Tag Archives: Garlic

Garlic roasted chicken legs and veggies and my cousin Robin

I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful cooks in my life. BD always says the women in my family could cook a boot and make it taste good. My Momee always made the most simple things taste delicious. I have given y’all her cornbread dressing recipe…probably one of my favorite foods ever…link to recipe is here https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/11/24/momees-cornbread-dressing/. She was the hardest working, strongest woman I have ever known, always had a bit of old Hollywood glamour about her even in the worst of times, and could cook like nobodies’ business. My daughter Aubrey has always reminded me of her. She loves baubles, hats and fancy dresses…just like Momee. Aubrey is fascinated with Princess Kate, and I know that has to be genetic. She has a flair just like Momee. That makes me so happy. Another wonderful thing that came from her is my relationship with my cousin Robin. She is about 2 years older than me and was one of those cousins who was more like a sister growing up. Definitely a good friend of mine. We ended up living together during college at Northwestern, a time I wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world. She has always been able to make me laugh harder than almost anyone. We were in each other’s weddings and she is very special to me. We share the same middle name (Marie) just like our moms do. She has always been there. Even now, I know she is just a call or text away.

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we always had so much fun together. Popee is playing his guitar, Momee is clapping and singing, we are dancing. We danced a lot. Circa 1979ish

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at my bridal shower, 2001.

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Robin and I with our daughters, Ava (her’s) and Kayla Ann (mine) at my sister Jenny’s bridal shower, 2005

So these days we mostly communicate via text and I am so glad for that. She probably isn’t because I text her whenever I hear Billy Squier’s The Stroke. Yes. Because we always danced to that song in Momee’s red room (I told y’all she was fancy…the rooms in her house each had a distinct color). She laughs at my elephant like memory and we laugh at the memories we share. She is the one friend I do not remember my life without. She has always been there. So yesterday I had an envie for Momee’s chicken and potatoes. I did not grow up in Marksville, though we were there a lot, but Robin did. So naturally she spent more time at Momee’s house than I did. So I thought she might remember how Momee made this dish. I texted her and sure enough, she had a few ideas. And every year at Thanksgiving, she will inevitably text or call or Facebook me a question about Momee’s cornbread dressing. It’s amazing how recipes can keep us connected that way. I am certainly glad for every tie I have to her. I am certainly blessed to have her presence in my life. She is still one of the funniest people I know and I can laugh just thinking about things we used to do. Even through texts she cracks me up. So between her tips and a random recipe I found, I managed to recreate Momee’s chicken and potatoes to some extent. It was delicious. And I think y’all will love it. I made a few changes, but managed to still get that awesome taste that brought me back to the good ole days in Broulliette, sitting at one of Momee’s picnic tables under the carport on a Saturday with Robin, eating this deliciously simple meal. I hope y’all enjoy this too.~AMB

Garlic roasted chicken and veggies

serves 6

Stuff you need~

1/2 stick of butter
10 chicken legs (you can use boneless thighs too)
6 red potatoes, cut into chunks
10 brussel sprouts, bottom cut off and then halved
2 carrots, peeled and then cut into pieces
10 or so cloves of garlic, (I used a big garlic pod and separated it out) peeled and then kind of smashed to release the flavor (under a knife turned sideways works well…it just flattens somewhat)
Olive oil for drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper
Garlic powder

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chunks o’ potatoes

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big garlic pod

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separated into cloves

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mmmm melted butter soaking up that garlicky goodness

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Momee always used a big silver pan to make hers’…that I remember. Throw peeled garlic cloves in the butter and kind of work those garlic cloves into the butter. Just give it a good toss. Now, place your chicken legs or pieces in the butter. Neither one of us could remember if Momee used legs or thighs but ended up thinking that she used both, either and probably whatever she had as she was resourceful and practical that way. God bless Beulah Mae. ūüôā
Ok now toss the veggies in there. Now sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. That is one thing Robin remembered…Momee used lots of garlic powder and pepper. Using your hands or a spoon if you must, work the chicken and veggies into all that seasoning and buttery garlic goodness. Sprinkle again with seasoning and toss around again to ensure everything gets seasoned well. They become a happy family. There you go. Next I gave it all a nice drizzle of olive oil and popped it in the oven. The smell is amazing as it cooks. I cooked this for about 40 minutes on the middle rack and it was perfect! Crispy, seasoned perfection. Momee would be proud of us cousin!

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we are never far apart. Thank God for technology.

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Momee would be proud I do believe!

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this picture always makes me laugh. She is so silly.

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Napolean House Po-boys and looking forward to sunnier days ahead…

Ya’ll are going to love me!!! ¬†This is a pretty easy, makes in the crock pot and you come home to a wonderful smelling house and supper is almost ready. ¬†How do you like me now? ¬†I am giving ya’ll another ticket to New Orleans and ya’ll won’t even have to leave your house. ¬†I mentioned my precious friend Angie in my post the other day I do believe. ¬†She loves to cook, like me she cooks just about every night, and she doesn’t play around with so so recipes. ¬†She goes full throttle, as a friend, mom, cook, you name it. ¬†She is a little spitfire from Monroe but only small in stature. ¬†Her personality is big. ¬†I just absolutely love her. ¬†She is hilarious, loves coffee and loves to text crazy emoticons that relate to whatever insane situation we have gotten ourselves into at the moment. ¬†Like me, she loves Doxies. ¬†In fact, she spawned my insane love of Doxies. ¬†So as you can see, we have lots in common. ¬†A few months after we met, she emailed this recipe to me. ¬†My first thought was, “um yum!!” and also “sister is my kind of girl”. ¬†I mean, willing to share a family recipe and such a fab one at that. ¬†So, we became fast friends as did our kiddos and I am blessed to have her in my life. ¬†First time I made this recipe, we were blown away. ¬†It was “wow. ¬†just wow”. ¬†This is an authentic recipe and makes excellent, just like the French Quarter, poboy. ¬†Obviously I need to take a trip to NOLA soon because this is the second copycat NOLA restaurant recipe I have made and posted this past week. ¬†NOLA is calling I suppose.

I won’t go into much detail but lately Angie’s daughter has been having a few health issues. ¬†They have been in and out of the hospital. ¬†As a friend, it has been hard to watch. ¬†But not nearly as hard as I imagine it has been on them to have to stay in the hospital and to watch her daughter endure all that she has. ¬†Or for C to endure the poking, prodding and testing. ¬†But they have. ¬†As a friend, it has been hard not to see them. ¬†I miss my friend. ¬†My kids miss their friend. ¬†Something we thought was only temporary has turned into a a more lengthy battle. ¬†We cannot see them because sweet C cannot be around anyone who might have some sort of illness and with 4 school aged kids, my kids could have who the heck knows what. ¬†So, we talk when we can and text when the mood strikes. ¬†C is going to eventually be ok but it will be a long road. ¬†Angie is a tough woman and I know she can endure, but my heart hurts for them. ¬†It is kind of like all of this crazy winter weather. ¬†Though we have not been hit with any blizzards or extreme cold, it has been cold enough for us here in the South. ¬†Some of us even have some white stuff they call Sneaux on the ground (not us here in Shreveport because of some sort of freaky weather bubble but that is a topic for another time). ¬†Just like the snow will melt, the ground will thaw, and the cold will turn to warm spring air, C’s body will get stronger and normal life will eventually resume. ¬†The kids will be running and playing, jumping in the pool and sunning themselves on the deck while Angie and I chit chat and drink cup after cup of coffee. Sometimes I guess, you have to just hunker down, pray hard, and have faith. ¬†That bodies will heal and that the sun will eventually shine again. ¬†Endure the hard times by leaning on friends and when things are good, appreciating those good times. ¬†And those people you enjoy them with. ¬†Share good recipes and laugh. ¬†Count your blessings and know that normalcy is a blessing. ¬†Day to day life, though sometimes boring, is pretty perfect as is. ¬†So just like Angie shared this wonderful recipe that forged a forever bond between us, I will extend this recipe to you. ¬†Because that is just what we do.

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Ready to enjoy some fun in the sun with my friend again…soon. ¬†I miss her face. ¬†

Jim’s Version of Napolean House Po-boys¬†

Stuff You Need:

3 pound chuck roast (must be chuck)

flour

salt and pepper

canola oil

1 cup chicken broth or stock

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

melted butter

garlic powder

creole mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato (depending on how you want yours’ dressed)

loaf of french bread

What to do with the stuff:

Season flour with salt and pepper. ¬†Dredge roast in seasoned flour. ¬†Heat canola oil in a large cast iron skillet and then brown roast on all sides. ¬†Put roast in 6.5 quart crock pot. ¬†Now, add the remaining seasoned flour to the remaining oil in the skillet. ¬†You are kind of making up a little roux. ¬†If you don’t have enough oil left, just add a little. ¬†You want to make a paste. ¬†Now, whisk in the chicken stock and deglaze the pan. ¬†You want to pick up all the little browned bits at the bottom of the skillet. ¬†Now, pour all of this over the roast that is in the crock pot. ¬†Lay the thinly sliced garlic over this. ¬†Cook on low all day or until the roast is tender and you have a nice gravy. ¬†You can shred the meat or slice it, whichever you rather.

Now, slice the French bread horizontally. ¬†Pour the melted butter over the open loaf. ¬†Sprinkle with garlic powder. ¬†Turn broiler on low and slightly toast the bread until the edges are browned. ¬†Make sure you watch the bread as it can go from perfectly browned to burnt quickly!!! ¬†Cut loaf in half vertically to make 2 sandwiches or cut into smaller pieces to serve more. Spread mayo and or creole mustard over one half of the bread. ¬†Spoon beef and gravy over the other half of the bread. ¬†Top with ¬†lettuce and sliced tomatoes if you want yours’ fully dressed. ¬†Enjoy this delicious taste of New Orleans. ¬†Don’t forget the napkins, ma cher!!! ¬†C’est ci bon baby.

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Dredged in seasoned flour and ready for browning…gonna be good yeah. ¬†MMMMMM!!! ¬†

Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole and (im)perfect moments

Grits. ¬†You either love them or you hate them. ¬†There is typically no in between ground there. ¬†No gray area where someone is a little iffy and be swayed one way or another. ¬†I am definitely a grits lover. ¬†I like them with a good bit of salt, pepper and a ridiculous amount of butter. ¬†This year I discovered something surprising…grits are so delicious with garlic and cheese in them. ¬†I mean really, really delicious. Creamy, cheesy with just a hint of garlic to them. ¬†Topped with more cheese…they are a wonderful accompaniment to any brunch. ¬†I told ya’ll this week I was doing “blog about brunch”…I will say again…I am a fool for some brunch. ¬†This grits casserole can find a home on any brunch table. ¬†I have so many brunch recipes that I am not sure I could share them all with you over the course of a week or two…but I will round up some of my faves. ¬†The other day I gave ya’ll the breakfast danish casserole. ¬†Score one for Cajun Mama cause that baby is a winner. ¬† Anyway, this is another excellent addition to your brunch recipe repertoire (say THAT 3 times fast!).

Like anyone, I tend to reflect as one year comes to a close and we usher in another. ¬†I guess the time for reflection and taking stock comes for all of us at this time. ¬†I hate to put too much emphasis on these days because for some it is such a hard time to get around and most of us are ready to move on to another year. ¬†I don’t know what kind of year it has been for many of you. ¬†For me, it has been good and fast paced but also has brought many things to light. ¬†Some good and happy. ¬†Others not so much. ¬†But I do know this..and I hope you do too…I am where I am for a reason. ¬†It is part of my path. ¬†Just like finding these cheesy garlic grits are part of my destiny (I am not kidding…they are that good!), so is whatever you are doing or where you are at this moment. ¬†I will not get all deep because I know ya’ll probably don’t get on here to listen to my insights about life..also because we have some family coming in for New Years Eve. ¬†I have cooking to do. ¬†Shocking…I know. ¬† I will only say this…my in laws came in the other day to celebrate our Christmas. ¬†They wanted to take pictures in front of the tree. ¬†I took some of them and the kids. ¬†They wanted me to get in there. ¬†I had no makeup on. ¬†My hair was not really fixed. ¬†I didn’t know how my outfit would look. ¬†I don’t consider myself a vain woman, but I am a woman. ¬†Taking an ugly picture is not really ever my goal. ¬†But I decided to be grateful for the moment to take pictures with my precious family. ¬†To BE in the moment, instead of wishing to be somewhere else or look another way. ¬†I ended up loving the picture because it captures our joy as a family. ¬†The fun we always (ok…well usually) have together. ¬†Being in the moment is not easy for me. ¬†I tend to want to jump ahead or look behind. ¬†But the good stuff, however not perfect it may seem, for me, is usually right where I am. ¬†Even if I cannot see it or appreciate it at that moment. ¬†So today, I hope you can look around and see the beauty in where you are. ¬†In this moment, or the day, or of your life. ¬†Every moment has something to offer and teach. ¬†Even the imperfections (and mine are so many) can be beautiful. ¬†Anyway, enough of that. ¬†The focus here is cheesy, garlic, yummy, creamy grits. ¬†Make them. ¬†You will be oh so happy you did. ¬†Much love and many blessings to all of you.

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We may not have it all together…but together we have it all (that should be our family motto)

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Garlicky cheesy goodness…so perfectly Southern and perfect¬†

Southern Living Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole (Southern Living magazine December 2010)

Stuff you need:

4 cups milk (I use 3 cups whole and 1 cup half and half for extra creaminess but the other way is great too)

1/4 cup butter \1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (that Kraft kind with Philidelphia cream cheese added is amazing in this)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

What to do with the stuff:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ¬†Lightly grease a 11 x 7 inch baking dish. ¬†Bring milk just to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. ¬†Whisk in butter and grits a little bit at a time. ¬†Reduce heat and simmer, whisking mixture constantly for 5 to 7 minutes, or until grits are cooked. ¬†Remove from heat. Stir in lightly beaten egg followed cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. ¬†Add in finely chopped garlic if desired at this time. ¬†Pour into prepared dish. ¬†Sprinkle with grated Parm. ¬†Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until mixture is set. ¬†Serve immediately. ¬†Yummmmm!!!! ¬†The epitome of southern dishes, right on your kitchen table or brunch buffet table. ¬†Be sure to take a nice long whiff of the garlicky aroma before digging in. ¬†I also sprinkle some Tony’s on it before serving. ¬†Adds just a hint of spice and a nice kick of color.