Southern


What is it?? Does my freezer just provide prime breeding grounds?? Do other people sneak in at night and put their left over naners in my freezer?? Why do I have more bananas everytime I open the door??

Whatever it is I have GOT to use some of the bananas. My Friend Di suggested a gorgeous bundt cake, but I knew I needed something with frosting.

I found this one in Southern Cakes by Nancy McDermott

    Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

      2 cups AP flour
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp salt
      3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
      1 1/2 cups sugar ( I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 Splenda)
      3 eggs
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      1/2 cup buttermilk
      1 1/2 cup (or 3 1/2 medium) mashed naners

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease/flour 2 9″ cake pans (This is a cake recipe, I just made cuppys)
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Stir well
Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat well (abt 2 min).
Add eggs one by one and then vanilla.
Beat well for 2/3 minutes more scraping down bowl until batter is smooth.
Stir in 1/2 flour with a large spoon just until it disappears into the batter. {Nancy suggests using a large spoon instead of a mixer “-the good old fashioned way-” to keep the cake tender}
Stir in buttermilk and remaining flour.
Gently fold in mashed bananas.
Bake 25 – 30 minutes until cakes are golden brown and spring back when t5ouched in the center.
Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire racks then remove from pan to finish cooling.

    Chocolate Frosting

      1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
      1/3 cup cocoa
      1/3 cup evaporated milk or Half and Half (I used Half and Half)
      4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
      1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine butter, cocoa and milk in a medium saucepan.
Place over medium heat and baring to a gentle boil.
Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until cocoa dissolves into a dark, shiny essence. {This never happened for me. I had a chunky mix, but when I mixed it with the sugar it came out perfectly.}
Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla.
Beat with a mixer at low speed until you have a smooth, thick frosting.

The cuppys were really tender and delicious. You could taste the banana but it wasn’t overpowering. AND they were really soft and tender. They would be perfect by themselves as a muffin.


The frosting was, eh, how do I say this… You will fight your kids off so YOU can lick the beater!! It is Slap Yo’ Momma good!! It is roll on the floor and go limp good!! Yes, it IS that good. I felt deprived just rinsing the extra out of the bowl and off the whisk. It is a simple milk chocolate frosting that I will now put on ALL my chocolate cakes/cuppys/ brocalli/mac and cheese. Just kidding – maybe NOT on the mac and cheese!!

But!!… I didn’t like it on the cuppy. The chocolate overpowered the banana. Together they were not a couple. Divorced – they were both perfect.

Try them together or apart. You’ll be glad you did.

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    ‘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.

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!!

First – I want to thank all of you up North who honored my request and sent me some of your snow.

It started about 8:00 Thursday night.

And continued into the wee hours of the morning.

By the time we were up Friday, the ground was snuggled under a blanket of white.

The trees were draped in garlands of crystals.

And the sounds of life were muted by the softness of nature.

Everywhere was pristine, quiet, and lovely.

    UNTIL…….

    The Children Discovered their new Environment.

    And they romped in the cold.(Well, some romped, some just dragged their bellies.)

    While some of nature’s creatures probably found it somewhat disconcerting after coming here for the warmer winter

    they, too, left their mark on the cotton topping.

    Altho’ somewhat smaller marks than the other animals (there WAS a snow angel there).

    Some of us made new Friends.

    With funny faces.and spindley arms.

    But that was yesterday. Today….

    there is but a single sentinal to remind us of yesterday’s snowball fights, crunchy footsteps, and a seldom enjoyed pleasure of winter.

    Thank you, Mother Nature (aka El Nino) for simple winter fun.

BRRRR!!! It. is. COLD. outside. Since it has only been in the twenties for the last few nights it has been the perfect time to enjoy some comfort foods to warm you up . In many regions of the U.S. comfort foods would include Mac and Cheese, Tomato Soup, Stew. In Louisiana comfort foods are a little different.


In Louisiana comfor foods include wonderful foods like Gumbo, Okra and Tomatoes, or

      Crawfish or Shrimp Bisque
    1 stick butter or margarine
    Green Onions
    2 lbs. crawfish tails
    2 cans whole corn (drained)
    2 cans cream of potato soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 pint half/half
    8 oz. cream cheese

Drain water off crawfish – heat with margarine. ( set aside)
Heat corn, soups, 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese in large pot till everything is creamy. ( heat on low or it will stick )
Add crawfish and onions.
If you want to spice this up, you can add about 1/4 tsp (or more….) cayenne

Thanks to my new friend, Joy, for this warming bisque.

My Favorite Pecan Pie was chosen for this week’s TWD by Beth of Someones in the Kitchen with Brina. The Pie is a basic SOUTHERN Pecan Pie with the addition of bittersweet chocolate and expresso. I made it for Thanksgiving (and again today for Christmas Dinner on Friday) but left the expresso out. I have to say the Family didn’t really care for the pie with the chocolate. I don’t think it really enhanced the pie. But then I am a purist when it comes to Pecan and Pumpkin Pie.

Go check out the other TWD bakers and see how they liked it.

Cornbread is a staple in our house. We eat it with gumbo in the winter, we eat Fried Cornbread year round but mostly with Bar-B-Q. I usually use the recipe on the back of the Aunt Jemima Cornmeal bag and I usually make it SWEET. Now I live in the south – don’t make sweet in the Deep South. But I am 1/2 Hoosier and 1/2 Cajun and I like my cornbread sweet. Blame it on my Yankee Dad – Mom used to make cornbread with Ham Hocks and White Beans. I ate the ham and cornbread. They ate the beans. And it was not sweet cornbread. What can I say – I’m 1/2 Yankee and 1/2 Rebel


Where is that leading? It’s leading to the next bread on the Slow and Steady BBA baking list – Corn Bread!DSC04161


What can I say about this cornbread except – It’s Good!! Real Good!!

And it is not like any cornbread I have ever made. Why??

    First step is to make a soaker. This was new to me.
    Next step is mix the soaker with the rest of ingredients. Including crumbled bacon and corn kernels.

DSC04163

The bacon is crumbled on top, but spreads through the rest of the bread. The instructions called for an 8″ cake pan, but I always make our cornbread in a cast iron skillet with melted butter. So I did that here. Worked just fine.


This is definitely a keeper. Tasty! Moist! Easy!

Please visit the other members — Kayte, Nancy, Cathy, Audrey, Jessica, Melissa, Sarah, Di, Karen, Natalia, Tracey, and Leslie, of the Slow and Steady BBA and see their takes on the Corn Bread.

And if you want to see where the not so slow and steady BBA group are doing you can visit them.

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