Category: Recipes

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

Ingredients:
1/8 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp Tabasco
Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2.5 tsp salt (little more)
1 Bag of red beans
1 onion
1 green bell pepper
4 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic, minced (or more)
Smoked Sausage (use turkey for healthier version)
White rice

Directions:
1.) Soak red beans according to directions on package (I usually use the quick soak method).
2.) In large pot, add water to the beans until just covered then add an extra inch of water. Boil red beans for 90 minutes with lid on tilted.
3.) Use the immersion blender for a minute or two to blend some of the beans so it’s creamier. This is optional. 4.) Fry onion, bell pepper, and celery in separate pan using butter or bacon grease, add garlic and all seasonings for the last minute to bring out flavor. Add to the beans.
5.) Fry the sausage in the same pan. Add to the beans.
6.) Continue to cook over medium heat for 30 more minutes. Add ¼ stick of butter at the end to make it creamier (optional).
7.) Serve over rice. Add cheddar cheese on top – not optional ;-).

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:
3 lb Chicken breasts, split in – Half and boned (or about 1 lb regular chicken breasts) or use chicken thighs if you like dark meat
Salt to season chicken
Pepper to season chicken
Garlic powder to season chicken
1 lb Smoked sausage or kielbasa (use turkey sausage for healthier version) sliced bite-size
1/2 c Canola oil
1/2 c All-purpose flour
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 c Chopped celery (4 ribs)
7 c Water divided
4 cloves Chopped garlic (or more if desired)
1/8 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
White rice

Directions:
1.) Season chicken breasts lightly with salt, black pepper and garlic powder. If possible, do this the day before you cook the gumbo. I usually do this at the last minute.
2.) Chop up the onions, green bell pepper, & celery.
3.) Make roux, using a huge pot. Place oil in skillet over medium heat – oil should be at stage where it just begins to smoke – and gradually stir in flour, using a long-handled spoon. Roux will take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook and must be stirred constantly so that it does not burn. If you see black specks in the roux, it has burned and you must start over again. As you make the roux, it will change in color from cream to tan to brown and then to dark red-brown. Remove from heat.
4.) Stir in onions, green peppers and celery, stirring constantly until roux stops getting darker. Bring to stove once more, and cook over low heat about five to seven minutes, stirring constantly.
5.) Pour in 6 c of water & add chicken & bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the roux. Immediately after starts to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use plate to weight the chicken so that it is not above the water. Remove chicken, and set aside to cool. De bone chicken, and cut into bite-size pieces.
6.) Add sausage, 1 c water, and all the seasonings to the pot, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. Taste, and add salt, if necessary.
7.) Stir in the chicken, and remove the gumbo from the heat. Skim surface to remove fat that sausage gives off during cooking (won’t need to do this if using turkey sausage). Serve over rice.

Note: You could add okra to this, but I find that it sometimes gets slimy.  I read that you are supposed to cook the slime off the okra before putting it in.  I just leave it out though because I like it either way.  

Cajun Foil Packets for Dinner at home or Camping

If you know me well, then you know I love Cajun food! It’s my favorite thing to make and eat. Actually, I like Southern cooking, in general, but especially Cajun-style. I have to stop myself from putting Cajun seasoning in just about everything b/c I think it would make everything taste better, but I also don’t want everything to taste the same either so it’s a trade off.

My husband LOVES to camp. Me, not so much, but I try to make him happy and go every once in a while b/c I know he loves it. For me, it’s more that I don’t like bugs that I don’t like to go. And I cherish sleeping in a cozy bed with A/C.  And I like all the luxuries of having a bathroom nearby and being able to go to the restroom without a spider staring at me.  And so many other things, but the main thing is BUGS.

I seriously think that one day I will die of a heart attack from an ill-timed bug landing. But that’s another matter – maybe once I hit a certain age – I will have to refrain from going camping for safety reasons. :-p But, hopefully, right now I’m out of heart attack range – we shall see. Although, it’s also a safety hazard for those I’m with b/c I’m known to scare the pants off everyone around me as well when I scream like I’m being murdered so people might start banning me from going too.. :-/  We shall see.

But I do like the adventure of camping.  I think it’s exciting in some ways and fun stuff usually happens along with the bad stuff.  I remember a saying and I don’t know where it’s from but I didn’t make it up: the difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.  So, if I keep in the right frame of mind, it is an adventure.  And if I don’t, it’s an ordeal for everyone which is not ideal.

Anyhoo, these foil packets are right up my alley for camping and even for not camping b/c I like real, hot food regardless of where I’m at. I think these foil packets are so easy to make for dinner that it’s also good for times when you are renovating a place. Of course, I learned about them on Facebook but I added to the recipe a little bit (cheese and sour cream make everything taste better, in my opinion).

I use regular frozen corn not corn on the cob b/c I don’t like to get messy. And after it’s done cooking, I add cheddar cheese and sour cream to the little packet and seal it back up so that it melts into it for about 5 minutes – it’s a must do! Then, you just spoon feed yourself directly from the packet. And each person gets their own individual packet so you can customize each one. My husband and 2 of my kids hate shrimp so I always do theirs with chicken and it’s just as good maybe even a little better, I dare say..

Ingredients:
-Shrimp or Chicken (cubed)
-Potatoes (cut up kind of small-ish – the smaller you cut them the faster they cook) – I get those small new potatoes from Sam’s club (prewashed) and cut them in quarters
-Smoked Sausage (cut up into bite-sized pieces)
-Frozen corn
-Olive Oil
-Cajun Seasoning (I use Tony Cachere’s b/c I think it’s the best) – copious amounts of this – don’t be scared. Well, for the kid’s packets go light on it b/c it can get spicy. But for the adults, let it rain!!!
-Sour cream
-Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Get a really long piece of foil – about the length of a baking sheet or a little longer and put the desired amount of food in the midddle (shrimp or chicken, sausage, potatoes, corn, drizzle of olive oil and desired amount (copious?) of cajun seasoning), then fold up all the sides and make sure it is sealed well (this seals in the juices so everything stays juicy and not that other word that everyone hates).

You can cook this in the oven or on the campfire. For the oven, place the foil packets on a baking sheet and cook at 425 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes – or until potatoes are soft and chicken is cooked through. It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes for me. You’ll start to smell the wonderful aromas when it is getting close to being done.  When done, open up the foil and add a dollop of sour cream and handfuls 🙂 of cheese, then close it back up and wait 5 minutes for the cheese to melt.

This can be customized in sooo many ways – I’m looking forward to trying all kinds of variations.  How about barbeque sauce instead of cajun seasoning?  YUMMM!!

Here’s a link to the original website where I found this recipe:
http://damndelicious.net/2015/08/26/shrimp-boil-foil-packets/

Chocolate Lave Mug Cake

Careful – this recipe will make you gain weight real quick!  It is sooo good, but use sparingly!  :-p

Chocolate Lava Cake in a Mug (in the microwave):

In a large mug, whisk together:
4 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
2 heaping tbsp cocoa powder

then add in:

1 egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk
a splash of vanilla extract
A splash of almond extract (optional)
dash of salt

whisk together thoroughly until well combined.

dump 3 tbsp chocolate chips on top of the batter but do not stir.

microwave for ONE minute, then stir. microwave another 20-30 seconds, and voila! chocolate cake in under 5 minutes.

Mini Cream Cheese Danishes

And yet another dessert for breakfast idea.  I’m starting to see a new theme here.  Maybe I should just rename this site DessertForBreakfastorBust.  I did read an article recently that talked about how you should eat your dessert during the day as opposed to at night.  So, here we go, we’re in line with the health advice of the day which I’m sure will be completely different in a year or two – then they’ll be telling us research shows we should be having our dessert at midnight.  :-p  Really, we shouldn’t be eating dessert, but that’s not realistic..  And I’ve done my own research which proves that eating dessert is actually a mood lifter and gives you more energy and motivation to do some renovation – when you tell yourself if you just finish painting a room – you can have a danish, etc..  One danish per room is REALLY motivating.  :-p

Mini Cream Cheese Danishes

Ingredients:
• 1 roll Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Filling:
• 8 ounces soft cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 can cherry or blueberry pie filling
Glaze:
• ⅓ cup powdered sugar
• 2 tsp. milk
Directions:
1. Open container of rolls and do no unroll them. Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut through them like slice/bake cookies. Make 10 slices.
2. Lay each slice on a cookie sheet.  (You can put wax paper down if you want – I didn’t)
3. Use a measuring cup to flatten each roll out and build a small wall around the edge.

Filling:
1. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
2. Drop a small amount into each “danish.”
3. Add a teaspoonful of cherries or blueberries.
4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
5. Let cool and add a drizzle of glaze.  (I actually didn’t do the glaze part because I’m lazy – tastes good either way..)

Glaze:
1. Combine milk and sugar and drizzle on danishes. Can use a pastry bag, if desired.

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

Another dessert for breakfast idea.  I bring this dessert to my MOPS meetings and everyone asks for the recipe.  It is sooo good!  I don’t really eat breakfast unless it’s amazing so that’s why I tend to have dessert breakfasts..  :-p  And it has to be stuff that goes well with my coffee.  Anyone have an amazing coffee cake recipe?  I still have yet to make a coffee cake..  One day..

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

Ingredients:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, Softened
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (8 ounce) cans crescent roll dough
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9X13 inch pan. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Beat the cream cheese with sugar, egg, and the vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Unroll 1 can of crescent roll dough, place into the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining can of crescent dough.
  3. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the top of the cheesecake. Stir the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Since I like cake for breakfast, let’s call this a blueberry muffin cake and call it a day! You are allowed to eat blueberry muffins for breakfast but not cake so this is the best of both worlds!

Blueberry Muffin Cake
Ingredients:
Mix together:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Cream together:
2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with:
1 cup whole milk
Next, gently fold in 3 cups blueberries mixed with a little flour.  Pour the batter in a 9×13 pan.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake the cake for 45 minutes to an hour.