Blog Archives

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 [ ... ]

Creole-Italian Baked Cucuzza

“Hey googootz!” If you grew up in New Orleans, chances are you’ve heard that phrase or have been the recipient of that term of endearment. I’m not sure how much it’s used these days, but when I was little it was expressed often and usually by older women addressing relatives or close friends. Oh, and you may also recognize the word if you were a Sopranos fan. I never watched the show, but have learned that Tony occasionally called his son A.J. “Googootz.” The word stems from cucuzza (pronounced “ku koo za”), an edible Italian [ ... ]

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). [ ... ]

Grilled Chicken Wings with White Rémoulade Sauce

The inspiration behind this unlikely duo hails from North Alabama of all places. Are you familiar with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce? I wasn’t until a couple of months ago when my social media feeds starting buzzing about it. Because I’m a sauce girl, my curiosity was piqued. So I did a little digging and learned that this unique sauce was created back in 1925 by Big Bob Gibson of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama. He used it primarily to “baptize” smoked chickens. Since then, Big Bob’s signature white barbecue sauce, along with [ ... ]

South Louisiana Baked Beans

Sorry for being so last minute with my Fourth of July potluck contribution, but the hubby and I took the kids down to Destin for a spur-of-the-moment beach trip and we returned home with only enough time to ready the house for my in-laws who are spending the weekend with us. So while I assume most of you have already planned out and prepared your Independence Day menu, I’m sharing this recipe with you anyway. If it doesn’t make today’s buffet table, then by all means keep this recipe in mind for your next party or grill [ ... ]

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 [ ... ]

Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with Chimichurri

My secret to simple, summertime meals (and sensational cocktails) is an herb garden. I plant one every year with vibrant flavors I love and use often—basil (Genovese), rosemary, lemon-thyme, parsley and cilantro. I also throw in one or two herbs I’m not that familiar with. Last year, it was lemon balm. This year it’s dark opal basil. Almost everyday during the summer months, I turn to my little garden for inspiration. I use the majority of my fresh herbs to make punchy salsas, pestos and sauces. These are great on grilled meats and [ ... ]

Chargrilled Escargots

Our gas grill recently died and, after much deliberation, the hubby and I decided to replace it with a charcoal grill. This was a big step for us because although we’ve always preferred the flavor of charcoal grilled foods (absent “lighter fluid essence”), we had come to highly depend on the convenience of our gas grill. That was especially true for me when it came to developing new recipes. With the gas grill, I wouldn’t hesitate to test a small batch of something on the fly. Charcoal, on the other hand, required more forethought, time, attention and skill. I wasn’t [ ... ]

Blackened Scallops with Grilled Corn Guacamole

Scallops are not a popular household ingredient in New Orleans and they’ve only been a noticeable part of the local restaurant scene for about 15 years. Honestly, had I not moved to Atlanta, I probably would have never cooked them for my family. Nothing against scallops. It’s just that in New Orleans scallops are, as local food critic, radio host and author Tom Fitzmorris points out, “exotic.” They don’t come from local waters. But there are so many other amazing, fresh seafood options that do, which is why scallops don’t get a whole lot of local attention. Here in the [ ... ]

Green Olive Potato Salad

I have issues with pickle relish. Under the right circumstances, I like it on hotdogs and my Creole Tartar Sauce wouldn’t be the same without its punchy kick. But that’s about it. I don’t care for relish in deviled eggs and I really don’t enjoy it in egg salad, tuna salad or potato salad. My preference for non-relish versions of these indispensable spring and summer staples dates back to my childhood. I grew up in a non-relish family and didn’t recognize the full impact of that until I began mentally dissecting other people’s food and [ ... ]
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