This is a fun and easy cake to make for Easter. Just bake two cake rounds. Use one round for the face, and cut the other into two ears and a bow tie. Have the kids decorate it with jelly beans and coconut.
I have never liked turnips. My mother would make beef stew and substitute turnips for potatoes. She never fooled me. Now that I am older, my father brings turnips to me fresh out of his garden and tries to get me to cook them. No, thank you! Then, someone introduced me to rutabagas. They looked like turnips to me, but the taste was sweet without the bitterness of turnips. Surprise, surprise, I liked them!
by Pat Savoie
2 slices bacon, sliced in small pieces
1 onion, diced
3 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
Sauté the bacon until browned.
Add onions and cook until clear.
Stir in rutabaga and season with salt, pepper and sugar.
Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally until tender- about 20 minutes.
Serve as a side dish.
Kale is a new vegetable for me. I’ve cooked spinach, mustard greens and turnip greens, but never kale. The taste is very mild and makes a delightful addition to soup. My father enjoyed the soup so much, he is going to plant kale for me.
by Pat Savoie, from her friend, Debra Olsen
1 pkg Polish Kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small bag of baby carrots, whole or cut in half
1 quart chicken broth or chicken bouillon dissolved in water
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 red potatoes, cubed
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the sausage, then add the onions and celery and cook until clear
Stir in the chicken broth (I used 1 tablespoon of chicken Better Than Bouillon in 4 cups of water.) and add carrots. Cook about 5 minutes
Add beans and potatoes and simmer 10 minutes
Add kale and seasoning and simmer another 10 minutes.
Additional water can be added to keep a “soup” consistency
Remember, sausage and bouillon have salt. Additional salt may not be needed.
I’ve served these little crackers with a kick at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mardi Gras get-togethers. I like how you can prepare the dough ahead of time, which is a big help when hosting a party. You can use cute cookie cutters to match your theme.
by Elizabeth Savoie Dronet, based on Southern Living’s recipe
1 10oz block of sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded in a food processor
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened and cut into cubes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp half and half (add at the end)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor at 5-second intervals until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half, and process 10 seconds or until dough forms a ball.
Turn out onto a well-floured surface. Use your hands to fully combine ingredients. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3 1/2-inch assorted star-shaped cutters. Position cutters closely together as you cut. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. The crackers do not spread much during the baking process and can therefore be placed closely together on the baking sheet.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes; cool on baking sheets on wire racks.
Note: Dough may be wrapped in plastic wrap, sealed in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and chilled up to 3 days.
Last year I hosted a Pokeno party with a Mardi Gras theme–Let the Good Times Roll! The party was a Great Gathering event to raise money for our Catholic school. It was both easy and a great success! I’ve included the details of the party planning along with the menu below.
hosted by Elizabeth Savoie Dronet
Hot Crawfish Dip with Toasted French Bread
Shrimp Mold with Ritz Crackers (I halved the recipe.)
Cajun Spiced Pecans
Cajun Fire and Ice Pickles
Creole Cheese Crackers
Steen’s Syrup Cookies
The Game Plan
Pokeno is an easy game, easier than Bunko if you ask me, that is similar to Bingo. A deck of cards is used in place of Bingo numbers. The game includes a breakdown of points based on traditional poker hands to be used to settle ties or to add a little pizazz to the game. The game accommodates 12 players, although 13 could play if the dealer sits out.
I first ordered the Pokeno game from Amazon and located my own deck of cards coincidentally caught in a Mardi Gras parade from one of the casino’s in Lake Charles. When the game arrived, I scanned the poker points breakdown on the back of the box and printed copies for all the game players to have on hand at the table.
The Night of the Party
When the guests arrived, we first ate appetizers and drank homemade Hurricanes. Then we moved to the table for the first round of games, which was played for the wrapped gifts. We were twelve, so we played twelve rounds and took turns being the dealer. The first person to Pokeno (Bingo) chose a gift. If there was a tie, the person with the higher poker hand was the winner of the gift. When all twelve rounds were complete, the gifts were opened and we took a break to eat dessert.
The second round of the game was played for cash. We played six games this time. The winner received points this time, which we kept track of by wearing Mardi Gras beads. At the end of six rounds, the first ($20) and second ($10) place winners were those with the highest points or most beads.
Lastly, we played a blackout game for the $30 jackpot. I had purchased a prize for the loser. We had three who had not yet won a game. We decided to have these three play a game and the person who never Pokenoed was the official loser.