Archive for » November, 2010 «

Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Have you ever seen that Food Network show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”?  Each episode focuses on a different category of lusty foods that network stars and chefs eat on their days off.  Anyone who obsesses over food like I do will appreciate the passion that oozes from their mouths with every tasty word.  Well, Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gooey Cake is the best pumpkin dessert I ever ate.  If you’re not familiar with this yummy recipe, you really should be.  And you know, while I’m all about preserving family food traditions, be forewarned.  This dessert could very well replace [ ... ]

Gumbo: Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo is one of the many New Orleans dishes steeped in tradition.  Just about every family has their own unique style, cooked a certain way with specific ingredients.  Each pot tells a story or reveals a bit of family history. Our family gumbo was my great-grandmother’s Creole Seafood Gumbo.  She graciously passed that recipe on to my mom who continued the tradition of preparing the dish for specials occasions.  The pot was always teeming with fresh shrimp, previously boiled crabs (for extra flavor) and briny oysters.  The gumbo was thickened with a light roux and canned okra and finished with tomato [ ... ]

New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival

I’d like to give a shout out to the New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival which is this Sunday in Uptown New Orleans.  New Orleans has a ton of festivals throughout the year, but I think this one is really cool because in addition to celebrating one of our most beloved culinary traditions, the poor boy (accurate spelling) sandwich, it also sets out to promote and preserve a way of life. You see, the Carrollton area that plays host to this event represents a big part of New Orleans culture.  In this Uptown New Orleans neighborhood, residents harmoniously co-exist with restaurants, businesses [ ... ]

Broccoli au Gratin

In my kitchen, broccoli is the chicken of the vegetable world.  It’s available year-round, relatively inexpensive, versatile and easy to prepare.  So we eat a lot of it around here.  Okay, that’s not a honest statement.  I eat a lot of it.  My husband and kids, well, they favor the simple preparation of steamed or gently boiled broccoli drizzled with olive oil and dusted with kosher salt.  That’s all good, but it gets boring after a while.  So I occasionally push them beyond their broccoli comfort zones with preparations like this one. Broccoli au Gratin is about as fancy as a [ ... ]

Crawfish Etouffée

Got a craving for crawfish?  My husband does. And this time of year when live crawfish are not running (out of season) one of the only ways to satisfy his craving is with frozen Louisiana crawfish tails.  In New Orleans, frozen crawfish tails are a heavily relied upon convenience food.  Many folks outside of Louisiana are unaware of this great product, but it’s available in the frozen seafood department of most supermarkets across the country. Now as much as I love the usefulness of frozen crawfish tails, their taste and texture take a small but noticeable hit during the freezing process.  [ ... ]

Halloween: Halloween Candy Pastries

Halloween has come and gone, my little goblins (“Chucky,” “Jason” and “Hamm,” the pink piggy bank from Toy Story) have tucked away their costumes and all of the spooky decorations have been returned to the attic for another year.  Yet, there’s still a ton of candy occupying valuable space in my pantry!  What’s worse, I can’t help but eat a piece, or four, every time I walk in there.  What’s a mom to do with all of those leftover treats?  Make Halloween Candy Pastries, of course!  These flaky little turnovers make the perfect breakfast sweet or last minute dessert.  And [ ... ]
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