The following recipes were published in Consumer Vision magazine from the summer of 2010 through the summer of 2011.

Let's cook Louisiana-style

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Smell those beignets from the French Quarter? Bring on the coffee with chicory or dark French roast. Dreaming of a mail-order turducken for the Winter holidays? What a strange bird, turkey, duck, and chicken, flying to your kitchen in one layered presentation.

From the gulf to the bayous, many Louisiana families depend on the fishing economy for their livelihood. Here's wishing them bon vivant, better luck than they've had in the past five years.

Good Louisiana dining survives hurricanes, oil spills, humidity, and mosquitoes. Turn on some good Cajun fiddle and accordion music or a swamp pop selection a la Fats Domino and his followers, and hit the kitchen.

Shrimp Louisianne

Creole Spareribs

Tasty Creole Sauce

Quick Skillet Gumbo

Serves four.

This recipe can be adapted for the microwave. Rice and some vegetables may require pre-cooking before all ingredients are combined in a microwave-safe bowl.

Louisiana Rum Cream

Serves six.

The original recipe called for raw egg yokes. To guard against salmonella and her ugly stepsisters, better use Egg Beaters in a quantity equivalent to two to three eggs.

Fall for All

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Remember when Fall meant going back to school? I've included a couple of favorites from the Texas and Kentucky schools for the blind. If you have some from your school, send them to me at for a future column.

Fall fruits and vegetables give us a good excuse to be creative. Try these on for size.

Texas Lemon Souffle

Serves six.

Mix butter and sugar together, and add flour, lemon juice, milk, and beaten egg yokes. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Set pan in water, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. When done, top is soft like cake dough, and bottom is lemon sauce.

Kentucky Cinnamon Toast

Temperature 450 degrees. Time 4 minutes, then 2 minutes.

Prepare a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, four to one. For five slices of toast, you will need one tablespoon cinnamon and four tablespoons brown sugar. Use one teaspoon of real butter at room temperature to spread on each piece of bread. Prepare toast in the oven for four minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle one tablespoon of cinnamon and brown sugar mixture over each slice. Place in oven for two minutes longer. Serve immediately. It needs to be real butter and brown sugar to taste wonderful.

Squash Pie

Combine ingredients in the order given, and pour into a pie shell of your choice. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375, and continue baking until a knife comes out of the filling clean.

Apple or Pear Wedges

Temperature 450. Time 25 to 30 minutes.

Mix together the flour and salt. Add butter. Sprinkle with enough cold water to hold the mixture together. Form into a bowl, and roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Form into a rectangle, and cut into sixteen strips approximately ten inches long and one inch wide. Wrap one strip around each fruit wedge. Place in an oven dish so they don't touch the sides. Mix together the extra butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Pour the 1/2 cup water over the fruit, and bake until done.

Festive Sweet Potatoes

Holiday Salads

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Use these salads to amplify, modify, and satisfy your need for a change when that special day's leftovers are getting boring.

Hot Chicken or Turkey Salad

Mix all ingredients together. This recipe can be warmed in the oven for thirty minutes at 375 degrees if ingredients were prepared ahead of time.

German Potato Salad

Add onions, celery, and spices to the potatoes, and heat to room temperature. Heat oil, vinegar, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Pour sauce over potatoes, and mix well. Sprinkle with parsley or paprika. Serve at room temperature. Serves eight to ten.

Calico Bean Salad

Drain beans, and mix with green pepper and onion. Mix sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper, and pour over bean mixture. Make several hours ahead of time, and refrigerate. Drain excess liquid before serving. Keeps well for several days.

Holiday Fruit Salad

Soften cheese, whip cream until almost ready; add juice, cheese, salt, and mayonnaise. Continue whipping until stiff. Mix in fruit and nuts. Freeze for at least three hours. Keeps well for a long time. You can probably substitute Dream Whip for the whipping cream, but the salad will be sweeter.

Chopsticks on the Side

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

In 2011 the Chinese New Year falls on February 3, about a month after our new year. It's the year of the rabbit, and they will start celebrating two weeks ahead of time with lanterns, presents, red envelopes containing cash for the kids, and games and feasting everywhere on the globe where Chinese traditions abound. We can celebrate with some Americanized Chinese recipes.

Velly Fast, Velly Good

Brown meat and onion until meat is crumbly. Stir with all other ingredients into large oven pan. Heat uncovered 30 to 40 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

Serves eight. Refrigerates well, and tastes even better the next time it's warmed.

Cantonese Spareribs

Chinese Salad

Fruit and Chicken Chinese Delight


Ming Almond Cookies

Tradition with a Twist

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

It's fun to take traditional fare and give it a new look, a new taste, a new place at your table. Here are a few ideas to stir those creative bursts of energy we occasionally have in the spring.

March is upon us, and soon the fishermen, even in the north, will be heading back to work. I don't know about you, but I ate enough tuna-pea-noodle casserole in college and before my ship came in vocationally, to never want to see it again. Here's a twist that allows flexibility and revives that old concept in a better way.

Crabmeat and Friends Casserole

Defrost and/or drain the meat. Mix all ingredients, and season with your favorite exotic or homestyle spices. Heat in a moderate oven, on top of the stove, or in the microwave. Serve over noodles (cooked ramen will do,) rice (if you make it from scratch, try that expensive but yummy dark Minnesota-grown wild rice,) or toast cubes (Don't settle for plain, try a whole grain or make cheese toast and cut it in cubes.) See what new fun this old favorite can be?

Ham Balls

In large bowl, beat egg and water. Add breadcrumbs and let stand until liquid is absorbed. Stir in onion, parsley, mustard, pepper, and thyme. Mix in the ham, and shape into one-inch balls.

Place on a large greased baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Spear each ball with a pretzel stick or toothpick after removing from oven.

Not your Mama's Bean Dip

Blend all ingredients in blender. Add anything else you think would taste good. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Impossible Bacon Pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a ten-inch pie pan. Sprinkle bacon, onion, and cheese in the bottom of the pan. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, and pour into pan. Bake until a knife or toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before you slice and serve.

Pasta Round-up

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

So what if you're not Italian; so what if your name doesn't rhyme with that of an opera singer or basketball coach--you don't have to be Italian to love pasta. In most pasta recipes including these, you can switch to bowtie, rigatoni, or just plain spaghetti if you like. No worry about leftovers.

Ramen Revisited

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Noodle Caboodle

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Mac and Cheese Plus

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Fruity Desserts

by Marilyn Brandt Smith

Pineapple Meringue

Makes 12 servings, calories per serving: 43.

Orange Whip

Calories per serving: 82

Frozen Banana Treats

Makes five to six large servings, calories per serving: 115.

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