Cheddar Walnut Crackers

This is one of the appetizers that I made for snacking on Thanksgiving Day.  
My family really loved them.  
They are completely addicting. 
Spicy and super cheesy---- two great combinations. 

Cheddar Walnut Crackers
 (adapted from Savoring Time in the Kitchen )
3 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Sea salt for sprinkling over crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl cream the butter and add the cheese.  Add the flour and salt.  Mix well.  Blend in the nuts.  The dough should be a smooth consistency.

Roll into 3 logs and chill at least 1-2 hours.

Cut each log in to discs approximately 1/8 inch thick and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Sprinkle lightly with the sea salt.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until somewhat crisp.  (The crackers will not be crispy like crackers from a box.  They will be tender).
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.  These can be stored for up to 3 days.  (I promise, they won't last that long).


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Thanksgiving Recap

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.
It was very relaxed and intimate. 
A very small gathering, only five of us.

I tried to make it as special as possible this year for my sweet mother-in-law. This was our first holiday without my husband's father.   He passed away in September and is missed so much. 

My mother-in-law, Peggy, is very wonderful.  She is so helpful and kind---and she makes the best chocolate pie ever.  That is the only thing that I had her bring.  I made all of the rest. 

Needless to say, I'm still tired and probably won't be hungry until Christmas--that's probably when our leftovers will run out.

We had quite a menu (--I made one for each place setting).

Here is the original.

They turned out really cute.  I downloaded the print from The Graphics Fairy and added the menu at  I added some cute card stock and a ribbon to each.  

Here are a few pictures of the entire table.

I tried to keep everything simple and with natural elements.  I clipped a few branches from our Magnolia for the greenery.  I used my favorite "Lynn Holland" plates, copper chargers, antique salt and pepper cellars and shakers.  The beautiful fleur-de-lis glassware is Mignon Faget.  The cute acorn plates were bought a few years ago at Pottery Barn and the ceramic gourd place card holders are from Williams-Sonoma.  The linen is from Target.

The entire meal--

I also made an appetizer table for before the meal munching.  I guess I thought we wouldn't have enough food.

I'll share recipes soon for most of the dishes.  

Happy Thanksgiving

Image via pinterest

"As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year, we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times. We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things." [Millie Stamm] 

Crawfish Beignets with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

If you want a  knock-your-socks-off fabulous holiday appetizer.
Then look no further---I've got a good one for you!!!

Crawfish Beignets with Spicy Remoulade Sauce
I had this appetizer at a restaurant in New Orleans a few years ago and was hooked. 
 It became an obsession of mine to re-create it. I definitely think that this recipe comes close. 
I first made this for Louisiana Cookin' Magazine and thought that it would be a fantastic recipe to share for the holidays. 

 The beignets could be made with shrimp, crab, or even vegetarian if seafood is not your thing.  
The remoulade sauce is one that I have made and has evolved for years.  
I also use this sauce for boiled shrimp, fried shrimp or fish po-boys.  
It's even delicious as a dip for potato chips.

Crawfish Beignets with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

For the Beignets

1 quart canola oil, for frying
8 ounces peeled crawfish tails
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 eggs
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup minced bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Heat oil in a deep pan to 365° F.  In a small bowl, sprinkle crawfish tails with Creole seasoning and stir to evenly coat. (You can skip this step if you had them in a really spicy boil!!)

 In a large bowl, whisk eggs.  Add jalapeno, green onions, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, flour, baking powder, and milk.  Add crawfish and stir gently to combine.

Using a large tablespoon, drop the beignet dough, in batches of 4 to 5 beignets, into the oil and fry approximately 3-4 minutes or until beignets are golden brown and crispy.  Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with Spicy Remoulade Sauce.

For the remoulade:

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons parsley, minced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


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Chocolate Pecan Pie

I absolutely love the holiday season--
Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. 
I love the decorations, the food, the parties.
I love it all.

So, now that it's Thanksgiving Week,
I thought that I would start with a delicious dessert that is a staple in my family's holiday celebrations.  I'm not sure where this recipe originated.  My grandmother and mother made this pie for as long as I can remember.  My brother-in-law always wants me to make him an extra one (just for himself) every Christmas. 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 prepared pie crust

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir to partially dissolve sugar.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.  Simmer two minutes, stirring often.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes in 30 second intervals stirring between each.  Remove from microwave and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy.  Combine with chocolate and corn syrup mixtures.  Stir in vanilla and pecan halves.  Place all in the prepared pie crust.  

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Lower oven to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes or until filling has set.  Cool on wire rack. 

I also wanted to share a picture of this beautiful word art--Psalm 100.  I downloaded this from 

Dear Lillie

I absolutely love this site.  She has a beautiful home and great ideas.  Make sure to check it out.  


Make sure to check back tomorrow for a great holiday appetizer!! 

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Vegetable Beef Soup

Now that my husband and I are "empty nesters" I haven't been cooking as much lately.    
I've still been cooking, but trying to not make the large quantities that come with kids at home. 
At least once or twice a month, though, my step-daughter "P" comes home to do laundry, hang out, and eat dinner with us. 

This weekend she requested Vegetable Beef Soup and cornbread. 
I was so glad that she did.   The recipe that I use makes a huge pot of soup.  Gladly, she accepted a large tupperware of left-overs (and I have lunch for a few days). 

This recipe is from my Dad.
He is the king of vegetable soup in our family.  
It is a very simple recipe, but completely satisfying and delicious.

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 pounds of sirloin beef tips
2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons creole seasoning (I used Tony's)
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 cans of whole kernel corn
2 cans of cut green beans
2 cans of mixed vegetables
1 can sliced carrots
2 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
3 cans of tomato sauce
2 large russet potatoes, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Add meat and brown.  Add Worcestershire sauce and creole seasoning and cook until the meat is browned.  Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes until softened.  Add cans and potatoes.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Cook for approximately an hour or until potatoes are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This goes great with my recipe for my Nanny's homemade cornbread.


A Louisiana Cookin' Party

I think that I possibly have some of the best friends in the world. Smart, beautiful women (and men)...generous and kind. 
The reason that I'm going on and on is that-- a couple of weekends ago, a few of my favorite people in this world 
Vicki, me, Christina, and Michelle
hosted a fabulous party to celebrate an article that was written about my husband and myself 
in Louisiana Cookin' Magazine. 
The party was held at Michelle's house.  Her house is beautiful--I mean really beautiful.  She and her husband recently renovated their backyard area and added a pool, outdoor kitchen, dining area, multiple seating areas with fire pit---super fabulous!!

 (These are all of her patio and pool area at night--hopefully I will have a few daytime pics when she lets me show her entire house on this site.)

The food for this party was all made by the hostesses and a few of my other fabulous friends.

All in all, the party was wonderful.  I definitely couldn't have asked for anything better.  
Thank you all so much!!

P. S.    All photos are courtesy of William Manwaring Photography

(Thanks so much Will!!)