Tag Archives: Cajun Mama Cooks

Monster cookie dough dip

New post up on my blog!!!
http://cajunmamacooks.com/2014/07/05/monster-cookie-dough-dip/

Granny’s barbecue rice…

New recipe up on my new website! I would love for you to check it out. Also, take a minute and subscribe so you don’t miss any new recipes coming out of Cajun Mama’s kitchen! Thanks so much for reading!!
http://cajunmamacooks.com/2014/07/13/grannys-barbecue-rice-and-a-side-of-granny-love/

Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing and people can change

I am usually such a chocoholic when it comes desserts that I never saw it coming when I came across a recipe for this strawberry cake on Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate Facebook page at http://www.southernplate.com/2010/04/fresh-strawberry-cake-with-cream-cheese-icing.html and was compelled to make it right away. I felt a call, an urging to make it. Yes. That’s right. Making this heavenly strawberry cake is a calling. More like a product of divine intervention. It is dreamy. It is moist. It fulfills all of my dessert needs and yet…there is no chocolate. I am in love. Who says people can’t change? This recipe has a made from scratch taste and look yet it calls for a boxed cake mix. There are fresh strawberries in the cake and in the icing and man…it is something else. I will warn you…the smell of it making in the oven will cause your family to ask “what is that delicious smell?” And say “something smells so good” every 5 minutes. If you are looking for a new dessert to bring along to a party or just to bake for your family because you love them…or you know…they cannot talk while shoving this awesome cake in their mouths (not that I do that! He he) this is the one to try!!!!! Plus strawberries are in season now and they are not so expensive. Get on it!!! ~AMB

Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing

Stuff you need~

for the cake:
1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1-3 ounce package of strawberry gelatin
1 cup crushed strawberries and juice (1 regular container of fresh strawberries will do)*

for the icing

1-8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter (I used half a stick of the real stuff), softened
3 cups powdered sugar
Whatever is left of the crushed strawberries

*cut the green part off the berries and then slice them up. Add to a gallon size storage bag. Close the bag well once all strawberries are in. I did as Christy Jordan suggested and used a canned good to crush the berries. Just gently roll the can across the closed ziplock bag. It works like a charm.
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crushed strawberries . Easy peasy.

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch round cake pans or 1 9 x 13 pan with Baker’s Magic or coat with oil and then flour them.
In a mixing bowl, add cake mix, eggs, milk, oil and gelatin. Using standing mixer or hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are combined. About 2 minutes. Next add in crushed strawberries. Mix again until the berries are incorporated well into batter.
Pour into prepared baking pan (s) and cooking until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I did the 9 x 13 and it took about 35-40 minutes.
Allow cake to cool completely before icing.

While cake it baking, go on and get your icing ready. I just washed out my standing mixer bowl and used it again. In a medium size bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and butter and powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Resist the urge to eat with a spoon. If you desire, add in the rest of the crushed berries you did not use. I like the way it looks and the taste is out of this world. CJ suggests it is prettier without the berries, but I disagree. Each to his own, so do your thing. You can’t lose either way!!
Once cake is cooled, ice that baby and cry your happy tears that you made a cake that is so luscious and pretty. Yay you!!!!

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look at that pretty cake mix!

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the icing. Will be my undoing. S.O.S.

Homemade dinky doozies

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All you need to make this yummy copycat recipe.

My oldest son LOVES cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. He loves cookie cakes. Specifically cookie cakes from Great American Cookie Company. He loves anything from there actually. So, we were pondering the other day how to make dinky doozies (he calls them double doozies…I am not sure why I think it is dinky doozies…were they called this back in the 80’s?) Anyhow, today I figured I would see if I could create these wonders at home. Cookie dough? Check. Vanilla icing? Check. What’s that you say? Did I make this stuff homemade ? Negative ghostwriter. Not when the good folks at Duncan Hines and Pillsbury do it so well! I wanted to see if I could whip these up and I think I did pretty good. No. They are not exact replicas, but they are very good. And I didn’t break the bank to make them. In fact, I did not even have to go to the store. I had the stuff at home.
This could not be more simple. So just get the stuff and make up a batch of dinky doozies/double doozies and get ready for the sugar rush.

Homemade Dinky Doozies

Makes about 6 dinky doozies

Stuff you need~

1 roll of chocolate chip cookie cough (I used Pillsbury)
1 container of vanilla buttercream icing

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat (these things are awesome and I highly suggest getting one or two if you bake). Using a medium cookie scoop (or spoon), fill a scoop with dough and place each scoop about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. One regular sized roll of dough got me about 12 cookies. (Considering I may have had a bite or two….er…I mean Toby the dog did it). Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Really, use your judgement and how soft your family likes their cookies. We are soft cookie people here. But not too soft as you want the icing to have a substantial base.
Now, once cookies are done, set then aside to cool. You want them Cool because you want the icing to stay the right consistency rather than melt. Make sense? Ok. Once they are cool, turn the cookies over so that the flat side is facing up. Now, just spread some icing over the flat side of the cookie. Like you are making a sandwich and spreading icing on it. Lol. Like so…

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Now, take another cookie and put the flat side up against the other side of the icing. So icing should only be touching the flat sides. It is icing sandwiched between two cookies. Yeah, that’s right. Pure evil. Cue evil laughter. Muahahahahahah!

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No words. Other than get a glass of milk and go!

Carmelitas and lovely simplicity

My friend Barb introduced to me to caramelitas a while back.  I have been meaning to make a batch but ya know…life and other recipes kept getting in the way.  Yesterday I decided it was time.  Mission accomplished and these babies turned out just right. Sometimes, I find that if I make it my mission to accomplish the simple tasks without getting all fussy and over complicating things, life is so sweet.  And simple.  Along the same lines…I love to take pictures.  I have a really nice camera that Big Daddy won for me through the company he works for…the wonderful Farm Bureau Insurance…and I love to take pictures of my kids. I get that baby out and click away.  When I remember to bring it along.  I don’t keep it in the car at all times and sometimes I miss some great moments….or I would if I didn’t have my phone.  Many of the pics I take for my blog are taken on my phone.  I have some terrific picture editing apps and I am working on getting better at using them.  My phone allows me to take those every day shots that you cannot plan for.  You know…we call that life.  I started following a page on facebook called Click it up a notch.  I love her.  Them?  Anyway, she has some awesome photography tips for amateurs like me.  She initiated a #28lovelydays challenge on Instagram and I am loving it!  It challenges me to find the lovely in everyday.  And everyday life is quite lovely.  So much of what we do everyday can be lovely.  Beautiful. We just have to recognize it.  These caramelitas are the same exact way.  A bunch of fairly common ingredients blended together to make one heck of a dessert.  I am working on letting myself embrace what is already there.  Instead of searching for things out of reach, or adding to or complicating things…I am making something beautiful out of what is in front of me.  Simple can be lovely.  Bake up some carmelitas as soon as possible and tell me I’m wrong. ~AMB

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The view after dropping my babies off at their school…one of my #28lovelydays

Carmelitas (recipe adapted from http://www.thebakerupstairs.com)

Stuff you need~

32 caramel squares, unwrapped (I used the new fabulously ingenious caramel bits and I used a whole bag and then another cup full)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sea salt , optional (I used fleur de sel which is a little thicker and more coarse than regular sea salt but sea salt is fine)

3/4 cup butter, melted (that is one and half sticks)

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8 x 8 inch baking dish by rubbing the bottom and sides with a stick of butter.  (not the whole stick ya’ll…just get some on the bottom and sides.  To be clear.  lol) Combine the heavy cream and caramel bits in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir frequently until the caramels are completely melted and the mixture is completely smooth.  I stirred in the salt at this point.  Set aside (I kept the saucepan on my warming element on my stove to ensure it didn’t cool and get thick).  In a medium bowl, melt butter.  Next, stir in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.  Press half of this mixture into your prepared baking dish.  Bake this for 10 minutes.  When you pull it out, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the baked layer.  Next, pour the warmed caramel sauce over the chocolate chips.  Finally, add dollops of the remaining butter/flour/oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel. It is hard to spread it.  I just kind of let it spread over the warm caramel naturally.  Then I flattened it as much as I could with a silicon spatula.  Pop this luscious concoction back into the oven.  Your kitchen will smell like heaven.  Let it bake for about 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.   Cut into squares and serve.  If you really want to be naughty (who doesn’t?) serve topped with some vanilla ice cream and a little drizzle of caramel topping.  Yeah…I said it.  I only mean if it is your birthday, your dog’s birthday, your aunt’s birthday, or if you made it through the day without cursing anyone out…only for occasions that call for a little celebrations.  I am all about celebrating small victories, ya’ll.  Or I am all about caramel sauce?  Either way.  You can address your thank you notes and notes of praise to Cajun Mama Cooks.  Just saying.

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Ooey, gooey, sweet, salty, chewy carmelitas….

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So many lovely things can be found in our days…

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Our lovely fur babies…Idaho and Toby

Creamy grape salad and unexpected joy

Wow!!  I came across this recipe for grape salad on Pinterest a few weeks ago.  I was really hungry at the time I think, or it might not have appealed to me at the time.  I am so glad I was open to something unexpected and new, because this salad is a flavorful explosion of textures and sweetness in your mouth.  A virtual party.  One you weren’t sure you really wanted to go to, but felt obligated to attend and then enjoyed staying far too long and having a blast.  Yes, just like that.  It is creamy, slightly nutty, sweet with a little tang from the green grapes and it is just so fabulous.

There is just something about being surprised.  Trying something new, breaking out of your typical role and testing your limits.  For example, this morning was Muffins with Mom at my kids’ school.  I will be really honest and say, I really thought I could do without waking up an hour earlier and corralling the kiddos into getting dressed super early, especially when it is freezing cold outside.  2 of kiddos were on the fence, one flat out did not want to go, and one was insistent that we go.  My oldest.  I really tried to talk him out of it.  I offered McDonald’s for breakfast on the way to school. No dice.  He was definite.  “We’re going mama, it is your special day!!”.  He melted my heart.  10 years old and he still truly, genuinely likes me.  Well…most days.  I could not be happier.  But still, I was reluctant.  This morning, hoping he would sleep in, he woke up and said “mama don’t forget we have to get up early today!”  Deep down I knew that would not work and he would stay the course.  Indeed he did and we ended up going.  I had muffins with my babies.  I am so happy that we went and I rose to the challenge.  To break out of my routine and shake things up.  Same thing could be said for having 4 kids.  I never expected to have 4 kids, much less 4 kids back to back.  To relish the chaos that comes with raising 4 kiddos.  I never expected to start a blog or write a food column.  Yet, wow, here I am.  So many things in life take me by surprise.  I just  have to accept that the unexpected can be fun, delightful, sweet, nutty, enjoyable, and wonderful.  Joy can be in the unexpected places.  You just have to be willing to be open to it.  Just like this grape salad.  ~AMB

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Me and my sweeties…so much of life is unexpected joy.  

Creamy grape salad (adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com)

Stuff you need~

4 pounds green seedless grapes

1-8 ounce block of cream cheese

1-8 ounce container sour cream

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces chopped pecans (plus more for sprinkling on top)

2 Tablespoons brown sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)

What to do with the stuff~

Wash and dry the grapes, In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar and vanilla.  Add grapes and mix until the grapes are well mixed with the other ingredients.  Mix in brown sugar and pecans gently.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  I sprinkled a little more brown sugar and chopped pecans on top before serving.  Holy moly…get ready for the explosion. mmmmmmmmmmm….

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Unexpected joy indeed.  Oh my the sweet creaminess of it all!!

Chocolate Pie and layers of goodness

Today I am writing about chocolate pie.  But ya’ll know me…I cannot leave it at that.  There is more to say.  So I must say it.  I have so many thoughts rattling/whirling around in my head all the time and some times I manage to corral them into some sort of cohesive statement.  Or I give it my best shot anyway.  Lately, I have become very conscious of the pressure on our social media networks to  be the best parent ever in the whole world.  The parent who does enough, but not too much.  The parent who knows the right thing to say, always.  The parent who is calm, rational, soft spoken yet firm, attentive always…you know what I mean…titles that get posted to our news feed like..”Awesome…you just broke your child” or “hands free mama…how to be one?”  or “enjoying the moments because you are lucky dammit to have these kids”.  Now, I am not saying that this is unnecessary, but I am saying I feel it is a bit too much.  It is getting nauseating.  I find myself reluctant to click and read the post because since I am not the perfect parent, I might see proof of this in what must be the Bible of parenting.  Now, I believe in good doses of self awareness from time to time.  There is always room to step up our game.  As parents, teachers, office administrators, doctors, grocery store clerks…whatever your vocation, nothing wrong with doing your best.  These little blurbs that bombard my news feed are about doing the impossible.  Being the perfect parent.  Sure, there is room for us to put the iphone down and be in the moment more.  There is room for us to yell less and use our calm voices more.  But as a mom of 4 kids, some days that is more feasible than others.  Most of these theories only work if you parent in a bubble.  And your child is perfect.  And you are starring in a sitcom where conversations are scripted.  And it will all work out nicely in 30 minutes.  That, my friends, is not life.  That is a television show.  Parenting in real life is like a comedy mixed with a horror movie with just a little fantasy thrown in.  Parenting has many faces.  Childhood has many faces.  Some of them are picture perfect and others are hide that picture ugly.  Some moments, days, nights, weeks are easier than others.    It is not all homogeneous, it has layers.  Kind of like this pie.  To dissect this chocolate pie and look at it layer by layer, would be unfair.  Because it takes all the layers to make this luscious chocolate pie the delicious delight (say that 3 times fast!!!) that it is.  Same thing with being a parent or child.  No parent is all good or all bad.  No child is either.  And sometimes the good parent and good child come together to make a lovely parenting moment.  I love those.  But on the flip side, sometimes, more than any of us care to admit, the less than good parent and less than good child come together to make one hot mess.  Or one rough morning.  Or evening.  I do not love those.  You cannot look at those moments as making up the whole of the parent or child.  You have to look at the entire pie.  ALLLLL the layers, ya’ll.  That is where the goodness is.  That is where it all comes together.  Lately, my youngest has been giving me fits.  I will admit it.  He is 5 and his own person.  I am working on adjusting my parenting style to suit who he is as a person.  But heaven help me, I am having to pray my way through it.  We have had some less than stellar moments lately.  Some of which I am not proud of.  But I know that this is not all there is to it.  He is a wonderful, scrumptious, precious little boy.  With one heck of a wild streak.  And I am a loving, devoted, involved mommy…who is just feeling a little overwhelmed lately.  That does not make me good or bad.  That does not make him good or bad.  We are probably somewhere in between.  But the love is there.  Not every moment can be whipped cream on top perfect.  And that, sweet friends, is just the way it is.  This does not make the pie any less sweet or delicious.  Thanks for hearing me out.  I really want to share the pie recipe with you, but I also wanted to say let’s be real.  Stop expecting so much of ourselves as parents.  Stop reading those things that dissect our parenting and pick it apart…that is only a little bitty small part…not the whole pie.  I, for one, am working on accepting the layers of my baby boy.  His sweet tender soft side, his fierce proud side, his wild side and so on.  They all make up who my precious boy is.  And I love that. ~AMB

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His determined, stubborn side

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His wild silly side

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His sweet delicious side…

Chocolate Pie (from the kitchen of my friend Betsy)

Stuff You Need~

1 graham cracker pie crust or Oreo cookie pie crust (the ready made kind)

1-8 ounce tub of Cool-Whip

2 (3 ounce) boxes of  INSTANT chocolate pudding

3 ounces of semi-sweetened bakers chocolate

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups cold milk

What to do with the Stuff~

Melt the 3 oz. of chocolate in the microwave (in a microwave safe bowl).  When it is melted, stir in the 1/4 cup condensed milk.  Pour this into the bottom of the pie crust.

Now, in a medium size bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and the milk.  Spoon 1 1/2 cups of this mixture into the pie crust.  Now, mix 1/2  of the tub of Cool Whip with the rest of the pudding mixture.  Stir to combine.  Smooth this on top of the other layer.  Top the pie with the remainder of the Cool Whip.  Let this cool in the fridge for several hours or overnight.  Enjoy the layers of lusciousness, my friends.  And a shout to my good friend Betsy B. for this wonderful recipe she got from her cousin’s wife, Mandy!! Gotta love how good recipes get around!!

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Layer number one..

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Layer number 2…we are getting there…gotta love some  layers…

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It all comes together nicely doesn’t it?  YUMMMMM

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Only 1 layer would be so boring!!!  

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Me and my sweet, rough, wild, loving little boy…this sums it up.  lol!

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

Momou’s mac and cheese

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Momou with my precious first born…the woman loves her grands and great grands…

If you have been following Cajun Mama Cooks for a while on facebook or have known me any amount of time, you know about the entity that is Momou’s Mac and Cheese.  My kids knew about this stuff as soon as they could eat solid food.  My babies all love it and ask for it on a monthly if not weekly basis.  This is the epitome of comfort food.  Nothing else comes close.  If you know me at all, you know all about Momou. Momou is my dad’s mom.  Her name is Narcille and I am not sure there is anyone on this Earth whom I adore as much as her.  I share a birth month with her.  Our birthdays are 5 days apart and I love my birthday, but I love that we share that even more.  She is one fine lady and I love her so much.  My husband loves her so much.  My kids love her so much.  Everyone who knows Narcille, or Nar, or Nice as my grandfather called her, loves her.  I again am beyond blessed to be able to call that woman my grandmother.  And can she cook.  Boy can she ever!!  And loved to do it.  She made this macaroni  and cheese for almost every occasion and just regular old Sunday dinner. You knew when she had the pyrex dish out and she had some of those luxury noodles boiling, you were about to be in for a treat.  When I first got married, Momou, my Nana, Aunt Lee and my mom came to my house and they taught me how to cook Momou’s mac and cheese.  That is one of my fondest memories as a grown up.  I cherish that night always and on cold days when I feel uprooted and out of place, that memory gives me comfort like a warm blanket.  This mac and cheese has spanned generations and now has been made famous in my own kids’ minds.  They know the story behind it and that it belongs to Momou.  They have not been a part of many of dinners at Momou’s because since they have been born, she has slowed down some and now lives in a nursing home.  But they know.  I love that when I cook this macaroni and cheese, they talk about their Momou and what they love about her.  It shows me that even if they have not eaten this dish at her house, per say, they associate this wonderful dish with the wonderful woman who has passed it down to us.  That is what matters most to me.  I have been reluctant to share this recipe because it is very special to my family.  But, after soul searching, I know that Momou would be so glad for me to share it.  She is above all things, a giving, loving person who wants to make others happy.  So I will share.  This is truly love in a 9 x 13 dish.  It is a perfect partner for a pork or beef roast and rice and gravy, an excellent side for turkey and dressing, and a delicious accompaniment to chicken fricassee.  I have never made it for anyone who did not love this stuff and ask if I would be serving it the next time they came to dinner.  I have had several people ask for this recipe and if you are one of them…here you go!! Now, the noodles…as far as I am concerned, these are the only noodles to make Momou’s mac and cheese with.  You can of course make it with any noodle, but I refuse.  I don’t care to change this recipe up one bit.  It is perfect as it is.  Just like Momou.  You don’t mess with something this wonderful.  Well, I don’t.  I have the most luck finding these noodles at our local target.  They are Luxury brand long macaroni noodles.  I have found them at some Wal-Marts.  When I do find them, I buy at least 5 packages of them at a time.  Just a suggestion.  Because you should always be ready to whip up some Momou’s mac and cheese.

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This a package of those noodles..if you find them…buy several packages.  Trust me.

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Love in a 9 x 13 dish I tell you…

Momou’s Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

1 16 oz. box of Velveeta

1 stick of butter

1 can of Pet Milk or evaporated milk

1 package Luxury long macaroni noodles

1/2 cup of sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Get your 9 x 13 dish out.  No need to grease it.

Bring about 8 cups of  salted water to a boil in a large stock pot or pasta pot.  Add your long macaroni noodles to the boiling water.  I break my noodles in half before adding them to the boiling water because it makes it easier for my kids to handle it, but it does cut down on the slurpability (is that a word?) that you get when the noodle is long.  Ah decisions.  Boil the noodles until they are tender.  These noodles take a little longer to boil because they are so long and thick.  If you prefer your pasta al dente, then by all means, pull them sooner.  Drain your pasta.  Now, just leave it long enough to drain because I have found (because Aunt Lee and Momou taught me) that this is easier if the noodles are still warm.  That helps everything to combine and melts the cheese and butter.  Ok, pour your boiled noodles into your 9 x 13 dish.

Now, you are going to cut your stick of butter into “pats” (that’s how Momou would say it…cut the butter into pats, my Doo :))  Take a stirring spoon and don’t stir, but sort of push the noodles around to let the butter circulate and make friends with the noodles.  Ha ha!  Ok, now, Cher, you are going to add chunks of Velveeta to the noodles and butter.  Do the same thing.  Don’t stir, but push the noodles around gently and let the Velveeta chunks come to the party.  Introduce them to the noodles and butter. Next, you are going to sprinkle some sugar ALLLLL over the noodles.  Gently push that around to let the sugar get up in there.  Now you will open your PET milk by poking a big hole on each side.  I suppose you can open the whole can with a can opener, but we have never done that.  It makes it easier to pour it slowly over the noodles.  I use one of those bottle opener thingies.  It has a point edge on one side and I poke it into the can.  Do ya’ll know what I am talking about?  I don’t know the technical term, so excuse my lack of formality.  Though at this point, I hope most of ya’ll are aware that formalities are not my thang.  🙂  Ok, slowly pour the PET milk over the noodles.  I use the whole can.  Gently push that around and let the noodles and all the other ingredients spend some time together.  Now…take a tasting spoon and get a taste of the milk.  If it tastes sweet, but not too sweet with a hint of butter and cheese, it is perfect.  Just add sugar to your taste.  It is supposed to be sweet.  That’s what makes it special!

Cover the pan with foil  and put it  in your preheated oven.  Cook for about 30 minutes and then check it.  Remove foil and using a spoon, gently stir the noodles.  You want there to be some “juice” left.  Be careful not to let the noodles dry out because they will also dry up some once you take the dish out of the oven.  Usually about 30 minutes does it for me.  All of the cheese should be melted, but if not, giving it a good stir will help with that.  The milk mixture should be thicker than it was and clinging to the noodles.  If it is still runny, put the foil back on and bake it for another 5 or 10 minutes.

Now, I really hope I have done this recipe justice.  If you have questions or need something clarified, please ask questions.  Don’t be afraid.  As I have been typing, my 5 year old aka the bull in a china shop has been asking to make goo repeatedly and I have been distracted.  So, let’s be honest, I make mistakes.  I hope you will give this truly wonderful mac and cheese recipe a try.  Just please call it Momou’s mac and cheese and when someone says “who is Momou?” you can tell them all about her.  She is one special lady!   I have given ya’ll 3 very special recipes for you to make for Thanksgiving or whenever you choose.  Since my kiddos are off for Thanksgiving and I have some cooking and baking to do, I am going to sign off for the next few days.  I want to spend some time with my family and friends.  I really hope you all savor every moment of your Thanksgiving celebrations to the fullest.  See you all next week with a fresh batch of delicious recipes!  Enjoy!! ~AMB 

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Can of PET milk…regular ole evaporated milk…but where I am from, all evaporated

milk is referred to as PET milk.  I love that.

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Getting into the spirit of things at the Polar Express  

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Gobble till you wobble…cutest little turkey I know 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my friends!!!