Traditional New Orleans Shrimp and Grits

I’m starting out the New Year with a very traditional New Orleans’ recipe for “Shrimp and Grits.” We ate this dish several years ago on Christmas morning at a little cafe in the business district of New Orleans. The grits were creamy and smooth; the shrimp seasoned just right; about the best I’ve eaten.  I’ll begin the New Year with one of my favorite recipes that I’ve learned to like since moving to Louisiana. Continue reading

Crawfish Étouffée – Simple Shortcut

Here is one of my favorite crawfish recipes–Crawfish Étouffée. This is a very popular dish in Louisiana, especially in the spring when crawfish are plentiful. My version is simple to make and it is as good as you will find in any restaurant. Étouffée is a Cajun dish; a thick stew. Crawfish or seafood are smothered with vegetables on the stove in a thick sauce and then served over rice as a main dish. I use a recipe that takes a shortcut to make this a fail-proof dish.

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Marie’s Crawfish Tarts

Springtime in Louisiana means that it’s time for crawfish. These crustaceans live in the swamps and in the springtime they grow and come out of their burrows. The tails, when peeled, are large enough to eat for a feast. A Louisiana delicacy. A spring crawfish boil is a ritual here in South Louisiana and the traditional way to eat crawfish.  Continue reading

Achafalaya Basin Swamp Juice and a Cajun Food Tasting Party

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Our annual local dulcimer music festival in March draws folks from all over the country for a weekend of music, workshops, concerts, vendors, and of course, good food. We like to introduce the out-of-town guests to our unique Louisiana cuisine. This year fried alligator, boudin balls and crawfish tarts were on our “Taste of Louisiana” menu. I made a festive punch, called “Achafalaya Basin Swamp Juice,” for a thirst quencher.

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Tullio Saffiotti’s Italian Green Bean Salad and the Mediterranean Diet

This week’s recipe is a tribute to my 89-year-old neighbor, Tullio Saffiotti, a Sicilian immigrant who came here as a young man and established the fine fine wine business in Baton Rouge. He passed away recently. The recipe reminds me of the foods you’d find in the healthy Mediterranean Diet.marinated-green-bean-and-new-potato-salad-2-img_7798_1

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Hopping John Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette for New Year’s Day Luck

We can all use a little luck as we start the New Year of 2017. In the South, tradition says that blackeye peas symbolize luck and prosperity. They are served on New Year’s Day along with cabbage which symbolizes money and wealth. Here’s a recipe for Hopping John Salad made with blackeye peas and a molasses vinaigrette. I’m just a little superstitious and know if you fix this recipe on January 1, that your new year will be full of good luck!hopping-john-blackeye-pea-salad

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Southern Fig Preserves Cake: Gifts from the Heart

I think everyone appreciates a homemade gift during the holiday season. It is special and shows you have put some thought into the gift. Consider “Southern Fig Preserves Cake.” The cake is unique, definitely has a Louisiana or Southern charm and is a moist, crunchy and delicious cake. A friend suggested the recipe and she even took photographs and shared her experience “writing a blog post.” I made the recipe, too, here is my mini-loaf.old-fashioned-southern-fig-preserves-cake-img_2302_1

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Dreamer’s 7-Up Pound Cake

Dreamer’s 7-Up Pound Cake is a very traditional Southern cake recipe. It is tender, moist and very sweet. More than a cake, it’s a Deep South cultural tradition. The cake is often served for Sunday dinner or other celebrations such as the Fourth of July when family and friends come to visit at a large afternoon meal.Dreamer's 7-Up Pound Cake - IMG_9836

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