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Finger Food Friday: Creole Candied Bacon

I’m sharing another sweet, well savory-sweet, finger food recipe with you all today since we’re in full holiday mode and I’m sure plenty of you are either hosting parties or searching for creative edibles to gift to your friends and neighbors. This over-the-top bacon will meet both of those needs and many more–new brunch or Christmas breakfast item, creative Bloody Mary add-in, food therapy (or for some it may be bacon therapy), new Santa snack or all of the above. It’s just that good. When it comes to bacon, the first accompanying beverage that comes to my mind is [ ... ]

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

My kids have been back in school for only a month now and I’m already struggling with school snacks. Mind you, all three are beyond designated snack times. But to get them through their long days, I need to stash their lunch bags with extra food. Since they have already grown tired of my old faithfuls–turkey jerky, cheese sticks and nuts–I started making one scratch sweet a week. Nothing too over the top. Last week, I made two batches of my Three Ingredient Muffins (I have 3 kids and a midnight-snacking husband; they go fast). This week I jumped on [ ... ]

Lost Bread

Pain Perdu is French for “lost bread.” In New Orleans, the two terms are used interchangeably to describe the City’s decadent take on French toast. Our version reflects one of many ways we breathe new life into stale bread, bread that would otherwise be “lost” or trashed. That new life comes by way of a custard bath and patient pan frying. Although it doesn’t look like much on paper, the ingredients and the process come together to create an extraordinary breakfast treat. When properly prepared, Lost Bread will have a creme brulee-esque bite to it. [ ... ]

Blueberry Gateau

A Blueberry Gateau (or gâteau if you choose to write it as the French would with a circumflex accent, not unlike the one over the second “e” in my name) is simply a blueberry cake. In this instance, it’s a light sponge cake decorated with fresh blueberries and a dusting of powdered sugar. I’ve been making this delightful sweet treat, which doubles nicely as a breakfast item, for years. Unfortunately, though, I don’t know where my recipe came from. If I had to guess, I’d say I copied it many years ago from either the old food section of the [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Egg Salad Toasts

I have certain simple finger foods I adore. Simple in that they require little to no cooking. Let me tell you about three of them. The first is canned sardines on Triscuits (Garden Herb being my number one choice) with yellow mustard. Not a fan of sardines? Too bad, because these are fast food heaven. And, as far as I’m concerned, the only way to eat canned sardines. This is also a very special finger food. Special because my late maternal grandfather, Papa, introduced me to sardines (on saltines) and special because the only other person that [ ... ]

Pumpkin Pound Cake with Praline Glaze

Every year around this time, I get the urge to experiment with canned pumpkin. I like working it into both savory and sweet dishes. This year, I took the dessert route and ended up cranking out this Pumpkin Pound Cake. In true pound cake fashion, this version is dense and subtlety sweet. Those are the two things I love most about pound cakes. I did, however, drain the pumpkin first because I was afraid the cake might otherwise end up too firm. The texture turned out perfect as did the seasonally spiced flavor. [ ... ]

Andouille, Spinach-Mushroom and Brie Bread Pudding

Do you all realize there are only two Thursdays between now and Thanksgiving?  How did that happen?  Why isn’t Thanksgiving on November 29, instead of November 22?  I’m well aware of the fourth Thursday of November tradition, but we’re losing an entire week here!  Can’t we buck the system just once?  For that reason alone, I’m glad I’m not hosting dinner this year.  That takes some pressure off.  But I still need to make two side dishes that can be prepared in advance and travel well (as in 500 miles well) or that can be made with little time and [ ... ]

Grillades and Grits (Smoked Gouda Grits)

  According to the turn of the century cookbook, The Picayune Creole Cook Book, a grillade (pronounced “gree-yahd”) is a square of fried meat cooked down with onions, tomatoes, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.  The cookbook indicates that plain and breaded (“Grillades Panées”) versions of this “fried meat” were served primarily as hearty breakfast items alongside things like cracked wheat, apple fritters and café au lait.  Among the poorer classes of Creoles, grillades were also served at dinner “with gravy” (“Grillades à la Sauce”) and a “dish of red beans and boiled rice.”  At some point between then and now, [ ... ]

Brabant Potatoes

Brabant Potatoes are a popular New Orleans side dish. They are diced potatoes cooked crispy tender and tossed in a pungent butter sauce. Sort of like garlicky, cubed French fries. They may also resemble your go-to version of home fries. In New Orleans, you’ll find Brabant Potatoes in restaurants accompanying such fancy classic dishes as Chicken Clemenceau or incorporated into a humble hash on a brunch menu. They’re also a favorite starchy side of many home cooks. I’m sure my fellow Brabant Potato lovers have their own special methods of preparation, more than likely [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]
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