MAY/JUNE 2013

HERBS – A BOUQUET OF IDEAS My first encounter with fresh herbs was years ago when my Tante Belle showed me her crop of peppermint that grew profusely under the faucet that protruded from her screen porch. During the summer months when it was almost too hot too move, she would make a huge pitcher of homemade lemonade. As far as I was concerned it was extra special, made so by the addition of fresh mint sprigs that were stirred in right before serving. I also remember her hacking out a big chunk of ice from the big block that […]

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Crawfish Creations

Crawfish Creations

CRAWFISH SEASON   I’m just back from four days in Santa Clara, California attending an international travel promotion show. It was spectacular—complete with areas devoted to zip lines, mountain climbing, a segway course AND a pool in which to bounce around zipped inside huge clear beach balls!   But the Louisiana entourage was THE hit at the culinary stage. I was part of the group with the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival and we cooked a plethora of what else, but crawfish-based dishes. Every time it was announced that we were cooking crawfish, attendees began lining up to taste our sumptuous […]

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Lenten Seafood Recipes

Shrimp Fettucini

By Marcelle Bienvenu Crawfish season is NOW and I’m ready for anything cooked with our Louisiana freshwater crustaceans. And in fact, something just caught my eye on this website – crawfish jelly! I’m ordering some pronto and can’t wait to figure out what to spread it on – toast, biscuits, chunks of cheese???   In the meantime, my taste buds are waiting to be tickled with some of my favorite crawfish dishes. Remember – buy ONLY Louisiana crawfish!   SHRIMP AND CRAWFISH FETTUCCINI Makes about 12 servings 3 sticks butter 3 cups chopped onions 2 cups chopped green bell peppers […]

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013

I barely had the Christmas decorations put away before I had to start getting out flags, beads, and masks in readiness for the Carnival season, which officially began on January 6, also known as Twelfth Night. Mardi Gras is early this year – February 12. We have to pack in a lot of parades and parties into a short time, but not to worry I am already stocked with the makings for gumbo and jambalaya. I also ordered several King Cakes to have on hand for last-minute get-togethers! While Gumbo and jambalaya are always welcome before or after parades, I […]

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November/December 2012

Now that Halloween is behind us, we move on to Thanksgiving and Christmas. My family is already planning the menus for the holiday dinners. This Thanksgiving, the Bienvenu/Landry group (about 40 of us) is heading to the Atchafalaya Basin for a day at “the camp.” Since we have to get to the camp by boat, the teenagers are working out a ferry schedule. Two boats will carry the food. And from what I can understand, downed tree limbs (compliments of Hurricane Isaac) have been chopped up for a huge bonfire. The menu, well I’m already stuffed just reading what’s going […]

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October/November 2012

SOUPS ON!             I remember Sunday nights many years ago when I often had a sleep-over at my great-aunt Belle. When a cold front rambled through, I remember the rain splattering on the frosty windows and the wind howling through the pecan and oak trees in her backyard. We were warm and toasty in her cozy kitchen, and there was always a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. We often sipped on hot chocolate tinged with a spoonful of strong coffee and I loved the marshmallows that melted in the hot cup.             Aunt Belle had a repertoire […]

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON High schools, colleges and the pros are revving up for football season. I am making a list and checking it twice to be sure I have lots of things stashed in the freezer for tailgating or watching the games on television. You too should consider gathering a supply of appetizers and party food for your gatherings as well. Cajungrocer.com offers everything from mini crawfish and shrimp pies, to stuffed mushrooms and stuffed jalapenos, which I call poppers – you know, they can be popped in the mouth AND they give you a good pop of flavor! Another […]

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July/August 2012

BE COOL! Think cool, eat cool and be cool! There is no reason to let the hot, hot, hot days of summer get in the way of enjoying the languid days of summer. When the heat seems almost unbearable I stock up on lemons, lime a cucumbers. A squeeze or two of citrus juice in my tea, lemonade, cola, or gin and tonic seems to cool me off. A salad of thinly sliced cucumbers and onions tossed with mayonnaise and yogurt is a favorite dish as is chilled cucumber soup. My potted herbs, especially mint and basil, will brighten up […]

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May/June 2012

Although summer will not officially arrive until June, the pleasantly warm weather is ideal for outdoor dining. Crawfish, Louisiana’s freshwater crustaceans, are in season and plentiful. The bays along coastal Louisiana, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, are teeming with shrimp, crabs, speckled trout, redfish and flounder. It’s time for fish-fries, seafood boils and other casual, kick-back, leisurely meals. Let’s begin with crabs. Lump crabmeat is not always necessary to the dish. The jumbo lump or the regular lump, both the most expensive, is what I want when preparing a luxurious salad or when it’s going to be the […]

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March/April 2012

The season of Lent has arrived. And I’m betting that there are many who partied much too hard during the Carnival season who welcome the season of repentance, prayer and sacrifice with open arms. Well, maybe not open arms, but at least might relish the thought of six weeks of Lent as a time to have a spiritual renewal of the soul, not to mention some recuperation of the body. In the not too distant past, meals during Lent were not only meatless, they were simple, albeit nourishing, and because there were certain days of fasting, when snacks between meals […]

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