The Christmas decorations have been packed away and stored in the attic. New Year’s Eve and SuperBowl parties are all in the past and for most people life will quiet down and get back to normal. But here in New Orleans we are gearing up for the BIG ONE!!

MARDI GRAS that is!  Parades, beads, revelry and “Laissez les bon temp rouler!!  (Let the good times roll!)  But to many folks in Louisiana it means it is time for the appearance of the King Cake!

SDC10582 SDC10581 SDC10583King Cakes from a recent baking class!

There is NOTHING more seductive than the aroma of a yeast dough baking in the oven, unless it is one filled with cinnamon and sugar!

January means the arrival of King Cake season in New Orleans and South Louisiana.  And I love it when I get to teach others how to make one of their own.  They are amazed at how easy it is but more importantly, how delicious they come out!

In a recent class I taught the students a rich, sweet, no-knead dough that we used to make 5 different items.  With a double recipe of the dough we made King Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls, Caramel Pecan Rolls, A Nutella Twist, and finally some fabulous Parker House Rolls.

wpid-20150129_144708.jpgwpid-20150129_151120.jpgwpid-20150129_151127.jpgNutella Twist

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Looking for Low Fat, Low Carb, Low Calorie for the New Year????

Think ASIAN…..I recently was asked to teach a healthy meal that had all of these requirements.  I chose these recipes because they really filled all those requests…..but most importantly, they are bursting with great flavor.

Considering the fact that South Louisiana has been experiencing a very cold and rainy month of January, I decided to start with a personal favorite of mine: Continue reading

Holiday Side Dishes are almost as important as the Center Stage Turkey

Thanks 8 2012THANKS 4 2012

Thanksgiving is my most favorite Holiday of the year.  I love to cook the entire dinner by myself.  I love setting a beautiful table using all my special things that were handed down through my family and those that are cherished Wedding gifts.

I LOVE this holiday because it is all about sharing a special meal with loved ones and a chance to reflect on all of God’s Richest Blessings HE has bestowed on each and every one of us.  No presents to buy and wrap, no too tired or over stimulated little ones wishing they were still home with their new toys…..just the family gathered to eat, have meaningful conversations and to watch FOOTBALL, of course. Continue reading

Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey with all the Trimmings and that means Dressing

Every year I look forward to reading all the great Cooking Magazines to see what new recipes are trending for that year or what chefs come up with to put their spin on old traditional dishes.  I get excited and try to decide on something new to put on my Thanksgiving dinner table.   But every time I would change a recipe or try something new, I got very negative reactions, like the year I decided to make homemade cranberry sauce….the kids had a fit “What happened to our cranberry sauce with the lines on it???  What’s this stuff????”  Or “What happened to your Parker House Rolls?”  “We don’t like those grocery store Brown & Serve ones!”

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The holidays are fast approaching and in New Orleans that means Pecan Pie

wpid-20141114_213021.jpgBourbon Pecan Pie or if you prefer….just leave out the Bourbon!

 

 

Taught this Bourbon Pecan pie in a recent cooking class.  The guests wanted me to add more Bourbon than the recipe called for….I thought it had just enough but you can eliminate it all together.  The crust is perfect.  Years ago when I was catering lots of Thanksgiving pies..I was always so nervous when taking pies out of the oven.  I was always scared I would ruin the pie by accidently knocking off a bit of the fluted crust.  I solved that problem by using a removable bottom Quiche pan!  Comes out beautiful every time!  It takes 3/4 of this Perfect Pie Crust recipe.wpid-20141120_223104.jpgwpid-20141120_223114.jpg

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With the temperature quickly dropping, warm comforting food is definitely on the menu…

One of my favorite dishes I turn to when the weather finally brings a chill to our Southern skies is definitely, hands down, without question…… Chicken and Dumplings.  I always make a huge pot so I have plenty to share and lots to have for myself.

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I always start with a rich Chicken Stock and if you research classic Southern cookbooks for Chicken and Dumplings you will find a truly simple recipe containing little more than a raw chicken, maybe a little onion and salt and pepper.  You boil the chicken until the meat falls off the bones, strain it and reserve the meat to add later.  The dumplings usually are just flour, water, and maybe an egg salt and pepper.  They are mixed, rolled out, cut into squares or strips and dropped into the boiling broth.  More black pepper is added and that’s about it! Continue reading