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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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.”                                                ...

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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...

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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...

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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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