Category Archives: Chef Bouardi in da House

Creole Goodness

As a child of a divorced couple, learning to cook was more a necessity than something I wanted to do. If I wanted to eat, then I damn well better learn how to make myself something. Growing up, I cooked everything from tuna melts on toasted Mrs. Baird’s white bread to marinated steak, seasoned mashed potatoes and cornbread to a copy cat of my auntie’s spaghetti recipe, which is my favorite dish. Perhaps one of my most favorite memories of my childhood was being able to cook with my mom when she wasn’t working.

As a college student at Baylor, I remember I made my auntie’s spaghetti for two of my homegirls. I had packed all the ingredients to the top floor of the dorm and threw down like no tomorrow. I even bought fresh garlic bread to toast in the oven. And they loved it. By love I mean they grunted and slurped up every last drop of sauce on the plate. I think they each had seconds and thirds.

Fast forward to my adult years. For the majority of my adult life, I’ve used cooking as a form of therapy. I use my cooking skills to bring people together. To make people feel the love and warmth it took to prepare the recipes I love to cook on the regular as well as the experimental never before attempted recipes.

Today was a day to attempt a never before attempted recipe. Y’all know I love me some Pinterest. Pinterest is a melting pot of recipe pins. I have several boards filled with a variety of delicious looking foods. I just don’t have a big enough kitchen to prepare every pinned meal or dish.

I present my attempt at a from scratch creole/Cajun classic jambalaya!

I usually make the Tony Chachere’s or Zaterans box jambalaya. I add ground beef and/or eckrich mesquite sausage. It’s always good and quite spicy just as I like. But for once I wanted to make one of my favorite meals from scratch. 

I have to say it was a decent attempt but it needs work. It was flavorful but just a tad bit bland in the salt and pepper department. I’m hoping the spices and herbs will continue to season the jambalaya as it sits overnight in the refrigerator. I’m taking some for lunch tomorrow so wish me luck. 

Anyway, if you would like to attempt this recipe yourself here is the link to the pin on Pinterest. Let me know how yours turned out. 

Thanks for reading…


The Southern Yankee

Red Hawt Chili Cookers

My co workers and I entered the building wide 4th Annual Chili Cook Off that was held this past Thursday.  If I remember right my department had had the most entries by a single department with six. We had five individuals and our boss entered a chili for the department. We were in it to win it all! Six entries mayne! Six! It was the first time we had participated in anything this big in almost a decade. Yeah you read that right a decade.

Why do long?! Well we always get the shaft and the chili cook off proved that theory entirely. But I’m not gonna go into a post long rant about how we shoulda won and how all of our chilis were the shizzle ma nizzle. Seriously yo! We broke our feet off in each batch of chili. And what do we have to show for it?!?!?! A whole lotta compliments but not the grand prize or 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. I’m not overly bitter but I am because even though we were competing against each other and worked our asses off making our chilis, we had fun as a department which doesn’t always happen and hasn’t happened in a long while.


Here’s me and my other co worker’s entry for the chili cook off. We were called the Red Hot Chili Cookers. Hopefully, you see the reference to one of the best alternative punk bands EVER! She was red and I was hot and that was our chili and cornbread entry. 

Lemme talk to you guys something about our entry. This. Was. The. SHIT!! The co’nbred was made from scratch. The chili was made fresh that morning. We just knew we had that shit in the bag. In the effn bag Gina!! I haven’t made a batch of chili that damn good in a long time and lemme tell you since each batch seems to come out different, ima be so mad if I can recreate this at a later time. It had texture. Spice. Flavor. It had ground beef and sausage. It was GON before lunch was done being served those who wanted food. My co workers (both in the dept and outside) and friends loved it and sent other folks to get some. Yep utter hit. Boosted my ego a bit. Okay a lot! 

But it was fun. It was the first time I actually wanted to enter my cooking into a contest. I typically don’t go out on a limb like that because like with everything I do, I get too much into my head about the outcome. I over analyze my position and second guess everything. I lose sight of the fact that I know what I’m doing and have proven that on several occasions. But I’m human and it’s normal to have some doubt. 


I can’t say that I or my department will enter a competition like this again. I secretly hope we do but at the same time no because it costs quite a chunk of change to make our chilis. I can’t speak for my co workers but I usually spend approximately $35 on all the ingredients for my chili recipe. I can only imagine what the others spent because they used bigger and more expensive meats. One guy, who I call the Hacker, made two maybe three batches before deciding on the final entry. All of which were amazing. And the cornbread he made… Jesus lawd have murcy on us all! Lawd that cornbread! It. Had. BACON!!! I ain’t saying nothing else about it. You’re just gonna have to use your imagination cuz my tummy is already feenin for it. 

I should prolly end this before I get hongry again! 


Thanks for reading…


The Southern Yankee