Friday, July 31, 2009

Cajun Beer Can Chicken + Bayou Boogie!

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Just the mention of Beer Can Chicken in my last post brought about such a flurry of responses that I decided to post this interesting chicken recipe, just in time for weekend grilling. You might be asking, who in their right mind would grill a chicken, sitting on a beer can, for a couple of hours. Anyone who loves moist, tender, grilled chicken, at it's best! Also known as "Drunken Chicken and Beer Butt Chicken, this popular method of beer infused chicken produces a crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, bursting with flavor, bird. Stick with a mild, mid-priced beer, like Budweiser, and pass on the cheap variety or fancy imports which tend to make the bird taste too beer-like. Unless, of course, you like beer- flavored chicken. Cest bon, cher and enjoy!

Cajun Beer Can Chicken

3 lb. whole fryer chicken
1 12 0z. can domestic beer

First, make the rub.

Cajun Rub
2 tbs's Tony Chachere's Spice N' Herbs seasoning (or Cajun seasoning)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and thyme
Combine all seasonings in small bowl

Wash and pat dry the chicken and rub the Cajun rub into the bird.
Open beer with pointed side of can opener, making 4 holes. Pour out about 1/4 of the beer. Ease the chicken down over the beer can. Heat grill and place the upright chicken on indirect heat. Cover with lid and grill and smoke for about 2 hours. Serves 4. Le bon manger!

 
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Here's a little Cajun lagniappe to go with your beer can chicken! Have a fun weekend, ya'll!!

Oh those T.G.I.F. blues!

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Cajuns dancing to Texas swing

video

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm a Hog For You Baby !

Some old friends dropped by last night just as we were finishing dinner. (beer can chicken, with a little creole jambalaya, and baked beans on the side). They couldn't resist a plate, so they ate and I put on a little Clifton Chenier music and opened the nice bottle of wine that they brought. These were two of my oldest and dearest friends in the world that I went to college with. We went through everything together back then and continue to go through everything together now.


In college, we used to go to a honky- tonk dancehall, out in the country on the weekends called Jay's Lounge, in nearby Cankton, Louisiana. It was a dump, but nobody cared because there was a very special band that played there on Saturday nights, Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band. Boy, did we ever have a blast at Jay's!


Clifton could move a crowd like no other musician I've ever seen. The nitty-gritty dancing that used to go on in that place was as hot as his highly seasoned , pulsating music. The big wooden dancefloor would vibrate and at times, I thought we would cave it in.

He became better known as "The King of Zydeco" and to this day, long after his death, no one can hold a candle to his spicy, soulful, bluesie, Cajun/ Zydeco moves. He was one of the best accordion players that ever lived and captured the very essence of the Louisiana gumbo and multi-cultural spirit that has evolved in Cajun Country over the past 250 years. 


My favorite album is "Clifton Chenier Out West w/ Steve Miller & and Elvin Bishop". Now that was one hot gig! Here he is shown playing at Jazz Fest in New Orleans, in 1977 , playing one of my favorites, "I'm a Hog For You Baby"! More videos at the end of the clip. Let the good times roll. cher!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spicy Bayou Crab Cakes w/ Creole Tartar Sauce

Now here is one of my favorite recipes that will knock your socks off and make you wish you had more. Divinely delectable, this recipe was given to me by a dear friend from New Iberia. It is one of the best crab cakes that you will ever eat. It starts with 1 pound of lump Louisiana crab meat and just gets better from there. Ca cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

 

Spicy Bayou  Crab Cakes
1 lb. lump crab meat
2 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 green onion tops, sliced, including tops
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
1 tbs. Tony's Creole Seasoning or Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbs. Creole mustard
2 tbs.'s mayonaise
Few shakes Tabasco
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup white cornmeal and
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs, mixed together
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Melt the butter in a skillet, and saute onions, garlic, and parsley until soft, and set aside.
In a large bowl, squeeze lemon juice on crab meat and mix gently.


In separate bowl, combine sauteed veggie mixture, egg, Tony's, salt, garlic powder, mustard, mayonaise, and breadcrumb/cornmeal mixture, and mix well. Fold into crab meat, until just mixed. Shape into 4 patties.

Pour oil into skillet to a depth of 2 inches. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown, flip and repeat on other side. So much flavor, with so little effort and worth the calories! Divine!

Bon Appetit!

******

Creole Tartar Sauce


1 cup light mayo
1 tbs. Creole mustard
1 tbsp. each, green onions and fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Few shakes Tabasco

Combine all ingredients in bowl and chill .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gulf Brew- A Cajun Beer Fest !

We had a blast yesterday, at the 3rd annual Gulf Brew fundraiser, held in Parc International, in downtown Lafayette. A production of the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Gulf Brew is a beer fest showcasing microbreweries and brew masters from the South, from Texas to Florida. Beer lovers had 91 brews to choose from! In addition to this great selection of brews, the event showcased the artwork of Southern artists and craftsmen.





There were also Cajun food booths from local restaurants and live music from a few of Acadiana's favorite bands, Vagabond Swing, Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band, and Snarky Puppy. But the thing that really impressed me about this festival, were the air-conditioned tents that the beer was being served up in! Since it was a hot, sultry afternoon in Cajun Country, this was most appreciated. Now this was definitely the way to go, for a summertime festival!

The proceeds from Gulf Brew will help to employ local artists and musicians and help to support the Arts in Education program. After 4 hours of sampling, we were in need of something substantial to eat, to soak up all of this fantastic beer, so we decided to head over to Bisbano's Cellar Door, where they serve up some of the best muffalettas, west of New Orleans. Cest bon, cher! Oh the life of a Cajun, is oh so good!


Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band

  video

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Sinsational Cajun Sides !

It's summertime and the living is easy and so is cooking up a great Cajun summer side dish . With the bounty of fresh veggies and fruits reaching its peak, I love to make up as many of these delicious side dishes as possible. Some are so good that I end up eating them for an entree.I stocked up today at my favorite fresh produce market. These are 2 of my favorites. Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!


 

Corn Maque Choux

6 ears fresh sweet corn, scraped off the cob
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbs. fresh basil, finely chopped
1/3 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients in large bowl, except olive oil. Heat olive oil in large, heavy skillet. When oil is hot, add seasoned vegetable mixture, stir and lower heat. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. This savory dish is dynamite!


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Cajun Grilled Veggie Kabobs w/ Sugar Cane Vinaigrette




2 green bell peppers, cut in half, then into quarters
1 large eggplant, cut in half, then cut into eighths
2 zucchini squash, cut into thick slices
2 yellow squash, cut into thick slices
2 red onions, peeled, cut into halves, then into quarters
1 carton cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. Tony's Spices and Herbs seasoning
or 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning

Place all ingredients on large cookie sheets and season on both sises. Arrange veggies on skewers, alternating each. Drizzle with sugar cane vinaigrette, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Place veggie skewers on grill pan and grill on top rack, for 10 minutes on each side, basting often with vinaigrette. Serve with grilled seafood or chicken. Fabulous!

Sugar Cane Vinaigrette

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cane syrup
1/4 cup Creole mustard
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 cup olive oil


Combine all ingredients and mix well. This is divine and is also a wonderful salad dressing.


What is your favorite summer side dish?

Hope that ya'll have a fun weekend!!! Let the Good Times Roll, cher!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cajun Grilled Shrimp En Brochette + Drive Thru Daquiris on the Cajun Riviera

Here's an easy recipe for grilled shrimp that has to be one of the best that Cajun Country has to offer. It's very simple, yet packed with flavor, creating a smoky, spicy taste with the bacon that just melts in your mouth. Since I've had so many requests for this mouth watering recipe, I've decided to post it. These shrimp are divinely delicious and can be served with some yummy grilled veggies or a big garden salad, a loaf of good bread, and a glass of white wine. Oh, cest bon! Bon Appetit!
 

Cajun Grilled Shrimp En Brochette

24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning 

1 lemon, cut in half
12 bacon strips, cut in half
Melted butter

Barbeque sauce
Skewers

Squeeze lemon juice to coat shrimp. Season with Cajun seasoning. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon. Place on skewers and chill for 15 minutes. Baste with melted butter and bbq sauce and grill on medium low heat, in grill pan, for 5 minutes. Turn, baste and grill for 5 more minutes, or until bacon is crisp. My Dad says that these fabulous shrimp are sinful and should be against the law! Enjoy!

 
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Here's a group of Cajun girls going through the drive- thru dacquiri stand at "The Pass Thru", in Holly Beach, Louisiana, better known as the "Cajun Riviera". Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Monday, July 20, 2009

A Cajun-Yankee Weekend Blowout !

It was a fabulous, fun weekend, in Cajun Country. I had out of town guests for the weekend, who were ready to sample a little slice of Cajun hopsitality. I had a big pot of Crawfish Etoufee ready, when they arrived. Figured that I'd sock it to em', right off the bat.


 They enjoyed the delectable stew and the homemade Chocolate Mousse Pecan Pie that my daughter made. One bite of this pie and you know that you're addicted for life. Cest bon, cher!


Day 2 was even more fun! I thought that they might enjoy some boiled crabs, so we spent the afternoon boiling and eating some wonderful Louisiana blue crabs and took a nice, refreshing swim in the pool. I discovered that they loved Mexican food, so I suggested that we go out for a Mexican fiesta. 


We went to Tampicos Resturant and I ordered the crab stuffed jalapenos . My companions opted for a grilled shrimp and rice dinner, w/ pico de gallo and grilled veggies. Paired with frozen Margaritas and a few cold beers, it was a most enjoyable meal. After dinner, we went to a little jazz jam at a favorite neighborhood club, and had Frozen Chocolate Martinis for dessert. (to die for)

Day 3 was even more fun! After eating a good breakfast of homemade bisquits, topped with crawfish etouffee, Spanish omelettes, and fried green tomatoes, we all headed out to the Atchafalaya Basin for a little fun on the swamp. It was a beautiful day, with less humidity, and there was a nice breeze. We stopped by a friend's camp on Henderson Lake and took a boat ride on the swamp. By this time, my guests were starting to get the idea. 


But it wasn't until we drove up to Whiskey River Landing for the Sunday afternoon dance, that they really began to understand the true meaning of "lassiez les bon temps rouler". They were quite shocked to see the intensity of the "hot as Tabasco" music and dancing. French Rockin' Boogie took the stage and the packed dance floor really started heating up, with a whole lotta nitty-gritty dancing going on. 


We really packed it in! Cajun hospitality at it's finest! Boy, will they ever have a tale to tell about their Cajun adventures, back on the East coast. So glad you enjoyed it! Happy Trails, till we meet again, my friends! What did you do for fun over the weekend?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Southern Banana Pudding + An Award

Here is another favorite Cajun dessert that is so easy and sinfully delicious. Eating it brings back so many memories of my childhood. Sometimes my mother would have a big bowl of banana pudding on the counter, when we got home from school, and we would dive into it, in a flash. Cest bon, cher. Enjoy!

Southern Banana Pudding

4 eggs
2 large cans of Pet milk
1 cup sugar
2 bananas, sliced
1 bag vanilla wafers
Cinnamon for sprinkling

In large Pyrex bowl, place 1/2 of the vanilla wafers and bananas.
Heat milk in medium saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour the eggs into the milk and return to low heat and add sugar. Continue cooking on low, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and pour 1/2 of the pudding over the vanilla wafers and bananas. Add other half and repeat. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with whipped cream. Serves 6. Bon Appetit!

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An Award



It was a surprise and an honor when my dear friend, Katherine, presented me with the Kreativ Blogger award. You will definitely want to check out her fabulous, step-by-step cooking blog, Smoky Mountain Cafe , that is filled with her wonderful recipes. She is always cooking up some sinfully delicious recipe and you can count on them being out of this world!! Thanks so much for this award and for your friendship, my Cajun friend. You are the best!

To accept this award, a nominated blogger must:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
 
I am supposed to list seven things about myself that people might find interesting.

1. I have been practicing yoga for more than 20 years and was a vegetarian for 10 years.

 
2. If you dare to speak to me BEFORE I have my coffee, in the morning, it will not be a pretty conversation.

 
3. My friends call me a shrimp-o-holic because I love shrimp so much.

 
4. If there is a good party going on, I will usually find it or it will find me, whichever comes first.

 
5. The beach is my favorite place in the world. Any beach!

 
6. Dancing is my real passion and keeps the weight off and satisfies my soul.

 
7. I have a habit of eating chocolate chips, when I'm baking.

Now I am supposed to present this award to seven fellow kreativ bloggers. It is with great pleasure that I pass this award to these 7 extremely, creative bloggie friends. Be sure and visit them, soon.

Angie at Gumbo Writer

Irish at Irish Gumbo

The Good Cook at The Good Cook

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yoga for Better Sleep, Insomnia, or Relaxation

My good friend, Jo, over at A Majority of Two had a very interesting post, today, about insomnia. It prompted me to share a good yoga video with all of my bloggie friends who may be experiencing some form of insomnia. Some have trouble falling asleep, others wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep. Yet, others find it hard to sleep at all. I have been into yoga for many years, for mental, physical, and spiritual well being. It is relaxing to do and not stressful on your joints, like other workouts. My favorite yoga book is called "A Morning Cup of Yoga". It includes a cd and takes no more than 15 minutes to complete, to reap benefits all day long.
Click on this link to order book.

A Morning Cup of Yoga: One 15-Minute Routine for a Lifetime of Health & Wellness [With CD] [MORNING CUP OF YOGA]

Relax.............. and do these simple exercises when you can't sleep, cher! Hope that everyone has a great weekend and sweet dreams!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An Alligator, A Lake, and A Plate Lunch

We decided to order a plate lunch from one of our favorite Cajun eateries, Julien's Poboys. I chose my favorite item on the menu, the Shrimp En Brochette. When I tell you how sinfully delicious these succulent, highly seasoned, fried, bacon wrapped shrimp were, you know that I mean it, cher! I know, the calories, but who's counting? Oh cest' bon, cher! Since I only allow myself to indulge in these divine shrimp, once in a great while, I ate them with great delight and no remorse. They come with curly Cajun fries and a small salad. My friends ordered a Fried Catfish Platter, and a Hot Sausage Poboy. Both, also fabulous!


With morning thunder showers cooling things off a bit, we decided to take a little trip to nearby Lake Martin, this afternoon. Lake Martin is of the most beautiful places on earth and is home to many species of birds, as well as alligators, and wildlife known to the area. It is the largest nesting area of wading birds in the United States and is listed in the top 10 bird watching sites in America by the Audubon Society. At the end of the lake there is a Cypress and Buttonbush thicket with tens of thousands of waders, which include Blue Herons and Great and Cattle Egrets, plus over 2oo species in all. If you're lucky, you may spot a Great Horned Owl or Red-bellied woodpecker. (Click to enlarge, to see Heron)


Lake Martin is a broad, shallow lake that is so peaceful and serene, which makes it is a perfect place to reflect on the beauty of nature and perhaps do a little fishing or hiking. We were in luck today, and captured this shot of an alligator sunning himself. He was about 12 feet long and not the biggest in the lake, as some grow to be 15 to 20 feet long. Here and there, you will see alligator nests which are large mounds of of leaves and dirt. Don't ever get too close to the nests! About this time, we were wishing that we had a piece of bait, so he would open his powerful jaws for the camera. Something else to put on the list for the next trip. Another Cajun adventure awaits! They don't call Louisiana "The Sportsman's Paradise" for nothing! Where do you go to be with nature, where you live?

 


Monday, July 13, 2009

A Cajun Dinner on the Bayou

Growing up on the bayou in Abbeville was a seafood lover's dream. Fresh gulf seafood was at our fingertips daily, right off the boats. My mother's cousin had a trawling boat and would bring in tons of fabulous, fresh shrimp, crabs, oysters, and fish every weekend. He would make the rounds to all the family member's homes and stock their freezers full. He was generous to a fault!


Then his family would have a big seafood feast on Saturday nights, complete with a live Cajun band that he played in. They had a camp in their backyard, built especially for parties. What could be better than delicious seafood, a Cajun band, and a whole lotta dancing going on. How I wish that I had videos or even pictures of these shindigs. Even though I do not, my memories of these good times are so etched into my memory, that I can recall every detail, just as though it was yesterday. Fun just stays with you.


I took a ride to Abbeville, today, to visit my Dad and to take him out to dinner. Since Abbeville is famous for it's selection of fabulous seafood restaurants, it's always hard to choose one. I was in the mood for boiled crabs (yes, again), so we started to head over to Richard's Seafood Patio to dive into some sinfully delicious, highly seasoned crabs. On the way there, please try to understand that we had to drive by three other fabulous seafood restaurants, before getting to Richard's. We were getting hungrier by the minute.

Black's, a landmark in Abbeville, is famous for it's oysters, as well as it's seafood gumbo, and other Cajun seafood delicacies. It's original location was a bit up on the same block, on Pere Megret Street, in my grandfather's old building. My Dad's store was right next door, in the same building. To say that this was lucky is understating the joy of smelling all of this wonderful food cooking, whenever my brother and I would go to Dad's store, after school. We had more than a few after school snacks at the old Black's. Oh, cest bon, cher!


Dupuy's Oyster Shop was closed for vacation, so that eliminated agonizing over that one. Next we came to The Riverfront Grill, which is famous for it's New Orleans style seafood dishes, as well as divine Cajun cuisine. Dad wanted some crawfish etoufee and by this time, I just wanted crab anything. And then I remembered the succulent , Eggplant Evangeline that is my favorite item on the menu. Fried eggplant /topped with crabmeat in bechamel sauce with a spinach salad and sweet potato fries. It was all out of this world! What about Richard's? Well, maybe next week! Do you have a favorite seafood restaurant?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Spicy Crab and Shrimp Jambalaya + Weekend Lagniappe'

Here is one of the most sinfully delicious Cajun recipes of all time! With crabs in season, right now is the perfect time to make a big pot of this fabulous Louisiana favorite. It can easily stand on it's own as an entree with a big tossed salad and french bread, or it can be a delectable side dish to accompany another seafood dish. Oh cest bon, cher! One bite of this divine jambalaya will send you into orbit! This is a real guest pleaser and you will be asked for the recipe, I guarantee it! Enjoy! Le bon, manger, cher!

Spicy Crab and Shrimp Jambalaya

2 tbs.'s olive oil
1 lb. or more of medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 lb. lump crab meat
1 cup, each, of "the trinity", (onions, celery, and bell peppers), chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups seafood or vegetable stock
1 large can crushed tomatoes w/ juice
 1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups uncooked rice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. each, paprika and garlic powder
Tabasco to taste

In a large heavy pot, saute the shrimp, garlic and salt in the olive oil, for 5 minutes. Add the spices and the trinity and saute, while stirring, for 5 more minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the crab meat and tomatoes w/juice, stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and add the rice, stir and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Then add stock, tomato sauce, and Tabasco. Bring to a second boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring once, half way through. Add parsley during the last ten minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir gently before serving.
Serves 6 Bon Appetit!

Here's a little Festival Lagniappe' that I thought ya'll might enjoy with your jambalaya!
Let the Good Times Roll, Cher!


Cajun Jam w/ Roddie Romero and Friends

video


Keith Frank and the Soileau Family Band

video

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Fun Cajun Getaway + Bayou Blues

When the horrible heat wave finally broke, I was hit by a wave of wanderlust and decided to take a little getaway. We rented a small houseboat on the swamp, in Henderson and retreated to the Atchafalaya Basin, which is a short 15 minute drive. It is quieter during the week, without the weekend water lovers that frequent the swamp on the weekends. Pure bliss doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Nature, at it's finest in one of the most beautiful settings on the planet. Spending the night on the swamp is not for the faint-hearted, however. There are alligators and yes, mosquitos, but a Cajun learns early on, how to deal with these things.


We dined at Pat's Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant and feasted on a divine seafood platter. Oh, cest bon, cher! My family has been eating at Pat's since the 50's and you can always count on getting the best, sinfully delicious seafood on the levee, there. We had a nightcap at Turtle's Bar, before retreating to the little floating chateau.

The next morning we went fishing and caught a whole ice chest of catfish, which set the menu for the day. The smell of catfish frying and a big catfish stew simmering, brought visits from boaters that were coming in from Henderson Lake. Since we had enough to feed a small army, we invited them all! Oh, the life of a Cajun!

So, this adventure turned into quite a party. After a fantastic lunch, and several hours of playing boo ray, (a Cajun card game) we packed it up and headed home and back to reality, at least for another few days. It is amazing what a change in scenery can do for the psyche and the soul.
Do you have a place to get away where you live?


******
I've had a special request for some more bayou blues. The audio is not very good, for the singer, but hopefully you will be able to understand the lyrics. Song entitled, "You Can Have My Husband, But Don't Mess with My Man"!


Bayou Blues Jam

video

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Creole Shrimp and Pasta Salad + Holiday Pics

Here's one of my favorite summer delights, that is a delicious blend of succulent, Cajun boiled shrimp and creamy Creole sauce. Click here for my Spicy Cajun Boiled Shrimp recipe. When I tell you that it is divine, then you know that I mean it, cher! Oh, cest bon! And so easy and perfect for those hot summer days! Bon Appetit!

Creole Shrimp Pasta Salad


10 ounces Rotini pasta, cooked and drained, according to package directions.
1 1/2 lbs. small cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup each, onions, bell pepper, and celery, chopped fine
1 small can, sliced, pitted black olives

Combine cooked shrimp, veggies, and pasta in large bowl and set aside.

 

Creole Sauce

1 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 tbs. Creole or Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. Creole or Cajun seasoning
Salt and Tabasco sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Add to pasta veggie mixture, and toss until well coated. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with a good loaf of French bread and a glass of wine. Bon Appetit!

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Holiday Pics

It was a another great weekend in Cajun country! Of course, the food was fabulous and the music was fantastic at the "Red, White and Boom" celebration at Parc International, in downtown Lafayette.

It was warm and humid, so we started off with a few cold drinks at the Smoothie Stand. I ordered the Pina Colada Daquiri and my friend tried the Electric Lemonade. Oh my gawd!

The crowd was in a spirited mood and was priming up for the Fourth of July show and fireworks. The Hunter Hayes Band were kickin' off this party and rockin, the crowd!

Next up was the Fourth of July ceremony, beginning with the United States Marine Corp. The crowd was then treated to the Acacdiana Symphony Orchestra, playing the National Anthem.

Here's a little clip that I took, right before my camera batteries went out. So much for getting some great pics of the fireworks. Cest la vie, cher! Hope ya'll had a wonderful holiday, too!

video


Merci beaucoup for stopping by, mon amis!

A Fabulous Cajun Dinner + Rain, Sweet Rain

When my daughter called and invited us over for dinner, I was absolutely thrilled because she is a fabulous cook, in her own right, and everything she cooks is divinely delicious. Guess that maybe she inherited that Cajun cooking gene that runs so prominently in my mother's family. And she did not learn to cook from me, as her childhood years were spent as a vegetarian and she didn't even like the smell of meat or seafood and didn't hang around my kitchen much, unless we were baking. Recently, she has gone from being a vegetarian to a pescetarian, which allows her to eat all of the wonderful fresh seafood that is available down here. Well, when I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely table scape that she had prepared with a pretty tablecloth and candles. And the menu was incredible! Pesto Crawfish Tortellini & Broiled Tilapia w/ sun dried tomatoes and capers & fresh steamed broccoli & garden salad. Wow! I was totally impressed, since this was the first seafood meal that she has prepared for me. To say that I was proud of her culinary skills would be an understatement! Cest bon!!! Sinfully delicious, the Crawfish Tortellini was fabulous and the fish was out of this world! When I asked her for the recipe, she said that she made it up and never measures anything! Maybe she was watching me cook, back then, and I just didn't notice. Oh, Le Bon Manger, cher!!




 

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For the first time in weeks, after 19 straight days of relentless heat, with temperatures 97 degrees or higher, we finally got some glorious, wonderful rain! In all, 3 to 5 inches, in Lafayette. It started last night around dinnertime with a real pour down and thunder and a bit of lightning. My son was driving in it and had to pull over into the C.C. Coffeehouse parking lot to wait it out. He captured a video clip of the rain from his car. Then again last night, we were awakened to the thunderous sounds of yet more storms blowing through Cajun Country. This time, it flooded the streets and made some impassable. Hooray! Finally, some water from the heavens soothing the scorched earth, the sugar cane crops, and the very souls of the people in Cajun Country. Oh, to feel 83 degrees and a nice breeze, today! A very nice break and I intend to enjoy every second of it! I am packing for an impromptu get away and may be away from my blog desk for a day or two. Meanwhile, let the good times, roll, cher!


video

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Holiday Pics + Chocolate Bread Pudding w/ Praline Sauce


The 4th of July was hot in more ways than one, this year, in Cajun Country. The Acadiana Symphony played a beautiful Fourth of July concert at Parc International, in downtown Lafayette. Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys also entertained the huge crowd with their highly seasoned Cajun music. More than a few hardy souls were dancing in nitty- gritty, two-step mode. There was a light breeze and a joie de vivre in the air! 
  


 After the concert we went over to Parc Sans Souci, where there was yet another band playing, and a fun jump and fountain for the kids. We were in dire need of refreshment, by this time, so we walked across to Agave Cantina and had a few rounds of frozen margaritas before the fabulous fireworks. It was a wonderful celebration, honoring our freedom and those who have fought for it.


What was your Independence Day celebration like?
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This is a sinfully delicious dessert that is a perfect finish to any meal or whenever I have an "envie" for something sweet. It's so good that you'll want to have some for breakfast, too, with some good strong Community coffee. Oh, cest bon, cher! What a way to start the day!

Chocolate Bread Pudding w/ Praline Sauce

1 stick butter
1 loaf french bread, torn into small pieces
1 large can Pet milk
4 semi-sweet chocolate squares, chopped
4 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. almond extract 
 
Melt butter in large heavy pot on medium heat. Add bread, and stir constantly until golden. Place mixture in a buttered 13x9 inch baking dish and set aside. Bring milk to a boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and blend till smooth. Add eggs, brown sugar,and almond extract. Mix well and pour mixture over bread mixture, blend gently and let stand for 15 minutes. Cover with vented foil and bake at 325 degrees, for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Let cool and serve with warm praline sauce.
Serves 8

Praline Sauce
1 cup light brown sugar
1 small can Pet milk 
2 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. vanilla 
1/4 cup chopped pecans 
 
Combine brown sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter in heavy saucepan. Cook on low heat until smooth. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Serve warm over bread pudding. Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sinsational Cajun Sides !

Here is my favorite" no fail" potato salad recipe. It is my mother's recipe that everyone loves and requests over and over, again. It's so simple, but oh so good! Moi-J'aime-ca-Comme-Ca! (I like it like that)


Have a Fun, Happy Fourth of July!!!




Deviled Egg Potato Salad
 

5 lb.'s red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbs. white vinegar
10 eggs

2 tbs.'s sweet pickle relish w/juice
5 tbs.'s mayo (more, if needed)
2 tbs.'s yellow mustard
1 tbs. Creole or Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste
Few shakes Tabasco

Fill a large pot with water (3/4) full and add the salt,vinegar, chopped potatoes, and eggs. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and cool, and season potatoes with the Cajun seasoning and place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, peel eggs and separate egg whites from yolks. Chop egg whites and add to potatoes. Place yolks in a medium bowl and mash yolks with a fork until fine. Combine mayo, mustard, salt, pickle relish, and Tabasco in small bowl and mix well, then add to the mashed yolks and stir, adding a little more mayo, until the desired consistency is reached. Add to the potatoes, blending gently. Ca cest bon, cher!!!

This just might be the best corn on the cob recipe of all time. The delectable spicy Cajun butter brings this vegetable up to a new level. Out of this world!! Bon Appetit, cher!!!

Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob w/ Cajun Butter



First, make the Cajun butter.

1 stick butter, melted
1/2  tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt to taste (I use 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs. each, chopped fresh basil, and parsley
1 tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce



Combine all in small bowl and set aside.

Shuck 6 ears of corn, wash, and lay out 6 sheets of 12x12 inch heavy duty foil. Place each ear of corn on a piece of foil and baste each with Cajun butter. Roll each ear in foil, folding ends over. Place on top shelf of a medium hot grill and grill for about 10 minutes or until corn makes a crackling sound. Turn over and grill for 10 more minutes. Divinely delicious!! Cest bon, cher!

Click below to order Tony's Original Creole seasoning and many other great Cajun products!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cajun Fourth of July Cook-Out

It's almost time for the Fourth of July, and that means it's time to bring on the best that summer has to offer. I will be posting several of my favorite grilling recipes, for the next few days, along with some yummy side dishes. There is nothing better than getting together with family and friends, especially if there is a feast behind it. Here is a partial menu of the spread that I will be preparing for my guests. Le bon manger, cher!!! Wish ya'll were here! Have a Happy, Fun 4th!!!

Fourth of July Cook-Out Menu

Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
Spicy BBQ Chicken and Ribs
Deviled Egg Potato Salad
Cajun Rice Dressing
Grilled Creole Vegetable Kabobs
Grilled Cajun Corn on the Cob
Fresh fruit and veggie platters
Banana Coladas
Southern Iced Tea w/Mint and Lemon
   
Cajun Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
1 tbs. or more, Cajun seasoning
12 large jalapenos, cut in half, lengthwise, and seeded
Two 8 oz. packages cream cheese
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. bacon, cut in half, lengthwise

Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2 inch strips, and season.


Sprinkle the top of each square of cream cheese with the minced garlic
Cut each square of cream cheese in half, lengthwise, and then cut each half into 6 pieces for a total of 12 pieces per square. Stuff each pepper with a piece of cream cheese, and press down. Then press a chicken strip down on top of the cream cheese. Wrap each pepper with a strip of bacon and hold in place with a toothpick. On an oiled grilling surface, grill away from direct heat for about 10 minutes on each side or until bacon is cooked. You might want to double the batch of these sinfully delicious poppers, cher! Bon appetit!

Cajun Rice Dressing

1 cup onions, chopped fine
1 cup celery, chopped fine
1 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/4 lb. chicken giblets, chopped, optional
Salt and Tabasco, to taste
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 bunch green onions, chopped, including tops
1  cup beef broth or stock
3 cups cooked rice

In heavy skillet, on medium heat, brown the beef, pork, giblets, salt and Tabasco, and cook, stir and chop with large spoon, until browned. Drain excess oil and add the trinity, (onions, bell peppers, and celery), garlic, and remaining seasonings and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth, stir, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the green onions and parsley and cook for 10 more minutes. Cut heat off and add the cooked rice and gently stir until well blended. Divinely delicious! Serves 6