31 March 2009

Recipe: Seasoned Rump Roast

Delicious beef roastImage by mrlerone via Flickr

From Denny: Sometimes simple and rustic is best!

From: Cochon Butcher


4 lbs rump roast

2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped in ½ inch pieces

1 cup carrots, chopped in ½ inch pieces

1 cup onion, chopped in ½ inch pieces

1 cup par cooked potatoes, chopped in ½ inch pieces

2 cups red wine

1 cup stock (or water)

Directions: Place roast in a roasting pan or rack and cook at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes to form a nice brown crust. Add the chopped vegetables and the wine and reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for about one hour and 15 minutes for medium rare. Remove meat from pan and place the roasting pan over a medium high burner. Add stock and cook vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes to slightly intensify broth. Serve to accompany the roast.

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30 March 2009

Recipe: Fried Oysters on the Half Shell with Bacon Horseradish Hollandaise

Oysters, opened, ready for consumption, raw
Image via Wikipedia

Fried Oysters on the Half Shell with Bacon Horseradish Hollandaise

From: Mr. B's Bistro

Yield: Serves 4


1 lb shucked oysters (1 pint)

2/3 cup Crystal hot sauce

1 large egg, lightly beaten

canola oil for frying

For 3-2-1 breading:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup corn flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 tsp kosher salt

¾ tsp granulated onion

¾ tsp granulated garlic

¾ tsp paprika

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp white pepper

rock salt for serving

2 dozen oyster shells

1/2 cup bacon horseradish hollandaise sauce


Drain oysters and toss with Crystal and egg. Marinate oysters, chilled and covered, 2 hours and up to overnight.

In a deep heavy saucepan heat about 2 inches oil until it registers 350 degrees on a deep-fat thermometer.

Make 3-2-1 breading: In a large bowl combine all ingredients.

Toss oysters in breading, shaking off excess, and fry in batches of 6 until golden brown, about one and a half minutes, making sure oil returns to 350 degrees before adding more oysters. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

To serve arrange rock salt on 4 plates. Arrange oysters on half shells and place over salt. Top each oyster with a teaspoon of hollandaise

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29 March 2009

Recipe: Oyster Pan Roast

Baked Oysters with ChanterellesImage by MarxFoods.com via Flickr

Photo of another version of baked oysters with mushrooms

Oyster Pan Roast

From: The Palace Cafe

Yield: Serves 4


4 pieces French bread, 2-3 inch slices cut on a bias

1 Tbsp Butter, softened

4 Tbsp Breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 qt Heavy cream

1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, minced

1 Tbsp Shallots, minced

20 P & J Oysters

1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped for garnish

4 sprigs Fresh rosemary

Salt and white pepper to taste


To make croutons, butter both sides of each piece of French bread and season with salt and pepper. Toast in a 350° oven until crisp.

Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and reserve. Reduce cream by ½ over medium-high heat in a heavy saucepot. Stir in rosemary and shallots and reduce sauce until it thickens a bit. Strain to remove shallots and rosemary. Ladle cream into an oven-safe skillet and bring to a boil.

Add oysters and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Be careful not to over-salt the dish! Remember, the oysters are somewhat salty. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the ends of the oysters start to curl, then remove from heat. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over oysters. Broil in a 350° oven until breadcrumbs are toasted and golden brown.

To serve, place a French bread crouton in the center of each serving plate. Spoon oysters and sauce around crouton. Spear rosemary sprig through crouton and sprinkle dish with parsley.

At the Palace Café this signature dish is served in individual 4 oz. French pans. For this pan roast presentation without all of the pans, serve Oyster Pan Roast family style from a cast iron skillet.

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28 March 2009

Recipe: Seafood Gumbo from a Louisiana Chef

DSC_0046Image by Southern Foodways Alliance via Flickr

Seafood Gumbo

From: Chef Forest Dillemuth


1 lb Louisiana crawfish tails

1 rabbit (store-bought will work)

1 duck breast (trim any fat and again, store-bought will work)

1 lb Andouille sausage

1/2 lb boneless buffalo stew meat

1 lb shrimp

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tsp ground thyme

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp oregano

1 chopped purple onion

2 bell peppers (1 red and 1 yellow)

2 gallons water

2 Tbsp of roux mix

1 tsp filé powder

2 cups white rice

1 Tbsp olive oil


Bring two gallons of water to boil. Add 1 clove of chopped garlic, parsley, thyme, oregano and salt to water. Once boiling place whole rabbit and boil slowly (until meat is soft and tender). Once rabbit is boiled pull from pot, let cool, remove all meat from bone and set aside. Also pull out 4 cups of water from the stock and set aside.

In new pot add olive oil and heat. Once heated add remaining garlic, onion and bell pepper and sauté until vegetables are tender. Now add sausage, duck, buffalo, shrimp and crawfish and sauté until cooked. Then add 2 tablespoons of roux mix and 1 teaspoon of filé into pot and sauté at high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining stock from rabbit and cook on medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

To cook the rice take the 4 cups of stock you set aside and place into small pot. Bring to boil and add 2 cups of rice. Stir and then reduce to low heat. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

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27 March 2009

Recipe: Blackened Redfish with Corn Cake

Photo by Chasqui @ flickr of another version of Blackened Redfish with Risotto and Asparagus at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans.

Blackened Redfish with Corn Cake

From: Hosea Rosenberg, Top Chef Season 5

Prep time: About 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 12


For Fish:

12 small cubes redfish (about 1 ounce each)
4 Tablespoons Blackening Spice (you will have extra)
Vegetable oil for cooking

For Corn Cakes:

4 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
3 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup potato puree (boiled russet potato pressed through mill)
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
2 ounces melted butter
Salt and pepper

For Remoulade Sauce:

2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
8 ounces canola oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon celery, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Creole spice
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ Tablespoon fresh chopped herbs like parsley, thyme and oregano


Fresh Cilantro
Canned baby corn

Directions for Fish:

Press one side of fish into blackening spice. Over medium-high heat, sear seasoned side of fish for about one minute, then flip and cook one minute on other side, or until it is just cooked through. Set aside.

Directions for Corn Cakes:

In blender, puree half of corn with whole eggs and half-and-half. In mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and remaining kernels of corn. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Whip egg whites till soft peaks and fold in. Slowly drizzle in melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cook small scoops of batter on to griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat with a little oil until cooked through, flipping once. They should look like mini pancakes. Keep warm.

Directions for Remoulade Sauce:

Sautee garlic, onion, peppers and celery in small amount of oil over medium heat until cooked through and wilted, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, spices, and herbs. Cool. In food processor, place eggs, lemon, salt and Tabasco. While processing, slowly drizzle in oil. Once this “mayonnaise” (remoulade) is finished, mix in the vegetables. Check seasoning.

To Serve: Place small amount of remoulade sauce on pancake. Top with fish and garnish with fresh cilantro and corn shoots.

26 March 2009

Recipe: Jalapeño Hush Puppies

Illustration Capsicum annuum0.Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Making these becomes an art like making perfect biscuits. It takes a little practice. It also depends upon your climate and humidity level as to how the batter will come together and behave so you will have to rely upon your judgment.

After the batter is mixed try a small test ball to see how the batter behaves. From the recipe author: "The object of this recipe is to have light, fluffy hush puppies. If heavy and do not rise enough, use more baking powder. If hush puppies are greasy and break apart, add more flour."

And hey! When you go to chopping those jalapenos, make sure you use gloves, and, if not, make sure you wash your hands well before any bright ideas of thinking you can wipe your eyes or touch your mouth or you will be letting out one (maybe more) loud yelp from the pain!

Jalapeño Hush Puppies

The Cotton Country Collection


2 cups cornmeal

1 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 small can cream style corn

3 jalapeño peppers, chopped

¼ bell pepper, chopped

1 small onion, minced


Pinch of baking soda (about ½ teaspoon)

Directions: Mix all ingredients. Use enough buttermilk to make this the consistency of cornbread batter. Test batter by scooping up a portion on a spoon and with your thumb push portion into medium hot grease. The object of this recipe is to have light, fluffy hush puppies. If heavy and do not rise enough, use more baking powder. If hush puppies are greasy and break apart, add more flour. If you want more tang, add some jalapeno pepper juice.

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25 March 2009

Recipe: Sweet Potato Pancakes

From Denny: Ready for a cool idea for a brunch or weekend breakfast like we often do in Louisiana? Here's one of my all time favorite recipes I've developed over the years. You can find many variations of this pancake recipe throughout Louisiana. This is a great way to use up mashed or baked sweet potato leftovers from a previous meal!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

From: Denny Lyon

Yield: about 20 pancakes


1 ½ cups flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups lowfat organic milk

1 ¼ cups melted clarified butter or canola oil (clarified butter tastes better! Once it’s clarified it’s as healthy as canola oil cholesterol wise.)

1 ¼ cups mashed, cooked fresh sweet potatoes (or canned)

Directions: In one larger bowl combine the dry ingredients of flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. I like to use a wire whisk to combine so it is well distributed.

In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients of the eggs, milk, butter, and sweet potatoes.

Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Just mix it only until blended. Drop batter by spoonfuls (I like to use a gravy ladle as it pours onto the ladle easier.) Try a small test pancake to check the heat of your burner. Depending upon whether you are using gas or electric will determine if you require medium or medium low heat.

You can cook these pancakes like regular pancakes except you do need to watch them a bit more since the sweet potato has a lot of sugar in it and can burn easier than a regular plain pancake. Fry on about medium heat until browned on one side well and then turn over to brown the other side for not quite as long.

Serve with clarified butter (you tend to use less as the taste is wonderful!) and we like heated (melted) orange marmalade into which we dip each perfect bite of pancake.

Makes about 20 sweet potato pancakes.

Photo by foodistablog @ flickr

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24 March 2009

Recipe: Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

Yield: One 9x13 cake

From: Brenda Caruso, Port Allen, Louisiana

This is one of those really easy cakes that does not require a lot of technical ability or knowledge, perfect for a beginner to get their feet wet in the world of baking and easy enough to do with children. And it’s chocolate! It breaks all the baking world’s rules: no need to properly cream the sugar and butter and no waiting to ice a cake after it is cooled down from the oven. This crazy cake gets iced while hot!

Ingredients for Cake:

2 sticks butter

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for Frosting:

1 stick butter

6 Tablespoons buttermilk

4 Tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 box confectioners’ sugar

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions for Cake: Bring 2 sticks butter, cocoa and water to boil.

Put sugar in large bowl. Pour the hot cocoa mixture over the sugar. Mix in flour, eggs, buttermilk and baking soda.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350° F. for about 30 minutes. When cake is done, test with a toothpick and it comes out clean; remove from the oven.

Directions to make Frosting: Melt 1 stick butter and mix with 6 Tablespoons buttermilk, 4 Tablespoons cocoa, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar and pecans to make frosting. Ice the cake while still hot.

Photo by Harris Graber @ flickr

23 March 2009

Confessions of a Cajun Traiteuse - More Than Herbs - Part IV

Photo by *L*u*z*a* @ flickr

Confessions of a Cajun Traiteuse - More Than Herbs - Part IV: "When I was a nine year old girl, I found myself sitting in the confessional booth of St. Lawrence Church, in Chacahoula, Louisiana without any sin I was readily willing to own up to. The priest on the other side kept clearing his throat in impatience. I felt the cold knot of dread in my stomach, accompanied by my sweaty palms, and feelings similar to the major anxiety of a prisoner about to be executed.

On the other side of the stifling hot creaky booth sat Father Charles prepared to listen to my penitents and mete out my penalties. I certainly wasn't going to tell him I was the girl who stole the cookies and blamed it on her little brother. I wasn't going to admit I'd sassed my mama. Nor, was I willing to concede that my prayers of late, were more along the lines of, 'Please send me a new dress for the first day of school,' when I knew we were supposed to pray for the sick and the poor." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei @ HubPages

22 March 2009

Recipe: Garlic Cheese Grits

Photo by Daniel Greene @ flickr of garlic cheese grits with a huge grilled pork chop and green beans!

From Denny: Yet another easy recipe for the weekend! This from an aging cookbook from 1984. Quick! Digitize it before the paper disintegrates! :)

Garlic Cheese Grits

From: Talk About Good! Cookbook


1 cup grits

4 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 roll Kraft garlic cheese

1 stick butter (Denny: I like to clarify my butter for taste and less cholesterol)

2 eggs, well beaten

¼ cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook grits in water with salt added. After grits are cooked, add one roll Kraft garlic cheese. Break in pieces and add 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs well beaten, salt and pepper to taste, milk. Put in a casserole (1 ½ quart) and bake 40 minutes to 1 hour at 300 to 350-degrees F.

Variation: Separate eggs and fold in 2 stiffly beaten egg whites before putting in casserole to bake.

21 March 2009

Louisiana Culture: Sicilian Tradition of St. Joseph's Altar

Louisiana Culture: Sicilian Tradition of St. Joseph's Altar: "This is a lesson from hundreds of years ago, still celebrated today, of what it is to give to others even when you are in your time of need. The act of gratitude has been with us for generations. 9 recipes."

By Denny Lyon

From Denny: I started out writing this for the blog to give out the recipes and before I knew it I was researching a centuries old tradition of gratitude that turned into a full blown article!

Cool link to a virtual St. Joseph's Altar where you can give virtual food offerings, read a blog, offer prayers for loved ones, learn the history of the tradition and much more.

It's a good story about how even when we think we don't have much it's important to remember others who have less. Louisiana has always been about sharing food generously with others and creating recipes to share too.

20 March 2009

Recipe: Jambalaya Grits

Another version of a dinner with grits: Cajun Shrimp, Cheddar Cheese grits and sugar peas, yum! This is a typical weekend meal in south Louisiana when shrimp are fresh.

Photo by Bethany L. King @ flickr

From Denny: In Louisiana and throughout the American South we just love grits the way folks in Italy love their polenta. It's similar as both are a type of soft cornmeal dish. Their name sounds better! :)

Here, with our French influence, we always cook with the Holy Trinity: onions, bell pepper and celery. I like to add garlic.

Try this different version of grits if you don't like them plain with salt and butter. We serve them any time of day or night. We even eat breakfast all times of the day and night. Americans love breakfast foods!

Jambalaya Grits

Jambalaya Cookbook

Yield: Serves 6


2 Tablespoon bacon grease

2 Tablespoons flour

½ cup chopped onion

1 green bell pepper, chopped

½ cup chopped celery

1 cup quick grits

3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

1 cup ground ham

Bacon, cooked to crispy and crumbled

Directions: In a heavy skillet, heat bacon grease and gradually add flour, stirring constantly, until roux becomes light brown. Add onion, green bell pepper and celery; cook 5 minutes. Cook grits according to package directions and add to roux and vegetable mixture. Add tomatoes and ham. Sprinkle with bacon and serve immediately.

19 March 2009

Confessions of A Cajun Traiteuse - Saving Seeds and Making Wine Part II

Confessions of A Cajun Traiteuse - Saving Seeds and Making Wine Part II: "As I continue to share inside stories of my journey as a child Cajun traiteuse, I've thought a lot about everything that this entailed, and wrestled with what I was taught to tell others and what don't you tell. As a girl, I remember thinking time and time again -- 'What does all of this have to do with being a faith healer?' as my Grandpere would have me doing tasks, that seemed to have nothing to do with folk remedies and helping people get well.

I also wrestled with myself over, 'If you have knowledge that can help others, why keep it to yourself and only share with one other person (ie. the one you train to replace you)?'

Two key two key alternative medicine practices of his -- haunt and follow me to this day. The first, was the very involved process of seed saving. This is something that people have been doing all over the world for tens of thousands of years out of necessity.

The other passion had to do with making various homemade wines. These practices haunt and follow me, because I lived long enough to know how important knowing how to do both are to being self-sufficient."

By Jerilee Wei

From Denny: The generation of the cultural folk faith healer is fading. There was a time when knowledge of herbs as medicine was common throughout America and Europe. Since drug companies moved in and began growing, producing and selling the results of the healers' knowledge much of the knowledge has ceased to be passed down.

As Americans began moving from the farm in the 1950's into city and suburban situations a lot of knowledge has no longer been taught or cultivated. This article is a look into a fading world with an eye to write down what was once orally taught only to small groups or one individual per generation. This is a special treat for someone to be writing on this subject without monetary gain.

18 March 2009

Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

When folks in Louisiana can’t afford the seafood version, seafood is out of season or they really want their favorite sausage this is their go-to recipe. If you can’t find andouille sausage in your area, try one of your favorites as a substitute!

I'll be posting many versions of this gumbo from a variety of sources so you can see just how versatile this stew really is!

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

From: “Food Made Fast Slow Cooker” cookbook by Williams-Sonoma

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1-1/2-inch pieces

3/4 pound andouille or other spicy sausages, cut in 1-inch slices

1/2 pound fresh okra, cut into thick rounds

1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 Tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 (14-1/2-oz.) can diced plum Roma tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steamed white rice for serving


1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

2. Transfer chicken to slow cooker, then add the sausage. Scatter the okra, bell pepper, celery and onion on top.

3. Return frying pan to medium heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle the flour in the pan and cook, stirring constantly until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

4. Stir in broth and tomatoes with their juice and raise the heat to medium-high. When mixture boils, remove pan from the heat. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne and then pour over the vegetables, chicken and sausages.

5. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Ladle the gumbo over steamed rice and serve.

Enjoyed best when served to lots of friends!

17 March 2009

Recipe: Alberta Fudge Cake

Basically, this cake has a thick layer of real pecan fudge laying on top as the icing. This cake is so very rich you might want to serve only in very small portions or keep it for the holidays.

Note: Be specific about cooking the fudge until it registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Alberta Fudge Cake

From: Michael Doumit, from Lafayette, Louisiana, originally featured in Travelhost Magazine.

Yield: Makes a 9x13-inch cake.


2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1-1/2 cups flour

6 tbls. cocoa

2 tsps. vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

Fudge Icing

4 cups sugar

1 stick butter

1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk

12 ozs. semisweet chocolate chips

1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème

3 cups chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla

1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a (9x13x2-inch) baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In mixer, blend butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed and creamy. Add eggs one at a time and blend.

3. Sift flour and cocoa together and add to above mixture. Add vanilla and chopped pecans.

4. Pour into greased or parchment-lined pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool, then top with Fudge Icing.

Fudge Icing

1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, butter and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 236 degrees on candy thermometer.

2. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow crème. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in pecans and vanilla and pour over cake. Cool until fudge sets.

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16 March 2009

Recipe: Hush Puppies for Seafood

Stack of five hushpuppiesImage via Wikipedia

Trust me; these won't last long! Often they are served as appetizers here in Louisiana at casual or seafood restaurants. People love them! Simple to make.

Hush Puppies for Seafood

(Cornmeal Fritters for the uninitiated)

From: Louisiana’s Original Creole Seafood Recipes


1 cup flour

2 cups corn meal

2 Tablespoons baking powder

1 egg

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon onions, finely chopped


Directions: Mix all ingredients with enough milk to make a thick dough. Wet fingers and roll into balls and fry in deep fat like peanut oil. Remove when browned on both sides.

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15 March 2009

Recipe: Blintz Brunch Bake

From Denny: We just love cheesey dishes in Louisiana and when better than for breakfast on the weekend? Try this little lovely next time you need to bake for a number of people and don't feel like a lot of different dishes when one will do so you can relax with your company!

Blintz Brunch Bake

From: KraftFoods.com

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 1 hr

Makes: 16 servings


2 packages (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

1 container (15 oz.) BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Ricotta Cheese

5 eggs, divided

3/4 cup sugar, divided

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted

1/4 cup milk

1 Tablespoon CALUMET Baking Powder


PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, 2 of the eggs, 1/4 cup of the sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended; set aside.

PLACE flour, butter, remaining 3 eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, milk and baking powder in separate large bowl; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Spread 1/3 of the dough onto bottom of greased 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with cream cheese mixture. Gently spoon remaining dough over top.

BAKE 45 minutes or until center is set. Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Calories 310

Total fat 26 g

Saturated fat 15 g

Cholesterol 140 mg

Sodium 340 mg

Carbohydrate 12 g

Dietary fiber 0 g

Sugars 11 g

Protein 7 g

© 2008 Kraft Foods Inc. All rights reserved

14 March 2009

Pink dolphin appears in US lake

Right here in Louisiana!

News story:

The world's only PINK Bottlenose dolphin which was discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA, has become such an attraction that conservationists have warned tourists to leave it alone.

Charter boat captain Erik Rue, 42, photographed the animal, which is actually an albino, when he began studying it after the mammal first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern USA.
Capt Rue originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.

He said: "I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter.

"It was absolutely stunningly pink.

"I had never seen anything like it. It's the same color throughout the whole body and it looks like it just came out of a paint booth.

"The dolphin appears to be healthy and normal other than its coloration, which is quite beautiful and stunningly pink.

"The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes indicating its albinism. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws.

"I have personally spotted the pink dolphin 40 to 50 times in the time since the original sighting as it has apparently taken up residence with its family in the Calcasieu ship channel.

"As time has passed the young mammal has grown and sometimes ventures away from its mother to feed and play but always remains in the vicinity of the pod.

"Surprisingly, it does not appear to be drastically affected by the environment or sunlight as might be expected considering its condition, although it tends to remain below the surface a little more than the others in the pod."

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, senior biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: "I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career.

"It is a truly beautiful dolphin but people should be careful, as with any dolphins, to respect it - observe from a distance, limit their time watching, don't chase or harass it.

"While this animal looks pink, it is an albino which you can notice in the pink eyes.

"Albinism is a genetic trait and it unclear as to the type of albinism this animal inherited."

A close relation of dolphins, the Amazon River Botos, called pink dolphins, live in South America in the Amazon.

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From: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/4927224/Pink-dolphin-appears-in-US-lake.html

13 March 2009

Funny Friday the 13th!

Photo by nao-cha @ flickr of dog Cocoa

From friends over at Twitter:

"Very funny page for Friday the 13th, both versions - peterdrew@keithbaxter It's Friday the 13th! Beware...
http://snipr.com/dp10t DUDE!! not nice scaring me like that :=)"

From Denny: Just click on the title as the address is linked. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Opelousas Oyster Loaf

A less messy way to fry those tasty oysters! Do it in the microwave. Tony Chachere is well cherished here in Louisiana, after all, he was the first to start selling a Cajun seasoning. It was popular here with Louisiana cooks and spread out to the national palate and they cook Cajun all over the world now!

Opelousas Oyster Loaf

Tony Chachere’s Microwave Cajun Country Cookbook

Yield: 4 – 6 servings


1 loaf French bread, unsliced

1 dozen select oysters, large

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, can use crumbs from inside of loaf of French bread

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 egg

½ cup cream

2 Tablespoons cooking oil

Dill pickles




Directions: Slice off top of the French bread and reserve. Scoop out insides and toast the bread under the broiler. Butter inside generously and wrap in terry cloth towel to keep warm.

Dry oysters on paper towel. In small bowl, combine salt, pepper and egg. Beat well. Add cream and mix well. Place oysters in egg mixture.

Place bread crumbs in plastic bag, add oysters, and shake to coat each piece.
Preheat microwave browning skillet on HIGH FOR 8 MINUTES. Pour cooking oil into preheated skillet. Place oysters in oil.

Microwave on HIGH 1 MINUTE. Turn over.

Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1 ½ MINUTES or until browned. Drain on paper towel. Fill in hollow of French bread with fried oysters. Garnish with sliced dill pickles, lemon wedges, and dabs of catsup. Replace top, wrap in terry towel and place in microwave.

Microwave on 70% POWER FOR 45 to 60 SECONDS or until warm. Serve at once.

12 March 2009

If It Crawls, Slithers, Swims, or Walks

If It Crawls, Slithers, Swims, or Walks: "It's said that if it crawls, slithers, swims, or walks -- we Cajuns eat it. That's a stereotype characterization that is well deserved. Actually, my Grandpere's exact instructions were always, 'If it moves, we might eat it.'

He had a large family to feed and not much money. However, don't be fooled, not everything that walks, crawls, and slithers, can or should be eaten." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

11 March 2009

Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya

Creole Jambalaya with Shrimp, Ham, and Andouil...Image via Wikipedia

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya

Here’s a different twist on a yummy Louisiana dish: using black-eyed peas! These peas are very popular here, usually as a side dish.

From: Frances Durham

Yield: Serves about 12

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya


1 (16 ounce) can Trappey’s black-eyed peas with jalapeños, undrained

1 ½ cups Uncle Ben’s uncooked rice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, drained

½ cup butter

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces

Chopped garlic to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine the black-eyed peas, rice, onion, beef broth, mushrooms, butter and sausage in an electric rice cooker. Season to taste with garlic, salt and pepper.

Cook according to directions from the rice cooker, gently stirring once when the cooker reaches the warm mode.

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Feedburner Glitch

Now I know why my feed counts have been going up and down wildly. Turns out Feedburner keeps deactivating them: on all 7 blogs! So, apologies, if you have found this maddening; join the club. Guess it's taking Google and Feedburner longer to merge and work out the gremlins than they are telling the public, oh, well... Meanwhile, rest assured I will be now manually monitoring these feeds twice a day to keep them activiated. Thank you for your patience everyone!

Don't you just love this photo of an ass? Such a good fit when things go wrong because that's how you feel and look to others! Might as well have some fun with screw-ups, right! ;)

Thanks go to the folks over at flickr who place their photos in the Creative Commons area for online writers and bloggers like me, much appreciated! They can be so funny.

Photo by gidibao @ flickr

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How Long Will You Live?

How Long Will You Live?: "There is an old-timey Cajun way of contemplating sunsets, by measuring and knowing the number of sunsets you've been given. It changes the way you'll look at your personal sunsets. If you were to live one hundred years, you'll only have 36,500 sunsets in your personal century. Doesn't sound like a lot of sunsets for one hundred years of wisdom, does it?" 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei
Photo by William Dalton @ flickr

10 March 2009

Recipe: Sweet Rice Cakes

These rice cakes date back to the 1800’s when African-American women would carry baskets of them piping hot, wrapped in a clean towel through the streets. They strolled through the French Quarter yelling, “Belles calas, tout chauds! Calas!” and for a small price you had a warm tasty breakfast a la street food.

It’s also a great way to use up that leftover boiled rice during the week. Make sure you enjoy some café au lait with your calas this morning!

Sweet Rice Cakes

(Belles Calas Tout Chauds – this is the old recipe)

From: Louisiana Keepsake


½ cup rice

½ cake dissolved yeast

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups boiling water

3 eggs, well beaten

1 heaping Tablespoon flour

Powdered sugar
(In Louisiana almost everything gets doused and drowned in powdered sugar!)

Directions: Cook a half cup of rice in the boiling water until mushy. When cold, mash well and mix in a half-cake of dissolved yeast. Set to rise overnight.

The next morning, add the eggs, continue beating, and add the sugar and spoonful of flour. Beat into a thick batter. Let it rise for 15 minutes then add ½ teaspoon nutmeg.

From a large spoon, drop the batter a spoonful at a time into hot lard to fry (peanut oil these days is smarter), hot oil should be 400-degrees F. When brown, take out, drain, and wrap in cloth to keep hot.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with café au lait for breakfast!

09 March 2009

Taming Wild Roosters

Taming Wild Roosters: "There are bee charmers, snake charmers, dog whisperers, and horse whisperers -- and then there are those who can tame a rooster. From the very moment I met the rooster tamer, I was both jealous and in awe. Admittedly, I tend to be a know-it-all, when it comes to some subjects -- and the subject of poultry was one of my areas of expertise. Highly competitive, I was being upstaged, out-witted, and humbled. It's true, the older you get, the more you realize how little you really know." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

07 March 2009

Confessions of a Cajun Traiteuse - Faith Healer - Part I

Confessions of a Cajun Traiteuse - Faith Healer - Part I: "I am a woman of the past, a past I cannot and should not escape. I was born and raised to be a French traiteuse -- part spiritual visionary and sometimes, a healer of the heart, but never a sorcerer, not believing in them. My ways are those of the old ones and the only things I know well, are what they taught me. I knew them even as a child, just as I still know them as an old woman. I cannot forget them or their teachings." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

06 March 2009

Recipe: Sweet Potato Bread

Listed under the Bed and Breakfast section, try this easy recipe on for size some morning on the weekend. Louisiana is known for its excellent sweet potatoes, something definitely treasured in Lafayette!

Sweet Potato Bread

Voila! Lafayette Centennial Cookbook 1884 – 1984

Yield: 6 – 8 servings


½ cup butter

½ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups grated raw sweet potatoes

Directions: Cream butter and sugars in large mixing bowl. Blend in eggs. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Fold in grated sweet potatoes.

Pour into well-greased 8-inch black iron skillet. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven for 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.

05 March 2009

Proven Methods of Shucking Oysters

Proven Methods of Shucking Oysters: "My Cajun Grandpere Emile used to say in Cadien, 'If it swims or lives in the water and it doesn't eat us first, we eat it.' Oysters certainly fit this category. Since we lived near the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary, many of our relatives were employed in the wholesale oyster harvesting industry. Learning the various methods of shucking oysters was almost a right of passage once we were adults.

If you've never shucked an oyster, it may seem like a daunting task. Don't get disheartened if after your first few tries, you have a horde of minced up oysters -- just pretend you did that on purpose, as part of your secret recipe for oyster stew. However, once you've gotten the hang of it with a few practice oysters, be assured that you'll be able to shuck oysters competently, quickly, and come off looking like a professional oyster shucking champion." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

04 March 2009

Slurping Raw Oysters

Slurping Raw Oysters: "No kid or grown up kid, in Cajun bayou country doesn't know how to slurp oysters. Just for the record, we didn't learn this from drinking in bars. We learned it in the backyard, sitting at a newspaper draped picnic table, daring and double daring each other to eat a raw oyster.

Grandpere Navarre would egg us on, with his home version of the Acme World Oyster Eating championships. This age-old art, one that admittedly some of the more refined will disgusting -- is both a right of passage, and a form of frugal family fun." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

03 March 2009

Recipe: Crawfish Fettuccine

In Louisiana the French and Italian cuisines are often married. This recipe for Crawfish Fettuccine is a typical example of local seafood substituted for the usual meat in a pasta dish.

Seafood dishes get quite creative during Lenten season since the majority of south Louisiana is Catholic even though Catholicism no longer requires this kind of fasting from meat. People still choose to fast from meat for health reasons these days with a nod to past religious tradition that has mellowed into a cultural tradition.

Louisiana men are known for their friendships developed from cooking or grilling what they often hunted and fished. Men tend to be the best cooks here. They also are the ones who tend to cook for large gatherings. This recipe comes from three friends who cook often for gatherings in their Catholic community.

Crawfish Fettuccine

From: James “B” Didier, Kenneth “Bobby” Barbier and Cliff McDaniel, All are close friends who enjoy cooking together for large gatherings - Holy Family Catholic Church, Port Allen, Louisiana

Yield: 50 servings - great for wedding rehearsal dinner!

Crawfish Fettuccine


2 ½ pounds margarine

12 yellow onions, finely chopped

6 bunches green onions, finely chopped

6 bell peppers, finely chopped

10 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped parsley

4 pounds Velveeta jalapeño cheese
(Velveeta is basically a combination of Swiss and Cheddar cheese that melts easily with added hot Mexican hot peppers you can find in a jar.)

12 pounds crawfish tails

4 pounds fettuccine

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Sauté in the margarine the onions, green onions, bell peppers, garlic and parsley until soft.

Add jalapeño cheese and cook until melted and combined well. Add crawfish.

Boil fettuccine until done, drain well. Add to crawfish mixture. Remove from heat. Pour into large casserole. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

To serve, bake at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated.

Serves 50.

02 March 2009

Comparison of Oyster Shucking Knives

Comparison of Oyster Shucking Knives: "The first thing anyone wishing to shuck oysters should do, is obtain the best oyster knife that they can afford. This is a purchase that ensures that not only will you have the right tool for the job, but also will be helping to make the process of shucking a little less dangerous.

Far too often, oyster harvesters purchase cheap oyster knives and find themselves with a nasty cut or nick, when the flimsy knife breaks. As with anything, do your research before you buy a good quality oyster knife." 3 videos.

By Jerilee Wei

01 March 2009

Recipe: Dennys Tapas Style Brownies

Dennys Tapas Style Brownies: "Want your chocolate brownie but also want a healthier yet tasty version? Read on!

For the past twenty years or so the American brownie has grown to gargantuan proportions. One brownie really could serve four people! The trend has been to undercook the batter to a gooey center. Well, folks, read that as why Americans have gotten so fat."

From Denny: Let's face it, Louisiana has an obesity problem. Well, I'm not one for giving up my blessed chocolate, a gift from God! But I did take a look at the decade long trend of huge and gooey American desserts and decide to chart another healthier course. I just wanted my chocolate! :)

I'm especially proud of developing this latest recipe as it really answers the need to reduce portion size, calories, sugar and gluten, creating a healthier diet. Chocolate still reigns just in smaller portions! It's still good cooking in Louisiana!

Photo by Denny Lyon
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