You Inspired Me…to cook! Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Sometimes I just want to be INSPIRED… Inspired to think, to read, to dream, to act, to move, to help, to stand firm, to give or to share.

Today, I was inspired by Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide to try out this recipe for Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.  We do not eat black eyed peas and cabbage on New Years Day becaues we are superstitous.  We eat them because we are Southerners and well…its what Southerners do on New Years Day.  Well that and watch football!


  • 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 2 minced serrano chiles
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion minced
  • 1 green or red pepper minced
  • 1 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup bread crumb
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix garlic and serranos in a large bowl. Add peas and mash to a pulp. You can throw in the eggs at this point if it’s difficult. Once peas are mashed add eggs (if you haven’t already) ham, green pepper, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper and mix to incorporate. Add 3/4 cup bread crumbs and form into patties. Heat enough oil in a large skillet to cover the bottom f the pan and brown patties on each side, until crisp on the outside and warm inside, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Garnish with fresh pico, or hot sauce and sour cream.

The first item listed in the ingredient list is 4 cups of cooked black-eyed peas.  Therefore, this sent me in search of an easy recipe for cooked black-eyed peas.  I found one @  Its one of Emeril’s recipes, Stewed Black-Eyed Peas and Country Ham.  It is super simple and I had the fresh shelled peas stewing on the stove top in no time at all.  I opted to omit the bay leaves, salt and pepper from th recipe because I want all of the flavors to come from the seasoning in the recipe for in the Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 5 to 6 ounces (about 1 cup) roughly chopped country ham pieces
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked in cold water overnight and rinsed well
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and country ham. Add the black-eyed peas, chicken stock, and 1 cup cold water. Bring the liquid up to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 25 minutes, uncover and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Season the peas with salt and pepper as needed.

While the peas are cooking I will take a few minutes to take in a few minutes of the Texans Football Game.  After all it is New Years Day…

On a side note, I have been thinking about trying to narrow the focus of the nolagirlatheart blog.  If you have spent any time at all this past year reading my blog you probably noticed it all very random.  Random postings, random thoughts, random, random, random.  Not that random is a bad thing…but a little more focus could be a good thing.  I have been tossing a few thoughts around.

The one idea that has stood out more than any other is this one… “You Inspired Me…“!  Hopefully once a week I will write a post about a blogger that has inspired me to try something new.  It could be anything;  a new recipe, a photo challenge, a upcycled recycled craft, a painting technique, geochaching or zip lining in the dark.  There are so many possibilities to be inspired.

You Inspired cook!

Here is my version of Rufus’ Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Cakes along with a side of grilled cabbage!  I hope I get inspired to take better pictures, because this one needs some help.  The food was ready, the family was hungry and the flash washed out the cabbage.  The black-eyed pea cake was very tasty.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers tomorrow.

Here’s to being Inspired!!!


Filed under All Things Foodie, You Inspired Me

17 responses to “You Inspired Me…to cook! Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

  1. I love this idea, Jeanne. I hope you continue to be inspired to share your inspiration with us!

    Greg and Katherine share such DELICIOUS recipes . . . definitely worth trying. I had Black Eyes Peas and sauteed greens today ~ so we should both be LUCKY DUCKS in 2011.


    And your photo looks just fine . . . it made me hungry. 😀

  2. We promised Nancy $1 to say that. Seriously, your cakes look awesome, much crispier on the outside and I’m glad you explained how to cook the beans. I took it for granted that people would buy canned or just know, but from the questions I got I was wrong. No soaking and they cook so fast! Anyway, glad and flattered that we inspired you! Happy New Year. Love this new feature.

    • Greg, I decided to go with fresh peas instead of dried or canned. So glad I did! They were very tasty on their own but I bet they will be better tomorrow.

  3. I wish I would get inspired to cook!

    Your picture looks great, but I understand you can’t spend too much time on it when the family is ready to eat 🙂

  4. I do agree. Greg and Katherine have inspired me a time or two. Biscotti, crabcakes, raspberry cranberry sauce are among the delicious recipes they have shared and my family has enjoyed. What I like is how accessible and sensible their prep is. They make me feel “I can cook.” So happy to see a nod to them and had to comment.

    • I have started a folder called “recipes worth trying” and it is filled with Rufus’ recipes. I may have to search the site for the crab cake recipe…that is one of my favs!

  5. Looks yummy! I would love to try them. Thanks for the mention

  6. Loved this – brings back many wonderful memories – especially of my maternal grandmother. Only difference is that the good luck cabbage was, according to her, sauerkraut! Wwe always had to have at least one spoonful of it. I never liked sauerkraut until i went to college and the cook at our dorm would make kapusta (spelling?). So DELICIOUS! I’ll have to see if i can find a recipe that approximates it!

    Happy 2012, filled with wonder and joy and enough. . .

    • Paula, So many of my memories are centered around food…some good, some bad and some down right hilarious! Here’s to being inspired to make more memories in 2012!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my new blog and Happy New Year! The Black Eyed Pea cakes look amazing!

  8. Pingback: Black Eyed Pea and Sausage Stew | Hungry Hugheys

  9. Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide has the most amazing recipes 🙂
    After a little recsearch I now know what black eyed pease are. We have them here but they are some sort of bean. In fact I ahve some tinned ones in my cupboard and you in turn have inspired me to make this recipe!
    I will need to substitue the breadcrumbs for fine oats but other than that – watch this space!

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