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Champagne Strawberry Jello

We had this last New Year’s Eve and it was SOOOO Good!! Definitely making again this year!!

Adopted from Hello, Jell-O! by Victoria Belange
Serving: 7 – 10 molds
3 tablespoons or 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups cold water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cold champagne
1 1/2 cups cold ginger ale
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

In a saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the cold water and allow the gelatin to absorb the water for 2 minutes.

Bring the water with the gelatin powder to a boil over high heat while stirring until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the gelatin mixture to a bowl, add the sugar, and stir until dissolved. Then, stir in the champagne and ginger ale.

Refrigerate until thickened a bit. Make sure the mixture is still partially liquid. Fold in the strawberries. Spoon into 7 to 10 individual molds or a big mold. The smaller the mold the firmer the jello will be. Remember, metal mold acquire firmer jello than glass mold. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold and serve.

To unmold, run a knife around the top of the jello and put it in a bath of warm water for 10 – 20 seconds. Flip it over and shake it or give it a light pat.




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Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

Enjoy a big plate of extra crispy, extra loaded sweet potato skins in no time! This game-time favorite is hard to resist.

Loaded sweet potato skins are so simple. The potatoes are hollowed out, leaving just enough edge, then filled back up with the mashed sweet potato. I highly recommend mashing the sweet potatoes with a little milk to make the filling smooth and extra creamy. Top the filled skins with cheese, bake, add bacon, enjoy.

Crunch, crunch, crunch. The trick for their crisp? After hollowing out the skins, drizzle them with a little olive oil. Or, as I like to call it, the “crisp maker.” Don’t leave it out! Once drizzled, bake the potato skins for about 10 minutes before filling them.

Voila! Extra crispy skins.

When I’m feeling like something a little healthier, I add a little garlicky spinach to the filling. This is how I do it: three handfuls of spinach cooked down on the stove with 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Mash this into the sweet potato filling and fill the hollowed out skins as directed below. Then, I usually top each filled skin with 1 Tablespoon of shredded cheese. And I skip the bacon. Bake, and enjoy with a salad – makes a great, meat-free healthy meal. Try it!

Yield: 8 potato skins, may easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd


4 medium sweet potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup milk1
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheese (I use half sharp cheddar and half mozzarella)
4 strips bacon, cooked until crispy, and crumbled
sour cream and chopped chives for serving

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Pierce each sweet potato a few times and bake for 40-50 minutes or until soft. Allow the potatoes to cool slightly. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise.
Reduce oven temperature to 375F degrees. Scoop out sweet potato flesh, leaving a thin layer of sweet potato inside, and add flesh to a medium bowl. Place skins back on the baking sheet face up, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.
Mash the sweet potato flesh with milk, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy. After 10 minutes, remove the skins from the oven. Fill each with an equal amount of mashed sweet potato and top each with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and top with bacon. Serve with sour cream and chopped chives, if desired.
Skins are best enjoyed immediately. Cover leftovers tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes:
Buttermilk, whole milk, or half-and-half is best. Try to avoid low fat milks. You want a very thick, creamy mash.


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Loaded Baked Potato Chex Mix

5 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
3 cups Corn Chex™ cereal
4 cups shoestring potatoes
2 cups bite-size cheese crackers
1/4 cups bacon flavor bits or chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 package (1 oz) ranch dressing and seasoning mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, potatoes, crackers and bacon flavor bits.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Stir in dressing mix and cheese until evenly coated.
Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.
If other flavors of ranch dressing or dip mix are available at your grocery store, try one of these just for the fun of it!

Makes: 26 Servings


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Cracker Salad

I originally got this recipe from my ex-mother-in-law. At first I found it a little strange, but once I tasted it, it was great.

“Crackers are tossed with tomato, egg and green onion in the quick mayonnaise salad. This is a traditional Southern salad. Best if eaten immediately upon preparing.”

Cracker Salad

2 (4 ounce) packets saltine crackers
2 large tomato, chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped
3 cups mayonnaise
2 hard-cooked egg, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to
1. Coarsely crumble the saltines into a medium bowl. Mix in the tomato, onions and mayonnaise. Stir in the hard-cooked egg, and season with salt and pepper.

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Miniature Oyster Patties

‘Tis the season to share another one of my favorite holiday recipes with you, Miniature Oyster Patties. These savory little bite-size pastries have been making the rounds at New Orleans Christmas parties and weddings for as long as I can remember. And once you taste them, you’ll understand why they’re so popular. If you’re not into oysters, try shrimp, crabmeat or crawfish instead. You can also fill the shells with a spinach and artichoke mixture or some type of meaty filling. Really, anything goes. What makes today’s finger food so unique are the mini-patty shells. The shells are actually tiny puff pastries sold by the dozen at various bakeries and grocery stores throughout New Orleans. If you’re outside the area, call ahead to see if your local bakery shop makes them (some fancy bakeries may call them vol-au-vents). If not, you can place an order for overnight delivery with several New Orleans bakeries including Haydel’s, Swiss Confectionery and Gambino’s. Pepperidge Farm sells the large ones in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but they leave you with too much filing and not enough pastry. I suggest you plan ahead and get the miniature ones. They’re more fun to serve and eat.

Miniature Oyster Patties Recipe

1 pint oysters (reserve oyster liquor)
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons Wondra Gravy Flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup reserved oyster liquor (or part oyster liquor and part water)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 dozen miniature patty shells (puff pastry shells)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Strain oysters over a bowl to remove grit and separate them from the oyster liquor; reserve liquor. Chop oysters and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add green onions and garlic; cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly (that’s your white roux). Add oysters, cream, reserved oyster liquor, parsley, thyme and cayenne pepper; cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove mixture from heat; add bread crumbs and salt and pepper to taste. The consistency should be creamy but not runny. Place patty shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon mixture evenly into patty shells and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 36 Miniature Oyster Patties.

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Spinach and Artichoke Casserole Recipe

This is my absolute most favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. I always make a huge batch of it so I can have leftovers. I hope you enjoy.


1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons milk
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained
2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped
spinach, thawed and drained
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise. Beat with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in milk.
In a 2-quart casserole, place the artichokes. Spoon spinach evenly over artichokes. Spread cream cheese mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until top is lightly browned.

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Baked Oyster Dressing

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I am getting all my stuff together for my 1st Holiday in our new house. I am doing all the cooking and hosting my Mother in Law and my Father. Down here in South Louisiana, we love to cook and Oyster Dressing is a staple for Thanksgiving. This is Emeril’s recipe and I love it.

Baked Oyster Dressing
Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
20 min
1 hr 15 min

Yield:4 to 6 servings (about 5 cups)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 pint shucked oysters and their liquor
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 cups 1-inch cubes French bread or homemade-style white bread
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 11-inch baking pan with the butter and set aside.

Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, and cayenne and saute for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the bay leaves, garlic, and parsley, and saute for 1 minute. Add the water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the green onions, oyster liquor, and the bread cubes. Stir to mix well, and remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread and vegetable mixture with the oysters and cheese. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 1 hour, or until bubbly and golden brown.

Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Recipe from “Louisiana Real and Rustic”, by Emeril Lagasse and Marcelle Bienvenu, William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1996

Read more at:

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Legendary Lion House Rolls

I’m sharing a dinner roll recipe that would be perfect for Thanksgiving! These Legendary Lion House Rolls are so delicious + this recipe makes a ton of rolls. #thanksgiving

Find The Recipe Here:

Legendary Lion House Rolls

2 – cups warm water
2/3 – cup nonfat dry milk
2 – tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 – cup sugar
2 – teaspoon salt
1/3 – cup butter
1 – egg
5 – 5 1/2 – cups all purpose flour
In your mixer combine water and dry milk. Stir until dissolved. Add yeast, sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2 cups flour.
Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add 2 more cups flour, and mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, and 2 minutes on medium speed.
Add remaining flour (I only add one more cup, and leave out the last 1/2). Once combined, knead with hands, or turn on your kneading function on your bread mixer.
Place dough in a oiled bowl. Turn over once so dough is covered with oil. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until double in size. Place dough on floured surface.
Roll out dough, and brush with melted butter. Cut rolls into desired shape and size. Place on a greased or parchment paper lined baking pan. Let rise in warm place until rolls are doubled in size.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Brush with melted butter while hot.
How to freeze rolls: After shaping the rolls place them 2 inches apart on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Place the rolls in the freezer and freeze until firm. When the rolls are firm, transfer to a large zip lock freezer bag. Date and freeze for up to 4 weeks.
To use freezer rolls: Arrange frozen rolls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with nonstick cooking spray or covered with parchment paper. Cover rolls with plastic wrap coated with baking spray. Place in a warm place and let the rolls rise until doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with additional butter while hot.

Recipe yields: 2 dozen
Adapted from: Lion House Bakery Cookbook

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Holiday Recipes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner!! 🍗🍁🍃
What are some of your favorite recipes?
I will be posting some of mine over the next few weeks.
Please share with us your favorite Thanksgiving food

We LOVE stuffed artichokes, but it’s a LOT of work. This recipe makes it so easy and YUMMY!!
Stuffed artichoke bites!!! Best appetizer ever!!!!

– 2 cans quartered artichoke hearts
– 2-3 cups Progresso Bread Crumbs
– 1-2 cups Olive Oil
– Chopped Garlic – plenty
– 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
– 2 eggs, beaten

1. Cook garlic in olive oil
2. Add cheese & bread crumbs
3. Stir in 2 eggs.
4. Shape around artichoke hearts
5. Bake at 350 until brown, about 12 min.


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Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Wings

There’s absolutely no hot oil, no deep frying, no dreading, nothing. Just throw everything into a slow cooker, press the high or low button and that’s it. Really. It’s just that easy.


Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time 4 hours

Total Time 3 hours, 10 minutes

Yield 6 servings

The easiest wings you will ever make. Just throw everything into the crockpot and you’re set for the most tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken wings!


    • 3 pounds chicken wings
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder


  • In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, honey, garlic, Sriracha, ginger powder, pepper and onion powder.
  • Place wings into a slow cooker. Stir in soy sauce mixture and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or high heat for 1-2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro, if desired.