Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.
Fresh asparagus, oven-roasted with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Top with cheese and buttered bread crumbs for a gratin.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Asparagus is my number one spring veggie. Yes, I know that it's available year round these days, but out of season it's not the best in my little ole humble opinion. The spears are often tiny and tough, and not nearly as flavorful as when they are at peak and in season in April and May.

It's very easy to cook also, with my number one favorite being a butter-steamed skillet method, followed by oven roasted. I'm still working on perfecting my air fryer version!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Apple and Pineapple Jezebel Glazed Ham

A smoked bone-in half ham, baked and finished with a glaze patterned on our Southern Jezebel Sauce, made with apple jelly, pineapple preserves and pepper jelly mixed with lemon-lime soda.
A smoked bone-in half ham, baked and finished with a glaze patterned on our Southern Jezebel Sauce, made with apple jelly, pineapple preserves and pepper jelly mixed with lemon-lime soda.

Apple and Pineapple "Jezebel" Glazed Ham

I love cooking a baked ham all year round, so it's not just a holiday thing for me. I cook them for a planned meal, then put up freezer bags of vacuum-sealed ham chunks and the ham bone for later.

I wanted to give y'all another ham and had in mind the old school, traditional pineapple ham made with 7-up, Sprite or ginger ale, but decided to step it up a little bit by incorporating elements from my jezebel sauce, which is often used as a side condiment with baked ham, but using it here instead as a glaze.

Monday, March 22, 2021

South Mississippi-Style John Wayne Casserole

A Tex-Mex style casserole with seasoned ground beef, layered between a biscuit crust, with tomatoes, topped with a sour cream and cheese sauce and finished with a cornbread topping, perfect for potlucks, church suppers, or just dinner at home!
A Tex-Mex style casserole with seasoned ground beef, layered between a biscuit crust, with tomatoes, topped with a sour cream and cheese sauce and finished with a cornbread topping, perfect for potlucks, church suppers, or just dinner at home!

Mississippi-Style John Wayne Casserole


So, it seems lots of folks around the country and in my own home state of Mississippi seem to love this casserole, and I went all my life without knowing that!

How it came by the name John Wayne Casserole is uncertain, though some say it appeared as a contribution in a 1979 cookbook of celebrity recipes, as a favorite recipe of Wayne's. I can see why. It's super tasty!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Simple Navy Bean Soup

A simple bean soup, made with navy beans, ham hocks, onion, celery and a few dried herbs. Simple. Easy. Tasty!
A simple bean soup, made with navy beans, ham hocks, onion, celery and a few dried herbs. Simple. Easy. Tasty!

Simple Navy Bean Soup

Beans, along with their cousins, Southern peas, are a very common meal in the Deep South. They're filling, easy to stretch and tasty! What more could you want to feed a family?

There are lots of ways to make them and I've got quite a few of them here on the website myself! 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

One-Pot Skillet Spaghetti

A quick and easy, one pot spaghetti and meat sauce, finished with shredded Italian style cheese.
A quick and easy, one pot spaghetti and meat sauce, finished with shredded Italian style cheese.

One-Pot Skillet Spaghetti

Spaghetti is such an easy meal that it's pretty much one of the first meals that everybody learns how to make.

Sometimes it starts as simply as boiling some noodles and topping it with a quality commercial sauce. Then it might graduate to adding beef, pork, or even a mix, chicken or seafood, using a mix of canned tomatoes instead (Cento San Marzano highly recommended) - and even better if they are home canned!

Hands down my personal favorite is a spaghetti made in the heat of the summer, from fresh, homegrown, backyard tomatoes.  You just can't get that flavor any other way. Yum y'all.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Couche Couche - Cajun Breakfast Cereal

This Cajun Breakfast Cereal, known as Couche Couche, Cush Cush or Coush Coush, is made from a cornbread batter, poured into a hot, cast iron skillet, crusted and turned several times, then covered and steam cooked to finish and served with milk or cream.
This Cajun Breakfast Cereal, known as Couche Couche, Cush Cush or Coush Coush, is made from a cornbread batter, poured into a hot, cast iron skillet, crusted and turned several times, then covered and steam cooked to finish and served with milk or cream.

Couche Couche

Unless you live down in this part of the Deep South, you've probably never heard of this dish. Often referred to as a Cajun breakfast, cornmeal cereal, though it's enjoyed just about any time of the day. It comes under a few different names, including  Cush Cush, Couche Couche or Coush Coush, all pronounced "coosh-coosh."

Although some folks will want to compare this to a cornmeal mush, it's actually quite different.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Classic Lasagna

A classic, homestyle lasagna, made with a ground beef and Italian sausage, a homemade tomato based pasta sauce and layered in with lasagna noodles and cheeses.
A classic, homestyle lasagna, made with a ground beef and Italian sausage, a homemade tomato based pasta sauce and layered in with lasagna noodles and cheeses.

Classic Lasagna

Lasagna is one of the best loved casseroles there is. Even on the All Recipes website, the all time, most popular recipe is what's called "World's Best Lasagna," which turns out to be pretty much the same as my recipe, my Mama's recipe, and likely I'd guess, pretty similar to just about every other good, homemade lasagna in the world, really.

Even that recipe has a striking resemblance to the McCalls 1973 cookbook recipe, that I'm certain many homemakers adopted as their own at the time.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

Chicken wings, air fried naked, then tossed in a lemon pepper sauce and finished in the air fryer. 

Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings


Wings. I love, love, love them as football food. Or, anytime food really. The Cajun and I eat them all the time and you can find my collection of recipes by tapping or clicking right here.

Whether you grill, smoke or bake them, they are an excellent addition for any gathering, whether it's a party of many or a party of two. I was really astonished how easy and good they are in the air fryer too!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Slow Cooker Bourbon Beans

These bourbon baked beans are a perfect classic side for anything grilled or smoked, pulled pork, burgers and dogs, chicken or ribs. Made with beans and bacon, chopped onion and sweet bell pepper and a savory, sweet and spicy sauce, made easy using a slow cooker.
These bourbon baked beans are a perfect classic side for anything grilled or smoked, pulled pork, burgers and dogs, chicken or ribs. Made with beans and bacon, chopped onion and sweet bell pepper and a savory, sweet and spicy sauce, made easy using a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Baked Beans

So, if you've been hanging around this blog for any amount of time, you already know I'm not super big on slow cooker usage. I have some recipes here and there, and I still use one occasionally, mostly to write recipes for the website and for those of you who do use them regularly.

Do I like baked beans the best when they're, well... baked? Yes indeed!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Chile Cheese Tex-Mex Cornbread

Easy to make, this tender and moist Mexican Cornbread brings a sweet heat to those Tex-Mex and Mexican meals, soups, stews and chili dishes.
Easy to make, this tender and moist Mexican Cornbread brings a sweet heat to those Tex-Mex and Mexican meals, soups, stews and chili dishes. 

Mexican Cornbread


I know for a southerner it's likely to sound a little sacrilegious, but we aren't super huge on cornbread down here along the Gulf Coast. 

Sure, we eat it and we enjoy it, but French bread and yeast rolls are much more prevalent down here. Because of that, we don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that there is only one way to make cornbread, and, we don't even mind, if occasionally, it's got a little sweetness to it. I know. I can hear the gasps.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Chicken Taco Soup

A blend of Tex-Mex seasonings, pantry staples and some cooked chicken make for a quick and hearty chicken soup. Shown here with my Honey Jalapeno cornbread.
A blend of Tex-Mex seasonings, pantry staples and some cooked chicken make for a quick and hearty chicken soup. Shown here with my Honey Jalapeno cornbread.

Chicken Taco Soup

I absolutely love this soup, whether it's made with ground beef or chicken. It's got such great flavor and it's about the easiest soup there is to throw together.

You can start with raw chicken that you poach, a deli chicken or chicken that you previously put up in the freezer, which I tend to have the most. Thanks to on-sale whole chickens, an Instant Pot and a Food Saver, there is always some cooked chicken in my freezer. I chose to chop up my chicken this time, though shredded is also good for this.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits

A homemade buttermilk biscuit, with a very light touch of cornmeal, providing subtle corn flavor and a slight crunch
A homemade buttermilk biscuit, with a very light touch of cornmeal, providing subtle corn flavor and a slight crunch.

Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits


I am a bread lover - especially yeast breads and rolls. But biscuits?

Yeah, biscuits are more common in my house and I make them fairly regularly. Certainly, biscuits are faster and easier, but still delicious all on their own, and the variety is endless, though classic buttermilk are still the ones I make the most.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Onion, sweet bell pepper and garlic, sautéed in bacon drippings, topped with black-eyed peas, chicken stock, chopped ham and a pork hock and cooked under pressure in the Instant Pot.
Onion, sweet bell pepper and garlic, sautéed in bacon drippings, topped with black-eyed peas, chicken stock, chopped ham and a pork hock and cooked under pressure in the Instant Pot. 

Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are always on my New Year's Day menu. Always. And... maybe I'm especially superstitious, but this year I think it's even more important to uphold that tradition, don't you?

Typically, I have made mine in the style of which I do most southern peas - using dried peas and cooked right on the stovetop - but, with the popularity of the Instant Pot {affil link} and other electronic pressure cookers, the past few years I've switched over to making them this way for the New Year's Day meal.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Crabmeat au Gratin

A casserole of lump crab, a highly seasoned cream sauce and two shredded cheeses.
A casserole of lump crab, a highly seasoned cream sauce and a mix of two shredded cheeses.

Crabmeat au Gratin

Crab au gratin is a delicious, decadent treat for sure, because, unless you are doing your own crabbing, boiling and picking, it can be a pricey dish for sure. If you've ever done any of the above though, you know the work that goes into picking crabs, and the effort required to get those nice, large lump pieces, so it's worth the price.

This dish can be used as an entrée, served with a nice garden salad and some hot French bread, or as an appetizer, served with some nice, sturdy crackers. As an entrée, I prefer to serve it in individual au gratin dishes {affil link}, though it can also be prepared in a casserole dish and spooned out onto plates. It's much more atheistically pleasing in the individual dishes. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Southern-Style Chicken and Rice Soup

A quick, small batch soup, made using a vegetable mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery, with fresh minced garlic, okra, tomatoes, leftover cooked chicken and rice and a quality commercial stock or broth.
A quick, small batch soup, made using a vegetable mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery, with fresh minced garlic, okra, tomatoes, leftover cooked chicken and rice and a quality commercial stock or broth.

Southern-Style Chicken and Rice Soup

Whole chickens are on sale around here often and I sure take advantage of them, always buying a larger one for intentional leftovers. Sometimes I'll roast one, sometimes stew it, or cut it up and bake it. Very often I'll use my Instant Pot {affil link} to cook a whole chicken using my "ready chicken" recipe, use some of it for a meal, then reserve the rest to use in a soup, chicken and dumplings, a casserole, some chicken salad, or even just to put up in the freezer for another day.

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