Magazine Mondays


    ‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
    Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
    Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou


If you are from the DEEP SOUTH one of the ingredients you cook with is crawfish. Well, I do, anyway. Shrimp!! Catfish!! Crab!! Various other types of fish!! It is all plentiful and fresh.

I only make Gumbo or Jambalaya when it is cold outside. Both take a long time and heat up the kitchen. A Lot!! You can make it with chicken or with shrimp. Both are delicious.

We fry Catfish about every two months. Usually when it is nice outside since we fry it outside. But I did make some pan fried with cr…. (but that’s another show eh, post….)

Making other delicious southern Louisiana dishes with shrimp or crawfish can happen all year round. Like this one.

    Crawfish Pie

    1 medium Bell pepper, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped {I used leeks because that’s what I had}
    3 ribs celery, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 pound (1 stick) butter
    2 pounds peeled crawfish tails
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    1/2 cup parsley, minced {I used about 2 Tbl dried, cause that’s ….}
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 Tbl cornstarch
    Pie Dough for 2 crust pie

Saute bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic in butter until tender.
Add crawfish tails, green onions, parsley, salt, and pepper. Thicken if necessary with cornstarch and cook long enough to make a gravey.
Place pie dough in pie pan. Pour in filling and cover with second crust
Moisten crust edges and seal. Make 3 or 4 slits in top crust.
Bake 10 minutes at 450.
Reduce heat to 375 and bake about 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown

This is the first time I have made Crawfish Pie. And it won’t be the last. Everyone liked it. I liked it. I would, however, make one simple change. Up the seasoning. Maybe add a little Cayenne Pepper. But that’s all. Good Stuff!!!

This came from a magazine. I don’t know which, I don’t know when.

Why, Yes, Harry, I think I do. Quite lucky, thank you. And why, you ask, do I feel lucky? Read on, dear bloggers, read on!!

There are all sorts of give-a-ways in the blogasphere. And all of them are giving wonderful things to bakers, cooks, that make life a little easier and bakers a lot happier. Sometimes you lose and are one of hundreds to enter. Sometimes the Sun shines down and you win. March was a winning month for me. YAY!!

This beautiful little Tea Cozy was a give-a-way from The Cooks Next Door. It is a perfect fit for my favorite little 3 cup pot. Thank you, Ladies!! Alaina and Heather are two very good friends who started their blog 6 months ago. It is a delightful mix of recipes, mag reviews, and delicious food. Their photography makes you want to lick your computer screen. You should go vist them – soon!!

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Ten days later I received another email letting me know I had won a Calphalon Angel Food Cake Pan. from Cinema Cupcakes..

I was so excited. I’ve been wanting to make an Angel Food Cake, but lost my pan years ago and just kept forgetting to purchase one. Thank you, Jennifer. Jennifer’s blog began in 2007 and is about cakes, cupcakes, and decorating. She has some delightful cuppys. She is honest about her mistakes and that helps the rest of us do better. Blog on, Jennifer.


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And then, last week, I heard from Bethie of You Know What You Oughta Do! that my name came up randomly for her adorable little ‘Cupcake’ give-a-way.

Look at all the great goodies in addition to the ‘cupcake’. And just for me – a copper tea kettle!!

Bethie is also a twitter buddy so we are in contact quite often. She has some great recipes on her blog and other fun things. She just got some baby chicks, so we are following their story.


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And see those little Egghead egg holders and spoons up there. Well, it just so happens I found their Big Brother yesterday and now have reunited the family. Are they cute, or what?? Anyway, the little measuring cup is 6tsp/2Tbl/1 ounce/30ml. Perfect for measuring small amounts of liquid.

Okay, just wanted to share my good fortune. Guess I will have to have another give-a-way soon just to share that good fortune. Thanks to all the generous foodie bloggers out there who want to share with all of us. (I’m still waiting to win the camera on the new Food Blog Forum– a new site with TONS of information about food blogging/styling/writing and other great topics. Go sign up. No, wait, don’t – I Want That Camera!!!!

Now!! Speaking of cuppys…

      Peanut Butter Cupcakes

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cups packed bronw sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup milk


In a mixing bowl, cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake at 350 for 26 – 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for ten minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosting:
1/3 cup Peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extact
Cream PB and sugar in small mixing bowl.
Add honey and vanilla.
Beat enough milk to achieve spreading consistancy.

About 18 cuppys. I topped some of mine with crushed peanuts.

Good PB flavor all the way through.

This recipe came from Taste of Home and was originally created by Ruth Hutson.

We are eating a lot of chicken. At least two nights a week, and usually three. Luckily, chicken is a very versatile food. You can bake it, boil it, broil it, stew it, fry it, with rice, with potatoes, by itself, with pasta. Tonight it was with pasta – and squash.

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    pastawithsquashsquash2

I made two changes

    I used boneless, skinless thighs.
    I used fresh basil.

This was pretty good, but I think next time I will simply cook everything but the pasta combo and serve as the main with a pasta on the side, or maybe a rice or potato side.

    Recipe comes from Taste of Home’s Chicken. The recipe was submitted by Pam Hall of North Carolina.

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I am a Brat. Military Brat that is. My Dad was Air Force and we traveled from Base to Base from the time I was 3 through my Senior year of High School. Most of my memories are of the places we lived and visited while stationed in England (1958 – 1962) and Germany (1965 – 1968) Oh, sure I remember the places in between but these two places stand out the most.

So, Germany first.

We were stationed in Stuttgart which is just above the Schwabish Alps in the Southern region of Germany. It is a beautiful place. We lived ‘on the economy’ which means we did not live on base. Instead we lived in an apartment complex in Fasanenhof just outside of the city. On the 9th and then the 16th floor. It was great.

My mom would go every morning to the little store and buy bread for the day (try that not speaking German…) and other things instead of going to the Commissary on Base. Good Bread. Fresh Veggies. Fresh Everything. And we ate out quite a bit rather than just cook ‘American’. Lots of Wiener Schnitzle, Bratwurst, Rotwurst, {Gee Whiz! they make great sausage} Pommes Frites {French Fries} , Sauerbraten, Pretzels, did I mention the great sausage? and the Brotchen {breakfast roll, but good with anything} …etc. etc. etc. and on the side of many meals –

    Spaetzle

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The RECIPE is courtesy of Richard Zucktriegel of Cafe Mozart

The Spaetlzle was delicious, but the making was a little problematic

    1. I used a metal colandar. As I was forcing the batter through the holes some of the batter was cooking on the colander. So I lost some of the batter. Wonder if I could use a plastic colander and would it do the same thing.


    2. Make sure the holes are actually BIG enough for the batter to easily (but not TOO easily) press through. My spaetzle was a little small.


    3. The recipe says to place a cup of batter in the colander at a time. That was WAY too much. I used 1/4 – 1/3 cup and it worked much better.

I am going to try this again. It is too good NOT to master somewhere along the way.

The culture of Louisiana is a very mixed culture. And the culture of South Louisiana (New Orleans, Lafayette, Opelousas) where Mardi Gras is the epitome of The Big Party is different from that of North Louisiana (Shreveport, Monroe) which is more industry oriented. In Central Louisiana, where I am, we get a mix of both worlds.

The cooking of the southern region is wide spread throughout the state and you can find most dishes all over. While I have a good basic Etouffee Recipe I turn to most of the time, I am always open to new ones. Like this one I found in the Jan/Feb issue of Food Network Magazine

    Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee

It just so happens I did not have any shrimp in the freezer (how did THAT happen??) so I used one pound of crawfish meat instead.

    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * 1 pound andouille sausage, diced {Could use smoked sausage if cannot find andouille}
    * 3 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs {I used 1 lb. boneless,skinless thighs}
    * Kosher salt
    * 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 4 stalks celery, diced
    * 1 large onion, diced
    * 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    * 4 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    * 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined {I used crawfish}
    * 2 tablespoons dry sherry
    * Freshly ground black pepper

You can find the full recipe HERE.


There is a difference between Andouille and regular smoked sausage. According to Chef John Folse,

    Andouille (pronounced “ahn-DOO-wee”) is the Cajun smoked sausage so famous nationally today. Made with pork butt, shank and a small amount of pork fat, this sausage is seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and garlic. The andouille is then slowly smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane. True andouille is stuffed into the beef middle casing which makes the sausage approximately one and a half inches in diameter. When smoked, it becomes very dark to almost black in color. It is not uncommon for the Cajuns to smoke andouille for seven to eight hours at approximately 175 degrees.

Andouille

See the difference. The andouille has large pieces of meat while the smoked is made from ground meats.

Smoked Sausage

You’ll get lots more flavor from the andouille, so if you don’t want it real spicy, cut down on the cayenne

How popular is Andouille in Louisiana?? There is an ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL. .

Serve the etouffee over long grain rice. Good Stuff!!

For many years I subscribed to Taste of Home, Cooking For Two, Simple and Delicious. I looked through them, but very rarely cooked/baked anything from them. Now that I have to time I am going back through them and am constantly surprised at how much I missed by NOT using the recipes from “1000” cooks across the country. SO!! I am starting early on one (maybe the only) New Year’s Resolution – to cook/bake more from all those mags that are gathering dust in the storeroom (Thanks, Recipe Girl!!)

I was looking for Christmas Cookies for Secret Baker and came across this:

      Cranberry Eggnog Braid

Sweet, with a hint of eggnog flavor, studded with dried cranberries, drizzled with an Eggnog glaze and sprinkled with fresh ground nutmeg.

I am surprised this bread came out at all. I put it to rise about 4:30, went to a Christmas Party, forgot about it until about 11:30 last night. Ran to the kitchen and threw it into the chill chest until this morning. Warmed it up and baked it. It should be taller – it was beautiful before I threw it in the fridge. But it was still GOOD!!!

Next time I think I will try some fresh cranberries, add some nutmeg to the dough and TRY. NOT. TO. FORGET,. ABOUT. IT!!!

From a 1990 Taste of Home Magazine.

Warning!! Warning!! Pumpkin Shortage!! Pumpkin Shortage!!

It actually made CNN . But it isn’t ALL bad. The shortage won’t really be a reality until AFTER Thanksgiving. So Stock up now, Bakers, or it will be a sad holiday season.

On that sorrowful note let me introduce you to my family’s new favorite desser – well, for now, anyway!!

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This recipe came from The Shreveport Times (Newspaper) a few years ago. I had forgotten all about it until Lori aka RecipeGirl started her recipe organizing which motivated me to organize all those clippings, pictures, pieces of napkin with recipes on them I have been collecting for years. YEARS!!!! It doesn’t make any sense to collect them if you don’t actually USE them so that is what I am trying to do – use them!!

Think of it as an upside down pumpkin pie with a crumble crust!!

And I want to warn you – it is REALLY sweet. Top it with whipped cream. Enjoy!!

The mix is really liquidy after mixing but comes together when it bakes. If you refridgerate it, the topping is quite hard, so bring it to room temp before serving. I tried making Texas sized cup cakes, but it is tooooo liquidy, unless you have some Texas sized silicone holders and then it may be difficult to remove from the holders unless very cold. Just thought I would let you know.

I think if we do eat more chicken we are going grow feathers and start clucking. That said, I am always looking for new ways to cook this pleasant poultry. Looking thru my old recipes I ran across one from a 2003 Woman’s World Magazine:

    CHICKEN MARSALADSC04139

      1/4 cup + 2Tbl AP flour, divided
      3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning, divided
      3/4 tsp salt, divided
      1/4 tsp pepper
      6 boneless, skinless breast halves (I used 1/2 breasts and 1/2 boneless,skinless thighs.)
      4 Tbl butter, divided
      2 large shallots, chopped
      1 clove garlic, minced
      8 oz addorted mushrooms (mix whatever….)
      1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
      1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
      3/4 cup Marsala wine

In a bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Put aside.
Place chicken piece between 2 sheets plastic wrap and pound each thin (to about 1/2 inch).
Coat both sides with reserved flour mixture.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat melt 1 Tbl butter. Add part of the chicken.
Cook, turning once, until lightly browned. Put aside and repeat. Keep chicken warm on a plate.
In same skillet melt remaining butter (I actually had to use more butter than recipe called for)
Add shallots, garlic, remaining seasoning, and salt.
Cook until shallots are just softened, about 1 minute.
Add mushrooms and tomatoes.
Cook, stirring occassionally, until mushrooms are softened and browned, about 3/4 minutes.
Stir remaining flour into broth and reserve.
Add Marsala to skillet and cook 1 minute
Stir in broth.
Increase heat to high; bring to boil.
Cook, stirring occassionally until thickened and lightly coats the back of spoon, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken back to skillet.
Cover and cook until chicken is no longer pink in centers, 10/12 minutes.


Serve over fresh cooked pasta. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired.DSC04140


By the way, see the bread? DSC04138Those are Buttermilk Baps from Dan Lepard. These were really easy to make and quite tasty. I added Italian seasoning and some chiffinaded fresh oregano and basil to the dough as I kneaded and it added just the right flavor to accompany the chicken. Thanks to Nancy for finding the bread recipe. She, Tracey, and I did a Twitter Bake with these.

Nothing better than ‘baking’ with friends!

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This is also my first submission to Presto Pasta Night This week Sweet Kitchen is hosting. Please visit her site and see what other cooks are doing with Pasta. presto_pasta_nights

I was all alone today. Just me. Alone. It was nice. I spent it in the kitchen. Making – stuff. Bread! Sorbet! Meatballs! Cupcakes! It was nice. Alone. In the kitchen. All day! IT WAS GRAND!!!

My first adventure was making Watermelon Sorbet


DSC03948

    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup water
    1 Tbl white creme de menthe or Campari (optional) – left this out.
    3 cups cubed water melon, seeds discarded (what fun is that to eat!!!)

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until sugar is dissoved.
Remove from heat and stir in liqueur if desired.
Refridgerate syrup until cold.
Puree watermelon in food processor until smooth – about 2 minutes.
Stir puree into cold syrup. <font colr="green“>(okay – I put the syrup into the processor, but it worked out fine.) I also added about 1 Tbl of sugar free Watermelon syrup (daVinci)
Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.

    ~ Martha Stewart’s LIVING – July 2005 ~

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For supper, another recipe from LIVING. (February 2005)

    Swedish Meatballs with Buttered Noodles.

meatballs


Easier this way instead of typing It. All. Out!!

DSC03956

Although this was pretty good, it didn’t have the depth of flavor I was expecting/wanting. Not sure if I would make it again. If I did, I would first roll the meatballs in some favored flour to add some ‘bits’ to the sauce. The sauce just didn’t have much going for it!! The MEN seemed to like it. Notice I showed dessert first. Life is short, afterall.

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I also made Spiced Zuchinni Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing and Cheddar Cheese Bread. But those are for another post.

CAKE!!! CAKE!!! That is all I have been hearing. The Blanc-Manger did NOT go over well. Ice cream is great, but the Guys want CAKE!
So, I made CAKE!Well, sorta….


DSC03914


These are Martha Stewart’s Yellow Butter Cupcakes.

      Living February 2009

    3 cups cake flour, sifted
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 1/4 tsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    9 ounces (2 sticks + 2 Tbl) unsalted butter, softened (Yeah 9 OUNCES) Sounds like Paula Deene
    2 1/4 cups sugar (never said they were low cal…)
    5 large eggs + 3 large yolks, at room temp (or low fat…)
    2 cups buttermilk
    2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin pans with paper liners.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Cream butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients in another container.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet, ending with dry.
Scrape side of bowl and fill each cup 2/3 full
Bake cupcakes until centers test dry, or about 20 minutes.
Cool on racks. Will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.DSC03913

I used her basic butter cream icing for some. Swirled chocolate in some. Frosted some with chocolate. All Good!!DSC03915


Martha’s Basic Buttercream

    12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
    1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
    1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Beat butter on medium-high until pale and fluffy.
Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes
After every 2 additions, increase speed to high for 10 seconds and then lower to medium.
Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
Use immediately, or refridgerate for up to 3 days. (Bring to room temp and beat until smooth).
Enjoy!

These are pretty good, not spectacular. But good.

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