Bringing on Fall with one of my favorite meals…post by post

We went to Arkansas this past weekend so BD and the boys could go dove hunting with my father in law. It’s become a tradition for our family and this year was no different. My big boy turned 11 and his birthday is typically right after Labor Day and usually this all falls on the same weekend. Not this year, as some years it is a little different. BD also has a birthday in September, so that makes this a really fun time when we go up to the lodge. This weekend, there was an LSU game and a Saints game on TV. Also, the temps were in the mid 60’s in the mornings and all I can say is Fall is coming y’all. That makes me happier than words can say. Every year when we go for dove hunt/Labor Day/birthday celebrations, my mother in law Deb always has a lab with new puppies. This year was no different and those pups are the sweetest sight to see. All in all it was a good weekend and September is in full effect. Since Fall is approaching quickly, my mind has turned to cooking delicious soups and stews and another family fave…roast. Roast and all the trimmings. So I decided that I wanted to make a post of all the things I make when I cook a roast. That way y’all have an entire Sunday supper to make if you are so inclined. When I do it, I do it right. What I love most about this meal is that it combines some of family favorites from both sides of the family.
I can remember when my daddy would come home from dove hunting or squirrel hunting, he would also stop at momou’s on the way home from the camp and have lunch at her house. He would always bring home leftovers. This meal here (sans the cornbread…she made rolls usually) is very similar to what he would bring home on a plate wrapped in foil. Oh the smells and yummy tastes. Her rice and gravy always was the best and I would imagine if she was not in the nursing home, it still would be if she made it. So on a Sunday, I always like to make a big toodoo (as she would say) and really cook a big Sunday lunch or supper. So if these fall temps get to you and you get the notion to do it up right, these recipes right here are all you need. Throw in some petite pois, a pot of rice, and some sweet tea and you are at Momou’s! Or the lodge. Both wonderful places to be. Bring on Fall!

Deb’s pot roast…the last roast recipe you will ever need | cajunmamacookin’s Blog

Alayna’s best ever cornbread | cajunmamacookin’s Blog

Potato Salad with almost everything, paquing eggs and things Cajuns do | cajunmamacookin’s Blog

Momou’s mac and cheese | cajunmamacookin’s Blog

that’s a bunch of sweet, full and fat puppies

my 11 YEAR OLD (!!! How did that happen?) back from the hunt

watching the sunset on the Arkansas River on our trip to BLL

Toot has been getting sewing lessons from aunt Kathy (deb’s sister)

My Cookie walking the dogs around BLL

my baby (not so little anymore) giving mama dog Abby some attention. 😉


Caroline’s favorite chicken spaghetti

So I have told y’all about my dear friend Angie haven’t I? She has a precious daughter named Caroline who is the same age as my oldest. We love those girls and they are like a part of our insane family. Bless ’em. Anyway, Angie loves to cook just like me and always love a new delicious recipe. Getting them and giving them out. She is from Monroe, so her roots are different than mine and that keeps our recipes very diverse and allows us to cover a broad range of yummy dishes. The other day they came over and she mentioned she was making Caroline’s favorite chicken spaghetti. I asked her how it was different than the regular chicken spaghetti and she said to was a little lighter than what she usually made, meaning no heavy cream of soups. I was on top of that and asked her to shoot me the recipe ASAP. She did and I made it for supper last night. Boy was I glad I did. BD ate two servings and had to stop himself from having another. It was so good. He then proceeded to go outside in this muggy Louisiana weather and weed the flower beds. He says he could have never done that if I had made the other chicken spaghetti (which he loves). So it is country boy approved and around here I can be Cajun Mama all day long, but if it doesn’t please BD, I am not getting far. Yes I just reread that statement and realize I sound like my Momou talking about my grandfather…or Pa as she called him. So be it. Anyway, this recipe really is a lighter take on the regular chicken spaghetti I make and this version is as delicious if not more so. Now, my kiddos were not game for trying it but truthfully I usually make a kid friendly version for them when I make the other kind, so I need to figure out one with this one. They ate cereal and were just fine. No kiddos starving here I promise. 🙂
I hope y’all love this version just as much. The recipe came from the Tallulah Junior League cookbook called Brushy Bayou Recipes. It’s called Chicken Casserole V. Now y’all know those junior league cookbooks always have the best recipes. This one was published back in 1972, so the recipe needed a little updating so Angie and I both made a few slight changes to the recipe to bring it up to date. Give me your thoughts on it after you try it!!

now you know that’s a good cookbook

Caroline’s Favorite Chicken Spaghetti

Stuff you need~

1 box vermicelli (you can use spaghetti)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded or 4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded (reserve water)
1 carton of chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
1 jar of sliced mushrooms
2 (14.5 ounces) can of diced tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If you are boiling your own chicken, do that and then remove chicken breasts once it is done. Add chicken broth to that water, bring to a boil and cook your pasta. If you used a rotisserie chicken, then debone that sucker and just boil your pasta in the chicken broth. (Add water to the pot as needed to have enough liquid and reserve a little of the liquid after done boiling)
Ok, now in a skillet, add your olive oil and butter and warm over medium heat. Add your chopped veggies and sauté a few minutes until tender. Stir in the drained tomatoes and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat a few minutes. Now, I used a pasta scoop to add a little cooked pasta at a time to the pot. I used almost all of the pasta. Use a ladle to spoon in a little of the reserved broth. I found this helped the pasta to not dry out. Stir in your shredded chicken and then transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the pasta. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes until cheese is all melted and bubbly and the dish is warmed through.
Resist the urge to shove your face into the casserole dish. That melted cheese is really hot and eating straight out the casserole dish is considered “bad manners”. Use a plate please and enjoy!!!!!

an oldie but goodie