Thursday, March 26, 2009

Uncommonly Easy Guacamole Dip

I love guacamole dip, but my husband and I are not fond of raw onion or garlic. This my version of guacamole, which is an easy recipe that can be made quickly in a food processor. Add all the onion and garlic that your heart desires, but this is delicious just as it is, and with no annoying aftertaste.

Easy Guacamole Dip

3 ripe avacados, peeled
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve with chips

Saturday, March 21, 2009


This is a combination of two recipes from Cajun and Creole Cooking, a cookbook I purchased recently. One of the authors is William Paul, AKA Colonel Paul of Colonel Paul's Seasonings. He lives here in Birmingham and is married to Jennifer, a very dear nurse friend of mine. His spices are available in grocery stores locally and also online. I am wild for the Creole Spice, which is an important ingredient in this recipe. There is a little bit of prep involved for this, but it is well worth it!

(Adapted from Colonel Paul's Cajun Jambalaya and New Orleans Creole Jambalaya)

3 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced and quartered
2 tbsp Cajun/Creole seasoning, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 tbsp Worchestershire
1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled

In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the chicken and sausage together with 1/2 tbsp of Cajun/Creole seasoning until browned. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and 1/2 tbsp Cajun/Creole seasoning to the skillet and sauté until soft.

In a large pot, combine the meat cooked vegetables, and chicken broth. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the rice, Worchestershire sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and 1 tbsp Cajun/Creole seasoning. Bring back to a boil, being careful to stir so the rice will not stick to the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and stir.Continue to cook as needed until the rice is done. Turn heat down to low and add shrimp, cooking until shrimp is pink.

Yield: 6 servings

Chop sausage and chicken. (I used Conecuh brand sausage and it was delicious)

Chop onion, bell pepper, and celery:

Cook chicken and sausage with seasoning until browned:

Sauté vegetables and seasoning until tender:

Add remaining ingredients except for the shrimp and cook until the rice is done. Add shrimp and cook on low heat only until pink. Don't overcook the rice or the shrimp!

I served this with slaw and homemade dill rolls. It is also delicious the next day, if there is actually any left.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti

Today I was in the mood for chicken spaghetti but didn't have any particular recipe to follow. I have eaten chicken spaghetti many times but have never actually made it. So I perused the web and did my own adaptation from a combination of several recipes. I also wanted to use ingredients I already had. The Rotel tomatoes will give it a kick. You can certainly use regular canned tomatoes if you would rather. Other additions that would be good are green bell pepper, mushrooms, and black olives. You can easily tailor make it to your own preference.

Chicken Spaghetti

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 oz spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained well
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Cook spaghetti in boiling water until cooked al dente.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion and celery in butter until tender. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream of chicken soup, tomatoes, sour cream, Worchestershire, and parmesan cheese. Add drained spaghetti, onion, and celery. Pour into a greased baking dish and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Yield: about 6 servings

Chop onion and celery and sauté in butter until tender.

Stir together chicken, sour cream, soup, Worchestershire, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. (I would use a larger bowl than this. It will give more room for the spaghetti).

Cook spaghetti until done, then drain and add to the chicken mixture.

Pour into a greased baking dish:

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

The result is creamy and delicious.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


We woke up this morning to this beautiful blanket of snow. Since we rarely get snow here, we are always excited when this happens. Not only was our yard covered with it, but the sky was still spilling huge snowflakes everywhere.

We got out and drove around. This is our yard from the street.

Fortunately our driveway wasn't icy.

This is Izzy. I brought her home last July after I found her abandoned at a park where I walk. This is her first snow.

She enjoyed it, too.
I made pepperoni bread and we watched a movie by a roaring fire. I am going to bake brownies in a little while.

Getting snowed in isn't so bad.