Alayna’s best ever cornbread

I could give you a very brief synopsis here about this chick named Alayna who gave me a cornbread recipe that is to die for. That would be the abbreviated version. Y’all know that abbreviated it not really my thang so here goes. Alayna is one of the wittiest, most clever, funniest and most loyal friends a girl could have. Now, back when our girls started preschool together when they were 4, I was not so sure. Saw her in the target parking lot one day (where I see and meet most people) and she looked at me like I had 2 heads when all of my circus people start climbing out the suburban. She made some (witty I am sure) remark about “all my kiddos” and it was after school and I am sure my humor was low at the time. But Alayna is a tell it like it is type of gal. She will not steer you wrong and will tell you just how it is. Kind of…wait a second…hold up…like me. We are so much alike, which is kind of good and kind of not good, depending on the day. Now she says “cue the circus music!” when we arrive anywhere. She helps me to take it all in stride. I sure do love her. Tried and true, wonderful in every way…a lot like this cornbread recipe. She says she and her hubby, John, found this recipe somewhere and then perfected it over time. Oh I am gonna tell you…as Alayna is fond of saying…that’s what she said. They have tweaked it to the ultimate cornbread perfection. My country boy, I mean man, LOVES this cornbread with everything. Chicken and dumplings, Lima beans, red beans, chili, any kind of soup. And with fall around the corner and all those yummy gumbos and stews to be made you will be set with Alayna’s cornbread recipe in your arsenal. That’s right you are cornbread slinging, soup making Cajun mama (or daddy!). So when you are ready to try THE best cornbread recipe, the last you will need as far as I am concerned…make this one. Love you Layner! Thanks for the good cornbread recipe and even better friendship!!~AMB

IMG_8529.JPG
I love her a bunch

IMG_8530.JPG
our kiddos dig one another too

Alayna’s Best Ever Cornbread

Makes 1 large skillet of cornbread

Stuff you need~

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 vegetable oil (I use canola)

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 glass dish or a cast iron skillet with unsalted butter (if you have it, or spray it with cooking spray or use salted butter…Alayna would not want me fussing up recipe).

In a large mixing bowl, pour in flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and baking powder and kind of combine with a fork. Just mix it all together. Next, whisk in the egg, stir. Whisk in milk and oil. Whisk whisk until just combined. Pour into greased skillet or dish. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done in the center and golden brown on top. Yummy!!! Oh and don’t forget the butter. Oh my!!!
*let me add that some of this leftover cornbread with some ice cold milk poured over it in a bowl makes some excellent cush cush. Just saying!

Advertisements

Cajun mama’s breakfast burritos

I have always loved breakfast burritos. Good ones anyhow. There is just something so pleasing about all that goodness rolled up into one yummy warm tortilla. It just so pleasing and yet simple. Straightforward. Not fussy. With all these kiddos running around, I enjoy not fussy things. It makes my life easier. And as I have told y’all before, Big Daddy loves him some breakfast. He demands it, as much as he demands anything, which is not much. His mama, Dianne, always made him breakfast every morning. She had a full time job, but according to him and his brother, she made pancakes or something yummy nearly every morning. Then after she passed, and my father in law remarried, Deb (mother in law extraordinaire) continued this tradition. She used to make breakfast (well still does) for the duck hunters when her daddy ran the duck camp that is now, Bayou LaGrue. She did this from a young age so breakfast is in her blood. So, for the Bowlin gang, breakfast is a must. And I love breakfast burritos and it is a natural progression that I would find a way to make them myself. It started way back in college and I have gotten much better since then. My two youngest, Toot and Pappy (aka Aubrey and Lucas), love them a good breakfast burrito so that makes them pretty popular. They usually take simple ingredients you probably have around the house to make them. I will give you some pointers on how to make them more involved and authentic tasting (according to moi) but you can really make them as basic as you please. So let’s get cooking some breakfast burritos mis amigos! Mis compadres! Vamanos!

Cajun Mama’s breakfast burritos

makes about 6 burritos maybe more depending on how much filling you use

Stuff you need~

A pack of burrito size tortillas (I use the kind that say soft and fluffy on the package. Pretty sure they are Mission Bell brand. And feel free to use the smaller size. I do if that is what I have)

8 eggs, scrambled

1 pound breakfast sausage

4 ounce cream cheese

1/2 cup onion diced

1 small bell pepper, diced (if you have it or are so inclined…it’s not mandatory)

1/2 package frozen Ore Ida potatoes o’brien (or you can use left over baked potatoes as well. Scoop out the filling and add to burritos)

Shredded cheese (I use what I have on hand but Monterey Jack and cheddar or cheddar jack work wonderfully…get crazy and see what you like)

taco seasoning or if you are feeling frisky get some Goya sofrito (found at Mexican Supermercados or I have heard some Walmarts carry it)

What to do with the stuff

Ok…what I do is brown the sausage in a large skillet. After that is almost down, I add in the onions and bell pepper (if I use it) and sautĂ© that for a few minutes until they are almost tender. I also add the potatoes o’brien at this point to give them a little head start in getting defrosted and warmed up. Add a little olive oil or cooking oil to your pan if you feel it needs it. Of course you can add In the chunked up baked potatoes as well here. Season them up with some salt, pepper and a little Tony’s if you want to love on the wild side. In a separate skillet, I scramble my eggs with some milk. Ok next add the eggs to the sausage mixture. Now, cut the cream cheese up into chunks and over medium-low heat let that mix it up with the rest of the gang in the pot. It’s all good. No really. It’s so good. Yummm! But you are not done my friends. Oh no.
Now, at this point sprinkle in a little taco seasoning (not a whole packet…more like a tablespoon) or if you went full throttle and bought the Goya seasoning, add in a half packet or so. More if you like it. None of this is necessary, you can absolutely serve the burritos without it, but we really liked the flavor it added. So do what works for you. Ok now, stir in a cup of shredded cheese. Stir in around. The cream cheese should be fairly creamy now and spreading it’s creamy delight to all the rest of the concoction.
Warm your tortillas up, and add a nice size scoop of the burrito mixture to the middle. Roll up burrito style.
No words right? Yes they are muy bueno.

IMG_8634.JPG
all that goodness getting ready to get rolled up

IMG_8637.JPG
so delicious

Slow cooker hot fudge sundae cake

This dessert is a real winner. It is not only a chocolate lover’s dream…it is made in the slow cooker. Oh yes. You heard me. Slow. Cooker. Cake. When my editor for Red River Mom’s asked me for some slow cooker recipes for our September issue, I of course had several on hand, tried and true and no fail. But then I thought of this little nugget I had found on Pinterest (where all things magical come from…happy sigh) I was skeptical (really? Cake in a crock pot…yeah maybe.) and I decided I would give it a go. The blogger at Country Cook blog (www.thecountrycook.net) made it sound heavenly and she had found it in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook. That alone said so much! I am a Gooseberry Patch lover from way back and I always loved their cookbooks (and sidenote…I actually have a recipe in one of them…little Cajun Mama trivia for the day). The recipe uses pretty basic ingredients and is super simple. PI did not double the recipe the first time around and I really should have. We had a friend and her son over and it was gone in no time flat. Bluebell Homemade Vanilla on the side of this ooey gooey delight pushes it right over the edge into pure dessert nirvana.
I urge you, out of the goodness of my heart, to do what is right and try this dessert very soon. That’s my challenge to y’all. No ice water here, just hot fudge sundae cake ba-beee!!! So glad the als challenge is going well, but over here we prefer hot fudge over our cake to ice water over our heads. It’s the Cajun mama way!~AMB

Slow cooker Hot fudge sundae cake

*this recipe is meant for a smaller slow cooker (3 quart) so double it if using a larger crockpot. Doubling is recommended if you have more than 4 people who will be eating it and you want to avoid an angry mob.

Stuff you need~

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
3/4 brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup hot water

What to do with the stuff~
**IMPORTANT–be sure to spray your slow cooker with some Baker’s Joy or cooking spray before adding the first ingredient. Trust Cajun Mama on this!

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder. Or instead of sifting, just use a fork to mix it together really well and mashing the ingredients up against the edge of the bowl until it’s all really fine. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Fold in the chopped nuts at this point if you are using them.
Spread this mixture evenly all over the bottom of the sprayed slow cooker. Ok now, for the second layer, in a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cocoa powder. Next, stir in the hot water and mix until smooth. Finally, pour this mixture evenly over the first layer. Now DO NOT STIR!!! Do not stir the two layers. This will mess with the perfection that is this dessert. No stir–got it?!! This how the hot fudge sauce and cake layers form. Important scientific stuff.
Put the lid on and cook for about 2-2 1/2 hours on low. Use toothpick test if you are uncertain on the doneness.
Let this sit in the crockpot for 30-40 minutes after the cake is done, so the layers can settle.

IMG_8545.JPG
mash all those dry ingredients together

IMG_8546.JPG
cook and then let it sit. So tempting and hard to do…it’s worth it

IMG_8544-1.JPG
see what I mean? Worth it. A la mode honey. All the way!

Spicy Cajun shrimp pasta

Well I told y’all when we were on vacay that we picked up a few pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp right? Shrimp is such a luxury for us to have on hand. Somehow it is less painful to shell out the money on vacation for several pounds of big beautiful fresh Gulf shrimp than it is to go to the store and fork it over. Not sure if one is actually more cost effective than the other, but it seems so much easier the other way. Now, that being said, the recipe I am sharing today is so flipping amazing that I will go to the Brookshires or Kroger and buy some shrimp so I can make it. It certainly won’t hold me back!! This was the freshest, tastiest seafood pasta recipe I have tried in a long time. It was yummilicous! (That’s a hybrid word I am trying…cross between yummy and delicious…try it out) I found the original recipe at http://damndelicious.net/2014/01/15/spicy-parmesan-shrimp-pasta/, but I made a few changes to it to make it Cajun style. In all seriousness, this was one fantastic pasta dish and I will make it over and over. I think you will LOVE it.~AMB
Find the rest of this recipe on my new site…Spicy Cajun Shrimp Pasta | Cajun Mama Cooks
http://cajunmamacooks.com/2014/08/04/spicy-cajun-shrimp-pasta/

Savory mushroom brown rice

As long as I can remember, this recipe has been around. It truly connects my family to Big Daddy’s family in a unique way. Wait what? I know, sounds crazy right? And yet so true. In a past blog post, I know I told y’all that BD and I have known one another since childhood. Actually babyhood. I was 1 and he was 9 months when they moved in across the street from us in a little neighborhood called Airview Terrace in Alex. (that is Alexandria for those who are not hip to the lingo ha ha). Our moms, Bernie and Dianne, became fast friends. As a mom myself now, I imagine they were so happy to hit it off and their kiddos played well together. Well as well as BD could play with anyone as he was sort of a precious little hellion back then. I can say that because I am raising his prodigy these days. 🙂 So they became fast friends. Clay’s mom was a few years older than my mom. And she had a degree in home economics from what is known as ULM. So sister could cook and enjoyed it. Of course, she was not from Marksville like my mom but from North Louisiana, so they had different styles. I would have to say in general they had different styles period. Dianne was tall and statuesque and had sass to spare. Bernie is a petite and a little more soft spoken. But they were the yin to the other’s yang and they remained friends until the day Dianne passed away. And now of course, there are 4 kiddos running around as a result (to some extent) of this friendship those two ladies formed back in 1976. Thank Heavens for that.
Read the rest of the post on my new site…
Savory Mushroom Brown Rice | Cajun Mama Cooks
http://cajunmamacooks.com/2014/08/04/savory-mushroom-brown-rice/