Da Cajn Critter Cookbook Review

Cookbook Review for:

da cajn critter

The Lifestyles, The Rules and Makin’ Groceries

by Pamela D. Lyles


Now y’all know that I love Cajun food. Heck, I even incorporated a “Bayou” theme into the rehearsal dinner for our wedding… that has to say something.

So you can only imagine the joy I felt when I flipped through da cajn critter cookbook with authentic Cajun and Creole recipes from New Orleans! What I love about this collection of recipes is author Pam Lyles provides her own family’s “tried and true” cooking traditions.

Exploring the cookbook, I continuously recalled a statement I read by Pam on dacajncritter.com:

“da cajn critter cookbook is a melting pot of all the recipes, stories and forgotten information that I gathered from my family’s kitchen as a child as well as our family’s stories and stories with friends.”

That statement summed it up for me. It is the authenticity, the history and the sense that you are cooking the magic of generations past that makes this cookbook so special.

2The cookbook itself is easily organized by tabs into 8 separate sections, ranging from appetizers to desserts and everything in between. There is even a section in the back called “Lagniappe” with a bunch of fun facts and useful information including: Pairing wine with food, How much liquor to buy for your party, decorating with candles, flowers and napkins and a meat roasting chart. Not to mention it is a hardback book with spiral bound pages on the inside… which makes it easy to keep open while the book is standing upright.


The tab of each section conveniently outlines the recipes for each category. I found it particularly useful to look at all of the recipes at once to see which recipes sparked my interest without having to flip blindly through each section. Not that it would matter in this particular case; I wanted to see each and every recipe in the book! To me, there is nothing more special than looking through someone else’s family recipe box…and that is exactly what I felt like I was doing here.

Another thing I really appreciate about this cookbook is the true “no fuss” recipes. Pam makes it a point to mention that it is “about breaking the rules and making cooking fun again.” The recipes in da cajn critter truly reflect that attitude. It shares practical recipes–nothing overwhelming or difficult. All of the ingredients required can be found at a basic grocery store. There is nothing more discouraging than trying to follow a recipe from a cookbook where half the ingredients are specialty items and the other half you’ve never even heard of to determine if they are specialty or not! That is definitely not the case here (thank goodness!).

Just to prove my point… I will demonstrate one of the recipes I tried out.

4Who doesn’t like fudge at Christmas time?? I thought this would be a perfect recipe to try out since I was already going to make fudge anyway.

Watch how easy this recipe is!

5Combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk in saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently until it gets to a “soft-ball” stage.


Remove from heat. Add marshmallow creme, chocolate chips and chopped pecans.

8Stir until everything is melted and smooth.

9Pour into a buttered 9×13 baking dish.

10Sprinkle remaining pecans on top and let stand until fudge firms.


After it is cooled, I like to refrigerate my fudge… but that’s just me.

12Seriously. How easy was that? Basic ingredients. Easy instructions. Delicious fudge. And I’m not just saying that… (skip this next sentence, mom) I may just have a new fudge recipe that beat out our family heirloom recipe for fudge.

All of the recipes in here can easily be incorporated right into your family recipe box.  It is full of good holiday meal ideas…and you still have time to make it a last minute Christmas gift or buy it for yourself for Christmas dinner ideas. Buy it here

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