Cajun Black Bean Soup

Whenever I’m home, I always make time to visit one of my favorite grocery stores to stock up on local staples. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine to sneak away from the family and traipse down the aisles collecting food stuff I can’t find in Atlanta and discovering new homegrown goodies. When we stay with my in-laws in Kenner, my typical stops are Dorignac’s, Zuppardo’s and Langenstein’s. These are the old guards of family-owned, neighborhood grocery stores. Crossing the threshold of one of these well-respected establishments is like stepping back in time. The aisles are [ ... ]

Creamy Chicken and Andouille Fettuccine

It all started with chicken and andouille sausage. That dynamic duo that saves many a day in this hectic household. Then there were the unused portions of a couple of sweet peppers, an already-opened carton of heavy cream and an obnoxious amount of late-blooming jalapeños. With a limited amount of time on my hands and just enough determination to pull together a reasonable meal, Creamy Chicken and Andouille Fettuccine was created. It’s a satisfyingly simple and slightly spicy pasta dish that appeals to all the Hogan palates. It’s also a prime example of how the [ ... ]

Grilled Potato Salad with Onions and Jalapeños

Here’s the recipe for the potato salad I made last week to go along with my Grilled Skillet Steak. The potatoes, like the steak, are cooked twice. They are first parboiled then grilled making this side dish just as flavorful and exciting as the main. If you plan on serving the two together like I did, put the potatoes on to boil right before you throw the steaks on the grill. After you remove the steaks from the grill, place a grill pan next to the preheated cast iron skillet and finish both the steaks and the potato medley at [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Garlic Dip

Garlic dip in its simplest form is a block of cream cheese and garlic. As much fresh garlic as you can stand. Back in the early 1970s, when I first mixed those two ingredients together, I knew I had found a finger food for life. I could devour an entire bowl of that dip in one sitting with the help of nothing more than a bag of chips. Or was it a tin of Charles Chips? Oh, and on those occasions when there were no chips to be found, a sleeve of saltine crackers worked [ ... ]

Grilled Skillet Steak

We just returned from our annual Destin trip. We’re so thankful our kids have Fall Break, because otherwise we would not have been able to fit that vacation in this year. And this momma needs her beach time and everything that accompanies it–sun-soaked, lazy days, powdery sand, emerald green waters, fresh Gulf seafood (lots and lots of fresh seafood), cold craft beer, the occasional rum-spiked something or other and a happy hubby and children. In case you’re wondering, September is an awesome time to visit the Florida Gulf Coast. Yes, there are the occasional hurricanes to [ ... ]
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Fried Shrimp

After posting my Boiled Shrimp recipe, one of my devoted readers reached out to me via Twitter asking me to please share my Fried Shrimp secrets with her. I’m so glad she did because I thought I had already posted this one. My Fried Shrimp recipe really should have been one of my initial postings considering most NOLA babies cut their teeth on them–a popular Friday night dinner, local kid’s menu and weekly school lunch item. Finally, here it is. As I’ve written about before, I believe different types of seafood need different batters to not only enhance [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Cheesy Garlic Bread

Now that football season is here, I know many of you are searching for one or two new items to add to your game-day buffet. I think my creamy, cheesy, garlic bread would be a perfect addition because it can fill a variety of voids. Need another finger food? Cheesy Garlic Bread holds its own as a meatless French bread pizza. How about a bread side to compliment your Creole-Italian themed menu? My recipe’s a tricked out version of the traditional garlic bread accompaniment. In search of a little something to help your guests [ ... ]

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

My kids have been back in school for only a month now and I’m already struggling with school snacks. Mind you, all three are beyond designated snack times. But to get them through their long days, I need to stash their lunch bags with extra food. Since they have already grown tired of my old faithfuls–turkey jerky, cheese sticks and nuts–I started making one scratch sweet a week. Nothing too over the top. Last week, I made two batches of my Three Ingredient Muffins (I have 3 kids and a midnight-snacking husband; they go fast). This week I jumped on [ ... ]

Boiled Shrimp

A seafood boil is a culinary tradition we carry out every chance we get. It’s a casual outdoor cooking event where we boil mass quantities of fresh seafood, sausage and vegetables in huge pots of highly seasoned water. When the cooking’s done, we usually spread everything out on a large table lined with newspaper and invite everyone to roll up their sleeves, grab a cold beer and dig in. We plan seafood boils for everything from christenings and birthdays to graduations and wedding rehearsal dinners. We also have boils to celebrate holidays and cheer on our [ ... ]

Crab and Corn Bisque

While a warm bowl of bisque may not appeal to many of you this time of year, I can’t think of a better way to bring together two of the summer’s most appealing ingredients, Louisiana blue crab and corn. Each serving just screams, “ Sweet sunshine!” And if you already have some rich seafood stock socked away, it will come together quickly. Like most soups, this Crab and Corn Bisque will improve in the fridge for a day or two. And because it can be successfully frozen, I highly recommend doubling the recipe so a few months down [ ... ]
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