Sweet Potato and Andouille Bisque

Did you know that different states have different official emblems? Many extend well beyond the familiar capitals, colors and flags. And some are rather interesting. Take for example, the tartan. Considering I’m fashion-challenged, I had no clue what a tartan was but I’ve come to learn it’s a type of plaid. As in fabric. And a bunch of states, including Louisiana, have an officially designated pattern. Oh, yes. The Pelican State’s tartan is this dark green and blue number that’s rather attractive. It’s called Louisiana Tartan. Many states also identify [ ... ]

Fudge Pie

Before I decided that I didn’t like to bake, I baked a lot. Weird. I know. But true. Since I did not come from a strong line of bakers or sweets makers, it was a surefire way of finding my place in the whole family cooking hierarchy. And as a teen, I loved the attention and praise I received whenever I showed up at a family function with dessert in hand. One early success that garnered many oohs and ahhs was my Fudge Pie. Looking back, I think the Fudge Pie was a [ ... ]

Creole Crab and Avocado Salad

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was exceptional. This year we celebrated the holiday at my sister-in-law’s house with 34 of the hubby’s closest relatives—his parents, siblings, their families and his double first cousins and their families. I think I’ve mentioned Larry’s double first cousins before. Remember? One of his dad’s brothers married one of his mom’s sisters. They had four kids who are now all grown up with kids of their own. Cool, huh? I think so. Anyway, as you might expect, this group—which currently spans three [ ... ]

Pecan Pie Bars

Hey guys! Sorry for not posting much lately. These past few months have been very hectic for me and my family. But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to share all the particulars with you soon. For now, though, I’m focusing on Thanksgiving and am working hard to make sure it’s a fun-filled and stress-free week for my crew–Lord knows we all need one. I plan on transitioning into the holiday mode this weekend by making one of my kids’ favorite fall treats–Pecan Pie Bars (a recipe I [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Roasted Garlic, White Bean and Artichoke Dip

This dip is the epitome of a “pantry recipe.” You know, one of those quick, easy and yummy dishes prepared on the fly with ingredients found in, well, the pantry. A last-minute meal if you will to sate eleventh hour invitees, unannounced guests or a hungry husband and three ravenous teens. Most of the time, I make a pantry recipe once and never recreate it because I fail to write down anything. And my vague recollection of what I created the first go-round never tastes the same despite repeated attempts. But fortunately with this dip, [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Gulf Shrimp Ceviche

My first born, Chandler, is on a ceviche kick. Her enthusiasm for all types of seafood marinated in lime juice started a couple of months ago when my sister-in-law made an amazing batch for a party. Chrissy’s ceviche was full of sweet, juicy shrimp and creamy bites of avocado marinated in the perfect amount of acid and seasonings. Since then, Chandler has also tried two restaurant versions which she deemed good–just not as good as Aunt Chrissy’s! More recently, I had the good fortune of getting my hands on several pounds of straight-off-the-boat Louisiana Gulf shrimp [ ... ]

Creole-Italian Baked Cucuzza

“Hey googootz!” If you grew up in New Orleans, chances are you’ve heard that phrase or have been the recipient of that term of endearment. I’m not sure how much it’s used these days, but when I was little it was expressed often and usually by older women addressing relatives or close friends. Oh, and you may also recognize the word if you were a Sopranos fan. I never watched the show, but have learned that Tony occasionally called his son A.J. “Googootz.” The word stems from cucuzza (pronounced “ku koo za”), an edible Italian [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Shrimp and Waffle Bites with Creole Pepper Jelly Sauce

While I’ve never ordered the classic soul food combo chicken and waffles while dining out or jumped on the “midnight train” to the world-famous Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles Restaurant right here in Greater Atlanta to seek out what is said to be the best representation of its kind (south of the Mason-Dixon line, that is), I’ve always loved the idea behind this dynamic duo. And whenever I look at the dish, I always step back and think about how I could put a New Orleans spin on it (or, in the words of Ella Brennan, “Creolize” it). [ ... ]

Grilled Chicken Wings with White Rémoulade Sauce

The inspiration behind this unlikely duo hails from North Alabama of all places. Are you familiar with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce? I wasn’t until a couple of months ago when my social media feeds starting buzzing about it. Because I’m a sauce girl, my curiosity was piqued. So I did a little digging and learned that this unique sauce was created back in 1925 by Big Bob Gibson of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. He used it primarily to “baptize” smoked chickens. Since then, Big Bob’s signature white barbecue sauce, along with [ ... ]

South Louisiana Baked Beans

Sorry for being so last minute with my Fourth of July potluck contribution, but the hubby and I took the kids down to Destin for a spur-of-the-moment beach trip and we returned home with only enough time to ready the house for my in-laws who are spending the weekend with us. So while I assume most of you have already planned out and prepared your Independence Day menu, I’m sharing this recipe with you anyway. If it doesn’t make today’s buffet table, then by all means keep this recipe in mind for your next party or grill [ ... ]
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