Crunchy Quinoa Granola

Crunchy Quinoa Granola–tasty, healthy, high in fiber and protein, other nutrients-it’s hard to find something that both tastes good and is good for you. This recipe is both-plus it’s easy to make and lends itself to lots of variations. The granola recipe includes quinoa, which has been described as a “superfood,” whatever that is. It is great for breakfast with yogurt and fresh fruit.

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Louisiana Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Incredibly, we’re headed into several more days of freezing sleet and snow here in Louisiana. Haven’t seen this much icy weather in several years. Schools and businesses are closed; so we’re basically on lock-down. At least it would be wise to stay home and warm today and tomorrow.  Start a fire in the fireplace, do some cooking, check the blogs.

Looking around my kitchen for things to cook in this cold weather, hearty stews and gumbos come to mind. Gumbo is uniquely Louisiana; every cook probably their own recipe variation. It’s origin really isn’t know; to me it represents a melting pot of all the cultures and foods that were brought to Louisiana. Gumbo is served in southern Louisiana at about every social event–weddings, parties, church gatherings, buffets lines–I even went to a funeral in a very rural area for an deseased employee and found gumbo served at the wake!

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Gumbo is essentially a dark brown meaty, flavorful soup/stew served with rice; some cooks prefer thin soups, some like thicker. It’s adaptable to many ingredients that a person may have on hand in their kitchen. My favorite is Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.

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Cajun-Inspired Pulled Pork PoBoy

Winter is a good time to get out the crock pot and slow-cook a meal. Pulled pork for sandwiches is especially suited to this kind of cooking. The key is to use a cut of meat, boneless pork butt roast, that has a lot of flavor to begin with. The moist heat and long cooking time tenderizes the pork, intensifies the flavor and the end result is that the pork just literally pulls apart. For this recipe, I added some Cajun-inspired spices to heat things up.

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Red Bean Soup with Rice; a variation on Creole Red Beans

Red Beans and Rice is a New Orleans Creole standard dish traditionally served in homes and restaurants on Monday’s. It’s served at buffets, social functions and is often included in Super Bowl and Mardi Gras parties.

It’s always tasty, but one of the best preparations I’ve eaten was with the red beans totally mashed and served as a soup. Red beans are soupy anyway, so this variation was logical. I’ve lost the recipe, and have been experimenting with what I might have done. It came out pretty good.

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Does Rosemary Grow in Louisiana?

Burr, It’s quite chilly here in Louisiana. Hard freeze in the low twenties and upper teens. The bird bath is an ice cube. Nothing compared to much of the rest of the country, but it’s COLD for us.

Much of my garden has wilted, except for the rosemary. It appears that the cold weather here didn’t even touch it. This rosemary plant is very aromatic, adding new grow. It’s an excellent time to cook with it, and I found an interesting recipe idea.

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Easy Mardi Gras King Cake with Nutella and Fig Spreads

It’s Mardi Gras season here in Louisiana! It’s a festive time of the year that goes from the twelfth night after Christmas, January 6th or Epiphany, to Fat Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras has many traditions and one of the popular ones is bringing a King Cake to share at a party or event.

If you live in Louisiana, it’s easy to pick one up at the market or pastry store. Yum! However, homemade pastries are the best and a person can be really creative with fillings and types of cakes.

Easy Mardi Gras King Cake with Nutella and Fig Spreads - 1 - IMG_1899_1

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A Trio of Cabbage Recipes for New Year’s Day

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In the South, cabbage and blackeye peas are eaten on New Year’s day for prosperity, luck and wealth. My last blog gave an idea for preparing blackeye peas.

Cabbage is in season and very inexpensive, the supermarkets had bins and bins. So, I accommodated and purchased four cabbage heads. That’s alot of cabbage, I must be wishing for alot of wealth this year. But I actually like cabbage–didn’t like it much growing up–and find there are many ways to prepare it when you really think about it.

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