Tag Archives: comfort food

Cajun Mama’s Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

So first things first.  I have told ya’ll that I am not from Shreveport originally.  I know it seems like those 2 hours North of Alex. would not make that big a difference food wise.  It does.  Chicken spaghetti is  a dish that I personally had not eaten or heard of before I came to Shreveport.  In fact, when my good friend Leia was craving chicken spaghetti during her first pregnancy, I honestly thought she meant spaghetti sauce with chicken pieces in it.  My mom made that when i was growing up.  My daddy loved it.  Spaghetti and meatballs and chicken in it.  So I thought that was what she meant when she said she wanted chicken spaghetti.  I was so wrong.  They were kind about it and thought my naivety was endearing.  So then one day, a sweet dear lady named Mama Kate sent me a local church cookbook and low and behold, it had a recipe for chicken spaghetti in it.  So I made it.  It was good but took a lot of time and at the time I was in college and didn’t have time for that.  Around this time, my mom started making chicken spaghetti and she had her own way (which is usually fantastic and better) and it was so good.  So over the years, my recipe sort of evolved and Big Daddy absolutely loves it.  Good enough of an endorsement for me.  I am quite certain everyone reading this has made chicken spaghetti before, but just in case you haven’t, let me warn you…this is one of those dishes that you will make repeatedly until you are sick of it because it is so good and easy.  My kids love this dish, but not with the Rotel so I always pull some out before I add the mushrooms or Rotel.  I always serve this with garlic bread and a nice big green salad.  MMMMMMMM!!!

1395910_555629214517650_389458128_n

Creamy dreamy chicken spaghetti 

 

Cajun Mama’s Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

Ingredients 

1 package of angel hair spaghetti

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 jar of sliced mushrooms, drained

1 can Rotel tomatoes (I use mild but use the heat you want)

1 16 oz. package of Velveeta (I use the  2 % milk kind)

1 package of boneless chicken thighs, cooked and shredded (you can definitely use a rotisserie chicken if you choose)

Directions

Cook your chicken and shred.  Set aside.  Boil your pasta according to package directions.  Drain.  Pour pasta into a dutch oven.  Pour soups, Rotel, and  mushrooms into the pot.  Cut the velveeta into chunks and add that to the pot.  Now, over low heat, stir this all together.  You will need a strong spoon for this as this concoction is hard to stir until it is well combined.  Be sure to stir frequently as the pasta starts to stick to the bottom.  Continue to stir until the cheese is melted throughout and the pasta is well combined with the soups and cheese.  I like to sprinkle a little kosher salt and cracked black pepper over the finished product before serving.

There is really nothing to it.  Hope you love this dish as much as we do.  It is such a crowd pleaser!

Image

Me…so excited to get the Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook on the day it was released!  I have no shame.  ha ha

Cajun MAMA side note~That picture is the REAL me.  No makeup.  Hair not straightened.  Dark marks on my skin left from my pregnancies showing.  Totally excited expression and really quite goofy and cheeseball.  Yep that’s me.  I have never been one for pretense and these days even less so.  It takes too much time and energy.  Sure, I love to get dressed up and put on my makeup when I feel like it.  When I do, the only person I am trying to impress is…me.  It makes me feel good and the mood has struck me.  Other than that, no thanks.  I am my own genuine article just like you are.  I embrace her frankly because I do not have the energy to force this into any other than its natural state.   I am a little rough around the edges at times.  I am ok with that.  I would rather be seen that way than anyone ever accuse me of being anything less than real.  In this journey we call life, I find it easiest to love me the way I am.  I cannot be like anyone else.  It is too much trouble.  So I give myself permission to like me just the way I am.  I give you  permission to.  Now…there is a bracelet that my friend tagged me in a picture of that said “hide your crazy”. lol!!  Now, I want that bracelet so I can remind myself to reign myself in when I get a little TOO authentic and real.  But no Kardashian life for me.  I am not polished.  I am not posh.  And seeing the train wreck that is the Kardashians these days, why would anyone want to be that?  Who wants to keep up with the Kardashians?  They can hardly keep up with themselves.  That is a hard lonely life they are leading.  No thanks.  I will keep being the authentic hot mess that I am, cheesing it up in the Barnes and Noble because I got a new cookbook.  There is no glamour in that, but there is peace and contentment.  So be real my friends.  Be you.  Embrace your emotions, your true self.  Love that.  It is perfect as is.

Crock-pot Beef Stroganoff

So for those who don’t know, I am a “stay at home” mom.  You would think that this would leave plenty of time to cook lovely homemade nutritious meals every night.  It doesn’t.  That is what they tell you in the recruitment brochures, but they lie.  Don’t buy it girls.  It’s all lies!  Lies I tell you.  If you are a stay at home mom with a new baby, cooking a meal every night is not that easy.  Unless you are an octopus.  I am not.  If you are a stay at home mom with a bunch of little darlings underfoot every day, like I was not that long ago (4 under 5 at one point) it really doesn’t get much easier.  Someone is always falling, fighting, crying, needing to nurse, and on and on.  I realized the other day that we ate out or got takeout a whole bunch more when my kids were younger.  My point in saying all this is leading up to something…promise.  I tend to ramble.  I am Cajun remember?  I like to talk.  ha ha!!!  Ok anyway, I was “home” more when all the kids were home and I still didn’t have time to fix a meal many days.  If I did, I was out of something or forgot to defrost the meat.  Mommy brain and exhaustion (dynamic duo) can do that to you.  So…you would think that now that my kids are all in school…4th grade, 3rd grade, 1st grade and kindergarten that I would be able to lovingly prepare healthy and delicious homemade meals each night.  Yeah…I would like to tell you that I do.  I would love to tell you that it all comes together flawlessly each day.  Um..no.  Sure, I do cook.  Obviously I do.  I do a lot better with planning my meals these days, unless my cooking ADD kicks in.  BUT, you can plan all day, but the best plans can go astray when dealing in the world of kiddos.  Carpool. Homework.  Yeah, if I don’t get supper started before the monkeys, I mean darlings, get home, it is going to be a long night.  Or somebody is eating oatmeal.  I’m serious.  So…in theory I started this crock pot week for “ya’ll” but it was mighty fine to have supper cooking while I went about my daily business of eating bon bons and watching soaps.  bahahahaha!!  I wish.  🙂  So I thought to myself as I was serving up those bowls of potato soup how nice it would be for my friends who work outside the home to have a good meal fixed when they get home.  Especially if you have kids and after school activities.  This just spurred me on.  Especially after that potato soup was a WINNER!!!  I have really high hopes for this beef stroganoff so we shall see.  It is cooking right now so no pics yet, but again I will update.  I really hope ya’ll are with me on this crock pot revolution…I need another crock pot though.  

Image

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff (from The Crockstar blog…I love that name!)

Ingredients

2 pounds cubed stew meat (I cut up a 2 lb. chuck roast into cubes)

2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom soup

1 large onion, diced

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire 

1/2 cup water

8 oz. cream cheese 

salt and pepper, garlic powder, whatever seasoning you like….but I would wait until it has cooked a while to add)

egg noodles, cooked to your liking 

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the soups, water, Worcestershire.  Pour into the slow cooker.  Now add your meat.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours (it says 8 but mine never takes the full 8 hours)…turn the crockpot on high and cut cream cheese into cubes and stir it in.  Put lid back on and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cream cheese is combined.  

Serve over egg noodles. 

Crock-Pot Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup

Well the crock pot frenzy continues over here in Cajun Mama’s kitchen.  Fall is in the air, the windows are open, breeze is flowing in, I have a sinus headache and the circle of life in the South continues.  I am hoping that you read my post from yesterday about it being crockpot week on cajun mama.  If not, just scroll on down and read that post.  Now, I don’t have a picture of this already prepared as it is currently in the process of cooking, so I apologize.  On the flip side, I am ahead of the game which is a good feeling!  Also, this is my first time to try this recipe but really…how bad can it be?  No, it is not the ultimate potato soup.  I found quite a few potato soup recipes that I would have rather tried but this one definitely caught my eye and the reviews were great.  The difference between this one and the others is that this one is made in the slow cooker and requires almost no prep work.  This week is about convenience and saving time.  This one qualifies.  I hope we all just love it and it becomes a keeper.  Only time will tell or approximately 6 hours on low.  Ha ha!!!  As a side note~today has been what I call a shady Tuesday.  You think Tuesday would be great because Monday has the rep for being “the bad day”.  Shady Tuesdays are like that.  Bad Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are given far too much credit as far as I am concerned.  One thing that has given me a little smile and sense of comfort as I clean bright yellow laffy taffy out of the carpet is that I have something yummy (I hope) in the slow cooker.  One less thing to worry about.  Now I will get the rolls rising and I will be smiling big time. (um…no not from scratch?  don’t ya’ll know me at ALL?  I mean that frozen dough.  Defrost and then rise.) Take that Tuesday!!!

Crock-Pot Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup ( slightly adapted from Sprinkle Joy blog)

1 bag  of Ore-Ida southern style diced potatoes (hasbrowns)

32 oz. (one box) of chicken broth (reduced sodium is what I use)

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup of onion, chopped

1/4 tsp. group black peper

1 8 oz package of cream cheese (1/3 less fat kind or the regular because they melt better than fat free)

optional toppings:  crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, sour cream, green onions

970537_543936975686874_1085956145_n

This is at the beginning of the cooking process!

Very Uncomplicated Directions:

Dump all of the ingredients except for the cream cheese into your slow cooker.  Crock Pot.  What have you.  Give it a good stir and then put the lid on.  Let it cook for 6-7 hours.  Add the cream cheese and stir.  Put lid back on and let it cook for another hour or until cream cheese is melted and then stir to combine.  Now, I have a crock pot with a timer function.  I set it for 6 hours and let it go.  This is wonderful feature because you don’t have to worry about getting home to shut it off on time.  A great idea for my friends with jobs outside of the home!!  Check the seasoning if you desire and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Ladle soup into bowls and then add optional toppings if you want them.  Enjoy!!!  And relish in the fact that you are so AWESOME that you are able to prepare supper while you are not even in the kitchen.  That is multi-tasking at its very finest.  I am woman (or man)!  Hear me ROAR!!!

Of course once my family and I try this soup, I will come back and add some additional comments depending on how we like it and what may need a little tweaking.  Thanks for reading.  Drop me some comments if you want.  I would love to hear from ya’ll!!!!

1380302_544135019000403_1623597391_n

 

Heaven in a bowl ya’ll!  mmmmmmmm (that is my final verdict. mmmmm)

Ritz Cracker Chicken casserole

Once upon a time, a cajun mama found a recipe called poppyseed chicken aka Ritz cracker chicken in a magical place called Pinterest.  She made it for her cajun family and they all lived happily ever after.  Ok…so not quite but when I tell you that there is a reason Ritz cracker chicken is a classic Southern recipe that is delicious, easy to make, and makes up in a snap, I tell you no lies.  This stuff is amazing and I had been missing out.  Like, how did I live without this dish for all the years before?  It is seriously fantastic.  

Image

 

So let’s get down to the brass tacks here.  The nuts and bolts of it all.  The nitty gritty.  I know ya’ll didn’t come here to read my witty repartee.  Some call this Poppy seed chicken casserole and some call this Ritz cracker chicken.  Just make it and I am pretty dang sure ya’ll will just call it GOOD.  

Ritz Cracker Chicken/Poppy seed Chicken casserole  (adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

Ingredients

5 cups chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1 cup sour cream

2 (14.5 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup

2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 1 1/2 rolls of crackers)

*I crush mine by putting them in a gallon ziploc bag, closing it tightly, and then rolling a rolling pin over the bag until they are crushed…or you can use your food processor.  I am not that industrious.)

1/2 cup melted butter

1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (in the seasoning aisle of the grocery store usually)

1 tsp. Worcesterchire sauce 

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. pepper 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Boil uncooked chicken breasts with salt and pepper until done.  Remove from the water and let them cool a bit and then cube it up.  

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the soup, sour cream, Worcesterchire, celery salt, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper.  Pour over the chicken.  

In a separate bowl, stir together crushed crackers, poppy seeds and melted butter.  Sprinkle over the chicken and sauce.

Pop that baby into your preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is a nice toasty brown and the sauce is all bubbly.  (my mouth is watering)  You can serve over rice or noodles.  Or just eat it straight out of a bowl.  This stuff is seriously DIVINE.  

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

So my mother in law and father in law came for a visit this weekend. It was so nice to be with them. They are probably 2 of my most favorite people on Earth. I share no genetic link to them, and yet they treat me like their daughter. They are wonderful grandparents and just fun to be with. Anyway, enough of the mushy love talk…let’s get down to business. My mother in law said she had made one of her roasts this past week and how good it was. She is in fact the wonderful soul who taught me how to cook the roast I had always wanted to cook. This weekend though, she upped her game a little. Told me about a few new additions to her roast recipe and I thought I would share with y’all. I decided on Saturday that a roast would most definitely be on the menu this week. So, I hope I am not being too basic here, but roasts can be tricky. I hope you like this recipe and I promise as I get more of this blogging stuff going on, I will offer more and more recipes and some will be more complex, but being married to a good ole country boy, this is the kind of food I tend to cook more often. So bare with me and please forgive me for not always blogging like I should, it is summer time and my monkeys, I mean kids, are all under foot. Ok so back to the roast…this is what my precious mother in law–Deb the Magnificent 😉 does. It is pretty foolproof and yields fantastic results.

DEB’S CHUCK ROAST

1 3-5 lb. chuck roast
Dales marinade and seasoning
1 packet onion soup mix
Bacon grease (yeah yeah, not healthy, I know…for the purpose of this roast just comply ok? You will be glad you did)
Flour
Salt and pepper
Mushrooms (I used jarred this time because I had some on hand, but she used fresh and I will next time too)
1 cup French fried onions (the last 2 are her new additions that she says made this perfect roast even better and thickens your gravy)

Pour some Dales into a plastic container or a glass bowl that will your roast will fit in. Then put your roast in the dales. Make sure it gets on there real good. And then flip it. Same thing. Then leave it. Let it soak on one side for 15 minutes or so. Then flip it and let it soak on the other side for the same amount of time. Now pour some flour onto a large plate or a dish. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Now dredge the roast, using a big fork or some tongs, in your seasoned flour. Coat it on all sides. Meanwhile, heat some bacon grease over medium low heat (you can use some cooking oil, but Deb says use bacon grease and far be it from me to argue with her) in a large skillet. Brown your roast on all sides until it is nicely browned on all sides. Now transfer that baby into your roasting pan. Cover the roast with the French friend onions. Stir about one cup of water and the onion soup mix. Add some Dales to that. Pour the mixture over the roast. Add your mushrooms. Cover and cook in oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees for about 2 hours. I turn mine after an hour or so to ensure it cooks evenly. Now, it is ready when it is fork tender. Just take your fork and stick it in the roast. If you can turn the fork easily, it is most likely ready. The gravy will be a beautiful rich brown and be so good over rice. (Or mashed potatoes. But I don’t do that since we have potato salad with ours most times). I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. 20130617-160706.jpg