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Contest (You) Cajun/Creole Cooking Challenge (Me)

I like to cook. I like to collect cookbooks. I can boil water, mince garlic, chop an onion, make a smooth non-lumpy white sauce, and lumpy mashed potatoes. I can do all of these things on purpose and with purpose. Ok. Great. If that’s the case, then how come I eat as badly as I do. How come I am always making the same dishes over and over again? Cooking has become a chore for me, after all, I am a single working woman with two large dogs who commutes 50 miles round-trip every day. I like to go to yardsales on the weekend, and sometimes I forget to go to the grocery store. And, as my mother would say, “Excuses will get you nowhere, fast!”

With credit to Howard Beale: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Ok. I’m mad at myself for not eating healthy, drinking too much coffee, and for continuing to add cookbooks to my collection that I never even open, or just give a cursory glance to once and a while. What happened to the girl (me) that made 10 pounds of kimchi from scratch? The girl that could whip up a banana bread without even looking at a recipe? The girl that got her cooking badge from the Girl Scouts without any help from mom?

Stay tuned. I am about to embark on a new (fairly regular) challenge–A new recipe taken from my collection of hundreds of cookbooks. No more searching for recipes on the web. I’m digging out that nice wooden cookbook stand, gonna prop that book up, and I’m going to get cooking.

So, here’s how it works: You vote for the recipe you want me to fix (in the poll) AND leave a comment on this blog entry. Voting closes Saturday, August 2nd at 8:00 pm EST. I’ll go shopping Sunday morning for needed supplies, and will post photos and the results on Sunday evening along with the winner of the comment contest (chosen by using Random dot Org.) The prize will be … a choice between a $10 gift card from Barnes & Noble, or a box of books from my own stash. The winner will have the choice! (( Remember: You have to comment in order to get a chance at the prize. AND if you link to my contest or promote it on your blog, I will give you two extra chances in the drawing. AND if you have no interest in the giveaway, you can still vote (anonymously) for your recipe choice! ))

I chose the cook books by reaching blindly for the books on the shelf, and I chose page 50 in each book … just because it is a nice round number.

Update 7/31/08: Thanks to everyone that has commented and voted! I will post on Sunday evening the results of my cooking challenge along with the winning recipe, some photos, AND the name of the contest winner!

75 thoughts on “Contest (You) Cajun/Creole Cooking Challenge (Me)

  1. OH! I will definately pimp your contest on my blog!! Daisy will too!!! A dizzy chicken sounds very yummy, I hope its not a cake!

    I got this recipe for Dizzy Chicken (has brandy in it) from a book called “The $25,000 Mardi Gras Cake and Other Prize-Winning Recipes Book by Eunice Surles of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Its a real treasure of family recipes (pub in 1975).

    I really hope this works out well, because it become a regular feature!

    Hope you are safe and sound out there in the land of “shake rattle and roll.”



  2. Oh yes! I would like a dizzy chicken. Will it make me dizzy if I eat it? Do I have to share with the terrorists?

    Hi Daisy! Thanks for the comment. I just looked at the recipe for Dizzy Chicken and I think its called “Dizzy Chicken” because it has Apricot Brandy in it !!!


  3. Pingback: Another Contest for You! « Around the Funny Farm!

  4. Oh the Shrimp salad with lemon oil sounds soooo yummy! I love the idea of cooking everything from page 50 :)

    I was just glad that everything on page 50 in each book turned out to be a main course because it would have been weird to make some kind of pastry or cake for dinner!


  5. I make the same old stuff all the time…I don’t know why. I’m sure my family is tired of it..I guess it’s habit. I am not very creative and I have a few cookbooks too….I guess I just get lazy? Dizzy Chicken intrigues me..LOL!

    Hi Robin! I know what you mean … its like a rut … you just get stuck in it and its hard to jump out. We’ll see how my experiment goes … maybe I’ll be able to add a few more good meals to my repetoire. Take care!


  6. Go with the salad, it’s to hot to eat hot food- plus. the veggies are wonderful right now

    TBD says: Hi and welcome! I just came back from checking out your blog, and I believe I will be back! Thanks for your comments, too. Come back often!


  7. I would prefer a low fat diet.

    Hi and Welcome! The stuffed shrimp are the most calorie conscious with 130 calories per serving … it is from the Enola Prudhomme Low-Fat Favorites Cook Book. Thanks for stopping by!


  8. I voted for the Dizzy Chicken. Why? Because I LOVE chicken. Shrimp, I’ll eat if it’s cooked right. Liver, it’ll never pass these lips again.


  9. Stuffed Shrimp sounds like something I wouldn’t normally make at home, so I vote for that. I would choose to win the B&N card.

    stef dot reed at gmail dot com


  10. They all sound potentially delicious, but I voted for the shrimp salad! Let us know how it turns out! ;)


  11. It was a toss-up for me between the dizzy chicken and the stuffed shrimp, but I went with the shrimp. Chicken livers…blech! All I can think about when I hear that is when we used to kill and clean all of our own chickens on the farm. Hearts in one bowl, livers in another. Double blech!

    I would love to win a Barnes and Noble gift card. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Hi Michelle! and welcome! thanks for your vote, too. Around here chicken livers come in a plastic container in the meat section of the grocery store! (( THANK GOODNESS )).

    Check back on Sunday evening for a read-out of my escapades and hopefully some good photos.


  12. Please, please don’t make chicken liver. Ugh. Although my hounds might like it.

    I have another WW post up today, featuring, but of course, dogs:

    Thanks for the link – your photos are great! I particularly like the action photos.

    And, believe me, I am NOT rooting for the Chicken Liver recipe. I like chicken livers (sauteed with onions and garlic on rice – yum) and I like an omelet as well as anything … but the thought of the two together gives me the heebie-jeebies! LOL. Go figure.


  13. Ok, I am one of the minority here! I have to go with the Creole Rice Salad! It just sounds so interesting! Could I possibly get a recipe to try it for myself! I think it’s one even my hard to satisfy Boyfriend might like. We LOVE spicy at our house! Can’t wait to see the results! I will definately put a link on my blog page for you!

    I will e-mail you!

    This recipe come from the book: “La Bouche Creole” by Leon E. Soniat, Jr.” published in 1981. Not only are the recipes fairly easy to follow, the commentary from the author about his family and growing up in New Orleans is really well-written and very interesting. the ISBN # for the book is 0882892428 if anyone is interested in looking for it elsewhere. Thanks !!!


  14. I am voting for dizzy chicken too…although the stuffed shrimp could be good depending on what it is stuffed with. I too, grew up on a farm and had to “clean” chickens…I can’t believe I did it…I certainly would have a hard time now. Yuck! No chicken livers for me, thank you very much!

    owatz (AT) telus (DOT) net


  15. Dizzy chicken sounds interesting. If I come over, do I get a test taste??

    Rob – Do you want to come for dinner? I’ll cook and you can take photos! I have a giant bottle of Pinot Grigio in the fridge! I’ll call you! ** If the chicken liver omelet wins, you might want to pass !!


  16. I voted for the Dizzy Chicken, sounds a bit crazy!

    Thanks Nancy! How can anything with apricot brandy in it taste bad? I can only hope …. Yummy! Thanks for stopping by. D.


  17. I voted for the shrimp salad, I guess bec it is 100 degrees here today and too hot to eat hot food.

    Send the books! wink.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Thanks Jacqueline! Box of books with your name on it .. if you win!


  18. I voted for the Dizzy Chicken. Liquor in the food, liquor in the cook, how can you go wrong? If I should be so lucky as to win, I would love the box of books–sounds like a better deal! Tee hee.



  19. Stuffed shrimp…

    And IMO there is no such thing as to much coffee or caffeine…its your friend!

    Hi Keet! I am drinking my coffee out of some vintage Fire King mugs these days, and they’re too small! I end up filling them 10 times. LOL. Thanks for stopping by. D.


  20. Oh! This sounds so fun!! I voted and I too will “pimp” you contest on my post tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what you make…I could use some cooking inspiration!!


  21. So, I selected Dizzy Chicken cus that’s SAFEish, and if you don’t like it…fairly ez to give to clover and cosmo. I don’t like Creole as a rule. Especially after the TV lou-eeeez-iana cook stopped airing on pbs. I am too lazy to google him lol.

    Good Luck! I am proud of you for starting to eat healthy!

    Hi Chris! I have a couple of Justin Wilson’s cookbooks, too! I GARONTEE !!!!!!! I wish they would put some of his shows back on TV. He was so much fun to watch, and I really like his recipes too. Maybe next cooking challenge will be to choose 5 recipes just from his books. Can you tell that I’m heavy on the Cajun/Creole books around here? Here is a link to the Justin Wilson website: http://www.justinwilson.com/ (you know how I am …. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND!! lol)


  22. Pingback: A Dizzy Chicken « A Canyon Cottage

  23. I found you through Canyon Cottage. I also vote for the Dizzy Chicken!

    Hi Gina! I’ve visited your blog through Canyon Cottage!! Thanks for stopping by. D.


  24. Dizzy?? who’s Dizzy?? I love the brandy idea but the lemon oil chicken sounds so light and summery, and it’s so fricken hot here I can hardly stand it! let me know how that recipe turns out, I like apricot anything, brandy, preserves, dried fruit, fresh, all of the above sound great!

    Hi Stranger! Check back with me on Sunday for the results. D.


  25. oh yum! you are making me hungry! It was tie for me between stuffed shrimp and dizzy chicken! I’ll be happy if you cook either one! Great idea here Diane! My husband was just complaining tonight that we eat the same thing night.after.night! I’m fresh out of ideas myself!

    Hi Robin! I’m very hopeful that this will work out well and be entertaining in the process. I’ll post the winning recipe along with some photos on Sunday evening. Take care, and stop back for the results. D.


  26. I also picked the Dizzy Chicken, it sounds very intriguing!

    I understand the cooking the same thing all of the time and the buying of the cookbooks! You are not alone…

    Thanks for the giveaway


  27. Sir Elvis (my fabulous Golden retriever) chose the dizzy chicken. Mostly because he loves to chase his tail and when he wants to protect us – he usually hides behind us – hence the dizzy chicken!


  28. Looks like Dizzy Chicken to me. Maybe you could share the recipe? Thanks and happy cooking.

    Rita – thanks for voting! I will definitely share the recipe on Sunday, so stop back by and see if I’m successful, whether the food was yummy, oh and if you won the giveaway!!


  29. Thanks for stopping by; Hey I drink Tab which apparently has WAY more caffeine in it than regular soft drinks; and Who says TOO much caffeine??? Is there ever too much? I voted for your Creole Rice Salad because it sounded healthy, and if you insist on eating healthy stuff, well, I will support you ! LOL!! I loved the LOL dog; I too see bacon (and smell it )when I closes my eyes!!!!! I’ll put your giveaway on my blog too; you know I just love your blog. You should publish the recipe for whichever recipe wins. ( I do use the mute button too as your dad siad, but you know it is still so annoying !) Have fun this weekend; can’t wait to see what you fix for dinner and what you find at the garage sales.


  30. I voted for dizzy chicken & was surprised to see it was in the lead. I’d like the gift card if I win. Thanks for the contest.


  31. I voted for the stuffed shrimp. I love seafood it tastes great. All these recipes looked good, it was hard to choose. Thank you for the giveaway. I would choose the giftcard it I won.


  32. I don’t think I was in girl scout school when we had to get the cooking badge sis :) BUT!! I did get the sewing badge (Did you do that for me,, lol)?


    I’m pretty sure I did NOT do the sewing badge for you. Hope you’re having fun!


  33. I’m right there with you, I love to cook, have a collection of wonderful cookbooks and we had eggs for dinner!!!
    I voted for the cajun rice #1…


  34. Collecting cookbooks and reading the recipes is like mall window shopping for me. It fills my head with ideas. I voted for the chicken livers. Strange, I know but truly delicious. I’ve never had them with eggs but it sounds like it would work. I’m curious and going to look for the recipe.


  35. Ohhh, let me squeeeeze in here with all these other commenters! Wow! Tons of comments darlin’!
    I chose the dizzy chicken because, well…I loved the name! I admit it. It had nothing to do with chicken. I like chicken…but I loved the name!
    As I’ve mentioned on my blog many times, I am NOT a cook, nor do I even pretend to want to be. So I will have to live vicariously through your recipes! LOL! Have fun!

    Jan – you don’t need to cook! You have a wonderful hubby that can (and does)! LOL. Hope you are doing ok.


  36. This is my first time on your site. I voted for the liver recipe. I personally love liver and think it is given a bad deal because so few people know how to cook it.

    Thanks for stopping by Shirley – Come back on Sunday evening to see how it all turns out.


  37. Dizzy Chicken because running around without a head has to make a chicken dizzy.
    This is my first visit to your blog, too…
    I had a good time reading.

    Hi Judy! Thanks for the kind words. Pls check back tomorrow for Sunday dinner … well, at least photos of dinner.

    A new cooking challenge / poll will be put up on Tuesday morning. Thanks!


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