Archive for » December, 2011 «

Finger Food Friday: Spinach-Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms with Creole Bechamel

Since today is not only Finger Food Friday but New Year’s Eve Eve, I thought I’d make something that could transition nicely between a casual Happy Hour and a fancy New Year’s Eve bash. These stuffed artichoke bottoms do just that. The filling consists of a humble combination of greens and pork, in this instance spinach and pancetta, that get dressed up with a rich-tasting (I avoid the calorie bomb here by using skim milk) Creole Bechamel thickened with Parmesan cheese. The artichoke bottoms? Yet another fun vehicle to transport all that creamy filling to your [ ... ]

Merry Christmas!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder Merry Christmas! Larry, Genêt, Chandler, Brennan, Blair and Beignet (our Christmas Cavachon)

Canned Biscuit Donuts

Have you ever made canned biscuit donuts?  It’s a fun, semi-homemade way to make donuts.  We’re planning on making them tomorrow morning for Christmas breakfast.  I’ll probably set up the fryer and make the icings sometime today.  So tomorrow, when the grumbling of the kids’ hungry bellies finally overcomes the excitement of Santa’s arrival, I’ll be ready to roll. These donuts can be eaten plain or decorated any which way.  I’ve included quick recipes for vanilla and chocolate icings.  The donuts are also good coated in cinnamon sugar.  But my youngest, Blair, and the hubby insist they’re best dusted with powdered [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Miniature Oyster Patties

‘Tis the season to share another one of my favorite holiday recipes with you, Miniature Oyster Patties.  These savory little bite-size pastries have been making the rounds at New Orleans Christmas parties and weddings for as long as I can remember.  And once you taste them, you’ll understand why they’re so popular.  Now when you read through the ingredient list, you’ll probably notice similarities to my family’s Oyster Dressing recipe.  The two are actually so close that I had to call my mom prior to making the Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving to help me figure out which one was which.  [ ... ]

Spinach Madeleine

One of the best way to experience regional home cooking is to prepare recipes from community cookbooks.  These cookbooks represent an organization’s best efforts to support various social causes while preserving local flavors, cultures, traditions, cooking styles and trends.  What’s more, they’re all bound together by strong values and plenty of wisdom.  One of my favorites is the original River Road Recipes by the Junior League of Baton Rouge.  The series (there are now four books and an interactive edition of the first) is a true reflection of generational Creole, Cajun and Deep South cooking from home kitchens all over [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Abita Root Beer Soaked Beef Roll-Ups

Are you all as thankful as I am today’s Friday? We’re all so busy this time of year. Yesterday for instance, I spent the entire evening preparing food for each of my kids’ holiday celebrations. These beef roll-ups are the result of leftovers from one of them. You see, my son was asked to bring a deli tray to his class party. Me and my Type A personality had a big problem with that. The thought of a bunch of fifth grade fingers reaching for a deli tray? Not good. So [ ... ]


Back in October, while scrolling through my “Who to Follow” list on Twitter, I came across this fella by the name of Andrew Evans who was tweeting all these wonderful and interesting things about New Orleans.  After a couple of clicks here and there, I found out that Andrew is National Geographic Traveler magazine’s Digital Nomad who was in the Crescent City as part of a month-long exploration of South Louisiana.  Throughout his trip, Evans tweeted, blogged and vlogged his travels on his Twitter account @WheresAndrew, his’s Digital Nomad blog and his Facebook page.  I was able to follow [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Hummus

On Wednesday, the hubby and I were lucky enough to squeeze in a lunch date.  I love our lunch dates.  They’re spontaneous and fun and give us time to catch up mid-week without forking over a small fortune to a babysitter.  This week, we headed over to Freight Kitchen & Tap, a new rustically casual restaurant and watering hole housed in the historic Woodstock train depot.  The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, the menu is refreshingly familiar and the bar is impressively stocked–think small batch spirits and drool-worthy craft beers.  My kind of place!  Now in New Orleans, these types [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Swedish Meatballs

I have this one uncle who’s an outrageous cook.  Trouble is, he doesn’t share any of his recipes.  Not even the ones he inherited from other relatives and friends.  When I was learning how to cook, that used to frustrate me to no end.  These days, it challenges me to create better versions of his best dishes–all in good fun of course.  One of those dishes is Swedish Meatballs. My uncle used to prepare them for our family Christmas Eve parties.  I haven’t eaten his in many, many years.  But I remember them well.  They were moist and rich [ ... ]