Category Archives: Lagniappe

Cornbread Mix Recipe

Hey Everyone!  I love having cornbread homemade, but HATE having to make it every time.  So, when I came across this in an old cookbook, I was super excited!  We all know it’s cheaper to make than to buy the mixes!  So, thought I’d share it with ya!
Old Fashion Cornbread Mix

Cornbread Mix

3 c flour
3 c cornmeal
1 c nonfat dry milk
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking soda
Mix well, store in an air tight container.  When cooking, for each 2 cups or less of mix, add 1 egg and water equal to 1/2 measure of mix.  Spray pan with Pam and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes!
**I kept mine a dark cabinet for months and it stayed fresh.  Yummy!
What is your favorite way to eat cornbread???
Mine is in chili.  My Granny and Grandpa always had theirs in bowls of buttermilk!  😀  May sound bad for you, but they both lived until in their 80’s so I guess it’s not too bad!

Originally posted 2012-08-02 05:00:00.

From Tomato Paste to Tomato Sauce

So Monkey and I were going to make Chicken Enchiladas last night, and about halfway through cooking, I realized Monkey didn’t check the pantry for ingredients and she needed tomato sauce!!!  Since we didn’t have any, I decided to attempt to make some!  As a quick fix, I used water!  Simply put paste in a bowl and mix in water a little at a time until you have a sauce like consistency, then use as you need it!!!
We used it in our Enchiladas and the only way to know we improvised is to have been there!!!  Tastes just as it should!!!

Originally posted 2011-09-11 13:14:00.

Thrown Together Nacho Goodness

So, we all love nachos and as parents, we all love a quick and nutritious meal!  Here is my nacho ‘recipe,’ that is sneakily healthy and oh so good!
I am fortunate in that my daughter loves veggies, but not all kids do.  If you have a no-veggie eater, this may be a great way to trick them into enjoying veggies.  It helps if you let them help make it.

You start by putting chips of choice on a plate and cover it in cheese.  If you have shredded, that works best, but if not you can just tare a slice in pieces. I find in my microwave 45 seconds does the trick.  You don’t want to cook it too long or the cheese gets hard when it cools.  I like it slightly melted.  it!          

Next, add whatever toppings you want!  We had some leftover brisket, so I heated that and topped it with everything I could find in the fridge! We also added fresh spinache, tomatillos, bell peppers, onion, picante sauce, sour cream, and whatever else we could find.  The trick to get the kids to eat the veggies, or at least one you could try, is to have them help you and explain to them that sometimes things we don’t like alone, taste good when it’s put all together!

Remember to add extra cheese on the top!!!  A ‘normal’ dinner plate will make even an adult stuffed!  You can put anything you like on, I use whatever is in the fridge just so I can get rid of leftovers and because it always tastes great!

Other Topping Suggestions:
whole kernal corn, black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, ANYTHING you have in your fridge!!!   My monkey’s friends LOVED them!  Feeding teenage girls so that they are full and no longer wanting on less than 5 bucks is awesome!!!  AND they thought I was the best nacho maker!!!  If only they knew….

Originally posted 2011-07-06 20:18:00.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I made this delicious dish to go with some Pita’s I was making. It was amazing, I ate the leftovers for days all by themselves and had to force myself not to make more.  I’m planning on making this many more times, especially this summer for BBQ’s!  I think it’s a wonderful addition to any picnic type menu!  It can be made days in advance and could easily be kept on ice and still remain great!

I will post the Pita recipe next week, trust me, you’ll want to come back for it!  They are an amazing pair AND you could make it in advance for a quick weeknight dinner!

  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dried basil, more to taste
  • 1 box (16 ounces) orzo pasta
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 can (2¼ ounces) sliced, ripe olives drained
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cook orzo, rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together seasoning mix, sugar, vinegar and olive oil.  Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT basil.  Mix well.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  The longer it is refrigerated (a couple of days perhaps) the more the flavors will meld.  Just be sure and mix again before serving.
  5. Garnish with basil.

*Great for picnics and cookouts!

**Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time!

Homemade Corn Nuggets (Dairy Free OR Not)

Homemade.cornOne of the worst things about having a dairy allergy is that everything one buys has dairy in it! Chief Zoo Keeper didn’t always have a dairy allergy so he very much knows the wonderful flavors of all things dairy.  One of the many things he misses is Corn Nuggets.  I spend a bit of time trying to get recipes to be dairy free and taste good.  So, below is the dairy version with notes to modify it to be dairy free.  The ones pictured used the modification that I’m putting by the asterisks.  Hope you love it and will come back and leave me your comments.


11 ozs cream style corn  **Leave out for dairy free version
11 ozs whole kernel corn, drained   **double, mix with dairy free cream cheese
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
3 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)


  1.  If making the dairy free version, start by mixing the corn and cream cheese.  If not, mix corn together.
  2. Drop in spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, put in freezer for at least 4 hours.  Trust me, you want it as frozen as possible.
  3. In a medium bowl, befreezenuggets  at egg and add cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.
  4. Pre-heat oil to 350 degrees
  5. A few at a time, take corn out of freezer and dip in flour mixture.  Immediately put in oil.  I suggest doing only a few at a time because they will start to thaw very quickly and when they thaw, they fall apart.
  6. Fry until golden brown.  Place on paper towels to let some of the oil drip off.
  7. Enjoy!

nuggetsboxHow’d you make yours?  Any improvement suggestions?


How to Make Delectable Croutons


Everyone knows the toppings on a salad can add so much.  These scrumptious little croutons are quick and easy, plus you can make them to hold any flavor you’d like.  I made mine with garlic flavor, but I am a garlic nut.  LOL.


4 slices wheat bread

2 Tbsp butter

Seasonings of Choice

Parsley & Garlic

Red Pepper Flakes & Black Pepper

Garlic Powder, onion powder, oregano, basil

Garlic Powder, onion powder, dill

Seasoning Salt

BBQ Seasoning


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Melt butter, set aside.
  3. Cut bread up to desired size.  Remember that if you cut all the bread in a stack at once, you’ll have to go back and tear it apart.  It’s still faster than cutting the bread one at a time.
  4. Stir in seasonings of choice. Adjust as you please to make your favorite flavors stand out.
  5. Spread onto baking sheet (no need to oil).  Bake for about ten minutes or until done. Keep an eye on it as different ovens will cook at different times.

What’s your favorite seasoning for croutons?