Tuesday, August 29, 2006 

New Orleans Cuisine

Originally uploaded by Nola Nate.

Will Never Be the Same.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 

Remembering the Big Easy

The one year anniversary of the destructive force of Katrina is fast approaching. The death of a great American city should be commemorated in someway. I feel that to celebrate the life that was New Orleans, put some Gumbo on the stove like any self respecting Louisiana home has done for decades....BBQ up some Shrimp ala Manale's....slather on the Bourbon sauce to a sublime Bread Pudding ala Commander's Palace. Eat. Drink. Laissez Les Bon Temp Roulez.
It's no secret that New Orleanians live to eat, or that their distinctive Creole cooking is an international symbol of the city's gumbo-pot history and tradition. But in practical terms, the restaurant scene is a life force for the community, pumping about $2 billion into the local economy and employing one in 10 New Orleanians before the storm.

The industry took a major hit, according to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, with 54 percent of the metro area's 3,414 restaurants still closed. Among those still missing in action are neighborhood favorites such as Mandina's, Mandich, Gabrielle, and Gautreau's, some of which are being rebuilt.

Most famous restaurants in the French Quarter and Uptown, however, were spared serious damage from the hurricane. The toll of weeks without electricity in the summer swelter, though, proved to be costly enough. Emeril Lagasse's three restaurants lost $1.4 million worth of wine alone. And then there was the pervasive reek of spoiled walk-in refrigerators.

"Who knew that steak would turn to liquid and seep through the floors and walls?" said Ti Martin, whose family owns the 126-year-old Commander's Palace, which was stripped down to the studs for a $6 million-plus renovation. "We saved the molding, and that's about it." - philly.com

One organization that has been doing some amazing work supplying morale, operating soup kitchens, organizing school cafeterias and providing support and good warm creole/cajun meals to those left destitute and abandoned in the Gulf Region is Share our Strength. They are sponsoring a Restaurants for Relief Night this Tuesday. Please see if there is a participating restaurant near you.

Also, please check out Chefs in Exile -
Every New Orleanian has a Katrina Story... but some come with recipes.:
Chefs in Exile will document the personal stories of these chefs: how they survived Katrina and fought heroically to reopen their damaged restaurants-understaffed, with no potable water, and often homeless themselves. In the darkest days following the hurricane, these chefs provided solace through their cooking to family and friends, stranded hotel guests, and relief workers throughout the city and beyond
I know what it's like to miss New Orleans, and miss the Bananas Foster at Brennans.

Ingredients: - 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur
- 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

  • Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.
  • Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.
  • When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.
  • Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum.
  • When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.
  • Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 

Happy 60th Birthday

Mr. President!

(photo by Brad Trent)

Friday, August 18, 2006 

Happy Random Flickr Blogging Friday!

Tossed Cookies
Originally uploaded by LeggNet.

Thursday, August 17, 2006 

Thank you Foodlocker.com!

We want to give thanks to Foodlocker.com for having a little Google ad run on our little site!

Move away from home and can't find your favorite "local" food? Just maybe Foodlocker has it...check it out State by State or Country.


Cough Up That Cookie Dough!

How can adults steal from the Girl Scout's monetary cookie jar? Especially when they can use that money to send cookies to our troops overseas.

The Girls Scouts are pursuing 12 court claims in Akron, Ohio, for uncollected cookie money ranging from $54 dollars to $3,500. The claims total $9,000. - Minneapolis St.Paul Star & bloggingohio.

"Girl Scout cookies is a big business. That's a lot of $3 boxes of cookies," said presiding Magistrate Tom Lynett. - UPI

And, surprise.....girl scout cookies aren't just for simply snacking on anymore.

The Art Institute of Washington held a culinary contest with Girl Scout cookies as ingredients.

The winning recipe was stuffed shrimp with lemon cooler cookies and crab. The runners up were stuffed tortellini with watercress cream sauce and stuffed shrimp with Cajun Samoa sauce.
Check them out here! and more here....(pdf files)

The Original Home-Baked Girl Scout Cookie

"This is the original Girl Scout Cookie from back in 1922. They are a sugar cookie cut into trefoil shapes (like the Girl Scout emblem), and sprinkled with sugar crystals."

yield: 3 dozen cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup crystal sugar

Combine the cream, butter, and sugar. Next, add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla flavoring, flour and baking powder.

Roll thin, make trefoil cutouts, sprinkle sugar crystals on top, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes, or until just golden brown.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006 

29 Years Ago Today

The King Left the Kitchen.

Long Live the King.

Elvis Cookies

Makes about 30 sandwich cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup butter or margerine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mashed banana (2 medium)

1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or use parchment paper.
2 Stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and ground cloves and set aside. In a mixer bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar and beat till fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
3 Add dry ingredients and mashed banana alternalely to beaten mixture beating after each addition.
4 Drop from a teaspoon 2 inches apart onto a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet immediately; cool on a wire rack.

1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until well mixed. Spread about one tablespoon filling on bottoms of half of cookies. Gently press bottoms of remaining cookies against filling to form sandwiches.

Eat. Enjoy. Put on some Elvis songs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006 

The MUST SEE foodie show of the year....

Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" on Monday, August 21. Bourdain in Beirut. Read his Salon article.

(ran across a fun "older" post on Anthony on LAFoodblogging when his show debuted)


Tutti's Pine Nut Cookies

I LOVED Tutti's...a little funky restaurant that was in Montecito and downtown Santa Barbara. I LOVE Pine Nuts. Now...when you put the two together, you can come up with some pretty tasty treats!

These delicious cookies combine delicate almond paste with pine nuts to provide a slightly chewy rich flavor. The recipe had eluded us until Martha Stewart featured this recipe in the May, 2005 issue of her magazine.


2 cup pine nuts (go to Goods from the Woods for more info)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup almond paste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Process 3/4 cups pine nuts, sugar, almond paste and vanilla in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add egg; pulse to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; process just until dough comes together.Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in remaining 1 1/4 cups pine nuts, gently pressing to coat. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.Bake until cookies begin to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

Mille Grazie Gourmet Sleuth!

Tutti's also had some other goodies, including some breakfast cookies,

Friday, August 11, 2006 

Random Flickr Food Blogging

Maddi Makes Cookies
Originally uploaded by Sparky2.

Oh, I couldn't resist these photos of a little girl who couldn't resist the cookie dough! ;-)


Happy Chef Blogging Friday

Meet Chef Joe Durio:

He has traveled around the world and worked for celebrities like Patti LaBelle and Luther Vandross. He studied culinary arts in Germany and Austria in addition to being interviewed for Time magazine. Surprisingly, he didn't originally intend to be a chef but a hairstylist.

Growing up in Palmetto, Chef Joe Durio first started cooking as a hobby learned from being a picky eater. It wasn't until he moved to New Orleans and started participating in European cooking festivals that he realized his passion for great cuisine.

...After Hurricane Katrina, Durio is back in Opelousas cooking for the Opelousas City Council, Mayor Anna Simmons, St. Landry School Board and Opelousas tourism board to name a few.
He feels his cooking has reached celebrity status because of his personalized service.
"Every dish is personal it just depends on what the customer wants, I treat everyone like a celebrity," Durio said.

Besides his award-winning dishes, he also praises his seafood pasta, eggplant, and fried catfish. Durio is unique because he also can cook diabetic and low-salt dishes.

"I don't use anything with shells or bones because I cater to all ages because children and some senior citizens have trouble with those things," he said. " I will use crab meat instead of crabs or boneless chicken to make everything easier."

Durio is even collaborating with doctors in Biloxi, Miss., at the Wellness Foundation to help create low-carbohydrate meals that will prevent obesity in children.

Not only has he worked for celebrities and doctors, but he has catered for Fortune 500 companies worked in nine countries while owning restaurants in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston and New Orleans.

The most surprising aspect is Durio works alone. He wants personalized service to make sure everything meets his high standards of excellence. - The Daily World

Thursday, August 10, 2006 

Random Food Flickr Blogging

Originally uploaded by *Dario*.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006 

Happy Food Section Wednesday

Seattle 1
Today we venture up to the Seattle Area. Cool weather. Cool town. Cool food. But the other week, the Seattle Post Intelligencer was highlighting the newest, and "coolest" book from a San Francisco chef, Emily Luchetti, from my favorite City by the Bay Restaurant, Farallon! So...today...two Foodie Cities in one!

From "A Passion for Ice Cream" via the Seattle Post Intelligencer.


2 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the ice cream:
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, mint and 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and steep the mint in the cream for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until it reaches 175 degrees and lightly coats the spatula.

Strain the mixture into a clean bowl, discarding the mint. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

In a food processor, using on-off pulses, grind the chocolate into small pieces. Put the chocolate in a bowl in the freezer. Churn the ice cream base into an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place the ice cream in the bowl with the chocolate and fold the two together. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

To make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler over hot water. Stir to combine. Let cool to room temperature.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the salt. With an electric mixer on high speed, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until thick. By hand, stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and let the batter rest for 5 minutes. Do not let the batter cool too much or the cookie won't spread; it's supposed to be a flat cookie.
Using an ice cream scoop 2 1/4 inches in diameter for each cookie, scoop the batter onto the prepared pans at lest 2 inches apart. There should be at least 20 cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops crack. They will look set and no longer shiny on top. Let cool and then remove them from the pans with a spatula.

To assemble: Place 10 of the cookies, bottom side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. Place a scoop of ice cream on top of each cookie. top with a second cookie and gently press down on the top cookie to adhere the sandwiches together. Serve immediately, or freeze until ready to serve.

In advance: The cookies can be made one day before you assemble the sandwiches. Store at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.

From "A Passion for Ice Cream"

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 

Cajun Food is really OUT OF THIS WORLD!


NASA has announced that Food Network star chef Emeril Lagasse will help the crew members of the International Space Station "kick it up a notch" by bringing them Cajun cuisine. - NPR and UPI

The crew of the International Space Station will indulge next week in the ultimate "take-out" food, a meal delivered by a NASA space shuttle and designed by chef Emeril Lagasse of the Food Network's "Emeril Live." After tasting several of Lagasse's creations, the three-person crew will talk to the chef at 1:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 10 in a special hookup carried live on NASA TV. - SpaceRef.com

Monday, August 07, 2006 

Talk about "New Car Smell"

Wow....puts a new spin to "they'll be done in a dash..."

Blistering heat was just what Sandi Fontaine needed to bake cookies for her co-workers — on the dash of her Toyota Rav4.

With temperatures soaring Wednesday, Fontaine placed two trays of cookie dough on the dashboard, shut the doors and retreated inside to her air conditioned office.

"My husband wanted me to run some errands this morning," said Fontaine, who works at Baldwin and Clarke Corporate Finance. "I said, 'I can't. I'm baking cookies.'
Fontaine first tested her dashboard oven three years ago. She said anyone can do it; the only requirement is for the outside temperature to be at least 95 degrees, so it will rise to about 200 degrees in the car.

....."When you open the door to that car," she said, "it's like, oh my God. It's a wonderful smell." -
AP and the NHUnionLeader

Thursday, August 03, 2006 

Blogger Post Cards of the World!

Well... I was a little late in getting out my postcard to my "post card buddy"...so I sent TWO to make up for it.

We have a weeklong celebration called "Fiesta" and, while it is wonderful for tourists, it wrecks havoc on us local "barbarians"....I couldn't get into the Post Office!

And...then I couldn't find the appropriate link to "What's for Lunch Honey" who had the lovely idea for this sharing of images!...am I bad or what.

But...I did receive a lovely card from Hartford, CT. And, as my post card buddy mentioned, it IS wonderful to receive something in the mail!

I only wish I could have "hand delivered" the post cards to where my secret postal pal resides!

Viva La!


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  • From Santa Barbara, California, United States
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