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“Laissez les bon temps rouler!” In Cajun talk that translates as “Let the good times roll!”

The Cajun culture calls for making life fun – even everyday things. To accomplish this, Baby Kay, Rosie’s mama, made it her mission to make every one of her eight children laugh. Every day.

She also made sure food was not just for eating but cause for celebrating! Every meal was prepared with a little lagniappe, that’s Cajun for “a little something extra.” Even a sandwich, made by Baby Kay, worked magic. There was no shortage of kids “stopping” by the house hoping it was close to meal time so they could enjoy Cajun food and hospitality!

Almost 100 People Attended the Class!

Every one of Baby Kay’s children loves to cook and has passed that passion on to their spouses and children. There is no “settling” for meals as the tradition continues! Big family meals become potluck affairs where everyone puts forth their best effort to make their dish a cause for celebrating!

This year in October, we actually taught our first Cajun cooking class at Shar’s Kitchen in Gilbert, owned by Allison Carpenter, a cooking supply store on Gilbert Road. We were shocked when almost 100 people turned out to learn our secrets. Cooks for the evening’s events included Rosie’s mother, Baby Kay Romero, his wife, Jennifer, and Rosie himself — with help from Allison Carpenter and her husband, Stan.

Here are some dishes on our menu that might make great possibilities for one of your holiday parties this season.


16 Jumbo Shrimp, peeled, deveined, boiled, and chilled


1 Cup Mayonnaise
Juice of 1 Lemon
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Creole Mustard (such as Zatarain’s)
½ Cup Fresh Horseradish, grated
Tabascco to taste
½ Cup Fresh Parsley
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve over cold shrimp.


4-51bs Chicken, cut into bite size pieces (large fryer or all thighs)
1 lb Smoked Sausage cut into ¼” slices (I use Eckridge)
3 Tbsp Veg Oil
1 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
1 Cup Chopped Onion
4 Cloves Garlic- grated
1 Tbsp Salt or to taste
½ – 1 tsp Thyme
Tony Cachere, to taste (Cajun Creole Spice)
2 tsp Worcestershire
4 Cup (1 qt) Chicken Broth (Swanson’s low salt or homemade)
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
2 ½ Cups Long Grain Rice

In a large Dutch oven, brown meats in oil. Remove meat. Add Vegetables and cook until onions are clear. Add seasonings, Worcestershire, broth and tomato sauce- cook for 15 minutes. Add rice and meat, stir well. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Make sure there is enough liquid for rice to absorb liquid – add ¼ cup at a time if too dry.

Cook an additional 20 min on low heat and stir if necessary.

Serve with cornbread or crusty French bread and a salad


Allison Carpenter, owner of Shar’s Kitchen (left), and Rosie Romero’s mother, Baby Kay (right), on scene at the cooking class.

½ Cup Pimento Stuffed Olives
½ – 1 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 ½ tsp Black Pepper
1 ½ tsp Celery Seed
Juice of ½ Lemon
1 Tbsp Milk
2-4 Tbsp Diced Yellow Onion

Combine dressing ingredients. Add Dressing to taste to shredded cabbage.


True Baby Kay Cornbread must be fixed in a cast iron skillet

1 Cup Albers® White or Yellow Corn Meal
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

Combine meal, flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Combine milk, oil and egg in small bowl; mix well. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

NOTE: Recipe may be doubled. Use greased 13×9-inch baking pan; bake as above.


Rosie Romero and Allison’s husband Stan Carpenter help out by serving the meal.

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal
3 Tbsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt
½ Cup Oil
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk

Stir sugar into oil. Stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate stirring milk and dry ingredients into oil mix.
Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake in 350° oven for 35 min.


1 Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
4 Large Eggs
3 Cups White Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sweet Spice Blend
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Buttermilk
1 ½ Cups Mashed Ripe Banana (about 4 medium)
8 oz Can Crushed Pineapple


1 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut, toasted
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 ½ Cups Caramel Sauce (caramel thinned with cream)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, sweet spice blend, and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Add the bananas and pineapple, beating until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Slam the pan against the counter to get any air bubbles out of the batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Allow cake to cool.

While cake cools, whip the cream with ½-cup caramel sauce. When cake is completely cool top with caramel whip cream, then drizzle with remaining cup of caramel sauce and sprinkle with toasted coconut.



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