Thanksgiving recipe round up

I have always loved Thanksgiving. Of course, I love the food. Turkey and dressing is one of my favorite foods. I guess the time of year also has something to do with my love of this holiday. The people who sit around the table with me make it a pretty great day as well. Another reason still that it is my favorite is that it is the beginning of the holiday season. So many reasons to love Thanksgiving, it’s hard to pick just one. Along those lines, so many reasons to love Thanksgiving dinner and I am about to give you a few more. This a roundup of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes…some I have posted before and some are brand new. I think there is something to please everyone here. It’s a few days early, but as we move into our month of counting our blessings, I want you to know that having the opportunity to share my stories, some recipes, laughter and tears with y’all is one of the blessings I will count. Thank you for continued support, encouragement and cooking and learning right along with me, in the kitchen and in life. Much love and many blessings…~AMB

Scrumptious sides | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2014/04/30/scrumptious-sides/

Cream cheese corn recipe | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/05/26/cream-cheese-corn-recipe/

Momee’s cornbread dressing | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/11/24/momees-cornbread-dressing/

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/11/11/chocolate-bourbon-pecan-pie/

Pea and asparagus casserole and coming home | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2014/03/09/pea-and-asparagus-casserole/

Corn Pudding

Corn pudding

Makes about 8-10 servings

stuff you need

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
3/4 cup sour cream
1 stick mostly melted butter

what to do with the stuff~

Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together all ingredients and pour into buttered dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until completely set in the middle.

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if food is a religion, can I get an amen?

Mini green bean casseroles
Serves 16

Stuff you need~

2 cans jumbo home style biscuits (16 in all)
2 cans cut green beans, drained
1/2 cup milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/3 cups french fried onions (about a can)

What to do with the stuff~

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out each biscuit to 4 inch circles (I just kind of gently stretched mine out). Press a biscuit into each muffin cup.
Mix together drained green beans, milk, soup, 2/3 cup of the French fried onions, and 1 cup of the cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Spoon equally divided amounts of the green bean mixture into each biscuit cup.
Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden browned. Sprinkle remaining cheese and French fried onions over each cup. Return to oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes or so.

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fun, different and so delicious!

Sweet potato soufflé
(A Trisha Yearwood recipe)

Serves 8

stuff you need~

For soufflé

5 medium sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened (at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Pinch of salt

Topping

1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened

what to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
On a foil covered baking sheet, bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour or until they are soft. Allow them to cool. Peel and add the potato flesh to a large mixing bowl and mash until smooth. Add the remaining soufflé ingredients and using a electric mixer or standing mixed until combined well. Spoon the mixture into your prepared baking dish.

For the topping–in a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until they are mixed well together. Spoon several large dollops of topping over the sweet potatoes (see photo). Bake for 30 minutes or until the the topping is slightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes before 5 minutes.

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I ❤️ sweet potatoes

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so true.

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Mom’s creamy chicken broccoli and rice casserole

I suppose after the craziness and overwhelming nature of the past few weeks, it is possible I have been in need of some comfort. A bunch of comfort to be honest. I have found it in prayer, hugs from my kids and Big Daddy, and long talks with friends. Sometimes though, there is nothing like a comforting casserole straight from the oven, piping hot covered with ooey gooey melty cheese. Of course Pinterest is full of such concoctions and it can be hard to separate the hype from the truth. Well y’all, this casserole is the real deal. No hype. It is so fantastically creamy and just perfect. I made it yesterday for lunch and my oh my, I was a happy girl. Now, I am all about delicious, but when a casserole combines super foods like broccoli and mushrooms and convenience items like frozen broccoli and rotisserie chicken, that makes it tops in my (cook) book. I would make a few changes the next time I make it, like, more broccoli and less mushrooms and cut the mushrooms up smaller but that’s a matter of personal preference. Another beautiful thing about this recipe is that it is lightened up version that is so tasty and creamy that you will never even miss what might be left out. Delicious!!! Obviously, I loved it and I hope y’all do too! ~AMB

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a bowl of comfort

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T-Roy lays on my feet as I cook. Comforting for both of us I suppose

Mom’s broccoli and chicken casserole

serves 8

stuff you need~

1 (12 ounce) package frozen broccoli (Next find I am doubling this)
2 packages of pre-sliced mushrooms (I will use just one next time and slice them up smaller)
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk (I used a mixture of half and half and 2 % milk and it was creamy perfection)
About 3 cups of rotisserie chicken breast, chopped up (I just used all the breast meat)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
1/4 cup mayo
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

what to do with the stuff~

Cook your broccoli according to package directions.
In a oven safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in diced onion and mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are browned and liquid has cooked out.
Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture. Stir for about 1 minute. Pour in the milk. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is creamy and thickens somewhat. Stir in the chopped chicken and broccoli. Remove from heat. Stir in mayo and Greek yogurt and shredded Parmesan. Season to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. I crushed up about 10 Ritz crackers and sprinkled the crumbs all over the casserole for some added crunch. You could also added slivered almonds on top for some added texture.

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full of good stuff and topped with melted cheese…yes please!

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oh the comfort a good casserole and a sweet puppy can bring

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happy sigh

Mexican lasagna and moving forward

The past week seems like it has gone by so fast and so slow at the same time. It’s a little crazy when that happens. We lost our beloved dachshund, Toby, very suddenly and tragically last Thursday night. It’s something that truly rocked our world and made time just stop for a moment. Last week was a whirlwind of activity and then boom!! It’s like the world just stopped. We are coping with his death through lots of prayer and leaning on the amazing support network of family and friends we have. As a matter of fact, though I would give nearly anything for my sweet boy to still be here with us, having a chance to feel the outpouring of love and support we have felt during the past few days has been a good thing that came out of it. Helping 4 kiddos cope with such a sudden loss has been challenging and frankly, exhausting. But we are making it day by day. Just today the girls and I took a road trip with Angie and Caroline to pick up a 10 week old Doxie that I found at http://www.kajunkennels.com after a friend suggested them to us. I was really on the fence about getting a new baby so quickly but thanks to so much encouragement and support from friends, we decided it would be the best thing to help our family to heal and move on in a joyful way. Happiness is a choice and I believe that. Choosing to pick up and move forward in the face of tragedy was a choice and I hope my kids take that lesson with them into their lives. We cannot replace our precious Toby but because during his all too brief time on this earth he did such an amazing job of bringing laughter and joy into our family that when he passed, it created a huge void that I knew we could not live with for long. So we chose not to. I want to believe Toby would want us to be happy and is smiling down on us knowing how much we loved him and knowing we have so much to love to give another Doxie. That brings me great comfort to tell my kids that and I hope it comforts them some. So RIP sweet Toby and I pray you are running and chasing the squirrels in heaven. You are dearly missed. ~AMB

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my sweet boy. God rest his soul.

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the sweet spirit we welcomed today. Roy Pierre…Roy is Momou’s maiden name and a reminder of the strong German people I come from. I pray we have many years together

So y’all will excuse me as I had to tell that story so that I could move forward. It was necessary and I hope that you understand. I had to acknowledge the pain so that I could be authentic and true to myself, which is for me, the most important part of being able to tell my stories. The good with the bad and the happy with the sad. I wish it was all happy all the time but I would be Lying to you and me if that is all I wrote about and I would be doing us all a great injustice as that is just not realistic. If you are looking for moonbeams and unicorns and rainbows, this is likely not the blog for you. Now…to get to the part you all came here for (let’s be honest ha ha!!)…Mexican lasagna. 1) yum 2) super easy. Back in high school, I had a good friend (still a friend now) named Deah. Her mom made this amazing dish that is a lot like this recipe. I had been seeing different tortilla lasagna and Mexican lasagna recipes on Facebook and Pinterest but they all seemed too fussy and complicated. No thank you very much. I wanted something straightforward, simple, and super tasty that I could tell y’all how to throw together quickly after a soccer game, or t ball game, staff meeting, or heck just in the midst of life in general chaos. That’s how it tends to be in our household. So with a puppy squealing, little girls fighting over said squealing puppy and waiting for BD and the boys to return from Arkansas muzzleloader hunting…I pieced this together. You totally can too! We all tore it up as BD says. It was so good and I think I managed to accomplish what I set out to do.

Mexican lasagna

Serves about 8

Stuff you need~

-1 pound lean ground beef
-1 small onion, diced
-1 package taco seasoning mix
-1 can red enchilada sauce (I love old El Paso brand)
-1 can traditional refried beans
-12 fajita size flour tortillas (I use the Mission Bell soft and fluffy kind…we like them the best)
-2 cups assorted shredded cheeses (you can use Mexican blend, or Colby Jack…I used a mixture of queso blanco which Velveeta sells pre-shredded now, cheddar, and Monterey Jack)
-Sliced black olives, sliced green onions and sour cream for serving (optional)

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking dish by spraying with cooking oil. Brown ground beef in large skillet and throw in diced onion during the last 5 minutes or so of cooking. Drain if necessary. Stir in the taco seasoning packet and cook according to package directions. Set aside. Layer 6 of the tortillas in the baking dish, overlapping as necessary.
The tortillas will go up the side of the baking dish and that’s ok. Now spread 1/2 of the can of refried beans over the tortillas. Pour 1/2 of the can of red enchilada sauce over the beans as evenly as possible. Next sprinkle one half of seasoned ground beef over the sauce. Sprinkle a cup of the shredded cheese over this. Repeat all over again, starting with tortillas layered exact same way and ending with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is all bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes or so. Cut into squares and serve. Garnish as desired with a dollop of sour cream, sliced black olives and green onions.

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muy delicioso

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my position as I typed this post…so sweet

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my girls and Caroline after getting RPB home yesterday afternoon. Love those smiling faces. #puppiesbringpeace

Caramel apple sangria and a toast to Fall

I have already shared that it’s been a long week. I imagine everyone out there reading this could give their own version of it’s been a long week. It’s Friday though and that is something to celebrate!! I came across this recipe on http://www.anightowlblog.com and pinned it to make in the future. As in today. I knew today was the day!! It’s been in the upper 80’s over here and Fall has not come to stay yet. Maybe, just MAYBE, such a Fall inspired beverage , ahem, cocktail, will summon Fall. Bring it to us. This summer like weather smack dab in the middle of October is no good, y’all. No good at all. So in the name of Fall, pumpkin patches, a fire crackling away in the fire pit, and lovely fall weather…I raise a glass of this caramel apple sangria. Or I will. As soon as I run carpool. Also, here’s to long weeks that finally come to an end and faith that it will all work out in the end…cheers!! ~AMB

Caramel apple sangria

Stuff you need~

1 bottle of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 bottle sparkling apple cider (I could only find a 6 pack of the smaller bottles so I got that. I used 3)
1/4 cup caramel syrup (in the coffee aisle usually)
2-3 apples, diced up

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apples are missing but you get the point

What to do with the stuff~

Chill the wine and cider. Once they are chilled, mix up all the stuff in a pitcher or carafe. Add in the apples.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Voila!!!

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French dip sandwiches and finding peace

This has been one heck of an week y’all, I am not going to lie. I am ending this week even more grateful than usual that today is Friday. I am just worn out and in need to quiet. Being a mom is a big job, sometimes more than others. This week seems like one of those times. All this school stuff is a lot to take these days. At the same time it is a blessing because my kids go to a really wonderful school full of amazing teachers, faculty and staff. My oldest is in his last year at this wonderful school and with all the changes across the state happening in the classroom, it has all been a lot to take for him. For me. It all kind of came to a head yesterday. He is too smart for his own good and knows too much. Being a type a person like his mama, he takes so much to heart and became overwhelmed by it all. Too much stress for a kid. Heck, too much for a mama. I think we got it all worked out, thanks to some really wonderful teachers who love my kid(s) to pieces and are not afraid to speak up. We had a talk last night and I think it is going to be ok. Of course it will. Even still, I am in need of a retreat from the world. I am seeking peace. When I feel that way, I just want to feather my nest. Clean, straighten up, and of course, cook something really delicious. Or even better…have my trusty crockpot aka big red, do it for me. Yeah that’s even better. So I came across this one on Facebook yesterday and I pinned it, thinking that might be perfect for tonight. Here is the link http://creolecontessa.com/2014/06/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwich/. So mit’s happening. Now, it’s a recipe I have never made before so I will have to wait to tell you how delicious it is, though I am feeling pretty confident that it will be really tasty. So now pictures of the final product until later. For now, we will just get the recipe down.
Ok! Let’s get down to it y’all!!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

stuff you need

3-4 pound chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Tony’s seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

what to do with the stuff~

In a small bowl, mix together the spices. Like so…

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Now, rub that spice all over both sides of the roast. I did this all in the crockpot.
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Ok. Now just pour the liquids over the roast and then lay your sliced onion on top. Cook on low heat for 5 hours. Remove from crockpot and shred. Return to crockpot. Serve on a hoagie bun with mayo, mozzarella, and/or mild pepper rings. Add some juice to the bowl for dipping if you are so inclined. And I will be.
Enjoy!!! (And I will post pics of the finished product later. Also look for a recipe for apple sangria and crockpot beef enchilada soup…both on tap for this weekend!! Oh and Patti Labelle’s over the rainbow macaroni and cheese!! Comfort food!)

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supper is cooking away and I am cleaning…feathering my nest. Finding peace.

**UPDATE…they are delicious!!!! Must try friends! Must try!

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wipe the drool off your face…

Marinated cheese appetizer and feeling a bit overwhelmed

So I was going to write this whole blog post on a party some friends and I had given, with pics and funny quips from the party. I was going to post recipes for all the recipes I prepared. And every time I started the post, I got overwhelmed and deleted it. It seemed like so much. It’s been a busy week over here and showing no signs of letting up and there is just not that much of me to go around. I went on a field trip to the Red River Revel with my youngest and his class. Big daddy offered to go get them from school so I could come home and “relax”. For me, this is hard to do. I don’t relax well. Sure that means I am productive and get stuff done, but that also means I wear my own self out. Always buzzing around like a bee. You would think as much as I move, I would be thin, but not so. lol. Anyway, while he went to run carpool for me, I tried to catch up on housework because I will be helping at the school’s book fair tomorrow. So, I am doing the dishes, thinking about how I really need to write a blog post and how I felt overwhelmed by the thought of it and it hit me…write a blog post where you share a recipe from the party (a really good one!) and also maybe own up to feeling overwhelmed. Surely I am not the only person who feels overwhelmed by a task and has to break it down to get it done. Am I? So that is what I am going to do. My grand plan of a big ole grand party post just won’t happen today. And that is ok.
So…today I have a recipe for marinated cheese. My good friend Betsy swears by the recipe for a great appetizer to bring to a party. And y’all…as usual…she is not wrong. In fact, this stuff is addictive and you will dream about it. With the holiday season upon us, I figured y’all could use a wonderful, new appetizer recipe to bring along to make you the star of the show. This marinated cheese is truly a dream. It can be made ahead of time and prepped when needed. It has flavor that is out is this world and looks just beautiful on any table. Y’all (we) are so lucky Bets shared this recipe with us!! Sending a big ole cajun mama shout out to my friend Betsy!! I hope y’all will try this appetizer recipe out soon. You don’t know what you are missing! ~ AMB

so this is a little glimpse of what’s been going on around here….

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jersey day at school…all my babies

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slumber party for my 8 year old birthday girl

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the birthday girl

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reunited with an elementary school friend who is now a Stella and Dot stylist (she came for the party)

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she styled me…she can style you too…the link for the party is http://www.stelladot.com/ts/ui916 and it’s open until October 26

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my oldest lost 2 teeth in one night…tooth fairy is busy!

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my baby at the Revel…sporting his face painting

Ok! Now for the marinated cheese recipe! What?! Did y’all think I had forgotten? 😜

Marinated cheese appetizer

stuff you need~

1/2 cup white wine balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimientos
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced green onions
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried whole basil *
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) package of sharp cheddar (I used Kraft as suggested on original recipe)
Club crackers for serving

*I used that basil in a tube. It worked great!! You find it in the produce section by the other kinds of herbs. Option 2 would have been to chop up fresh basil because that is all I had. Did not have any dried basil.

What to do with the stuff~
Ok…the night before (or morning off an evening event) add all the ingredients but the cheese to a bowl or jar. Whisk together or if in a jar, make sure it is tightly closed and shake it all up.
Slice the cheese lengthwise and then cut into 1/4″ pieces. Stack them in alternating pattern (cream cheese, cheddar, on and on) like this…

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Now, pour some of the marinade over the cheese. Use a deeper dish for marinating so the marinade does not leak (ask how I know…) . Cover and allow to sit for several hours or overnight. Transfer to a serving dish and pour remaining marinade over the cheese before serving. Serve with Keebler Club Crackers (recommended in original recipe and I have to say they are mighty tasty).

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Bon Appetit!!

Crockpot jambalaya

I am about to tell y’all something. I may shock you. It’s quite the revelation. I have never made jambalaya that was not out of the box. And to go further, I cannot remember my mom ever making jambalaya. Maybe she did but I don’t remember. I mean, we ate lots of rice for sure, but not what I would call jambalaya. But I get asked often if I have a really good jambalaya recipe. My answer is always…”um…no”. I feel it is time to right this wrong. How can I call myself Cajun Mama without a good jambalaya recipe? And not jambalaya from a box. Also, I had brunch with my home chick, Joni today, I was inspired. No we did not eat jambalaya for brunch. She told me her husband, Heath, made a kick butt pot of jambalaya last night. So I knew the day had come. I hollered at my pal Google, and searched for an easy crockpot chicken and sausage jambalaya. Ole Google delivered, as usual. Here is the original link http://www.myrecipes.com/m/recipe/easy-slow-cooker-jambalaya-10000001875863/. It was quite tasty, but the rice was a little chewy. Well now that I look at the recipe again, it says clearly to switch the slow cooker to high after you add rice. So my bad!! Cajun mama is not always so bright y’all. Learn from my mistakes and avoid chewy rice!

Crockpot jambalaya

serves 8 or more

Stuff you need

1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons of the jarred stuff)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 package smoked sausage, sliced
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice

What to do with the stuff

Add all the ingredients except the rice to a large (5 quart) slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 5 hours. It may take less time, mine took about 4 hours.
Now stir in the rice. Switch the Slow cooker to high and cook for 30 minutes. Season according to taste.

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