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Recipes I've Shared:

Chocolate Truffle Cake

A chocolate indulgence not for the faint of heart inspired by Southern Living's recipe in their All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (2009). This cake is filled with a chocolate truffle filling, topped with a chocolate ganache, and decorated with hazelnut wafer cookies.

For more on this Chocolate Truffle Cake, see here:


Grilled Pork Loin Chops

Skip brining your pork if you can help it. In the past, I've followed Bon Appétit's rule to brine before you pan fry or grill your pork chops (and I did so when reading up on this article earlier this spring). But, 4 out of 5 times, the pork ends up too salty no matter how much I cut back on the salt or follow the directions closely.

Spicy Cajun Pork Loin

This recipe is an adaptation of Paul Purdhomme's Cajun Roasted Pork Loin that has been adjusted and improved upon by Rhett's mother and grandmother for the past 20 or so years. For the original Purdhomme recipe. See original post here:

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

A special Easter-take on the everyday brownie (and not for everyday use). Earned something special? Indulge with these brownies. Original full recipe here:

Pecan Pie

As November suddenly creeps up on me, I've been tackling my holiday to-do list.

At the top: develop, test, and master a new version of my grandmother's Pecan Pie recipe that doesn't use corn syrup, but a healthier option without sacrificing the sweet, gooey center.

Stuffed Peppers with Cheese and Spinach

Ever since my move to south Louisiana some four (almost five) years ago, I've become enamored with the ready availability of sweet red and yellow peppers all year round. Perfectly crunchy and naturally sweet, these peppers get their flavor from extended exposure to hot Louisiana sun turning first, green, then yellow and red at full maturity.

Curried Vegetables

This recipe is adapted from food blogger Aimee at Simple Bites (here). I've changed this recipe a lot, but I think the early version that to this curried vegetables recipe warrants documenting. Aimee's slow cooker technique is great if you're looking to cook ahead of time, and her less seasoned version is great for people who don't love spicy foods or kids with discerning palates.

Carol's Gumbo

This recipe has been adapted from Ken Wheaton's book The First Annual Grand Praerie Rabbit Festival. Carol substituted chicken for turkey and doubled many of the proportions given the large amounts of leftover poultry we had from Thanksgiving. Additionally, she used okra instead of filé to thicken her broth as well as a handful of new spices and ingredient substitutions. For the original, see here, but for Carol's, keep reading.

Stuffed Baked Apple

This recipe is adapted from my upcoming book The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round (LSU Press, March 2013). Here, I make the basic stuffed, baked apple without the rum sauce as a healthier variation to the cookbook’s version.

For more on these stuffed baked apples, see here:


Squash and Zucchini Tortellini

For this recipe, I've suggested the Buitoni pre-made Tortellinis you can find readily available at the supermarket (just look for the green and red label near your cheese section). But, really, any good-quality pre-made tortellini will do.

For more on this tortellini, see here:


Pomegranate Cupcakes

Ruby red pomegranate seeds glisten on snow-white cream cheese icing. Pomegranate seeds are just one natural and easy way to bring Christmas reds to your holiday table!

For more on these cupcakes, see here:


Roast Turkey

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s classic roasted turkey recipe at Food Network (here). I’ve followed Brown’s methods in brining and roasting the bird, but added several ingredients to the brine and aromatic stuffing ingredients for the roast. For other helpful posts on the breast-side down technique, see Elise Bauer’s recipe for her mother’s roast turkey (here); for turkey roasting 101 in all of its details, see here.

Smashed Cauliflower

This recipe is adapted from my old smashed potatoes post (here) but with cauliflower. However, I found a beautiful version of mashed purple and white cauliflower at the blog Eat. Sleep. Cuddle (here).


This recipe comes from the New York Times cookbook page 265 (Harper 1961). My recipe follows the original closely with some changes to spice content and the depth of the broth.

Coconut Date Balls

This recipe comes from the 1986 Hope Fire Department Country Cookbook (Hope, Maine), page 93. Although the book had a limited printing (probably 100 copies, give or take a few), the recipe is reprinted here courtesy of Linda’s vast repertoire of local cookbooks. Originally, the recipe was submitted by one Jessie Jacobs of Hope, Maine.

Mango Salsa

Below is my take on a sweet and summery version of salsa made with mangos. Although Russ Turley’s variation suggests the addition of onions and a cucumber, I skipped this step, but found the resulting version to be truly delicious. Add cucumbers for a satisfying veggie crunch, or keep it simple with tomatoes and mangos.

For full recipe, see the original here:

Mango Salsa

Below is my take on a sweet and summery version of salsa made with mangos. Although Russ Turley’s variation suggests the addition of onions and a cucumber, I skipped this step, but found the resulting version to be truly delicious. Add cucumbers for a satisfying veggie crunch, or keep it simple with tomatoes and mangos.

For full recipe, see the original here:

Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme

After a series of inspiring pins over at my frequently obsessed Pinterest homepage, I decided I wanted a lighter version of the baked eggs people are always pinning (you know the recipes I'm talking about--where soccer moms and bloggers bake bread, bacon, and an egg inside muffin tins). This recipe really peaked my interest with its use of roasted kale. Not having kale on hand, I replaced the kale with leftover broccoli and cauliflower from the gratin I made the night before (another recipe that is thanks to Rhett Clement!), and improvised with less bacon and fewer spices as not to overwhelm the palette. The results are savory but simple, elegant yet everyday.


Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Au Gratin

This recipe is adapted from the blog Running to the Kitchen (
n-gratin/). I've made this recipe several times and, liking it so much, decided to double it because I just wanted more gratin. Here, I've used regular milk instead of almond and added a sweeter, homemade version of almond meal.

For more on this roasted broccoli and cauliflower au gratin, see here:


Cranberry Salsa

This recipe is adapted from Corinne Cook at The Advocate. After the White Christmas photo-shoot in November, we went back to Corinne’s for coffee and snacks. The first (and only thing) I ate was this Cranberry Salsa. Its perfect amounts of sweet, salty, and spicy made it a must this past holiday season.

For more on this cranberry salsa, see here:


Christmas Cookies

This recipe comes from the Simply Recipes blog (here). Elise's version of sugar cookies is simple and fool-proof. Simply blend, chill, roll out, and bake. Here, I've added almond extract and moved around some measurements. I've also suggested the use of butter instead of Crisco for the royal icing.


Very Good (1 rating)
Buttery Scrambled Eggs

A tried and true classic, this simple three-ingredient Scrambled Eggs recipe is the same one I've been using since I was a little girl. I can still remember being shown how to take a spatula and move it across the pan of eggs and create a "scramble." I show how in the video that you can find by following the link below.

For more on these buttery scrambled eggs, see here:


Stuffed Baked Potato with Egg

This recipe is adapted from the blog Our Best Bites (
aho-sunrise-egg-stuffed-baked-potatoes/). Although the ingredients, proportions, and methods are a bit different, the concept is still the same as the original’s. Check out Our Best Bites for a cheese-filled version that serves four people, or read on here for a 2-person serving of stuffed baked potatoes with eggs that can be adapted any which way.

For more on this stuffed baked potato with egg, see here:


Corn Chowder

This recipe is a variation of a previous chowder recipe using corn on Clearly Delicious. For the new version, I’ve included a little kick with the addition of chopped jalapeños and increased the broth so it’s more soupy and less chunky like the first one. I’ve also revised cooking times and made the process shorter.

For more on this corn chowder, see here:


Steak Tenderizer

My attention to this technique was first peaked on Jaden Hair’s blog, Steamy Kitchen, which can be found at

For more on this steak tenderizer, see here:


Butternut Squash Lasagna with Blue Cheese and Mozzarella

This recipe takes butternut squash from side dish to main course with just a few tweaks to a traditional lasagna recipe featuring blue cheese. Create two cheese sauces—one with ricotta and one with blue cheese, and roast butternut squash with an onion until tender. Combine into a layered lasagna for a new and attractive blend of flavors!

For more on this butternut squash lasagna, see here:


Shrimp Bisque by Denicola's Food

The pre-packaged bisque requires only a few ingredients: water, canned corn, a little bit of cream and your choice of crawfish or shrimp. And, the process? Unbelievably easy. Simply bring each ingredient together in gradual steps, making sure not to boil the mixture, and a seafood bisque suddenly appears. What I can appreciate best about pre-packaged foods is the ease with which a recipe can be made and the lack of self-doubt when tasting the final product. Please note that the nutritional information for Denicola's Shrimp Bisque mix here is an educated guess.

For more on this shrimp bisque, go here:


Creamy Saffron Bamboo Rice with Cardamom

This recipe is prepared in the Spanish-style in which saffron, peas, and quality rice make a side dish filling enough for a main course. The episode of Spain . . . on the Road Again with Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow published the recipe for Paella and suggests some other ways this dish could be made even more flavorful with prawns, tomatoes, and authentic Spanish paprika.

For more on this creamy saffron bamboo rice with cardamom, go here:


Chicken Tamale Pie

Recipe for Chicken Tamale Pie with a homemade cornbread layer. Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum blog, and is a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey.

For more on this chicken tamale pie, see here:

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Spicy Cayenne

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Spicy Cayenne - a Cajun twist on an everyday American dip. See Clearly Delicious for this preview recipe from Helana Brigman's The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round (

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

A healthful way to prepare traditional macaroni and cheese. Substitute half the cheese with pureed butternut squash; here, you can steam squash until tender or simmer squash in a simple mixture of garlic, milk, and broth. Combine squash with cheese and macaroni for a healthy take on an American favorite. I'll never make macaroni and cheese any other way!

For more on this butternut squash macaroni and cheese, see here:


Smoked Salmon Pâté (pronounced: "paahh-taaae")

This recipe comes from the Harrowsmith Fish & Seafood Cookbook (1985). I love fish and shellfish, and it can be extremely difficult to find a recipe book that offers easy, simple seafood recipes for such a wide variety of dishes. For anyone who cooks seafood regularly, this recipe book is a must. Plus, with its current age (1985), most copies can be found in Used, or Good condition on Amazon for 1-cent plus shipping and handling.

For more on this smoked salmon pâté, see here:


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