A Tony Chachere’s Knock-off

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

While I’m not Catholic, I am a lover of all things New Orleans- related (and I happen to be a native of Mobile, Alabama, the original home of Mardi Gras in America — little known fact).   :)

I took this picture on a trip to NOLA.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, I enjoyed many fabulous and unique types of cuisine, including Cajun food.  And I love Cajun food.  So today I wanted to bring you the recipe for a cheap, easy, and excellent addition to most any kind of food: Cajun seasoning (this is a Tony Chachere’s knock-off, in case you had your suspicions).

See what I did there?  Mardi Gras… New Orleans…great food…Cajun food… Cajun seasoning.  It’s a tangled and slightly opportunistic web of blog topics, so try to stay with me.

This seasoning is great on seafood, steak, chicken, sautéed vegetables, as a part of pasta sauce, and… the list goes on.  It already has salt in it, so it saves you a few extra prep steps (my favorite thing to do is sprinkle it on both sides of a catfish or tilapia filet — so good).

Here’s how to make it…

Combine the following in a bowl:

  • 1 T salt
  • 1 1/2 T cayenne pepper
  • 2  T paprika
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 T celery seed
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T thyme
Put in a jar and shake or lightly whisk in a bowl until the cayenne pepper (all the red stuff) is evenly distributed.  That’s it!
In this particular recipe I used dried spices and herbs, but if you have the fresh stuff, use those by all means — just remember the 1 to 3 ratio: 1 teaspoon of dried seasonings to 3 teaspoons of fresh seasonings.
Happy Mardi Gras!

I found a cool, new website

So, the other day it was almost dinnertime and I was struck by many different conundra (that’s plural for conundrum) including, but not limited to:

  • hunger
  • increasing hunger
  • lack of food in the fridge and pantry
  • the lack of desire to go out to eat
  • the lack of desire to go to the grocery store
  • the lack of desire to order delivery (again)

It was an Eeyore kind of evening.  Fortunately, I did not lack the desire to cook (very fortunately), but due to conundra #4 (lack of food), I didn’t have many options.  I had turkey bacon, a pack of crescent rolls, and some leftover boursin cheese.  And water… which hardly constitutes a side item.  Yeah, I hadn’t been to the grocery store in a while.

So, I Googled “turkey bacon recipes” and, that’s when I came across My Fridge Food, a user-driven website where you input whatever ingredients you have (however few) and they generate recipe options for you!

As I mentioned before, the website is user-driven, so the number of recipes is constantly growing.  And because it is user-driven, some of the recipes are fabulous, others are lacking.  However, users are able to leave comments, and  this feedback can be helpful if you’re on the fence of whether or not to use a certain recipe.  If you register as a user (it’s free), you can comment on and submit recipes to your heart’s content!

The website’s main page has a few staples that a lot of people tend to have in their fridges.  You can check the boxes next to the items you have and search, or you can do a more detailed kitchen search (which has more food choices).  Another plus about this website is that it lists the fat, carbs, calories, and protein content of each recipe!

After doing a search for bacon, here is one of the more exciting things I found:

Bacon Bowls

Bacon in bowl form.  That shouldn’t even be legal.

Now, as I said, this website has a lot of great recipe options, but I decided to use it more as a jumping off point rather than stick to the letter of the recipe (and I didn’t have lettuce or tomatoes, so I couldn’t do the cute BLT bacon bowl thing featured in the pic).  However, I was captivated by the concept of a bacon bowl (yeah, captivated).

So… I took those crescent rolls, rolled each one up with a little dollop of boursin cheese on the inside and stuffed each into a muffin tin lined with a piece pf bacon and cooked it on 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes.  In short, I made bacon wrapped, boursin cheese stuffed crescent rolls (the jury is still out on the legality of such a delectable combination).  And unsurprsingly, they were delicious.  And ridiculous.  Nay, they were deliculous. 


awesome camera phone pic courtesy of Josh

Kind of cute, too.  And all thanks to the inspiration I got from MyFridgeFood.com!

Here’s another simple recipe I’ve had my eye on:

Apple Cheddar English Muffin

Apple Cheddar English Muffins — I always have these three ingredients, and everyone says apples and cheddar cheese are a winning combination, though I’ve never tried it together.  (Anyone tried this combo before?)

So, not all of the recipes are super fancy, exciting stuff, but sometimes it inspires you (like it did with me) and helps you to creatively use what you may already have lying around.  And consequentially, save money (and you know I like that part).

Go check it out:  MyFridgeFood.com.

And then form strips of bacon into cups and bake them in muffin tins.  I mean, how could that be wrong?

Other food related posts:

Teresa’s Potato Cheese Soup

Easy Chocolate Truffles

In Praise of Restaurant.com

National Soup Month: Teresa’s Potato Cheese Soup

National Soup Month strikes again.  And by again, I mean all month long.  Because hey, it’s January… and that’s National Soup Month!

(Please contain your excitement, I can hear your cyber squeals from here. )

This week’s soupy-soup recipe installment comes from…

Who do we talk about all the time around here?

No, not the dogs… they can’t cook, silly.  They don’t even have opposable thumbs!

No, not Josh either… he does have opposable thumbs, but not so much on the cooking skills (though they’re improving — it’s a New Year’s resolution of his).

No, not this guy either….

(That is totally a picture of Josh in a 70’s disco fro and ‘stache!  Yes!!!)

Nope.  The contributor of today’s recipe is…



(I get in trouble every time I post this picture, so relish the moment.  It won’t come around again for a while.)  :)

I know, I know, no big surprise.  As you may remember, she was also the contributor for last week’s soup recipe:  Teresa’s Clam “Chowder”  (the quotation marks being essential).

As with everything my mother makes, this soup is DELICIOUS… and as with most everything Southern women make, it. is. rich. (However, no sticks of butter were harmed in the making of this soup.)

Here’s a handy-dandy 4″ X 6″ recipe card for your Pinning or printing pleasure.

potato cheese soup recipe card

Better yet, here’s a far superior MS Word doc (far superior = more printer friendly):  Potato cheese soup recipe card doc

Hope you enjoy!!!


You might also enjoy trying…

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Teresa’s Clam “Chowder”

National Soup Month: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Hey y’all, did you know it was National Soup Month?! 

Yeah, me neither.  Until I Googled “January holidays,” of course.

Full disclosure:  I like to plan my blog posts a month at a time.  Yes, sometimes something comes up and I change my original course, but typically I stick to the calendar.  Hoping to fill a few slots in January’s plan, I Googled “January holidays” and found this website.  There are the more obvious New Year’s Day and MLK, Jr. Day, but there are also the more obscure (and mostly un-celebrated) Fruitcake Toss Day (January 3rd),  Houseplant Appreciation Day (January 10th), and Bubble Bath Day (January 8th), as well as MANY others.  One of my fave finds was National Soup Month!

(January is also host to National Bath Safety Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, Hot Tea Month, and National Oatmeal Month… in case you were curious.)

The excitement of this find was further reinforced by the fact that on the day I found it, the wind chill in Brooklyn was about 6 degrees.

Yeah, we ALL needed some soup.

So, I decided I would observe said holiday and introduce you to some tried, tested, and GPP-approved soup recipes!

Today’s recipe is sort of a copycat version of La Madeleine’s tomato soup.  It’s not necessarily their exact recipe, but darn close and absolutely delicious.  It is also very affordable to make, and because of the dairy products in it, is is very filling on its own (but feel free to add the obligatory peanut butter crackers or grilled cheese sandwich, if you want!).  You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream, but definitely expect a big difference in taste and consistency (read: not nearly as good).

I’ve made it into a 4″ X 6″ recipe card for your Pinning or printing pleasure.  Hope you enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


You might also enjoy:

New Year’s Libations

Birthday Freebies (Food!)

In Praise of Restaurant.com