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The Turtle Soup

I’m sharing a special love letter with you on this Valentine’s Day. This is not your typical mushy, make-you-blush kind of letter. No, the love letter I’m posting for all the world to see is actually my great-grandmother’s recipe for Turtle Soup as written by her son, my grandfather. I cherish this piece of paper like I would a love letter because it captures not only a special family recipe but a part of my Grandma Kirn who, more than anything, loved to feed us. It’s also the only item I have in my possession with [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]

Oyster Dressing

During this time of year, Louisiana Gulf oysters are at their peak with a balanced flavor of salty-sweet and a silky texture with a meaty bite.  Their subtle goodness adapts well to all kinds of preparations and ingredients, which is why they’re figured into so many New Orleans holiday menus.  My relatives celebrate the season with oysters eaten raw, Rockefellered, fried and even chargrilled.  But the dish that reigns supreme has and always will be Oyster Dressing. I’m the fourth or fifth generation to be making this wonderful dressing which comes together with only a handful of ingredients that enhance, and [ ... ]

Merry Christmas!

Look what Santa left us! A “real” dog–something my oldest daughter Chandler has been asking for forever! She is the cutest little Cavachon (half Bichon Frise and half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). The kids have named her “Beignet.” Can’t argue with that! Merry Christmas everyone! Genêt
Category: Christmas  2 Comments

Christmas Traditions and Stuffed Mirlitons with Shrimp and Tasso

Until recently, we celebrated Christmas back home in New Orleans. The upside: being with family and enjoying all the wonderful holiday traditions we grew up with. The downside: orchestrating Santa’s arrival in another city! Now, for obvious reasons, we have Christmas in Georgia. It’s bittersweet. While we love waking up in our own home on Christmas morning, we all miss sharing this special day with the rest of our family. So I’ve begun a few new holiday rituals to keep homesickness at bay. For one, we party on Christmas Eve just [ ... ]

Sun Dried Tomato and Chickpea Spread

During the holidays, I love giving my friends and neighbors gifts from my kitchen.  But baking and decorating loads of cookies is not my style.  I prefer to spread Christmas cheer with savory items like dips, spreads, make-ahead breakfast casseroles (perfect for Christmas morning) and my very own “Cajun Mary” Mix.  These types of food gifts are perfect for everyone on my list, from my shop-till-you-drop friends who hardly have time for a meal to my house-hotel neighbors hosting shifts of family throughout the holidays. This year I’m gifting my Sun Dried Tomato and Chickpea Spread.  I’ve been making it for [ ... ]
Category: Appetizers, Christmas  Tags:  4 Comments