Biscuits of Many Kinds

Homemade Biscuits

As I write this, we have about a month before Mardi Gras arrives. This year we have a rather long Carnival season, and I hate to admit it, but I’ve already had my fill of King Cakes! And this year, not only are there the regular King Cakes, now there is King Cake Ale, King Cake cupcakes, and even King Cake flavored coffee. As much as I enjoy the Carnival season, I think I might just overdose on anything King Cake. I believe I might just brush up on my biscuit making. There is nothing I like more than hot […]

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What Is Mardi Gras?

Courir de Mardi Gras

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is something we say often in South Louisiana, especially as the New Year comes and we prepare to celebrate Mardi Gras. It means, “Let the good times roll!” You see, the holiday season doesn’t end here on January 1st. We let the good times roll right on through February and March as we enjoy one of the most fun-filled aspects of our unique culture. The History of Mardi Gras The origins of Mardi Gras, or Carnival as it is known in other countries, far exceed the arrival of the Cajun people in Louisiana. Many believe […]

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What Makes it Cajun?

Authentic Cajun Emblem

Here in Louisiana, good food and good times are an essential part of our culture. We don’t just cook special meals for birthday or holiday celebrations, either. The Cajun people embrace fine eating 365 days a year. If you make it down our way for a visit, you’ll quickly discover there are a few things that really distinguish Cajun dining. Family and Friends You might be surprised that the first item on this list isn’t a food or one of Louisiana’s legendary seasonings at all. First and foremost, Cajun meals are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Sharing […]

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History of the Mardi Gras King Cake

King Cake

If you’ve had the chance to visit South Louisiana, you know that the culture is quite unlike any other, especially when it comes to food. Cajun Country is filled to the brim with an abundance of culinary traditions, but the Mardi Gras king cake may rank as one of the most popular—and well known. This treat continues to reign supreme during Mardi Gras season for Louisianians and travelers alike. But before you dive hand-first into your own freshly sliced king cake, let’s take a trip back to learn more about how the king cake first came into power.   Long […]

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Hot Beignets Recipe

Beignets

HOT BEIGNETS  By: Marcelle Bienvenu We in Louisiana call them beignets, but they are more widely known as fritters. In New Orleans at the French Quarter coffee shops, they are much like a sweet doughnut and dusted with confectioners’ sugar, and are a perfect accompaniment to cafe au lait. In rural areas you might find fruit, such as bananas or apples, and sometimes even sweet potatoes, incorporated in the batter. I remember two dear elderly ladies in St. Martinville who sometimes made savory ones, using whatever ingredients were at hand, like crawfish, cheese, or eggplant and shrimp. For a time, […]

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Top Cajun New Year’s Resolutions

shutterstock_539709289

After its long-anticipated close, 2016 is finally over.     Although we’re sure you’ve seen the ubiquitous New Year’s Resolution posts graze across your social media channels at least once every hour (for the past week)…we’ve decided it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon! As we look forward in 2017, here are our top resolutions for a ‘New Year, New Me’ — the Cajun way!     Lose Weight First things first, I’m switching to Bud Light…gotta start somewhere.     Challenge Myself Some people want to run a marathon, but me? My goal is to PR in […]

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Holiday Parties

Holiday Party

By: Marcelle Bienvenu I checked my calendar today and it appears that every weekend in December is booked with parties, but that hasn’t deterred me from thinking about having a relatively small cocktail party. There is nothing that says I can’t have a party during the week or on Sunday evening. And I believe it’s perfectly acceptable to do my inviting via email –although I do love receiving invitations via snail mail. Decorations can be simple or elaborate, depending on your style and the size of your home, and of course, your budget.  Pots of fresh poinsettias, lots of votive […]

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November/December

Chili

WARMING UP WITH CHILI By: Marcelle Bienvenu The one and only time I judged a chili cook-off in Texas I thought I would have to report to the emergency room at the local hospital. I opted instead to return to my motel room where I collapsed on my bed and prayed that the thunderous roll in my tummy would subside. I lay there quietly, armed with a large bottle of the pink stuff within reach. It took three days for my body to return to normal. It seemed that most—not all—Texans like their chili HOT, made so by the addition […]

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Favorite Summer Appetizers & Desserts

TASTY TREATS, GOOD TIMES By: Marcelle Bienvenu I’ve decided that late afternoons on these long summer days are perfect for inviting the neighbors over for a cocktail hour now and then. Mama and Papa often had these impromptu get-togethers years ago on their cool, lush patio and I thought that was so civilized and pleasurable. You might want to do the same! These appetizers and desserts will surely win over the neighbors! PEPPERONCINI-CREAM CHEESE DIP 1 (10-ounce) jar pepperoncini (salad peppers), drained and stemmed 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup sour cream Two or three dashes of hot sauce, […]

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Favorite Summer Drink Recipes

COOL DRINKS, GOOD TIMES By: Marcelle Bienvenu During the summers of my childhood, the highlight of many hot afternoons was sipping homemade lemonade, root beer or tea. What fun we had under the oak trees at Aunt Belle’s slurping the beverages chilled with ice that had been crushed by beating ice cubes wrapped in a towel with an old hammer! These days, what with the plethora of bottled, canned and ready-to- mix drinks on the market, half the fun, that of gathering ingredients and making the concoctions, is gone. With the summer stretching before me, nieces and nephews, some of […]

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