Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Pie Cutters

Cute new Thanksgiving pie cutters. Y'all and pick them up at Williams-Sonoma for $18.00. They will make your pie look fabulous this year.

* The acorn is my favorite.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beef Stew

Who doesn't love beef stew? I love a nice bowl of beef stew during a cold winter day. I like to eat my stew with a side of corn bread. My favorite part of the stew is the big chunks of beef and carrots....YUM!
2 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat, diced into 1" pieces
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 c. chopped celery
4 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, cubed
3 onions, chopped
3 1/2 tbsp. tapioca
2 cubes beef bouillon
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 c. red wine
2 c. water
1 (10-ounce) package frozen pees, thawed
1.) Directions the oven to 250 degrees
2.) Place beef, tomatoes, celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, and tapioca into a Dutch oven. Season with beef brouillon, thyme, rosemary, and majoram, and stir in red wine and water. Place the lid on the Dutch oven.
3.) Bake to 5 to 6 hours in the preheated oven. Add peas during last half hour of cooking.
Serve hot with a slice of corn bread.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Williams-Sonoma Halloween Pancake Molds

I like to share more than just recipes but all sorts of cooking tips, entertaining tips, linens, and fun cooking accessories. Have you seen the new Halloween pancake molds from William-Sonoma? TOO CUTE!!! They would be perfect for those lazy Saturday mornings. They suggest using pumpkin spice pancake mix but blueberry or any type would be cute.
My absolute favorite pancakes to make on Saturday mornings are buttermilk with chopped walnuts in the batter. I cut up banana slices and add fresh raspberries to top it off. They are so beautiful you almost don't want to eat them. Almost, LOL!!!

Weekend Crock Pot French Dip

This is the best recipe for a cool and crisp fall weekend. Throw your meat in a crock pot and let it slowly cook (your kitchen is going to smell fantastic) and at the end of your afternoon you have a delicious meal waiting at home for you.

The French translation for au jus is "with it's own juice." French cuisine often uses several sauces for dipping and covering their meats (enriching them with scrumptious flavors). Au jus is nothing more than the left over juice from the bottom of your crock pot. I've seen people add soy sauce, oils, and onion soup mix to theirs but honestly I like to keep it simple. With the savory spices cooked into your meat it'll taste great without adding a thing.


2 lbs. Brisket
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
5 slices of sweet onion
1 lg. French baguette or hoagie roll
slices of provolone cheese

1.) Rinse brisket and pat dry. Mix together spices and rub them over brisket.

2.) Pour 1 c. beef broth into the bottom of the crock pot. Gently place brisket into crock pot and turn on low heat. Toss in slices of sweet onion and cook for 8 hours.

3.) Remove meat from crock pot onto a cutting board. Cut into thin slices across the grain and place slices onto a toasted bread. Pour remaining juices in custard size cups for dipping.

4.) Place provolone cheese and sauteed onion slices onto sandwich (if desired). I like mine naked. No cheese or onions but that's just me.

* Add a side salad and you have an easy but delicious dinner

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blacken Catfish over Dirty Rice

First, I would like to start off with an apology. I noticed that my last two posts didn't leave an option for comments. I have no idea what happened but I did manage to fix it. I enjoy reading y'alls comments and I plan on responding to them as soon as I complete this recipe.

This is a New Orleans favorite. Blacken Catfish is pretty much a staple in the Big Easy as macaroni and cheese is to others. Blacken seasoning is a creole spice that Louisianans like to coat over chicken and fish. The savory spice makes your taste buds pop in your mouth.

* Keep in mind that this is smoky and messy (try the burner on the BBQ). My husband has his own designated catfish fry'n skillet (cast iron). He is a wiz at frying up catfish. If y'all stopped by our house you'd know right away who made dinner by the smokey kitchen. Hubby cooks and the house fills up with a spicy cloud. We use Cajun spices more than salt & pepper in this house, LOL!

2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 tsp. dried cayenne, or to taste
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 catfish fillets (about 1 pound)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
dash of parsley
lemon wedges for taste

1.) In small bowl combine paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
2.) Pat catfish dry, sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of fillets.
3.) In a large skillet, add butter, heat until the foam subsides, and toss in fillets.
4.) Cook fillets until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 minutes).
5.) Transfer fillets by spatula over dirty rice and garnish tops with parsley and lemon wedges.

"Dirty Rice" is a Cajun favorite. It's a fantastic side to any Creole dish. I like to make mine with Andouille sausage but these days I've modified this recipe for health reasons. I use beef broth instead bacon grease and turkey sausage instead of Andouille. Andouille sausage is a "special treat" for when we visit back home.


2 tbsp. beef broth

3/4 c. chopped shallots

1 finely chopped rib celery

1 pinch fresh chopped parsley

1 lb. finely chopped turkey sausage

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce

2 c. brown rice

4 c. water

salt to taste

1.) Saute the shallots, celery, and turkey sausage in beef broth until golden brown. Add water, tomato paste, rice, salt and pepper.

2.) Bring to boil, turn down heat and cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.) Uncover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Fluff with fork and serve.

Southern Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is our family favorite. We usually reserve pecan pie for the holidays. This is a super easy recipe. I usually make this pie a week or so before the BIG holiday dinner. I freeze it and then pop it in the oven before setting the table for Christmas dinner.
1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup of pecan halves
1 pie shell, unbaked, 9-inch

1.) In a bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla; mix well.
2.) Add slightly beaten eggs and blend well; stir in pecans.
3.) Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
4.) Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until set.
5.) Cool pecan pie and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Friday, September 11, 2009



Y'all, this is my favorite Jambalaya recipe. I try to make a huge batch so I can share with my neighbors. This is a great dish that you can enjoy during those cold chilly weekends.

1 broiler chicken, cut up, about 3 pounds
2 tsp. Paprika
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green bell pepper
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) stewed tomatoes
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. long-grained rice
2 tsp. leaf thyme, crumbled
1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined

1. Wash the chicken and pat dry; rub with paprika. Heat olive oil in a large skillet; add chicken and brown all sides. Remove chicken from the skillet.

2.) Add onion, green bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Saute over low heat until onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in sausage, tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, thyme, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

3.) Add chicken and turn to coat with sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minute, or until chicken is tender. Stir in shrimp and cook about 3 minutes longer, or just until shrimp turns pink.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Creme Brulee

Hey y'all, if you're anything like LOOOVE sweets. One of my favorites is Creme Brulee. Here's a recipe that is easy as pie.


2 cups whipping cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Fresh raspberries or strawberries for garnish

1.) Heat oven to 275. Place the whipping cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, whisk until sugar dissolves, and mixture is smooth.
2.) Evenly pour mixture into five 5x1-inch oval baking dishes. Place dishes in a water bath (a baking pan or jelly roll that is filled with water so that the water is at least halfway up the height).
3.) Bake 45 to 50 minutes at 275. Custard should not be completely set when in the oven.
A good test for doneness is to lightly tap the custard dish. The entire custard should "ripple" at the same time, if the inner part moves faster then the outer edges let the custards cook a little longer.
4.) Cool custards in water in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and refrigerate at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
5.) When ready to serve custard, sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, covering the entire surface of the custard. Using a kitchen butane torch, carefully caramelize brown sugar.
Let stand 5 minutes until sugar hardens. Garnish with raspberries or strawberries. I like to use raspberries.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My husband is from New Orleans and one of his favorite desserts is Bread Pudding. I've tried many recipes but this is his favorite. He should know because being born and raised in New Orleans they take their bread pudding seriously.


5 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces
4 tblsp. soften butter
1/2 c. of raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven 350. Lightly butter a shallow 12x8x2-inch baking dish. Butter bread slices generously. Cut each slice into 4 squares. Sprinkle raisins over the bottom of the prepared baking dish then arrange bread squares, buttered side up, over raisins. Sprinkle bread with cinnamon.

2. In saucepan, heat milk just until bubbles form around edge; remove the heat. Add sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs; stir in hot milk mixture then stir in vanilla. Pour over in baking dish. Set baking dish in a larger baking pan then add about 1/2 to 1 inch of very hot water to the larger pan. Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center come out clean. Remove baking dish from the larger pan of water and let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or cold. Refrigerate unused portion. Bread pudding recipe makes 8 servings.