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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Barefoot – and Beyond – at Broussard’s

Posted by on May 30, 2015, 9:49 am in Events, Restaurants, Travel, Wine | 0 comments

New Orleans is undergoing a culinary renaissance. You can find restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines here, which was pretty much unheard of in the past. In fact, some would say it’s more difficult to find places serving classic Creole cuisine nowadays. While Broussard’s is not quite as venerable as grand dames like Antoine’s (celebrating its 175th anniversary this year) or Galatoire’s (already 10 years past the 100 year old mark), it is one of the traditional French Quarter Creole eateries, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. And...

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Chocolate Pecan Torte and Gold Brick Eggs

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015, 11:40 am in Family Celebrations, Food and Drink, Recipes-Sweet, Seasonal Celebrations | 3 comments

Chocolate Pecan Torte

People who spent their childhoods in New Orleans have very fond memories, and allegiances to Elmer’s Easter egg products, (their regular candy bars shaped into Easter eggs for the holiday). My mother’s and uncle’s favorite was the Heavenly Hash Egg (similar to what the rest of the world knows as Rocky Road). I was partial to the Pecan Roll Egg, while the Gold Brick Egg has perhaps the strongest following. After we moved to Los Angeles, my mother still had scouts who would send her these Easter eggs for her kids’ Easter baskets. She would sock...

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Sweet Potato Pureé with Roasted Garlic

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015, 9:32 am in Food and Drink, Recipes-Savory | 3 comments

Sweet Potato Puree

  Late winter leading into early spring is a tough time.  It can be chilly and drizzly one day, and hot the next. Mother Nature just can’t make up her mind. And in the markets, the mix of produce reflects the season’s volatility. There’s an array of the last of the dark leafy greens, juxtaposed against the first baby artichokes, early asparagus and sweet young peas with their tendrils, offering interesting, and sometimes challenging choices for menu planning.   A couple of years back, I catered two parties in the last week of March...

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A St. Joseph’s Day Celebration

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015, 2:48 pm in Celebrations, Food and Drink, History | 2 comments

St. Joseph's Day Altar

In his book The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans, Ned Sublette writes that it’s common to hear people call New Orleans the northernmost point of the Caribbean. Sublette says that while that’s patently untrue, he writes, “New Orleans is the northernmost edge of something… What New Orleans is at the northernmost edge of is what I call the Saints and Festivals belt.”       This week saw the festival celebrations of two saint days, an occasion for a partying, and a  break from the Lenten season in this party-obssessed...

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Kids at the Mardi Gras- a Few Sights and Sounds

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015, 2:21 pm in Celebrations, Seasonal Celebrations, Special Events, Travel | 2 comments

Skipping with a Bead Rope at the Mardi Gras

  Going out to watch the Carnival parades in New Orleans is a long time – and much looked forward to – tradition. Some families stake out the same spot along a parade route year after year, and spend the time with several generations of their clan. In my last post on the Mardi Gras parades, I mentioned that my friend, Deborah, expressed the wish that she could watch the parades with the wonder of a child. It struck me in thinking about the statement, that one of the best ways to watch them is by watching the kids.   The...

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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 to attend on the day of the parade. The parade rolls for about 4 hours – for those of us viewing, it was the last three parades in a...

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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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