Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Tradition

Many years ago, while traveling through the night on our way to a ski lodge on New Year's Eve, my future mother-in-law lit a candle in the car and placed it in a bucket. I was perplexed. She explained, that on New Year's Eve, "A Bayberry candle burned to the socket, brings health to the home and wealth to the pocket." I was an instant believer and have never let another new year begin without burning a Bayberry candle.

Tonight, as I lit the candle, I explained the tradition to my Knuckleheads. For a little added fun, I told them that once the candle was lit they could each make a wish for the new year. My 6 year old wished for a big cake and my little 4 year old punkette wished for a clock.

Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Easing back into the blog

Because I know you're sick of looking at Santa's Favorite Cookies.....

Christmas Lights and Fireworks in Natchitoches, LA

The Gridiron Gang has been on the go for most of December. We had a wonderful Christmas in Louisiana and have finally returned home to Texas to ring in a Happy New Year.
I promise get back to blogging as soon as I recoup from all the holiday fun.

~Gridiron Girl

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa's Favorite Cookies

Cane Syrup Cookies

1 cup sugar
2 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1/3 cup cane syrup or molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and cut in shortening*. Add egg and cane syrup (molasses can be used if cane syrup is not available in your area). Once combined, roll dough into small (1 inch) balls and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, leaving room for cookies to expand. Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will develop a more crackled look and expand a bit more after you remove them from the oven. Yield: 3 dozen

* I use my Kitchenaid mixer because this is a very thick dough.

Happy Holidays!!!
Gridiron Girl

Serena over at The Farm Chicks is having a fun vitual cookie exchange.
Check it out for more great cookie recipes!

Quick photos to make grandparents happy :-)

I promise I'm working on some new stuff, but until I have time to get it posted, you can enjoy looking at a couple of new pics of my adorable little Sugarplums. :-)

My new camera is here and I'm having a blast trying to figure it all out. It is one serious piece of equipment, with more bells and whistles than I ever imagined!

Hot Chocolate on a COLD parade night.

Snuggled up waiting for the Christmas parade.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow in East Texas!!!

It didn't last long, but it sure was pretty coming down.

Snowflakes on my coat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Turkey and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

A few of you have requested my Turkey Gumbo recipe, and I'm happy to share, the only problem is that I really don't have a real recipe. Gumbo is one of those a little of this and a handful of that kind of things. I firmly believe that if you ask 100 different people how they make their gumbo, you'll get a 100 different answers. But since y'all asked so nicely, I'm going to give it a shot.

A few notes before we get started:

~ Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is actually my favorite, so if you don't have any turkey available, by all means use chicken. I like to boil and debone my chicken, reserving the stock, before I get started. To make my Turkey Gumbo, I just used a few handfuls of leftover turkey and some canned stock.

~ The most important part of making a gumbo is the roux. You can find plenty of instructions online on how to make a roux, or you can just buy some of this fabulous stuff....

Premade roux is one of the world's best inventions if ya ask me. Don't think you're being less authentic if you use this stuff, every Louisiana cook I know keeps a jar of roux within their reach. It's the real deal, you just don't have to spend an hour making it yourself!

~ You need a large heavy bottom stock pot. If you use a thin pot, your roux will stick and scorch, and that would be bad.

Okay let's get started....


turkey or chicken, cooked and shredded
1 lb smoked sausage, cut up
chicken stock
bacon grease
onion, chopped
bell pepper, chopped
celery, chopped
greeen onions, chopped
parsley, chopped
garlic, chopped
salt, pepper and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning* to taste


Add about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease to stock pot, throw in all the chopped vegetables and saute until tender. Add smoked sausage and allow to cook a few minutes to get a nice color on the sausage. You may have to add a little water to keep from scorching the bottom of the pot. Next, add about 3 or 4 tablespoons of roux and mix well. Add stock while stirring to incorporate the roux. More stock, water or roux can be added as gumbo cooks to achieve desired consistancy. Add turkey, salt, pepper and Tony's and allow to cook for about 45 minutes. Be sure to stir often, add more liquid as needed and add more seasoning if desired. Serve over rice with Saltine crackers. DEELISH!

The longer a gumbo sits, the better it tastes. In my opinion, it'a always better the next day! It also freezes very well.

* If you haven't discovered Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning yet, please order you a case right this very minute! I promise you won't be sorry.

The kind folks at Tony Chacher's and Savoie's have no idea who I am and have not paid me a single cent for giving them some pub. I just love their products and think they're worth sharing.

I know my gumbo instructions are kind of confusing, so if you have any questions just ask! :-)

~The Gridiron Girl

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