Risotto with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil

I thought that I would share a sneak peek of one of my recipes featured in the October issue of  
Louisiana Cookin' Magazine

The risotto recipe that I created is an adaptation of a fabulous corn risotto that I had at a wonderful, upscale restaurant.  It was truly delicious. The main difference in my recipe is that I added fresh tomatoes and basil.  The result was great.  I wanted to share this recipe before all of the basil and tomatoes are gone.  Hope you enjoy this fresh "from the garden" risotto.

Risotto with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil

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2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 shallot, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 
2 cups water
1 cup fresh cooked corn, cut from cob
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy skillet, melt the butter, or heat the oil, over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated well with the butter or oil.  

Add the wine and stir.  Continue to stir until all of the wine is absorbed.  Add approximately 1 cup of the broth and water.  (I usually combine the two in a large glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave.)  Make sure that the broth is warm so that the risotto does not stop cooking.  Stir this liquid until absorbed.

Continue to add liquid 1/2 cup at a time, letting liquid absorb between each addition.  Stir the risotto constantly.  When you get to 1 1/2 cups remaining of liquid, add corn.

Continue to add liquid at this point, 1/2 cup at a time, until add liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat and add tomatoes, basil, and cheese.

Serve immediately.

I served this with roasted asparagus and rotisserie jerk chicken.

P.S.  Check out this chicken!!

It was marinated overnight in World Harbor Jerk Sauce.  I really like this sauce--sweet and spicy.

Make sure to enter the Louisiana Cookin' Magazine Giveaway.  
The giveaway ends September 30th.


I'm linked up with

Be Back Soon--San Francisco Here We Come

I am so excited!!!

We are traveling to


 with some of our best friends.

Be back soon!

Don't forget to enter the Louisiana Cookin' Magazine Giveaway!!

Thanks for the Award!

Ok,  I am having a really good month,  
probably a month that I will remember for a long time.  

I know that I really need to knock on some wood or something,  but last week was fabulous and this week is going pretty great too.  Not only am I currently packing for a fabulous wine country vacation, but I just received an award from 

She awarded me 

I was really excited and grateful to receive this award. (now, mind you, I did not know what this award was prior to receiving it, but was very excited about any kind of award).  So I went to Debbi's blog and found all about it.

Here's how it works---

 I select 15 bloggers I think are amazing and pass on the award to them as well.  I am supposed to share 7 facts about myself in a blog post where I announce my selection and my 15 choices for recognition.

Well, here I go (probably more than you want to know)--

1.  I am obsessed with paper products.  
I love books, stationary, paper napkins, note pads, magazines, really any kind of paper product. 
It is a problem, I know.  I would enter a 12 step, but don't know of one for this type of obsession.

2.  My husband is my BOSS at work.  I know, that is totally crazy, right.  
We have worked together for 15 years now, been married for 11.  
I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist, by the way, my husband runs the company I work for.

3.  I am pretty good at calligraphy and have very nice penmanship. (Is that how you spell that??)

4.  I love to put things in alphabetical order---papers, movies, can goods, books, magazines.
Can you say OCD!!

5.  I could live on appetizers---my favorite food group!!!  I love anything bite size.

6.  I talk to my sister at least 5 times a day.  She lives in North Carolina and I'm in Louisiana.  I really wish that she lived closer.  (Hint, Hint)

7.  I read a lot of books.  I usually have 2 or 3 going at one time.  
My favorite book ever is "Outlander".

So now you probably know more about me than you wanted to.

Here are my list of 15 fabulous bloggers for this great award--

Thanks so much Debbi---you definitely made my day!!!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a year's subscription to Louisiana Cookin' Magazine.

Louisiana Cookin' Magazine Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  

Wow, this has been a really good month so far!!!  
And to make someone else's just as good---

I'm giving away a one-year subscription to

So here's what you need to do to win a subscription to this fabulous magazine---

1.  Make sure you are a follower of LouLou Sucre and tell me which "Louisiana" recipe is your all-time favorite.
For extra entries--
2.  Like LouLou Sucre on Facebook or twitter, then leave a comment stating that you did.
3.  Link this giveaway on Facebook or twitter, then leave a comment stating that you did.
4.  Like Louisiana Cookin' Magazine on Facebook, then leave a comment stating that you did.

 The giveaway ends Friday, September 30th at 8pm CST.
(To U.S. address only)

Good Luck,

Louisiana Cookin'

Yeah!!!!  I can finally share a secret.

Some of my recipes are featured in October's issue of Louisiana Cookin' Magazine.

The feature is titled
"A Fresh from the Garden Dinner Party with a Shreveport Couple".  The article is about meals planned around what can be harvested from the garden.  I created a menu from things that I tend to make in the spring, summer, and fall using ingredients mainly grown in my back yard or from the farmer's market.

  I had such a great time working on these recipes and being interviewed for the magazine.

Louisiana Cookin' magazine is such a wonderful collection of food, entertaining, and inspirations of Louisiana cuisine and culture.  Hope you enjoy the magazine and my feature.

If you can't get Louisiana Cookin' where you are, you can find it here.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Now that it is September, I am officially ready for everything pumpkin.  We've actually had a little bit cooler weather thanks to a horrible tropical storm in the Gulf and it is really making me long for Fall.
I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and knew that I had to make it.

I'm (my husband and parents included) so glad that I did.  These muffins are amazing.

Thank you, Annie's Eats for a wonderful Fall treat!!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a medium-bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.

Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1 1/2-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line the muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  Withe mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).

Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.

Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.

Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.


I'm linked up with Natasha at  Schue Love for her Fall 5 series


The Sweet Details

Crazy Cooking Challenge---Macaroni and Cheese

I am very happy to be taking part in the

Crazy Cooking Challenge

hosted by Tina at

Button 1

The challenge this month is Macaroni and Cheese.  I found a wonderful recipe from

Our Life in the Kitchen

The recipe is for Bacon Macaroni and Cheese.  

I know, I know, you ask how could Mac and Cheese be any more rich and decadent?   But believe me, adding the bacon took it to the next level.
It was absolutely delicious!!  
This recipe was super easy, compared to other homemade mac and cheese recipes and was unbelievably rich.  Definitely a keeper, not to be eaten everyday though, unless I want to end up in the hospital.  I only made a one change to this recipe (substituted some of the cheddar cheese for a Colby/Monterey Jack blend--it's what I had on hand).  

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound bacon
1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound Colby and Monterey Jack blend cheese, shredded
6 tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
black pepper
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

In a large pan, fry the bacon until crisp and reserve the grease to use to make the sauce.

Over medium heat, add back in 6 tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease (try not to think about it too long)  add the flour.  Stir for 3-5 minutes until the flour starts to brown a little.  Add the milk and stir until smooth and creamy.  Add half of the shredded cheese and stir until combined.

Add the cooked noodles and a generous amount of the black pepper. Remove from heat at this point.

In a deep baking dish, layer the macaroni on the bottom.  Add some of the bacon pieces.

Add a layer of the shredded cheese.

Repeat two more times.  Top with the Panko bread crumbs and more bacon pieces.

Cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and brown.

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Our Guest Room--Grandfather Inspired

Since both of my step-daughters have left for college, by husband and I have been sprucing up the guest rooms (formerly L & P's rooms).  Well, I think that the first (L's) guest room is finally complete, thanks to mine and my husband's grandfathers as inspiration.  

I had originally painted this room Benjamin Moore's  Guacamole for the main walls and Friar's Brown for the accent walls.  The trim remained the same Linen White.  I really liked the colors in the room  and decided to keep the same colors and make the room a blend of traditional, antique, and masculine.

The primary feature for the room is the antique Victorian bed from the early 19th century.  The headboard is almost 7 feet tall.  I think it is fabulous!  Next we added a fabric wall made of a simple silk from floor to ceiling to highlight the bed.

I used a reversible comforter in chocolate and gold and a multi colored quilt for the bottom of the bed.  I made several pillows to tie the fabrics together.  I really wanted to incorporate some of the other color from the quilt into the room, such as burnt orange, red, cream, and sandalwood.

The window treatments are gold with a chocolate banding with a fabulous tassel added as the tie back.  I used a 2" rod with round finials and applied an antique gold paint for the finish.   

The bedside table is another antique--a secretary from my husband's family.  I used an antique copper tray to hold the delicate water decanter.  

The chest, which I use to hold extra kitchen and dining linen, was painted black, but is now beautifully distressed and is home to a small humidor with some of my husband's prized cigars.  An antique cut-glass lamp, brass pulls, and a carving of an Indian made by my grandfather finish out the details. 

The art work in room really keeps with the masculine scheme.  I used wildlife prints and a limited edition Pelican print by Christina Smith .  Some of the other items on the walls are a photo of my husband and his grandfather fishing (one of his favorite memories), his grandfather's boat paddle (with initials carved into it), antique rods and reels, and a collection of antique duck calls. 

Some of the other elements in the room bring in natural wooden elements and antique gold.

I am really happy about how this room turned out.  My husband is even happier.  I think that the main reason that he is so happy---I did not buy one thing for this room---can you believe it??  It's true.   I feel kind of frugal!! (first time in my life)

It's funny, I am really a girly girl, but found it very easy to take the "manly" scheme and run with it.  I guess having all of the gorgeous antiques made it a little bit easier, but I couldn't be any happier with the finished product.

Coming soon--a feminine guest bedroom  (P's) is on it's way .

I've linked up with

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating