Milk Punch

Milk Punch

1 (4/5-quart) bottle of bourbon or brandy 3 quarts half-and-half 4 tablespoons vanilla extract Simple syrup (recipe below) Grated nutmeg Combine the bourbon, half-and-half, and vanilla in a one-gallon container. Add the simple syrup to attain desired sweetness. Chill well in the refrigerator. Serve in chilled glasses (not over ice) and sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes 1 gallon.   Simple syrup 1 cup water 1 cup sugar Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil until the sugar dissolves and liquid becomes slightly thick. Cool completely before using.

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History of the Shotgun House

Shotgun house in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Few things reflect Louisiana’s unique architecture better than the shotgun house. Second only to the plantation home in terms of familiarity, the shotgun house has an interesting history that reveals much about Louisiana culture. If you pay us a visit, you’ll likely encounter many examples of this modest dwelling on your trip. How the Shotgun House Got Its Name Ask someone at random how the shotgun house got its name, and you’ll probably get the common answer. It is said that because these houses have no hallways, a shotgun could be fired through the open front door and the shot […]

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Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

  4 cups good quality, thick tomato juice 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon celery salt 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 8 to 10 drops of Tabasco, or to taste 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 4 to 5 jiggers vodka Lime wedges for garnish In a large pitcher, combine all of the ingredients and chill for at least one hour. Stir again before serving. Pour into tall glasses over chipped ice and garnish with lime. Makes 4 drinks. Note: This is a real eye-opener when spiced up with hot sauce.

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Chocolate Mint Cookies

Mint Chocolate Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 ounce square unsweetened chocolate, melted 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 10 ounces mint chocolate morsels Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add the sugars, beating well. Add the egg, vanilla and melted chocolate, mixing well. Gradually add the flour. Stir in the morsels. Drop by level tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the cookie […]

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The History of Festival International de Louisiane

Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Family Band performing.

In 1987, a group of individuals in Lafayette, Louisiana, had a rather unique idea. They decided to create a cultural heritage celebration that would, in the words of the Festival International Mission Statement, “enrich the community with a celebration of its native cultures through performing arts.” While known for its rich Cajun culture, Louisiana has always been a melting pot of ethnicities. The creation of Festival International de Louisiane was a sincere and successful effort to bring people together in a universal appreciation of the arts, food and good times. It remains, however, an especially important event for Francophones and […]

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Marinated Shrimp & Corn

Marinated Shrimp & Corn

3/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons Creole mustard 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 2 pounds large shrimp, cooked in seasoned water, then peeled and deveined 2 cups fresh corn kernels Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, green onions and parsley in a mixing bowl. Whisk to blend and set aside. Cool the shrimp after they are cooked and peeled. Steam the corn kernels in a little water for about two minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and cool. Put the shrimp […]

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Beef & Watercress Sandwiches

Beef & Watercress Sandwiches

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 pounds filet mignon, trimmed 1 pound cream cheese, softened 5- to 6-inch piece horseradish root, peeled and grated 1/3 cup minced chives Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 large bunch watercress, stemmed 12 slices firm whole wheat or country-style bread Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the filet mignon, and cook for two to three minutes on each side, or until the meat is medium-rare and browned on the outside. Remove from the pan and let stand for several minutes before slicing. Slice into thin […]

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Crawfish Boil Variations

Boiled crawfish in yellow tray.

Springtime here in Louisiana is crawfish season. While preparing this freshwater staple of our local cuisine might look easy, many Cajun cooks have their own special crawfish boil variations using a complex combination of different seasonings and sides. All of the methods, however, have something in common. They serve up an authentic taste of Cajun Country in every bite. The Common Elements of Cooking Crawfish Despite the differences in how some cooks prepare crawfish, there are a few important essentials upon which all agree. The first and foremost of these is using live crawfish. It’s the only way to get […]

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Southern Sausage Cake

Southern Sausage Cake

1 pound hot bulk sausage ½ cup chopped onions 1 cup chopped red bell peppers 1 cup chopped green bell peppers ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ cup grated Velveeta cheese 1 egg, slightly beaten ¼ teaspoon hot sauce ½ teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning 2 cups Bisquick ¾ cup milk ¼ cup sour cream Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the sausage in a skillet over medium heat. As the sausage begins to brown, add the bell peppers and cook until soft -3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain excess fat. Add the cheeses, egg, hot […]

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The History of the Louisiana Crawfish Boil

Louisiana Crawfish Boil

One of the first things you’ll notice about the culture here in South Louisiana is our appreciation of family, friends and good food. Meals aren’t just a way to satisfy our hunger. They’re a way for us to bond and share the Cajun way of life with others. Few gatherings satisfy this desire better than a good old fashioned crawfish boil. Louisiana Backyard Culture As soon as our brief winter season has passed and the weather turns mild again, those of us in Louisiana begin to make our way outdoors. It’s a good thing our winters are short because most […]

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