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

Let’s Cook Something New: “DYI Bandanna Face Masks”

What? We’re cooking face masks now? No, we’re sewing them. It looks like we will be required to wear a face mask out in public due to the Covid-19 virus — at least in Louisiana. And, ideally, a person should wash his/her cloth face mask in hot, soapy water frequently. So, we’ll need alot of these face masks. Since I don’t have a “Sewing Blog,” I decided to share my original “recipe” for sewing an easy “DYI Bandanna Face Mask” on my cooking blog using a bandanna that I found in a drawer. This bandanna face mask is really simple to make. You only need a bandanna, two shoe laces and several pipe cleaners (or floral wire). Plus a sewing machine, measuring tape, pins and one safety pin. Oh yes, and an iron.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Carrot Salad with Golden Raisins & Pineapple

A recent survey showed that carrots are our country’s third most popular vegetable after corn and potatoes. (I wonder if this could refer to raw carrots rather than cooked carrots?) I do remember that carrot sticks were packed in practically every brown bag lunch that I ever ate when growing up. I can’t say that I loved the carrots, but I did tolerate them. Recently, Marie made a delightful carrot salad which is a delicious way to serve this vegetable. Marie’s recipe combines carrots with golden raisins and pineapple for a flavorful combination. And I used pre-shredded carrots to make this an easy “one-bowl” recipe. So while we are cookin’ at home, here is an easy variation of Marie’s recipe.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Easy Classic Coleslaw

While we are “cookin’ in the kitchen” and staying home rather than eating out in restaurants, let’s make coleslaw. This vegetable salad is very nutritious and we all need to try to boost the Vitamin A and C content of our meals to keep up immune resistance. Plus, my husband declares that this is the best coleslaw that he has eaten. We decided that this is due to a “secret ingredient.” The recipe has a couple of twists and is easy to make in one bowl without any fuss. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Beef Pot Roast with Vegetable Medley

Last summer, I took a trip back to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for my high school class reunion. In addition to visiting with classmates whom I hadn’t seen in years, I made time to stop at the town’s farmers market. It is interesting that the farm vegetables which are ripe in Virginia are several months behind the ones that are ripe locally in Louisiana. Carrots, potatoes, beets and early English peas filled the stands in the market in Virginia in June. Of course, I brought back some of these vegetables. Although it is now winter again, some of these vegetables –such as carrots — are easily available all year around.

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Coconut Lemon Bars for Passover

I made this delicious “Coconut Lemon Bar” recipe in December using Meyer Lemons from my backyard citrus fruit tree. The combination of lemons, coconut and walnuts on a buttery crust made a great holiday dessert. These bars can easily be adapted for Passover and so I decided to make this dessert for our “virtual” Seder meal coming up this week.

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Apple and Walnut Compote a.k.a. Haroset

Passover will soon be here. My husband’s family is planning a “virtual” Seder meal and service via “Zoom.” With family is scattered all over the country and unable to travel and local folks trying to maintain 6 feet of space at a table, this seems like a good solution. We are living in a new era. One dish at the Seder meal which I particularly enjoy is Haroset which is served along with Matzah. Several years ago, a friend brought Haroset to our Seder which was absolutely delicious. The combination of apples and  walnuts in a sweet sauce is good to eat anytime of the year — whether or not you are celebrating Passover or another religious observance. I made the recipe to share with you.

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