Saturday, April 15, 2017


Every once in a while I get a craving for New Orleans style food. The hubby had added to the freezer Andouille sausage and the store was having a great sale on shrimp so I decided it was time for a nice big pot of gumbo. I will say this is the best version I have ever tried, the hubby seconded that. I cooked the bacon and sausage in the bottom of the pot first then started adding the other ingredients. I also like to add rice to my gumbo. Since I only had a couple of hours to get it simmering and served, I used the rice cooker then added the cooked rice to the pot. The hubby has a hard time with green peppers so I used my mini food processor to chop it up fine--no complaints! I used Sriracha for the hot sauce and, although I think there is a misprint regarding the gumbo file powder, I added 4 teaspoons, but 3 might have been a little better. I did add 6 cups of water rather than 3 since I added rice. I also added carrots per the hubby's request. I recommend taste testing and add salt in moderation. This one is definitely a keeper. :)

7-Up Salad

I've been playing the Monopoly game at our local grocery store and one of my game pieces won me a bottle of 7-Up. We hardly ever buy 2 liter bottles of soda, but I decided it would be fun to go down memory lane and make a version of mom's 7-up salad. The recipe I found was very traditional. My mom always put walnuts in hers, but both of us omit the cottage cheese. We also us lemon jello. It's a very refreshing dessert and seemed a good pairing for our Easter weekend traditional steak, baked potato and green beans (with bacon and apple cider vinegar). It's the first time trying this for the hubby.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Carolina Coleslaw

The hubby grew up in Virginia and has always preferred the vinegar versions of BBQ. I had some leftover cabbage from my recent (over) purchase--I tend to go overboard when I see a sale. :) I came across this recipe. I didn't stay 100% true to the ingredients; per the hubby, it's okay to add mayo, so I did. I also didn't use green pepper; used 1/2 red and 1/2 green cabbage; used chopped red onion; and always use apple cider vinegar. This is probably one of the best coleslaws I've tasted in a long time. #winner

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Corn Bread (Little House on the Prairie)

I recently bought the Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) Prairie cookbook My Prairie Cookbook. It's wonderfully illustrated and has anecdotal tales by Melissa of her life as Laura and current life. It's really more than a cookbook and worth the reasonable price. The recipe actually calls for scallions but it was just fine without them. Next time, I'll add double the honey and a bit more salt. The cast iron skillet is still on my wish list, so I used a pyrex pan and it turned out perfect even at 6500 ft elevation. :)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
2-4 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon corn oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced

Serves 8

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, eggs, and 1/3 cup of the oil. Add the wet ingredients to the cornmeal mixture and whisk just until combined. Stir in the scallions.
3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool slightly, then invert the skillet and turn the corn bread out onto a wire rack to cool. Alternatively, server the corn bread hot directly from the skillet. 

Mama Schquigs Oven Baked Country-Style Pork Ribs

The hubby bought pork shoulder country style ribs--this was a new one for me. Of course Google didn't let me down. I really enjoyed reading Mama Schquigs blog as well as her methodology/recipe. We even use Sweet Baby Rays as our favorite BBQ sauce. Easy peasy. Serving it up with mashed potatoes, macaroni salad and cornbread. YUM!

French-Style Salad Dressing

I've discovered that the hubby "remembers" to eat salad when I make homemade dressing. I put it on the top shelf in the refrigerator and it's amazing how often he "thinks" to make himself a plate of greens. Last time I made a honey dijon dressing that lasted about 3 days. I scrolled past this one today on Facebook, so I decided it was time to "entice" him again. ;)  It has a truly delicious flavor; I like the Worcestershire added.

Bacon Macaroni Salad

Tonight is BBQ night (see post for Country Style Ribs and French Style Salad Dressing). What could go better with ribs and mashed potatoes? Ok, potato salad and coleslaw join in the rankings, but tonight macaroni salad is the winner. I like this recipe because it's more on the tart side. I love how cute the salad macaroni shape! I took the advice of the reviewers and added an extra tomato. I was also happy with the size of the salad for a smaller family; normally they are potluck portions.