Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Weekend Crawfish Boil

The Bassman loves crawfish and has long wanted to have a crawfish boil.  It's near the end of the season for them so this past weekend was the perfect time!  

All the how-to-boil-crawfish directions can be pretty intimidating and this is something that we didn't just want to do a small batch.  Well, I guess you could, but when you have 6 or 8 other family members that love 'em too, we can't go small!!

We are far enough north of the gulf that it can be difficult to find a provider of live crawfish.  Yes, they must be alive before you boil them.  And when you do find a provider, they may be sold out especially on a holiday weekend.   Our favorite place to get fresh gulf shrimp is at Waddell's Seafood and they have live crawfish too.   So now that we found a provider, it's a 25 minute drive to go get them!   On second thought, that's not a bad drive if we can't make it to Louisiana....

The big batch here is 17 lbs of live crawfish.

In a big tub, we rinsed and culled the dead ones.  We only had to toss a few out of that big bag!

Here's the fixins.  Small red potatoes, onion, garlic, lemon, andouille, Old Bay seasoning, shrimp and crab boil, Tony Cacheres Cajun seasoning, red pepper, ice cold drink of choice and sunglasses, of course. 

(Not pictured:  sunscreen for me, ha ha!)

The Bassman was able to have a seat and call a friend while waiting on the water to boil.  Actually, with that cooker, it didn't take as long as we thought.  Time does fly while we're having fun!

All the other crawfish lovers were hanging out on the pier.

They're ready, along with some shrimp.  And we did it like the cajuns say to...pour 'em out on the table!  I managed to hold everybody back to get a picture, we were all so hungry.

Everybody filled their plates.

And after a plateful, we all ended up standing and grazing around the table.   It was just easier!

I forgot to get a picture of our flag, but here's a little red, white and blue! 

It was a great weekend at the lake, everyone enjoyed the crawfish and shrimp boil!  This may become an annual family tradition for us.   The Bassman did good!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PW Restaurant Style Salsa

It's time to make the Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa.  It's one of the May selections for the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club.   I have a very good salsa recipe that I use when fresh tomatoes are available.   The stuff in the jar is nothing to write home about, so I was looking forward to trying this.

I don't have a food processor, so I put that humongous-counter-space-hog Margaritaville machine to use for another purpose.  And it's going to be full!

Add the Rotel.  I used 2 cans of Original.

Add the pretty greens and garlic.

Add onion too.  Yep, it's very full. 

Full to the brim!

I'm not waiting an hour to sample this.

The scoops work best since I like a lot of salsa on my chip and less on my chin or shirt or lap!

I took this to the beach and everyone snacked on it and commented how good it was.  I made another batch and took it to my neice's graduation celebration and everyone there enjoyed it too!  Everyone was amazed it was made from canned tomatoes.

It is good!  No more salsa in the jar at my house!

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The Beach and Boiled Peanut Tradition

It's a tradition.  We go to the gulf coast every summer.   It's also a tradition for us to stop at a fruit and vegetable stand on the way and grab some boiled green peanuts.  The last time we stopped at the fruit and "vegy" stand in Florida.  So no one has room to talk about poor education in Alabama! 

We also stop on the way back and get some to boil at home.  It's easy.  Here's some instructions at Southern Plate if you're interested.  

But I'm wondering about the dark ones.  Have these been frozen?  Possibly.  It is a little early in the year for green peanuts fresh from the field. 

I used the cup of salt as called for in the recipe and not quite as much water.  They turned out too salty, but still edible.

One hour later...

But not quite 3 hours later we turned off the heat.  My daughter didn't want them to be real soft.

Time to test them and see if they're like we like 'em.

The dark ones were as good as the light colored ones.  

I eat a few of these and then I'm done.  The Bassman and our daughters love them and eat the rest!

This is one of the few pictures of the beach and ocean that I took this year.  If you look through the railing you might be able to see it (stand on your tippy toes if it helps). 

These two were enjoying a break from classes and went to the Hangout Music Festival

The huge fried crab claws, seafood salad and blackened shrimp poboy at Cafe Palm Breeze are wonderful.  We also enjoy eating at the Shrimp Basket and the Original Oyster House

Oh, and just so you know that I really don't eat all the time, I did teach myself to crochet while I was there! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

PW Pistachio Cake

Dessert is not something that I make around my house very often.  When I do, it's usually for one of our larger family gatherings so there are not as many leftovers to tempt me!

The Pioneer Woman's Pistachio Cake was one of our April recipes at The Sweet As Pie Cooking Club.  With 2 potlucks to attend in one week, I had the perfect opportunity for this cake! 

It has only a few simple ingredients.

If you like to celebrate St Patrick's Day, Easter, etc. with food and a color scheme, this would work for that too.  Look at the green!

...and orange

The bundt pan had me on my hands and knees!  It was WAY back in the back of the cabinet.  But it's getting some use now.

Once the chocolate mixture was poured on top, I wondered if my cake would have that nice chocolate circle in the middle that it is supposed to have.  Hmmm....

My oven sometimes tends to brown things quickly when there's still some time left to bake.  I suppose it's really the pan that causes that.  I took it out 5 minutes short of the suggested cooking time, did the toothpick test, it was done.

Ah, there it is, that chocolate circle!   This cake is so moist and yummy.

So off we went to potluck #1.   And would you believe only half a slice of this cake was eaten! 


I noticed other cakes were ignored too.  But they were store bought and so that doesn't surprise me.    What was popular was the cobblers and berry pies.  So I wrapped up my cake and a couple of days later off we went to potluck #2.  A slice or two was eaten this time.  Several desserts were saved for some other event that was going on so I donated the remainder of the cake. 

I have no idea if it was eaten!

Linking with Sweet As Pie Cooking Club

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tasty Creations

The month of May suddenly got very busy and it's been a while since I've visited any blogs or even my own!  

Now to catch up a bit.  A while ago, I talked about being a blogger groupie and I was pleased to met a couple of cookbook authors. 

Well, it happened again.   Not a blogger but a cookbook author. 

Recently I went to "Ladies Night Out" in my hometown.   I saw lots of people that I haven't seen in a long time (except on Facebook) but only had an hour to shop and enjoy this event. 

I met the author of Tasty Creations, Margaret F. Gamble.  She was very pleasant to talk to and told me how her cookbook came to be.   Her mother prepared dishes for events at the historic Larimore House in Florence, AL.  She wanted to preserve her mom's history of cooking and recipes that she herself had developed over the years for her family.  As I flipped through the book, I saw several recipes that I recognized and some that I didn't.  I decided to get the book because she was a local author and the recipes looked good. 

Now the funny thing is we had the same color hair, top, and pants!

Then for Mother's Day, I received Emeril's Sizzling Skillets and Other One Pot Wonders  but I didn't get to meet Emeril.  At least not yet!

And if this continues, I will be as big as the side of a barn!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PW Chicken Parmesan

Gather the family up because Chicken Parmesan is on the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club menu!   I was excited to try this already and was even more excited after reading Kristin's post at  Life is So-Kool .  She said they had searched for a good Chicken Parm recipe and this one is kool! 

Finally, all the college students that come in and out of my house were going to be in on the same night and I thought everyone would enjoy this.  And we did!

The PW pounded the chicken thin, but I chose to slice each breast in two with a sharp knife.  I do this pretty much any time we have boneless chicken breasts because they are ususally HUGE! 

Add the chicken to the melted butter and olive oil.  I skipped the flour dredge, not necessary in my opinion.  That one breast is still too big!

The Bassman had started the dreaded task of opening the pool and had just settled into his comfy recliner when I asked him to open the wine.  But he didn't mind.  And you can see there's MORE strawberries there in the background.  I just can't believe how good they have been this spring...unfortunately that is the last local basket until next year!

While he opened the wine, I started on the grated parmesan cheese.   I have converted from the stuff in the container to the wedge in the deli cheese section.  It is hard to find in my Publix so did everybody in town convert?  

The chicken is done...

And I had lots of this...

Get over it and move on to the onions, garlic and wine!  I was a little concerned that since I skipped the flour dredge there wouldn't be many browned flavor crumbs on the bottom of the pan, but there was plenty.

Add the tomatoes and simmer.

While that's simmering, prepare asparagus for roasting and steam the broccoli.  We love it.

By now the family has circled through the kitchen grabbing at the pile of cheese!  Add the chicken back into the pan and top with cheese. 

Now everybody wash up, it's time to eat!  

Thanks to Kristin and her hubby, for this selection!  This is good!


Linking with the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pet Parade

Here are a few four legged sightings around our house over the years.   My daughters love guinea pigs and they have turned out to be good pets for us.  Your experience may vary though!  Otherwise, we're pretty much cat and dog lovers with an occasional fish or turtle passing through.

Sandi, the best guinea pig ever

Max and Miles

Will you be my friend?
Trevor, the royal heiness
Socks soaking up the sun
Socks checking out the turtle

Yes, that's a real bird teasing the cat!

Cupcake, she's 12.  I call her old woman.

And Cocoa (not pictured), she is very hyper and won't be still long enough for me to get a photo (and it's been raining lately)!

These four legged friends are linking up with:

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