Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Orleans Hamburger Soup

When I was a kid I lived in New Orleans for several years and one of our next door neighbors, Mrs. Pettibone, used to make this soup all the time. During the fall months, every day around lunchtime, she'd walk out into the backyard where we were playing, clang her soup ladle against the lid of a pot and cry, "Children! Come and get some hamburger soup now! Y'hear what I say!  Come now and eat this soup!!"  Food always gives us such delicious memories, eh?

This is a recipe that I would classify as being very basic as it lends itself to experimentation so feel free to add your own eccentric touches!

  • 1 TBS unsalted Butter
  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 cloves fresh Garlic, diced fine
  • 1 large Spanish Onion, chopped medium coarse
  • 2 large Carrots, peeled & chopped medium coarse
  • 2 stalks Celery, leaves removed & chopped medium coarse
  • 2 Red Potatoes, peeled & cut into small cubes
  • 10 cups Beef Stock  Note: For my stock recipe, go HERE
  • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes (16 oz)

Dry Spice Mix:
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Butcher Cracked Black Pepper
1 small Bay Leaf, crumbled up

Cooking Procedure:

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat
Add the onion & garlic
Cook this down until the onions turn clear
Add the meat
Lightly brown the meat & using a fork...
break up any lumps in the meat as it cooks
Add the dry spice mix, carrots & celery
Stir well & cook this down for 10 minutes
Add the potatoes, beef stock & crushed tomatoes
Let this come to a boil
Stir well
Skim & discard any excess grease & foam
that forms on the top of the soup
Reduce heat to low

Let the soup simmer for 1 hour

"Y'hear what I say!  Come now and eat this soup!!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Homestyle Beef Stock

Here's a simple recipe for a nice beef stock. A handy thing to remember when making stocks is you can freeze them for later use if you make more than you need at the moment. I usually freeze some in ice cube trays so later on, if I'm making something that requires stock, I simply pop out a couple of cubes!


  • 4 large Beef Shin Bones, cracked
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 2 large Spanish Onions, quartered
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped coarse
  • 3 large Carrots, chopped coarse
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups fresh Parsley, chopped coarse
  • 8 oz. Beef Stew Meat

Cooking Procedure:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Lay out the cracked bones in a roasting pan
  • Roast the bones in the oven until they are browned, about 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Put the roasted bones in a large pot, add the water & the remaining ingredients
  • Bring this to a rolling boil
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for 4 hours
  • At the halfway mark of the cooking time, add 1 more quart of cold water to the stock pot
  • When stock is ready, remove the pot from the heat
  • Skim & discard any foam that has collected on the surface of the stock
  • Strain the stock through a fine mesh colander & set it aside to cool for 20 minutes
  • Pour the stock into a container & seal it tightly
  • Place the stock in the fridge overnight
  • The next day: remove & discard any fat that has collected on the surface of the stock
  • This stock will keep fresh for 3 days if not frozen for later use

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Mrs. Pettibone’s Christmas Pound Cake

Here's a recipe that always brings back childhood memories of Christmas in New Orleans for me. Our neighbor, Mrs. Pettibone, used to make up a bunch of these pecan pound cakes and give them out as presents around the neighborhood. One Christmas, her dog Luther (a German Shepard who happened to be blind), somehow managed to climb on top of her kitchen table and put quite a dent in a few of the pound cakes she had just made. "Luther! You gonna be thanking God you is blind, boy! That way you not gonna see what I'm gonna do to you when I catch you this very day!!"


  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups White Sugar
  • 1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 6 large Eggs
  • 3 cups White Flour
  • 10 oz Pecan pieces, chopped coarse

Cooking Procedure:

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees
  • Place the buttermilk in a small bowl
  • Add the baking soda & stir well
  • Note: This mixture will foam up a bit
  • Set this buttermilk mixture aside
  • In a mixer, combine the butter & sugar
  • Stir well
  • Add the vanilla extract & salt
  • Stir well
  • With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time
  • Mix well
  • With the mixer running, gradually add the flour (1 cup at a time)
  • Beat this well
  • Add the buttermilk mixture
  • Beat this cake mix until creamy
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the pecan pieces
  • Grease a large loaf pan
  • Pour in the pound cake mix
  • Place the loaf pan in the oven
  • Bake the pound cake for 2 hours...or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean
  • Let the pound cake cool at room temperature
  • Once the pound cake is cool, gently remove it from the loaf pan

Serve the pound cake naked or with a dollop of whipped cream

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Everything Old is New Again


Just a quick update on things.  I had to close down the original location of this here blog -- -- due to some difficulties I experienced with the Google platform with regards to renewing my domain name.  After several exasperating weeks, I decided to download all of my original posts and then delete my original blog in order to create this new location for my recipes, stories and overall commentary.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who stopped by the old site and to those out there who will be stopping by this new location.