Today, I’m making “Whole Wheat Rolls” using my Instant Pot. These flavorful rolls have a hint of molasses flavor due to the Louisiana Steen’s Cane Syrup which I added. What does an Instant Pot have to do with making yeast rolls? One of the most difficult steps in baking breads, in my opinion, is finding a warm spot in my kitchen which is just right for the dough to rise. Too hot, and the dough is hard as a rock. Too cold, the dough never rises. I’ve had so many flops. I was excited to learn that my new Instant Pot has two modes — Yogurt and Sous Vide — which can be used for the first dough proofing step. I’m experimenting today. I am using a food processor for mixing and kneading the dough, so this recipe is super simple.Continue reading
I sent my husband to the grocery market to purchase rice and he returned home with a bamboo steamer. I certainly don’t need another “kitchen appliance.” However, since my husband was kind enough to run an errand for me, how could I ask him to return the bamboo steamer? Steaming vegetables and other foods is such a healthy way to cook things; I decided to give the bamboo steamer a trial run. Today I cooked “Steamed Oriental-Style Chicken with Kale” in the two layer steamer. I served it with sticky rice (also cooked in the steamer) and a simple dressing. It was an interesting experiment, really a meal-in-one, and my husband liked the resulting dish!Continue reading
I love these tender, flaky “Blueberry Scones” and can’t get enough of them. I have several quarts of blueberries in my freezer remaining from last summer’s backyard blueberry crop. So whenever I see an idea for using blueberries, I’m ready to try the recipe. A blueberry scone recipe in our local newspaper insert caught my attention. I have become pretty good at making homemade biscuits. Scones are similar — just a richer version. This recipe is delicious and easy to make because of several short cuts and tips that I learned while baking many batches of biscuits. I can prepare this recipe in just a few minutes. Here is how I made these melt-in-you mouth scones.Continue reading
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m making “Irish Bread Pudding.” You may ask, what is so Irish about bread pudding? I am making my favorite New Orleans-style bread pudding recipe and I am adding Irish Cream to the custard. Irish Cream is a liqueur containing whiskey, cream and various flavors such as coffee and vanilla extracts, sometimes chocolate. To be labeled legally as “Irish Cream Liqueur,” the whiskey must be produced in Ireland. Bailey’s Irish Cream is the quintessential Irish brand of this liqueur. When the Irish Cream Liqueur is added to this extra-rich bread pudding, the dessert really has some kick. And as some interesting trivia, New Orleans actually has a significant Irish population. The first Irish immigrated to this city in the late 1700’s, attracted because of Catholic traditions. More Irish settled in the city during the potato famines. The first Patrick’s Day celebration was held in 1809 So, let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a festive manner with this “Irish-inspired” dessert.Continue reading
I’ve always wanted to make a “Flan” and was excited when I stumbled across a recipe for “Pumpkin Flan” in a vintage cookbook. It is another prefect recipe for Thanksgiving and the holidays. A custard-type dessert with caramel topping is by far my husband’s favorite dessert. In Louisiana, custard flans and a similar dish, crème brûlée, are standards on most traditional restaurant menus. I can always guess what dessert we will order when we go out to eat. This recipe for “Pumpkin Flan” is a baked custard using whole eggs, spices, cream and pumpkin puree. It includes a hard caramel glaze. This recipe, or at least the caramel glaze, is tricky to make. I included fresh pumpkin pulp from my “sugar pumpkins” in the custard which gives this flan a definite Thanksgiving “pumpkin pie” taste. The “Pumpkin Flan” turned out great including my caramel glaze. Creamy and smooth. Delicious.Continue reading
Here is another absolutely delicious way to use fresh blueberries. I asked Aunt Gaye, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama, for recommendations on using blueberries since I had such a large summer crop. (Aunt Gaye is a great cook.) In a second she replied that she indeed had a favorite blueberry recipe: “Fresh Blueberry Streusel Pie.” She promised to mail me the recipe. Mail. Isn’t that great? Everybody likes to get mail. On the down side, now I had to wait several days for the recipe. Well, the recipe arrived as promised and I made the pie. Aunt Gaye showed off her cooking talents again, this is another winning recipe. The pie really highlights the fresh blueberry flavor. The crunchy streusel topping also sets the blueberries off, too.Continue reading
Here is a way to enjoy “Southern Fried Okra” all year long. “Oven-Fried Okra Poppers” is an adaptation of a recipe which I posted in the summer for traditional fried okra. That recipe uses fresh okra which is available in the summer months. We love fried okra and so I adapted the recipe as a way to enjoy home cooked okra in the wintertime, too. Plus, this okra is baked in the oven rather than frying cutting down on the calories and fat.Continue reading
I always know when a recipe is a winner; my husband asks that the leftovers be refrigerated and not tossed out. A bowl of homemade soup is soothing and satisfying, especially in cold winter months. Before you say “yuk” to broccoli soup, try this recipe. The flavors of broccoli, cheese, onions and carrots blend together with a creamy texture to make a mellow and flavorful soup. This soup, which is adapted from a Panera Bread™ restaurant recipe, has become one of my favorite soup recipes. It is a good way to learn to like broccoli.Continue reading
Let’s cook something new for Christmas Eve: “Tapioca Duchess Crem Gruber Christmas Dessert.” It is made using pearl tapioca and is a light and soothing dessert. Unlike bubble tea and bobo which are popular Taiwanese beverages using pearl tapioca, this recipe is over 200 years old and originated in Austria. The pudding has a fascinating connection to “Silent Night,” one of our most beloved Christmas carols. I remember eating tapioca pudding as a child; haven’t eaten it in years, so thought I’d try a new recipe this year.
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.