Smoked Sausage and Chicken Gumbo

We wanted to celebrate Mardis Gras this year with a dish from New Orleans. After searching Pinterest I found this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. There was just the right amount of kick to this Gumbo and everyone, including the fussy ones, loved it.


1 teaspoon + 3 tablespoons Olive Oil 14 oz Andouille Sausage, sliced into half-moons 4 skin-in, bone-in chicken thighs 1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning 6 tablespoons all purpose flour 1 green bell pepper, chopped 2 small celery stalks, chopped 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 56 oz low-sodium chicken broth 2 bay leaves 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more or less according to taste)
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage then saute until browned, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate then set aside. Season both sides of chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning then place skin side down in Dutch oven. Sear on both si…

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 dash salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sliced ripe bananas
45 vanilla wafers
4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

*Mix flour and salt in a large sauce pan.
*Add milks and egg yolks to pan slowly, stirring constantly over medium heat, until mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes, then remove from heat.
*Stir in vanilla.
*Layer enough banana slices to cover the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Cover the bananas with 1/3 of the pudding mixture, and layer with 1/3 of the vanilla wafers.
*Repeat layering, starting with bananas, then using pudding, then vanilla wafers.
*Do the layering a third time as usual, except do not cover the pudding with wafers; place the wafers around the edges of the casserole, tucked into the pudding.
*Beat the egg whites at high speed with a mixer until they foam. Add the sugar gradually, and keep beating until stiff peaks form. Spread this over the top of the pud…

Old Style Diner Burgers

I've been thinking about experimenting with burger recipes for a while now. I decided that I would begin with old-school and try a recipe for burgers the way we had them at 1970's diners. This recipe for old style diner burgers was simple, but so yummy!   

Old Style Diner Burgers
Makes 6-8 patties
2 1/2 pounds ground beef
Fresh ground sea salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
6-8 slices cheddar cheese


12-16 slices bread, (Use less bread if you double up the burgers.)


1. Lay out two sheets of plastic wrap.
2. Divide your ground beef into 6-8 even mounds 3. Shape each mound of beef into a good, tight ball with your hands.
4. Place ball onto sheet of plastic wrap and lay the second sheet on top.
5. Roll ball flat with rolling pin, about 1/3 inch, into a thin patty. Roll from all directions to make into a patty.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. Repeat with remaining balls.
8. H…

Asian-Influenced Pork Loin

My family loves pork tenderloin. but so many times it ends up drier than I like inside.  They don't complain, but I just am not pleased. This recipe, that I found on Taste of Home website, turned out so juicy and tender with  tender and juicy. As usual, I tweaked the recipe to suit what I have on-hand. 

Asian-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour  Makes:  8-10 servings

1 boneless whole pork tenderloin (3-4 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup ketchup (I used homemade - recipe below)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1- 1/2 teaspoons Chinese-style mustard
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sweet & spicy Saigon seasoning

1. Sprinkle pork roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 oven° for  50 minutes.
2. Me…

Chicken in Sour Cream, and Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

I have to admit that my favourite piece of chicken is the thigh. It has so much more flavour than the breast. And lots more meat than the drumstick.  I love using the Man-Pleasing Chicken recipe, but variety is good too. I found an interesting recipe over at AllRecipes and decided to tweak it a little bit.  First of all, I have no Cream of Mushroom Soup and couldn't find a substitute recipe. So I came up with this one that was a complete hit, except for the mushroom haters. Ken has Type 2 Diabetes so I have to use healthy whenever possible. 
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup Melt butter (I used unsalted)  Add chopped mushrooms and saute until slightly brown Add chopped garlic, flour, 1 cup milk
Heat to a nice roux.

Chicken in Sour Cream Original recipe makes 4 servings
8 chicken thighs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch paprika
Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 cup sour cream (I used light)

Eggnog Fudge

I Love eggnog! I Love fudge!
When I found this recipe over atAn Affair From the Heartand originally from Chocolate, Chocolate and More  I just had to share it with you all.  I can't wait to try it out!

1/2 cup butter 2 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream 3/4 cup eggnog minus 2 Tablespoons 2 cups sugar 1 – 10 ounce bag white chocolate chips 1 – 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Line a 9×9 baking dish with foil and butter well.
In a medium saucepan combine butter, eggnog, cream and sugar.  Bring to boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.  When it boils, reduce the heat and continue cooking until candy thermometer registers 234 degrees. (soft ball stage)  Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate chips.  Stir until combined, add marshmallow, nutmeg and vanilla, stir until smooth. Spread into prepared pan, garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top. Let cool at room temperature and then place in refrigerator. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Man-Pleasing Chicken

My Love pointed out this recipe to me. It was posted over at Witty in the City and looked to delicious to pass up. It was amazingly delicious that I've made it several times since. 

1.5 pound package of chicken thighs, six pieces serves three people
1/2 cup of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of rice/rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh rosemary

1)Preheat your oven to 450ºF