Monday, October 29, 2012

Rich, Spicy, Smoky Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

It's finally getting cold here in Texas! My oldest daughter, Madison, is excited to wear her favorite pair of jeans and boots. It also means it's time to go shopping for new winter clothes since they all grew much taller this year. My husband knows not to ask how much we spent at Justice...I will just shrug and then have our 3 girls model their new outfits complete with accessories while taking pictures like they are at a photo shoot. It's like a 2 hour show, and like most men, he would rather watch football and yell at the TV screen like they can hear him. But you know it melts his heart when the girls give him a big hug and say how thankful they are for how hard he works for our family. Seriously, he spoils them way more than I do. Our girls are so sweet and absolutely love their Daddy to the moon and back.

So to warm Daddy up for the pending shopping spree(s), I made this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo because it's his favorite cold weather soup. Time to take my girls to Justice!


1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup flour
4 Tbsp Creole seasoning, divided
1 white onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 poblano chilis (roasted, skin and seeds removed), chopped
2 cups andouille sausage, cubed
1 cup frozen okra
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken stock
2 dry bay leaves
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
sliced scallions, for garnish

Roast poblanos over gas stove, or in cast iron skillet until charred. Scape away the skin, cut in half, remove the seeds, and chop.

In a large deep cast iron skillet or large soup pot, whisk together the oil and flour until you have a nice "milk chocolate" roux. Add the andouille sausage, 1 tablespoon of the Creole seasoning, and the trinity of veggies (onion, celery, poblano), stirring to cook until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add the okra and garlic and cook another two minutes. Add the chicken stock, 3 tablespoons Creole seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the chicken and cook additional 20 minutes. Taste and season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve up in big soup bowls, top with sliced scallions, and serve with steamed rice.

Recipe adapted from Columbia Daily Tribune

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Overnight Cinnamon Yeast Waffles

These waffles are perfect...crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. You make the batter the night before, refrigerate, and they are ready for the hot waffle maker when you wake up. It's best to serve them with room temperature syrup because warm syrup will soften them and you lose the crispy waffle texture. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon to take them over the top. Your family will eat them up and ask for seconds!


2 1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, and salt.  Add the eggs, canola oil, milk, and vanilla and whisk until combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.

The next morning, preheat the waffle iron.  Remove the waffle batter from the refrigerator and stir to release all the bubbles.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray when heated, then pour in some waffle batter, making sure to spread to the edges.  Close the lid and wait patiently.  Don't be tempted to lift the lid until they are cooked through and crispy brown.  Repeat for all waffles.  Serve with room temperature syrup, and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

This recipe made 5 waffles on my waffle iron.

Recipe from Lovin' From the Oven

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banana Spice Cake with Vanilla Bean Glaze

You may have noticed that I took a little break from blogging (5 months to be exact). I decided that sharing my love of cooking and baking brings too much happiness and joy to my life (and my family's tummies) to continue this blogging break. I hope that my readers have stuck around and are still interested in following me on this journey through our family's kitchen.

There are so many amazing recipes that I have pinned from Pinterest and tried these past several months. I'm truly inspired by all the wonderful home cooks out in the world. I LOVE Pinterest and plan on adding my recipes to my Big Mama's Favorites board as I post them on the blog and Facebook.

Now, let's talk about this cake! This is a simple cake that uses a box mix that is dressed up with bananas and a scrumptious thick vanilla bean glaze.  It's very moist and full of flavor. I think this was the perfect dessert to welcome Fall, and the perfect ending to our cheese enchiladas last night. I'm ready for some cooler weather and can't wait to make all my favorite soups.

Cake Ingredients:

1 - Betty Crocker Super Moist Spice Cake Mix (15.25 oz)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
4 large bananas (about 1 1/2 cups) mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a non-stick bundt cake pan.  In a large stand mixer, add the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Add the bananas and mix just until combined.

Pour the cake mix into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 42-45 minutes, or until wooden skewer comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
milk, enough to create thick glaze

In a bowl, stir together the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Add milk slowly until the consistency is a thick pourable glaze. Transfer the cooled cake to a plate and spoon or pour glaze over top.  Enjoy!

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