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.
Wow, so much has changed in the world in just a few weeks. It is hard to imagine at the start of 2020 that Louisiana and many other states would be under a “stay at home” order for the very serious health treat of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our governor says that Louisiana has one of the fasting growing trajectories of this virus — due to the city of New Orleans and I’m guessing the tourist trade. Stay at home also means to cook at home. This includes being flexible and adaptable with ingredients on hand in your pantry. But who wants to spend all day cooking and washing dishes? For the next several weeks, I’m going to post one-pot dishes which are simple to prepare and allow for substitution of ingredients. “Cowboy Baked Beans with a Kick” is one of these recipes.
Last summer, I posted a recipe for “Quick Breakfast Casserole.” I love the flavors of sausage, egg and cheese combined into a casserole, but wondered if I could adapt the recipe to make a vegetarian version. I tried substituting black beans and more vegetable seasonings in place of the sausage. My husband loved it stating, “this tastes like a quiche.” He’s partially correct. And so I have named my one-bowl vegetarian–not vegan–adaption, “Easy Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche.” Continue reading
If you want good home-style cooking, you will probably find it at covered dish buffet. Everybody brings their best cookin’. This is where I sampled a Pistachio Cake which was absolutely delicious. It was green — yes, a green cake. The pistachio pudding gives a hint of green color and a nice nutty flavor to the cake along with a bit of almond extract. So I’m making the dessert with St. Patrick’s Day mind and plan to bring it for an supper event where everybody is asked to bring desserts.
Hamantaschen are delectable pastries made for the “Purim” Holiday. The cookie dough is rolled out and cut into round circles and then shaped into triangles. They are filled with poppy seed candy and honey or fruit preserves and nut fillings. The cookies are shared with family and friends. And my 96-year-old mother-in-law shared a delightful story from her childhood about these treats. Those special stories make the cookies worthwhile. Continue reading
I have fond memories of visiting New Orleans in past years for Mardi Gras parades and events. Really, we love to visit the city any time of the year, take in sights and eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants. Recently we visited a small, eclectic neighborhood restaurant for breakfast. The mid-city restaurant, in a shot gun house, always serves very creative dishes. It inspired me to make a similar French Toast entree based on the one we ate at the restaurant to commemorate this great city and Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras is this Tuesday, with parades, revelry, krewes and their balls and king cakes. It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without king cakes and hundreds of these are sold in the weeks preceding Mardi Gras in Louisiana and the Golf Coast. These desserts are rich pastries baked in an oval shape and decorated with green, purple and burnt orange sugar or icing. Often they are filled with cinnamon sugar, cream cheese, cherries or countless other fillings. This week, our local newspaper featured recipe for a “Boudin King Cake” which is a savory pastry filled with Cajun Boudin sausage. That’s sort of a unique twist on dessert king cakes, I mused. Why not give it a try. And so I made a variation, “Savory Andouille King Cake.”
We’ve had a bit of warm weather here in Louisiana and my azalea bushes are bursting into bloom. This reminds me that spring — and Mardi Gras — are on the way. Along with spring comes crawfish season. These crustaceans are plentiful this year, so I’m planning on making a several crawfish dishes. This week I’m attempting to cook Crawfish Bisque. This wonderful, thick soup is prepared in a way that is unique to Louisiana. The crawfish add a distinct favor. The traditional way to make Crawfish Bisque is an all-day process, so I’m adapting the recipe to something that I can manage. The bisque is still tasty and delicious!
Here’s decadent and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day. My “Classic Cheesecake” is is rich — but then it is Valentine’s Day and this cheesecake very much worth it!. I think my recipe is just as good as any traditional New York style cheesecake. And I added a chocolate Oreo crumb crust and served it with a cherry sauce. Yum.
Let’s make “Pico de Gallo” to go along with the Shrimp Quesadilla recipe which I posted last week. Pico de Gallo is a spicy and pungent salsa which extends the flavors of summer. I love fresh, ripe tomatoes but it is difficult to find flavorful tomatoes when they are out of season. This recipe seems to make the best of tomatoes in the wintertime. Plus the recipe uses lots of cilantro — which is plentiful at this time of year — and growing in my garden now. Continue reading