You guys have been asking for this for years! Literally since I first started blogging. I’ve been hesitant, because I wanted it to be right. Sweet Potato Pie is a major thanksgiving menu component. It’s heavily debated. But, I don’t care about the opinions anymore. I’m giving you what my family and I enjoy.
I used two big sweet potatoes poked holes all over them. We’ll be baking them. I prefer baking over boiling because it preserves the flavor.
Please don’t be like me. Wait for them to cool first before peeling the skin and scooping out the flesh.
Mash your potatoes up a little before using your electric mixer. The mixer is extremely handy with this recipe. It will help you pull out those pesky sweet potato strings. Mix well and then rinse the strings off of the mixer and continue until the majority of strings are gone. Don’t try to remove every little string. That’s impossible. Just get as many as you can.
Don’t panic if your filling appears a little pale in color. It’s all good.
I suck a pressing my pie crust into the dish. Please don’t laugh at my poor crust. I have a bomb homemade Pie Crust on the site. But, store bought crust is perfectly fine as well.
Pie Crust shields are available for purchase. Or at least that’s what I call them. I just tear pieces of foil and gently cover the exposed pie crust with it. This will prevent the crust from baking too fast and burning before the filling is completely cooked.
I’m still conquering my cooking fears this month. Next up, the highly requested Birria Tacos! My pronunciation of these ingredients may be way off. Please forgive me. But this recipe is right on the money! I believe I’ve paired the right spices and chilies to create a robust and addictive consomé. Be forewarned, this recipe is not a quick one. However, I’ve made it as easy to follow as I could. It’s even beginner friendly. If you’re down to embark on a labor of love that is well worth the effort, keep reading.
Chilies or Chilis?
I had to order some of these chilies from Amazon. That’s how dedicated to this flavor profile I was. I knew exactly how I wanted this recipe to taste. That took some preparation. I love this combination of chilies. The Mulato lends a slight smoky, sweet flavor to the paste that shouldn’t been omitted. Track that one down. You need it.
Take your time and remove the seeds and stems from each pepper. The Chile de Árbol is the smallest. But, those suckers can hold some seeds! Dump them out. Wear gloves and do not touch your face or eyes! Please! These things aren’t for sensitive areas. It’s also important to toast the dried chilies in a dry skillet before soaking them. This will enhance their flavors. However, be very careful not to burn the chilies. They will become bitter. That we do not want. So, just toast them over medium high heat for 30 seconds per side.
Now, The Meats.
I love the lean strips of beef from a chuck roast in my tacos. But, I needed that bone flavor. So, I used both chuck roast and beef shank. The flavor was divine! They both cooked beautifully in my slow cooker. I didn’t need a knife or fork to shred the beef. It really fell apart when I picked it up! You can cook the meat in the oven, on the stove top, or in a pressure cooker as well.
Browning your meat on all sides is another must. This locks in the flavor and renders a more tender result. Be sure to sear all sides of the meat.
Spice No Girls
This chile paste doesn’t owe me nothing! I know that incorrect. I had to say it that way. Back to the paste. It’s saporous and very easy to prepare. Don’t let the amount of spices scare you. Each one is necessary and should be readily available in your nearby grocery stores.
Straining the paste into the slow cooker is imperative. If you have a racehorse of a blender, you may be able to skip this step. But, I don’t want to chance getting seeds from the chilies in the finished product. Sometimes we can’t get them all. Some may sneak out into the paste. That’s why straining is advised. Doing so also results in a smoother consomé.
This meat gets so tender that it falls apart when you pick it up. Grab some gloves and shred the beef effortlessly without a fork or knife.
The wonders of slow cooking. You can add the beef back into the consomé. Whatever you decide, hurry up and do it. It’s time to make tacos!
Tacos Monday, TUESDAY, Wednesday, Thursday…
Tuesdays definitely won’t be the only days you’ll want to devour these tacos! I double the tortillas and stuff cheese in between the two. Extra cheesy! I do way too much and you should, too! Get your dip on!
Two cuts of beef slow cooked in a robust and spicy stock filled with spices and flavor. This is the best Birria recipe you’ll find.
3garlic cloves + 1 yellow onionfinely diced
5New Mexico chilies
3Chile de Árbol
2chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
14.5ouncespetite diced tomatoes
4cupsbeef or chicken stock
1TBSwhite distilled vinegar
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro & Chopped Onions for garnish
Cut the roast into large chunks
Season the roast pieces and beef shanks with the seasoning salt and onion powder
Heat the oil in a skillet
Sear the meat on all sides until browned.
Remove the meat; set aside
Add the finely diced onion and garlic into the same skillet
Sauté for 1-2 mins
Remove and reserve for the chile paste
Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray
Add the meat to the slow cooker.
Remove seeds and stems from all of the dried chilies.
Place the chilies in a dry skillet on medium high heat.
Toast the chilies for one minute. Do NOT burn the chilies. They will become bitter.
Boil 2 cups of beef stock
Place the dried chilies in a heat safe bowl
Pour the hot stock over the chilies; allow them to soak and soften for 30 minutes.
Pour the softened chilies and stock into blender
Add the chipotle peppers, diced tomatoes, 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, peppercorns, Mexican oregano, cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon stick, ginger, sautéed onion and garlic, and vinegar into the blender.
Blend until well combined and smooth.
Pour the paste into a strainer over the slow cooker containing the meat.
Strain the paste into the slow cooker
Pour in the remaining 2 cups of beef stock and two cups of water.
Add the remaining 2 bay leaves and cover with the lid.
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
Remove the meat and shred it. Discard the bones.
Ladle out 2 cups of the consomé to dip the tortillas in
Dip the tortillas into the consomé.
Fry in a hot skillet until it’s as crispy as desired
Add the meat, cheese, and toppings of your choice
Fold the tortilla over and continue heating until cheese is melted.
I’m going to be honest with you. This is a safe place, right? You’re my homie? Okay. I was scared as hell to tackle the recipe! Why? I’ve only had lamb once. I know. I’m tripping. But, I loved Lamb Chop as a child and I’m loyal. You don’t devour your friends! Anyway, I did it. And this marinade is damn good! Excuse my damn. When you taste it, you say damn, too.
Loin, Shoulder, or Rib?
It doesn’t matter. All lamb cut tastes the same. It really does. Get the cut you desire. I got what I could find. Lamb isn’t readily available in my area. I had to use what I could find. And I’m perfectly fine with these beautiful loin chops! You may have to trim the fat. I did. Just be careful not to trim to much and agitate the meat. It can be a bit gritty from the butchering as well. Nothing a lemon juice and water rinse won’t fix.
I said what I said. Y’all know I’ll put Cajun/Creole seasoning in any dang thing! These lamb chops were no exception. I used all fresh herbs. Parsley, rosemary, and thyme. My goodness did the lamb love those herbs! Don’t be afraid of the sea salt and Cajun seasoning. Trust me, baby. I got you.
You can marinate the chops overnight if you’d like. Do whatever time allots. But, I highly recommend giving it at least 3 hours of quality time with this marinade. Now, if you’re using a thinner cut of chops, like shoulder, you can get away with 30 minutes to an hour of flavor soaking.
No Cold Meat
Do NOT take these chops straight from the fridge to the hot pan. Doing so will result in tough meat. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Especially after we spent so many coins on this little lamb. Nope! Let these guys sit out at room temperature until they warm up.
Don’t Move the Lamb
We need to sear. This is favorite part. What’s important? Don’t move the meat around. In order to get a good, even sear, leave the chop alone for that hot 5 minutes before flipping. Now, I know lamb should be served medium rare. I’m not about that life. I need this thang medium to medium well. Go ahead and call me uncultured. I’m cool with that. You still need me for this recipe tho. 💋
You know your girl loves a good sauce. You don’t get much simpler than this. We’re just combining pan drippings with wine and butter basically. But, the flavor is anything except basic! Don’t skip this sauce.
Doesn’t this meal feel like we would dine on it whilst listening to Frank Sinatra? That’s exactly what the men in my house did. They’re so extra. But, so it this recipe. Extra savory and expensive in taste af.
Hurricane Sally was brewing in the Gulf this week. To calm my nerves, I cooked. It’s my stress relief. I pulled some stuff out of my fridge and this Cheesesteak Pasta Bake was born. I posted it on my Instagram page and mayhem ensue. I didn’t think you guys would want another pasta recipe. But, after almost 100k views and more comments than I could keep up with demanding this recipe, I concluded that I was wrong. Here you go…
This is not Jambalaya! Let’s just get that clear. Similar, yes. They’re like cousins. 1st cousins. My Seafood Rice will absolutely be one of your new, favorite side dishes! That’s big talk, right? Try me.
You’re gonna need your favorite sausages for this recipe. It’s the foundation of the flavor. Those sausage drippings matter! We build off of them.
Another important flavor component is the crawfish fat. I use frozen crawfish tails. After thawing, I drain that orange liquid off and reserve it. This will give the rice its seafood flavor. The color may be a little off putting at first. But, it’s just crawfish fat and water.
After cooking the shrimp and warming the crawfish, there will be some residual crawfish fat and water at the bottom of the pot. Drain it into the bowl of reserved crawfish fat. We don’t want to leave it in the spot, because it will prevent the veggies from browning properly in the next step. But, do NOT discard it. That’s more flavor that we need.
Gotta have the fresh veggies for seasoning. Also, mince your own garlic! It’s so convenient to just purchase the jar of pre-minced garlic. But, trust me, chopping up your own is much better. It’s more fragrant and fresher. Let’s talk rice. I’m using jasmine rice, so my measurements are in accordance with that type of rice. If you’re using a different rice, the amount of chicken stock will change. Follow the package instructions for the amount of water needed and use chicken stock instead of water.
To avoid overcooking the seafood, add it back into the pot along with the sausage at the very end of the cooking process. It will only need a minute or two to heat up. Then, fluff and serve!
Dessert egg rolls?? Sign me up! I had a can of caramel apple pie filling chilling in my pantry for at least 3 months. I bought it while preparing my Walmart delivery online. I have no clue how I ended up on that page. Anyway, I’d never seen the caramel apple flavor. I had to get it. I had no idea what I’d use it for. I invited friends over for hibachi and needed a quick dessert. Light bulb! Dessert egg rolls. Easy and DELICIOUS!
Surprisingly, the canned apples aren’t very sweet. I like that. That means we can control how sweet we want them. I just add a little brown sugar and cinnamon. We’ll add more sweetness later.
Cookies, it’s later. Lol Okay, so I use softened cream cheese. Very, very soft. Leave it out of the fridge for a few hours. Or use the “melt” setting on your microwave if you have it. Cheat code: Philadelphia cream cheese melts like a dream! Now, mix in your little sugar and vanilla. Get to whisking.
I can’t describe wrapping an egg roll in text. Just watch my tutorial. It’s easy. I still kind of suck at it, but I do what I can, ya know? I spoon in 3 apples per wrapper. I usually get about 10-12 rolls this way. Just depends on how generous your can of filling is.
Deep fry or pan fry these things for about 2 minutes. They don’t take long to brown at all, so don’t step away too far. Drain on a wired rack instead of paper towels. This will maintain the crispness. Don’t drain for too long. We have that cinnamon and sugar stick!
I like to drizzle a bit of cream cheese frosting on top. I already have my recipe on here. Pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. That will make it easier to drizzle. I just realized I enjoy saying the word “drizzle”.
My mom told me to tell you to try this with ice cream. Says it’s a game changer. I believe her. Trust my mom and grab a pint! Happy Cooking,
To date, my Hibachi recipe is the the most popular recipe on our blog. And I’m proud of it! I put so much effort into making it flavorful, yet easy! The same is to be said about my Shrimp Lo Mein! I did my research! I wanted it to be savory with just the right amount of sweetness for balance. I also wanted to make it as close to authentic as I could. I really, really hope you guys enjoy this one. More so, my desire is for each of my Cookies to taste the love I put into this recipe.
Lo Mein noodles aren’t the easiest to come by in my area. So, I called my beloved cousin, hey Meka! She went to 2 or 3 different Asian markets in her city to find these babies and a box full of other goodies for us! She’s a gem, right? An aggravating one. But, she’s useful. Anyway, if you can’t find Lo Mein, there are alternatives. However, I behoove you to try to find them!! But, if you can’t, spaghetti, linguine, or a long, flat egg noodle will work.
Do NOT Burn the Damn Garlic!
I mean it! Don’t do it. Keep that heat low. The smell of these veggies sautéing will fill your home with the most amazing aromatics! Kudos to my Asian brethren for developing such magnificent flavor combinations! It just works!
This sauce, this sauce! Listen, before you add in the cornstarch, taste the sauce!!! Beautiful, right?! I know!! Okay, this sauce is just right. I mean the flavor, the color, those noodles are going to stuck it up! And it’s just the right amount. We’re not make noodles soup. We want the sauce to stick! And it does!
Just because it says Shrimp doesn’t mean you can’t substitute or even add more meat. Just be mindful of the cooking time. Chicken will take longer, so you’ll need to add it earlier than we add the shrimp. It can go in with the veggies. But, don’t add any additional sodium! Trust me. The sauce has plenty!
I enjoyed making the recipe and preparing it for you so much! It’s quick and easy! I know it’ll become on of your absolute favorites! Enjoy!
Let’s talk food, food. In the South, when we said we want “food, food” we mean real, home cooking. No fast food. We want something we can feel! Something that’s a labor of love. Usually it’s some kind of meat and gravy that has been simmering on the stove for at least an hour. Today, I’m talking Southern style Stewed Chicken. It’s what my ancestors made to fill up their families. It’s relatively inexpensive and goes a long way. Plus, it’s easy to whip up. I’ll show ya!
Did you know that buying a whole chicken and cutting it up yourself will save you some coins? Go price thighs, breasts, and wing separately. Now, go look at how much a whole chicken costs. See? I got this for $4 and some cents. Can’t beat that! I cut it up and seasoned it WELL! One thing that hurts my feelings is under seasoned chicken! It may look like a lot of spice, but I promise you the chicken can handle it. Plus, this is the only time we’ll be adding seasoning in this recipe. The chicken holds the responsibility of flavoring the whole meal. It’s definitely up for the task.
Give it Some Color
Browning the chicken is an important step. Not everyone does this. But, I’m not a fan of soggy skin on chicken. So I brown to add more flavor and for crispier skin. Doesn’t take long. But, the flavor is undeniable.
This is not a quick meal. I turn the pot on low and let it go. Low and slow is the key. We want that gravy thick and the chicken melting right on off of the bone! And that’s exactly what you’ll get with this recipe. My mom always added potatoes to the mix. They soak up so much of that chicken flavor and are so delicious in this dish! It’s optional. But, I’d recommend you try it.
Some serve this over noodles. I prefer it over rice. But, that part is completely up to you. Add a green veggie and some cornbread!
To my Cookies that aren’t familiar with Cajun cuisine, allow me to introduce you to a delicacy here in Louisiana. The Crawfish. Nothing gathers people together more than a good ole Crawfish Boil down here! Listen, this little red suckers bring a different kind of joy to our hearts! I can’t even explain the taste. But, let me try…It’s kind of like a mini lobster with 100x more flavor! Of course, everyone here has their own way of boiling. You already know I had to come up with the easiest method that also has the most flavor! Here’s how I prepare my Crawfish Boil and bless my folks!
Clean ‘Em Up!
Your sack of crawfish are going to be dirty! Don’t be alarmed. They come from the swamp. So, a little dirt is expected. We pour them into large cooler and place the water hose inside it. Then, open the drainage hole. Allow the water to run for about 20 minutes or until the water in the cooler is clean.
You should be able to see the crawfish clearly. You also want to remove any dead crawfish you see floating around. If their tails are straight, they’ve gone to glory. Toss ‘em! You definitely do not want to eat a crawfish that gave up the ghost before hitting that hot water. Gross!
You guys know I’m a flavor girl. I worked extra hard making sure these crawdaddies were seasoned to perfection. You want them to have the right amount of kick. If they’re too spicy, it’s hard to enjoy them. You want them jusssssst right! You know, like Goldilocks ole breaking and entering behind. Anyway, I like to season well! I use a mix of both Zatarain’s and Louisiana Fish Fry Products boil seasonings. Both are brands will incredible flavor! I also add one, 8 ounce bottle of liquid boil. The Garlic & Onion flavor is a tad bit less spicy than the original concentrate. It adds just the right amount of kick. If you like extra, EXTRA spicy crawfish, add another bottle.
I know what you’re thinking. “Coop, what the hell?” But, listen, you know if I don’t know anything else, I know how to add flavor to some food, okay? So, trust me on this. Do NOT skip this chicken bouillon!! Also, don’t skip the butter. Because, well, butter makes every damn thing good!
And don’t be shy with the veggies and citrus. They bring so much more out of the boil! And a secret, must have ingredient: vinegar. Plain, white, distilled vinegar. A cup will do. This makes the crawfish shells easier to peel. It also calms the smell. The scent of crawfish can linger on your fingers long after washing your hands. This little splash of vinegar takes care of that! You can even eat them inside of your house without worrying about stinking up your walls and furniture. Thank God for vinegar!
Cool Off, Cool Off
The most important part of the boil, other than choosing the right amount of seasoning, is the cooling/soaking process. Crawfish boils super fast! Within 5 minutes, they will be beautifully red and floating at the top of the pot. This is when you need to drop that temperature. 150°F is ideal for soaking. Adding in frozen corn and sausages helps. But, you need to do more to drop the temperature fast enough. If not, the crawfish will overcook and become a mush. Some like to add ice. I don’t recommend that because ice can dilute the boil and take away some of the flavor we worked so hard to build. I use the Boil Boss! It’s an innovative and easy to use ring that attaches to your water hose. It works amazingly! It dropped my Boil from 220°F to 150°F in a little over 3 minutes! It also locks in the juice. I had the juiciest crawfish of my life using this thing! Get yours here (NOT SPONSORED): https://theboilboss.com
It is said that when the crawfish sinks to the bottom of the pot, it has sucked in as much flavor as possible. But, I find that the longer you soak, the spicier they become. So, taste as you soak. I soaked for about 40 minutes. Since the Boil Boss drooped the temp, I didn’t have to worry about my crawfish overcooking. It allotted them plenty of extra soaking time.
I was intimidated about boiling crawfish. But, there’s nothing to it! Just follow my instructions and watch the video until you’re ready to confidently tackle your first boil. You can do it! And just look at the reward!!