Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cajun Super Bowl Appetizers + Cajun Boogie

With the big game only one week away, I've been tweaking my menu and experimenting with a few new dishes for my Superbowl party buffet. Since the 7 day forecast is calling for temps. to be in the 60's and sunny, here in Cajun country, I will be including a few grilled items, as well.  Here are a few of the mouthwatering appetizers that I plan to serve my friends and family. Enjoy! Bon appetit!

Cajun Jalapeno Chicken Poppers

2  large, 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

4 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. (photo courtesy of Google Images)



Grilled Andouille Sausage Bites w/ Hot Cheesy Beer Dip

1 pkg. Andouille (or other smoked sausage)

Grill sausage links on medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes on each side, basting with bbq sauce. Slice into 1/2 inch slices, insert toothpicks, and arrange on a platter.


Hot Cheesy Beer Dip
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbs. prepared horseradish
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Few shakes Tabasco
Few shakes crushed red pepper flakes
1 bottle (12 oz.) flat beer, (I use Abita Amber)

Combine all ingredients, except beer, in large microwave bowl. Add beer to desired consistency. Mix well. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and continue to microwave for 2 more minutes. Mix well and serve with sausage bites. Makes 4 cups.


French Bread Pizza

1 large loaf , (20inch) French bread, split, lengthwise
1 pkg. pepperoni slices 
1/2 lb. cooked small shrimp
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 cup jalapeno slices, (jar variety) 
1 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup Creole pizza sauce (recipe below) 
16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Creole Pizza Sauce
1 large can tomato puree
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, sliced thin
1 tsp. creole seasoning
2 tbs.'s fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbs. olive oil

Saute the garlic and green onions in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree, parsley and seasonings, and cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.


Place bread, crust side down on a large cookie sheet. Spread Creole sauce evenly over the two French bread halves. Layer veggies, starting with the mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions. Add cheese, then pepperoni, shrimp, olives, and jalapenos. Top with a little more cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cut each half into 10, 2 inch wide servings. Cest bon, cher!


********
Cajun Boogie
I've had a special request for a video taken at Whiskey River Landing, in Henderson, Louisiana. For those of you who have been there,  I don't have to tell you what a blast it is! For those of you who haven't, here's a little clip of some nitty-gritty dancin' going on at a recent Sunday afternoon dance. Oh the life of a Cajun, is oh so fun! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher!




Hope that ya'll  have a great weekend, filled with good times! Merci for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pina Colada Bread Pudding + A Fab Cajun Dinner + More Bayou Blues

Here's another one of my family's favorite desserts that is just out of this world and will have you going back for more. Sometimes I like to make this luscious bread pudding in my slow cooker and eat it for breakfast with a good strong cup of Community coffee and sometimes I bake it in the oven. One bite of this decadent treat and you'll think you're in heaven, cher! It's the next best thing to being on a sunny island. Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

Pina Colada Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce

1 (16 oz.) loaf French bread, (torn into bite sized pieces
1 (10 oz.) can frozen pina colada drink mix
6 oz. pineapple juice
1 large can, (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 small bananas, sliced
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup light rum
1 small can, (8 oz.) crushed pineapple

In large bowl, tear bread into bite sized pieces. Place the next 8 ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. Stir in the crushed pineapple. Combine mixture with the bread pieces and stir well to coat. Place in slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours. Serves 8.

If you prefer to bake it in the oven, follow the basic recipe, and place mixture into a lightly greased baking dish, and then into a larger pan of water about 2 inches deep. Bake @ 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Top with whipped cream,  or if you want a little added touch of decadence, serve with my rum sauce. (recipe below)

Rum Sauce
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tbs.'s water
2 tbs.'s dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan. Add the sugar, egg yolk, and water. Bring to a boil and cook on a full boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the rum. Strain and serve over bread pudding. Bon appetit!

****************************************************************************
A Fab Cajun Dinner

It was another great weekend, and I decided to reward myself for two weeks of sticking to my diet, by going out to dinner at Copeland's Restaurant, for a dear friend's birthday celebration. It was a perfect occasion to go off the diet and feast on some delectable Cajun cuisine. Here are a few of the dishes that we sampled.  All sinfully good! My darling daughter snapped these with her I Phone because I did the unthinkable and forgot my camera!

New Orleans Crab Cakes w/ Shrimp Alfredo Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta
 

Crab Stuffed Catfish Bordelaise


Red Beans and Rice w/ Grilled Andouille Sausage

*****************************************************************************
 More Bayou Blues

And the celebration continued over at Artmosphere Bistro and Art Gallery, in downtown Lafayette. The Bayou Blues Jam was already in progress, when we arrived.  Some of my old pals from Abbeville were on the stage, and jammin' down. My son's friend was tearing it up on the harp and singing the blues. Geaux Paul, Ronnie, and Jerry! Let the good times roll, cher!


Wishing ya'll a warm and happy week! Merci beaucoup for coming by!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Marguerite's Spicy Shrimp w/ Mushroom-Wine Sauce + Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Here's another Cajun delight that is sinfully delicious and so quick and easy for those busy days!  I was having a few friends over for dinner, last night, and this new twist on an old favorite seemed to be a perfect fit with with the lighter fare that I've been preparing and eating in the New Year. I normally make an Alfredo sauce with butter and heavy cream, to go with shrimp and pasta, but decided to lighten up the sauce and the results were fab! Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

Marguerite's Spicy Shrimp w /Mushroom-Wine Sauce

1 1/2  lb.'s  large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs.'s olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1  jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup each, onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can water
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning (recipe below)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In large bowl, squeeze lemon juice on shrimp and season with Cajun seasoning. Toss to coat.

Saute garlic and green onions in olive oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes. Add the trinity, mushrooms, and jalapeno and saute for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and fresh parsley and stir and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the cream of mushroom soup, water, and wine and mix well. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese,  mix well and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve over pasta with a big tossed salad,  and garlic bread, for a delightful meal. And maybe a nice glass of wine! Bon appetit!

Cajun Seasoning Blend   
1 tbs. salt
2 tbs.'s onion powder
2 tbs.'s garlic powder
2 tbs.'s paprika
1 tbs. cayenne pepper
1 tbs. black pepper
1 tbs. celery flakes

1 tbs. dried thyme

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well blended. Store in air tight container and pour into a shaker, and use as needed.


*******************************************************************
Mardi Gras in New Orleans

It's that time of year again!  Mardi Gras in the air, and you can just feel it! Parties, king cakes, balls, beads, decadent Cajun and Creole cuisine, and parades, all so much fun! Mardi Gras is celebrated all over Louisiana and the country and I will be sharing some of those celebrations with you!  Here's a little clip of last year's, Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy, the biggest Mardi Gras celebration of all! Let the good times roll, cher!




Wishing ya'll a fun and fantastic weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Muffaletta Pasta Salad + More Awards + Bayou Blues

After gaining 5 lbs. over the holidays, I've been on a veggie diet for the past two weeks and I'm happy to say that I'm now back down to my pre-holiday weight. Lots of salads and wraps and vegetarian fare, with a Cajun/Creole flair, of course. A cleansing of the body and mind is always on my list of New Year's resolutions and I like to Feng Shui my home, too and clear away clutter that has built up during the previous year. Here's is a fabulous dish that one of my dear friends brought to share for my New Year's buffet and it is out of this world, cher! Bon appetit!

Muffaletta Pasta Salad

 12 ounces rigatoni or penne pasta, cooked according to package directions, and drained
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, cubed
1/2 lb. cooked ham, cubed
1/2 lb. genoa salami, cubed
1 1/2 cups Boscoli Italian Olive Salad Mix (available at Wal Mart and most grocery stores) or online @ cajungrocer.com
2 tbs.'s red wine vinegar
1/2 cup light mayo
2 tbs.'s Creole mustard
1 tbs.or more Cajun seasoning
Salt and Tabasco to taste
  Combine the first 7 ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Combine the wine vinegar, mayo, mustard, and seasonings in small bowl,  and toss with the pasta mixture. Chill for 2 hours, prior to serving. Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

*******
Awards

Now on to the awards! My dear friend, Eddie @ Clouds and Silvery Linings recently presented me with two prestigious awards . Merci beaucoup, cher, for the great awards! I am honored and will display them proudly on my sidebar. If you do not already know Eddie, he is a talented writer, comedian, and poet, and has two fabulous blogs, one for each of his personalities. He is as "canaille" as they come and if I didn't know better, I would swear that he is a Cajun! Cheers, cher!


There are three conditions to accepting this highly prestigious award.

1. You answer five simple questions - these appear at the end of this post. 
(concocted by Eddie)

2. You pass the awards to at least five or to as many fellow bloggers you wish, asking them the same questions or five of your own.

3. You accept the other award as a sort of Get One, Get TWO Free promotion LOL


So now on to the questions: (concocted by Eddie)

Please note: one word answers not acceptable. Expound your ideas/answers in a formally considered written response of at least two sentences. LOL

1. What came first - the chicken or the egg?

Well now, Eddie,  everyone knows that a chicken comes from an egg, right? So the egg would have to come first, right? But it came from the chicken! LOL

2. Which facet of blogging do you enjoy most?
a) Writing
b) Visiting
c) Commenting
d) Reading people's comments to your posts

I enjoy all of these facets of blogging. But if I had to choose one, I would have to say that I enjoy writing,  the most.

3. Runner beans - do they really grow clockwise round canes in the southern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere - or is this a load of tosh, they grow either way wherever they are?

Hate to sound dim,  but what are runner beans? You Brits sure have a language all of your own! LOL

4. What attracts you most to the opposite gender?
a) A good sense of humour, lashings of personality, charm and lots of wit
b) He/She is loaded with dosh
c) He/She is romantic
d) He/She has a fast sports car like a Corvette
e) Good looks
f) A cheeky smile across a crowded room
g) Neither - please specify
h) Other - I cannot imagine an answer to this one!!

(Please note you cannot choose ALL because he/she does not exist! but if you choose a) I will gladly email you my telephone number LOL)

Oh he does exist, so I would have to say, ALL of the above, plus
h) Other- he MUST be an excellent dancer and cook!!!

5. What New Year's resolution did you make?

I made several, but the main one is to become an award free blog, after this post! LOL

And finally, I would like to pass both of these awards to ALL of my 246 wonderful followers! (links on the Followers gadget, on my sidebar) Please visit them when you find time.. Help yourself, mon cher amis! Ya'll are the best of the rest and I appreciate each and every one of you!!

*******
Bayou Blues
And for your entertainment, here's a little clip of some bayou blues that a good friend of mine took at last night's Birthday Bash for Lil' Buck Sinegal, at the Blue Moon Saloon, in Lafayette. Lil' Buck is an awesome, legendary guitar player, and was celebrating his 67th birthday, playing a gig with the one and only, Buckwheat Zydeco, on the keyboard. The filled-to-capacity, Boomer crowd was loving this hot combo! Crank it up and let the good times roll, cher!


Merci beaucoup for stopping by! Hope ya'll have a fabulous, fun filled, weekend!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cajun Tailgating Faves + Bayou Boogie!

Here are a few Cajun faves that are perfect for watching the play-off games that I've adapted from the fabulous "Cajun Men Cook" cookbook, compiled by the Beaver Club of Lafayette.. They are very easy to make and are sinfully delicious and will delight your guests. Cest bon, cher!

Ultimate Cajun Nachos

2 lbs. ground beef
2 tbs.'s vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can sliced black olives , drained
1 jar picante sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1 8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
1 8 oz. roll / package jalapeno cheese spread
1 bunch green onions w/ tops, chopped fine
Sour cream for garnish (optional) 
2 large bags tortilla chips

Brown meat in vegetable oil, in a 4 quart iron pot or heavy Dutch oven.  Add taco seasoning and Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix well. Add a little water, if needed,  to prevent sticking. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


 Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, picante sauce, salt, black olives, black pepper, and red pepper. Stir to mix well and cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a 13x9x2 inch baking pan, alternate layers of nacho chips, meat and cheese, ending with cheese on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with green onions. Out of this world! Serve with a cold beer or two. Enjoy!

*******

Cajun Sausage-Beer Bread

3 cups self rising flour
2 1/2 tbs.'s sugar
1 can beer at room temperature
1/4 cup (jar variety) sliced jalapenos
2 links Andouille sausage, cooked and diced (or other smoked sausage)
2 tbs.'s butter, melted 


Mix all ingredients, except butter, in the order shown, in a large bowl. Allow beer to foam, while pouring into the flour mixture. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Pat down and make a deep trench down the center to prevent it from rising too high. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Brush with butter. Continue baking for 10 more minutes or until golden brown.


 This is a crusty bread, but will soften when it cools. Best if eaten the same day. No problem because there won't be any leftovers. When I tell you that this bread is divine, then you know that I mean it, cher Enjoy!

I am sharing these at ~ Game Day-Week 7 @ Drick's Rambling Cafe 

*******

Bayou Boogie

Now that the holidays are mostly just a distant memory and most of us have already broken a few of our New Year's resolutions, it's time to prepare for the Mardi Gras season, which officially began on January 6, or the "Twelfth Night" after Christmas. It's a magical time of year, with lots of fun parties, elaborate balls and parades, crazy costumes, decadent cuisine, and great music! A time to celebrate all things Cajun and we have two months to do it, this year, with Mardi Gras day, better known as Fat Tuesday, falling on March 8th, this year. Perhaps there is no other  time of the year that expresses the "joie de vivre" of the Cajun spirit, better than Mardi Gras. Here's a little clip that I took of the "hotter than hot", Balfa Toujours Band, rockin' the crowd at the Blue Moon Saloon, at last year's Lundi Gras party. Let the good times roll, cher!

video 

Wishing ya'll a wonderful, happy week, filled with good times!
Merci beaucoup for stopping by and many thanks to my new followers!

Remember to: LOOK FORWARD, NOT BACK

Monday, January 3, 2011

Giveaway Winner + Cajun Holiday Fun !

It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of my Cajun cookbook giveaway. (winner was randomly selected by random.org) And the winner is #9........ Drick @ Drick's Rambling Cafe!!! Drick is a fabulous Southern chef from Alabama and his blog and recipes are "over the top". Please pay him a visit when you have time. Congratulations Drick, I know that you will love this cookbook and put it to good use. Enjoy, cher! Please send me your snail mail so that I can get this treasure in the mail to you. Many thanks to all of you who entered and commented.



*****************************************************************************
Cajun Holiday Fun

Hoping that you all had a wonderful New Year's celebration!  Mine was fab and I'd like to thank everyone who stopped by to wish me a Happy New Year. I just love the beginning of a new year and January is one of my favorite months because 1. the holidays are over, and  2. January 6, better known as the twelfth night, signals the beginning of carnival season in Cajun country and the beginning of the celebration of Mardi Gras! YAY!  The celebration will continue with each Krewe having it's own ball and parties,  ending on Mardi Gras Day, which is a little later this year, on March 8th. Lots of fun ahead, but here are a few pics of Cajun fun over the holidays. Still have lots more pics and videos to upload, so stay tuned.

Beausoleil at Medicine Show 14  (Acadiana Center for the Arts)


 Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys CD Release Party - Blue Moon Saloon


Here's a little clip of the "packed to the gills" crowd, rockin' and rollin' to the spicy sounds of this hotter than chili peppers band! Let the good times roll, cher! Oh the life of a Cajun is oh so fun!

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
New CD "Grand Isle"


Wishing you all a wonderful 2011, filled with fun! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!