Category Archives: Recipes

recipes

Creole Louisiana Jambalaya

Creole Louisiana Jambalaya

I’m all about the easy and some folks call Louisiana the Big Easy, so today I’m sharing my Creole Louisiana Jambalaya made with Tony Chachere’s Creole Jambalaya Mix. It’s a pretty easy one pot dish but made differently from the directions on the box. I add a little extra. Back home we call that lagniappe. Bon appétit!

Creole Louisiana Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz Family Size box Tony Chachere’s Creole Jambalaya Mix
  • cooking oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  • cayenne
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced
  • ½ lb. smoked sausage (pork or beef), coin sliced
  • ½ pound large shrimp (31-40 count)
  • ½ lb. ham slice, cubed 3 ¾ cups water
  • Louisiana Creole seasoning:
    • ½ tsp cayenne
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • ½ tsp dried oregano
    • ½ tsp dried thyme
    • 1 tbsp dried garlic powder
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ tsp onion powder

Directions:

1. Peel and devein shrimp. Season with Louisiana Creole Seasoning. Set aside.

2. In a 4 or 5-quart Dutch oven, sauté yellow onion in oil.

3. In the same pot, brown sausage and ham. Transfer all to a bowl. Set aside.

4. Add 1 12 oz. box of Tony Chachere’s Creole Jambalaya Mix to the pot and 3 ¾ cups water. Stir until well blended.

5. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked. Most of the water will evaporate.

6. Add meat, seasoned shrimp, and green onion. Cook about another 10 minutes until shrimp are cooked.

7. Add butter, mix well. Add more Creole seasoning and or cayenne to taste.

Easy Peasy Crescent Roll King Cake

Easy Peasy Crescent Roll King Cake

This year I’m sharing an easy peasy crescent rolls king cake recipe.

When it was time to make a king cake this year, I couldn’t find Pillsbury Dough Sheets, so this was an opportunity to figure out how to make a king cake with crescent rolls. The stores said they had the inventory, but not enough employees to keep the shelves stocked. YIKES. It takes a little more skill, but it’s still easy peasy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • cinnamon sugar mix: ½ c. granulated sugar + 2 tbsp cinnamon 
  • plastic king cake baby (to hide inside, of course!)
  • purple, green, & gold sugar sprinkles
  • 1 can Pillsbury Cream Cheese Icing or make your own

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).
  2. Grease a pizza pan or cover with parchment paper. (Easily transfers to a serving dish using parchment paper.)
  3. Mix the cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Unroll one can of crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Arrange the triangles, slightly overlapping all sides into a half circle with tips pointed toward the center.

5. Finish the circle by laying the triangles from the second can.

6. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix around the middle of the dough.

7. Pull the narrow part of the triangle from the center toward the widest part.

8. Pull the widest part of the triangle from the end toward the center.

9. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  10. While the cake is in the oven, read THE KING CAKE BABY. Don’t let your baby run away!

Decorate the King Cake

1. Soften ½ can of Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing or make a cream cheese icing using the recipe below.

Cream cheese icing:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract  
  • 3 tablespoons milk

2. Hide one plastic king cake baby in the cake’s underside.

3. While the cake is still warm, pour icing on top.

4. Top with sugar sprinkles, alternating purple, green colors.

5. Before eating, check your piece to see if you got the baby!

And check out my post on how to host an Easy Peasy King Cake Party with pictures.

Bon appétit!

Easy Peasy King Cake Party!

Easy Peasy King Cake Party!

Girls, Challenge & Resilience!

Girls, Challenge & Resilience!

This Perfect Picture Book Pair written by award winning author-illustrator Ashley Spires features girls with strong characters.  Both books are wonderful examples of how they face challenges and demonstrate resilience. [spacer height=”10px”]

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THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING is about a girl who knows exactly what she wants to build and how it will work, but is frustrated because it’s not easy. So she quits. But she comes back and guess what? She gets it right! The book is a great example to kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and even get angry. We all face frustration and fear that we may not succeed in our endeavors. [spacer height=”10px”]

THE THING LOU COULDN’T DO is about a girl who loves adventure until her friends decide to do something Lou couldn’t do.  She makes all kinds of excuses but eventually Lou faces her fear. Rather than feel like a failure, she sets a goal. Not everything we fear can be solved easily or quickly. Just recognizing the fear is a step in the right direction. [spacer height=”10px”]

Perfect Picture Book Pair showcases two books with universal themes, but one must include a diverse setting, or life experience, or main character. My goal is to support books in the market that contribute to diversity in children’s literature. [spacer height=”10px”]

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…” I believe reading is too! [spacer height=”10px”]

Kids love to see their reflections in books. Join me and #ReadYourWorld!

Happy reading…

Easy Peasy Pillsbury King Cake

Easy Peasy Pillsbury King Cake

Happy Almost Mardi Gras! Every January 6th kicks off the official king cake season and Carnival. I wrote a guest post, ‘Tis the season of King Cakes, over at Charlotte Riggle’s blog for all you food and culture buffs. 

Today I want to share another easy king cake recipe. The recipe in my book, THE KING CAKE BABY, uses frozen bread dough with a cinnamon-sugar filling and includes a recipe for making a Cream Cheese icing. In this recipe, I use three Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheets, the cinnamon-sugar mix, colored sugar sprinkles, and a can of Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing. Easy peasy! The only thing easier than making this king cake is picking one up at your favorite grocery or bakery.

Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet King Cake Recipe

 Ingredients:

  • 3 Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheets
  • cinnamon sugar mix: ½ c. granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons cinnamon 
  • 1 plastic king cake baby (to hide inside, of course!)
  • purple, green, & gold sugar sprinkles
  • 1 can Pillsbury Cream Cheese Icing or make your own 

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

Roll each dough sheet from the shortest side of the rectangle. 

Arrange into an oval shape. Press seams together to connect. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Decorate the King Cake

Soften ½ can of Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing. Have purple, green, gold sprinkles handy.

While the cake is still warm, pour icing on top. Alternate with purple, green and gold colored Mardi Gras sprinkles.

If you prefer to make your own icing:

Cream-Cheese Icing

3 cups powdered sugar

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons melted butter

¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

3 tablespoons milk

Mix all five ingredients in a bowl. The icing should be thick enough to slowly drip from a whisk or spoon. Drizzle over the warm cake.

Hide a plastic King Cake Baby in the underside of the cake. Before eating, check to see if you got the baby! 

Click Mardi Gras King Cake from Pillsbury Dough Sheets to download the recipe.

And if any of you need a gluten free recipe, see this Red Mill cinnamon roll recipe.

 

 

National Gumbo Day: First You Make A Roux

National Gumbo Day: First You Make A Roux
Today is National Gumbo Day! Hooray!
For anyone who grew up in Louisiana before the internet, learning to make a gumbo was a right of passage. Somebody, whether it was your mama, papa, marraine, parrain, mamie, papi, grand-mère or grand-père made sure to pass on the family recipe. It doesn’t matter if you learned to cook a gumbo with fowl, seafood, or z’herbes, everyone learned to start the dish the same way – first you make a roux.  Roux, pronounced “roo”, is a mixture of fat like butter, lard, or oil and flour.  Used as a thickening agent, roux also adds flavor to a gumbo. The second thing learned is to never leave the skillet because it’s not that hard to burn a roux.
This week Louisiana lost one of her native sons, Chef Paul Prudhomme. So, in honor of both he and this delicious day, allow the Chef to teach you how to make a roux. It doesn’t matter if you like it light or dark, that’s the first step.        
See my post from last year here for a bit of history on gumbo. Bon appétit!
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np3uGcdQNUw