Pies: Sweet and Classic


Being a true southern gal, I can honestly say that I love crunchy Pecan Pie.  But I equally adore Chocolate Cream Pie.  Rich homemade chocolate filling and a generous amount of fresh {real} whipped cream can truly cool you off on a hot, sunny day!  As wonderful as these two pies are, there is something so satisfying about my Mama’s classic cheesecake; add a handful of sliced Louisiana strawberries if they are in season if you want to dress it up.

And surely, if you are going to make one of these wonderful pies from scratch, by all means, Sugah, make a crispy, flakey real pie crust!!


Makes enough pastry for one 9-inch deep-dish double-crust pie or two 9-inch deep-dish pie shells
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and put in freezer for 15 minutes
• 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening cut into pieces freeze like the butter
• 1/2 cup cold iced water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the frozen butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times to cut in the butter.
Remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Scatter the frozen shortening pieces over the flour and pulse the machine 6 or 7 times. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture again.
Drizzle half of the water over the flour mixture and pulse the machine 5 or 6 times. Remove the lid, fluff the pastry, and sprinkle on the rest of the water. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times more, until the pastry starts to form clumps.
Overall, it will look like coarse crumbs. Dump the contents of the processor bowl into a large mixing bowl.
Test the pastry by squeezing some of it between your fingertips. If it seems a little dry and not quite packable, drizzle a teaspoon or so of cold water over the pastry and work it in with your fingertips. Using your hands, pack the pastry into 2 balls, as you would pack a snowball. Make one ball slightly larger than the other; this will be your bottom crust. Knead each ball once or twice, and then flatten the balls into 3/4-inch-thick disks on a floured work surface. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. Or you can freeze it to use for later.  About 10 minutes before rolling, remove the pastry to from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface.  Proceed as directed in your recipe. Continue reading


20160330_190758Crawfish Shortcakes w a Warm Remoulade Sauce


Either way this is a wonderful recipe to make this crawfish season for something a little different!

Savory Herb Biscuits  (12-14 large)
Chiqui Collier

3 cups White Lily Self-rising Flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh Rosemary leaves, chopped (optional)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon seafood magic or your favorite Creole seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (you may need a little more)

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together to blend well. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup heavy whipping cream and fold into the flour mixture. Add the remaining cream a little at a time until you achieve a moist but firm biscuit dough….just until the dough holds together. Continue reading

Crawfish and Tasso Pasta


Crawfish season is upon us here in south Louisiana and we are so blessed to be able to purchase precooked and peeled crawfish tails.  This makes preparing a quick meal so easy and delicious!

The recipe for this pasta dish came together the other night when my son Ben decided to cook our dinner.  He just looked in the fridge, the pantry and the freezer and came up with this delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes. Continue reading




This cheesecake was made with a half recipe of the ingredients.  The full recipe will serve 16 guests.  This was for 9 guests and we had extra to send home with some of the guests.

This cheesecake is light, airy and not overly sweet.  The reason for the lightness is the use of Ricotta cheese and not cream cheese and the fact that whipped heavy cream is folded into the batter before baking.  I used chocolate cream filled cookies similar to Oreos and scraped out the filling to use for the crust.  Sometimes you can find plain dark, chocolate cookie wafers and sometimes they are not available, so these worked really well!

I have also used unsweetened cocoa in the filling instead of chocolate milk powder with great success.  In the recipe it calls for three containers of ricotta cheese.  Try to use whole milk ricotta and each container should be 16 ounces.

This is a great dessert for any special holiday or gathering.  I promise you will get lots of compliments and requests for the recipe!!


…until next time, Bon Appetit,





A RAINBOW ICE CREAM CAKE????20141231_211933















So good and so “cool”.  Everyone will love it.  Three layers of chocolate cake and strawberry and pistachio ice cream…..or you could use mint chocolate chip, too! Continue reading

Has it really been over two years since I have posted anything new to my blog??

Wow, so much has happened since my last post I can hardly believe it…….time is really flying by…..so what have I been so busy with????  Two new grandbabies, of course.  Being a grandmother is the most joyful part of my life these days and babies are just the best!!20171203_113718

Meet Vincent, 1 year old on the left and Giselle, 8 months! Grandbabies # 10 and # 11!!



Oyster Leek SOupOyster, Leek and Artichoke Bisque

The official “Holidays” have ended but not so if you are from New Orleans…We are getting ready for Mardi Gras and Saint’s Football Playoffs!!..But since I didn’t post anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I decided to include this fabulous soup.  Of course, everybody knows that Louisiana oysters are the BEST in the world and we  have had an awesome Oyster season.  This soup starred as the appetizer for my Christmas Dinner and everyone declared it the best they had ever eaten!  I’ll take that!

Oyster, Leek and Artichoke Soup
Chiqui Collier

1 Qt. Oysters, drained and liquid reserved

1 stick unsalted butter
8 oz. Baby Bellas or White Mushrooms, sliced
2 Large leeks, thinly sliced (white part only), well rinsed
2 Large Cloves Garlic, finely minced
6 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (leaves only)
4 heaping tablespoons of all purpose flour
2 Bay Leaves
Seafood Magic to taste (I use about a teaspoon)
Lemon-pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Lea & Perrins
1 quart fresh Chicken Stock
2 Cups Heavy Cream or Half and Half
1 Cup Dry White Wine
2 cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter


Melt the stick of butter in a 5qt. Pot. Saute’ mushrooms and leeks for 2 minutes until softened. Add garlic and fresh thyme. Cook 2 minutes more. Sprinkle flour evenly on softened vegetables. Season with Seafood Magic and lemon-pepper. Stir in the reserved oyster water, Bay Leaves. Lea & Perrins, artichoke hearts, white wine and chicken stock. Simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer until heated thoroughly. Taste and correct seasoning. (Check for salt). If mixture is too thick, thin out with more cream or chicken stock if desired.

When ready to serve: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Saute oysters just until the edges curl (about 2 minutes). Place an even amount of oysters in each soup bowl. Pour hot soup over each bowl and garnish with a thin slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley OR you can chop all the oysters before adding to the soup.

Serves 8 – 10 as a soup course

Love to serve this with toasted slices of French Bread.


……until next time, Bon Appetit








September is almost over so naturally our thoughts are moving towards Holiday Baking!

wpid-20150704_163736.jpgNew Orleans Turtle Cookies

An old fashioned Cookie Swap was always on the agenda at my house immediately following Thanksgiving!   I couldn’t wait  to decorate my home for Christmas and send out invitations to friends and neighbors.

The invitation explained that each guest was asked to bake a double batch of their favorite cookies  along with the recipe printed on index cards.  Their cookies would be placed on a platter on the Dining Room table with the recipes close by.  That way, guests could take the container they came with and walk around the table to sample each cookie and take a few to place into their container.  They could also take a copy of the recipe.  It was a way of trying something new and getting some great recipes! Continue reading

A tale of two Doughnuts…..


Sometimes a quick 5 minute donut is just right.  And then there is the “special occasion”  that calls for the N’Orleans Beignet.

When I was a little girl, sometimes on a Friday or Saturday night Daddy would pile us kids into the car around 11:00 P.M. and we would head out to the French Quarter.  Of course we kids were in our pajamas with bare feet and we knew we were not getting out of the car.  It really didn’t matter, we were just thrilled to see the sights, sounds and smells of the Quarter!  Daddy would pull around to the back side of Café Du Monde and we got to order beignets and chocolate milk with curb service.  Soon after placing our order, the waiter would return and hook our tray of goodies onto Daddy’s window and we would shriek with delight as he passed out plates of these soft little pillows of goodness.  “Be careful not to spill too much powdered sugar on the seats!”  he would warn.  But if you have ever eaten beignets you know that was just not possible.  Not only was the back seat dusted with confectioner’s sugar, more often than not there were also spills from the cartons of chocolate milk.   Continue reading

Homemade Pasta, anyone??? A true labor of love from the Italian Nona you wish you had!!

wpid-20150212_114540.jpgNests of freshly made  Fettuccine Pasta


“Straw and Hay”  Spinach and Egg Pasta

Once you have eaten freshly made pasta you can never go back!  The delicate pasta practically melts in your mouth and does not leave you with a  feeling of heaviness. It does, however, leave you feeling “Heavenly”.

The process is a bit time-consuming but I find it to be a very relaxing and comforting pastime that evokes such pleasant memories of my days working at Ristorante Pastore.  In  Italy it is customary for the “Nona” of the family to make  Pasta on a daily basis to feed her family.  The recipe for basic pasta in my cookbook comes from Nona Maria Pastore that I learned to make while cooking at our family’s restaurant, Ristorante Pastore.  It was truly one of New Orleans’ finest Northern Italian restaurants.  Pastore’s Pasta recipes start on page 90.  Their famous sauces start on page 86.

Continue reading