Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mardi Gras: Dirty, Dirty Rice and Shrimp!

Good afternoon bloggers. Welcome to another Mardi Gras themed entry to Everyday Meals! I'm your hostess, Mandie. If you are just joining us, have fun and enjoy your stay. If you are coming back, we're pleased to see you again. Now, I know I've been a bit lax on the entries posted lately. I'm sincerely sorry for that. Life has a way of sweeping people away. I'm here to make it up to you with a couple of amazing recipes that are appropriate for Mardi Gras. They are both very common in Louisiana. In fact, I love both of these recipes (minus a few ingredients)... But fear not, they will find their place on your diningroom table, and they will shine. Now, grab those silly Mardi Gras hats and your aprons, and let's get cooking!

Andouille Sausage and Shrimp

You will need:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, uncooked, deviened, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3 inch wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. Toss the shrimp with Creole seasoning in medium bowl to coat. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. 
  3. Add the sausage pieces, cut side down. 
  4. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl. 
  5. Add the shrimp to the skillet, then cook until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. 
  6. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. 
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, and thyme to the skillet. 
  8. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 
  9. Add the broth, mustard, and vinegar. 
  10. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. 
  11. Return the sausage and shrimp to the skillet. 
  12. Simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. 
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Enjoy!

Ready for our next recipe?

Smoked Sausage and Okra Dirty Rice

You will need:

  • 4.25 cups water
  • 2.5 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound smoked hot pork sausage links, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound okra, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.75 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a 4 quart heavy saucepan, then add the rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Cook, covered tightly, over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove the rice from the heat and let stand, covered and undisturbed for 10 minutes. 
  4. Fluff the rice with a fork and keep covered.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. 
  6. Sauté the sausage in 2 batches, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. 
  7. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl. 
  8. Add the okra to the skillet and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  9. Transfer to another bowl.
  10. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.
  11. Sauté the onions and bell peppers, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. 
  12. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. 
  13. Combine the okra, broth, black pepper, remaining 1/4 cup water, and remaining teaspoon salt, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and, 10 to 15 minutes. 
  14. Stir in the sausage.
  15. Toss the sausage mixture with the rice and scallions.
  16. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  17. Enjoy!

The combination of these two recipes makes for one happy family. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and I will catch you on the flip side. Happy blogging to all, and Happy Mardi Gras! <3

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mardi Gras: Spicy Bayou Burgers

Hello and good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. Today, we are sticking with the Mardi Gras theme. We will be making a fabulous burger with remoulade. For those of you who aren't aware of what a remoulade is, it's a condiment that was invented in France. Remoulade is ofter mayonnaise or aioli-based. It is similar to tartar sauce, but is often yellow or reddish in color. Remoulades are often served with seafood or meat dishes. Here in the United States, remoulade can be found served with chilled beef tenderloin, often as an hors d'oeuvre.There are a dozen different varieties of remoulade, including a Louisiana remoulade. Well, now that we have a little background on what we will be working with, let's grab our aprons and get cooking!

Bayou Burgers

You will need:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 pound fully cooked andouille sausage link, casing removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 pound Italian turkey sausage link, casing removed
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Miracle Whip
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 4 kaiser rolls, split
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. In a large skillet, saute the onion in oil until tender. 
  2. Add the andouille sausage and cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Stir in the Creole seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper. 
  4. Crumble the turkey and turkey sausage over the mixture and combine well. 
  5. Shape the meat mixture into four patties.
  6. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the burgers for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees and the juices run clear. 
  7. Top with cheese, then cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  8. For the remoulade, in a small bowl, combine the Miracle Whip, lemon juice, pepper sauce, relish and capers. 
  9. Spread the rolls with butter and sprinkle with the remaining garlic powder. 
  10. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  11. Serve the burgers on the rolls with the remoulade.
  12. Enjoy!

I hope those of you who are celebrating Mardi Gras stay safe and those of you who are at home and unable to make the event, have fun with this delicious recipe. I'll catch you all soon for more Mardi Gras recipes. Have a great day and happy blogging to all! <3

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras: Fat Tuesday Cajun Shrimp

Good afternoon and welcome to a spiffy, Mardi Gras themed edition of Everyday Meals! As a lot of people know, today is Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, which refers to the last night of eating fatty foods before Lent. In other cities and states, today is referred to as Shrove Tuesday. Shrove is derived from the word shrive, meaning "confess". Well, today, I must confess that the dish we are making is chocked full of Louisiana flavor. It's the perfect meal to kick this Mardi Gras season into high gear! Let's grab those aprons and we'll meet in the kitchen.

Cajun Shrimp Orecchiette

You will need:

  • 2 cups uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1.5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup diced plum tomatoes
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup baby spinach


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. 
  2. Add the orecchiette pasta, cook for 9 to 11 minutes, until almost al dente, then drain.
  3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. 
  4. Stir in the shallots, garlic, and green onion. 
  5. Season with the Cajun seasoning and pepper, and cook about 2 minutes. 
  6. Mix in the wine, tomatoes, and shrimp. 
  7. Continue to cook and stir until the shrimp are opaque. 
  8. Mix in the pasta and spinach, cover, then simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
  9. Plate and enjoy!

Thank you for joining me for the beginning of Mardi Gras season. I'll be back with more Mardi Gras recipes soon. Have a great day and happy blogging to all! <3

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lime Soft Tacos and Sausage Calzones! Yum!

Good afternoon friends! Welcome to a new edition of Everyday Meals. As always, I'm your hostess, Mandie. Today, we are doing a couple of recipes. Both of them are versions of other recipes that I enjoy whole-heartedly. Every couple of weeks, my family loves to order calzones from a Pizza Hut. I know... I should be making them myself, but what can I say? I will say that my family makes a ton of tacos! That's our other recipe for the day. So, unless we get into the kitchen now, I will continue blabbing. Who wants that? Not me! I'll meet you there!

Sausage and Vegetable Calzones

You will need:

  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into strips, halved
  • 1 tub Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 can refrigerated pizza crust

Let's do this!

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown the sausage with the mushrooms and peppers in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. 
  3. Drain the sausage, then return to the skillet. 
  4. Stir in the cooking creme and mozzarella, then remove the skillet from the heat.
  5. Unroll the pizza dough on a clean work surface. 
  6. Pat out into a 15x11 inch rectangle, then cut lengthwise in hal. 
  7. Cut each piece crosswise into thirds. 
  8. Top the dough rectangles with the sausage mixture and fold in half. 
  9. Seal the edges with a fork. 
  10. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Enjoy!

Are you ready to move on? Excellent!

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

You will need:

  • 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat, cubed
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup salsa

  1. Saute the chicken in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes. 
  2. Add the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. 
  3. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
  4. Heat another skillet over medium heat. 
  5. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm one side, and then turn over to heat the other side. 
  6. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 
  7. Serve the lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.
  8. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today for a couple of my favorite recipes. I will be back soon with more awesoe recipes. Enjoy the rest of the day and happy blogging to all! <3

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is In The Air

Good afternoon and Happy Valentine's Day to all of you wonderful bloggers! Today is a SUPER special day, not just because it's Valentine's Day, but because today marks our 1st Birthday here at Everyday Meals! I started this blog exactly 1 year ago in hopes of spreading the knowledge of wonderful recipes. Well, we've done it! We have reached our 1st year. I pray that we have many more! Now, on the topic of Valentine's Day, I have prepared a delightful menu for dinner. We will surprise our significant others with an appetizer, followed by the main course, and finished with dessert. So, if you are ready to win some hearts, let's strap on those aprons and get in the kitchen!

Chocolate Fondue

You will need:

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • Strawberries, banana chunks, apple slices and angel food cake cubes


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil. 
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, cream, and half of the syrup mixture until smooth. 
  4. Return to the pan. 
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  6. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. 
  7. Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted. 
  8. Serve warm with fruit and cake for dipping. 
  9. Refrigerate the leftovers.
  10. Enjoy.

We are now moving on to our main dish...

Artichoke Beef Steaks

You will need:

  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 4 beef ribeye steaks 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jar sliced pimientos, drained

  1. Drain the artichokes, reserving 1 tablespoon marinade. Coarsely chop the artichokes and set aside. 
  2. Sprinkle the steaks with salt.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the steaks in butter over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side or until the meat reaches desired doneness according to a meat thermometer.
  4. Move the steaks to a serving platter and keep warm.
  5. In the same skillet, saute the onion and garlic in the reserved marinade for 3 minutes. 
  6. Add the artichokes and pimientos and heat through. 
  7. Serve the artichoke mixture on top of the steaks.
  8. Enjoy!

  • medium-rare, 145 degrees
  • medium, 160 degrees
  • well-done, 170 degrees

Finally, we end this night with some dessert.

Cherry Meringue

You will need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1 can cherry pie filling

  1. Place the egg whites in a small bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  2. Add the cream of tartar, then beat on medium speed in a processor until soft peaks form. 
  3. Gradually beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Spoon the meringue onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 
  5. Using the back of a spoon, form the meringue into a 9 inch heart shape, building up edges slightly.
  6. Bake at 275 degrees for 1.5 hours. 
  7. Turn the oven off and do not open the door. 
  8. Leave the meringue in the oven for 1 hour longer to sit. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
  10. Fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is well blended. 
  11. To serve, place the heart on a serving platter and fill with the cream cheese mixture.
  12. Top with the pie filling.
  13. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me for an extra special entry to Everyday Meals. Come back soon for more recipes! Have a lovely Valentine's Day and I'll catch you on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Traditional Muffuletta

Hello bloggers! Welcome to a brand new edition of Everyday Meals! Today's meal originated down South. Louisiana, to be exact. The reason I chose this meal is because I did my time living in Louisiana. I can appreciate the fine art of humongous sandwiches. That's exactly what this dish is: a giant sandwich. I know, sandwiches for dinner? Not many people think this qualifies as a dinner meal. I beg to differ, only because this sandwich IS so big. You really won't need anything to accompany it. Just a little note though. This sandwich makes 8 servings! Now, before I spoil what the meal is, let's get into the kitchen, strap on those aprons and make ourselves a HUGE sandwich!


You will need:

  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, crushed
  • 1/2 cup drained kalamata olives, crushed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained
  • 1/4 cup marinated cocktail onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 (1 pound) loaves Italian bread
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
  • 8 ounces sliced mortadella
  • 8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

Are you ready?

  1. To Make the Olive Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, cauliflower, capers, celery, carrot, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil. 
  2. Mix together and transfer the mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). 
  3. If needed, pour in more oil to cover. 
  4. Cover the jar or container and refrigerate overnight. 
  5. To Make the Sandwiches: Cut the loaves of bread in half horizontally;, then hollow out some of the excess bread to make room for the filling. 
  6. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts of the olive salad, including oil. 
  7. Layer the bottom half of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella and Provolone. 
  8. Place top half on each loaf and cut the sandwich into quarters. 
  9. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours. 
  10. Enjoy!

When you finally see just how big this sandwich is, you can truly appreciate it. This dish is not for the faint of heart. It's a beast. I hope to see you again for more fun recipes. Happy blogging to all! <3

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Slow Cooker Chuck Roast

Good afternoon bloggers! It's been a few days since I've come around. I was occupied with a beast of a challenge. Sadly, it wasn't a cooking challenge either. Actually, I was writing a business plan. I'm an up and coming photographer . Well, our meal today is a celebration for a job well done! I'm not just talking about my business plan. I'm talking about your kids getting amazing grades in school, or that job promotion you deserved. This celebration is for anyone and everyone. It's a job well done for being the best darn person you can be! Now, let's get into the kitchen and make some food!

Chuck Roast

You will need:

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4.5 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  1. Place the onion, green pepper and celery in a 5 quart slow cooker, then add the roast. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, broth, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, soy sauce, pepper and pepper flakes. 
  3. Pour the mixture over the meat. 
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the meat is tender. 
  5. Remove the meat and vegetables, but keep them warm. 
  6. Skim the fat from the cooking juices if necessary and transfer to a small saucepan. 
  7. Combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, then stir into the cooking juices. 
  8. Bring to a boil. 
  9. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
  10. Serve with the roast.
  11. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today. Thank you for being an amazing person who succeeds in life. I hope you come back and join me for another scrumptious meal. Happy blogging to all! <3

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gong Bao Chicken

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another (delayed) entries to Everyday Meals. I'm your hostess, Mandie. Today, we will be preparing a dish that originally hails from the Sichuan Province of central-western China. The name of today's dish is Gong Bao Chicken. Gong Bao means "palatial guardian". Allegedly, this dish is named Ding Baozhen, a late Qing Dynasty official. Okay, now that I've schooled all of you, why don't we get in the kitchen and make some Gong Bao? Meet you there!

Gong Bao Chicken

You will need:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unroasted peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 2 dried red chiles, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 inch knob ginger root, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. Combine the chicken, corn starch, and half of the soy sauce in a small bowl. 
  2. Toss the chicken until it's well coated in the mixture and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large, dry skillet or wok over medium heat. 
  4. Add the peanuts and cook, gently tossing occasionally until they're golden brown and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  5. Heat the oil in the skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering. 
  6. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and dried chiles, then cook, stirring continuously until the chiles turn a light brown in color.
  7. Turn the heat to high and add the marinated chicken. 
  8. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and peanuts. 
  9. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  10. Remove from the heat, pour the remaining soy sauce over the chicken, and serve immediately with rice.
  11. Enjoy!

Thank you for joining me today. I know I've been slack in posting lately, but I was sick all last week. This week, I'm still trying to recover from a harsh cough and sneexing fits. Luckily, I was able to post today. Come back soon for another delicious recipe. I'll catch you on the flip side! Happy blogging to all! <3