Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spicy Cajun Margarita Shrimp + More Cajun Fun!

Here's another Cajun favorite, that is quick and easy and is out of this world, cher! I am happy to say that shrimp are, once again plentiful, here in Cajun country, so you might say that I've been making up for lost time. I have had shrimp, every day, for the past five days, and this is one of my absolute faves! Oh cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit!

Spicy Cajun Margarita Shrimp

2 lbs.  large shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
1/4 cup tequila
2 tbs.'s olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Place all ingredients, except shrimp, in a large zip lock bag. Shake to combine. Add shrimp and shake again. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 1 hour. Drain marinade and place the shrimp in a large grill skillet and cook on a medium hot grill for 3 minutes on each side. Serve with steamed or grilled veggies and a big frozen Margarita!. A perfect summer meal! Le bon manger!

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3rd Annual "Best Fest"

What do you get when you take the "Best Bakery" in Lafayette and team it up with the "Best Law Firm"? "Best Fest", with a free hamburger, along with free entertainment! Every year The Times of Acadiana, a local entertainment newspaper, conducts a poll of the "BEST OF" everything and residents cast their ballets. The Glenn Armentor Law Firm was voted #1 for the third year in a row. And Southside Bakery, which is also a restaurant, was not only voted the #1 bakery, but has won, hands down, for "Best Hamburgers" for 3 years in a row. To show his appreciation for this prestigeous honor, Mr. Armentor generously offered to pick up the tab for these #1 hamburgers to the first 2500 people to arrive at the #1 bakery. Only in Lafayette!

Thousands turned out and stood in the sweltering 95 degree heat for a chance for a free hamburger. The line was all the way around the building, with more arriving every minute!
There was a nice big tent set up, with free bottled water and huge fans. Wish that we could have these at our festivals. Dozens of prizes were given away and there was live entertainment.
Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns were rockin' the crowd, who were also voted "Best Band" in Acadiana. Here's a little clip I took of them, boogie-ing down at the Best Fest!

Hope you're all having a wonderful summer weekend! Merci beaucoup for coming by!

Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns


video




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice + Bayou Boogie

When an old friend called and said that she and her family would be coming into Lafayette today, to do a little shopping and would like to stop by, I was absolutely thrilled. The only problem was that I had to work and would not have time to prepare dinner for them. So, after checking my pantry and fridge, I decided to cook an oldie but goodie, Red Beans and Rice, in my trusty slow cooker. What could be easier than assembling the ingredients that could simmer all day while I was away and be ready when they arrived around 5:30 pm. So easy and delicious, cher! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

1 lb. package red kidney beans
6 cups water
2 links smoked sausage, sliced and cut in half
1 cup, cubed ham + add leftover ham bone for extra flavor
1 cup, each, chopped onion and bell pepper
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning
salt to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

Few good shakes Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups hot cooked rice

Combine the first 12 ingredients in electric slow cooker. Cook for 5 hours on high or for 8 hours on low. Discard bay leaves and mash some of the beans and add green onions and Tabasco, and cook for 15 more minutes. Add a little water, if necessary. Serve over hot cooked rice with a big tossed salad and French bread. Serves 6. Cest bon, cher!
Note: The sausage and ham can be omitted for a vegetarian delight.

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Bayou Boogie

Here's a clip of one of my favorite artists, Marcia Ball, playing one of my favorite songs, "Got My Red Beans Cookin", at this year's Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Hope ya'll are having a wonderful, fun, week! Merci beaucoup for stopping by! Let the good times roll, cher!
Marcia Ball

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nanny's Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins + An Award

Here's one of my favorite muffin recipes, handed down to me, by my dear godmother. She was well known for her delectable baked goods and also made these fabulous muffins with blackberries. I have many memories of going blackberry picking with her, as well. Both cest bon, cher, and perfect with a hot cup of my favorite "Community" brand coffee or tea! Enjoy!


Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp.'s baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries or blackberries

In large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and mix well. In small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add to the butter mixture, alternately with the buttermilk, until just mixed. Fold in blueberries.


Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups , 2/3 full and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Bon appetit!

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Some time ago, I was presented with the "Life is Good Award", by my dear friend, Eddie Bluelights. Merci beaucoup, cher, for this special award! He is the author of the very entertaining blogs, Clouds and Silvery Linings, and Plato's Procrastinations, each representing a side of his dual personality! He is also the host of the popular "Sunday Roast", where he is merciless in roasting his fellow bloggers, while at the same time, honoring them. Please do visit him, when you get a chance.
In order to accept this award, I must answer the 10 questions below and pass the award to six fellow bloggers.

1.
If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now? 

I chose to use my first name only, because you never know who is lurking out there, and it's worked out very well.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
It would have to be the time that I refused to obey my seventh grade teacher and got suspended from school, because of it.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the face in the mirror?
Big green eyes and usually a smile. :)


 4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
A frozen Pina Colada.


 5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Go dancing!


 6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
Yes, I want to publish my Cajun cookbook that I've been working on for years!
 

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the class shy person, or always ditching school? Describe who you were if not one of these.
I was the "Ann Landers" of the class. Everyone came to me for advice on everything from their love life to their homework.


8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what do you see?
When my daughter walked down the aisle on her wedding day.


 9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
It all depends on my mood, and the subject of the post.
 

10. If you had the choice to sit and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
I'm not a phone person and I love to read, so it would have to be "read".

WHEW! Gee Eddie, this must be what it feels like to get tortured, I mean, roasted! lol
I know, it's been almost a year, since you invited me, but someday, I promise, I will!

And without further adieu, I'd like to pass this lovely award to six fellow bloggers who truly do make life good! Congrats to all! Cheers!

Angie @ Gumbo Writer

Dee @ Homesick Cajun

Drick @ Drick's Rambling Cafe'

Katherine @ Smoky Mountain Cafe'

Linda @ Blue Star Gallery

Nanny @ The Good Life


Please pay them a visit, and tell them I sent you. You'll be glad that you did!
Merci beaucoup for stopping by!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Parmesan Shrimp w/ Spinach & Artichokes Over Angel Hair Pasta

Here's another fabulous recipe that has made it onto "my favorites list". Truly divine, cher, and guaranteed to please your family and your guests. Start with succulent Gulf shrimp and add spinach, artichokes, and tomatoes, all in a rich lemon, buttery, garlic sauce, and serve over angel hair pasta, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Oh cest bon! Bon Appetit!


Parmesan Shrimp w/ Spinach and Artichokes Over Angel Hair Pasta

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
2 eggs, beaten, plus a little milk
1 cup flour, to dust
2 tbs.'s olive oil

2 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 8 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. package angel hair pasta, cooked and drained

 

In large bowl, season shrimp with Cajun seasoning. Place flour and eggs in two separate, shallow dishes. Dredge seasoned shrimp in flour, and then in egg mixture, and then back in flour. Place olive oil in a large nonstick skillet, on medium heat, and pan fry shrimp, for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Remove from skillet , set aside, and keep warm..

Add butter to skillet, then add garlic, diced tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, and parsley. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Saute for 5 minutes and add white wine and lemon juice. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix veggie mixture with pasta, fold in shrimp, and top with Parmesan cheese. Serve with French bread and maybe a glass of wine! Cheers, cher! Sinfully good!


Have a wonderful week-end, ya'll! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Croissant French Toast w/ Strawberry Syrup + A Cajun Waltz

Since I have guests for the weekend, I wanted to make something special for breakfast this morning. With fresh Louisiana strawberries in abundance, right now, I decided to make this heavenly recipe , that I have adapted from "Southern Living, "40 Years of Our Best Recipes, 2007". Definitely one of my favorites! Oh cest bon, cher! Enjoy!


 

Croissant French Toast w/Strawberry Syrup
4 large day old croissants
2 large eggs
3/4 cup half and half, or milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbs.'s powdered sugar

Slice croissants in half, lengthwise. In shallow pan, whisk together half and half, or milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip croissant halves into mixture, coating well. Melt 1 tbs. butter in a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat. Add 4 croissant halves and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining butter and croissant halves. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with Fresh Strawberry Syrup. (recipe below) and perhaps a bit of whipped cream.

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbs.'s light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Stir and let stand until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then cook over low heat, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over French toast. Divine!



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I've received a request for a Cajun Waltz and here is a little clip that I took of the High Performance Band, swaying the crowd at Festival International de Louisiane, in April. Hope that ya'll are having a fabulous, fun filled, summer weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

High Performance Band
 
video

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vanilla Bread Pudding w/ Praline-Rum Sauce + "When the Coast is Clear"

Here's a sinfully delicious Cajun treat that is just out of this world! I got the recipe from one of my dear cousins, at a recent family gathering. So easy and a simply perfect ending to a light summer meal or even for breakfast, with your morning latte. One bite and you'll think you're in heaven, cher! This delicious bread pudding is so good that I could eat the whole pan! Cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit!



Vanilla Bread Pudding w/ Praline-Rum Sauce

12 slices of bread, torn into pieces
(I used honey wheat)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 pkg. French vanilla instant pudding mix

Place bread pieces in a 2 1/2 quart buttered casserole dish. In large bowl , mix sugar, cinnamon, eggs, milk, and pudding mix, with wire whisk, until well blended. Pour over bread pieces and blend until evenly coated. Place casserole dish in a larger baking pan, filled with one inch of water. Bake in a 350 degree oven, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


Praline-Rum Sauce

3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tbs.'s butter
1 small can evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbs.'s dark rum or
2 tsp's rum extract
Melt butter in saucepan, and then add brown sugar, milk, and pecans. Bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat stir in rum, or rum extract. Serve warm over bread pudding. Enjoy!

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As BP tries one more time to cap the oil leak with the Top Hat 10, an enormous crowd gathered on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama on Sunday, July 11, for a Jimmy Buffet benefit concert. Here he is, with The Coral Reefer Band, playing the song, "When the Coast is Clear". Enjoy!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Fourth of July Favorites + Bayou Boogie !

With just a few days left to finalize my menu for the Fourth, I am doing some last minute shopping, and trying to decide on the desserts that I will be serving, for our family cookout. These are some of the favorites that my family has requested. All cest bon ! Hope ya'll have a fabulous, fun, holiday weekend! Merci beaucoup for coming by! Let the good times roll, cher!

Happy 4th!

(click on title for recipe)














































































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Bayou Boogie

Here's a little clip of one of my favorite bands, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, rockin' the crowd at the Crawfish Festival. The man knows HOW to play an accordion! Crank it up for this one, cher! Dancing to this one is guaranteed to burn off those calories! Enjoy!