Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cajun Cook-Out Menu - Part II + Bayou Boogie

With just a few days left to prepare for our cook out, I've been looking over my summer recipes and asking the gang what desserts they would like.They said that they would love to have these scrumptious desserts, below. Plus, I'm adding a Margarita cake that my dear friend,  B.J., over at Sweet Nothings, recently posted on her blog that her daughter made. I made it with a few changes and doubled the delicious glaze recipe, but you can see the original recipe here. Sinfully delicious, cher, and well worth the calories and so easy, too! Bon appetit!

 Margarita Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tequila
2 tbs.'s triple sec or orange juice

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbs.'s tequila
4  tbs.'s triple sec
4 tbs.'s lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with Baker's Joy, baking spray. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.

 Pour into prepared pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes on wire rack and invert onto cake plate.

Combine the glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth. Poke holes in cake and pour over warm cake.

 Out of this world!


I'll be sharing these at  Foodie FridaySaturday Night Special Sweets for a Saturday,
Seaside Simplicity, Sunday Showcase, and Savory Sunday.

They also requested these decadent desserts! Click on title to view recipe.

  Banana Pudding Pie ~

And for drinks, I will be serving the following. Click on title to view recipe.

A big batch of these cool, frozen Pina Coladas.

And a big pitcher of Southern Peach Tea.

Bayou Boogie

We passed an absolute bon' ton' at the T.G.I.F. Friday night block party, at Downtown Alive last night.  It was a very warm evening, but it didn't stop this bunch of Cajuns from dancing up a storm in Parc Sans Souci.

Horace Trahan and the New Ossun Express were rockin' the crowd and there was a whole lotta dancin' going on! The fiesty crowd was loving this band and this "oldie but goodie" song.

Here's a little clip that I took of the dancers and there was a whole lotta fast jitter-buggin' going on. They were working up quite a sweat on this one. Crank it up and let the good times roll, cher!

Horace Trahan and the New Ossun Express

Wishing all of you a fabulous, fun weekend, filled with good times! Merci for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cajun Cook-Out Menu - Part I + Bayou Blues

Since it's almost time for the holiday weekend, I wanted to share a few of my Cajun cook-out recipes that I will be preparing for my family and friends for our Memorial Day cook-out. From appetizers to burgers and wings, to sides, and desserts, there is a little something for everyone and they are all fab! This is what I have so far! Cest bon, cher! Bon appetit!

Cajun Cook-Out Menu
(click on recipe title to view)

The Appetizers

The Meat
Cajun Beer-Can Chicken ~ Cajun Grilled Chicken Wings ~ Spicy Cajun Burgers
                                                    (recipes below)

The Sides
Remoulade Potato Salad  ~  Bayou Bourbon Beans ~ Cajun Grilled Corn on the Cob

And who knows what else I'll be adding!  

If you really want some really, " finger- lickin' GOOD" chicken wings, delight your guests with this scrumptious HOT wing recipe with a bit of sweetness added! Out of this world!

Cajun Grilled Chicken Wings

2 lbs. chicken wings
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning

1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup orange marmalade
1 tbs. Tabasco
1 tbs. vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine salsa, marmalade, Tabasco, vinegar, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, and mix well. Set aside.

Season chicken wings with Cajun seasoning in large baking pan. Grill on medium hot coals or on medium,  for gas grill. Cover and grill for 10 minutes, turn and brush liberally with sauce. Continue grilling for 10 more minutes, turn and brush other side with sauce. Grill for 10 more minutes or until done. Cest bon! Bon Appetit!

It just doesn't get any better than this, for burgers! These spicy, smokey burgers are the ultimate Cajun treat and just one bite will send your taste buds into orbit, cher! Enjoy!

Spicy Cajun Burgers

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 tbs. Tabasco sauce
1 tbs. liquid smoke
1 tbs. prepared horseradish
2 tbs.'s minced garlic
1/2 cup green onions, chopped fine
1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp.'s salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 large burger buns
3 tbs.'s butter, melted

Place meat and all other ingredients in large bowl and mix gently, but thoroughly. Shape meat mixture into 6 patties and cover with foil and chill for one or more hours. Preheat gas grill on medium- high heat or charcoal grill on medium- high and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, for medium. Baste buns with melted butter and grill to the side for 5 minutes to toast. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles and enjoy, cher! 

I'll be sharing these over at Tasty Tuesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday,

Bayou Blues

Here's another little clip, taken at the Spring finale' in River Ranch last week,  of the great Marcia Ball singing some good ole bayou blues. I'd like to dedicate this one to my dear friend, Wayne, who really knows how to dance to the blues. This one's for you, cher! Cheers!

Next, I'll be sharing some more Cajun cook-out ideas and some desserts and drinks, so stay tuned! 
Wishing ya'll a wonderful week! Merci beaucoup for dropping by!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chocolate-Praline Bundt Cake + Cajun Fun on the Bayou

Here's a Cajun delight that I love to make for special occasions or when I'm having guests. When I was invited to a wedding shower recently and asked to bring a dessert, I knew exactly what I wanted to bring. This rich, delectable cake is out of this world and will have you going back for more and is even more decadent when you add a little bourbon! Cheers! Bon appetit!

Chocolate-Praline Bundt Cake

2 sticks butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup water
1/8 cup bourbon (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Spray a bundt  pan with Baker's Joy, baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On low heat, cook the first three ingredients in a saucepan, stirring constantly, until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In large bowl, beat buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and extract, with an electric mixer, until smooth. Add butter mixture to buttermilk mixture, beating until well blended. In small bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and add to the bowl, beating until well blended.

Pour into prepared bundt cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack and invert on cake plate, before frosting. (recipe below)

Praline Frosting

1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Bring first three ingredients to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan and boil for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in pecans and stir gently for about 3 minutes or until frosting begins to cool and thicken. Frost immediately because it will harden quickly. And yes, you will want to lick the spoon! Cest bon, cher!

I'll be sharing this cake at  Sweet Treats Thursday, It's a Hodgepodge Friday, Friday Potluck,  Sweets for a Saturday, Saturday Nite SpecialSunday Showcase, A Themed Baker's Sunday, and Savory Sundays. Join in the fun!

Cajun Fun on the Bayou

We had an absolute blast at the Spring Finale' of Rhythm's on the River in River Ranch on Thursday evening. An enormous crowd gathered to see the fabulous Marcia Ball and her talented band.

The honky tonk sounds of this fantastic band filled the Town Square and they were really jammin'up a storm. Marcia plays a mean keyboard and her soulful brand of Louisiana boogie is the best!

It was a warm and sultry evening and the drink booths were hoppin' and the wine was flowing. After all, it has been a very stressful week in Cajun country and it was almost the weekend.

Many were coming straight from work and decided to indulge in a nice dinner while relaxing with friends on the patio at the City Club. Others opted for the Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya at the Rouse's Market booth. Yum!

Then of course, there was plenty of dancing to work that dinner off and to relieve the stress of the work week. Cajuns consider dancing a good form of therapy and love every minute of it!

I took quite a few clips, that I will be sharing with ya'll, but here is my fave. My friend, Tom, was cutting the rug and really twirling that lucky girl around. This one's for you, cher!

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creole Fried Shrimp Salad w/ Jalapeno Ranch Dressing + Cajun Boogie

Here's one of my favorite salads to have for lunch or when I'm in the mood for a light dinner. I love fried or grilled shrimp more than any other food and I have several excellent recipes for them, but this one is my absolute fave!  These succulent, Louisiana Gulf, fried shrimp blend perfectly with your favorite salad fixins' and when I tell you they're out of this world, then you know that I mean it, cher! And the spicy dressing adds that special touch to make this salad sinfully good! Cest bon! Enjoy!

Creole Fried Shrimp Salad

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (24 count)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup half and half or milk
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbs.'s Creole or Cajun seasoning, divided
Few shakes Tabasco

Shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
Or any veggies that you like

Season shrimp with 1 tbs. Creole seasoning and set aside. Beat egg in shallow dish and add Tabasco and half and half, and beat again. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and other tbs. of Creole seasoning in large zip loc bag. Shake to mix well. Coat shrimp in egg mixture and place in bag, and shake until all are well coated. Fry in hot oil, (in deep fryer at 350 degrees) in batches for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Arrange salad in salad bowls and top with fried shrimp and serve with dressing. (recipe below) Serves 3.

I am sharing this salad over at Tasty Tuesdays, Workshop Wednesdays, and Full Plate Thursdays.

Click here  for my Creole Seasoning Blend.

Jalapeno Ranch Dressing/Dip 

1 1/4 cups, no-fat buttermilk 
3/4 cup light mayo
1 tsp. Creole mustard
2 tsp.'s white wine vinegar
2 tbs.'s  lemon juice 
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbs. fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste

Whisk ingredients together in the order given, in a mixing bowl. Store in a sealed glass jar in refrigerator, for up to one week. Shake well before each use.

Note: For dip, reduce buttermilk to 1/2 cup

Cajun Boogie

Here's a little clip that I took of the High Performance Band, playing at a recent Sunday afternoon dance at Angelle's Whiskey River Landing, in Henderson, Louisiana. This is one of my favorite places that is expected to flood, and I've had more fun here than any other place on the planet. They took a big hit during Hurricane Gustav,  just three years ago, but with the help of many volunteers, were up and running in just a few months. And even if the worse comes to pass, I'm sure they'll be back, bigger and better than ever. Our prayers are with the Angelle family and everyone in the flood path.

High Performance Band

Merci beaucoup for all of your kind comments on my last post and for stopping by!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Going Under - The Flooding Has Begun

It's official, the Army Corp. of Engineers has made the agonizing decision to open the Morganza Spillway, about 40 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, to prevent the raging Mississippi River from flooding Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It began today at 3 pm, CST. They called it the lesser of the two evils, as it will divert some of the Miss. River into the Atchafalaya River and Basin, but will flood everything on the west side of the river, all the way down to the Gulf. While this is good news for Baton Rouge and New Orleans, it is the worse possible news for the tens of thousands of residents in the Atchafalaya Basin corridor. Here is a map of the projected inundation. Click to enlarge.

It means that quite literally, 3 million acres will go under water, including homes, businesses, churches, schools, farms and crops, wildlife, and anything or anyone that stays behind. Water levels are expected to crest at 29 feet on the lake side of the Henderson Levee, which means that Basin Landing, Whiskey River Landing, and McGee's Landing will all be totally submerged. These are some of my favorite places on earth, that are only 15 miles away, and it is so very sad and heartbreaking. They've all been moving everything out, and preparing to evacuate, for days now. Imagine it!

And my dear friends in the community of Butte Larose have also had to move everything they own to higher ground and will all be evacuating shortly, if they haven't already. As hard as it is, at least they had time to get out and save their belongings, unlike with tornadoes and earthquakes. Please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers. Here is a video, from CNN that pretty much sums up the situation in Butte Larose and all along the Atchafalaya Basin, in Cajun country.Thankfully, Lafayette is not expected to flood. Click here for the flood tracker site.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers + More Awards

With all of the beautiful weather we've had this Spring, I've been grilling up a storm and enjoying every minute of it. I just love spending the time outdoors and it's such an easy way to prepare dinner, while taking a nice dip in the pool to relax, after a stressful day at work. Here's a Cajun fave that is very popular at my house and is just "out of this  world" when roasted on the grill. Grilling really brings out the sweetness of the peppers and the spicy filling is oh so good! Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

Grilled Stuffed Bell Peppers

6 large bell peppers, any color
1 lb. lean ground beef or bulk sausage
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbs. Cajun or Creole seasoning
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

2 small cans tomato sauce
Few shakes of hot sauce
1 cup cooked rice
2 tbs.'s olive oil
Shredded cheese

Cut off tops of bell peppers and wash, inside and out, remove seeds, and set aside. Chop veggies.

Brown ground beef or sausage on medium heat, in large skillet and drain. Add onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapeno, and garlic, and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and Cajun seasoning, and mix well. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add hot sauce and stir well. Add cooked rice and mix gently until well combined. Drizzle a little olive oil, inside and outside of bell peppers. Fill peppers with meat mixture and place in a grill pan. On medium heat, grill on indirect heat for about 30 minutes.Top with cheese, if desired and, grill for 5 more minutes.

These go perfectly with anything else you are grilling, as a delicious side dish or they can easily stand alone as an entree, with a big tossed salad, and French bread. Cest bon, cher!!

I'll be sharing these at  Full Plate Thursday, Potluck FridaySaturday Nite Special, and This Week's Cravings.

For my Seafood Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe, click here.

More Awards

My dear friend, Jessica @ cajunlicious has done it again! She has so graciously given me another 8 awards and I am so honored! Merci beaucoup, cher, I really appreciate all of them! I'm supposed to pass these "8 awards rolled into 1"  package deal, to 15 of my favorite  "foodie" bloggers. So I have decided to pass them on to these 15 bloggers who greatly inspire me with their fabulous recipes and are so supportive with their their lovely comments. Congrats and many thanks to all, for your continued friendship and support! Ya'll are the best!

In no particular order, they are:

Please pay them all a visit when you find time and tell them I sent you! Hope you all have a great weekend, filled with fun and happy times. Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cajun Mother's Day Treats + Bayou Boogie

It's time for Mother's Day, one of my favorite days of the year! It's the only day of the year that I am guaranteed to get  breakfast in bed, and one of the only two days of the year that I refuse to cook. (the other is my birthday) This heavenly Mother's Day Mimosa is so delicious and will pair well with the scrumptious Praline French Toast and decadent Amaretto Fudge Brownies. (recipes below) Go ahead and indulge, you deserve it, cher! Enjoy and have a very happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day Mimosas

3 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ounce triple sec
4 ounces dry champagne

Combine in a champagne flute and garnish with an orange wedge or strawberries. Cheers!

Praline French Toast

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons Karo light corn syrup
1 loaf French bread, sliced

Slice bread into 1 inch thick slices and arrange in a greased 13x9 inch baking dish. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour half of the egg mixture  evenly over bread  slices, soaking well. Repeat with second layer.

For praline topping, mix together butter, light brown sugar, chopped pecans and light corn syrup. Spread on top of each slice of bread on top layer. Cover with foil and place dish in refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove foil and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Bon appetit!

And what fun would any holiday be without a double batch of my favorite brownies! Sinfully delicious and worth every calorie, cher!

Amaretto Fudge Brownies

2/3 cup butter
3 1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces
3 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Combine butter and chocolate in a microwavable safe bowl. Microwave on low until melted, stirring frequently. In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar and mix well. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the Amaretto . In small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well and add to the chocolate/Amaretto mixture. Fold in the pecans. Blend well and pour into a greased 9x11 inch baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and cut into squares. Out of this world!

Bayou Boogie
And here's another little clip that I took at Festival International of one of my favorite bands. The Lost Bayou Ramblers were really rev-ing it up for the crowd. Crank it up and have another Mimosa and let the good times roll, cher!

The Lost Bayou Ramblers

Hope you all have a fabulous day, filled with many special moments! Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spicy Crawfish Enchiladas + Crawfish Festival Preview

Here's a Cajun fave that is just perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebration or anytime that you're in the mood for a sinfully delicious dish. Layers of scrumptious crawfish and cheese, with plenty of heat and topped with green onions. Well, it just doesn't get any better than that, cher! Enjoy!

Spicy Crawfish Enchiladas

3 tbsp.'s butter
1  onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb. peeled crawfish tails or shrimp

1 tsp. or more, Cajun seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can hot enchilada sauce, divided
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, drained
1 tsp. or more, Cajun seasoning
1 10-count package flour tortillas

1 (1/2) cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
In large skillet, saute the onion, bell pepper, seasoning, and crawfish tails, on medium heat, for about 15 minutes.

Pour in mushroom soup, half of the enchilada sauce, and green chilies. Stir and mix well. Add salt to taste. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place tortilla in a shallow dish and spread 1/2 cup of the mixture on top, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, roll, and place in a greased, 13x9 baking pan, with seams down. Repeat.

When complete, pour other half of enchilada sauce, evenly on top and sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese,   green onions, and cilantro. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly and cheese melts. Cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit! 

Note: Shrimp may be substituted for crawfish. 


Time for the Crawfish Festival!

The 51st annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival will kick off on Friday, May 6, at 5:00 pm and run through Sunday, May 8. Yes, another  great festival!  What started out as a small, hometown festival  in the sixties, has grown into one of  Louisiana's largest festivals and is one of my faves. There will be crawfish prepared every which way, and a stellar musical line-up, with 3 music stages and 3 straight days of live Cajun and Zydeco music. For a complete schedule, click here. See ya'll there!

And here's a little clip that I took at last year's festival of the high-spirited crowd, dancing a two-step to the spicy sounds of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Let the good times roll! 

Wishing you all a fab weekend, filled with fun! Have all the fun you can, cher! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Time for Jazz Fest

And for those of you who are wondering if you should make the second weekend of Jazz fest in New Orleans or for those of you who would like to listen to a live broadcast of this fabulous festival, click here,  to see a complete schedule.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lots More Festival Fun ! - Days 3 and 4

Day 3

One of my oldest and dearest girl-friends came into town on Friday and we started off at Agave Mexican Restaurant and Cantina for a frozen Margarita, before heading to the first show of the evening. And on the way over we walked through the Marche' du Monde, an International Arts and Crafts marketplace.  And as usual, I couldn't resist buying a dress from my favorite booth and a cute little handbag, too.


Then it was time for the show and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys were taking the stage when we arrived. There was a huge crowd and people were dancing in the aisles and anywhere else they could find.

There is usually a large area right in front of the stage that is marked off for dancing, but for some reason it was eliminated this year. So, it kinda gave a new meaning to "your 2 square feet of dance floor".

Here's a little clip that I took of the hot two-steppin' going on at Scene Chevron. The Krewe de Canaille was out in full force.This one's for you, Sandy! Lookin' good, girl!

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

After all this dancin', we were in dire need of refreshment and we headed over to the LUS Pavillion de Cuisine. The lines were long, but I finally managed to get this Crawfish-Spinach Bread Bowl and downed it along with 2 bottles of water. Divine! Click here  for my recipe for this Cajun treat.

Then, it was on to Scene TV 5 Monde, to see the Rythym and Roots Review with artists from Quebec, Cameroon, France, and New Brunswick. This was a fantastic show and there was a beautiful breeze.

Day 4

By Day 4 of this festival, you're really in a groove and it seems like you can't remember what your life was like, before the festival. Means you're having a blast! We started out at Scene Popeyes for Keith Frank and the Solieau Zydeco Band. Since it was Saturday, and the first full day, there was an enormous crowd and they were in full party mode!

Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band

Afterwards, it was warm and humid and we decided to cool off at The Filling Station Pub and Grille.  A nice cold beer with one of my favorites that I picked up along the way, Crawfish Nachos. Cest bon, cher!

After resting a little while, it was time for the next show, with Feufollet rockin the crowd, back at the Boomer Tent, better known as Scene Chevron. One of my faves and so much fun!

The crowd was lovin' this band and there was a whole lot of boogie-in' going on. They were really cranking it up, just as the sun was going down. I ran into one of my old gal pals from Zachary and want to dedicate this next clip to her. This one's for you, Dodie!


To be continued..... Yes, there's more, so stay tuned for the finale' because I'm saving the best for last!  Meanwhile if you want to see more of my videos, you can go here,  to my YouTube channel. And be sure and rest up, because we have the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, coming up THIS WEEKEND, and you won't want to miss it! Lassiez les bon temps rouler!

Wishing you all a wonderful week, filled with good times! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!