Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New Orleans Red Beans & Rice

What's cooking in Olivia Bennett-Alexander's kitchen tonight? (Shameless Escapades plug)
 New Orleans Red beans and Rice...
This recipe ,given and taught to her by Donnie Ray's sister in Monroe , another of Donnie Ray's favorites..
"Just like our mom used to make this make this" he said. He recommended cooking the day before you want to eat it. "It is a time-consuming recipe and the taste gets even better after 24 hours in the refrigerator. For extra spice, add a splash of hot sauce."he said..

Him being from Louisiana...He ought to know..


1 tablespoonshortening (or as needed)
1 white onion (chopped)
3 clovesgarlic (chopped)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
8 cupswater
1 pounddried red beans
1 smoked ham hock
1 poundsmoked sausage (cut into bite-sized pieces)
2 stalkscelery (chopped)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespooncreole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere's®)
½ teaspoondried thyme
½ teaspoondried sage
1 dashhot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®, or to taste, optional)
3 cupswhite rice (cooked)

  1. Melt shortening in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, garlic, and bell pepper in hot shortening until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Combine water, red beans, and ham hock in a large pot; bring to a boil. Stir onion mixture into the water; add smoked sausage and celery to the boiling water; return to a boil. Stir bay leaves, Creole seasoning, thyme, and sage into the boiling water. Reduce heat to low, place a cover on the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 5 hours.
  3. Remove and discard ham hock and bay leaves; stir in hot pepper sauce and serve over white rice.

 So the verdict?

No complaints from niece Beverly
Or Husband, Nelson
 or Donnie Ray..

And if they like it...It's all good!   Good Job Olivia...

Enjoy...Eat well my friends!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Fried Green Tomatoes

I must admit..I have never had This dish before...but I have heard from my Southern relatives...It is delish and to die for..

Green tomatoes are left on the vine to ripen in most places in America, but down South, cooks know the best thing to do with those bad boys is to deep-fry them and chow down. They’re a surprising and delightful appetizer option.

  • 3 Green beefsteak tomatoes
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 4 Cups Golden Dipt all purpose batter mix
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

For the tomatoes:
Slice off and discard the top and bottom of each tomato. Slice the tomato into 18 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Whisk together the eggs and milk to make an egg wash.
Dust the tomato slices with flour and shake off the excess.
Place the slices, a few at a time, into the egg wash.

Coat the slices with Golden Dipt.
Pour vegetable oil into a skillet to about 1 inch deep.
Heat oil on medium high heat until it sizzles when a small amount of flour is dropped in.
Fry the tomato slices in small batches until they turn golden brown and crisp.
Remove the cooked tomatoes to a plate lined with paper towels.
Season with salt and place in warm oven until all tomatoes are cooked.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Apple Strudel

Here is something I've heard of, but believe it or not, Never had...So here is the recipe for it..

Add some alpine comfort to the dessert table this holiday with a classic apple strudel and a generous dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

  • 6–8 apples, preferably Fuji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, or Honeycrisp, peeled, cored, cut in half vertically, then cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 box strudel leaves or fillo dough
  • 1 cup butter, melted

Toss the cut apples in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, nutmeg, and orange zest. Set aside. Place a sheet of parchment paper down on a table and place the strudel leaves on top.

Layer two pieces on top of each other and brush the top piece with the melted butter. Then place two more sheets on top and brush the top with butter. Then repeat for a third time to create six layers.

Strain any accumulated juice from the apples, and spoon them in a log shape three inches in from one of the long edges.

Take the top layer of dough and fold it over the apples to secure them, then wrap the apples, and the dough, into a log.

 Brush the top and sides with more melted butter, then place in the refrigerator for one hour.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.

Place the strudel on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and cook for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with cranberry ice cream and orange blossom caramel.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Double Pecan Thumbpints

It's Holiday season ,so that means it's Sweet treats season too!

These buttery frangipane-filled pecan buttons are decadent without being fragile, and they make excellent cookies for boxing up and giving as gifts. Dusting them powdered sugar before baking creates a crackly, glossy coating. Feel free to add more afterward as well.

Check it out-


2 cups pecan halves
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg white
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. espresso powder
 ½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. almond extract Dough and Assembly
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking powder
 ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
 ¾ cup powdered sugar, divided; plus more for serving (optional)
 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract or paste



Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until slightly darkened in color and fragrant, 6–8 minutes.

Let cool; set 1¼ cups pecans aside for making the dough.
Pulse granulated sugar and remaining ¾ cup pecans in a food processor until nuts are very finely ground (be careful to stop before they become a paste), 30–60 seconds.

Add egg white and pulse just to blend, then add butter, espresso powder, salt, and almond extract.
Pulse just until mixture is smooth and combined.
Scrape frangipane into a small bowl and chill at least 30 minutes before using.

Do Ahead: Frangipane can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled. You will have more than you need, but try slathering leftovers on toasted brioche and baking until lightly browned (sort of like an almond croissant). We guarantee you won’t be upset about it.

Dough and Assembly Pulse flour, salt, baking powder, and 1 cup reserved pecans in clean food processor until nuts are very finely ground, about 1 minute.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, and ¼ cup powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined and no streaks remain. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients. Beat just until incorporated, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until it’s firm enough that you can scoop it and it will hold its shape, 30–45 minutes.

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Place ½ cup powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Working in batches, scoop out tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into balls between your hands, then roll in powdered sugar, knocking off any excess. Transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets as you work, spacing 2" apart.

Bake cookies until puffed but edges are still soft, 6–8 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and make an indent in the center of each cookie with the handle end of a wooden spoon or a similar heatproof object. Spoon a heaping ½-teaspoonful of frangipane into each and top with a pecan half from remaining reserved ¼ cup. Return cookies to oven and continue to bake until edges are set and very lightly browned, 6–8 minutes longer. Let cool on baking sheets.

 Just before serving, dust cookies with more powdered sugar if desired.

Do Ahead: Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Enjoy!  Eat Well My friends!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sweet Potato Pie With Marshmellow Meringue

Hey babies....Here is a savory pie for the fall that isn't Pumpkin...Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmellow Meringue.

Sweet potatoes are essentially the closest you’ll get to pumpkin in both taste and consistency. With ingredients and spices similar to that of a pumpkin pie, it’s the perfect alternative to the fall classic. Factor in the rich and fluffy marshmallow meringue, and you have an utterly delectable treat in your hands..

So check this out-


1 cupall-purpose flour (sifted)
½ teaspoonsalt
⅓ cupshortening (+1 Tablespoon)
2 tablespoonsice cold water
3 large sweet potatoes (to make 2 cups of filling, do not use canned)
4 egg yolks (from large eggs)
¾ cupsugar
¼ cupbrown sugar (lightly packed)
¼ cupevaporated milk
1 tablespoonfresh lemon juice
1 teaspoonvanilla extract
1 teaspoonground cinnamon
½ teaspoonkosher salt
¼ teaspoonground nutmeg
1 lemon (zest of)
6 egg whites (room temperature)
3 ½ cups marshmallow creme

For the pie crust, measure flour into bowl; mix salt through it. With pastry blender (or two knives) cut in shortening until particles are the size of giant peas. Sprinkle with cold water, a Tablespoon at a time, mixing lightly with fork, until all flour is moistened.
Here is my trick. No matter what crust I use, it never seems to roll out as large as I want, so I increase the recipe by about half (it doesn’t even need to be exact). This gives me extra dough on the edges for a thicker crust and I often have enough left over to make little cut outs as well. This crust recipe is for an 8″ or 9″ pie, but with the increase, it fits my 9″ deep dish pan, which is what I used to make this pie. It’s up to you whether you increase the recipe for the dough or not.

 Gather dough together with fingers so it cleans the bowl. Press firmly into a ball. Then turn out lightly on a board covered with wax paper and lightly floured to prevent sticking.

 Prepare your rolling pin by covering it with a stockinet. If you do not have a stockinet, you must get one. It will make your crust endeavors so much easier. Flatten the disc with your hand and roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thick. Keep rounding the pastry edge. If it begins to break, pinch broken edges together the best you can. Keep pastry circular and roll it about 1″ larger all around than an inverted pie pan.

 Fold pastry in half and carefully transfer to your pie pan. Unfold and ease pastry loosely into pan. Do not stretch which causes shrinking during baking.

Fold the edges under and crimp as desired. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place pie shell in the freezer for 15 minutes or until firm. Line frozen shell with foil, pressing firmly against the sides and folding gently over the edges. Fill shell with raw rice or dried beans and blind bake until crust is set but not browned, about 20 minutes. Unfold foil at edges and carefully lift it out; return shell to oven and bake 5-10 minutes, or until pale golden.

 For the filling, bake sweet potatoes for 40-50 minutes or until very soft in a 400 degree oven. Peel while hot and place potatoes in food processor.

 Puree until smooth. Peeling and processing the potatoes while hot makes a smoother puree.

 Add egg yolks, sugars, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, spices and lemon zest; whisk just to blend. Pour filling into pie crust (it’s alright if the crust is still hot from baking…if you are using a store bought crust, make sure it’s at least room temperature), smooth the top and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Reduce oven to 325 degrees and continue baking until a knife inserted 1″ from the center comes out clean, 20-30 minutes. Remove pie but leave oven on.

 Beat room temperature egg whites (you can do this and have it ready while pie is baking) with a mixer in a clean metal or glass bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add marshmallow creme and continue beating until stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes more.

 Spread meringue over pie all the way to edges so the meringue doesn’t shrink. (Beads of liquid often form on meringue. To avoid “weeping” spread the meringue on the pie while the filling is hot, then brown it.) Spike it to make swirls and swoops. Return pie to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden, rotating for even browning. Watch the pie carefully at this point, do not walk away…meringue can burn.

Cool pie to room temperature and place in the fridge over night before serving.

 And there you have it...Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household