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Blackened Chicken Sliders with Bacon and Avocado-Basil Cream

Earlier today, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across a funny comment that my dear friend, Cindy, had posted. It read, “Here ye Here ye Casa Sanders is no longer taking reservations until September 2016!!!! Peace Out!” I laugh every time I read it because I know all too well where she’s coming from. You see, last year, Cindy and her family moved from the piney woods of Mandeville (a New Orleans suburb) to the Windy City. Since this is their first full summer in Chicago, their home has been nothing short [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Irish Channel Stout Cupcakes

Over the past week or so, I’ve been searching for a fun St. Patrick’s Day recipe to create and share with y’all. Although I was initially thinking of something savory, this happened—boozy cupcakes. If you spend anytime on social media, you know that this time of year Guinness and Irish liquor inspired sweets are all the rage. So, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Having recently fallen hard for NOLA Brewing’s Irish Channel Stout, it was tough not to. Irish Channel Stout is the Guinness of New Orleans—only better. Yes, I’m partial to [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]

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). [ ... ]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Here’s a heavenly (or sinful, depending on how you look at it) little number that’s sure to satisfy every salty, sweet, chewy, gooey, crunchy craving. It’s best described as a chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cup, cheesecake hybrid. Oh yeah! Three delicious sweet treats harmoniously blended into one. I used to make this torte every time family came to visit. Then somewhere along the way the recipe got buried and forgotten. That was until a couple of weeks ago when I went flipping through my overstuffed “Dessert” file in search of something new to [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Seafood Nachos

If you’ve tuned into the Weather Channel at all since my last post, you’re probably privy to the fact that it’s still cold up here in the Northwest Quadrant of the ATL. Yes, we were among the “lucky” ones—those above “that ridge.” So since Tuesday, we have been dealing with snow and ice and snow and ice. And although today is absolutely gorgeous and all the snow and ice has melted (at least on our side of the street), the kids are enjoying their fourth snow day this week (lest you forget, they were off ALL last [ ... ]

King Cake

This may come as a big surprise to many, but most of us New Orleanians do not make our own King Cakes. We prefer, instead, to patronize our favorite bakery for our Carnival confections. And there’s a certain lineage that typically dictates our most cherished bites. That lineage, more often than not, is defined by family loyalty to a specific bakery. For instance, if mom favors Haydel’s King Cakes, chances are those are the King Cakes her kids and grandkids will ultimately prefer. As a kid, my favorite King Cakes were the simple brioche-based, icing-less ones from [ ... ]
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