Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Buttas!

Brushing the Chicken with Olive Oil

Lauren chopping up the sage and rosemary for the chicken!

Time to eat!

Mary's acorn squash!
Cornbread Stuffing

Green bean casserole

Our Thanksgiving Crew! Our special guests included Sally's Mom, Blanche's Mom, Meredith's sister - Lauren, & Mary!

Blanche & Sally with their mamas!

Lauren, Meredith & Lauren!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Turkey Day! Stuff yourselves with stuffing!

This is the recipe for Mama Butta's cornbread stuffing! Although Mama B would claim it got a little too crispy it was a hit and loved by all - Hope you enjoy!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Cornbread Stuffing

1 black iron skillet of cornbread, any recipe (I usually use Jiffy)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage (whatever flavor you prefer)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup melted butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon creole seasoning or Lawry's
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint oysters, drained and chopped (optional)
1 package Pepperidge Farm herb dressing

Make cornbread ahead of time by your favorite recipe in your iron skillet. Saute bell pepper, celery and onions with the sausage. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bake in a 450 degree oven, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the crust is brown on top. This will serve 12 amply!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Butta Thanksgiving

We had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with our butta friends and family!

Our menu included:

Sour Cream Drop Biscuits

Macaroni and Cheese

The Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole

Acorn Squash Casserole (this dish was amazing!! will have to steal the recipe from our dear friend, Mary Keenan!)

Cornbread Dressing

Baked Chicken We used the same simple, simple recipe that we have made before. We make this chicken often because it is THAT good! And soo easy. Our thanksgiving was a great example of adding fresh herbs, this particular night we used fresh basil and rosemary.

The Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie

The other recipes and lots of pictures will be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Give Thanks!

Tonight the buttas are going to celebrate Thanksgiving! We've invited friends and the buttas have made their favorite dishes: mac and cheese, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, sour cream drop biscuits, chicken breast (saving the turkey for next week, and more! Stay tuned for pictures of our wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

We are so thankful for all of our readers (the few that are out there!), our friendship and fellowship we have made through these Tuesday night get-togethers, and most importantly Mama Butta and her taking the time to meet with us and pass along so many great lessons, not always about cooking, that we will treasure!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hola! - Fajitas Night

The buttas have been experimenting more and more with cooking - all due to the courage Mama B has given us!

Some of our meals may be on the fancier side for a single gal cooking for herself or a few friends. So here is a meal that the buttas made on their own with simple, easy ingredients. Everyone loves a simple go to meal!!

Fajitas! We took pictures when we made this but they are lost on someone's camera. Here is what you need:

pkg. McCormick® Fajita Seasoning Mix
2 tbsp. oil, divided
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless beef sirloin, cut into ½-inch strips
1 medium onion, cut into thin strips
1 medium bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup water
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
Assorted Toppings: Shredded Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream, Guacamole or Sliced Tomatoes

HEAT 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat; cook and stir 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes. Return meat to skillet.

STIR in water and Seasoning Mix. Cook and stir 3 minutes or until heated through.

SPOON into warm tortillas. Serve with toppings, if desired.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tipful Tuesday: The Trinity

Mama Butta gives us many tips that are so helpful to beginners in the kitchen. Lots of blogs do themed days - so I figured why not let Mama Butta's helpful tips be a weekly piece of advice to you

so.... introducing TIPFUL TUESDAY!!

The Creole Trinity - onions, green bell pepper and celery

This is a basic combination used for many creole dishes. It is always a good idea to always have the trinity on hand. The possibility for this triplet is truly endless. Try our red beans and rice or gumbo! The French also have a 3 ingredient staple they call mirepoix - carrots, celery and onions. This is used in many French stews and soups.

Tip when cutting celery - glide your knife down the middle of the stalk lengthwise. Cut those pieces in half stack them and chop! Easy dicing!

Mama B has a great way to easily chop an onion. Maybe we will make a video of that for you!!

Check out the red beans and rice recipe we posted earlier today. Hope you will benefit from tipful Tuesday!!

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans and Rice with Ham & Andouille Sausage

1 pound dry red kidney beans

Water to cover the beans

1 ham bone (Honey Baked or Heavenly Ham)

2 1/2 cups finely chopped celery

2 cups finely chopped

2 cups finely chopped green bell peppers

2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

2-3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Hot sauce to taste

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

Hot steamed rice

Cover the beans with water 2 inches above the beans. Let stand overnight. Drain just before using. ** This step is optional. If you don't soak the beans, they will just take longer to cook and require more water**

Place the beans, ham bone, 10 cups of water, celery, onions, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaves and seasonings in a large Dutch oven; stir well. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until meat is falling off the bone, about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bone, chop meat into bite sized pieces removing excess fat as you go, then put the ham back into the beans. Add sliced andouille sausage (brown first if you wish), add more water if required, them simmer until beans are soft and creamy!

Serve over mound of rice!

(This recipe is a meaty one - when we made this dish we doubled the beans and the spices but I think next time I make it on my own I'll make it this way!)

Here are pictures and helpful tips when making this dish!

Everything is added and starting to boil.

This is our sausage that we used - we sliced it into thin coins. Slice it, chunk it do whatever you would like, bite sized pieces are easier to eat!

This step is optional since the sausage is pre-cooked, but it gives it a great smokey flavor when you sear the sausage. If you chose to do this step, after you add the sausage to the pot - take some of the broth and put it into the empty hot sausage pan. Take a rubber spatula and scrape all of the leftover greasy goodness off the pan and add it back into the bean pot. This will kick up the sausage flavor!

Take the ham bone when the meat is tender and beginning to fall off - use tongs because it will be HOT! Since Mama Butta made a batch of beans for us to eat and we cooked our own for later, we let the ham bone cool down while we ate before we picked the meat off. Just leave it for a little while until it stops steaming. Pick off the meat to add back into the pot and feel free to sample!

Finished product! As you can see the beans become very creamy!

Put over rice & enjoy!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We're back!!!!

It had been a while since the buttas have been able to get together and last night we were reunited over some red beans and rice!

Be looking for the great & simple recipe that will be a must have "to-go" recipe!

Last night - we reunited over great conversation, learning about Louisiana traditions from Mama Butta, talking about the recent election, putting ideas together for a Thanksgiving meal with guests, and ending the night laughing at Modern Family while ate a delicious apple crisp with vanilla icecream!

A little history/culture lesson:

Mama Butta explained that when she was growing up in Louisiana, it was a tradition to have red beans and rice on Mondays. Because Monday was laundry day - it was easy to have your red beans and rice cookin' away while laundry and other chores were being done. Mama B even said that he would have it at school for lunch on Mondays and still remembers it fondly! Check out this link to read more about Louisiana traditions!

We then got to talking about cultural traditions and how each one of us had a comfort food that we thought of when we thought about home; we were so thankful that Mama B shared hers with us!!

In the line of traditions - we decided we would bring our favorite Thanksgiving dish and invite a guest to come join the butta clan in two weeks! Can't wait to sample everyone's favorites!

As soon as I get them - I'll post the recipe and the pictures!

Enjoy your rainy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Ina Favorite! - Meatballs and Spaghetti

We decided to make the spaghetti squash again along with Ina's Meat Ball Recipe. You can find the recipe at the link above.
We made some changes to her recipe but you can do it her way or the butta way!
Veal is on the pricier side so we used 1 1/2 pounds of beef and a 1/2 of pork.

Here are some pictures!
Mama Butta, aka the Queen of Kitchen Gadgets, had a meatball scoop. Scooping with your hands is just dandy but this helped all of our meatballs to be the same size!

Making the sauce

Doesn't this just looking amazing!
We made the salad dressing from the last post but used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine and it was liked by all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Great salad dressing & melt in your mouth biscuits!

These biscuits are nothing short of amazing! They are so simple and you could match them with just about anything. (And because I have been slack - you get two recipes today! salad dressing & biscuits)

One this cooking class night, we made bread pudding for dessert so we kept our meal on the lighter side. We made an amazing salad (strawberries, feta, roasted walnuts, shredded rotisserie chicken and the same salad dressing recipe that we used our first night of class)

Here is a re-posting of that recipe:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix together well! A whisk is the perfect tool for salad dressings!

Soooo good y'all!

This is a great dressing to have already made up in your fridge! Very light and very good!

Now on to the biscuits!!

These are so easy and once you make them, you'll want them all the time - THEY ARE THAT GOOD!

Sour Cream Drop Biscuits
2 cups of self-rising flour
1 1.2 sticks of butter (melted)
(*if you have unsalted butter add a dash of salt to the mix)
1 cup of sour cream

Mix together and pour into mini muffin tins. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Drop them into the pan. It is very important to use the mini muffin tins for these biscuits - not large or extra small - they won't turn out as well.
Our smaller biscuits on the far right were not as good as the first two pans. If you made these correctly the outside will be a little crisp and the inside very fluffy.

Pure golden heaven!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

The night of the Lou Anna's Creole Chicken the ladies prepared spagetti squash.

Squash was another one of those veggies that our young buttas tried and then loved!

To make this dish, first cut the squash in half and then scrape out all the seeds.

Once the seeds have been removed. Place it in the oven rind side up at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and scrape with a fork.

The butta girls loved this concept and taste! Serve it just like pasta for a low carbohydrate substitute. For the creole night, the squash was a side but it can be the main dish as well! We have even talked about making a spagetti with meatballs dish using squash instead of noodles!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last night's meal - Creole Chicken 2

We had fab time at cooking class night. Our menu consisted of a salad (complete with strawberries, feta, toasted walnuts, chicken and a homemade dressing), sour cream drop biscuits, and bread pudding.

We will have pictures and recipes very soon!

Also - we have one change that we need to make to the creole chicken recipe. We forgot to add 2 -16 oz cans of tomato sauce to the recipe! So just tweek that recipe if you have already saved it!

here is a little teaser for the creole chicken!

More picture of will also be coming soon!
We have lots of exciting posts which is great because we aren't cooking next week.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Creole Pecan Praline Bars

A few weeks ago we enjoyed a great Southern meal ribs & fried green tomatoes.

To top off this great meal we made Creole Pecan Praline Bars.
Ok there are some lessons in this recipe.

Lesson 1: First we will start with the word "creole". To the buttas, they associated creole with spicy foods. Mama Butta stated that creole is simply a culture - not a location, we asked - but a way that group of people lives/lived and their style. Another, example would be the Gullah culture. Creole type foods typically are spicy, but this was a creole dessert - did I lose anyone or confuse you yet?

This is what had to say:
1. A person of European descent born in the West Indies or Spanish America.
a. A person descended from or culturally related to the original French settlers of the southern United States, especially Louisiana.
b. The French dialect spoken by these people.
3. A person descended from or culturally related to the Spanish and Portuguese settlers of the Gulf States.
4. often creole A person of mixed Black and European ancestry who speaks a creolized language, especially one based on French or Spanish.
5. A Black slave born in the Americas as opposed to one brought from Africa.

Lesson 2: How to pronounce creole pecan praline bars.

Pecan: pee-can or pa-con.

Praline: praw-lean or pray-lean

It was a mix in our group how to pronounce it - to each their own I guess! Any thoughts on how you say it?

Ok enough lessons and time for the recipe and the pictures!

This recipe can be a little time consuming so grab a buddy, a glass of wine or both!
After the crust is formed line up the pecans in rows.

We had 3 set of hands lining these babies up!

Be careful - this topping is hot, hot, hot! No one wants a hot sugar burn!

Ready for the oven!

Either place into the fridge after baking like the recipe states or simply let it cool on the counter while you eat, drink and chat with the girls!

When cool, use a very sharp knife to cut it into pieces - we did 2 to 3 pecans per square. Mama B shows a great way to do it!

After we had tasted our squares, our lovely supper guest for the evening, Mrs. Mary Keenan, said "We certainly didn't spare on the butta!" The bars are very, very sweet. Mary had the great idea of adding kosher salt to the bars and it made it even more amazing!!

Hope you enjoy the bars! Here is the recipe:

Creole Pecan Praline Bars

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 packed cup light brown sugar
2 cups sifted unbleached flour
9 oz. (2 1/2 cups) large pecan halves

Adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 by 13 by 2-inch pan as follows: cut a piece of foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Turn pan upside down. Center the foil over the pan, shiny side down, with your hands press down on sides and corners to shape the foil. Remove foil. Run some tap water into the pan to wet it all over. Pour out all but a tablespoon of the water (the wet pan will keep the foil in place) Place the foil in the pan and press it against the bottom and sides - DO NOT BUTTER!

In a mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the salt and sugar and continue to beat. Next add flour. Beat until the tiny crumbs are formed that will hold together to make the crust.

Turn the mixture into the prepared pan. With fingertips, spread the mixture to form a level layer. Press down firmly to compact.

Place the pecan halves touching each other, flat sides down - in all the same direction to cover bottom layer.


2 oz. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/3 packed light brown sugar

In sauce pan place butter and sugar. Stir over high heat until mixture comes to a hard boil. Once boiling, keep stiring for about 30 seconds or so. Pour mixture over the pecans, trying to coat the entire surface.
Bake for 22 minutes. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Turn out, peel off foil and cut with a very sharp knife.

Serve at room temp.

Also - we thought these would be great dipped in chocolate!!