When I think of Mardi Gras, I think of New Orleans and recall all of our adventures to the city during carnival season. New Orleans has a distinct and rich cuisine; we’ve eaten at many restaurants over the years during these times. Blackened redfish, made famous by Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme, is one of the memorable dishes of this city. With carnival season and Mardi Gras arriving soon, here’s my “blackened recipe,” a version using chicken rather than redfish.
For Valentine’s Day, I have a simple cookie recipe from my grandmother Ida Belle. She was born in the late 1800’s on an Iowa farm where everything was homemade. I have fond memories of visiting the family farm in the summertime: fresh air, corn fields, and cool water directly from their well. Life seemed simpler then. Grandma liked to bake and Angel Crisps is one of her recipes. Continue reading
Sour Grapes. Guess who is not going to the Super Bowl Championship game this year? The New Orleans Saints football team and fans. This includes our family who managed to watch over 50% of the Saint’s games this fall including several exciting wins. To commemorate the loss, I am posting two “sour grapes” recipes this week. In case you might like to try making them yourself on “Super Bowl Sunday,” I’m posting recipes for “Sour Grape Cocktails” and “Sour Grapes” today.
Our local grocery store advertised a special on Bartlett pears recently. It’s a little late in the year to find fresh pears, but I love this aromatic fruit and purchased a basket. The memory of a unique pizza at served at California Pizza Kitchen Restaurant has always stuck with me. It was made with fresh pears, Gorgonzola cheese and topped with salad greens. Thought I’d try using my pears to make it.
During this holiday season, we ate the most delicious cauliflower appetizer, “Cauliflower Tempura with Gochujang Sauce,” at a P.F. Chang’s Restaurant. I love cauliflower, prepared in any way, and this was simply one of the best preparations I have ever tasted. I decided to research the recipe and duplicate it at home. I am pleased. The result turned out great; it was similar but uniquely my own. Here is P.F. Chang’s Cauliflower Tempura.
Let’s begin the new year by cooking something new: Anasazi beans. These heirloom beans have an interesting history. The beans shown here are from a farmer’s market in Taos, New Mexico, which is the closest town to the Taos Pueblos. My brother’s family purchased the beans while on a cross-country driving trip from California. Along the way they visited several American Native Indian cliff dwelling sites and ruins. I made a hearty soup with the beans.
Let’s start the New Year on a healthy note. Here’s a tasty way to prepare and serve fish fillets. The fish fillets are topped with an almond crust and baked, then served over a bed of savoy cabbage, onions and dried fruit along with a tangy mustard sauce. The fish fillet with crunchy topping simply melts in your mouth! This is an easy way to live a heart healthy diet. With all of our fried food served in Louisiana, the recipe is a welcome change.
Wow, what a footfall season we had this fall. Our favorite hometown football teams (LSU and the New Orleans Saints) both had several exciting nail-biting wins. We watched the games until the bitter end. Now, there will be plenty of college football bowl and professional play-off games starting the year in January. If you are a football fan, then this is football paradise. So to end 2018, here is a chili recipe which is great to serve while watching a football bowl game in your home. It is also a tasty main dish to serve on a cold, winter night.
Every year my mother-in-law sends “gelt” (a.k.a. money) for Hanukkah rather than presents. I like to save the gelt for something really special; something I might not otherwise indulge in. This year an old-fashioned Bundt cake pan caught my attention. I love to bake and this seemed like a fitting use for her generosity. The first cake I made was “Pecan Rum Cake.” It is festive for the all the holidays — both Hannukah and Christmas. I liked it so much I also made a variation, “Satsuma Rum Cake.”
I look forward to the holiday season — it is a good excuse to indulge a little by baking cookies and other scrumptious desserts. I especially like to try new recipes — last year I stumbled upon Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars. Here’s my own version of the recipe — using an old-fashioned oatmeal blondie brownie recipe along with dried cranberries, orange zest, white chocolate chips and a cream cheese icing. Yum. This festive dessert is pretty good!