Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cajun Garlic Bread

This is a simple non-fat garlic bread recipe for diabetics.
Cajun Garlic Bread

  • 1 French bread, whole wheat
  • 1 cup Italian dressing, oil free
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • parsley flakes; optional

Using a blender, blend the dressing, paprika and garlic well. Brush mixture on the bread and sprinkle parsley on top.  You can heat the garlic bread in the oven at about 250 F. for a few minutes to serve it piping hot.

Bon Appetite!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Simple Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

This simple buttermilk cornbread recipe can become a base for all of the variations mentioned below once you get the hang of it.

The world is full of cornbread recipes like Mexican cornbread, Cajun cornbread with onions and creamed corn, cornbread with cheese, cornbread with cooked ground beef and cheese... the list goes on, but when you want an easy method check out this simple buttermilk cornbread recipe.

Remember, the more moisture in the cornbread batter, the longer it's going to take to cook. That just makes sense.

Some folks like to turn up the heat to around 450 degrees F. to get the job done more quickly. This method is fine and it does save time, especially when you have to serve a bunch of people in a hurry--like deer hunters at a campsite.

When the high heat method of baking cornbread is used, the cook must be more vigilant and pay close attention to the process.

If you want your cornbread to taste a little better, on the other hand, try baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. 

When baking, check the cornbread occasionally and keep your eye on the crust. When the crust begins to turn a golden brown it's an indication that most of the moisture has cooked out of the bread. 

Remove the finished cornbread from the hot oven and set aside to cool before serving.


  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 

    1. mix well all of the above ingredients together, except the buttermilk
    2. while stirring, slowly add enough buttermilk (about a cup or more) to the mix until a thick batter is attained
    3. pour the batter in your favorite vessel and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour or until the crust begins to turn a golden-brown
    4. cut cornbread into 6 - 8 equal size servings.
    Note: I don't usually measure how much buttermilk I add to my cornbread. It's a little different for me each time.I merely add a small amount at the time while stirring briskly until it reaches the right consistency. Think of a volcano and how the thick melted lava slowly flows downhill. That is the consistency that I look for. Also, when I make cornbread in a cast iron skillet I will preheat it to about 350 degrees in the oven before I pour the batter.

    Another example of the right consistency is when you load a tablespoon full of the cornbread batter and turn it upside down it will not drop, but if you tilt the spoonful on its side, it will slowly pour out.

    Tip: If you don't have buttermilk on hand go HERE to find a few substitutes.

    Bon appetite! Enjoy.

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    Monday, February 23, 2015

    The Power of Antioxidants

    Free radicals are the culprits which work to diminish our health, say the medical experts who profess the power of antioxidants and the many benefits we receive by consuming foods on a daily basis which are high in antioxidants..

    Apart from comparing "free radicals” to the ones who are unfortunately in control of the highest offices in our government, who I think are also working to diminish our health, the ones I speak of here are the kinds which invade our bodies and stresses the oxidation process in our cells.

    That, the experts say, is the reason why we don’t live as long as we could live, and the reason for a long list of illnesses and diseases which are driving us to an early grave.

    Not to fret. We can certainly do something about these menacing malefactors.

    First, we can vote out the political free radicals in the next election; secondly, we can destroy the ones which are causing havoc to our bodies by simply eating the right kinds of foods.

    However, the question is how much of the right foods do we need to eat to get the biggest antioxidant bang for our buck?

    USDA Releases List of Top Antioxidant Foods

    Here is a list of common foods which are high in antioxidants:

    List of 20 Best Foods High in Antioxidants (In the list below, the foods antioxidant power is given as per their serving sizes.)

    Scientists at the USDA have developed a rating scale that measures the antioxidant content of various natural plant foods. The scale is called ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.

     1.   Beans/Legumes, Red Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,727
     2.   Fruit, Wild Blueberry - 1 cup = 13,427
     3.   Beans, Red Kidney Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,259
     4.   Beans/Legumes, Pinto Beans - Half cup = 11,864
     5.   Fruit, Blueberry  - 1 cup = 9,019
     6.   Fruit, Cranberry - 1 cup (whole) = 8,983
     7.   Vegetable, Artichoke (cooked) - 1 cup (hearts) = 7,904
     8.   Fruit, Blackberry - 1 cup = 7,701
     9.   Fruit, Prune - Half cup = 7,291
    10.  Fruit, Raspberry - 1 cup = 6,058
    11.  Fruit, Strawberry - 1 cup = 5,938
    12.  Fruit, Red Delicious Apple - One = 5,900
    13.  Fruit, Granny Smith Apple - One = 5,381
    14.  Nut, Pecan - 1 ounce = 5,095
    15.  Fruit, Sweet Cherry - 1 cup = 4,873
    16.  Fruit, Black Plum - One = 4,844
    17. Vegetable, Russet Potato (cooked) - One = 4,649
    18.  Beans/Legumes, Black Beans (dried) - Half cup = 4,181
    19.  Fruit, Plum - One = 4,118
    20.  Fruit, Gala Apple - One = 3,903
    * USDA recommends consuming foods containing at least 3,000 ORAC units a day.

    Bon Appetite!
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    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Cast-iron Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Flavored Purple Hull Peas and Hamburger

    Garden fresh purple hull peas cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a couple slices of hickory-smoked bacon (drippings included) makes the best pot liquor imaginable--especially when about 1/2 lb. of fresh ground beef and your favorite Cajun seasonings are added to the pot.


    • 3 cups fresh purple hull peas, culled and rinsed
    • 2 slices hickory-smoked bacon, fried and crumbled (save drippings)
    • water, (enough to cover peas)
    • 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
    • 1 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
    • salt and pepper to taste


    1. In a large cast iron skillet, crispy-fry 2 strips of hickory-smoked bacon
    2. Remove bacon strips and set aside to crumble up after cooling down
    3. In the same skillet, brown the 1/2 lb. of ground beef in the bacon drippings
    4. Add the crumbled bacon bits
    5. Next, stir-in the fresh peas and coat them well
    6. Braise the peas and meats on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding water
    7. Slowly add 2 cups of water and stir well (you will add more water later when needed)
    8. Add all of the dry seasonings and Colgin Liquid Smoke, stir and mix well
    9. Cover with lid and continue cooking on medium heat until peas are tender--about an hour. 
    10. Stir occasionally. Add a small amount of water at the time as needed.

    This delicious side dish can be prepared in a 12" cast iron skillet (with lid) entirely on medium or lower heat in about an hour. One of the good things about using cast-iron cookware is the even heat distribution (for slow and low cooking).

    Simmer the peas, stirring every few minutes--adding a small amount of water now and then to compensate for evaporation. Keep just enough water to barely cover the peas. 

    It is important to note that cast-iron pots and pans are not ideal for storing the foods which are cooked in them. To avoid a metallic taste, or darkened peas, remove them from the pot and add them into another vessel as soon as practical.

    This simple meal can be served as a side-dish, or over cooked rice. Bon Appetit!

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    Spicy Cajun Chow Chow with Onions and Peppers

    The warning of an early frost in our area compelled me to pick all of the green and unripened tomatoes from my garden. I harvested about 10 lbs. and used the larger ones to slice, bread and freeze for fried green tomatoes later on. The rest was allocated to making a fresh batch of green tomato relish, or as some Cajuns refer to it, 'chow chow'. The tomatoes, bell peppers and onions were coarsely chopped by hand, while the other vegetables were chopped using a food processor.

    This recipe will show you how to make a hotter and spicier than normal relish. If you would like to tone down the heat of this chow chow recipe, remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper pods before chopping and adding it to the pot.

    • 4 lbs. green tomatoes (about 12 cups), coarsely chopped
    • 4 medium to large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
    • 4 med. bell peppers, (green and red), coarsely chopped
    • 4 cups jalapeno peppers (with seeds), finely chopped
    • 2 cups of celery, finely chopped
    • 4 cups sugar
    • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 2 Tbs. mustard seeds
    • 1 Tbs. celery seeds
    • 1 Tbs salt


    1. cut-up tomatoes and vegetables according to recipe
    2. add all ingredients into a large (non-reactive) pot and stir well
    3. on medium heat bring mixture to a boil
    4. continue boiling for 2 1/2 hours on med. heat, stirring occasionally
    5. sterilize 8 pint size jars
    6. fill each jar to the top with relish
    7. place the jar lid on top of each jar
    8. clean the area around the lid with a damp sponge
    9. screw lid covers on jar and allow to cool before storing
      Makes 7 - 8 pints.

      This Cajun-style tomato relish goes great with Fried Catfish Nuggets.

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