Monday, May 31, 2010

Luscious Summer Desserts + A Cajun Food Diary !

Here are two heavenly summertime desserts that will delight your taste buds! So light and delicious, that I really have to control myself or I would eat way too much of these divine treats! A dear friend of the family used to make this cake for us on special occasions, when I was growing up. Very easy and out of this world! Cest bon, cher!

 

 Pineapple Dream Cake
 
1 box yellow cake mix
1 large can crushed pineapple, w/juice
1 pkg. instant French vanilla pudding
1 container " light" cool whip

Make and bake cake, according to package directions. Cool slightly, and poke holes in cake with fork. Pour pineapple w/juice over cake. Make pudding, according to package directions and pour over pineapple layer. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Top with cool whip and serve. 
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And here is one of my all time favorites that my dear godmother passed on to me. It is absolutely sinfully delicious, cher, and is a perfect summer dessert! Enjoy!


Nanny's Strawberry Shortcake

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbs.'s water
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 lb. fresh strawberries, washed and sliced in half
Whipped cream

Cream butter and add sugar gradually and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add 1 tbs. at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, alternating with water. Beat the eggs lightly in bowl and add vanilla and lemon juice. Stir well and add to the dry mixture. Mix gently and pour into a greased loaf pan and bake @300 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Slice cake into eight slices. Place slice on dessert plate, top with whipped cream, then fresh sliced strawberries. repeat. Bon Appetit! Serves 4

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A Cajun Food Diary

It's been a fun couple of days in Cajun country, and the holiday weekend is not over yet! Here are a few pics of the fabulous food that my guests and I have been eating for the last 3 days! You might say that we've been on a seafood binge, getting it while we can!

Stuffed Shrimp and Fried Shrimp


Grilled Shrimp Salad

 

Cajun Fried Catfish Strips


Hot and Spicy Boiled Crawfish

 
Appreciation Cake at Crawfish Boil


And a little something that I cooked. (Crawfish Etouffee
)


Click here for recipe for Crawfish Etouffee


 

Hope that ya'll have a wonderful, happy holiday, mon amis!
Happy Memorial Day!





Friday, May 28, 2010

T.G.I.F. + Fabulous Cajun Sides

It's Friday and that means fun time and this evening, we'll be going to our annual community crawfish boil and then to the T.G.I.F block party at Downtown Alive, in Parc Sans Souci, where the fabulous group, GIVERS, will be performing and entertaining the crowd.











Also, on the agenda for the weekend is the annual Cajun Heartland State Fair, over at the Cajundome, that kicked off last night and will run for the next 10 days! This year's fair will host an incredible entertainment line-up, with many of your favorites, at the Cox Grandstand, located adjacent to the Cajundome. Come on out and get into the festival spirit for 10 days of fabulous Cajun music, food, and fun. The fair will also feature the Pepsi Playground, a huge amusement park with thrilling rides for all ages, and fun family oriented games . For more information and to purchase tickets online, click here. See ya'll there! Let the good times roll, cher!

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On Saturday night we'll be going to the fair, where Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns and Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie will be rockin' the crowd. Here is a little clip of Geno and his hotter than Tabasco band, that I took at Festival International, in April. Crank it up for this one, cher.

Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie


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Fabulous Cajun Sides

Here's another great dish that is a "must have" on my family's list, for our Memorial Day cookout! I concocted this recipe about 20 years ago, to take on a picnic at the beach, and it's been a family fave, ever since. The basic recipe was handed down by my dear mother, and I have added a few tweaks through the years, but still love the original, recipe too. Ca cest bon, cher!

Creole Potato Salad

5 lb.'s red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbs. white vinegar
10 eggs
3 tbsp.'s sweet pickle relish w/juice
1/2 cup each, onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped fine
5 tbs.'s mayo (more, if needed)
1 tsp. horseradish
2 tsp.'s creole mustard
1 tbs. creole 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. Add veggies and blend gently until well mixed. 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!!

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And I also wanted to share my most popular recipe on my blog with those of you who may not have seen it. It will definitely be on the table, at the cookout. Out of this world, cher! Enjoy!

Spicy Creole Jambalaya

2 cups each, cooked ham, smoked sausage, and/ or chicken,
( chopped into bite sized pieces)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp.'s garlic, minced
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce,
3 cups water
1 tbs. creole seasoning
2 cups raw rice

On medium heat, melt butter in large Dutch oven, and add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 more minutes. Add chopped cooked ham, sausage, and/ or chicken and creole seasoning and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce , Worcestershire sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add rice, stir and cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 8 Bon Appetit!


 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bayou Bourbon Beans + Oil Spill Update !

With only a few days to go until the holiday weekend, I am starting to finalize my Memorial Day BBQ menu. I've asked around to see what dishes my family members would like and this recipe was unanimous. These beans are killer and can be made a day ahead, giving you a little more time for fun! Enjoy! A fabulous dish that will make your mouth water, cher!

Bayou Bourbon Beans

1 (15 oz.) can pork n' beans
2 (15 oz.) cans (ranch w/ jalapeno beans)
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup spicy BBQ sauce (I used Hickory Smoke)
1 tbs. Creole or yellow mustard
1 tbs. Worcestershire
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs.'s minced garlic
1 shot bourbon
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
Salt and Tabasco to taste

In large heavy Dutch oven, brown ground beef with 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning and drain excess oil.  Add onion,  bell pepper,  and garlic, and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans, Wor. sauce, mustard, brown sugar, and BBQ sauce, and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes. Add chopped bacon,  and bourbon and simmer for 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Oh cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit!

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Operation Top Kill

BP has started the procedure that is shooting large quanities of mud "non toxic drilling fluids", down into the gushing well, in hopes of STOPPING the horrible leak that is spewing enormous amounts of crude into the Gulf, each day, with over 6 million gallons to date!
Here is a video about the "Top Kill" operation going on as we speak! They will know in 24 hours if it's going to work! Make it or break it time!
PLEASE PRAY THAT IT WORKS and send lots of positive thoughts to the Gulf.
Merci beaucoup, ya'll!




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Monday, May 24, 2010

Cajun Cookout Preview + The Latest on the Oil Spill

With Memorial Day right around the corner, I have been looking over my summer recipes and trying to put together a menu for our family barbeque. This is what I have, so far. Here is my favorite recipe for grilled shrimp. My Dad says that anything that tastes this good, should be declared sinful and be against the law! Cest bon, cher!

 

For the seafood lovers:

Grilled Shrimp with Bourbon Glaze

1 lb. (16- 20 count) large shrimp, peeled and diviened, w/ tails left on
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tbs.'s butter, cut into pieces
1 tsb's. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Salt and Tabasco to taste
2 tbs.'s bourbon

Season shrimp with 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning, and set aside. In a 2 qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add the garlic and stir until golden. Remove from heat and add bourbon, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Light mixture with a long match to burn alcohol off. On low heat, add butter, gradually, until sauce forms. Add 1 tps. of Old Bay seasoning and salt. Brush shrimp with Bourbon glaze. Arrange shrimp in grill pan in a single layer. Grill on medium heat about 5 minutes on each side. Baste shrimp often. Fabulous! Serves 4

For the meat lovers:

Photobucket
(click on title for recipe)
Cajun Beer Can Chicken and




(click on title for recipe)

Grilled Beef Tenderloin w/ Mushroom Wine Sauce






And, of course, lots of delicious Cajun side dishes and appetizers and desserts!

Since I am having company, for the weekend, arriving on Thurs., I also went to my fresh produce market and bought some fruits, veggies, and chili peppers.






We are rich in nature's bounty, right now, with all of the fresh fruits and veggies, and I will be posting some mouth-watering sides, so stay tuned!






The Latest

Our Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, has had enough! He is going ahead with the dredging , and the building of sandbars, WITHOUT a permit from the government, that the state has been waiting on for two weeks, now! The whole thing is just getting bigger and bigger, and unless they can stop it soon, it will be coming to a beach near you, sooner or later!


 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rockin' on the River - Spring Finale'

We had an absolute blast at the final Spring concert of the season, at the Rhythms on the River music series, last night, in Lafayette! It was a lovely warm evening, although a bit humid, and if you were dancing, it was downright hot! The Town Square at River Ranch was overflowing with a huge, rambunctious crowd, ready to relieve some stress! This is how Cajuns relieve stress and we've had more than our share, lately! We like to live life to it's fullest, because we never know what tomorrow will bring! Lassiez les bon temp rouler, cher!

Many people went straight from work and decided to dine on the patio at The City Club Bar and Grille. We opted for the Shrimp Fettucinni, at the Rouse's Market booth. 

There were long lines at the drink booths and these guys could barely keep up with the demand for ice cold beer. Really hits the spot, after a stressful day, at work!

The legendary Wayne Toups and Zydecajun took the stage and when I tell you that this band was HOTTER THAN HOT, then you know that I mean it, cher! They were boogie-ing down!
And there was a whole lotta dancing , two-stepping, and jitter-bugging going on! This crowd was lovin' this band! One of the best that Cajun country has to offer! Geaux Wayne!

I ran into two dear friends of mine who were celebrating their 31st wedding anniversary. And these two sure know how to party! Happy Anniversary G. and J. and many, more! Cheers!

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And here's a little clip that I took of this fabulous band. I had to upload it to You Tube because it was too large for Blogger. Check out my You Tube Page, when you get a chance, under Bayougirl! Subscribe, I'll be adding a lot more, soon! Wishing ya'll a fun and happy weekend mon cher amis!! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Wayne Toups and Zydecajun

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Amaretto Sauce + Cajun Boogie

An old friend called to invite me to a surprise birthday party, for another old friend. Since it is a dinner party, I didn't mind when she asked me to bring a dessert. It was a last minute invitation, so I had to work with what I had on hand. This Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Amaretto Sauce is divine and is so easy to make. Cest bon!

 

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Amaretto Sauce

1 loaf "day old" bread ( I used a 16 oz. loaf of honey wheat bread)
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Tear bread into bite sized pieces and place in large bowl. In large, separate bowl, combine milk, brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Mix well, and pour mixture over bread and blend gently. Pour into a buttered 9x13 baking dish and cover with foil. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until set.
Serve with warm Chocolate Amaretto Sauce.

Chocolate Amaretto Sauce

  4 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1 tbs. butter
6 tbs.'s whipping cream
4 tbs.'s Amaretto

Combine first three ingredients in saucepan and stir and cook over low heat, until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in Amaretto. This sauce may also be made without the Amaretto, but I find that it adds a sinfully delicious flavor! Enjoy!

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Cajun Boogie

One of my dear bloggie buds requested some more Cajun Boogie. Here is a little clip that I took at this year's Festival International, featuring the High Performance Band.
Let the good times roll, cher!



video

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spicy Shrimp & Pasta Bake w/ Jalapeno Cream Sauce +The Latest on the Oil Spill

Here's another favorite recipe that has evolved over time, first made with a roasted garlic, Alfredo sauce, until I discovered this divine, jalapeno cream sauce at a shrimp cook-off, and have been using it ever since. Out of this world, cher! I have used bow-tie, here, but any kind of pasta will work. Bon appetit, cher!

 
Spicy Shrimp and Pasta Bake w/ Jalapeno Cream Sauce

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup each, onions, bell peppers, and celery, (the Cajun trinity)
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1 pkg. favorite pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.



 


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain , rinse, and place in large bowl.

In large skillet, saute the "trinity" in 2 tbs.'s olive oil, for 5 minutes.










Add shrimp and continue to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.









Make cream sauce (recipe below) and add to shrimp. Pour over pasta and mix well. Place in a greased casserole, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and bake @ 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Cest bon' cher!

Jalapeno Cream Sauce
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbs. vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1/3 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup light sour cream

Saute peppers and garlic in medium skillet, in oil over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well. Makes 1 1/4 cups. Serve with a big tossed salad and cornmeal biscuits, for a delightful meal. Cest bon, cher!

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The Latest on the Oil Spill in Vermilion Parish

To say that there has been a run on seafood, in Cajun country, is an understatement! Quite naturally, people are starting to panic, at just the thought of a life without our wonderful Gulf seafood. To see a video of what's happening , locally, here, with the oil spill, click here.
This is the son of an old friend of mine, from Abbeville, being interviewed on our local news, last night. To learn more about the crude disaster and go to the Google Crisis Site, click here.

Doesn't it make you really question our government's ability to handle ANY crisis in a timely manner? It was like this, for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike, too. Our Louisiana coast has been wiped-out four times in five years, which is bad enough, but for them to just sit by and prevent our residents from laying available boom, is just unbelievable! And I wonder why BP is in charge of laying the boom anyway? We need the national guard, and state and federal government to do something! SOON! Meanwhile, while they sit on Capital Hill and discuss who's to blame, the slick is inching ever so close to our beloved Vermilion Bay. (only 80 miles east, now) No communication = catastrophe! What do you think about this?

Happy T.G.I.F!!!
Hope ya'll have a wonderful, fun weekend, cher amis! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Fun Cajun Weekend + Bayou Boogie.

It was another great weekend in Cajun country, and lots of good eating, too! I started my Mother's Day off, a little early and you might say that I went on a weekend binge. On Saturday evening, I went to an early Mother's Day dinner celebration at Copeland's of New Orleans/Lafayette, with my girl-friends. Two of us, split a Fried Seafood Platter and each got a salad and a glass of wine. Divine, cher!

After we were thoroughly stuffed, we went downtown to a fundraiser concert, that my darling daughter was spearheading, at Grant Street Dancehall. There were five bands and it was an absolute blast! Thankfully, I was able to dance some of these calories off. I will be doing a post about the benefit dance, soon.


Then on Mother's Day, we spent the afternoon with family and friends and enjoyed a nice afternoon on the bayou. It was a beautiful day and they were grilling up a storm!

Sausage, Turkey Burgers, and Wings, were all cest bon, cher!



Then, that evening, my dear son took me out to a nice dinner, for some grilled shrimp, steamed veggies, and a sinful dessert. He had to work all day, and had to miss all of the day's festivities, so it was nice to relax and enjoy a fabulous meal together.





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Hope that you all had a very happy Mother's Day, too! One of my dear bloggie friends wanted to hear some more "bayou boogie". Here's a little clip of Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, playing at Whiskey River Landing, in Henderson, a few weeks ago, during Festival International. As always, there was some nitty-gritty dancing going on! Let the good times roll, cher! Hope that ya'll have a fantastic, fun week!

Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas + Mid-Week Fun

Photobucket

Here's a delectable Caj-Mex favorite that is just perfect for those nights when you are running short on time and want to please your unexpected, dinner guests or just want a quick and easy supper. This fabulous, spicy Caj-Mex dish will delight your guests and have them coming back for more! Out of this world, cher! Enjoy!  (photo courtesy of photobucket)

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas
 
3 tbs.'s butter
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, w/ tops, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large can "hot" enchilada sauce, divided
1 can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup or more, shredded, cheddar cheese
6 flour tortillas

In large skillet, saute onion and bell pepper in butter for 5 minutes. Add cooked chicken and green onions, and stir in cream of chicken soup, half of enchilada sauce, and green chilies. Stir and mix well and simmer for 10 minutes. Fill centers of tortillas with about 1/2 cup chicken mixture and roll up.

Place filled tortillas with seams side down. Top with extra enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheese and cilanrto. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Top with sour cream, and serve with a fresh garden salad and enjoy !

Cinco de Mayo Fun!
  
It was a lovely evening and we joined some friends for the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Agave's Mexican Grill and Cantina, in downtown Lafayette. As I walked past the band area, someone called my name. It was my dear old friend, Ronnie, whose fabulous blues band was going to entertain the crowd. The patio was packed to the gills with party goers.


This group of Cajun gals were having fun!
"Long Live the French", cheers!

The other side of this table.

So among good friends, I ordered a Margarita and got a pic of my friend's blues band. He is the lead guitar player, on left, with the berret and sunglasses on, behind the speaker.


I also took a little clip of one of my favorite oldie, but goodie songs, "I Hear Ya Knockin', But You Can't Come In"!

video

Hope you all are having a fun week, too! Merci beaucoup for stopping by and for all of your thoughts and prayers for the Gulf Coast oil spill. We are hoping to be spared, but we are preparing for the worse, too. We know all too well, here in Cajun country, that anything is possible, with this thing.

Crab and Shrimp Etouffee' + Festival Lagniappe!

Here's a family favorite that will tantalize your taste buds beyond belief and have you going back for seconds! Succulent crab meat and shrimp, combined in a spicy Cajun stew is guaranteed to please, cher! And so easy, for those busy days. Serve with a big tossed salad and plenty of French bread. Ca cest bon! Enjoy!


 

Crab and Shrimp Etouffee'

1 cup chopped onions,
1/2 cup each, bell peppers. and celery
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1 can Rotel brand, diced tomatoes and green chilies, (undrained)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste
Few good shakes Tabasco
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups water or seafood stock
1/2 cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. lump crab meat
4 tbs.'s butter
4 tbs.'s flour

Coat shrimp with lemon juice, season with Cajun seasoning, and set aside. Melt the butter in a large heavy pot, on low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly, until a light to medium brown color is reached. Add chopped onion, bell pepper , celery, garlic, and tomatoes and saute on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the water or stock and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and add seasoned shrimp, crab meat, and white wine and stir. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add parsley and green onions in the last ten minutes of cooking time. Add a few good shakes of Tabasco and serve over hot cooked rice. Serves 4.Le bon manger! Bon appetit!

Festival Lagniappe!

It was another fun-filled Cajun weekend, at the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival! Except for a few clouds and sprinkles, here and there, the weather held up and the stormy weather stayed to our north and east. A good rain came in the night and I slept right through it.

The music was great with a super line-up, and the crowd was ready to dance!
Several of my faves were playing, including Keith Frank and the Soileau Family Band and Hunter Hayes!



My friend's brother-in-law owns this drink stand, so we had special privileges!

I ate crawfish galore, but couldn't resist stopping by the "Roger's Cajun Pistol" booth, and getting one of these! Oh cest bon, cher! Sinfully delicious!



We had to cancel our plans for Jazz Fest, on Sunday. New Orleans was under a tornado watch, with rain and wind. You win a few, you loose a few, and a few are just rained out, cher! Cie la vie!


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Please keep the entire gulf coast in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days, as the giant oil spill inches ever so closer to land. So many people I know are either in the oil industry or the seafood industry. These two, and related industries, furnish the livelihoods for most of the people, in Cajun country. It's too soon to predict whether our area will be directly affected, but one thing is for sure, we will ALL be affected, one way or another, by this terrible tragedy. Merci beaucoup for your prayers and for stopping by! Wishing ya'll a wonderful, happy week!