Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Cowboy Baked Beans with a Kick — during the Coronavirus threat

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.

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Easy Cook: Green Pistachio Swirl Cake for St. Patrick’s Day

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.

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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