Carnival Season

The Christmas holidays are behind us and we in Louisiana are heading right into the Carnival season which begins January 6 or Twelfth Night when the King’s Cake or Gateau du Roi is customarily served.  It was first served to celebrate the visit of the Christ child by the three Magi but now it officially opens the Carnival season—a fest of drinking, eating and merrymaking. The word Carnival is from the Latin carne (meat) and vale (farewell).  Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  Knowing that the next day after Shrove Tuesday is Ash Wednesday, which opens the Lenten season, […]

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Cajun Desserts From the Oven

CAJUN DESSERTS, WARM FROM THE OVEN The people of south Louisiana are very frugal. They waste nothing. Day-old bread is used to make bread pudding. Leftover rice is the basis for rice pudding or calas (rice cakes). And the ingredients for most of local desserts are simple—milk, eggs, butter and pecans, and sometimes pure cane syrup. Whenever my mother put up fig preserves, she always made sure she set aside a couple of jars with which to make fig cake during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Just about everyone had a stash of pecans with which to make pecan pie, […]

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HOLIDAY BRUNCH

During the holidays when family are friends are likely to be visiting, I suggest treating them to a hearty south Louisiana breakfast like beignets and café au lait! The beignet mix from Café de Monde is the best around and their coffee with chicory makes perfect café au lait, which is simply equal parts of hot, strong coffee and hot milk or cream.  Don’t forget to generously sprinkle with beignets with powdered sugar. If you have the time and want to really impress your guests, I suggest making one of my favorite brunch dishes—grillades (pronounced gree-yahds) and cheesy baked grits.  […]

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Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s turkey time! Yep, Thanksgiving is upon us and if you haven’t given any thought to your holiday dinner, you had better get with it. There are many choices for your menu. You can, of course, roast or bake Mr. Tom Turkey and stuff him with either a rice or a cornbread dressing. Or, better yet, offer a turducken (a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey), which is the ultimate south Louisiana dish for the holidays. Get yours right here and select the kind of stuffing (pork and cornbread, pork and sausage, pork rice dressing and cornbread […]

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Hearty Meals For Cool Weather

During the summertime, my husband and I are grill lovers. We grill everything from steaks, burgers, shrimp, fish and vegetables as well as fruit. But when the cooler months set in, I yearn for heartier meals like red beans and rice, white bean soup, and stews of all kinds—ideal to enjoy for a casual supper in our cozy kitchen or in front of the fireplace while the cold winds blow. Since the days are getting shorter and shorter, we can no longer spend a lot of time outdoors in the evenings so we usually choose to have informal dinner parties […]

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Pass The Rice

PASS THE RICE It’s been said that Louisianians consume as much rice in one year as any other Americans eat in five. It calms the spiciness of our gumbos and stews. It’s the basis for our jambalaya and rice dressing, and is coupled with creamy red beans for traditional Monday lunch fare. For many locals who live in south Louisiana, a day without a link of boudin (made with rice) for breakfast is a day not worth living. In Louisiana rice is as much a part of our lives as the air we breathe and we take it almost as […]

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Summer Seafood Delights

Both shrimp and crabmeat are quite versatile. Shrimp can be boiled, broiled and fried. Toss them with your favorite pasta with a creamy sauce! Wrap them in bacon and thread them on skewers to slap on the grill. Add them to a green salad or a salad of pasta. Give them an Asian flavor and stir-fry them with vegetables to serve over rice.

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Shrimp Time!

Before summer draws to a close, my goal is to fill up on all kinds of shrimp dishes made, with what else, but Louisiana shrimp. Think shrimp boiled with spices and herbs punched with the added flavor of a few links of smoked sausage! In South Carolina’s Low Country, the locals throw in potatoes and corn-on-the-cob to the mix and call it Frogmore Stew. No, there are no frogs involved and it really isn’t a stew at all, and the dish is sometimes referred to as a “low country boil” while in Louisiana we simply call it a “shrimp boil.” […]

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