Yet Another Breakfast Smoothie; Let’s Sit in the Sun

When healthy tastes good…..It is much easier to eat a healthy breakfast when it also tastes good. I brought out the Ninja Smoothie maker again this summer to make coffee frappés and began experimenting with smoothies, too. I “invented” a wonderful oatmeal and banana smoothie. It is filling and tasty and and very nutritious. I enjoy sitting in the sun in the morning sipping my smoothie for some added health benefits — read on. Best of all, made with almond milk, this smoothie is lactose-free.

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Classic Deviled Eggs with a Cajun “Kick”

Here’s a recipe which I’ve intended to post for quite some time. I love my version of “Classic Deviled Eggs” and I’ve finally found time to share it. The eggs are creamy and flavorful with just a hint of Cajun “zip.” It is a great dish to take to any event including a Fourth of July picnic or a covered dish supper. And I located a vintage serving platter made just for deviled eggs in one of my china cabinets — looks like this one has a bridal shower or wedding motif.

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Marinated Zucchini, Black Bean and Tomato Salad

My backyard garden is doing great this year. The star performers are my zucchini plants. I have an abundance of this vegetable and I’ve tried out a number of recipes. This quick and easy summer salsa is a tasty way to serve zucchini. No cooking is involved — just slice and dice, combine the ingredients and marinate. The raw zucchini has a mild flavor and blends well in this dish. It’s a very healthy recipe and good way to include vegetables in meals. Continue reading

Heirloom Tomatoes with Classic French Vinaigrette

Once again, I’m attempting to grow tomatoes in my backyard garden. I love fresh, ripe tomatoes in the summertime and am not giving up as a gardener. This time I have a few green Heirloom tomatoes on my tomato vines. Hurrah! I’ll add a few more tomatoes from the market for a grand tomato salad because I’m getting tired of waiting for my tomatoes to ripen. I’m serving the tomatoes with my favorite salad dressing, “Classic French Vinaigrette.” This vinaigrette recipe has been my “go to” dressing for years for any type of salad greens or tomatoes. My dressing is “light” in flavor, adds just enough pizzazz to dress up the tomatoes and salad and includes one “secret ingredient.”

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Iced Coffee Frappé

Recently a co-worker treated us to a McDonald’s Frappé with caramel and whipped topping. My, it was delicious. Where have I been? Well, not at McDonald’s. Or Starbucks. I rarely stop at these restaurants in the morning for a variety of reasons. But I love a cup of coffee for a caffeine infusion to get the day going. I got the idea of making my own concoction when my husband mentioned how much he enjoyed mixing almond milk with coffee for a chilled coffee drink in the morning. I brought out the smoothie blender and began to experiment.

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Yogurt Cheesecake with a Salty Pretzel Crust and Candied Walnuts

I like a challenge and was excited to see a notice for a contest to create a recipe using California walnuts. The goal was to submit a blog post and recipe using walnuts in either a sweet or savory recipe. Well, I love walnuts and so I jumped at the chance to enter the contest. However, by the time my walnut samples arrived in the mail and I figured out what to make, I’d missed the deadline. I made my recipe anyway. It is a soothing yogurt cheesecake — very healthy, too — I added a salty pretzel crust (savory) and candied walnuts on top (sweet). The recipe contains a “twist” on traditional cheesecake recipes. You will see. The dessert turned out great.

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Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

I’m making homemade barbecue sauce to accompany a slow-cooked garlic pork roast for Memorial Day. Why make homemade barbecue sauce and not purchase it? Quite simply, I like the flavor of homemade barbecue sauce; it tastes better than most of the ones that you can purchase. It is so easy to make barbecue sauce, why not? Although the sauce is not named after the famous New Orleans street, “Bourbon Street,” but rather Bourbon whiskey which is an ingredient, it does remind of all the good food which we’ve eaten in that city..

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Crawfish or Chicken Tetrazzini — Your Choice

Peeled crawfish tails blend very nicely with pasta to create some mighty tasty entrees and pasta salads. Springtime is when crawfish are in season, so I thought I’d adapt one of my favorite pasta dishes, “Chicken Tetrazzini,” substituting crawfish tails. Tetrazzini is a chicken or seafood pasta dish with mushrooms in a rich cream and cheese sauce. It is one of the first casserole dishes which I learned to make and is still one of my favorites. The crawfish recipe is a slight adaption to enhance the dish. I included my original chicken tetrazzini recipe and also a crawfish variation. Both are delicious and fitting for a springtime dinner!

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Louisiana-Style Crispy Oven Fried Catfish

When people come to visit us here in Louisiana, they often ask where to go to eat authentic Louisiana seafood. We usually mention Middendorf’s Restaurant which is located about an hour away from here. The seafood restaurant is on the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, the north side, at Pass Manchac. The restaurant has been around since 1934 and is favorite of locals. Their best-known entree is crispy thin-cut fried catfish. I decided to see if I could replicate the dish retaining the flavor but “frying” the catfish in the oven to avoid all the effort involved in deep fat frying. Here’s the restaurant’s catfish. Mine looks a little different but tastes great.

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Kids Can Cook: Cake Box Brownies and an Upscale Variation

Here is a recipe that kids can make: “Cake Box Brownies.”  Mix the recipe up in 5 minutes and bake them for 15 minutes. Quick and easy. It is a good recipe to try with Mother’s Day coming soon. You need a large bowl and wooden spoon, a measuring cup and an 8″x 12″ baking pan. And of course, the ingredients. Why a box of cake mix? Because that is typically what is in my pantry — not brownie mix. Recently I needed to make a batch of brownies in a hurry with no time go to the grocery store for the proper ingredients. So, I quickly checked the internet and found that other folks were making brownies from cake mix, too. Well, my batch turned out pretty good. I’ve made it several times since then, tweaking and adapting the recipe each time. Included is one of my more upscale versions. Continue reading