Friday, October 28, 2011

Cajun Pumpkin Delights + A Cajun Two-Step

Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes that are just perfect for your Halloween party or anytime you want a sinfully delicious treat. The pumpkin-chocolate combo is my fave and is out of this world and the Kahlua or bourbon adds a bit of decadence. And both are so easy too, for those busy days. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes  w/  Kahlua Fudge Frosting

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans

Place paper baking cups in 24 muffin cups. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and spices. Beat on low with electric mixer for 30 seconds to blend ingredients. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in pecans.

Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and frost with Kahlua Fudge Frosting. (recipe below), and garnish with seasonal candies or sprinkles.

Kahlua Fudge Frosting

 2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. Kahlua

Combine first three ingredients in heavy saucepan and stir in milk. Add butter and bring to a boil. Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and Kahlua and beat on low with an electric mixer, until desired consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes. 

And here is another one of my family's faves that is just heavenly and will have you going back for seconds. The Chocolate Bourbon Sauce compliments the pumpkin perfectly and is totally worth the calories, cher! Fab!

 Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/ Chocolate Bourbon Sauce

1 -1/2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup each, sugar and brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 loaf "day old" French bread, torn into pieces

Whisk together the first seven ingredients, in large bowl. Add bread and mix well to coat. Spoon into a buttered 9x13 baking dish and cover with foil. Place into a larger baking pan, filled with 1 inch of water. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Serves 8.

Chocolate Bourbon Sauce

8 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1 tbs. butter
6 tbs.'s whipping cream
1 shot of bourbon

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and stir and cook over low heat, until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and drizzle over warm bread pudding and top with whipped cream. Divine!

I am sharing these at~

Here's another little clip that I took of the crowd, dancing to a Cajun two-step at Festival Acadiens. Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys were rockin' the crowd. Crank it up and let the good times roll, cher!

A Cajun Two-Step

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

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo + Gumbo Cook-Off + A Cajun Waltz

We had a fabulous time on Thursday evening at the 21st annual Realtors of Acadiana Gumbo Cook-Off. There were dozens of gumbo booths,  all competing for the best gumbo in Lafayette and only $5.00 for all-you-could-eat! Pure heaven, cher, and it was very hard to pick a fave.

But clearly, my favorite was the seafood gumbo from the Teche Federal Bank booth. It was packed with flavor with lots of shrimp, crab meat, and crawfish,  and had a generous dose of Tabasco, which gave it that unmistakable spicy taste. It was sinfully good!

This chicken and sausage gumbo from the Coldwell Banker booth was a close second and was also seasoned well and very flavorful and delicious Cest bon!

There was a costume contest and all the booths were decorated according to this year's theme, Fun and Games. This group was lively and their chicken and sausage gumbo was fab!

There was just about every kind of gumbo you could imagine, including duck and venison sausage, and gator and sausage, and all of the proceeds went to local housing charities.

And of course there was live music and dancing, and Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie entertained the crowd. Had to dance off that gumbo, rice, and potato salad.

Here's a little clip that I took. Most people were still eating, but a few could not resist a dance or two. That's my friend Tom, in the plaid shirt and baseball cap. This one's for you, cher.

Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie

 We are finally warming back up to 80 degrees in Cajun country, but earlier this week, we had an early cold snap with lows in the low 40's and it was a shock, but perfect for cooking a gumbo.  I made my first gumbo of the season and it was totally scrumptious and I wanted to share the recipe. Bon appetit!

 Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

1 cut up fryer or gumbo hen
1 lb. Andouille sausage (or smoked sausage), sliced
1 pt. oysters w/ liquid, optional
1 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning (divided)
Salt and Tabasco to taste
3 bay leaves
3 quarts chicken stock or warm water

First, you make a roux.

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine flour and oil in a large Dutch oven, on medium heat, and stir constantly, for about 10 to 15 minutes, until medium brown in color. Scrape bottom and sides, often. When desired color is reached, lower heat and add the "holy trinity" (onions, celery, and bell peppers), and garlic, stir well for about 3 minutes, then slowly add the chicken stock or  water. Add seasonings, bay leaves, and Tabasco , and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Season chicken and sausage with 1 tbs. of Cajun seasoning. Brown seasoned chicken and sausage, on both sides, in a large cast iron skillet. Drain excess oil and add to the gumbo. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, parsley, and oysters, and a few shakes of Tabasco, and stir and cook for 10 more minutes. Skim excess oil and top each bowl with a little gumbo file' powder and serve with a scoop of rice,  potato salad and hot French bread. Serves 8 Cest bon, cher!

I am sharing these at ~

For my seafood gumbo recipe, click here.

A Cajun Waltz

Here's another clip that I took at Festival Acadiens of a traditional Cajun waltz. Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys were swaying the crowd at Scene Ma Louisiane. Walter is a master accordionist and has been entertaining Cajun country for over 40 years.

Walter Mouton and the Scott Playboys

Wishing all of you a fantastic week ahead! Merci beauoup for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spicy Cajun Seafood Dips + Festival Fun

Here are a few of my favorite seafood dip recipes that are guaranteed to be a real hit at your next tailgating party or any other occasion. They are absolutely scrumptious and when I tell you that they are both out of this world, then you know that I mean it, cher! Cest bon! Enjoy!

Spicy Cajun Shrimp  Dip

1  lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, and chopped
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, diced
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. or more, Cajun seasoning
4 tbs.'s white wine
2 tbs.'s lemon juice
Salt to taste
Few shakes Tabasco sauce
16 oz.'s cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup each fresh parsley and green onions, chopped

Melt butter in large skillet on medium high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and saute' for 5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning, and garlic and stir well. Stir in white wine and lemon juice, and reduce heat to low.

Add shrimp, salt, and Tabasco, and mix well and cover and simmer for 5 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 mini croissants or pastry shells. Fab!

Here's another fabulous dip that will please your guests. One bite of this divine dip with the lump crab meat and delicate cheese blend will make you want to eat the whole bowl. If you're counting calories, use the light version of the cheese, sour cream, and mayo.

Spicy Cajun Crab Dip

1 lb. lump crab meat
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 (8 oz.) pkg.'s cream cheese, softened
1/2 pint sour cream
4 tbs.'s mayo
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. Creole mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. or more, Cajun seasoning
Tabasco to taste

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, onion, lemon juice, mustard, and seasonings, in a large bowl. Mix well and fold in crab meat and cheddar cheese.

Place in a buttered 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish and bake @ 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with pastry shells, veggies, or crackers. Sinfully good!

I'll be sharing these at ~

Festival Fun

We had an absolute bon' ton' at Festival Acadiens and even after two days, I am still in a festival mode. After three days of great Cajun music, food, and fun, it's been hard getting back into reality.  That kind of fun just stays with you for a while. Here are a few pics from Saturday, out of hundreds that I took at the three day festival.

And here's a little clip that I took of Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars movin' the crowd at Scene Mon Heritage. They were lovin' this band and there was a whole lotta jitter-bugging going on. I'll be sharing lots more videos with ya'll, so stay tuned.

Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars

Hope that ya'll are having a great week! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce + Festival Time

Here's another favorite Fall dessert that I love to serve my family and friends and is fab for breakfast, too. It's sinfully delicious and after just one bite,  you'll think that you're in heaven, cher! The warm apples blended with the creamy caramel are a real flavor treat and the rum sauce is out of this world and is a perfect topper for this luscious treat. Cest bon!

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce

 1 - 15 oz. loaf cinnamon-apple or cinnamon-raisin bread, torn into pieces
4 tbs.'s butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups fresh apples, chopped

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and extracts and beat until combined. 

Slowly stir in milk and whisk until well blended. Place the bread pieces in a buttered 3 quart baking dish and pour the milk mixture over the bread and stir gently to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of the apples. Stir apples evenly into bread mixture. Place baking dish in a larger baking pan filled with 2 inches of water.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for about 45 minutes or until set. Divine!

Rum Sauce

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs.'s dark rum

Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar and whisk on medium heat until smooth. Gradually add cream and whisk and continue to cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in rum and vanilla extract. Pour over warm bread pudding. Fab! Bon appetit!

I am sharing this recipe at ~

Festival Time

It's finally here! The weekend that I've been looking forward to for a whole year and time for the 38th annual Festival Acadiens et Creole. The Festival De Musique Acadien et Creole will host three different music stages, providing a non-stop music and dancing atmosphere. And the Bayou Food Festival will have dozens of booths packed with succulent Cajun and Creole delights, created by some of Acadiana's best chefs.. And the Louisiana Arts and Crafts Show will display even more of the area's talent. (click on links in black for a list of festival bands, food vendors and menus, and artists)

The Music

The Dancin'

The Food

The Arts and Crafts

This fantastic festival will kick off on Friday evening with a fais do do at Parc International, in Downtown Lafayette. Horace Trahan and the New Ossun Express will be rockin' the crowd, followed by Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble. For a complete schedule, click here.  Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher! Only in Lafayette! See ya'll there!

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas


Great weather+ great music+ great food+ great people = an absolute blast. Wish that all of you could be here, but for those of you who can't be, I hope that you have a wonderful,  Fall weekend! Merci beauoup for coming by!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hot Tamale-Cornbread Casserole + Cajun Boogie

Here's one of my favorite Caj-Mex recipes to make when the weather gets cooler.We're still in the mid 80's, here in Cajun country, but I've had an ahnvee for this wonderful comfort casserole, all week. So,  I decided to go ahead and make it, since it's only in the oven for 20 minutes. It's hot and spicy flavors will send you into orbit, cher, and have you going back for more!  And so easy, for those busy days. Bon appetit!

Hot Tamale Cornbread Casserole
1 -1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, mined
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 can (hot) diced Rotel tomatoes
2 cans (hot) Rotel tomato sauce
1 tbs.Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning, divided
3 tbs's. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

8 oz. shredded Mexican cheese
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

In a large heavy skillet brown the ground beef, with 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning. Skim any excess fat and continue cooking and stirring and add Worcestershire sauce, and a little water, if necessary. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic, and jalapenos, and continue cooking until veggies are soft. (about 10 minutes)

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, other tbs. Cajun seasoning, chili powder, cumin, and cilantro, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Line the bottom of a 13x9 inch casserole dish with tortilla chips. Spread the meat sauce evenly over the chips. Add a layer of shredded cheese over top of the meat sauce.

Make the cornbread according to package directions or make your own, and spread evenly on top of the cheese layer.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown.

Serve with a big tossed salad and a cold beer, for a delightful meal! Cest bon! Enjoy!

I'll be sharing this recipe at ~
Cajun  Boogie

Only 4 more days until the 29th annual Festival Acadiens et Creole! With beautiful weather predicted and a stellar musical line-up for the 3 day "Cajun Woodstock",  this year's festival promises to be the best yet! Come on out and get into the festival spirit and enjoy all things Cajun and Creole.  Here's a little clip that I took of Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars, rockin' the crowd at last year's festival,  just to give you an idea of all the fun that's coming up! A whole lotta nitty-gritty dancin' going on, yeah, cher! For a complete schedule, click here.

Wishing ya'll a fabulous week, filled with happy times. Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cake and Bread w/ Praline Glaze

It's that time of the year for all things pumpkin and I wanted to share a few of my favorite pumpkin delights. Here are two of my all time, favorite pumpkin desserts that are just heavenly and are totally worth the calories, cher. I always make sure that I'm having company when I make this cake, or otherwise I'd eat the whole thing! Enjoy!

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake w/ Praline Glaze # 1

1 package yellow cake mix
1 pkg. pumpkin spice instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. In large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix.

 Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, water, oil, and pumpkin. With electric mixer,  beat on low until blended and then on medium for 3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and invert onto a cake plate. Glaze with Praline Glaze  # 1, (recipe below), when completely cool.

 Praline Glaze #1

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt butter in saucepan and then add sugar and milk. Bring to a boil, on medium low heat and continue to boil and stir for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and gradually whisk in the powdered sugar. Drizzle immediately over cake. Sinfully good!

Here is another version of this cake, except made from scratch in the form of a bread. Equally delicious and so good with your morning coffee or tea. Cest bon, cher! Divine!

Chocolate Chip-Pumpkin Bread w/ Praline Glaze #2

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and  baking soda in large bowl. In separate bowl, beats eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Stir into dry mixture, until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and remove to a plate. Note: I covered with foil for the last 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make Praline Glaze #2 .

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
In heavy saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar, and pecans, on medium heat, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and pour over top of warm pumpkin bread. Fab!

I am sharing these at ~

Hope you're all having a wonderful week! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!