Category Archives: Traditional cajun faire

My girl Trisha’s chicken, broccoli and rice casserole and my real family

This casserole is a huge hit around our house. I have always been a fan of the Campbell’s cheesy chicken and rice casserole but to be honest the rice is not always cooked throughout and nothing like biting into a raw piece of rice to mess up your dining experience. Talk about throw someone off. So as I have found more and more new recipes to cook, I have pretty much taken that recipe out of rotation. But still. My heart yearned for that creamy concoction of rice and cheese, chicken and broccoli. And I wanted to try again…but how? Where will find the perfect chicken and rice recipe? Luckily I have an arsenal of fantastic cookbooks to peruse when such conundrums come up. And let’s not forget about Pinterest. Aka my crack. Aka my kryptonite. Enter in my gal pal (in my own mind) Trisha!! I love Trisha Yearwood’s show on Food Network and I love her music in general. She is just a good ole gal from Oklahoma who loves to cook. I bought her first cookbook before she had a show and I loved it. She has had another come out since that I purchased and has another one hitting shelves at the end of March. You best believe I will be getting it too. I may or may not have already preordered it on Amazon. I really love her recipes and how doable they are. I do love a recipe that challenges me, but most days I want a recipe that is pretty straight forward and get some real food on the table to feed my super real family. Because I am a real tired mama who gets real worn out about supper time after the real bickering between kids and the real homework and all the real laundry. Let’s not get me started on all of the real stuff that goes on here there and in between. Trisha is like most of us, she keeps it real. Get it? Good. So this recipe absolutely fit the bill. The rice was perfect because it was precooked. It was the perfect amount of creamy and flavorful. I used rotisserie chicken and frozen broccoli to cut down on how long it took to prep this meal. It’s an all in one meal that your family will likely enjoy. We fought over the leftovers and I am not even kidding. The kids all had at least one helping and my oldest, aka Mr. Picky, really enjoyed it. And I crave this stuff. So glad it’s been a few weeks since I made it so I can make it again very soon. This will be on our monthly rotation without a doubt.

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a really great cookbook

My girl Trisha’s chicken, broccoli and rice casserole

serves 10

stuff you need~

2 cups cooked rice
3 cups cooked chopped broccoli (I used frozen broccoli that I cooked in the microwave)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cooked chicken breasts (again, I used rotisserie chicken breast meat)

what to do with the stuff~

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch dish by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
Spread the cooked rice all over the bottom of the baking dish…

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Now make a layer with the broccoli on top of the rice layer…

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In a mixing bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, soup, half of the cheese, salt and pepper and chicken.

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Spoon this mixture over the top of the broccoli layer…

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Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese all over this and bake for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before serving. Dinner is served for real. And your really hungry family will be really grateful, because this casserole is just so good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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oh so comforting and perfect

My really real family. The struggle is real. The joy is real. Cue the pictures…

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my really silly tween being tweenish

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my really real no makeup (as usual) selfie chillin on the porch of the camp. Really happy me

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my really wild child with a new missing front tooth

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my really sassy 8 year old

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our really cuddly pup Roy aka Roozie aka Boozie aka Von Doozie

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my really handsome fellas going out for a hunt at Bayou LaGrue

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my really proud 6 year old with his first squirrel

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my really beautiful girls

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one of my really most favorite pics

Copycat boudin king cake

So about a week ago a picture came across my Facebook newsfeed about a boudin king cake. I was all like “hold the phone! A king cake with boudin in it?! Mama needs that!!” So I read the little blurb about the king cakes and the man behind the idea. So let me make sure you all hear me…this boudin king cake is NOT my idea. This is a copycat recipe that I came up with from the description that was in the blurb. I did email the guy asking how to buy one at cake@boudinlink.com as the article suggested. He responded quickly saying he could not handle all the orders and was turning the recipe over to a local bakery to make them. He said he would get back to me. Here is a link to the original article so you can read all about it http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/entertainment/food/2015/01/23/bites-boudin-king-cake-steens-cracklin-now-available/22218135/. But once you tempt a Cajun with boudin king cake, you cannot say “I will get back with you” because well…the damage has been done. It’s out there. Boudin. Inside of dough. It’s all I could think about. I was obsessed. So luck would have it, we were already headed down to Baton Rouge last weekend and my favorite place in the world is on the way. Yeah. Borques. We went on down to Baton Rouge because Big Daddy and several other Farm Bureau agents were being honored for being part of the 200 auto club. That’s an amazing achievement and I was happy to drop them kiddos off with their BB and Poppy in Alex. And head south. A night out at a hotel?! Sign me up! And we got to stay in the Renaissance Hotel that has the wallpaper in the bathroom I have been dying to get my hands on! No really, I have emailed the company who makes it. A friend stayed there and posted a pic on Facebook and I have been pining after it ever since. So I was stupid excited to stay there. Big daddy was like “yeah ok you want to stay here because of the wallpaper in the bathroom…whatever makes you happy babe.” (I know in his head he was like “I married a crazy lady.”)

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it has Cajun colloquialisms written on it! I need that!

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me and my main squeeze all gussied up to celebrate!!

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so proud of Big Daddy!! He works for a great company that rewards their agents for their hard work.

Ok…so we had our night out and then it was time to head home to have lunch at my mom and dad’s. Bernie made smothered chicken and rice and gravy. My favorite! My mom is an amazing cook I must say. So we headed north but on the way home Big Daddy surprised me with a detour through Port Barre to go to Borque’s Supermarket. You can check them out online at http://www.bourquespecialties.com. I truly love this place and it always feels a little like going home. Funny thing is, while we were there getting our boudin, I tell the woman at the counter that I was making a copycat boudin king cake and she says she had just answered a phone call from someone asking to order one. She said the person calling thought they had them. Lol!! But they do have boudin dip in case anyone wants to know that. That place is my Disneyland.

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oh that’s a happy sight to me

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me with my loot. Some boudin for the king cake (and a few links for the road!), some cracklins and a Mr. Pibb. I was a happy girl!!

So we made it home with our posse in tow. I love getting away but I sure do love coming home, especially to these little faces…

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Ok…to get to this copycat recipe. The one I made was not hard and I am sure a very simplified version of the original. I do not claim that mine tastes like the original. I am just trying to figure out to get some since I could not order one. This recipe is not hard and requires few (though specialty) ingredients. I did not use steen’s syrup because I had some Lambert’s cane syrup from our summer trip to the beach. Also, I used frozen store bought dough because I don’t do yeast. If you have been reading along , you are aware that I summon a demon when I try to use Yeast.
This boudin king cake was off the chain and I can only imagine how the original recipe must taste. But…for a Cajun girl living in Shreveport, this recipe will definitely get me by. If I make another one, I will head to Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun meats. We got one in Shreveport a few years ago and while my heart belongs to Borque’s, I am totally down with the saying “if you can’t be with the one you love, honey love the one your with…” Especially when it comes to boudin. They have cracklins too so that’s a good option for those too. If you are so inclined, try your hand at this culinary delicacy. It’s just in time for Mardi Gras season!!

Copycat Boudin King Cake

stuff you need~

One roll of frozen dough (it comes in a package of 3)
4-5 links of boudin
Cane syrup
A few cracklins run through the food processor

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the dough I used

what to do with the stuff~

Night before, take the dough out of the freezer. Lay it out to defrost.

Ok…the next morning…preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a rolling mat.

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Next roll it out into a semi square. I was not picky here, I just kind of made sure it was big enough to encompass all the boudin. I would say about 6 ” by 12″ or round about. Cut a slit in the boudin and scoop out all the boudin.

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Lay all that boudin in the middle of your rolled out dough. I laid the boudin almost the length of the dough. Next time I will likely use a link or two more.

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Now, bring the dough at the top toward the boudin. And then roll again.

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Roll towards you until you have a roll of dough. And then bend it into an almost closed circle. Like the shape of a King cake.

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Next lay your king cake on a baking dish. I used by Pampered Chef baking stone and it did not disappoint.

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Slip it into your preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes. While it is baking, place your cracklins in your food processor. I just tossed the whole cracklin (several of them) in the processor. It made a lot of noise but it did a good job at knocking the crumbly parts off and processing them into bits. I pulled the still solid parts out and then pulsed a few more times. You don’t need a bunch of the cracklin crumbs.

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Now, after the first 20 minutes of cooking, pull your King cake out and baste with the cane syrup. Really coat it well. Your King cake is depending on you!!

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Bake another 20-30 minutes or until the King cake is well browned and that cane syrup is sticky and baked to a nice golden brown. Pull from oven and sprinkle those tasty cracklin crumbs all over the cake. Hot damn we did it!!!

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Boudin dip and the truth of it all

So many many years ago, more than I care to count, I was in graduate school at Northwestern State University (fork ’em Demons!!). I had a graduate supervisor named Laurie Ann. Aka Lolly. I absolutely thought she was the cat’s meow. She was a special person who I longed to get to know better. She was beautiful, an amazing counselor, smart, and just had this way about her that set me at ease. No easy feat for my over anxious self I tell you. So one night she invites BD and I over for dinner. We met her husband Marc, she made the BEST quesadillas and we all just hit it off big time. The rest as they say is history. I usually leave it up to God to keep the people who need to be in my life and the people who are not meant to be there forever, well he takes care of that too. Well, thankfully, the good Lord and I agree that Marc and Lolly are lifers. They now have 4 kids, 2 who are right around two of my kids’ ages, but for all of them, they have just always been a part of one another’s lives. Lolly is still beautiful and smart and always sets me at ease. She and Marcus are probably our best couple friends and if we have a chance to hang out with someone, it will be them. Our kids rejoice when it is time for Marc and Lolly, Nigel and Finn to come over. It’s just an amazing partnership and it just works. We have spent every New Year’s Eve and or day together since I cannot remember when. Lolly is an amazing cook and brings all sorts of treats and goodies with her. It looks like she is moving in and I am always hopeful that she will. Marcus, or MR, as Lolly calls him, is from Eunice and is an amazing cook as well. The man can do things to a roast and rice and gravy that make it taste like the best thing you have ever put in your mouth. He is a wonderful husband, father and cook. He is also my Tootie girl’s Godfather as well. Can’t beat that! If you can’t tell, I love him just a little. I love them all so much. They are more than friends. They are our family. And I am so lucky that God has made sure they stayed in our lives. Some things are meant to be, and our friendship is definitely one of those things I am blessed to be a part of. Sealing that deal, solidifying what is already in cement, making me just a little extra grateful for my best friend and her precious coonass husband and family. Boudin dip. Boudin dip yes. Boudin. Dip. Say it with me. Let it roll around on your tongue. Bou-din dip. It is as an amazing concoction as it sounds. I just finished the rest of what was left at my house and I am a little sad now. But it was so good while it lasted.

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me and my lolly.

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MR aka uncle Marc with 2 of our boys

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Marc and Lolly

I am going to take a guess and say there is someone out there reading this who does not know what boudin is…I will spare those who do know what it is (and those who don’t) the extended version. I wish I was able to say I had no clues of the ins and outs of the making of boudin…but I would be lying. I know too much. Have seen things my eyes cannot ever unsee. The short and sweet version is that boudin is a seasoned blend of ground pork meat and rice stuffed inside of casing. It is some delicious stuff and can vary in spiciness and flavor, depending on who makes it. It can be bought in supermarkets (around here at least) but the best stuff comes from cajun supermarkets down in south Louisiana. Well, wait. The best stuff is found at actual boucheries that you attend at people’s homes.
Growing up that was pretty common place for me. During the months of February and March, we attended several of them at my grandparents’ houses or the homes of other family members. I did not appreciate how privileged I was to grow up with that sort of experience but I really was. My kids have attended a few boucheries but they are not nearly as common place for them. At a boucherie the pig that has been raised for this specific reason is slaughtered and from the pig, cracklins, boudin, grillades and hog head cheese are made. I won’t get into any more of the specifics but a boucherie is the real deal and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one, you should. You will never eat better boudin, I promise you. But for the purpose of this recipe, we will say you will use store bought boudin. It can be ordered online and my favorite place to get boudin from is Borques in Port Barre, LA. This is their website if you want to check it out and maybe order some boudin or their amazing jalapeño cheese bread…http://www.bourquespecialties.com. Funny story, when I was pregnant with my youngest I could not get enough of this boudin. BD would go down to Baton Rouge for a Farm Bureau meeting and bring me home a few pounds. I would eat it all and he was left to fear this beast I was growing inside of me. Lol! Sure enough, my little LMB is a cajun force to be reckoned with. Anyway, this is some serious good boudin. But you will find every cajun has their favorite and they feel strongly about it. Marc has his favorite boudin spot (actually he has his top 3) with Don’s Speciality Meats at the top of his list. Now, store bought wise, Richards is not bad. I really like it best grilled. Try a few brands If you are so inclined, best research of your life. So that is kind of the low down on boudin. I am being rather long winded because well…I freaking LOVE boudin and because well, you need boudin for this dip. So let’s get down to business here and get this boudin dip recipe on the books…or blog. I know ya’ll are not wanting to listen to me go on and on about the wonder that is boudin.

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me and one of my favorite Cajuns. MR in the flesh (well…in the picture)

Boudin Dip

Stuff you need~

4-5 pounds of boudin
1 container whipped cream cheese (or 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, whipped
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
4 tablespoons mayonnaise (ya’ll know I use Duke’s)
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese
Lots of cayenne pepper (red pepper….same thing)

*recipe notes say that this recipe makes 3 8 x 8″ pans of this dip. So you can cut it in half easily. also the recipe says shredded pepper jack can be used in place of the Colby Monterey Jack cheese to amp up the heat. They did not put much cayenne in the dip they brought so that it would be more kid friendly. So just add according to you and your family’s personal preference.

What to do with the stuff~

Remove boudin from casing. Recipe notes say to use cold boudin as it mixes better. Add the boudin to a standing mixer. Add in other ingredients, reserving some of the shredded cheese for topping and mix until well combined. Like so…

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photo courtesy of Marc and Laurie Richard

If you are making the full recipe, divide the mixture among your prepared dishes. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly and you seriously cannot wait to have some. It’s done then. Serve with chips or crackers. We made some garlic bread on NYE and proceeded to pile that hot yummy dip on top of slices of that warmed garlic bread and I wanted to pass out from how good it is. So, warmed garlic bread obviously works well. Consider whatever you use simply a vessel to get that amazing dip into your mouth. Repeat. Cest si Bon ma cher. Now ya’ll ready for the Mardi Gras season. Ooooo weeee you gonna be the hit of the party ma petite. Enjoy my friends!

**special thanks to our besties Marc and Lolly for this dip recipe and the many years of precious friendship, past, present and future. Love ya’ll more than this dip. ❤️❤️❤️

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Madame Toot and her godfather and special godmother

Susan’s baked rice

I came across this recipe the other day when I was on Facebook. I have told y’all about the Sweet and Savory Sisters before but in case you missed it…they have some really yummy recipes and my friend Angie turned me on to them. They are hilarious and just lots of fun and know all about good food! This recipe definitely qualifies as good food. Trust me on that. It is so easy and requires no fancy ingredients. I made up a batch last weekend when Big Daddy smoked a pork shoulder. It went so well with that smoked meat. I always make savory mushroom brown rice but this one is definitely a new option I will make more often. I have no clue who Susan is but let me say thank you Susan! Your rice is awesome!

Susan’s baked rice http://www.sweetandsavorysisters.com

stuff you need~

1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 tablespoons butter (original recipe calls for a whole stick but I decided to see if I could use less. I did and it was still delish!)
4-6 chicken bouillon cubes (I used Knorr brand and they are bigger. I used 3 of them)
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups water
Black pepper to taste

what to do with the stuff~
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
Melt butter in a skillet and then sauté the veggies until tender. Add the bouillon cubes and stir as they dissolve in the buttery vegetable mixture. You will know you are doing it right because the aroma will make your mouth water. Stir in rice and water and stir to combine. Pour this into your prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle some good ole black pepper on top and then cover with foil. Bake for about an hour until all that chicken buttery goodness bakes into that rice and it combines to make an irresistible rice dish and the rice is tender.
Mine took about 45 minutes to bake and be fully cooked. Adjust accordingly for your oven’s cook time. A truly delicious rice dish that will knock your socks off!!

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sautéing veggies in that butter…this is key

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stir in the water and rice

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ready to pop into the oven

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finished product. Holy yum!!!

Crockpot week extended because life gets in the way…beef and broccoli and heaven in a crockpot

Another week has flown by and I have not been feeling the whole cooking thing lately. Crockpot, microwave, on the stove or otherwise…not. feeling. it. Shame on me I know, but it is what it is. So I knew I needed to get these crockpot recipes posted. I mean…as it is crockpot week has gone into crockpot month. It’s time. I know it’s time. So this past weekend I decided the week of Thanksgiving was likely the perfect time to trot these crockpot recipes out because who wants to cook a bunch of other meals before taking on the mother of all meals? The beast. So crockpot cooking all week before sounded fine to me. Plus we will all have to pick up the pace in the coming weeks as the holiday madness engulfs us, despite some of our best efforts. So Saturday evening, I set heaven in a crockpot to cook in the crockpot (quite aptly named, I can say that) and took the roast out of the freezer so I could put the beef for the beef and broccoli to cook the next morning.
Well, little did I know how very glad I would be to have done that. I have not seen Momou in a while and I was yearning to see her. Needed to see her face. I was missing her, badly. So Sunday morning, I woke up and decided that was the day I would make the trek to AP to see her. Me and my kiddos. Plus, we would get to stop in Alex. to see my mom and dad. Awesome!!! BD was at Bayou LaGrue chasing after the ever elusive buck for the weekend and it was rainy and nasty, we were stuck inside anyhow…let’s do this! So we did. I left T-Roy in the hands of a good friend and her son…so I knew he would be happy. It was go time. But before leaving, I got that beef simmering away in the crockpot. I am not always a super duper planner…but I was on it that day. It was super easy to throw together. And off to AP we went.
Here’s a few pictures from our Sunday…it’s amazing what all you can get done while the slow cooker cooks supper for you!!

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You can take a ride with a friend

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you can take a nap

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you can visit one of your favorite people

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you can make silly faces

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you can pick pecans with your grandmother

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you can take selfies with your parents

See what I mean…I am 2 hours away and still supper was cooking. Thank you crockpot with a timer!!!

Ok now let’s get down to the brass tacks. The nitty gritty. The bare bones. Enough enough…here comes the recipes!! Both are very delicious and defy the laws of slow cooking. Are there laws? Idk. I thought it sounded good. The point is…they are both really yummy and absolutely worth the little time it takes to toss it all in. Tis the season to be crazy and tis the season to let the slow cooker do all the work!

Slow cooker Beef and broccoli

*I doubled the ingredients for the sauce but I am giving you the original recipe as I found it on http://www.worldsbestrecipes4utoday.blogspot.com

sltuff you need~

1 pound boneless beef chuck roast cut into 1 inch strips (I could not find one that small, so I used a 2 pound roast…not an issue)
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 heads of broccoli cut into florets (more if desired…definitely add 2 heads and if you use a 2 pound roast use 3)
2 tablespoons of cooled sauce from the crockpot
Hot cooked rice

What to do with the stuff~

Toss the beef into your slow cooker. For this I used my 4.5 quart slow cooker. In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, broth, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk together….

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And then pour over the beef. Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, depending on your slow cooker.

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everyone say it with me…set it and forget it!!! Now pack the kids in the car and head to Avoyelles!!

Ok once the beef is good and tender, take a spoon and add some of that liquid to a bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch. Remember if you doubled the sauce ingredient amounts, then double this as well.

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Now pour this mixture back into the slow cooker. Give it a stir. Now, add your broccoli florets to the mix. Cook on low for another 30 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice. And you are golden.

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might tasty my friends

Heaven in a crockpot (from http://www.recipe-diaries.com

Stuff you need~

1 box brownie mix (regular not family size is what I used)
1 package Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
4 large eggs
1/2 cup butter (I stick), melted

what to do with the stuff~

Pour all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Pour into a greased slow cooker. For this I used my 3 1/2 quart slow cooker (I think that is the size, either 3 or 3 1/2 quart). Cook for about 3 hours. Mine took 3 1/2 hours. Serve alone or a la mode. Vanilla ice cream. A drizzle of chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of chocolate chips (my oldest’s words exactly…he has a way with words…and has had some awesome schooling in the ELA department). Heaven I tell you. Yes heaven. Makes you make a face that looks like this…

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silly girl

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swoon worthy…or is it spoon worthy?

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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Dr. Boudreaux’s Carencro Gumbo

So I imagine everyone and their mama would think anyone called Cajun Mama would have a gumbo recipe that starts out with a roux. Painstakingly stirred and browned to perfection just like her mama taught her. They would be wrong in my case. My mama does make a mean gumbo and she loves to make it. It’s an all day affair and I can recall the smell of her browning and sometimes burning the roux. I can hear her cussing under her breath as she had to dump out one batch and start another. That was when I was younger and so was she. She got the hang of it though. To tell you the truth, growing up, gumbo was not my favorite. I don’t care for any dish made with a real heavy roux. It’s just not my thing. Maybe I have seen too much and it’s not worth it to me? Yes, I make chicken fricassee, and I do love it, but I can only have that on occasion. Now, I remember my mama starting her roux in a pot. I can also recall her learning to start a roux in the microwave, and that is how she usually does it today. She was also not afraid to use a jarred roux. And neither was Momou. The women I come from are nothing if not practical. They are all about a shortcut if it means preparing a good meal for their family faster. Grandpa wanted to eat at a certain time for lunch and dinner and Momou was always trying to keep him fed on time. Same thing with my mama. She had 4 kids, went through nursing school, worked as a nurse after she graduated and still cooked pretty often. Almost every night. So, when she made a gumbo on Saturday or Sunday, she was certainly about the easiest fastest route from a to b.
Speaking of being practical, I have a funny story. I can distinctly remember Momou coming to our house to sleep (as she says “my baby momou is coming sleep this week.”) and having homemade rolls ready when we got home from school. The woman amazed me! Wow! Then one day, I guess I was 13 or so, I was inhaling my second roll, she let me in on one of her secrets. She was no longer making her own dough and was using packaged frozen dough. Had been for a while, since she discovered it, and never looked back. She’s smart and savvy! Anyhow, the women in my life are hardworking, practical, and smart. So if that meant using jarred roux, frozen dough, or frozen meatballs…and they have no shame in their game. I am proud to say they taught me much of what I know. So some might be put off by jarred roux or a gumbo that does not start with a REAL roux?! That’s not cajun! I call bs. Being cajun is about enjoying life, raising your family, feeding your family, and living. That does not have to include so much tradition that you cannot use a shortcut if it gets your food on the table faster. 😉 In my family, no one questioned the authenticity of the recipe we just tasted how good it was and felt the love that was in that plate of food. So no roux snobbery allowed here. Give it a go if you want a delicious gumbo that does not involve standing over a pot stirring a roux. But this recipe is not about that. If you have never made your own gumbo, this is a great one to start with.
My good friend Betsy’s husband, Matt, gave me this recipe several years ago when he was doing his residency here in Shreveport. He is from Carencro…well he grew up in Scott and then they moved to Carencro at some point. But I like Carencro in the title…it has a nice rhyming sound to it. But for posterity’s sake I want to have all information as correct as possible. I am from Alex. but my parents grew up in Marksville (Broulliette and Blue Town to be exact.) These things matter and far be it from me to get it wrong. They were not from Hessmer, Effie, Fifth Ward or Pollock. Got to get the locale right! Anyhow, this recipe came from someone in his family. This is easily our favorite gumbo recipe. I have made it my mama’s way but my family prefers this way. It is not as heavy and has more of a broth like consistency. Growing up, I went to a Catholic school and I always loved their gumbo. It would make my mama crazy that I preferred their gumbo to her’s. Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly take a bowl of Bernie’s gumbo (that’s her name…Bernie aka Bernadette Broulliette Mayeux aka BBM aka Bernadette from Broulliette as Momou likes to call her) as she is a gumbo cooking queen, but this recipe here is one I don’t mind cooking time and time again. I hope you will give this recipe a try some day soon. The cold front came in last night and LSU was playing tonight and that just screamed GUMBO!!! I baked up a few sweet potatoes and we are good to go! Yes sweet potatoes. In the bowl of gumbo. Now, some people like potato salad in their gumbo and I certainly am no different. But I usually do potato salad with seafood gumbo. If you have never tried either with your gumbo, you must try at least one when you make this recipe. Here is the link~ 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/. It may sound strange to some, but where I am from it is pretty normal. And so delicious! Let me know what you think. ~ AMB

Dr. Boudreaux’s Carencro gumbo

stuff you need~
*I always double this recipe as it is always better the next day

Cooking oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth (I use reduced sodium)
1 package andouille sausage, sliced (I usually do a half pack of andouille and a package of Eckrich skinless sausage to kind of break up the andouille flavor.
1 package of boneless chicken thighs, fat removed and diced into bite sized pieces
1 capful of Kitchen Bouquet *
1 packet onion soup mix
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon gumbo file
1 cup sliced green onions

*I have had people ask me where to buy kitchen bouquet. All grocery stores have it and it is typically found on the condiments aisle. Usually near the Worcestershire sauce. Lots of times it is on the high shelf. Here is a pic of the bottle if that helps…

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What to do with the stuff~

In Dutch oven or big ole pot/gumbo pot, whatever you it’s all good as long as it can hold it all, heat a little cooking oil over medium heat. Now, add your sliced sausage to this warmed up oil. Brown the sausage for about 5-7 minutes. Like this…

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Ok now, pour in your chicken broth and bring it to a boil. reduce heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Next, toss in your diced onions, bell peppers, and celery (aka the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking ma petite) and throw in your garlic. Let this all simmer for another 45 minutes.
*Don’t get in a hurry my baby…we gonna be here a little while. And I can tell you this mop tit (ma petite said as Momee said it 😉) you can make this a day ahead or start it a day and then finish it or eat it later…this makes it taste that much better. The flavors have a little to time to party together and the mingle and it’s just better…so do what works for you! *
Ok now….after the 45 minutes is up on the veggies simmering, stir in your chicken thigh meat and the onion soup mix. And…you guessed it…let this simmer another 45 minutes. Now, this time before your 45 minutes are up, in a microwaveable safe bowl, whisk together the 3 tablespoons of flour and 3 tablespoons of oil. This is gonna make our roux. (See it has a roux!!)

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Place the bowl of flour and oil in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Stir, stir, stir. Cook another 30 seconds. Stir some more. Another 30 seconds. Ok…now carefully remove the bowl from the microwave.

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Now stir in your gumbo file. It looks like this for those who might not know…

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Now add a little of this roux to the gumbo and then stir. Be careful as it is will pop and hiss and you think something is about to jump out at you. Add a little more and stir after each addition. It’s gonna thicken that gumbo right on up.

Stir in your kitchen bouquet and green onions. Let this all simmer on low for about 30 minutes. I also add more green onions at this point, but I have a problem in that I love green onions…so that may not suit you. Serve over some fresh cooked rice and if you are so inclined some fresh baked sweet potato scooped right into the bowl. (On the side will work too) or a nice dollop of potato salad is good as well.
It’s all good mais Cher! Now, see…you made a gumbo. Aren’t you proud?! Go put your feet up and enjoy that little cool front or watch the game. I am sure the Tigers or the Saints or playing. Or one of those other teams. 😉

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stop it now. This stuff is so good

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this is Matt, the good surgeon with the best recipes!! (He is on the left…Big Daddy on the right)

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talk about good! Enjoy!!

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the gumbo cooking queen aka BBM aka Bernie with some of her grandkids.

Momou’s eggplant dressing

Now this stuff right here is some of the best stuff you will ever put in your mouth. My mama makes some of the best dirty rice aka rice dressing you will ever eat but there is some ingredients in her dirty rice that might scare some of y’all off. It is true dirty rice. This eggplant dressing is kind of sort of like the rice dressing except the eggplant replaces all the “dirty” stuff. I will eventually work y’all up to the rice dressing but let’s start y’all off on this delicious eggplant dressing. Several years ago, Momou had asked me and my sisters which recipes we would like her to write down for us. I am so glad I asked for her to write this one down. It is truly a one of a kind, cajun mama cooks recipe. I made it last night and Big Daddy said he could make a meal out of this dressing. It really is so good. If you have some eggplant from your garden or if your friend gave you an eggplant or two, this is an excellent way to use it up. Now Momou used to cut the eggplant in half and somehow cut out of the meat and saved the hollowed out eggplant halves and then add the eggplant dressing to that. It made quite the presentation I tell you. Momou has it going on.
I hope you will give it a chance. It may sound different, but it is worth making. I am pretty sure you will agree.

Eggplant Dressing

Stuff you need~

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
3 cups of cooked rice (more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper

What to do with the stuff~

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground meat until no longer pink. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic and eggplant. Cook down until the veggies are all tender. Now, stir in the cooked rice, adding a spoonful at a time and stirring after each addition. I just add rice until there is a good rice to meat and veggie ratio. Also, when the liquid is all soaked up with the rice. Add good ole salt and pepper to taste. Serve it up and ENJOY!

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peeling the eggplant

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Adding in the veggies…they will cook down

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before adding the rice, the veggies all cooked down. That is some good stuff right there

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ah yeah…so good. Thank you Momou!

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
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/06/17/tonight-is-a-roast-night/

Alayna’s best ever cornbread | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2014/08/30/alaynas-best-ever-cornbread/

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/

Momou’s mac and cheese | cajunmamacookin’s Blog
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/11/25/momous-mac-and-cheese/

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

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

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

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

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My Cookie walking the dogs around BLL

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

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