Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cajun New Year's Brunch Buffet + New Year's Boogie !

With 2010 coming to an end, I am planning on hosting a New Year's Day brunch buffet for my family and friends. It will be quite a spread and packed with delectable Cajun and Creole favorites, with plenty of black eye peas for good luck, and Bloody Mary's for those still feeling the effects of their New Year's Eve celebration. Bon Appetit and Happy New Year! 

(click on titles to view recipes)

And if you're wondering what to do with that ham bone in the freezer from Christmas dinner, here's a way to use it for your New Year's celebration. Cajun tradition has it that if you eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day, you will have good luck all year! Here's an easy, delicious recipe for slow cooker black-eyed peas that will have you adding this fabulous dish to your table at any time of year! Le bon manger'!

Slow Cooker "Good Luck" Black-Eyed Peas

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup each, red and green bell peppers, and celery
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1 can diced Ro-tel tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 quart water, (more, if needed)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
Few good shakes Tabasco
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 cup ham, chopped
1 ham bone, (with some meat left on)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, tops included, sliced

Saute the onions, bell peppers, celery, and garlic, in the vegetable oil, until soft. (about 10 minutes) Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, except the parsley and green onions, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low, for 7 to 8 hours. Remove ham bone and add the parsley and green onions in the last 30 minutes, stir well, and maybe add a little more hot sauce. Cest bon, cher!

New Year's Bayou Boogie

Back by popular demand, here's a little clip of Andre Thierry and Zydeco Magic that will get you in party mode to ring in the new year! A little Zydeco for those of you who may be snowed in or otherwise can't get out to celebrate. Grab a glass of champagne and crank it up cher, and let the good times roll! Out with the old and in with the new!

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, filled with good times!
Merci beaucoup for coming by and for all of your lovely comments!

  Happy 2011, Ya'll! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher! 
 Cheers mon amis!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cajun Cookbook Giveaway + Crawfish Dip + An Award

Hoping that ya'll all had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was wonderful and I'd like to thank everyone who stopped by and sent me warm holiday greetings. I'd also like to say merci beaucoup to my new followers and if I have not been by to see you, yet, it's just because I've been very busy cooking for and celebrating Christmas. This is my 300th post and I'd like to celebrate by giving away an awesome Cajun cookbook. "Something to Talk About", compiled by The Junior League of Lafayette is chocked full of wonderful Cajun and Creole delights and takes you through each season, as we celebrate them, here in South Louisiana. To be eligible to win,  just leave a comment on this post and tell me that you're a follower. The winner will be randomly selected on January 1st and announced shortly thereafter.

I am finalizing my menu for my New Year's Day, brunch buffet, but I just wanted to share a scrumptious dip recipe that I will be serving my guests, that I adapted from this cookbook. I will be using crawfish, but it also can be made with shrimp, and it is out of this world!
Crawfish  Dip

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup each onions, bell pepper, and celery, diced
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
4 tbs.'s white wine
2 tbs.'s seafood stock or clam juice
Salt to taste
1 lb. cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 lbs. peeled crawfish tails or peeled small shrimp
1/4 cup each fresh parsley and green onions, chopped

Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and celery and saute' for 5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic and stir well. Stir in white wine and seafood stock, and reduce heat to low. Add crawfish tails and salt and mix well and cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Gradually add cream cheese until melted, stirring often and cook for 5 minutes. Add green onions and parsley and a little
more white wine if mixture is too thick. Transfer to a dip bowl and serve with pastry shells. Makes 2 quarts. Sinfully delicious! Enjoy!

 An Award

I also have an award that I'd like to pass along to some of my favorite blog buddies who never fail to make me smile. Kitty @ The Block was kind enough to present me with  the "Making Smiles on Faces" award. Thanks so much, Kitty, for including me on your list for this special award. Kitty is a Louisiana gal and talented writer who is now living on the East coast, and if you haven't visited her fabulous blog, you're in for a real treat! Since there are no strings attached to this award, I would like to pass it along to the following bloggers who always put a smile on my face and make me laugh. Please pay them a visit, when you have time, and tell them that I sent you!  (in no particular order) 

Congrats to all! Wishing you all a fun and fantastic week!  Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cajun Christmas Drinks + Fun on the Bayou!

Well, we're down to the wire, with only 2 days to go, and I wanted to share a few of the drinks that I will be serving at my Christmas Eve party. They are all sinfully delicious and festive and will delight your guests. Cheers, cher amis!  (photos courtesy of Google)

Ultimate Cajun  Eggnog

5 scoops French vanilla ice cream
5 scoops mocha ice cream
1 1/2 cups purchased eggnog
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup brandy
2 tbs.'s orange liqueur
Chocolate shavings and grated nutmeg and/or cinnamon sticks for garnishes

Combine all ingredients, except garnishes, in blender and blend on lowest speed until the mixture is smooth and frothy. Pour into pitcher and sprinkle with garnishes. Fab!

Frozen Pomegranate Margaritas

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/3 cup tequilla (I use Jose Quervo Gold)
1/8 cup Triple Sec
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups ice cubes

Combine all ingredients , except salt in blender and pulse until well combined. Rim glasses with a lime wedge, then dip in salt. Garnish with a lime wedge. Divine!

Black Santa Martini

4 ounces coffee liqueur
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces peppermint schnapps
Mint leaves or peppermint sticks for garnish

Place all ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake for a few minutes and pout into martini glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and/ or peppermint sticks. Serves 2. Out of this world!

Fun on the Bayou

Here's a little clip of the Grammy winning Beausoleil band, playing at Medicine Show 14 in downtown Lafayette on Saturday night. This fabulous show, that also featured the one and only, Zachary Richard, Grammy nominated,  Feufollet, and famed,  slide-guitarist, Sonny Landreth was held in it's new venue,  the new Acacdiana Center for the Arts. The annual fundraiser, has raised over a million dollars in funds for the Tommy Comeaux Endowment for the Arts Fund, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It is also a tribute to the late Dr. Tommy Comeaux. It was a blast! Sorry it's so short, but the camera's batteries died! C'est la vie!


Wishing all of you a Joyeaux Noel filled with many special memories to treasure! 
Merci beaucoup for stopping by! Let the good times roll, cher!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cajun Holiday Desserts + More Bayou Boogie

With Christmas only one week away, I am putting the finishing touches on my my dessert menu and in addition to serving some of my family's faves, I will also be making this sinfully rich and decadent Christmas bread pudding. The combination of the cranberries, white chocolate, and brandy, will send your taste buds into orbit, and have your guests begging for more! . Out of this world, cher! Enjoy!  

Christmas Bread Pudding w/ Nanny's Rum Sauce

1 (16 oz). loaf French bread,  torn into small pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbs.'s brandy
Dash of salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 large eggs

Tear bread into small pieces in large bowl. Pour melted butter over bread pieces and toss to coat. In large saucepan, combine cream, milk ,sugar, vanilla, brandy, salt, and nutmeg. bring to a simmer, over medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved, and remove from heat. Whisk eggs until smooth in large bowl. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to eggs, whisking constantly. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Pour the custard mixture over the bread and let stand for 15 minutes. Pour into a 13x9 inch greased baking pan and place in a larger pan, with enough water to reach halfway up the sides. Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 60 minutes, covering with foil, after 30 minutes. Serve with Nanny's Rum Sauce. (recipe below)

Nanny's Rum Sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs.'s flour
1 stick butter
2 tbs.'s dark rum

Combine flour, water, sugar, and butter in sauce pan. Heat on low and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla and rum. Mix well and serve over bread pudding.

Here are a few of my family's favorites that will be on my dessert table, along with an assortment of muffins, fudge, cookies, and candies. Cest bon, cher! Bon appetit!


More Bayou Boogie
I've had a special request for another Horace Trahan clip, taken recently at the Sunday afternoon dance at Whiskey River, in Henderson, La. This one's for you, cher, and all of my other canaille, "honorary Cajun" buds. Wish you were here! Enjoy!

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cajun Christmas Buffet + Bayou Boogie

Yes, it's hard to believe, but Christmas is less than two weeks away! Are you ready? I have been working on my menu for my Christmas Eve buffet, since my dear cousin is doing the honors this year and hosting the family holiday dinner on Christmas day. Thanks, cuz! I like to have a casual buffet for friends and family on Christmas Eve, and although I'm still tweaking the menu, here are some of the the appetizers that I will be serving. Enjoy! (photo courtesy of Google)

(click on titles for recipes)

And this is what I have, so far, on my main menu. And a friend just called me and said that he is bringing a Cajun Fried Turkey, too!  Do you think that I have enough or should I add more? Desserts and breads will be in a separate post!

Click on titles in black for recipes.

Bayou Boogie
Since I've been getting quite a few emails, asking for some more bayou boogie,  I am posting a little clip to cheer up all of mon cher amis. I know that the holidays can be a stressful time for many and hopefully this hotter than Tabasco clip of Horace Trahan and Rodney Bernard, playing Shake, Rattle, and Roll, will help to relieve some of the stress that is encountered at this time of year. Especially if you have a cold drink or two,  crank it up, and dance to it. Let the good times roll, cher! Cheers!

Wishing ya'll a wonderful, happy, stress-free week! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cajun Holiday Treats + Pralines 101

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is baking special cookies and treats. In fact, when my kids were little, I let them throw a Christmas party, every year and invite the whole neighborhood. These adorable gingerbread men were their favorite cookies to make and eat at the party. And they are still mine! If you have little ones around your house, they will delight in helping to decorate them. They are very delicious, easy to make, and fun to decorate. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Men 
3/4 cup light or dark molasses
1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp.'s ground ginger
2 tsp.'s ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg
Decorator icing /or candies

In 3 qt. saucepan, over medium heat, heat the molasses, butter, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, set aside and let cool. In large bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. Blend egg into molasses mixture. Stir molasses mixture into the flour mixture with a large spoon,  and beat until smooth. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with 5x3 inch gingerbread man cookie cutter. Transfer with spatula to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool. Decorate with holiday cookie icing, (recipe below), or use a store bought icing.

Holiday Cookie Icing
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 (2/3) cups confectioner's sugar
2 to 3 tbs.'s milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring, (red, green, and white)
Beat butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla, with an electric mixer, until smooth. If icing is too thick, add a little more milk. Divide icing into several small bowls.  Add a few drops of each color to each bowl. Stir well. Decorate as desired. I used a zip loc bag with a tiny cut on the corner to pipe the icing.

This next recipe is the best "no fail" sugar cookie recipe that I have ever tried. It was given to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends, back in the child rearing days. She and I made about a hundred, dozen of these every year! Those were the days when we would bake cookies, not only for the kids, but for their teachers, the church, the mailman, the neighbors, the relatives, and friends. They are scrumptious, make wonderful gifts, and freeze well.

 Joyeaux Noel Sugar Cookies
 1/2 lb. butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsp.'s vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Cream all of the above, by hand or mixer, until smooth.

1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp.'s baking powder
4 cups flour
Mix all of the above and then add to butter mixture.

Add 1/4 cup milk and mix again. Chill.
Cut out with assorted holiday cookie cutters and bake @ 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or decorate with holiday cookie icing and sprinkles.

And last, but not least are my absolute favorite, Pecan Pralines. (Puh-kawn - Praw-leens) A Southern favorite, these melt in your mouth treats are absolutely heavenly! So creamy and crunchy and easy to make. Here is a simple video explaining how to make them. To see more recipes for pralines, click here. Bon appetit!

Wishing you all a warm and lovely weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Fabulous Cajun Breakfast

It was another great weekend in Cajun country with lots of fun activities and weekend guests. I wanted to make a special breakfast for my guests and prepared this delicious, savory bread pudding.This wonderful breakfast treat can also be made the night before, and popped into the oven in the morning and goes very nicely on a brunch buffet, too. Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

 Cajun Breakfast Bread Pudding

1 (15 oz.) loaf French or Artisan bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
6 strips bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, divided
1 cup cooked ham, cubed
8  large eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
2 tbs.'s butter
1/2 cup each onions and bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms. sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 tbs. fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2  tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet, saute the ham, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, and garlic, in the butter, until soft.  In large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add Parmesan cheese, and mix well.  Pour over bread pieces, add half of the bacon, and mix well. Transfer to a buttered 13x9x2 inch baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees, uncovered for 40 45 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining bacon and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Divine! Bon appetit!

I also whipped up some Croissant French Toast w/ Strawberry Syrup.
Click here for recipe.

And some Jalapeno Hash Browns. Click here for recipe.

And  a batch of Grandma's Buttermilk Biscuits. Click here for recipe.

And lots of hot "Holiday Jazz", Community Coffee! Click here to order.

Hope that you all have a wonderful week, filled with happy times and fun! I'll be sharing some holiday recipes soon, so stay tuned! Merci beaucoup for stopping by, and remember to let the good times roll!, cher!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spicy Creole Chicken Fettuccini

One of my oldest and dearest friends called and said that she was in town, doing a little Christmas shopping, and wanted to stop by in the evening. I was thrilled and invited  her over for dinner.The only problem was that I had to work until 4:00 pm. and didn't have time for a trip to the grocery store, so I was going to have to use what I had on hand. When I looked into my fridge, I found a package of chicken tenders, a couple of  links of Andouille sausage, and a carton of whipping cream. And of course, I always have the Cajun trinity on hand. I then looked in my pantry and found a can of portobello mushrooms, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and a package of fettuccini. Since she loves pasta, I decided to make one of my faves, that is also a favorite dish of hers. She gave me this recipe about 5 years ago and  when I tell you that it's out of this world, then you know that I mean it, cher! And so easy for those busy days. Cest bon!

Spicy Creole Chicken Fettuccini

8 oz. fettuccini pasta, cooked according to package, and  drained
1 lb. chicken tenders. cut into bite size pieces
2 links Andouille sausage, sliced thin, (or other smoked sausage)
1/2 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
1  8 oz. can chunky portabello mushrooms, drained
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs.'s Creole seasoning, divided
Salt to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet, saute the chicken and sausage on medium heat, in the olive oil, with 1/2 of the Creole seasoning,  for 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and garlic and stir fry for 5 more minutes. Add the tomatoes w /green chilies,  mushrooms, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce and wine and mix well. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Gradually add the heavy cream and stir and cook until thickened. Stir in the other tbs. of Creole seasoning and the Parmesan cheese, and stir until blended. Serve over fettuccini pasta, with fresh steamed broccoli, and French bread, and maybe a nice glass of white wine. Bon appetit!