Cranberry Chicken

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This chicken is so easy and out of this world. It is great served over wild rice, on top of a salad or in a sandwich.
Get these things-
2 boneless chicken breast, wash and pat dry
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup cranberry sauce, melted
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
Cooked wild rice

This is how it is done- 
Season chicken with salt and pepper and set to the side. Dump all ingredients for the sauce into freezer bag and then add chicken.  Seal bag, turn the bag over several times to make sure chicken is coated with sauce and allow to marinate overnight.  While your oven is heating to 350 degrees, place chicken in a sprayed baking dish and pour sauce over chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout. Place chicken on top of wild rice and spoon sauce over chicken.  We like to serve ours with asparagus spears and garlic toast. For a wonderful salad- Place salad greens on plate, garnish with strawberries, french fried onions and blue cheese crumbles. Toss with your favorite dressing.

* Crockpot instructions- spray inside of Crockpot, pour defrosted chicken and sauce into pot and cook on low for about 4 hours. 

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

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A jambalaya is hearty dish of South Louisiana origin, featuring a choice of meats (ham, sausage, shrimp, chicken, tasso), cooked with the Cajun holy trinity, tomatoes and rice. We have chosen chicken and sausage for this jambalaya.  There are a lot of variations to a jambalaya and it can be altered to your likings. This dish is not hot but it is well seasoned and is even better after it hangs out in the fridge overnight.  This recipe makes about 15 servings.  

Jambalaya
Fetch it-
1/2  chicken, quartered
2 celery sticks
1 onion
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
8 green onions, chopped
1/2  cup parsley, chopped

Let’s layer some flavors-
First things first. We need to get the chicken on and make us up some stock.  Get you a large pot out, add about 5 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Add your chicken breast and throw in a couple of pieces of celery, a quartered onion and season it with some salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer the chicken for about 30 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain chicken, reserving your broth.  Once chicken has cooled to the touch, remove chicken from bone and cube.  Season your chicken with Cajun seasoning and set to the side. In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the  and vegetable oil and let it get hot. Next, add onions, bell pepper and celery.  Season those veggies with some Cajun seasoning and sauté  for about 7-10 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes longer.  Now you want to add your sausage and cook until the sausage is browned lightly and all of the goodness from the sausage has coated your vegetables, about 7 minutes. Lets layer some more flavors and add some color to the pot.  Throw your drained tomatoes and seasoned chicken in the pot and stir that goodness up real good.  We are adding layer upon layer of goodness and it is going to be lip smacking delicious.  Sprinkle your rice in and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the rice is golden.  Next add 4 cups of the stock, the bay leaves and season with some salt,  pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until all liquid has absorbed and rice is tender.  Add chopped green onion and parsley and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve with Beach Bread or French bread.

Caramelized Pear Torta

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Suz and I have been making this torta for a couple of years for party’s and caterings. We love this recipe because it is so very tasty and it makes for a beautiful presentation. People always ohh and ahh over this torta. Trust us when we say that this is always a party pleaser.

Get these ingredients together-
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 -8 pears, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons pear preserves
32 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups grated Gruyère or swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts, chopped and salted

This is what you are going to do-
Break out a large non-stick sauté pan and add your butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Slowly sprinkle sugar in while stirring. Next, add your pears to the pan and stir around real good, making sure that the pears are coated in the buttery sweet goodness. Reduce your heat to medium and cook for about 10-15 minutes. You want your liquid to thicken and pears to begin to caramelize. Next reduce your heat to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the pear preserves and continue to cook until preserves melt.
Transfer pears to a bowl and let them cool down. While your pears are cooling, get you a medium mixing bowl out and add the cream cheese and grated cheese. Use your handy dandy hand mixer for easy mixing. Season with a dash or two of salt. Liberally spray an 8-inch round springform pan with cooking spray. Now it’s time to layer. You know the sisters love them some layers of goodness. Spread half of the cheese mixture on the bottom of the pan. Then spoon half of the cooled pear mixture over the cheese and spread evenly. Add the remaining cheese mixture over the pears. Save the remaining pears for the top, you will add those later on. Pop your torta in the fridge and let it chill for an hour or so. Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan leaving the torta on the bottom of the pan. Cover the sides of the torta using 1 cup of the chopped pistachios. Spread the rest of the pear mixture on top of the torta and then sprinkle the remaining pistachios around the edges of the pears. Pop it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or French baguettes slices.

Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes

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These shrimp are out of this world and they are so easy to make. We like to serve the leftover shrimp on salad greens or angel hair pasta. Yummo in my tummo!

Get-
1 pound peeled and deveined, large cooked shrimp
1 (14-oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 (6-oz.) can sliced black olives, drained
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 (4-oz.) Package of tomato and basil feta cheese
4 spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup zesty Italian or Greek dressing or to taste
Fresh basil leaves

How to-
In a large mixing bowl add shrimp and the next five ingredients. Add dressing to shrimp and stir to coat all of the ingredients.  Refrigerate the shrimp for at least 8 hours. Pour into glass or trifle bowl and garnish with basil leaves.

Fiery Cajun Shrimp

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This is an “old trusty”. We made it, we liked it and we are going to make it again. This would have to be one of our all-time favorite recipes. We have been making this forever and people always love it. The sauce is unbelievably good. With that being said, make sure you serve plenty of French bread for sopping up the spicy buttery goodness.

Get these ingredients-
2 sticks of butter, melted
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Loiusana hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 lbs unpeeled medium shrimp
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley
French bread for sopping

Let’s make it-
Alright people, this is so simple to make. Get that oven going and heated to 400°F. Stir together the first 6 ingredients. Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish or an iron skillet. Add your shrimp and top with lemon slices. You are going to want to bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring mixture twice, until shrimp are pink. This is important- after the first 10 minutes check the shrimp several times. As soon as they start turning pink, take them out of the oven. They will continue cooking. You don’t want overcooked shrimp. Add parsley and enjoy!

Fried Panko Pork Chops

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new years plateGrowing up our parents always cooked a huge lunch to bring in the New Year. For as long as I can remember we always had the same thing each New Years Day. Each part of the meal was made because it was going to bring us something in the New Year. Mom would always have fried pork chops and they were always seasoned to perfection and fried perfectly. Pig/pork represents progress in the New Year. Mom would have a huge pot of greens cooked in pork neck bones. The greens symbolized money or economic fortune. She would make an Army pot full of black eyed peas. The black eyed peas symbolized luck and prosperity; the peas were also cooked in pork. We liked to have plenty of pork so that we were sure to have some progress in the New Year. To sop up the pea juice and pot liquor from the greens she would make a big black skillet full of cornbread. The cornbread represented gold. We would also have mac and cheese. I don’t remember the mac and cheese having any significance. We just had it because it goes great in between the greens and black eyed peas. Those flavors just work well together. Our mother did not use panko back in the day because quite frankly, we didn’t know about panko. The Sister’s wish you a lot of progress, economic fortune and luck in the New Year! Happy New Years!!!
Get-
2 eggs
1 ½ cups panko
1¾ cups flour
8 thin cut pork chops
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

How to make-The first thing you need to do is take your pork out of the fridge and season your with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Get you 3 shallow dishes out. We are going to set up a little station. Add your flour to the first dish. Season your flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In the second dish add your eggs and give it a whisk. Go on and season your eggs with a little salt, pepper and a few shakes of hot sauce. In the third dish, you guessed it, add your panko. Keep the dishes in that order-flour, egg and then panko. Dredge pork in the flour, then run through the egg and then coat that baby with panko. Put your pork on a plate and let them hangout for about 10 minutes or so. This will help all that yummy coating set. Go on and get you oil hot. Heat the oil in large heavy bottom skillet over medium to medium high heat. You don’t want your oil too hot. Fry the pork for about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Do not overcook the chops.

The Sisters Black Eyed Peas

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These Black Eyed Peas are some kind of good. We like to serve our peas over rice and have some French bread or cornbread for our dipping pleasures.

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Black Eyed Peas
This is what you are going to need-
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
½ pound  Andouille sausage, sliced thin
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
4 – 5 cups chicken stock
½ tablespoon of chicken bouillon granules
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper to taste
Slap ya Mama to taste, Cajun seasoning
Louisiana Hot sauce to taste

How you do it-

Rinse the peas once in cold water, removing any debris. Drain peas and soak overnight. In a cast-iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté 3 -5 minutes. Next add onions,celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté 3-5 additional minutes,stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the flour and blend well into the vegetable mixture. Add drained peas, stock, chicken bouillon and season using salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until peas are tender, about an hour to an hour and half.
When peas are tender, add green onion, parsley, season to taste using salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Eggplant Rice Dressing)

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This recipe is the bomb digity! So good that we even made it on The Food Network for Paula’s Best Dishes. This recipe holds a special place in our heart. We would have had no idea of the greatness of this recipe if it were not for our beautiful Mama Hazel. We can just see that little French lady standing in her kitchen in Marksville, Louisiana, chopping the holy trinity, making the rice in her rice cooker and throwing it all together in her big black iron pot. All while we were salivating over each task that she performed. What a masterpiece she created. Later in life our cousin Kurt shared with us his recipe of adding the eggplant which makes it so creamy and delicious. Just another added bonus thanks to Kurt. So it is with great honor that we share this recipe with you.
Note- This recipe makes a lot of dirty rice. Does not have to be stuffed in peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Eggplant Rice Dressing)
Ingredients:
2 large eggplant, peeled and diced
4 cups water
2 tablespoons bouillon granules
1 pound ground beef
1 pound breakfast sausage
½ pound chicken gizzards and chicken necks
¾ stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 cup green onion tops, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can chicken broth, or boil chicken/turkey giblets (neck and gizzards) to make broth
2-4 cups uncooked long grain or parboiled white rice
Cajun seasoning
4-6 Bell Peppers (or more if you want to use all of the rice dressing)

Directions:
Add eggplant and granules to boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. In a separate pot boil the chicken giblets (necks and gizzard) in some of the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery, and cook down to one cup of stock. If you do not want to make your own stock, use 1 can of chicken broth. Drain gizzards and reserve stock. Grind the cooked gizzards. Brown the ground beef and sausage in a lightly greased heavy cast iron pot, add gizzards. Pour off the excess grease. Remove the meat and melt the butter and add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and sauté until tender. Return meat to pan and add Worcestershire sauce, and cup/can of broth. Add Cajun seasoning to taste and slowly simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add the eggplant with the broth, chopped green onion tops and parsley, and simmer for a few minutes longer. Cook 2-3 cups long grain rice or parboiled rice. Mix cooked white rice into heated dressing mix just before serving. Add the rice a bit at a time until you achieve the balance that you like of rice to dressing mix. Remove tops from bell peppers. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Submerge peppers for about 3 minutes. Remove and dry. Scoop rice mixture into peppers. Place peppers in a larege casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.

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This recipe is the bomb digity! So good that we even made it on The Food Network for Paula’s Best Dishes. This recipe holds a special place in our heart. We would have had no idea of the greatness of this recipe if it were not for our beautiful Mama Hazel. We can just see that little French lady standing in her kitchen in Marksville, Louisiana, chopping the holy trinity, making the rice in her rice cooker and throwing it all together in her big black iron pot. All while we were salivating over each task that she performed. What a masterpiece she created. Later in life our cousin Kurt shared with us his recipe of adding the eggplant which makes it so creamy and delicious. Just another added bonus thanks to Kurt. So it is with great honor that we share this recipe with you.
Note- This recipe makes a lot of dirty rice. Does not have to be stuffed in peppers.

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Eggplant Rice Dressing)

Ingredients:
2 large eggplant, peeled and diced
4 cups water
2 tablespoons bouillon granules
1 pound ground beef
1 pound breakfast sausage
½ pound chicken gizzards and chicken necks
¾ stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 cup green onion tops, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can chicken broth, or boil chicken/turkey giblets (neck and gizzards) to make broth
2-4 cups uncooked long grain or parboiled white rice
Cajun seasoning
4-6 Bell Peppers (or more if you want to use all of the rice dressing)

Directions:
Add eggplant and granules to boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. In a separate pot boil the chicken giblets (necks and gizzard) in some of the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery, and cook down to one cup of stock. If you do not want to make your own stock, use 1 can of chicken broth. Drain gizzards and reserve stock. Grind the cooked gizzards. Brown the ground beef and sausage in a lightly greased heavy cast iron pot, add gizzards. Pour off the excess grease. Remove the meat and melt the butter and add the chopped onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and sauté until tender. Return meat to pan and add Worcestershire sauce, and cup/can of broth. Add Cajun seasoning to taste and slowly simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Add the eggplant with the broth, chopped green onion tops and parsley, and simmer for a few minutes longer. Cook 2-3 cups long grain rice or parboiled rice. Mix cooked white rice into heated dressing mix just before serving. Add the rice a bit at a time until you achieve the balance that you like of rice to dressing mix. Remove tops from bell peppers. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Submerge peppers for about 3 minutes. Remove and dry. Scoop rice mixture into peppers. Place peppers in a larege casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.

2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 41,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.