After our recent “trip” to New York to make New York style bagels, we decided to switch it up a bit and head on down to the bayou! One of Madison’s favorite Disney movies is “The Princess and the Frog,” which takes place in New Orleans. So it was the perfect accompaniment to our culinary trip to Louisiana! We decided to make that one classic New Orleans dish: Beignets! I’ve never had a beignet, so I really had no idea what they were supposed to taste like, and I’m certain that nothing compares to the fresh beignets served at Café Du Monde – but I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the results!
So, with the soundtrack of Princess and the Frog playing in the background (Check out Dr. John’s “Down in New Orleans” for the perfect accompaniment to your Louisiana culinary adventure!), we sat down to learn a few interesting tidbits about Louisiana. Madison learned that New Orleans was the largest city in the southern states during the Civil War. So, of course, it held great importance to both the confederate and union armies.
Beignets are French pastries that were introduced to Louisiana by French settlers from a Canadian region called Acadia. Traditional beignets are made from choux pastry which does not require yeast as a rising agent. The recipe we chose did include yeast, so they’re not quite the same as beignets at the Café du Monde – but they were quite delicious ad fairly easy to make!
I will also add a recipe for Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya that we made for dinner that night, though I didn’t photograph the process (Madison was a little too distracted by the tasty beignets to dig into the jambalaya recipe!).
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package yeast
- powdered sugar
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.
- Heat milk to scalding. (Steaming but not boiling.)
- Place the butter and sugarsin a large mixing bowl. Pour the scalding milk over the top of the butter and sugar.
- Stir the milk so that the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. ALLOW THE MIXTURE TO COOL TO LUKEWARM. (You don’t want to kill the yeast!)
- Add the yeast and stir it in.
- Add the egg and HALF of the dry ingredients to the bowl and beat well.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Place the dough on a floured counter and knead about 2-3 minutes, or until it is soft and pliable.
- Place your kneaded dough into a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Place the dough onto a floured counter and flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cut the dough into triangles or squares.
- Heat canola oil to 385 degrees.
- Scoop the dough into the oil using a slotted spoon or fry basket.
- Fry for 1-2 minutes and then flip the dough using your slotted spoon or fry basket.
- Fry the second side for 1-2 more minutes. Your beignets should now be goldenbrown on both sides.
- Remove the beignets and place them on a paper towel to cool a bit.
- Once cooled enough to prevent burning your mouth, dump powdered sugar over the top of the beignets and ENJOY!
We found this recipe on bombshellbling.com
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- 2 3/4 lb chicken meat (white and dark), chopped (You could also use shrimp!)
- 1 pound smoked kielbasa, sliced (We used Andouille Sausage)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 (14- to 16-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup green onions (white and green parts), chopped
- Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces, then slice kielbasa into 1/4-inch thick disks.
- Heat oil in a heavy stock pot over moderately high heat until hot (but not smoking).
- Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
- Add chicken, sausage, tomatoes, broth, water, salt, and cayenne and bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Stir in rice and bring to a full rolling boil. Cover pot, then cook over low heat until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand off heat, covered, 5 minutes.
- Stir in green onions and serve.
This recipe was found on foodista.com
Next Stop: Maine!
Panini Bar: Kids in the Kitchen
If you’re just joining us for the Kids in the Kitchen Series, be sure to check out last week’s challenge where we shared some tasty breakfast treats. This week, we’re working on lunch! If your kids are tiring of the same old lunch sandwiches, let’s change things up a bit and get them involved with their lunch choice. A panini bar is a great way to host an afternoon of family fun! (In truth, the panini bar makes regular appearances on our dinner menu as well – it’s a great option for the working mom who wants to serve a hot meal but doesn’t have a lot of time. I’ve also been known to sneak a hot panini for breakfast!)
The best part about a panini bar is that you can always switch it up. We lay out everything in the fridge in a huge spread and then the choices begin! Emily usually takes the orders and then I help her prep. She cooks them in our panini maker (Best invention ever! This is an affiliate link for the one I have – don’t feel led to click – it’s just there if you want it because I really think this product is awesome!) and then serves them up like a waitress in our own little family restaurant. Some things you’ll need:
- Assortment of bread – We’ve used white, wheat, tortillas, homemade, rolls, bagels, pitas…whatever happens to be on hand.
- Assortment of meats – Ham, turkey, roast beef, pepperoni, roasted chicken (See The Bird Word Series!)…whatever you like!
- Assortment of cheese – We always have cheddar and provolone on hand, but often take it up a notch with pepper jack or fresh mozzarella (my fav!).
- Assortment of toppings – Tomatoes, basil, roasted red peppers, hot peppers, avocado and bacon have all made appearances on our panini menu.
- Assortment of condiments – Mayo, mustard, hot sauce, ranch dressing…lots of tasty options here.
The opportunities are truly endless. Everyone loves getting to have something a little different and choosing their own toppings per their tastes, but you don’t feel like you’re prepping separate meals for everyone. It’s quick to set up, quick to prep and quick to clean up. And the best part is that a panini bar requires some input from every member of the family, so it’s a great activity to get everyone chatting and interacting in a combined effort to create some tasty together.
We’ve made BLTs, club sandwiches, mozzarella caprese yummies (YES!!!!), grilled cheese…seriously, I can’t think of a food that doesn’t taste better after it’s been pressed in the panini maker. It’s like my own little homemade Panera! Emily feels super independent and in control getting to prep and cook, and I love getting a bit of a break from being in charge of mealtime.
Do you have an awesome sandwich that you think would be killer in the panini maker? Please share! I’m always looking for new ingredients to include in our panini bar. And be sure to link up any awesome panini recipes below and check out what the other gals made this week!
Quick and Easy Recipes for Working Moms
If there is one thing I am always on the hunt for, it’s quick and easy recipes. With growing toddler twin boys eating me out of house and home, I’m constantly fighting the grumpy munchies when we get home from work. Dinner needed to be on the table…like five minutes ago. Finding the right quick and easy recipes has been a bit of a challenge. There’s no shortage of recipes on Pinterest, but I find myself quickly overwhelmed and click happy, leaving me with hundreds of options spread across 15 different boards. Some recipes are easy prep and then some just look darn tasty and would take some real elbow grease and time for me to pull off.
So! I decided to create a never-ending quick and easy recipes link up on Chaos & Kiddos! For all those working moms out there who frequent our site for recipes that are manageable for the tight-on-time working parent, we’ve now got this extra bonus post for you! We’ll be collecting quick and easy recipes from bloggers all over the planet!
There’s just one rule – All recipes posted MUST BE 45 MINUTES TOPS from preparation to table. This includes cooking time!
The link up sorts the most recently added recipes to the top of the list, so come back time and time again for new recipes to freshen things up a bit. Bloggers! This is your chance to get creative when sharing recipes that would be an ideal fit for a tired working mom coming home to starving kiddos. It does not have to be dinner specific either! Quick snacks, breakfast, lunch…anything that can be whipped up in a jiffy to quell hungry voices with just a little bit of time and effort.
If you try a recipe and find that it is extra, extra fabulous, please come back to leave some blog love via the comments to encourage other working moms to take special note of a home run quick and easy recipe that you discovered on this link up. And visit the original poster to say thanks for helping save time and energy (and sanity!) in my home!
Oatmeal On-The-Go Bars by Weelicious: Kids in the Kitchen
The name really says it all on this one. As working moms, I’m sure most of us would admit that “on-the-go” is pretty much the only mode we operate in. When it comes to cooking, it needs to be quick and easy. As I work harder to focus on healthy ingredients, I’m often drawn back to my Weelicious Cookbook, where simple healthy recipes abound and cooking is always a family affair. This week, for the Kids in the Kitchen Series, we had to come up with a breakfast food to cook with our children. I immediately thought of the Oatmeal On-The-Go Bars by Weelicious because they’re super healthy, very easy and have lots of ingredients that the boys enjoy dumping in their bowls. And for the working mom, they are a major win, because they’re perfect for me to grab for breakfast as I’m heading out the door in the morning.
I admit, this post was supposed to publish first thing Monday morning. As often happens, life got in the way, and I’m, let’s see, only about 12 hours late. I almost didn’t get it done tonight either! I had one moment of “Oh, I’ll just do it tomorrow,” and thankfully, I convinced myself otherwise. Cooking tonight with the kids (all 3 of them!) will be a memory I hold dear for years to come. The boys were so excited, and their “sissy” was happy to hang out with her family for some tasty fun. They ended up chanting “You can do it! You can do it!” when Emily was measuring ingredients and even hugged each other in happiness, which is a rare occasion for my crazy competitive boys. It was a special night. I’m so glad I followed through. Doing these series with my blogger friends really challenges me to purposefully plan fun activities with my children, which as a busy mom, is something I feel I often overlook when the going gets tough, even though it should be my number 1 priority.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 cups Milk
- 1/2 cup Applesauce
- 1 Egg
- 3 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3/4 cup Dried Fruit (I used raisins and dried cranberries)
- 1/4 cup Nuts or Seeds (I used Pepitas and Sunflower Seeds)
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
-Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.
-Combine milk, applesauce, egg, honey and vanilla in a large bowl.
-Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
-Add the dried fruit and nuts.
-Pour into a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.
These bars will last 5 days in the fridge and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Be sure to check out what recipes my gal pals tackled for this week’s challenge and link up your own tasty breakfast posts!