Spatchcock Chicken

My husband has been going crazy with his "Big Green Egg".  
He has been doing ALL of the cooking, lately. 
 I'm not complaining-when it's hot I really don't like spending all of my time in the kitchen being cooked by a hot oven and stove.  
I'm more of a spring, fall, and winter cooking girl.

I am also not much of a butcher.  
 I guess it's a man thing--he is always watching "You Tube" videos on how to cut meat a certain way.

I really thought he was making something up when he told me that we were having 
Spatchcock Chicken for dinner.

I asked him what it was and he showed me this--

So, I was intrigued--I've never had or even heard of spatchcock chicken before.
I do really like saying it, though

Here is what our chicken looked like after they had been spatchcocked--

Well, there is no way in the world that my cookin' hubby is going to make any type of marinade, so he went to the store and came home with this--

I think that he went a little CRAZY!!

Then he decided to pull out the marinader (is that a word??--another man thing).

I hope that y'all don't think that I'm making fun of him, because I am not.

Because even with all of his marinades and videos we had chicken that looked like this--

 and tasted even better.

To cook the chicken:

Heat the grill to 400 degrees and grill for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.


My Parent's New House

It's official--my parents have moved to my hometown.
Some people might say--"Oh no!!!",
 I'm really excited--for me and for them.
I haven't lived in the same town with my parents for over 20 years.
(My Mom owes me a lot of meals!!!)

My Dad retired a few years ago due to health reasons and they felt that it was time to give up the acreage and move to the suburbs (not that small of a house, but a really small yard).

Their new house is really pretty.
Here are a few pictures of the outside and the main living areas.

I'm so excited for them and can't wait to share our adventure in decorating this new house.
(These pictures really make me want to stick a for sale sign in my front yard.)

My Cookbook Collection--F&W's Best of the Best

I don't know if I've told you this before but I am a book addict.
Cookbooks are definitely included in this addiction.
I love reading them cover to cover.
One of the reasons why I love cookbooks so much is that you get an idea of who the person is writing the book and learn some of their tips along the way.

Every year I get this cookbook in the mail.

It is so awesome!!

Food & Wine magazine (my favorite cooking magazine) compiles some of the best recipes from some of the best cookbooks every year.  

They make it simple to determine which cookbooks I need to invest in and which I do not.
They also tests the recipes to let you know which are superb and which ones "flop".

This year they have included Mario Batali, Pete Evans, Melissa Clark, Jacob Kenedy, and BobbyFlay just to name a few.

I am so excited that I've already placed post-its on my favorites--
Scallops with Grapefruit Butter (American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini & Gwen Hyman)
Mallobars ( Cook This Now by Melissa Clark)
Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie (Bobby Flay's Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay, Stephaine Banyas & Sally Jackson)
My Mother's Chicken Ragout (Essential Pepin by Jacques Pepin)
Butter +Cinnamon+Sugar=Cake (Baking Style by Lisa Yockelson)

My mouth is salivating looking at the pictures and I can't wait to share my version
(you know I can't follow any recipe exactly).

Crab Stuffed Shrimp

This is one of those recipes that comes about from years of eating, experimenting, and obsessing over different versions of the same recipe.

I cannot tell you how many times I have eaten Crab Stuffed Shrimp and how many various ways it has been cooked--fried, grilled, bacon-wrapped.
None of them were bad, either.

I've also made them many different ways myself, but this is probably my favorite.

Crab Stuffed Shrimp with a Wine Butter Sauce

2 pounds of large shrimp
4 ounces lump crab meat
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons yellow onion, diced
4 tablespoons green bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (I used Tony's)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream

To prepare the shrimp:
Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tail.  Take a sharp knife and cut along the length being careful not to cut all the way through.  Open the shrimp and press lightly to flatten.  

For the filling:
In a medium pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions and bell pepper.  Add the garlic after a few minutes being careful to not burn the garlic.  Saute all of the vegetables for approximately 5 minutes or until soft.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Add the crab meat, mustard, seasonings, bread crumbs, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Place all of the shrimp in a 1" deep baking pan and add approximately 1 teaspoon of the filling on each shrimp.  (The filling should hold together nicely, if not add a little more olive oil.)  

Bake the shrimp at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the filling is warmed.

For the Sauce:
In a sauce pan melt the butter.  Add the wine and the cream and warm.

Serve the shrimp with a small amount of sauce.


diy project--mercury glass

Lately I've been seeing a ton of mercury glass projects on pinterest.  
I did some scientific research and found out that it is not all that hard.

The hardest part, actually, was finding this--

I searched far and wide--I finally found some in the locked cabinets at Hobby Lobby.

Then it was off to World Market to buy some 3.99 glass pieces.
(I wasn't that sure of my skills.
I didn't really want to mess up some of my more expensive glass pieces, just in case.)

Here are my finished projects---
they were very easy and I'm loving them.
So, here's how you do it...

  • wash and dry the glass items that you want to spray paint
  • spray a thin clear coat of the Looking Glass paint on the inside/underneath of the glass
  •  immediately mist 1:1 ratio of vinegar/water on the glass that you just painted
  • blot with a paper towel
  • allow to dry for 1-2 minutes between coats
  • repeat 4 or 5 times
Easy as pie---

you now have faux mercury glass!!

We Have A Winner

The winner of the custom monogrammed phone case is

I will be contacting you to choose your phone case.

Thanks to everyone who entered!!!

Triple Berry Pie

What do you do when you need to make a dessert and you have a bunch of containers of berries in your refrigerator?

You make Triple Berry Pie.

Berry desserts are some of my favorite and they scream summer!!
This dessert is simple, but the flavors are not.

Triple Berry Pie

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pie crusts

Preheat the oven 375 degrees.  Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Allow ingredients to sit for a few minutes for the flavors to combine while you prepare the pie crusts.

Place the first pie crust on a cookie sheet.  Pour all of the ingredients in the bottom pie crust.

Cut the second pie crust into strips and cover the pie.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.


I am soooo ready for football season.  
I like the football, but I really love the parties, food, drinks, and spending some great quality time with my friends.

I also wanted to share a new item just added to the shop--

{the shop}

Order yours today!!!
Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway for

Kind of Easy Homemade Pizza Dough & A Giveaway!!

Last weekend I ventured into pizza making and now I am hooked. 

I keep thinking of different combinations that I can try for my next pizzas--  
Chicken+Artichoke+Sun-Dried Tomato

The list goes on and on...

But before the pizza can be made you need the dough.
I prefer thin crust pizzas, crispy and flavorful.

I found this recipe on 101 cookbooks and it's surprisingly simple.
(This recipe is kind of long--but just read through it, it's really not that bad.)
I was really surprised.
I've always been intimidated by baking.
It is actually one of my personal goals is to improve my baking skills and make things that fall outside of my comfort zone.

Peter Reinhart's Napoletana Pizza Dough Recipe

4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces)  bread, or all-purpose flour
1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting
1. Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). With a large metal spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment), If you are mixing by hand, repeatedly dip one of your hands or the metal spoon into cold water and use it, much like a dough hook, to work the dough vigorously into a smooth mass while rotating the bowl in a circular motion with the other hand. Reverse the circular motion a few times to develop the gluten further. Do this for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.

2. Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas), You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it, Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan, Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.

3. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
4. On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours.
5. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
6. Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, in flour and lift I piece of dough by getting under it with a pastry scraper. Very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. If it begins to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue shaping it. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss as shown on page 208. If you have trouble tossing the dough, or if the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn't as effective as the toss method.
7. When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide. Lightly top it with sauce and then with your other top- pings, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy. The American "kitchen sink" approach is counterproductive, as it makes the crust more difficult to bake. A few, usually no more than 3 or 4 toppings, including sauce and cheese is sufficient.

Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.

Now, on to the giveaway!!!

One lucky reader will win a

I'm pretty excited about this giveaway--
it is one of my favorite things and one of the most popular in my shop.

Choose from 30 patterns, 23 colors,
and six different monograms for your phone case.

How to enter:
Become a follower of LouLou Sucre and
leave a comment telling me what your perfect case design would be.

Please leave only one comment, duplicates will not be counted.

For extra entries:  follow LouLou Sucre on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.
Just leave a comment letting me know that you are following on those networks.
(If you are already a follower, leave a comment telling me.)

This contest will run for a week-Friday 10th-17th.
The contest will close at 10pm central time.
This giveaway is open to US addresses only.
Please leave an email address in comments in order to be contacted.

Good Luck!!!

{This giveaway is now closed}

Pizza Margherita on the Grill & The Best Tomato Sauce Ever

I made my first grilled pizza this past weekend and I must say,
 I am hooked!!

We decided to use our new Big Green Egg for the grilling.

It was a success and really not that difficult.

I made homemade pizza dough, which was surprisingly easy, and probably the most amazing tomato sauce that I've ever tasted.

There were two negatives to this pizza experience--
The Egg broke my favorite pampered chef stone (yep, 3 large pieces), and
we could only cook one or two small pizzas at a time.

(I'm an optimist at heart...
now I get a new stone and it was kind of fun having a pizza tasting party.)

I have no complaints, though--it was all very delicious.

We made Margherita, Pepperoni, and Cheese (for our nephew).

Classic Tomato Sauce
(slightly adapted from )

makes about 5 cups

1/4 cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
1/2 cup red wine
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
3 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lightly saute the minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until golden.  Add the tomato paste and fry with the garlic.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Allow the sauce to cook for approximately 1 hour to thicken.

Pizza Margherita

Classic tomato sauce
fresh mozzarella, sliced
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
fresh basil leaves
pizza dough

To assemble the pizza add the tomato sauce to cover the dough almost to the edges.  Top with mozzarella slices, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and basil leaves.

Heat the Grill to 600 degrees.  Spread cornmeal or semolina flour on the pizza peel  for it to slide off easily.  Cook the pizza at 550 degrees for 8 minutes or until crisp.

This was actually a pizza cut in half and then grilled.  
I haven't quite mastered the whole "shaping the dough" yet.
My dough tended to be oval and not round, so I cut a few of the pizzas in half.
Hopefully I will improve on this with practice.

Check back tomorrow for the pizza dough recipe.
The instructions are a little lengthy.
Don't worry, though, I hopefully won't bore you to death with the details...
I've got a little surprise coming too!!!



New Arrivals!!!

I'm excited to announce a few New Arrivals to 
{the shop}

also make sure to check out new
Martin Welch
 totes and aprons

Banana Bread with Honey Butter

Whenever I have house guests one of the things that I usually try to make for a quick breakfast is  Banana Bread.
Mostly everyone likes it and it is very easy and quick.

Banana Bread is one of those recipes that is good no matter how you make it
---with or without nuts,
---with or without cinnamon.
The choice is really yours.

I prefer with nuts and with cinnamon.

I decided this time that I would try a recipe from here--I adapted it just a little.
This bread is very moist and very flavorful.  
 It is perfect slathered with Honey Butter.

 Banana Bread
(adapted slightly from Pioneer Woman)

2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons suger
3 whole eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition.  Add the mashed bananas and beat.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients and sour cream alternately to the mixing bowl.  Beat well until combined.  Add nuts (optional) and stir by hand until well combined.

Pour into a bundt pan and bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Invert on a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool slightly before slicing.

Honey Butter

2 sticks of butter (left at room temperature approximately 30 minutes)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.