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Seafood Gumbo, Crab Cakes and Corn Bread Muffin

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Gumbo Stock Recipe


shells from 1 pound shrimp
5 quarts water
4 carrots, sliced
4 onions, quartered
1/2 bunch celery, sliced
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs fresh parsley
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme


1. Bake shrimp shells at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) until dried and starting to brown on edges.
2. In an 8-quart pot, combine water, carrots, onions, celery, bay leaves, garlic, parsley, cloves, pepper, basil, thyme and shrimp shells. Bring slowly to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, and cook 5 to 7 hours. Replace water as needed, 2 or 3 times, by pouring more water down the inside of the pot.
4. Remove stock from  heat, and strain. Press all liquid from the shells and vegetables, then discard them. Return liquid to heat, and reduce to 2 to 3 quarts, or to taste.

Quick and Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple ( I used fresh this time)
  • 10 maraschino cherries
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix


  1. Melt the butter over medium high heat in the iron skillet. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly to cover the butter. Next, arrange pineapple rings around the bottom of the pan, one layer deep. Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple ring. Prepare the cake mix as directed by the manufacturer, substitute some of the pineapple juice for some of the liquid in the directions. Pour the batter over the pineapple layer.
  2. Bake as directed by the cake mix directions. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a plate. Do not let the cake cool too much or it will be stuck to the pan.

If you don’t have an iron skillet you can use  two cake pans, eat one, freeze one. 😉

Chicken and Spinach Lasagna

  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes more, stirring to break up any large chunks of meat. Stir in tomato sauce, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and garlic powder. Simmer for 2 minutes and season to taste.
  4. Combine spinach, ricotta, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  5. To assemble, arrange 3 noodles lengthwise in the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread with 1/3 the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the turkey mixture, and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat layers, ending with remaining mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I have also made this with rotisserie chicken or ground turkey.

Italian Pasta and Sausage Soup

I have made this soup a couple times this winter and it has been a big hit especially served with some crusty bread.


  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leave parsley
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 small zucchini, cubed
  • 2 cups spinach – packed, rinsed and torn
  • 1/2 cup of small  pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in beans, basil, parsley, pasta and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini and pasta is tender.
  3. Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.  Top soup with grated Parmesan cheese.

Herbed Cornish Game Hen



  • 2 Cornish game hens
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning (optional)



  1. Place hens, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Brush over hens. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until juices run clear.
  2. I added carrots and potatoes turning it into on one dish dinner.


This is a keeper – Slow Cooker Latin Chicken

You know you have a winner when your hubby says this is a keeper.

Latin Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup hot salsa
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • lime wedges, for garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet; season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the chicken thighs; brown the chicken in the frying pan, 3 to 5 minutes each side.
  2. Arrange the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and black beans on top of the chicken. Mix together the chicken broth, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, salsa, cumin, allspice, and garlic together in a bowl; pour into the slow cooker. Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 4 hours. Garnish with lime wedges to serve.  Served over brown rice.

Easy Cauliflower Soup


  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ground black pepper & salt to taste
  • green onion and Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the cauliflower, celery, onion and carrot in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Add chicken broth, parsley,  salt & pepper to taste and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Served topped with green onions and Parmesan cheese

Wonderful Memories

I had forgot all about this cake until I saw a recipe over the summer on “And all the trimmings” blog.  My mother use to make a cake like this all the time, I really don’t remember her using a recipe, she would just go into the kitchen and whip it up.
Buttermilk cake with fresh seasonal fruit.
Simple, tender buttermilk cake topped with a nice, sugary crunch: We like it as it is, full of blueberries, but you could easily substitute any sweet, juicy berries you pick up at the farmers market. Over the summer I made this cake with peaches, blueberries, raspberries but now I’m thinking it would be great with apples or pears ….plus add a little cinnamon. 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
  • At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Roasted Pork Loin with three C’s

I saw Emeril cooking this recipe on Good Morning America I did make a few changes to the recipe, first I doubled the cooking sauce and added some chipotle sauce,  as Emeril would say to kick it up. 🙂   OOh yea, I did change the name of the recipe….. the three C’s being Cumin, Cilantro and Chipotle.

  • One 3 1/2-pound boneless pork loin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle sauce (be careful you might not want this much)
  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

    Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Rub the pork loin well on all sides with the olive oil, and season it with the kosher salt, cumin, and black pepper. Place the pork loin, fat side down, in the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until well-browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pork from the skillet and place it in a small roasting pan or baking dish that holds it snugly.

    In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, chipotle sauce and marmalade, and whisk well to combine. Drizzle the citrus mixture over the pork.

    Place the roasting pan in the oven, and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F, basting the pork with the pan juices occasionally. (Take care not to overcook the pork.) Should the pan juices evaporate and begin to scorch before the pork is done, add a bit of water to keep it from burning.

    Remove the pork from the oven, add the cilantro to the roasting pan, and swirl it in the pan juices. Allow the pork to rest for 7 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve the pork thinly sliced, drizzled with pan juices.

    Served it with mashed sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower.

    Chichen Paprikash with Grocchi

    Not to many recipes I follow without making any changes, but this one I did.  The recipe came from the Rachael Ray Show, it’s one of those recipes that the leftovers were even better.

    🙂 Hey, look my chicken has three legs.

    Shrimp Lo Mein for Two

    Shrimp Lo Mein

    Serves 2

    1 Tbs sesame oil                                                   1 tsp minced garlic

    1 Tbs vegetable oil                                              1 tsp minced ginger

    24 medium peeled shrimp                                1/2 Tbs siracha chili sauce

    1 julienne red pepper                                          1/4 cup soy sauce

    1 cup chopped chard or bok choy                  2 cups cooked Linguine

    Heat oils in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add shrimp and peppers, saute until shrimp are almost doen, about 2-3 minutes.

    Add bok choy, garlic, and ginger, saute 30 more seconds. If you use chard you might want to cook a little longer.

    Add soy sauce and siracha, stir to combine and add cooked pasta.

    Notes –

    I used left over whole wheat spaghetti pasta.

    Be careful when adding siracha chili sauce, you can also use heat of your choice.

    Be creative add mushrooms, zucchini any of your favorite veggies.

    BBQ Chicken Tenders – Eating Well

    I made these for Super Bowl Sunday and they were pretty tasty. The recipe came from Eating Well magazine. The only thing different I will do next time is leave out the honey and add hot sauce.

    Click here for recipe