Category Archives: seafood

Crawfish Fettucine…like seriously the best stuff ever 

OOk this is one of my most favorite, tried and true, best recipes. This is the one I trot out when I want to impress and  have my friends begging for more. It’s creamy, it is just spicy enough, it is fabulous. I will be honest and say I don’t remember who I got this recipe from. Maybe my friend Leia, aka Ned, the one who gave me the crawfish pie recipe but maybe it was my sister? I truly cannot remember and if you know me at all, you know how rare that is.  I have a memory like an elephant. I remember it was in college, maybe grad school, and I made it a whole bunch. Anytime my friends and I cooked supper together, this was usually one of the menu items. My friend Cara and I and her roommate Nicole would have this every other week one summer. At the time it seemed like the best recipe in the whole world and so elegant…in some ways it is still that way to me. My little girl, ADB, has loved this for a while and it is probably one of her favorites. So the tradition continues. This recipe deserves all the props it gets, I promise. It’s just that good. I don’t even know where this recipe is written down on paper! I just know it by heart. I guess all important things that have special memories attached to them are etched on your heart.  This recipe certainly qualifies. If you gave me this recipe and you read this post please give me a shout out. I love to give credit where credit is due and y’all know I love to share stories about friends who the recipe comes from.  None the less, just make this crawfish fettucine  and enjoy! This pairs beautifully with a green salad and some garlic bread. Hope y’all enjoy it as much as I have for the longest time now. Grab a good bottle of wine, make this recipe and toast to good friends, wonderful memories, and great food! Nothing better!  

Stuff you need~

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter 

1 small onion, diced 

1 medium bell pepper, diced 

2 stalks celery, diced 

Cajun seasoning (Tony’s…do I have to specify?) 

1 pound crawfish tails *

1 can cream of chicken soup 

1 can cream of mushroom soup 

16 ounces (about half of a big block) queso blanco velveeta with jalapeños (or mexican velveeta…whatever you can find)

half and half 

Cooked fettucine noodles 

What to do with the stuff~

Melt your butter in a big ole skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and celery in the butter until tender. Sprinkle in a little Tony’s at this point. I read somewhere a while back that adding seasoning at the beginning of the sautéing process tends to deepen the flavor of the seasoning. Works for me! 

Add the minced garlic and sauté another minute or two. Next add your soups and crawfish tails. 

Add your cubed up velveeta and cook over low heat, stirring frequently. Next, add a splash of half and half to make this luscious concoction that much creamier. Add a little more because it makes it that much better. Stir, stir, stir. Continue to cook over low heat until the sauce is the consistency you prefer. It will continue to thicken some after you remove it from the heat. Keep that in mind. 


Serve over some cooked fettucine noodles along side some garlic bread to sop up all that sauce the noodles forget. Best. Stuff. Ever!!!!! 

speaking of favorites from my grad school days…still love these ladies. blessed to call them friends.
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Crawfish pie and lessons in white pepper and loyalty 

I am a big believer that God brings people into your life for a reason. Not everyone is meant to stay forever but some are. And that’s when it gets good. As most of you know, I am a Shreveport transplant and when I arrived on the scene in North Lousiana, I knew no one but Big Daddy, his brother, and his daddy. That’s all. One of the first people I met was Leia. She was about 16 and I was about 19. We met in passing one day and that was it for a while.  In fact, the first time I met her as a matter of fact, I was pretty sure she did not like me much. Remember, I was an outsider. Somehow though, as time went on, Leia took me under wing and made me her friend and the rest as they say is history. Well, not really…a couple of things have occurred between now and then. Couple of weddings (I was in her’s, she was in mine), some graduations, jobs, couple of babies, life…we have stuck together through it all. I lived with Leia, who I call Ned and she calls me Ned (don’t ask) one summer and we loved to cook in the tiny little kitchen of her first house. Big Daddy was working out town that summer, and at the time I missed him terribly, but looking back, I am so glad to have had that time with her. She was expecting her first baby at the time and that baby is now a college student. That tells you how far back we go. If there is anyone on this a Earth I don’t ever question, it is Leia. She is always in my corner and I am pretty sure she knows I have her back no matter what she is up against. She is a tough cookie and I am just glad to have her on my team. I would not want her as an enemy. She is part sweet southern belle mixed with fierce badass and it equals one amazing friend. Sister knows how to take care of business. Need someone to plan one heck of bachelorette party? She’s your girl. There’s no end to the power of Ned and those who are lucky enough to have her in their lives would do well to remember that. There is no end to the power of Ned. 

 

Me and Ned, circa 2001, at my bachelorette party .
 
Now this crawfish pie recipe…it’s pretty special. And delicious. I had never had crawfish pie before I tried this one, so of course, it was love at first bite. Even though it is a Cajun delicacy, the recipe could not be easier to prepare. As I made it the other night, I giggled to myself how much I have learned in the kitchen since those days. I was probably 20 at the time, and I had no idea about white pepper or if there was a difference between white and black pepper. Nor did I bother looking for white pepper at the store. I probably thought it was a typo. Now, of course lessons have been learned in and out and the kitchen and I have a jar of white pepper in my seasonings cabinet. Ned and I have learned some other lessons as well. Lessons like…life  can be hard, but it’s a lot easier when you have a good friend always there. And that some people are always loyal, even if you don’t talk to them everyday. Some friendships begin and don’t ever end. Thank God. Love you Ned, thanks for the crawfish pie recipe and for all the love and loyalty. 

Crawfish Pie 

Stuff you need~

1/2 stick of butter 

1 pound crawfish tails 

2 pie crusts 

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1/2 bell pepper, chopped fine 

2 stalks celery, chopped fine 

1 can cream of mushroom soup 

8 ounce tomato sauce 

1 cup breadcrumbs 

1 egg, slightly beaten 

1 cup milk 

1/2 cup white wine 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1/2 teaspoon white pepper 

1/2 teaspoon thyme 

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a  large skillet or sauté pan. Sauté onions, bell peppers, and celery in melted butter until they are tender. At some point before the veggies are tender, sprinkle in the salt, pepper, red pepper, white pepper and thyme. This way the seasonings can get in there and really make their mark and have plenty of time to infuse the filling with their delightful spiciness. Yes I wrote that…delightful spiciness. 


 

Next stir in your cream of mushroom soup.   

Add the tomato sauce and give it a good stir   
Next, stir in the crawfish tails and white wine.  All together…mmmm. Just. So. Delicious. Add the milk, beaten egg* and the breadcrumbs. Either make your own in a food processor with some white bread or use plain breadcrumbs. I only had garlic and herb breadcrumbs this time and  I found it threw the flavor off. Still good but not as good as I remembered. So next time, plain breadcrumbs it is. Stir them in and let the mixture simmer over low heat.  

Stir the mixture frequently as it is simmers. Now,  take one of the pie crusts and lay it in the bottom of your pie plate. Prick it a few times with a fork and pop that baby in the oven for a few minutes. You just want to slightly brown the bottom pie crust. Now, feel free to be a real show off and make your own pie crusts. If that is your fortay, rock on with your bad self. As for me and my house, we will use store bought pie crusts. I own it. If someone wants to offer to come give Cajun mama a pie crusts baking lesson, let me know. As I have mentioned before, I am baking challenged. I can do it, but homemade pie crusts are not something I aspire to. 

Finally, pull that prebaked bottom pie crust from the oven. Now pour that savory filling into the pie plate until it is piled high. Yum!!! Cover the filling with your second pie crust and pinch to sort of seal it around the pie plate. Yes! Crawfish pie! You made that! Work it! Hold on now, you got to put it back in the oven to brown your top crust. Here is my crawfish pie before I popped it in the oven. 

see I even mess up a store bought pie crust …it still tasted so good
 

Bake it for about 40 minutes until your pie is golden brown and your kitchen smells like the most heavenly Cajun restaurant you can imagine. Let the pie sit for about 30 minutes before serving. Serve along side a nice green salad or potato salad. Or both if you are Cajun! Here is my potato salad post if you want to check it out Potato Salad with almost everything, paquing eggs and things Cajuns do | cajunmamacookin’s Blog

https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2014/03/18/potato-salad-with-almost-everything-paquing-eggs-and-things-cajuns-do/. 

You are all set!!! Hope you enjoy this truly unique and tasty dish!! 

*you may want to temper the egg. I don’t remember doing this back in the day when I made this dish all the time, but maybe I did not realize the difference. Here is a post that tells you about how to temper an egg…http://www.tablespoon.com/posts/how-to-temper-an-egg/e838d2ab-8509-4db0-bf67-8539a3aa1b06. 

skinny shrimp scampi and for the love of noodles…give me some

I noticed that I have only blogged twice this month and it kinda sorta bothers me. I cook all the time and the majority of what I cook is new recipes and my camera has a ton of food pics on it. It has just been slap packed to the gills busy. And no sign of it stopping. So I am sitting in carpool line right now blogging. There has been some sick kiddos (yes again. New virus. Good times.)

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no sickness can match Roy’s love

Sick kids who got better and had their game faces on which means a nice basketball game for me (he plays rough not fair)

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There’s been some movies (50 shades of spongebob anyone?)

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There’s been some brotherly love

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And there’s been some slap silliness…

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hey silly is good

So when just comes to living life and taking care of the is family God blessed me with…sometimes blogging has to take the back burner. It’s hard for me to concede to this but it is what it is. For instance, I started this post a few days ago and I am finally posting.
This recipe today is a no brainer. It is prepared in a way that you don’t have to feel guilty, but the taste is right in your face. It is restaurant quality delicious but made at home. It’s definitely got of lovely qualities but my favorite is the FLAVOR!! This is real food made with love by you. I actually used this recipe in the January Red River Mom’s issue and I loved it so much I decided to share it on my blog as well. You will turn to this recipe time and time again and it will never disappoint.

Skinny shrimp scampi

Serves 4

Stuff you need~

1 pound shrimp, peeled, leaving tail intact
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons white wine
Juice of lemon
Lemon zest
Crushed chili pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Whole wheat linguine, cooked al dente
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

What to do with the stuff~

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook about 2 minutes or until they are fragrant. Add shrimp and immediately sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Sauté shrimp with the garlic until shrimp is pink and no longer opaque, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, lemon juice, zest, and wine. Bring to a boil and let it continue to let the broth cook down a bit. Remove from heat. Serve over cooked pasta. Grate fresh parmesan over each serving if that is what your precious little heart desires. It’s all up to you darlin.

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for the love of noodles…give me some

Shrimp coconut curry and things I love

I love Thai food. I am not sure how that love came about, but it is a done deal now. Thai food makes me happier than a pig in the mud. It is the yin to my yang, Thai food completes me. I could wax on rhapsodically about Thai food and the happy feelings it brings about in me…but I will just say I ❤️ Thai food and leave it there. But ooh I might need a bumper sticker that says Cajun Mama ❤️ Thai food for my mini van. Or would that be a little too much?
Anyhow, the other morning, I was on Pinterest, pinning some recipes and I decided to look up curries. Why? You might ask. Well I will tell you. I am a chronic rereader of books. I love to read and once I fall in love with a book, I tend to reread it over and over. It’s a problem but who am I change it? Some of my favorites include The Help, Cane River, and the Shopaholic Series. The whole series. My sister Claire got me hooked on those when the first one came out and I still love them. I have them on my Nook and I tend to reread at least once a year. And in the first one, in an attempt to save money, Becky tries to learn to make her own take away curry. Being from Alex by the way of Marksville and having a daddy who wanted his rice and gravy, there was not much curry on the menu. And frankly, I bet I would not have eaten it back then. My kids were not overly thrilled last night and they dined on the house cereal and milk in protest. Anyway, after reading Confessions of a Shopaholic for the umpteenth time and reading about Becky’s curry cooking debacle, I decided I had to give curry a go. I was curious! I needed to try this. I mean curry is all up in Thai and I love Thai …I need to try this. Enter in Pinterest. Now, of course I come across several curry recipes but I finally see one for coconut shrimp curry and whose blog is it on? Another one of my faves! Pioneer Woman! Her recipes are always a pretty safe bet and knowing I had her leading the way, I decided to make a go of it. My friends, this recipe is really easy to prep and not intimidating at all. You can totally do this and you should. It cries to be made. BD LOVED it and I did too. Your kids might not care much for it, but that is because it is called curry and it has a curry smell. If they had tried it, they would likely have loved it. Well, not my Sugar Cookie aka Kayla Ann…she is allergic to fish and we are pretty sure shrimp or shellfish (long story) and since we want to keep her alive, we keep her away from all seafood as a rule. Anyway, this curry recipe is super simple and the end result is some kind of yum. Try it…unless you are allergic to shrimp or shellfish…don’t do that. 😁

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Stuff you need<

Basmati rice, cooked according to package directions (you can use plain old white rice, but basmati rice is incredibly fragrant and just adds to the lusciousness of this dish)
1 pound medium size shrimp
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 clove of garlic, diced fine (or 1 teaspoon of the jarred minced garlic)
1 can coconut milk (I like the taste of Thai brand)
Curry powder(I have the McCormick brand and it was just fine)
Honey
Kosher salt
Fresh basil leaves (trust me)
Juice from one medium sized lime
Sriracha sauce (just the sight of that bottle makes me happy. I have issues.)

What to do with the stuff~

Get your rice cooking in a rice cooker or a pot on the stove. I made 1 1/2 cups and that was about right. In a large skillet, melt your butter. Toss in your shrimp and cook until they are opaque or as I call it…lovely cooked shrimp color. There is a fine line between cooked just right shrimp and overcooked shrimp so kind of watch them. For medium size shrimp, a few minutes is really all it takes. Now, remove those pretty opaque cooked just right shrimpies and put them on a plate. Set aside. I have to hide them at this point because big daddy starts sneaking them.
Ok, add a little more butter if you need to and add the onions and garlic to the same pot. Stir and cook until the onions are tender. Now, you are going to sprinkle a nice amount of curry powder over the onions and garlic. Stir to allow that curry to release all it’s goodness and flavor. I would say about 1 tablespoon at this point. Ok now, open that can of coconut milk and pour it over the onions. Yes it smells like heaven. Curry Thai heaven. Yum!!! Stir in a little more curry powder so that the coconut milk takes on a nice light brown color. Like this…

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Now, stir in some honey (about 2 tablespoons) for some sweetness. Squeeze in the lime juice. See where we are going here? Oh yes somewhere lovely. Thai town, curry ville, my happy place. Ok, now at this point I added a few squirts of Sriracha sauce. If you have never used this stuff before, use sparingly at first. It is some good stuff though y’all. Used to it could only be found in certain stores, but now it is pretty much in every store on the ethnic foods aisle. Buy some. It’s awesome sauce.
Now, stir in a little kosher salt. And let all this loveliness simmer for a few minutes. Feel free to add more honey, lime juice, Sriracha sauce, and salt to get it to taste just right. Sprinkle in more curry powder if necessary. Clip some of those fresh, fragrant basil leaves and kind of give them a little chop and stir them into that lovely curry sauce. It will taste sweet and savory at the same time, which in my humble opinion, is the beauty of Thai food. Now, stir your shrimp into this luscious concoction. Serve over cooked rice. Garnish with a little extra basil. Just beautiful, ya’ll. Heaven in a bowl my friends. Heaven in a bowl. Thank you PW for your guidance in my first attempt at curry cooking. Y’all can check out her post with the most here–http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2014/07/coconut-curry-shrimp/.
Hope y’all enjoyed our little foray into curry cooking. Next up…Momou’s chicken fricassee and sweet tomato gravy (exotic in it’s own right) , coconut curry soup and also…paella. Stay tuned. Every day is an adventure and I am so glad you are on this journey with me! ~AMB

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that’s the stuff (as my friend Lisa loves to say)

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/

Crawfish stew, cheesy potatoes and my sister is awesome

I believe I have told y’all before that I have 3 sisters. I am the oldest of 4 girls. It is something about me that defines me as much as I am Catholic, I am Cajun, my name is Aimee Marie. Their names are Jenny, Lisa, and Claire. They are all beautiful, spectacular, smart women. It’s crazy for me say that. My little sisters are now grown women. Jenny is 5 years younger than me and has always been my partner in crime. She is beyond gorgeous and has always been wiser than me in the ways of the world. Even though she is younger, she takes care of me sometimes. She is so much fun and loves to laugh. She can be my challenger, my support, my sounding board, my soft place to land and my protector. I really cannot go into how much our relationship means to me for fear of bawling like a baby. I have not had enough coffee for all that. I will say now that she has kids it is even better, because it is like she has multiplied. She is a teacher now, has 3 kiddos, is married to a man from Bazille (my precious brother in law Matt) and has a wonderful family by marriage. They are hardcore coonass, just like our family. In fact her sister in law once told me that I may as well be from Texas living all the way up in Shreveport. Yeah, they wear their Cajun with pride.

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our daughters look so much alike it is crazy business. It makes me smile. Big. And they love each other a ton.

Jenny’s mother in law, Mrs. Georgie, gave Jenny an awesome recipe for crawfish stew at her bridal shower several years ago. I was not made aware of this or somehow missed this fact because I had a baby with me who cried during most of the shower. But truthfully, it would not have done me much good until recently because I was up to my ears in baby until a few years ago. All in God’s timing and that includes recipes too I suppose. But thankfully, a few months ago I put a picture of Tony’s instant roux in the can. Several people commented that no way would they use that (Jennifer and Amanda I am looking at you both. Ha ha!!) but here comes my sister saying she uses it in her crawfish stew. I am all what is this crawfish stew you speak of sister? She sends me the handwritten recipe in Mrs. Georgie’s handwriting (that’s her mother in law). She also tells me to make these devilish sounding cheesy potatoes to go with it.

Jenny has always had a knack for knowing what would taste good. I think it is her adventurous nature that allows for this. She is not afraid to try things. She is as adventurous as I am cautious. She turned me on to baked sweet potatoes with butter, cinnamon and Tony’s. Oh yes and don’t knock it till you have tried it. When we have boiled crawfish she makes the best dipping sauces, hands down. She also has a knack for doing fantastic hair. She has this long beautiful hair that I cannot even imagine dealing with having 3 kids much less making it look lovely and glamorous. (Hush jenny you know it’s true!) Jenny used to give her best friend hair trims when they were probably 11 or 12 and I tell you she did a good job!! She is very special to me as you can tell and I am so proud she shared this recipe with me.

I cannot say I have always been the best sister in the world. I have often times been caught up in being a mom or had my head so far up my butt I could not see anything else but sick kids, dirty diapers, and breast milk. I think mostly she understands. I am definitely grateful for the connection we will always have. And recipes are just one of the many things that connect us. Our memories and stuff we laugh hysterically about that no one else would get as well. Even though she is 5 years younger, she teaches me so much. Like leftover crawfish stew can be served over grilled steaks the next night and that these cheesy potatoes are amazing with crawfish stew. Also, that laughter and tears have a place on the same page. And that most importantly, a sister is forever, no matter what. Your sister is someone who you can always come home too, no matter what has happened or what has been said. I hope she feels the same. Home is wherever your sister is.

I hope you will give Mrs. Georgie’s crawfish stew a try and whip up a batch of these cheesy potatoes. Don’t let this recipe intimidate you. Cajun cooking for the most part is not fancy. If you has ever hung with a Cajun gal, or cajun folks, you know that there is no room for pretense. Just fun. And laid back chats. We just want you to eat and enjoy yourself. Anyone can make this meal. So do it! For now, I have to be going, I need to call my sister. Cause she is sort of awesome and I miss her.~AMB

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back before we were Mrs. Or mommy. Getting a good picture was quick and easy

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now it is difficult to take a picture without some sort of circus drama ha ha

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isn’t she just beautiful?

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our whole circus, I mean crew.

Mrs. Georgie’s crawfish stew

Stuff you need~

1 stick butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 heaping teaspoons of Tony’s instant roux
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can of chicken broth
1/2 can of water
1 pound crawfish tails

What to do with the stuff

In a Dutch oven or medium size sauce pan, Sauté onions and celery in butter until almost tender. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for about 2
minutes letting the garlic flavor work itself through the onions and celery mixture. Add the crawfish tails, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the instant roux, stirring continuously. Whisk the broth and water into the roux mixture. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until it thickens a bit. Sprinkle in some Tony’s seasoning to taste. Serve over rice. You can garnish with sliced green onions (my fave!) and some chopped parsley if you want. Serve with some of the cheesy potatoes on the side (recipe to follow), a nice green salad and some garlic bread and you have yourself a nice meal fit coonass royalty!!
*Jenn’s side note-always double this recipe because it is amazing and people cannot get enough of it. Also any leftovers are delicious over a grilled steak the next night. Don’t argue…my sister is always (almost) right.

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this is what the can of instant roux looks like (warning…some
People make take offense to you using this. Ignore them. Momou is all about a shortcut. I think all smart cajun women are!!

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Oh yes! My sister is the smartest woman alive!!

Jenn’s cheesy potatoes

Stuff you need~

1 small bag of red potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 8 ounce block of Velveeta
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
6 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Sliced Green onion for garnish

what to do wit h the stuff~

In a large pot, boil your potatoes (or as voice text puts when I say it “ball your potatoes.” Seriously) in some salted water. Boil until they are tender and you can easily stick a fork in them. Drain and set aside. In a large pot, sauté the onion in the butter. Add the cubed up Velveeta and stir frequently as it melts. Add bacon and green onions (if you love them like I do). Now stir the tender potatoes into the cheesy golden sauce. Stir gently until those potatoes are coated with that luscious cheesy bacony (is that a word?) sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. So damn delicious. Enjoy!!!

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the picture does not do them justice

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No words. So good.

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Jenn and Mrs. Georgie at Jenny’s bridal shower. May 2005. That baby is my sweet Kayla Ann.

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the actual handwritten recipe. Awesome

My favorite brunch dish…recreated at home

So I guess if I were to pick a place that my friends and I meet up at the most I would have to say it is Another Broken Egg. It’s a wonderful place to have brunch and they have some really unique dishes. They serve fabulous Bloody Mary’s and have Bailey’s to spike your coffee if that is your desire. As a stay at home mom, sometimes I meet my other stay at home moms (and my friends who work from home) for brunch. It’s perfect. We drop the kiddos off and then before we run our errands or go home and do our thing. It’s the perfect meal as far as I am concerned. Best of both worlds and anything goes. So crab cakes cavallo is my favorite dish on their menu. It’s a total spurge and so decadent. I adore crab cakes. As a kid my mom and dad would take me to Harry’s Hamburger Stand in Marksville when we would visit my grandparents and I always loved their crab burger. So I guess it would stand to reason that I would love crab cakes. I buy this just at random in the seafood section at Kroger’s. They have great ones. The ones I use in this recipe are just what I had bought last time. Mini crab cakes from Target. Market pantry brand. You are welcome to make your own but I will be honest…mama ain’t making homemade crab cakes at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. Thank you very much I will just use the frozen ones. But do your thing honey. This dish was really quite simple to pull together using prepackaged ingredients once I figured out my plan of action. Of course the experience was not the same as being at ABE, as we call it, but the recipe was pretty dead on. It tasted divine. I made some grits and toasted English muffins to serve along side of this scrumptious dish. A cup of coffee and we were golden. Big Daddy loved the eggs with the sauce but did not care for the crab cakes. Whatever…he is nuts!! Who is he? This makes me question who is. Lol! I am mostly kidding. He said it was too early for crab cakes. I did not know there was such a thing. Again, obviously I married a stranger. Smh. Oh another side note…this dish is usually served with poached eggs on top. But I don’t do poached eggs and I have always ordered it with scrambled eggs and it is wonderful!!! Anyway, give this recipe a try if you love brunch and you adore crab cakes!!~AMB

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some of us convened for an impromptu ornament exchange in December. We may or may not have had mimosas or Bloody Mary’s that morning. Kidding. We totally did.

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oh the deliciousness

Copycat ABE crab cakes Cavallo

serves 2″”

Stuff you need~
1 package of crab cakes (2 big ones or 8 mini ones), cooked according to package directions
1 package Hollandaise sauce mix, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup andouille sausage, sliced and chopped
One green onion stalk, green parts only, sliced thin
6 eggs, scrambled
Cooking oil

What to do with the stuff~

Warm some cooking oil (about 1 tablespoon) in a medium size skillet. Cook andouille (say it with me an-do-we) sausage until it is nice and brown. Stir in Hollandaise sauce let this simmer on low for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sliced green onions. My best friend Lolly, taught me to use my kitchen shears to cut them straight into whatever dish you are putting them in. Where I’m from, that is nearly every dish. Her mother in law, Mrs. Fern, taught her this little trick. It works like a charm!!! Let the sauce get infused with that andouille and green onion flavor. Ooh so good. Now, plate this dish up so you can chow down.
Layer one big crab cake on a plate. Spoon some of the scrambled eggs over the top. Now, ladle some of that heavenly sauce over the top. You can add more sliced green onions to this if you wish.
Enjoy! Now that’s a brunch dish worthy of a Cajun!!! Or anyone who just wants to brunch like a Cajun. Say it with me…yummmmmmmmm!!!

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mmmmmmmmmm!!

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getting that divine sauce ready for the job it was destined for. To top crab cakes!

Nichole’s Mexican cornbread with crawfish and finding the extraordinary


I am glad to be back on the blog today.  I took a few days off and somehow just got focused on living life and a week passed me by.  I have been cooking up a storm, just doing it off the blog I guess.  Good thing is that I have quite a few recipes that I have tried out that were definite wins.  I figured I would share with ya’ll a few pics to show what we have been up to over the last week.  They say time flies when you are having fun and if that is indeed the case then we have been blowing up the fun cause a week and a few days went by like a flash. We went to Arkansas for the opening weekend of turkey season and to celebrate Easter with my in laws at Bayou LaGrue.  We took the kids on a staycation at Margaritaville, we swam, we danced, we laughed, we giggled, we took silly pictures, the kids fought, I fussed, there was laughter, tears, and all in between.  We lived life.  I just happen to take pictures of our day to day life.  I am a firm believer in photographing the day to day things the kids do or that our family does.  Those are the things we tend to forget as time goes by.  So I capture it all.  When I look back on their lives, our lives, so far, it is not the big moments that I struggle to remember.  Birthdays, first days of school, their births, I see those clearly in my mind’s eye.  The ones that I pull closer though are the ones that happened every day.  Nursing them, holding them, rocking them, the giggles, their bonding moments as siblings, our time around the dinner table, and trips to the grocery store. Those are the most precious ones to me.  So now, I make sure to photograph those too.  It is easy to get swept up in the big stuff, isn’t it?  I find that to be true with food blogging too.  I get so caught up in trying new recipes, recipes that will grab attention, that I forget to include the stand bys.  The old favorites.  The recipes that comfort us and will be talked about in years to come.  The ones my babies will make for their babies and talk about their memories associated with that recipe.  New recipes, big moments have their place.  Life would be terribly mundane without them.  But the quiet memories, the day to day drudgery, caught on camera, looks quite remarkable when caught in the right light.  When put in perspective.   Same thing goes for recipes.

For example, back in grad school a classmate from South Louisiana, Delcambre to be exact, made this absolutely delicious Mexican cornbread that crawfish can be added to for a grad school function we had.  I made it several times with the crawfish, we loved it, and filed away the recipe.  I always thought of it and thought “I need to make that” but got sidetracked, you know, with getting married, having kids, and well…LIFE.   Amazing how time can pass by in a such a flash and I have not made that awesome cornbread in over 12 years!!!  Now, with Pinterest and a new recipe to try every day if you choose, it is so easy to forget the favorites.  I ran across a recipe for crawfish cornbread the other day on Pinterest and  said I bet it is the same as Nicole’s recipe.  I will just make this one.  Cue the buzzer noise.   Bomp!!!   I was wrong.  So wrong.  There was nothing wrong with that crawfish cornbread, but it was so not as good as that one given to me by my friend.   The cornbread was made from scratch and it was just so…mealy.  Nicole’s version was made with Jiffy corn muffin mix and for any Cajun anywhere, that is like coming home.  Those little blue boxes are like beacons of light in a grocery store.  If I know nothing else, I know that little blue box.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in the new, the “special”, that I lose sight of what is really special.  So today, I will offer ya’ll a recipe that I have had tucked away for years.  It is special.  And you will enjoy it.  Any flashy recipe on Pinterest cannot touch this recipe.  Just like any of these pictures that follow, the ordinary becomes extraordinary when put in the right perspective.  Make one of your mundane weeknights this week a little something special and make this cornbread.  And celebrate the ordinary.  That is where the good stuff is, ya’ll. ~AMB

Nicole’s Mexican Crawfish Cornbread

Stuff you need~

3 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix (as if there is another brand)

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil

3 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons Mexi-Cajun seasoning

3 eggs, beaten

1 (11 ounce) can mexi corn or whole kernel corn with peppers, drained

1 small onion, finely diced

1 pound Mexican Velveeta, cubed

1 pound crawfish tails, roughly chopped

2 Tablespoons diced jalapenos, or *1 small fresh jalapeno diced, optional  (*seeds removed, unless you are a glutton for punishment)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9 x 13 dish by spraying with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together 3 boxes of corn muffin mix, oil, milk, sugar and beaten eggs together until just combined.  Stir in  the chopped crawfish tails, onion, jalapenos if you are adding them, and velveeta. Pour into a 9 x 13 dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until browned and completely done in the middle.  Serve with a lovely green salad or potato salad (or both!)  and you have got yourself a meal.   And a damn good one at that!!!

Mexican Cornbread with crawfish...the best! Watermarked Photo(21)

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This is a picture of the flashy Pinterest recipe cornbread…close but no cigar.  Flashy and fancy is not always better.  Lesson of life.  

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A friend from Alex. actually came up with this awesome seasoning.  It goes perfectly in so many recipes.  If you are not in Alex., you can buy it online…http://mexicajun.myshopify.com/

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Ready for action at sunrise on Sunday morning.  

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Its just a barn kitten, but to a 5 year (and his mama) that kitten is extra sweet

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Cloudy day conversations between Toot and Toby (such a moment could easily go unnoticed.  I am glad it did not.)

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I look over and they were wrapped up in the towel.  Sweet sisters.

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No words necessary.  

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10 year old practicing his violin.  I find this extraordinary.

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Big Daddy and I had a date morning on the boat.  The view was fab.

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My good friend Laird had her 3rd baby…women give birth everyday  and yet newborn life and the process of birthing little humans is so out of this world fantastically extraordinary.

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Left the kiddos with Granny and Papa and took a little ride on the side by side.  For parents with young kids…this is something special.

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Just another ordinary day in Arkansas.  

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Just a picture of a man headed to work to anyone else, but in the eyes of his family…he is a hero in a tie.  Ordinary.  But not.  

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To a passer by this is just a family walking down the boardwalk, but to me that’s my life.  Extraordinary.  

Crawfish Casserole

Boy do I have a treat for ya’ll today!!!  My sister came across this little gem several years ago and it has been tucked away in my favorites box for a while.  You know how you find a new favorite and you cook it for everyone you know and then forget about it?  That is what happened with this recipe.  It is absolutely delicious and very simple to prepare, but I forgot about and since it is Festival Season in Louisiana, I decided it was time it made a comeback.  I write the food column for a local magazine, Red River Moms, it is called Cajun Mama Cooks and this is one of the recipes I put in the February issue.  It will quickly become one of your family favorites.  The results are so lip smacking, a mouthful of flavor and a taste that is pure Louisiana.  If you don’t live in our wonderful state, you can make this casserole and make do like you are here.  I really hope you will give this one a try, it is truly a favorite in my household and it should not be tucked away in a recipe box.  It should be shared and enjoyed and celebrated…so I hope you do just that! ~ AMB

 

Crawfish casserole 
Serves 6-8Ingredients 

1/2 cup butter
2 (12 oz.) bags of seasoning blend (frozen vegetables aisle)
1 tsp. or two cloves minced garlic 
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 lb. crawfish tails with fat
1 1/2 cooked rice 
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs 
4 tablespoons dried parsley 
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar 

Directions 

-Cook rice and set aside. 
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
-In a large skillet, melt butter and sauté seasoning blend until tender. Add garlic a few minutes before the other veggies are completely tender. Stir in soups and crawfish tails, fat and all.  Let this simmer a few minutes. Stir in cooked rice, breadcrumbs and parsley. Feel free to add a little more rice if you feel it needs it. Transfer to an oven safe 9 x 13 dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until bubbly. 
-season with Tony’s or salt and pepper to taste 

 

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You should make this…you really, really should.  

Crawfish Corn Crab Bisque and Everyone has an opinion…

So I am definitely going to give you a recipe that you are going to really love.  Or I hope you love.  You may hate it.  I really cannot be sure.  If I worried about if 100% of people who follow my blog would dig every recipe I posted, I would probably be frozen by worry and never post anything.  And this is how I will lead into something that has been on my mind this morning.  For no particular reason except we live in a world of over opinionated, vocal people.  It seems some days everyone is a critic.  Or wait, is that everyday?  And in our social media connected world, we are bombarded by how many likes for this posts, different groups swaying us to one side or the other.  Or the worst…people putting down entire groups of people.  To vaccinate our kids or not?  To breastfeed or not?  Pro life or not?  You know what I mean.I was going to just simply give you a lovely intro into corn crab bisque and then deliver the recipe.  I had another post all started.  But I decided, heck, everything else is controversial…I bet bisque can be too.  I love the word bisque.  I think it sounds pretty.  I like most words that are also words that describe colors.  I love color, so this makes sense.  And as I type this, I am betting when someone reads it they will think…that’s stupid.  Eye roll.  That’s ok.  I do it too.  I read people’s stuff and even when I really like them or appreciate what they are writing, a certain sentence annoys me.  But you know what?  I do not feel the need to tell them this.  I move along.  My opinion is important…to me.  Maybe to Big Daddy.  Some days.  I am pretty sure he is rolling his eyes inwardly much of the time I am yammering on about this or that.  Don’t get me started on my kids.  I think they hear dolphin squeaks when I say anything other than “candy, cake, bouncy house…” you get the picture.  See, someone once told me something. I found it highly crass at the time, but that was back when I was sure my opinion mattered all day, every day.  As a woman approaching her 40’s, I know now…it does not.  And that is fine.  Anyway, he said “opinions are like buttholes, everybody’s got one” (he actually said the other word but I know my audience and some of you all may not like that.  So fair enough) That is so true.  Everyone is a critic.  I am a VERY opinionated person.  Some of you who know me well already know this.  But if  you know me via Facebook or on my blog or on my Cajun Mama page…I hope you don’t see that.  Most of the time, I have strong feelings one or the other on most topics.  The difference is…I don’t share them most of the time.  I try not to.  My daddy taught me at a young age that you never speak of religion or money in mixed company.  That was back in the 80’s when those were the main hot topics.  Now hot topics range from abortion, home schooling, breastfeeding, vaccinations, vegan, working out every day, spanking, time out.  Every conversation is a virtual landmine of controversy these days.  I refuse to engage.  I know my feelings about these things, and sometimes I don’t.  I have many deep conversations with close friends about their viewpoints.  But since our whole lives are an open forum…Facebook, Twitter, and other forums I have not even tapped into yet…I choose to use caution.  I don’t have to share my unsolicited opinion on any topic.  I find it wise not to.  Of course unless asked.  Even then, I tread lightly.  I try really hard not to judge or point fingers because another thing I learned long ago when I was in my social work methods class was “when you have one finger pointed, you always 3 others pointed back”.  I have tried really hard to live my life focusing my energy and attention on the 3 pointed back at me.  Self awareness is key in this over opinionated world we live in.  I mean, when I scroll through my Facebook feed, and I see people judging other people’s GRAMMAR or making comments about bandwagon Saints fans…I roll my eyes.  I think those two things are the DUMBEST thing ever.  Do we not have anything else to worry about?  I DO NOT share my opinion or tell someone else that they are silly for even posting such nonsense.  Why?  Because I am wise enough to know, those same people probably think some of the stuff I post is nonsense.  Fair enough.  So you do your thing and I will do mine.  I am assuming when we get to the pearly gates, our opinions on most of  these topics will not be factored in.  Only how we treated one another.  So I focus on respecting your opinion.  I pray you will respect mine.

Ok…whew.  For those who like bisque, are interesting in trying bisque…I hope you are still with me.  Cajun Mama likes to talk so forgive me.  This recipe for Crawfish Corn Crab bisque is delightful.  That’s right.  DE-LIGHTFUL.  It can be a wonderful starter for a meal you are making, or it can stand alone with a salad and a warm loaf of French bread.  Ya’ll know I am a sucker for a versatile dish and this one fits that bill.  You can change it up as you choose.  You can omit crawfish tails and add shrimp.  You could just use crab meat.  Add more spice if you wish.  Make it your own.  What I love about this soup is how hearty and creamy this soup is.  It melts in your mouth like butter.  Big Daddy got this recipe from a gentleman who works for Tony Chachere’s and he brought it home from the hunting camp and said I needed to try it asap.  So I indulged him.  Oh my.  It was wow.  Just wow.  And at the time my tootie girl was about 4 and she loved it.  And my little bull in my china shop loved it.  2 out of 4 kiddos eating a dish is pretty good around here…so it is definitely something your kiddos may love.  I know there are many recipes for corn crab bisque or chowder going around.  This is by far the easiest and the best…in my opinion.  LOL!!!  Now, the only glitch is, this recipe calls for a product that can be hard to find.  I had to order a case from Amazon.  But I am going to give ya’ll an alternative and also show you what the product container looks like.  It is Tony Chachere’s Cream of Mushroom Mix.  I am sure it was developed by the Tony’s people to use to promote this product.  It is some good stuff and 1/2 cup mixed with milk can be used in a recipe that calls for cream of mushroom soup.  Definitely good stuff to have around if you can find it.

Crawfish, Corn and Crabmeat Bisque

Stuff you need:

4 Tablespoons butter (the real stuff whenever possible people)

1 large onion, diced fine

1-15 oz. can cream style corn

1 quart of half and half (that’s the tall one)

1 pound peeled deveined shrimp OR 1 lb. crawfish tails

1/2 pound (1- 8 ounce block) Swiss cheese, shredded

3 Tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Cream of Mushroom Mix

OR  about 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup

1-10 3/4 ounce cream of potato soup

1 lb. lump crab meat

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

3 green onion tops, chopped

In a 3 quart pot, melt butter and add onion.  Saute until tender.  Whisk in Cream of mushroom mix to make a blond roux.  Ok, if you cannot find the mix, what I could do here is add in 3 Tablespoons of flour and continue on (later you will add in that half a can of cream of mushroom).  Add corn, soups (cream of potato if you have the mix, both a can of cream of potato and 1/2 can of cream of mushroom if you don’t), half and half, crab meat, shrimp and or crawfish.  Bring this to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat.  Stir in grated Swiss, parsley and green oninos.  Season to taste with Tony’s Seasoning or Mexi-Cajun Seasoning (I love that stuff in this with the Tony’s.  A little of this and that…yum!!)  Remove from heat and serve.  This yields about 12 servings…or 6 servings if you are serving some hungry Cajuns.  Bahahaha!!!  True Dat!

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My bowl of bliss…mmmmmmm