken with tongs to a clean bowl and measure cooking liquid with vegetables, adding additional water as necessary to measure 7 cups. If over 7 cups, boil to reduce.
Stir rice into cooking liquid (in pot). Arrange chicken over rice (do not stir), then bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, without stirring. Bake, covered, in middle of oven until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let jambalaya stand, covered, 10 minutes. Gently stir in scallion greens, sausage, and salt to taste.
It was a lovely introduction to B&B producer Ron Weaver’s new novel, “Soul Mate” last night at the Barnes and Noble located next door to CBS at the Grove. Ronn read the introduction to Lance Van Arden, the lead character patterned after him and one could clearly see that Ron Weaver has a talent for story telling. Lesli Kay read the introduction to Claudia De LaRosa, the midwestern teacher who falls in love with her student and find their destiny together makes “Soul Mate” an erotic and entertaining read. Leslie Ann Down and Joe Miscola joined in and read a couple more chapters that clearly says a sequal chouldn’t be far behind. I really enjoyed the novel and couldn’t put it down. Who knows maybe Ron may start writing storylines for B&B now?
Spaghetti with Fresh Clams, Parsley, and Lemon
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
* 3 pounds fresh Manila clams or small littleneck clams, scrubbed
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Devin’s Kickass Cajun Seasoning
* 1 pound spaghetti
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced garlic and sauté until light brown, about 1 minute. Add clams and 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley; stir 2 minutes. Add wine; simmer 2 minutes. Add fresh lemon juice. Cover and simmer until clams open, about 6 minutes (discard any clams that do not open).
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Add pasta to clam mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.
It was a last minute request from Milly Carlucci that invited Ronn, Katherine Kelly Lang and me to Salsomaggiore, Italy for the 70th annual Miss Italia Pageant. This year Milly Carlucci hosted the three day live televised event. Ronn and Katherine were judging the “Miss Cinema” portion of the event. This four hour live broadcast showcased some of Italy’s most beautiful women and this year was looking for beauty and talent, as the top 9 girls auditioned for a part in an Italian movie as “Miss Cinema” The stage was set to display some of the most gorgeous women we had ever seen. I thought the show was great and that Milly Carlucci did a fabulous job. It certainly wasn’t an easy task for Ronn and Katherine! All of our clothing was provided by our dear friend designer, Laura Biagiotti. Ronn and Katherine did a little dance, when a surprise guest entered the stage, very pregnant! Sara DiViara looked so beautiful and elegant when she made her surprise appearance during Ronn and Katherine’s dance. It felt like “Ballando con let stelle” revisited because of the many cast and crew that were there with Milly working on “Miss Italia” The weekend was short and sweet for us. Great Italian food, wine and friends! Apparently, Sofia Loren was the first to win this title and is helping the judges crown the winner on Monday night!
In the airport waiting to fly like a bird to Italy. For some reason, they asked me to judge the Miss Italia pageant. Tough job. But I’ll endure. For me, it’s a chance to watch a bunch of movies and suck down a couple glasses of vino. Well, …. ok, maybe more than a couple. Hey, I’ve got to rehearse for when I arrive in Italy! Isn’t that all they drink there? Actually, I get to see my wonderful friend, Milly Carlucci, who is hosting this show, and pretty much every other show in Italy as well. She is an absolute sweetheart and I love her dearly. Will take some pix and vid and put it up asap. Love you all. —-R
Here is a quick and easy salad that is great with Devin’s Kickass Cajun Seasoning and so healthy!
Is it just me, or did the Emmys seem more like a mini version of the Oscars? I thought television would recognize television stars and I saw more movie stars being recognized. Stars such as, Susan Serandon, Al Pacino and Dennis Quaid who were big movie stars that didn’t do television at one time, weren’t they? Also, cable was considered a step below prime time television and now the most recognized shows are on cable. HBO rules television with shows like Entourage and True Blood. Seems there were very few real television stars being recognized at this year’s Emmys. Reality television now has it’s own catagory also, so just about anybody can be recognized on television today. No longer is television strictly for television stars. It’s sort of annoying to watch these people pat themselves on the back for what is really a bunch of crap. It’s also annoying that people who once turned their noses at television and only did movies are now the ones being recognized on television. I think the Emmys should recognize television people period and the Oscars should recognize movie people period. Also, if television is going to recognize reality they should stop dividing daytime actors from night time actors because it’s a joke now. Daytime actors should be more respected than reality people, they work much harder and it makes me angry to see this division. Wake up Hollywood because it doesn’t make sense anymore! The Internet has changed the way we view things now and soon enough your computer will be your television set, it already is becoming so. The stupid division of Daytime Emmy and Night time Emmy division will soon be history. Hollywood needs to stop recognizing movie stars in television because those people are not television stars to begin with. The Emmys were boring to me and I think in general television is boring. There are very few shows that are worth watching period. If the Emmys is the best of television, then I feel sorry for television right now. Personally HBO does have the best programming, but then again it’s not television, it’s HBO right?