Let’s Eat Pumpkin! Cajun-Inspired Roast Pumpkin Slices

Who would think that we might be eating roast pumpkin and liking it. Small sugar pumpkins which are available in grocery stores in autumn are really quite tasty when simply roasted. Once I discovered how much I liked the pumpkins, I’ve continued to purchase them. I added Cajun-type spices which made these very flavorful.

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Louisiana-Style Smothered Mustard Greens

Winter greens such as mustard and collard greens have never been my favorite vegetable. But when a co-worker brought her version of Louisiana-style mustard greens to work one evening, I had a new opinion. This dish was so good. It is flavored with typical Cajun seasonings and bits of ham and simmered slowly on the stove — as in old fashioned southern cooking. Best of all, greens are “good for you” — plenty of  healthy benefits. Don’t overlook this often forgotten vegetable; especially when it in season in the fall and winter. Here is my co-worker’s recipe made with mustard greens from my garden.

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Persimmon Log Roll

I wanted to bake something really unique for a fall covered dish supper. I kept looking at the persimmons ripening on my backyard tree. How about a persimmon sponge cake roll? Now that’s different. Well I was in a hurry — the egg whites didn’t get stiff and my husband ate one of only two ripe persimmons. But I took the cake anyway and was pleased that it all disappeared. The cinnamon in the cake and cream cheese filling really toned down the flavor of the persimmons. Many folks said how tasty the cake was. Think I’ll make it again — this time properly.

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Vegetarian Chili with Pumpkin

Here’s a different kind of chili –vegetarian chili with pumpkin. I was a bit skeptical of adding pumpkin puree to chili and omitting the beef but went ahead and gave it a try. And I was pleasantly surprised. The result is a dish which has the spices of traditional chili; full of vegetables and black beans which add texture and flavor. The pureed pumpkin thickened the chili but didn’t overpower it. 

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Homemade Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

I decided to make a batch of pickled jalapeno peppers with my remaining garden produce. I have just enough of the peppers for three small jars. And surprise. It is really quite easy to make your own pickled peppers. These brined peppers turned out to be crunchy and full of hot flavor — much better than store bought ones, in my opinion. Although they can be kept in the refrigerator for several months, I doubt if they will last that long.

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Pumpkin and Spice Snickerdoodles

It’s October — the season for pumpkins and gourds. I’m beginning to see small pumpkins for sale in grocery stores and farmers markets. These pumpkins are called sugar pumpkins and are best suited for baking and eating– rather than the huge ones sold for carving and decorations.  A recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles caught my attention. Adding pumpkin puree to cookies is a unique way to use  pumpkin pulp; I thought I’d try to make a batch. 

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Cajun-Style Shrimp Stuffed Jalapenos & Variations

I grew a bumper crop of jalapeno peppers in my garden this summer; these hot peppers are extremely easy to grow. One of my favorite appetizers at a local restaurant uses these peppers in a dish called “Crab Stuffed Jalapenos.” All summer I’ve attempted to duplicate and copy their recipe using my large crop of jalapeno peppers. Here are several of my variations and results. The stuffed jalapenos are delicious; I do recommend having a large glass of water nearby. Continue reading

Let’s Make a Chicken Shawarma-Style Bowl

Let’s try to make a Chicken Shawarma-style lunch bowl. I’d like to find a chicken shawarma recipe which is close to the real thing. For lunch, we love to eat at the nearby Greek and Lebanese Serop’s Express Cafe with a cafeteria-style lunch line. The chicken shawarma plate or bowl with chicken, rice, salad and feta cheese is my favorite. I could eat at this restaurant every day for lunch. (For the quick service and tasty food!) Continue reading

Sun-Brewed Darjeeling Iced Tea — Pros and Cons

While visiting in Germany last week, I discovered that folks there don’t drink iced tea. It’s not on restaurant menus, there was no instant ice tea mix or family sized ice tea-bags in grocery stores. Missing a glass of ice tea, my son and I bought tea bags and brewed our own. We randomly selected Darjeeling tea and it was actually the best iced tea I’d had in quite some time. After returning back home to Louisiana, I decided to attempt to make sun-brewed iced tea using Darjeeling tea bags. Continue reading