Archive for the Category » Christmas «

Fudge Pie

Before I decided that I didn’t like to bake, I baked a lot. Weird. I know. But true. Since I did not come from a strong line of bakers or sweets makers, it was a surefire way of finding my place in the whole family cooking hierarchy. And as a teen, I loved the attention and praise I received whenever I showed up at a family function with dessert in hand. One early success that garnered many oohs and ahhs was my Fudge Pie. Looking back, I think the Fudge Pie was a [ ... ]

Pecan Pie Bars

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting much lately. These past few months have been very hectic for me and my family. But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to share all the particulars with you soon. For now, though, I’m focusing on Thanksgiving and am working hard to make sure it’s a fun-filled and stress-free week for my crew–Lord knows we all need one. I plan on transitioning into the holiday mode this weekend by making one of my kids’ favorite fall treats–Pecan Pie Bars (a recipe I [ ... ]

Oysters Rockefeller Turnovers

Oysters are extremely delicious this time of year–especially those sweet, lightly briny Louisiana Gulf Oysters. If you’re looking for something impressive and easy to pull together this New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, try these turnovers. They’re perfectly portioned riffs on the classic Oysters Rockefeller less the time and mess associated with shucking your own. These turnovers can be pulled together quickly with a pint of shucked oysters and a package of frozen puff pastry. They can also be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving. Oh, and they reheat nicely too. [ ... ]

Standing Rib Roast

As I’ve mentioned in posts past, our Christmas dinners are basically encore presentations of Thanksgiving where turkey takes center stage, a sweet and savory glazed ham fills the supporting role and the always reliable cast and crew of traditional trimmings and seasonal sweets backs up the meal. But for some, including many of my friends, nothing says “special holiday dinner” more than a show-stopping cut of beef like a rack of prime rib. I’ve prepared many a prime rib roast (also known as a standing rib roast) in my day. Next to boiled crawfish, it is the [ ... ]

Cream of Mushroom Soup

If you’re anything like me, you always have a couple of cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup lurking in your pantry. It’s a staple that’s particularly important this time of year when many of us turn to “Umm, Umm Good” ingredients like those to complete time-honored holiday recipes. Until recently, I couldn’t imagine making Green Bean Casserole, a Shrimp Mold or Mock Oyster Dip without it. Then one day I decided, “Enough with the canned stuff!” And I began working on my own recipe. Here are three reasons why you should try it: Making Cream of Mushroom Soup from scratch [ ... ]

Mom’s Holiday Ham

This is my mom’s holiday ham recipe. This amazing ham has been an important part of every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner I’ve been fortunate enough to share with my family. So you can imagine my surprise last week when I called my mom with a recipe instruction question only to find out that she no longer prepares her ham this way (unfortunately, I haven’t had a holiday meal at mom’s house in a couple of years so I wasn’t aware of this little fact). She said more recently, she’s been buying the spiral cut hams [ ... ]

A Besh Box and Grilled Shrimp with Vanilla Bean and Pecan Pesto

For Christmas, the hubby surprised me with a special gift–a Besh Box.  I was reading up on this latest endeavor by Chef John Besh in the weeks preceding Christmas and was contemplating buying one myself. But I don’t recall ever mentioning that to Larry. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, by his perfect gift-giving abilities. After 20 years together, the man can pretty much read my mind. He also follows the New Orleans food scene almost as closely as I do and knows that any food-related or New Orleans-inspired gift rocks my world. So this Besh Box is really cool. It’s basically [ ... ]

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller is one of those legendary New Orleans French-Creole dishes that has wowed locals and visitors alike since 1899. The dish was created back then by chef and restaurateur Jules Alciatore of Antoine’s Restaurant to replace and somewhat mimic the restaurant’s popular Escargots a la Bourguignonne due to a shortage of French snails. The dish was named after the affluent John D. Rockefeller because of its profoundly rich sauce. Although Antoine’s has never divulged its secret recipe, fifth-generation proprietor Roy Guste, Jr. devised a variation of the same to include in his cookbook, The 100 [ ... ]

Andouille, Spinach-Mushroom and Brie Bread Pudding

Do you all realize there are only two Thursdays between now and Thanksgiving?  How did that happen?  Why isn’t Thanksgiving on November 29, instead of November 22?  I’m well aware of the fourth Thursday of November tradition, but we’re losing an entire week here!  Can’t we buck the system just once?  For that reason alone, I’m glad I’m not hosting dinner this year.  That takes some pressure off.  But I still need to make two side dishes that can be prepared in advance and travel well (as in 500 miles well) or that can be made with little time and [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Deli Pistolettes

Have you all missed me?  I’ve certainly missed you.  The pass few weeks have been challenging.  First there were all those renovations which, by the way, are not completely done but far enough along to bring some level of normalcy back to the Hogan residence. From there, I found myself ushering repairmen and furniture deliverers out and weekend company in for a 50th Anniversary party I was hosting for my wonderful in-laws.  Then my dearest grandmother, my last living grandparent and the matriarch of our family passed away.  So I dropped everything and abandoned my house guests to fly [ ... ]
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