Nov 22, 2019

Louisiana Creole Catfish Courtbouillon

McCormick® sponsored this post, but the recipe is all mine.

Catfish Courtbouillon

That old worn out number eight cast-iron always got much use as the summer sun died down and the cool breeze of fall set in — Saturdays at the fish market pickin' out the freshestcatfish for Daddy's Catfish Courtbouillon. Follow along as I tell the story of holiday traditions through my Daddy's Catfish Courtbouillon recipe and my Grandma Annie-Lous Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

I sat on the closet floor jokin' with my Momma about what I should cook for dinner. We were about to head to H-E-B, and we needed a plan before we drove. I've always loved H-E-B for its Texas roots. Those roots I so proudly share. We talked about family traditions and how we were leavin' in a few days to visit Grandma, and she wanted some of her famous Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I quickly mentioned that I wanted to highlight some of my Creole roots on the blog since it had been a while.

She looked over and sighed, "I suppose if you made turtle or rabbit stew, that wouldn't go over well." "Probably not," I respond. "Besides, I never much cared for those as a kid I," utter.

I got it, "make a Sauce Piquante."

"Already shared that on the blog," I reply.

"What is that beans and gravy dish your cousin always wanted when he would come over in the summer as a kid?"

I can't remember, so I text my cousin. I can hear her chuckle through the phone as she types, "Pork and beans with rice and gravy is about it. We had it for supper last night lol." Momma laughs as I tell her she made it for her kids that night.

We text on.
McCormick® spices

McCormick® spices

"Got it. Imma make a catfish Courtbouillon. I don't think it's a family recipe. But daddy made it a lot on Saturdays. I don't know how he started, making it."

She replies, "Call Mother. I deff. don't know how to make that."

My Aunt, she answers on the first ring. I tell her about my blog post and my ideas. She chuckles and goes, "Sha, that's a real old dish no one makes anymore. Yes, we have a family recipe. Our Momma taught us how to make it. Want me to text you the recipe when I get off work?"

Hours later, she text, "First, sauté your onions, bell peppers, garlic or whatever kind of fresh seasoning you want. Then pour two to three cans of tomato sauce, you can add two tablespoons of kitchen bouquet just to color, not to be so red, also use the cans to add water, let it come to a boil then add your fish, let cook for about 30 minutes on a low heat, season to taste, you can add a little sugar- about two tablespoon. The fish doesn't take long to cook."

I frown as I look over the text. What kind of recipe is this? Where are the measurements? What vegetables? I open Instagram and immediately talk on stories about the Southern Meme, "We don't use measurements. We sprinkle until our ancestors whisper stop my child."

We eventually make it to H-E-B, and I grab all the McCormick® spices needed to cook the Creole Dish.

Catfish Courtbouillon

2 small yellow onions chopped

1  green bell pepper chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

2 sticks of Celery chopped

1 small 6 oz can of tomato paste

A few filets of boneless catfish

1 stick of butter

tablespoons of sugar

3 tablespoons of flour and oil

Browning sauce

2 large 15 oz cans of tomato sauce


Perfect Pinch® Cajun Seasoning  or you can make your own.

If you make your own, you will need these McCormick® Spices. I made my own.

McCormick® Salt

McCormick® Garlic Powder

McCormick® Ground Black Pepper

McCormick® Smoked Paprika

McCormick® Onion Powder

McCormick® Celery Salt

McCormick Gourmet® Organic Cayenne Pepper

McCormick® Chili Powder

McCormick® Ground Thyme


1) In a cast-iron put your stick of butter, a few tablespoons of oil, a few tablespoons of flour, and let come together to start your roux somewhat. Most importantly this isn't a traditional roux, but it gets the job done for a Catfish Courtbouillon. Next, add what Creoles and Cajuns call the Holy Trinity ( bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic -pretty much all Cajun or Creole dishes have the Trinity in them) and sauté your veggies until brown.

2) Secondly, add your can of tomato paste as well as a little bit of water and mix until everything comes together.
3) Add in your cans of tomato sauce as well as a table spoons or two of the Browning sauce can be found near the oils in your local H-E-B. If you need to thin your Catfish Courtbouillon, you can add a little water.

4) Next, add in either your pre-made McCormick® Cajun Seasoning or the McCormick® seasonings. If you chose to make your own seasoning start with about two tablespoons of each spice and continue to go up from there as you taste test. And let simmer for about 30 mins

5) Finally, season your boneless catfish and place in the cast-iron. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your fire. You want to add your catfish last so that it does not overcook and break apart.

Serve over rice and enjoy.

I find myself giddy as I taste the Catfish Courtbouillon. A little more browning sauce than needed, but it tastes close to the creole childhood that I remember.

Many days later, I find myself in WI. My grandma looks confused as I walk in with a bag that reads H-E-B.

"I think I got everything needed for the Cream Cheese Pound Cake Grandma," I holler from the kitchen as I unload. It's 2 Am, and we've just arrived after all day of drivin'. I explain that I went shoppin' back home and she smiles.

The days go back, and we finally find ourselves in the kitchen bakin' like we did when I was a child. I giggle like a child as I almost break the mixer and cake flour flies everywhere. Grandma doesn't seem impressed.

She sternly reminds me, " My Cream Cheese Pound Cake is simple. It's almost all in threes."

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

1 package cream cheese
3 cups of sugar
3 cups flour
6 large eggs
3 cups of cake flour
T3 cups of butter


1) Mix all of the ingredients and then apply to a greased bundt cake pan
2) Cook at 315 degrees until golden brown or about 45 minutes.

I grin as I walk in the kitchen as I see Grandma grab a second piece and lick her fingers.

Nov 8, 2019

CAULIPOWER Baked Chicken Tenders

Sponsored by CAULIPOWER but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I look down to see Alyssa on the caller ID. I sigh as I press the large green circle.

"Yes," I mutter.

She calls wantin' to know what's for dinner. I sigh again as I remind her I'm bakin' chicken. CAULIPOWER baked chicken, to be exact. I tell her to hurry home cause I'm hungry and need her to be my taste tester and model. She cackles as the phone line clicks.

 Minutes later, we're standin' over the fridge and pantry respectfully mullin' over what to make with our CAULIPOWER baked chicken.

"I'll make some rice and a tomato," I holler.
"There's a bag of frozen mixed veggies in here," she hollers back. 

We both rush to our respective sides of the stove movin' with quickness as not to let hunger take over.

"If you don't grab your camera and hurry." she fusses. "Last time when you made the 


you took forever takin' pictures, and they got cold."
"Hush up, I reply. The package says they only take 12 minutes to cook."

I continue on searchin' in my camera bag for the camera light battery as she snatches a CAULOPOWER Chichen bag off the counter.

"Did you know the package says these chicken tenders are only 490 calories and 86% less fat"?

I roll my eyes as she continues readin'. She begins to laugh at herself once she reazlies; they are coated in Cauliflower and thus her name.

Pictures ensue, but not before she reminds me she wants hand model credit on Instagram.

Bowls are made, and bellies are pleased as eatin' ensues.
Grandma looks up from her bowl to let it be known they are better then she expected, and she wants this baked, golden goodness again.

"Done", I answer

What's your favorite way to eat baked chicken? Make sure to click to Get $2 OFF here.

Aug 13, 2019

Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich

This post is sponsored by Sweet PotaTOASTS but recipe is all mine.

Let's talk about one of my favorite vegetables, Sweet Potato, and Sweet Potato Toast.Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich

Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich
She texts in the group Text.

"Leshea do you eat Sweet Potato Pie? I'm  watchin' this tv show, and the Black Southern family made a big deal out of Sweet Potato Pie over Pumpkin Pie."

I chuckle before typin' back, " Funny enough I never had Pumpkin Pie until I was an adult and we had a Cornish Hen Friendsgiving. We eat Sweet Potato everything in my house. It doesn't even have to be a holiday." 

 Sweet PotaTOASTS

Like that segway, I did there? I know, I know. But, back to sweet potatoes. Recently I went to the Tom Thumb that is across the street from my house and grabbed a couple of bags of Sweet PotaTOASTS. Sweet PotaTOASTS from the CAULIPOWER brand is a great bread replacement.
Y'all let's talk about a few reasons I love these Sweet Potatoes in the freezer section.

  • The Sweet PotaTOASTS bags cost less than seven bucks. And with my rebate, you can get $3 off your purchase of Sweet PotaTOASTS.
  • Y'all already know sweet potatoes are the best thing since sliced bread. No, they are, but no one ever wants to wait for them to boil and then cook. Well, Sweet PotaTOASTS are frozen, meanin' they come already cooked. Now, that is my kind of meal hack.
  • Pop them in a toaster or the oven for a few minutes, and they are ready to go.
  • Fourth not only are they Whole3o, Paleo and Keto approved, but sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense food. Did you know one sweet potato is about 4 grams of fiber for every 100 calories? This sweet potato toast is also a clean label, a single-ingredient product that is an excellent source of vitamin A & C, B6,
  • Tender center with crispy edges.

Pop them, Top them. Did I do a thing? I think I did, y'all.


The best part is you can top these bad boys anyway you would like. I chose to make a few breakfast sandwiches out of my sweet potato toast. Y'all already know I added all the avocado. Hello, I'm a Texan. We put avocado on everythin'.

Sweet Potato Toast

Sweet Potato Toast

Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich

Sweet Potato Toast Toppings

Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich

  1. Pop the Sweet PotaTOASTS in the toaster, toast for a few minutes until golden brown and no longer frozen.
  2. Layer the toast with cheese, sliced avocado, crispy bacon, and top with a fried egg.
  3. Finally enjoy open-faced or with a slice of sweet potato toast on top.

Sweet Potato & Lox Sweet Potato Toast

  1. Pop the Sweet PotaTOASTS in the toaster, toast for a few minutes until golden brown and no longer frozen.
  2. Spread a thick layer of cream cheese on the sweet potato toast.
  3. On top of the cream cheese add a few layers of smoked salmon slices.
  4. Finally enjoy open-faced or with a slice of sweet potato toast on top.

Almond Butter and Bananas Sweet Potato Toast

  1. Pop the Sweet PotaTOASTS in the toaster, toast for a few minutes until golden brown and no longer frozen.
  2. Spread a generous layer of almond butter or your choice of peanut butter on the toast.
  3. Cut a ripe banana in pieces and layer on top of the almond butter.
  4. Finally enjoy open-faced or with a slice of sweet potato toast on top.

Avocado, Bacon, Egg Sweet Potato Toast Breakfast Sandwich

 Sweet PotaTOASTS

What's your favorite way to eat toast?

Jun 12, 2019

Grapefruit Vodka Cocktail

This post is sponsored by Sparkling Ice. No calories consumed because its a zero calorie drink.

I've spent much time travelin' around Texas as the #TravelinTexanSparkling Ice is always along for the journey. From my time in Blanco, Texas at the Lavender fields to my time in Austin at Barton Springs Pool, I enjoy all the flavors. 

Each year I've enjoyed tryin' to guess the newest flavor and this year is no different. Recently I went on a hike and came back to make this delicious cocktail usin' local Texas grapefruit.

To make this cocktail, you will need:
Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor

Start by muddling a 1/4 of a grapefruit in a glass.
Add ice.
Pour a shot or two worth of Vodka in the glass.
Top with Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor.

Y'all, the best part of the Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor is the giveaway they host each year. Sparkling Ice is giving away over 500 prizes to correct guesses of the mystery flavor with the grand prize being' a Holland America Cruise. The contest will run from May 1st- July 31st and each correct guess will allow one entry. Entries can be made daily and are encouraged. Use the hashtag  on Twitter and Instagram to guess. Find all the official rules and details at #WhatTheFlavorSweeps

May 29, 2019

Barton Springs Pool- Austin Texas Zilker Park

“This post has been sponsored by Sparkling Ice®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Each travel guide, I love to link the full #TravelinTexan bucket list so y'all can see the entire list. Nap under an oak in Zilker Park crosses number 87 off the list. Shall we get into this quick little trip?

We loaded the car with all the camera gear and Sparkling Ice® we’d bought from Albertsons and were ready for a day trip. We enjoyed seein' the many Sparkling Ice® flavors on the shelf. We were to spend the mornin’ on the outskirts of Austin, lappin’ up all the BBQ our hearts could desire. Bekah had come to visit for the weekend and wanted to spend a day in Austin as she’d never been. A short three-hour drive from my house in Dallas and wantin’ to cross items off the Texas Bucket List, I was more than happy to oblige.

BBQ and catchin’ up with friends warmed our soul and by mid-afternoon, we were ready for the real reason we came to Austin: Zilker Park Barton Springs Pool. Perfect for a spring or summer day with family.

We drove the short distance to Zilker Park, laughin’ all the way while trying to guess the newest Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor. I chuckled, “I wonder if I’ll guess the Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor like I did last year when I took Sparkling Ice and drove to Blanco Texas for the 'Lavender Festival.'” With 16 different flavors of the zero sugar, zero calories drinks and the JUST4U offer updating weekly with new flavors, I didn’t have much hope that I would guess the correct flavors again. But, it was fun to try. Bekah joked, that she thought the Sparkling Ice Mystery Flavor tasted like a candy she often ate.

Check out mystery offers and recipe ideas here

We arrived at Barton Springs Pool just as the afternoon Texas breeze began to stir. I’d always heard that the Barton Springs Pool in the 358 acres of Zilker Park was the premier jewel of Austin, measuring three acres and up to 18 feet in depth. And upon the first arrival, it did not disappoint. With a year-round temperature of 69-70 degrees from the underground springs, Barton Springs Pool is perfect for year-round swimming. We couldn’t contain our excitement as we paid the nine dollars non-resident fee. If only we were from Austin, we thought. Would have only cost us five bucks. We hoped we’d see the endangered Barton Springs Salamander since the springs are not only their habitat but federally protected. We opted for the hand stamp so that if we got hungry, we could come and go and eat our food waitin’ in the car at one of the many park benches.

We walked around the pool, scoopin’ the best place set up our picnic spot. I picked an overgrown oak tree perfect for nappin’.
Bekah immediately rushed to the lukewarm water as I began to assess our surroundings. I noticed that parts of the pool were slippery, and life jackets were only allowed on the shallow half of the pool. A majority of the lifeguards sat in stands on the deeper sider where you needed to be able to swim independently to use. I smiled as a crowd cheered on a little girl as she jumped from the diving board, proud of her accomplishments.  Bekah had already begun to swim around and gotten acclimated to the 68-degree water as I slowly decided which entrance I wanted to use. I’d noted that the beach entrance on the west side of the pool was shallow but slippery, and the stairs near the ramp entrance were less slippery but crowded. I opted for the ramp and shuddered as the lukewarm water hit my skin. I giggled like the children around me as tadpoles and salamanders pooled around my feet.

We quickly grew tired of swimmin’ and took our spot under the large oak tree we had scoped out earlier. We spent a lot of time people watchin’ and snappin’ pictures. “A fine blog post this would make,” I lamented.  

I read on a local blog that near the Barton Springs Pool gate boasted the Zilker Zephyr train, the indoor Splash! Exhibit, the Zilker Snack Bar, Zilker Hillside Theater, and the free wading area of Barton Creek. I'd mentioned them to Bekah, but she was content to lounge with our Sparkling Ice. With just the right amount of fizz and full flavor, we noted that it made a great treat for a day trip.

The sun began to fade as we dried off in the showers. I found myself readin’ all the signs, makin’ note to add the information in the blog post:
Barton Springs Pool
2201 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
  • Barton Springs Hotline (512-867-3080) to make sure the pool is open, especially after a rainstorm
  • Closed Thursdays from 9am - 7pm for cleaning
  • Free for children under the age of one.
  • Children 1-11 residents $2 and nonresidents $4.
  • 12-17 years of age $3 for resident and $5 for nonresident
  • 18-62 $5 for resident and $9 for nonresident
  • 62 and older $2 for resident and $5 for nonresident

We made our way to the car; a three-hour drive awaited us. She tossed me a Sparkling Ice I’d gotten at my local Albertsons for convenience as I hollered, “Chez Stop. We’ll get gas at Chez Stop so you can try the famous kolaches. I make you a Texan Yet." She chuckled before grimacing, "What is up with Texans and their love of gas station food?”
Click to learn the Mystery Offers Sparkling Ice has for you today—each week a new offer is revealed!

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