Let’s Cook Something New: Anasazi Beans

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.

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Touchdown Chili for a Football Crowd

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.

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Easy Cook: Homemade Instant Peach Ice Cream

I confess that I have many favorite homemade ice cream flavors; my most favorite flavor is peach ice cream. The summertime with ripe, juicy peaches is the perfect time to make this ice cream. Here is a recipe for peach ice cream that literally takes less than 10 minutes to mix up. You just need 4 ingredients, a wire whip and an ice cream churner. How simple can that be? And this ice creams is smooth and really quite delicious. It is much lower in fat and calories than commercial ice cream. You will surely impress family and friends.

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Louisiana Root Beer Chocolate Birthday Cake

Once again my daughter is far away at a camp in the woods of the lower peninsula of Michigan for the summer and I want to mail her a birthday cake. Something special but also something that will make it through the mail intact. I browsed the internet for possibilities. Cupcakes were frequent suggestions and also petit fours with a fondant icing. But I want to mail a cake; and settled on a dense chocolate cake. For a Louisiana twist, I added a bottle of Abida Springs root beer with cane sugar to the cake. Continue reading

Easy and Elegant: Blueberry Dump Cake Dessert

I’m on a mission to cook recipes with the blueberries on my backyard bush. It has my creative ideas going. The berries don’t last long — it’s a huge crop (for me). Here’s a second easy and elegant dessert to make with the blueberries. It is so simple — it fools you. This is a “dump” cake recipe, meaning that you just dump the ingredients directly into the baking dish and mix– no mixing bowls clean up.

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Teen Chef: Let’s Bake Mardi Gras King Cake Broiches

It’s Mardi Gras season in Louisiana and today we’re making King Cakes. This year I have teenager, Jessi, to help me make these sweet, rich and delicious yeast breads known as King Cakes. King cakes fill the grocery stores and hundreds are sold in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season. It is fairly easy to make a king cake yourself at home using this recipe. The key is using a heavy-duty mixer to do the kneading.

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Easy Cook: Kung Po Inspired Tilapia

I sent my husband to the grocery store to purchase catfish. He brought home tilapia. It’s not the same fish; you can’t deep fry a delicate tilapia filet–it will fall apart. I remembered a recipe for a quick-to-prepare Chinese dish for “Kung Po Cod” in our local newspaper using cod fish and lots of peppers. Why not use the tilapia instead? The dish is fantastic; but about the only similarity with the real Kung Po dish is the peanuts. Continue reading

Easy Cook: Jazzed-Up Apple Crumb Pie

Autumn is the season for apples and I enjoy finding new and interesting varieties of apples in produce markets. I’m calling this pie, “Jazzed-Up Apple Crumb Pie”, and used a new type of apple–Jazz apples–in the pie. This recipe is everything a pie should be–juicy and sweet, the apples are still just a little crisp and the topping is crunchy.  And the pie has only a few ingredients; it is very, very easy to make; hence if falls into my category of “Easy Cook”. Continue reading

Game Day Sloppy Joes

The seasons turned from summer to fall last week; the weather doesn’t feel any different; it is still hot and muggy. But now it is football season and in Louisiana folks take this sport seriously. Tailgating before LSU college football games is a social ritual; hundreds of folks descend onto the LSU campus for an afternoon party and then to watch the game. “Game Day Sloppy Joes” is an easy and tasty main dish to serve at the picnic.

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