I lived in New Orleans, since birth, until Hurricane Katrina. I now live in Arkansas with my wife and our spoiled-rotten dog. I have been cooking since I was 8. My first cookbook, You can't keep New Orleans out of the cook, is now available at and most online bookstores. It is also available on Kindle and Nook.

Aug 162018

Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make A Roux? is the title of Marcelle’s classic cookbook. This book should be part of everyone’s collection of cookbooks. It is a treasure, filled with recipes from the bayou.

3 sticks Butter

3 medium-sized Onions, chopped

3 Celery Ribs, chopped

2 medium-sized GreenBell Peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup All-purpose Flour

1/4 cup Parsley, chopped

1 1/2 pounds Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds Lump Crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage (peeled crawfish tails can be substituted)

2 to 3 cups Hald-and-Half

1 pound Velveeta Cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons Jalapeno Peppers, chopped

3 clove Garlic, minced

Salt and Cayenne Pepper, to taste

1 pound Fettuccini, cooked and drained

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Melt the butter in a heavy, large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the flour and stir for 10 minutes, blending well. Add the parsley and seafood, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently. Add the half-and-half, cheese, jalapeño peppers and garlic, and mix.  Season with salt and cayenne and simmer, stirring often, until the cheese has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Add the fettuccini and toss gently.

Pour the mixture into a 3-quart buttered casserole and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered until bubbly and heated through, about 20 minutes.

Aug 132018

This week, I am featuring two recipes from one of the authorities of Cajun Cooking, Marcelle Bienvenu. The first one is from her book, Stir the Pot, The History of Cajun Cooking.

1 1/2 pounds Top-round steak, about 1/4-inch thick

Salt, to taste

Cayenne Pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

4 medium-sized Yellow Onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

1 1/2 cups Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1/2 cup Water, if necessary

Cooked White Rice, for serving

Cut the steak into 3-inch squares and season generously with the salt and Cayenne. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown, cooking each side for 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions and bell pepper. Season with additional salt and Cayenne. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted and lightly golden. Add 1/2 cup of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is tender. Serve over rice.


Good Eating, Good Cooking and Good Living!!!

Aug 092018

One of my favorite dessert flavors is Lemon. It helps refresh after a meal. How about a recipe for Lemon Squares?

1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour, divided

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar, divided

1/3 cup Margarine

1 1/3 cups Sugar

1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

3 large Egg Whites

1 large whole Egg

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon Butter Extract

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine 1 1/2 cups four and 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar in a bowl; cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the lemon zest, baking powder, egg whites and egg in a medium bowl and blend with a whisk. Stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice and the butter extract. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set. In a small dish, combine the remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice to make a glaze. Spread the glaze over the hot lemon squares. Cool completely in the pan before serving.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 062018

This week, I will help you satisfy your sweet tooth. These desserts are great for parties as well as a quick snack.

1/2 cup Margarine

1-16ounce box Dark Brown Sugar

2 tablespoons Instant Coffee

1 tablespoon Hot Water

2 large Eggs

1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 cups All-purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon Salt

1/2 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine and brown sugar over low heat. Combine the instant coffee with the hot water to dissolve and combine with the brown sugar mixture in a mixing bowl. Stir and cool. Whisk together the eggs and vanilla; mix into the brown sugar mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt and stir into the brown sugar mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. DO not over cook. Cool in pan and cut into squares.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 022018

The most famous cold soup is Vichyssoise, which is a cold potato soup. This one is a little kicked-up.

2 tablespoons Butter

2 Leeks, chopped

1 Onion, chopped

2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups Chicken Stock

1/4 teaspoon Crab Boil

1 Bay Leaf

Creole Seasoning to taste

1 cup Heavy Cream

Fresh Chives, chopped for Garnish

Heat butter in a skillet. Add leeks and onions. Sauté until the onions are transparent, but do not allow them to brown. Add stock, crab boil, potatoes and bay leaf, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are soft. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season to taste. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth. Chill until time to serve. Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with chives.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Jul 302018

As hot as it is, not many people eat soup. But there are soups that are served cold. I will share two of them with you this week.

2 Avocado, peeled and seeded

Juice form 1/2 Lemon

1 cup Chicken Stock

3/4 cup Heavy Cream

1/4 cup Green Onion tops, chopped

Creole Seasoning to taste

In a medium food processor, purée avocado for 1 minute, then add lemon juice and chicken stock. Purée for another minute. Pour mixture into a bowl and chill until ready to serve. At serving time, pour mixture into processor. Add cream and green onions. Purée for 2 minutes, add creole seasoning to taste, then serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Jul 262018

Shrimp Boils, like crawfish boils, are often large family and friends affairs. But what do you do when you want to boil shrimp for a small number of people. Here is a recipe using 3 pounds of shrimp.

1 tablespoon Liquid Crab Boil ( more or less to taste)

Generous handful of fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, basil, chives

Creole Seasoning to taste

2 lemons, cut into wedges

6 whole medium Onions

3 stalks celery, cut into large hunks

3 pounds small Potatoes

6 ears Corn

3 pounds fresh Shrimp,(21-25 count)

Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil with seasonings, lemons, onions and celery. Be sure to season well, so there will be enough flavors for all the ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, allowing flavors to develop. Adjust seasonings, if needed, cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes; add corn and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook about 5 minutes, just until shrimp have turned pink and opaque. Turn off fire and let mixture rest in water another 5 minutes. Remove onions, potatoes, corn and shrimp from the water and serve hot, with your choice of dipping sauces.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Jul 232018

Shrimp are in season. One of the many things I miss about living in New Orleans, is driving to Westwego to buy fresh shrimp for tonight’s dinner. Nothing can compare to buying, cooking and eating shrimp that were in the water earlier that day. This week, two shrimp recipes.

1 pound Shrimp (41-50 count), peeled and deveined

Creole Seasoning to taste

1 Lemon, grated zest and juice, in all

3/4 stick Butter

1 pound White Crabmeat

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

4 cloves Garlic, crushed

2 cups Bread Crumbs

2 tablespoons fresh Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh Chives, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Thyme, minced

2 tablespoons fresh Lemon Basil, chopped

1/2 bunch Green Onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups Half-and-Half

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Rinse, drain and lightly season shrimp with Creole seasoning, 1/2 of lemon zest and juice, set aside. Repeat seasoning technique with crabmeat. Melt butter in a skillet, sprinkle with Creole seasoning, cayenne, and garlic. Toss crumbs in butter mixture until lightly toasted. Stir in fresh herbs and set aside. Lightly butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Begin layering the dish with the ingredients, starting with 1/2 of the shrimp followed by a layer of 1/2 of the crabmeat. Top this layer with some of the green onions and breadcrumb mixture. Repeat layering the casserole again, until all of the ingredients are used. You should end with breadcrumbs at the top of the dish. Gently pour half-and-half over top. Bake until top is golden brown, approximately 45 minutes. Serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Jul 192018

Cinnamon has some great medical benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammantory properties and helps lower blood sugar. I also love the taste in many dishes. Here it is in ice cream.

3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 cup Milk

3/4 cup Sugar

1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

4 large Egg Yolks

Combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a heavy, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar  dissolves and the mixture is hot. Remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a medium-size mixing bowl. Slowly add about 1 cup of the cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly until smooth. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the cream mixture, whisking constantly. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the custard to prevent the skim from forming and chill in the refrigerator. Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Jul 162018

It’s really starting to get hot here in Arkansas. One of the best ways to cool off is be eating ice cream. This week, I will share with you two different recipes. Ice cream machines are not expensive. I think every home in the south should have one.

3 cups Sugar, divided

6 large Eggs, slightly beaten

Pinch of Salt

2 quarts Heavy Whipping Cream, divided

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook 2 cups of the sugar, stirring, until it caramelizes and is nicely brown. Remove from heat and set aside. In the top of a double boiler, combine beaten eggs, 1 cup sugar, salt and 1 quart whipping cream. Simmer gently and stir until the custard has thickened. Carefully add the caramelized sugar and stir to blend. Strain and cool. Meanwhile, beat 1 quart whipping cream until slightly thick. Add vanilla to the cooled custard and fold in the beaten whipped cream. Freeze according to ice cream machine’s directions.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!