Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Trifecta

Since I've been so lax and have skipped a few Tuesdays of posting yummylicious recipes, I've got a three-fer for y'all today. Enjoy! AND COME BY TOMORROW FOR A VERY COOL WRITERLY WEDNESDAY CONTEST!!!



Saute 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey with 1/2 yellow onion, diced in a large pan. Drain off grease. Add 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 soup can of milk, 2 cups of sour cream, salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Stir well and simmer on low.

Cook 1 lb. box of small pasta shells according to package directions. Drain water and add shells to pan. Continue simmering with lid on, stirring every now and then, until ready to serve. [If stroganoff becomes too thick, thin it out with milk.] 

Now, wasn't that easy? And it makes for great leftovers to reheat! 



 Coffee Cake Bread Pudding Muffins

Another quick and easy recipe you won't believe how good it is! (Thanks to Jessica for the addition to our Thanksgiving food stock.) :)

1/2 can (7 oz) can condensed milk
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. golden raisins
1 prepared bakery cinnamon coffee cake with pecans
pinch of salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk in large bowl all ingredients except coffee cake. Tear coffee cake into bite-sized chunks, and add to bowl. Toss until cake has absorbed as much of the liquid as possible. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray. Pour in mixture. Bake for one hour, or until golden brown. (If you like your bread pudding more spongy, decrease cooking time.)

Glaze muffins with canned icing, or confectioners' sugar + water you've made yourself. Mmmm mm good!


Green Bean and Fingerling Potato Salad with Shrimp 

1 lb fingerling potatoes (small Yukon Gold work well, too), halved lengthwise
1/2 lb fresh thin green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar (apple cider vinegar works as well)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, divided (I only used 2 Tbsp total…depend on how "dilly" you want it to taste)
3/4 lb medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined. (I get the Target "Market Pantry" frozen shrimp in a bag…thaw, season with Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic and then cook up on the Foreman Grill)
3 Tbsp pecan halves, toasted

1. Place potatoes in saucepan; cover with water to 3 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil; simmer potatoes just until tender (about 8 minutes). Add string beans; simmer until beans are crisp and tender (about 3 minutes). Drain.
 2. While potatoes cook, combine Dijon, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp dill; stir with a whisk. Set dressing aside.

3. Place shrimp and potatoes-and-bean mixture on platter; drizzle with dressing (mix if desired) and top with roasted pecans.

***Thanks to Cynthia for lending me her recipe. This is a delicious full-meal-in-a-casserole!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's Up?

Hello! I've missed y'all and my time at the computer lately. Things have been so crazy here, I've not had time to play in Blogaritaville much! Here's a taste of what's been up with me...and I hope you'll leave a note telling me what you've been doing. And after all your Turkey Day doings are over and you've digested your food, come back by this weekend for a great contest with wonderful prizes. If you're a reader or a writer, you'll wanna enter! [No more hints for now. Aren't I mean? Mmwahahahaha!]

To say it was fun being an extra in the HBO series TREME would be an understatement. That's what I did at the beginning of the week. Got to be in on the filming for an episode at Commander's Palace in New Orleans for a Thanksgiving 2006 scene. If you're not familiar with this fabulous post-Katrina saga, you need to be. Cool cast, director, plot line! I think they said the second season will begin airing in April, so I'll let ya know if I "make the cut."

Now, how are your Thanksgiving preps coming along? Mine are just flying into place...because we're eating at Cracker Barrel this year! LOL. Family and friends are all spread out, plus it's *insert dark piano chords here* [bom, bom, bom...] hunting season, which means all the hunter men and women want to scoot out for the woods as soon as the last fork full of food is consumed. Yep, eating out is a great alternative to the "full bird spread" and all that cooking/cleaning involved in loading down the banquet table, y'all!

Besides, who can cook/clean/prepare with a whole like this in their kitchen ceiling? Yep, this is what happens in Gumbo Writer's world when we decided to have the attic insulated to save on utility costs for the Ledbetter clan. After a whole day of blowing insulation into the attic, a workman went to inspect the job and...well, you get the picture. So now, as we "speak," another workman is on his way back for the fifth time to work on patching/painting the large area that had to be re-sheet rocked. Soooo, no, Nana is not cooking this year in all that mess. But she is excited that her stepdaughter family will be arriving shortly. Hope they don't mind a few construction obstacles! Jessica and kidlets' visit reminds me to mention we'd all appreciate your prayers for her hubby who's serving a year in Afghanistan. The holidays are hard for them all. GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES!!!

Now, just to keep things really interesting, I've got an ethnography job (where you collect data for a research company) on Black Friday shopping and crowds. UG! But the money is good. LOL. Sooooo....I'll be out from 2:00 am til 7:00 am observing the insanity that is post-Turkey Day shopping. Oh boy.

So, no, I haven't gotten a lick of anything writing related done! How 'bout you?

Now...what've YOU been up to lately????


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Writerly Wednesday ~~ Mega Mongo Giveaway!

Hey writerly folks, there's a big big big contest going on at the blog home of writer & sweetheart Jenni James today through November 30.

Here's what Jenni says:

How would you like to get all of your Christmas shopping done at once? In honour of my great friend and amazing writer: MM Bennetts, and her new book-- Of Honest Fame
I'm hosting  A Ginormous Christmas Gift Giveaway!

A group of authors from all over the world, have come to celebrate the release of MM's book with her. And they have each contributed a book or gift of some kind to be included in the giveaway. One LUCKY READER will have the chance at winning all 20 books listed--including Of Honest Fame posters signed--a Portrait Painting (by me), a pencil drawing (Elizabeth Mueller), Christmas booklets, and many more fun prizes!

An estimated $500 Value!


Get on over to Jenni's and enter to win. And good luck! When you get through at Jenni's, drop by Kat's and check out the neat linkage she's got up today. Great reading. Yay/!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Funnies ~~ Boudreaux, the Romantic

As we say here, "Y'all pass a good weekend, ya hear?!" A little bit 'a Boo & Thib to get ya started~~~~~

Thibodaux is passing by Boudreaux's hay barn one day when, through a gap in the door, he sees Boo doing a slow and sensual striptease in front of his old green John Deere.
Hiney clenched, Boudreaux performs a slow pirouette and gently slides off first the right strap of his overalls, followed by the left. He then hunches his shoulders forward and in a classic striptease move, lets his overalls fall down to his hips revealing a torn and frayed plaid shirt.

Grabbing both sides of his shirt, he rips it apart to reveal his stained tee shirt underneath. With a final flourish, Boo tears the tee shirt from his body and hurls his baseball cap onto a pile of hay.

Having seen enough, Thib rushes in and says, "Mais, what da heck you doin', Boo?!"

"Jeez, Thibodaux, you done scart (scared) da snot outta me!" exclaims Boo. Then, obviously embarrassed, he says, "Me and mah old lady, we been havin' da troubles lately in da bedroom department, so da terapist (therapist), he done tole (told) me I should do someting sexy to a tractor."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tasty Tuesday + Writerly Wednesday Game


Hey, y'all! I've been AWOL for a while from the computer, getting caught up on family stuff and chores that have been dragging. Hope you've been well, and that life's treating you right. There's a recipe and a short little writing game below. Enjoy!

Sidebar: Kudos to all you who got out to VOTE yesterday, remembering the supreme privilege it is to exercise the freedom others have died to protect. I'm proud to say our local citizens battled rain and long lines to make their choices count, and also slogged through 10 amendments' legalese as well. 



1 C. self-rising corn meal 
1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 C. butter (I use Smart Balance)
2 large eggs
1 can cream corn
1 carton sour cream (8 oz.)
1 C. cheddar cheese (garlic cheese & sliced bacon cheddar are great)
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl with the corn. Beat eggs and add to mixture. Next, add melted butter, then garlic and pepper.

Pour into greased cast iron skillet. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Wonderful with chili, gumbo, soup, or as a meal. Serves 8-10.


Now, let's have some writerly fun! Leave comments that represent a "best of" or "worst of" aspect of your writing routine. The first person starts with the letter A, and we'll follow alphabetically. [Ex -- ALWAYS planning a scene; BARELY enough sleep; CAN'T stop thinking about my WiP plot, etc.] Go!

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