Tag Archives: paula deen

Broccoli salad aka broccoli crack and happy birthday to my mama 

Ok so this is one of my absolutely favorite recipes in the history of me cooking, which is a really long time. My mama had me cooking at the age of 12 (I mean not full time but she let me help and I am glad I was able to) and I have tried many a recipe and I am telling you…this one is top 10. I have never made it for anyone and they did not love it. It’s like crack. Broccoli crack. So healthy crack. Not nearly as damaging as regular crack. Much more colorful crack and packs a nutritious punch…it’s awesome! I am not sure how I got off on this track and I imagine you all are wondering if I am actually on crack…that answer is no. I am just tired and get into one subject and have a hard time shifting gears…but I am shifting now. Anywho, my parents aka Bernie and Stephen aka BB and Poppy came to town last weekend and Big Daddy cooked a prime rib roast in honor or my mama’s birthday. I made the Pioneer Woman’s whiskey gravy to go over it and then made this amazing broccoli salad  to serve along the side of it (and some tasty garlic mashed potatoes). It was pretty darn amazing if I have to say so myself. Once again, the broccoli salad was a hit and our plates were so pretty…it’s an irresistible combo. This broccoli salad is as comfortable on the side of burgers and hot dogs as it is beside prime rib roast. That speaks volumes of its versatility and supreme awesomeness. So make it.  It’s one of Paula Deen’s recipes, so you know it’s good. You will love it, your family will love it, they will love you more and it’s just an overall win. And who could not use a win?!  Exactly. 

BB and one of her babies

Happy birthday BB

makes my heart smile

Broccoli Salad 

Makes 6-8 servings 
Stuff you need~
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
6 slices of bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
1/2 finely chopped red onion 
1/2 cup golden raisins 
8 ounces sharp Cheddar, cut into small chunks 
1 cup mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons white vinegar 
1/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes 
What to do with the stuff~

Add chopped and washed broccoli to a large serving bowl. Toss in raisins, crumbled bacon, cheese, and raisins. Add halved cherry tomatoes.   In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar. Pour this over the broccoli mixture and toss gently to coat well. 

*if making for a large crowd, make sure to double this recipe. It goes quickly and people go crazy. It’s addictive. 

*you can make it the day you are serving it but it is really good when you make it the night before.

as marty in Madagascar says…crackalackin!!!

Chicken Potpie

There is something about comfort food isn’t there?  It seems to warm you from the inside out.  It takes the chill out of a cold rainy day or the sting off of a bad day.  Experts say we shouldn’t eat our feelings and I definitely agree, but there is nothing wrong with gathering around the table and enjoying a meal.  Or chatting with a good friend over a cup of coffee…and a slice of pie.  🙂  It is a basic human right to connect with others.  When my babies were well…babies…I could instantly soothe them by nursing them.  It wasn’t the milk that comforted them…it was the closeness between us.  I think that is the connection we have with comfort food.   Give a child a warm cookie and a glass of milk and sit there…see what happens.  Heck, give Big Daddy a warm cookie and a glass of milk and sit there…he will be more than happy to talk while the cookies keep coming.  Same thing with this potpie.  I know I call a lot of the food I post about “magical” and maybe in a way I believe it is.  Sometimes for me, the difference between a good day and a bad day is knowing I am cooking something good for my family for supper.  I can’t control how they do on their test, if they had someone to play with on the playground or if Big Daddy had a good day at the office…but a good meal?  THAT I can do.  I am a big believer in do what you can, where you are, with what you have.  I guess maybe cooking is that way for me.  I cannot control many things, but I can control whether or not my family has something yummy to eat for supper.  And by sharing that with you, I guess I am in a way trying to help you out a little too.  This world can be overwhelming, heartbreaking, scary, and many other things sometimes…the simple things will always be the things we come back to time and time again no matter how many fancy technological gadgets we have.  Sitting around the table sharing a meal is time tested.  We know that works.  Which brings me to this wonderful chicken pot pie recipe I have for you today.

Chicken potpie is one of my favorite dishes.  When I was little, I loved the Swanson potpies and as I got older I would order it at restaurants.  I finally found a recipe that fulfills my potpie desires AND now I can have potpie any time I want.  Well, anytime I want to cook one.  Bonus, one of my little girls love chicken potpie as much as her mama and she loves this recipe.  Oddly enough, this is the very first Paula Deen recipe I saw her make on her show when my friend Kylie introduced me to Paula Deen back in 2004 and i was pregnant with that same little girl.  I craved chicken potpie during that pregnancy and needed to find a way to get some.  Funny how that works.  Plus, this recipe makes two potpies if you want it to or you can freeze extra filling.  This potpie recipe makes enough for two potpies, so you can either make both and take one to a friend who could use a good meal or simply freeze the extra filling in some Tupperware for another time.   I adapted this recipe from Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons chicken potpie recipe.  I added potatoes and more carrots and peas.  Other than that, this recipe is just absolutely delicious and perfect.  Now, I followed the original recipe instructions for the dough, but I will tell you an easier and in my opinion, better way, to do the crust.  The original called for puff pastry dough, but here I will tell you how to use a basic roll out pie crust.

Perfect Chicken Potpie (adapted from Lady and Sons’ Chicken Potpie recipe)


4 roll out pie crusts (Pillsbury or store brand)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,

salt and pepper

2 T. cooking oil

1/3 cup butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream

1/4 cup chicken base (this is typically located near the canned soups and broths on the top shelf…I tell you this because when I made this recipe the first time, I had NO idea what chicken base was and could not find it.  Chicken base (and beef) are your best friends when it comes to gravy making or in this potpie.)

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 small yellow onion, diced fine

1 1/2 cups of frozen pea, cooked

1 1/2 cups of chopped cooked carrots

1 cup diced potatoes, cooked

Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Roll out one Pillsbury or store brand pie crust.  Lay it in a 9 ” pie plate.  (If you are prepping 2 potpies, then do the same for another pie crust).  Bake your crust(s) in your preheated oven until it is lightly browned.  About 8 minutes.  This ensures that your potpie is evenly cooked throughout.  Leave your oven on 350 degrees after you take the crust out and set aside.


Cut your chicken breasts up into 1 ” cubes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken and saute until cooked through. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a plate.  (you can use precooked chicken or bake chicken breasts in the oven and then cut up)

You can use canned pea, carrots and potatoes.   I throw the frozen peas, cut up fresh carrots and potatoes into a pot with the veggies just covered with water.  I bring them to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until the carrots and potatoes are just tender enough.  Usually about 15 minutes.  I get this going before I start cooking the chicken and the process moves along nicely.  Drain the veggies in a colander when they are tender.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and then slowly whisk in flour, stirring until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Do not brown it and stir it constantly for about 2 minutes or so.  Slowly whisk in the cream and continue to stir.  Add chicken base, garlic and onion and stir until thickened.  Add the cooked peas, carrots, and potatoes and nutmeg, if using.  Add your cooked chicken.  Give it a good stir to combine and then remove from heat.

Pour the filling into the pie crusts (s).  If you are only making one potpie, Pour until the filling almost reaches the top of the pie crust.  About an inch under.  Top with other pie crust and then bake in the oven until the top crust is nicely browned.  About 20 minutes.

Let it cool and then serve.  You are in your happy place.  Comfort food nirvana.  Enjoy!!!



Comfort food at its finest…just add a glass of milk

chicken piccata stuffed mushrooms

I am a traditional girl at heart.  But then I’m not.  I love my roots but I love my wings.  I just don’t use my wings to stray very far from my roots…so to speak.  I may live in Shreveport and I have grown to love it here, my last name is Bowlin, but I will always be Aimee Marie Mayeux deep down. I like to mix who I am now with who I will always be and make this life my own.  Staying stuck in the past is never fun because then we cannot grow, change and adapt…that makes life too hard.  It is all about balance my friends.  This all carries into my cooking.  Everything Thanksgiving, no matter how many wonderful dressing recipes I come across or try, I will make without fail my Momee’s cornbread dressing.  I absolutely love it.  But also, when I make it, my kitchen kind of smells like her’s used to when we walked in on Thankgiving morning.  It is like my cousin and one of my best friends, Robin, is right there with me with a spoon and we are sneaking bites behind Momee’s back.  But I will try new things too.  I may make another dressing recipe, but it will be served alongside Momee’s recipe because any other way just feels wrong.  When I have a Christmas get together or any party, I like to mix my favorites with new things.  This recipe I bring to you today is one of those new things.  I found it in a Paula Deen Christmas magazine and made it for my ornament exchange.  They are a wonderful, flavor filled addition to any festive party spread.  I love chicken Piccata and I love mushrooms, so it stands to reason these would be high up on my list.  The capers are optional but ya’ll, I call them necessary.   I will be honest and say I don’t know what capers are…and I am ok with not knowing.  They are delicious.  The only thing I would alter about this recipe the next time I make them is to give the chicken a few pulses in the food processor.  I think it would make for a better texture for the filling and certainly make it easier to put the filling in the mushroom caps.  Also, sprinkling the tops with some panko crumbs and then brushing the tops with a little melted butter to give them a little color.  I tried these on a whim and I am so happy I did.

Chicken Picatta Stuffed mushrooms 

(a recipe from Paula Deen magazine Christmas edition)


2 pounds button mushrooms (white mushrooms)
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced capers *(it says optional on the recipe but without the capers these will not taste very picatta-ish (is that a word? Lol)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked chicken, finely diced, or chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine (cooking wine is fine)
4 oz. cream cheese (that’s half a block)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, melted


So preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Remove stem from mushroom caps and set caps aside. Dice enough stems to equal one cup and discard the rest.
Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a skillet.  Saute the diced stems, green onions, capers, salt and pepper and thyme.  Saute this for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Stir in chicken and wine. Cook another 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add in cream cheese and Panko and stir until combined.
Fill each mushroom cap with a tablespoon of the mixture.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.
Serve hot.  Get ready to watch those babies disappear.  It is truly a festival for your mouth!!  You will be the star of any get together when you set these out.


I am telling you…these are delish!!


photo (25)


I am a little older now, but this girl still lives in my heart…try new things, but always keep your favorites close.  I think I wore that dress out.  I loved it!