Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Thursday, December 30, 2010

On Saying Goodbye

So we held our own version of a state funeral for the Mayor. It was beautiful and amazing and devastating. Our daddy was beloved by so many. It is a testament to the kind of life he lived that so many people came to say goodbye. After the services, we had a huge party because that's what the Mayor always said he wanted- "When I'm gone, I want y'all to have a big party where everyone celebrates my life. " So that's just what we did. And it was beautiful and amazing and fun. Everything he would have wanted.

Until we meet again, farewell to the Mayor... to Poppa Smurf... to Le Grand Chew... to our wonderful and loving husband, Daddy, and Pa-Pere.

A Tribute to Charles Francois Daigle from Kate Mottram on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rip Off Recipe- Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

by CajunKate

So the other day I was shopping in Rouses Market and, while perusing their ready-made meals, I saw sausage stuffed eggplant. It looked delicious! Since we have an abundance of eggplant in the summer garden, I thought I'd try to make some myself. So I got on ye olde internets when I returned home and found this recipe, which sounded pretty yummy. I had a quite a few veggies (from the garden and grocery) and cheeses in the fridge that needed to be used before they went bad; I decided to incorporate them into the dish. Also, we really love the pork up in this house, so I doubled the sausage. (SIDE NOTE: This reminds me of a story from this past weekend's trip to NOLA. As my friend and I were walking down Royal Street, there was a guy in front of the Supreme Court with a pot-bellied pig in a shopping cart. My friend was all, "OH! Look! A piggy. Let's go back and talk to the weird guy and pet the cute pig in a shopping cart." And I was all, "NO! a) I do not like weird guys when I am sober and b) I do not like pigs unless they are served on a plate, preferably in the form of bacon or sausage." The end.)

The end result of all this was one hella delicious eggplant dish. Since this recipe involved quite a bit of "Eh. Why not?" the amounts are approximates. If you decide to make this dish, you can modify it as you see fit.

Sausage Stuffed Eggplant:

Eggplant, halved lengthwise (I used 3 from my garden; they tend to be A LOT smaller than the grocery store version so I ended up with about 2 cups of leftover stuffing. If you're using grocery store eggplant, I'd get 2. Maybe 3. Good luck with all that.)

1 tablespoon of olive oil (I really have no idea about this. I just poured some into a pan until it looked like enough. But recipes like tablespoons, so I'm going with that. It's called science. Not.)

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (These were sitting in the fridge. We also had two tiny ones from the garden so I threw those in, too. That came out to maybe 2 tablespoons, so I don't think you need 4 tomatoes. But hey, if you're a tomato lover, you just might.)

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I used 4, but we love garlic.)

2 small bell peppers, finely chopped (I used my garden peppers which, again, tend to be quite a bit smaller than the grocery store version. You could probably go with one decent sized one from the grocery.)

1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped (This was in the fridge, so I decided to throw it in. If I'd had it, I would have chopped up a medium yellow onion. Do with that info as you'd like. I never claimed to be Julia Child.)

Salt and pepper

1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (I can never find this in the groceries in Lafayette, so I just get the links, uncase them, and tear them up.)

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

*1/4 cup Romano cheese

*1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

*1 cup mozzarella cheese (* The cheese amounts are very approximate. I just threw in what looked like a good amount for us. Adjust it to your taste...or don't. Hell fire, people! I'm not a food scientist. Have a glass of wine and roll with the recipe punches.)

1 cup spaghetti sauce (Whatever kind you like. I'm a fan of the Paul Newman sauces, so I used a cup of his sweet onion sauce. If you make your own spaghetti sauce, that would be delicious in this. Also, I hate you.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place the eggplant cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the cut sides with olive oil, sprinkle them with some kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper. (That's me being a food snob; you can just sprinkle with some Morton's salt and McCormick black pepper from the can, and the world will not explode...or so I've been told.)
3. Shove the baking pan in the oven and roast the eggplant for 30 minutes (or so...until they look yummy and, when you poke them with your finger, they're soft. So technical, I know.)
4. While the eggplant are roasting, chop up all your veggies and get your olive oil into a skillet. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat, throw in the veggies and saute until wilted. (I am NOT a fan of crunchy veggies in anything but a salad, so I usually go for broke on this and REALLY saute them down.) Toss in the sausage and brown. Drain off the grease.
5. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Throw in the beaten eggs (This is why I allowed it to cool. I have a phobia about mixing beaten egg into hot things and ending up with scrambled egg), breadcrumbs, cheeses, and spaghetti sauce. Mix it.
6. At this point your eggplant should have come out of the oven, and you've been letting it cool. If not, do that now. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the meat out into a bowl. Don't go berserk. You want to leave enough meat in them so that they retain their shape. Now you have little eggplant shells. Yay! Using a fork and knife, mash and slice it up in the bowl. (More technical stuff, I know.)
7. Fold the eggplant meat into the sausage mixture. (This is your stuffing, in case you didn't know. And I'm about to use the word stuffing, so I thought you should know.)
8. Spoon the stuffing into the eggplant shells. Sprinkle with some more cheese. (I sprinkled with all three because I had it. The original recipe calls for just mozzarella. But I love cheese. More cheese FOREVAH!)
9. Place back into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until heated through and the cheese is all yummy and bubbly and brown. (I should note that I turned the oven back to 350 degrees when I took the eggplant out. I don't know if you need to do that. I just like 350 degrees. Maybe I have OCD.) Pick the cheese that fell off of the eggplant and melted on the baking sheet, making crunchy yummy cheese thingies, and eat them. Wait. That's just me. What was I saying? Oh! Yeah. Okay, now it's all done. Serve it.
10. You can warm some more spaghetti sauce to serve with it, as the original recipe called for, or you can do what I did. Which is to forget that part, and just hoover down the delicious end product. It worked for me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sophi P. Cakes- A Sophisticated to Punk Cakery

by Cajun Kate

So I posted this on my tumblr, but it's too great of a place no to share the story here, too!

The cutest little bakery has opened in Lafayette! One of my friends called me last week and asked me to go get cupcakes with her at this new place- Sophi P. Cakes. I hadn’t heard of it; she told me they were on Facebook, and she had been drooling over their photos of cupcakes. I couldn’t go with her, but when I got home, I looked them up on Facebook. Oh my YUM! I definitely wanted some of that!

As luck would have it, this week was my birthday party at work, so when Cara asked what kind of cake I wanted, I told her I wanted cupcakes from Sophi P.’s. Cara ordered some red velvet ones for me, and they were DELICIOUS! So delicious that I went to the store yesterday and got an assortment of cupcakes for the husband and I to try- Atomic Chocolate, S’mores, Walnut Cream, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake. (You can see them in the pics above.) Hello, HEAVEN! I was so impressed with their cupcakes that I’m ordering a cake for a family gathering in late June.

Yep. It’s official. I’m addicted. But that’s okay, because I am supporting a small family-owned business. And I really LOVE that I can do that!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Eggplant Fries Recipe

by CajunKate

So, by popular demand (meaning one person asked me for it- Thanks, Sarah R.!- but I like to boost my self-esteem in any way I can), here is the recipe I use for eggplant fries…when I am not feeling lazy. If I am feeling lazy, I skip the egg part and just do flour. But the egg method is preferable if you like a thicker coating, which I do.

Eggplant Fries:

Eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise (The eggplant from my garden are smaller than the grocery store eggplant, so I usually use 2 or 3, but 1 big ‘un from the grocery would suffice. Cut it into “fries,” people. It ain’t rocket science. If it was, I’d never be able to make these. I can’t even do normal science.)

2 eggs

½ cup milk

1 cup flour

Seasoning (Whatever you like in whatever quantity you like. I use Tony Chachere’s liberally.)

Vegetable or canola oil

Beat the eggs and milk together in one bowl. Mix flour and seasoning in another bowl. Heat an inch or two of the oil in a heavy-duty pan. Get it nice and hot. Dip eggplant fries in flour, shake off excess, and dip in egg mixture. Dip once more in flour.

Fry in batches (don’t overload the pan!) until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep fries in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve.


Serves 3-4. (or two in the gluttonous Mottram household)

(Note: These are actually really good as an appetizer served with a garlic aioli for dipping. You can google a recipe for that. I’m tired of typing. What? I told you I was lazy.)

(Almost) My Daddy's Crawfish Étouffée Recipe

by CajunKate

So actually, this recipe is very close to my daddy’s. Daddy uses margarine, but I like butter. Try it both ways and see which you like better. I season with Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning, but any spice combo will do. Salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder are the main seasonings I would recommend. This recipe uses no cream of mushroom soup, no tomato, and no roux; it is all about the succulent crawfish. (Can I get an, “Amen!”?)

Serve it over Louisiana rice. FYI: I like Cajun Country Rice from Falcon Rice Mill in Crowley, Louisiana. My daddy was a farmer (rice, soybeans, & corn) in Acadia Parish, so I only use Louisiana rice. (If you use Minute Rice, for the love of God, I do not want to know this. If you’re my friend, it may be grounds for termination, and if you’re not my friend, likely I will never, ever speak to you.)

I also like to serve it over eggplant fries (as in the photo above). I get plenty of eggplant from my garden so it’s an awesome way to use it. But I must give credit where credit is due. I got the idea from D.C.’s Sports Bar & Steakhouse in Eunice, Louisiana. (I’d link to their website, but they don’t have one…No, seriously! They don’t!) D.C.’s serves it as an appetizer.

One last caveat, if you dare to use Chinese crawfish, I will know… and I will hunt you down… and there will be consequences and repercussions. Just say no to Chinese crawfish, people! LOUISIANA crawfish ONLY!

Without further ado, my version of Daddy’s Crawfish Étouffée :

  • 1 pound crawfish tails (If you have leftover tails from a boil, these are best! If not, packaged LOUISIANA crawfish ONLY!)
  • Tony Chachere’s seasoning
  • 5 or 6 tablespoons butter (Sometimes I pull a Paula Deen and use 7 or 8. What?)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (or more…or less. Whatever floats your boat. Experiment.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or more…or less. Whatever floats your boat. Experiment.)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (or more…or less. Whatever floats your boat. Experiment.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet bell pepper (or more…or less. Whatever floats your boat. Experiment. NOTE: This is a major adjustment to my daddy’s recipe, but I really like the added sweetness of it.)
  • 1 cup of liquids (Pssst! The secret ingredient is beer for part of the liquids. Daddy always uses beer. I do 1/2 cup beer & 1/2 cup water, but if you had some nice seafood or fish stock, I'd use that instead of water. Sometimes I use a bit more than a cup. It depends on how much sauce you like. If you’re serving over rice, a little more is usually better.)
  • Green onions, chopped, green part only (Just throw in a handful or two)
  • Italian parsley, minced (Just a bit for me; sometimes I just garnish with it. Some people like to add up to 1/2 a cup. Not me. Experiment.)

Season crawfish tails in a bowl.

Melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers, stirring constantly, and cook until wilted. This step is key. Do not rush it. Use a medium to medium high heat and really, really let them wilt down. Think it’s wilted enough? Go a little longer.

Add the beer and the water or stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the crawfish and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Don’t go too long on this as you don’t want to overcook the crawfish and have them become tough.

Add onion tops and parsley and simmer 5 minutes more.

Ladle over Louisiana rice.


Serves four. [Or two, if you live at my house. We’re gluttons. ;-)]

* Addendum email from my daddy after he read this blog entry:

Tried to offer a comment on your blog about the étouffée (A2Fay), but am not smart enough to figure out how to do so.
Anyway, one thing to remember is that the crawfish are already cooked. So, that is the main reason not to cook them longer than what you prescribed. A few more helpful hints:
  • Not everyone has a rice cooker. An easy, simple way to do it, sans a rice cooker, is to use a small heavy duty sauce pot. Add a cup, or two, of medium grain rice (my preference over long grain,because medium grain, when done, doesn't separate like cooked long grain). Add a cup of raw rice to the sauce pot; this should give you about two cups of cooked rice. Add enough water so that it reaches the first joint of your index finger when placed just on top of the leveled rice. Turn heat on high. When the water begins to boil, lower the heat a bit to observe when its bubbles are coming from under the top rice level. When this occurs turn the heat on low, place lid on pot. Depending on the amount of rice you are preparing, it should be done in 15-20 minutes. Check, before turning off the heat, to insure that the rice is cooked by using a fork to turn over a bit of the top. If the rice appears to be still "wet," let go it a bit longer, and then check again. This sounds like a big production, but it isn't. I can give you one quick lesson, and you will be willing to try it instead of using a rice cooker.
  • The second thing is that, if you feel you have a bit too much liquid in the étouffée, you can thicken it. Thoroughly mix some corn starch with water, and add some to the étouffée. Let simmer for a short while to see if it thickens to your liking. If not, add a little more of the mix.
Incidentally, I like to use beer for my liquid. It sounds like a waste of beer but, in my opinion, really adds to the taste of the étouffée .

Monday, April 5, 2010

DELETE IT! Easter 2010: A Peaceful, Family Love Fest

by CajunKate

So, we celebrated Easter. Ah, Easter! What a calm, fun-filled holiday, right? The colorful eggs, the cute bunny thing, the chocolate treats, the pastel couture, the screaming...wait, what? Uh-huh. And I am totally guilty of starting it. Bad, bad aunt. How did the Daigle Easter celebration go from love fest to sibling scream fest? Well...

Easter Sunday began with me discovering my basket had arrived from the Easter Bunny, and it had EVERYTHING I wanted in it. Mostly because I went shopping with the Easter Bunny at CVS pointing out to him exactly what he should purchase for me. My Easter Bunny needs hands-on direction if I'm to get everything I want. And, when it comes to Easter, since it's my favorite holiday, it
IS all about me. Um, and the Risen Lord, of course... uh, here's my basket:

Oh, and the Zandinator got an awesome basket, too. See his cute little basket? His mom gave it to me. It's the same basket he's seen every Easter morning since he was born. Isn't that SO cute? Also, old. REALLY old. Like "that basket is 40 years old!" old. Thus, we can conclude that Zandy is old. Poor Zandy. Here's the old guy's basket:

Around 2:00 we headed out to the Daigle Easter celebration. Now, normally, this celbration would take place at my parents' home... except my parents have been homeless since July when they sold their home to Ted and Molly. Well, they have a home. It's just not ready. They bought a family member's home and had it moved. It's right next door to their old home, now Ted and Molly's home. They were supposed to be living in it by December. It's now April, and my parents are living in their camper at a campground a few miles from their new house, which looks like this:

Yeah, not close to being ready. So, my mom decided that we should all go to the campground for Easter. Why didn't we just go to Ted and Molly's? I have no idea. And if there's one thing I've learned in 40 years of being the First Lady's child, you don't question these things. Just go with it. Otherwise, you risk the possibility of "questioning her judgment" and, trust me, you
do not want to go there. So, off to the campground we went. When the nieces and nephews arrived, Daddy asked Mary Grace what she thought of Ma-Mere's "house," to which Mary promptly replied, "I like dis new house, Pa-Pere!" So, there ya go. A stunning endorsement of Mom's choice of Easter venues.

Now, a few weeks ago, Max had so much fun using and took so much interest in my camera that, when I ran across an awesome deal on, I just had to get him his own digital camera. Now, contrary to popular belief, I am not stupid. I didn't show up with a digital camera for Max and nothing for the rest of the clan. I got all of them a little something. The rest of the boys got water balloon kits and Mary got a Barbie. But Max's gift was definitely a hit. He was SO excited!

We had to run up to the Eunice Walmart to get an SD card because I had forgotten to bring one from home, and Max needed it because he had discovered that the camera had video capability... and this is where the screaming comes in. Max, who had repeated no less than 500 times that he needed a YouTube account so he could upload his videos, took video of Sam. Now, I don't know what Sam was doing on that video, but I am assuming that it was something goofy and/or embarrassing because, the next thing I knew, Sam was chasing after Max sxreaming, "DELETE IT! DELETE IT, MAX! I don't wanna be on YouTube! MOOOOOOOOOOOM! Max is gonna put me on YouTube! I DON'T WANNA BE ON YOUTUBE, MOOOOOOOOM! DELETE IT, MAX!" Which, ya know, is kind of funny the first time, but then when Uncle Bydee gets in on the act and encourages Max to video Sam in shots Uncle Bydee sets up of himself tripping Sam, bouncing footballs of off his head, etc., you end up with at least an hour of such screaming. Until MOOOOOOOOM is rolling her eyes and aggravated and has had "just about enough already!" And, as we all know, when any Mom busts out with that line, the party's over. And, truly, if I had known that a camera with video would have caused all that screaming and pouting, I never would have gotten it. Probably. Maybe. I mean, I did get to capture these moments of Sammy's angst, which I think are absolutely hysterical. So, you was TOTALLY WORTH IT! (Sorry, Molly!) Behold the Sam angst!

We took a break from the wailing, to eat the Mayor's signature crawfish etouffee, which was outta sight delicious, as usual. And I brought a ham that I had bought from a school fundraiser. Here's what I have to say about that: NEVER buy a ham from a school fundraiser. It was awful. The worst ham I've ever eaten. Sorry, family!

But, in all seriousness, it was a great afternoon. We had so much fun hanging out and eating with the family. But next year, I'll remember- no video of Sam. We need to find a new way to torture him. Juuuuust kidding, Sammy! Maybe. Probably.

Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter, my peeps! Keep on, keepin' on! Oh, you can see more pics, HERE.