An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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A Few Sights and Sounds of Mardi Gras – Part 1

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015, 12:11 pm in Seasonal Celebrations, Travel | 0 comments

Muses Throw

                                          As I sit and write this, it’s Mardi Gras. I stayed home and watched the morning’s festivities on the tube. That’s mostly because the parading and carousing has been going on for weeks now. Seriously,  I don’t know how people here do it. My friend, Monique, who was riding in the Muses parade (last Thursday night) told me she had a pre-party, a pre-pre party, and a post party...

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What’s New in King Cakes?

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015, 10:30 am in Entertaining Trends, Food and Drink, Holiday Entertaining, Special Events | 1 comment

Maurice's Ponchatoula Strawberry King Cake

A few years back, I did a post on King’s Day and King Cakes, the Carnival season treat which begins showing up on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany aka Twelfth Night – and opening day of the season, at every home, office and social gathering throughout the city.  BTW, I included a recipe in that post, if you’re interested in trying your hand at making the treat.   Since then, there’s been a culinary renaissance happening in New Orleans, bringing with it an influx of chefs from all over the country. Those new...

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Carnival Season Begins!

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015, 3:43 pm in Celebrations, History, Travel | 1 comment

Dianne Honoré leading her Amazons

I have been greatly remiss in posting to this blog in the last month – and that on top of my promising 5 easy bites for holiday entertaining – sigh…   In my defense, I have had a steady stream of out of town visitors in the last 3 weeks. Also, in my defense, I hear that the hottest season for entertaining is just beginning in New Orleans.   That’s right – on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, aka King’s Day and Twelfth Night, the Carnival season officially began, when many New Orleanians left up their...

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Five Easy Bites for Holiday Entertaining Part 3 – Gougères

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014, 11:32 am in Holiday Entertaining, Recipes- Savory | 6 comments


  Just what the heck is a Gougère, you might be wondering. Answer – it’s simply a savory bite of choux paste (the same pastry used to make Profiteroles)  with cheese mixed and baked into the dough.   Okay, it may be best to save this little hors d’ouevre for when you aren’t trying to finish a big turkey or roast, and need to reheat a lot of side dishes, because you will need an oven. And they should be served  warm, right out of the oven. So maybe New Year’s Eve, which is perfect because, really, I...

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Five Easy Bites for Holiday Entertaining Part 2 – Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014, 12:36 pm in Holiday Entertaining, Recipes- Savory | 2 comments

Rosemary Spiced Nuts

    Since I discovered these Rosemary Spiced Nuts (aka Union Square Bar Nuts) 10 years ago, they’ve appeared on every fruit and cheese display and  bruschetta bar at the parties I catered. If there was no cheese display or bruschetta bar on the menu, I would often throw them in anyway, as a lagniappe, to serve at the bar. They never failed to make guests and clients happy.  And I keep a jar of mixed nuts on hand at my home, so I can throw some in the oven for any occasion that might arise. The smell of them just out of the...

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Five Easy Bites for Holiday Entertaining Part 1 – Moroccan Spiced Olives

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014, 8:54 am in Food and Drink, Holiday Entertaining, Recipes-Savory | 1 comment

Moroccan Olives

  Does this sound familiar? You’re racing around, juggling oven and stove top space in your last minute efforts to get Thanksgiving and/or Christmas or Hanukah dinner table ready when guests begin arriving. Not exactly a time for fussy, labor intensive hors d’ouevre, but if your family is anything like mine, we are definitely ready for a few nibbles to visit over. We also like to toast with a glass or two of champagne before we sit at the table (I promise these appetizers are all very champagne friendly), so I’ve...

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Brunching at Commander’s Palace – and Their Bread Pudding Soufflé

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014, 1:28 pm in Food and Drink, Recipes-Sweet, Restaurants | 1 comment

Bread Pudding Soufflé

Last weekend I got a late Saturday night message from Facebook friend, and fellow food blogger, Gigi Gleason (she blogs at Epicurean Adventurer, and we first met at Camp Blogaway, then reconnected a  year later at the Foodbuzz conference in San Francisco) saying that she was in New Orleans  – she’s a hometown girl , too, for a couple of days.   “I have a brunch rez  at Commander’s  at 10 A.M. tomorrow morning. Would you like to join me,”  she asked.   Duh- heck yeah!   There are many wonderful...

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October in New Orleans- It’s Festival Season!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2014, 4:42 pm in Music, Travel | 2 comments

Cochon de Lait Po'Boy

I know that the middle of summer is not the best time to arrive in New Orleans, but when my friend, Lori, said to me in August “just wait until festival season starts in October”, my response was ”festival season? You have Jazz Fest, French Quarter Fest, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, and the Strawberry and Creole Tomato Festivals – all in the spring, Mardi Gras in the winter. What do you mean ‘festival season’?” “Well, yeah” she said, “but October is the Blues and Barbecue Fest, and all the outdoor concerts start up again....

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Urban Farms, Community Gardens and Roasted Eggplant Dip

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014, 2:21 pm in Recipes- Savory | 2 comments

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Nine years ago, in those early post-Katrina days when much of New Orleans sat submerged under flood waters, dire predictions began popping up in media outlets throughout the country. The soil will be dangerously contaminated for at least 10 years, they said, maybe a generation. Today, as I travel around the city, meeting people and acquainting myself with the new New Orleans, I find the city is absolutely filled with urban farms, community gardens and edible schoolyards. This morning I went to Parkway Partners, a non-profit that helps to...

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Eating Around New Orleans 2014

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014, 12:15 pm in Restaurants | 4 comments

Toup's  Meatery Burger

The year after Katrina blew through New Orleans devastating the city, a prominent national restaurant critic, after visiting the city to assess the state of affairs in the restaurant world, and in the city generally, famously dissed New Orleans’ cuisine and its Creole culture. He wrote that those who admire the food were “likely not sober enough at the time of ingestion to know what they were eating”, and that the restaurants were “going in the wrong direction”. As you can imagine, he got plenty of metaphorical one finger salutes, and I...

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