Friday, February 28, 2014

A Cajun Treat: Crawfish Pie

Boy do I have a recipe that's going to knock your socks off.

I'm not even kidding! Crawfish season only comes once a year - and in the South it's a HUGE DEAL. Fortunately you can usually find it frozen in the off-season, unless you're like me and live in The City and have had withdrawals for almost 3 years now!

I'm so serious when I tell you the only thing on my Christmas list last year was that my mom buy frozen crawfish for me the next time she saw it in the store.

And ohhhhh she did.

Best Christmas ever.

My tastebuds have been begging - downright BEGGING - for this Crawfish Pie recipe for months now, and last week I finally broke down, dug out the ol' New Orleans cookbook, and defrosted one of the packages of crawfish tails.

I'm saver, not a spender!

It was soooo worth it. A warm, fluffy crawfish mixture baked into a flaky pie crust -- YIKES I may have to make this again!

If you can get your hands on some crawfish {fresh or frozen}, the rest of the ingredients are really practical and things you probably have on hand already.

The trick is to get a good roux going once you start cooking. It's just a simple mixture of butter and flour over low heat until it's a nice golden brown:

Looks gross and bubbly, right? That's when it's ready! This will be the base of your mixture, and from there you can add in all of your seasonings, veggies, and crawfish!

I can't even begin to describe how this made my night. It doesn't look that pretty, but I guarantee you the taste is amazing. My mouth is watering all over again!



Hope you enjoy this, folks. It's filled with all sorts of Cajun goodness.

Crawfish Pie

Adapted from The New Orleans Cookbook
Serves 2-4

What you'll need:

1 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp chopped onion (or onion powder)
2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
2 tbsp parsley
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tbsp chopped green onions (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 package frozen crawfish tails (or ~1 lb fresh crawfish)
1 frozen pie shell, thawed
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Tony's, to taste

In a heavy non-stick skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add flour a little at a time, cooking slowly and stirring constantly - DO NOT walk away, as this will burn very easily! Continue stirring until a light golden roux begins to form. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper, parsley, green onions, and celery, then continue stirring until vegetables are soft. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, cream and continue to stir.

Add crawfish tails to the mixture and cook until they are tender, which may take between 12-15 minutes. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake at 350 until crust is a nice golden color and filling is slightly firm.

Allow the pie to cool, but serve HOT and enjoy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Who put the GLAD in GLADIATOR????


Don't mind me. I'm just jamming out to the Hercules soundtrack again.

An appropriate choice for a Monday, don't you think? Why yes, yes I do. I may have just been humming this out loud at work. But I'll never tell.

Want to know a secret, invisible internet friends?

"Go the Distance" is definitely my pump up song. All. the. way. Maybe it's the trumpets at the beginning. Or the lyrics. Or the little tingling noises in the background that give me butterflies.

It's not necessarily a song I would play to get pumped up right before a marathon (though fitting it may be!), or to wake up in the morning -- but on those days that just feel kind of "bleh"? Yep. The days where you just need a little pick-me-up to let you know that "NO you're not a loser! And YES YOU CAN do this!"

I will BEAT the ooooodds!!!! I can go the distance!
I will FACE the worrrrrld!!! Fearless, proud and strong!!!!!

Don't even tell me that doesn't make you stand a little straighter and feel better about life...and want to stand with your fists on your hips whilst the wind blows your hair back as you say, "Bring it, world. Bring it!"

All the Disney fans say YEAH!

Don't even get me started on Mulan, Aladdin, and others that we could talk about for days.

LET'S get dooowwwn to BIZ-NESS! To de-FEAT -- the HUUUUUUNNNSSS!!!!


I have a recipe for you today, people.


Oh yes. Despite the lack of posting, I've actually been quite busy in the kitchen as of late.

He was a NO ONE! {A ZERO! ZERO!}

I can't even count how many times we have had corn grits on our table since September. It was one of the dishes served at our wedding reception awhile back - and it was on our flight to Charleston the next day that I found the recipe and determined to make it once we got back to reality.

And oh, we did.

It's warm, creamy goodness that goes perfectly with crispy baked chicken (or fried chicken, if you dare!), green veggies, or really, any food at all. And it's oh-so-delightfully Southern.

...And an AWESOME ten-for-ten!!!!!

So, now, folks - I give you the GRITS of Grits & Griddles. Hope you enjoy!


Southern Corn Grits

Adapted from Zea's Restaurant
Serves 4


1 can of low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (half-and-half will work as well)
1 can of creamed corn (or 1 cup of fresh corn)
Just under 1/2 cup of grits (NOT instant)
Dash of cayenne
Dash of Tony's
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Lower heat slightly, then add cream and return to a boil. Slowly whisk in the grits, continuing to stir. When the grits are evenly mixed in, add the corn. Continue to stir and lower heat to a simmer. Add in seasonings to taste, or a touch of butter if desired.

Cook for 5-10 minutes, until grits are fully cooked. Mixture will be very thick. Serve hot and enjoy!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Lovin'

Is it just me, or does it seem that every Friday gets that much sweeter as time goes on?

Today was off to a slightly not-so-hot start, but it's okay because things are COMPLETELY looking up!

It's been a weird week. But I'm a weird person, so I guess the shoe fits.

But on with the happy!

Here's what I'm loving and obsessed with this week. Maybe you'll get obsessed with them too and we can be weird together.

Vintage Glam Texturizing Powder from Sally's. People. My goodness. This stuff has given my hair a whole new outlook on life. I'm so hooked on it. If you're like me and have board-straight fine hair that has ZERO shape this will change your life. It makes your hair feel like it hasn't been washed in three weeks, but allows it to KEEP its shine and look pretty! It gives your hair so much LIFT and you can shape it as you like. I'm so terrible with my hair, but {on a good day} you can't tell that because this stuff is just...great. They put it on my head the day of our wedding and my hair held up until I washed it out. MAJORLY impressed, y'all. Usually what I do is sprinkle a little under the part of my hair and underneath the layers, tease, then smooth. It's a beautiful thing, friends.

Melanie from the Big Mama Blog, Edie from the Life in Grace Blog, and Sophie from the Boo Mama Blog. These ladies are so talented and their blogs are so uplifting and encouraging. I absolutely loved this post where Edie interviewed Melanie about her new book -- it was nothing short of hilarious and made today SO MUCH BETTER. I felt like I was sitting at the table drinking coffee with my girlfriends - only I've never met them and none of us were drinking coffee so is that even a little creepy???? . Check them out for your daily dose of happy!

And while I'm on it --- Melanie's new book, "The Antelope in the Living Room." I'll admit -- I TECHNICALLY haven't read it yet. But in approximately 37-ish minutes I will be on my way to the Family Christian bookstore, who are so graciously holding one of their last TWO copies for me. I know I'm going to love it -- just by hearing Melanie's description of what inspired her to write the book and the topics she covered, I'm crazy over it already. I JUST might crack open the book in the parking lot and just jump in right then and there. Good thing there's a coffee shop next door {!!!!!} - don't say I didn't warn you!

The How Sweet It Is blog. I could do an entire post just on my favorite blogs/bloggers, but I'm not kidding when I tell you that reading Jessica's blog is one of the FIRST things I do every. single. morning. {Except for Sundays and maybe Saturdays} She's ridiculously funny and has some of the most creative recipes I've ever seen. And her pictures? Gaaaaahhh. I could lick the screen most days.

Sprinkles and Thin Mint cupcakes. Because sprinkles make EVERYTHING better. EVERYTHING.

Oh yes. That happened this weekend. 'Nuff said.

***PLUS, since the icing was runny (oops novice icing maker), I think it's safe to assume that there were less calories in them, therefore making these babies ridiculously healthy. Yes, they were oh-so-healthy. The only thing healthier is to make ANOTHER batch. Gosh, I love eating healthy.

PITCH PERFECT 2!!!!!! It's OFFICIAL, people. A Pitch Perfect SEQUEL is happening. Please tell me you understand my obsession with this movie. I. LOVE. IT. I've had the soundtrack BLARING in my car for MONTHS now and randomly quote it all the time with Lauren. Plus --- dare I say it???? - it's going to be filmed in BATON ROUGE. A mere few hours from here! AAAAHHHH. I can't contain myself!!!! I'm desperately trying to find out how I can audition to be an extra. DESPERATELY. I'll wear a wig or cover my face or be in the background waving -- I DON'T CARE! This. must. happen. Suggestions/info, anyone?

I'll keep you posted on my findings :)

LOST. Good gracious. I won't even go into detail about it. It's so insane and I'm completely lost but totally up to speed. We're almost halfway through Season 3 and at that point where, although you realize what's happening, you have NO IDEA who these other people are and WHAT they are doing with my lovable characters!!! Plus - I have to say it -- I'm for Kate & Sawyer all the way. She may be in love with Jack, but she and Sawyer are MFEO (<---- Sleepless in Seattle reference, anyone????). GAAAAHHH just tell me what happens already!!!!! Clearly I love this show.

Happy Friday everyone! Go find JOY in something small this weekend!