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Everything posted by bavila

  1. Nope but have spent a lot of time in NO and other parts of the state. I'm actually thinking about crashing the loyola alumni event where they do a boil. ← There are quite a few large boils every year, mostly alumni related -- UL, LSU, Tulane, Loyola, etc. I think the Louisiana State Society also has one. They generally charge around $35 a head and have live music and beer, so it's a pretty good deal. On another note, I would strongly advise against the fresh/frozen crawfish. In my experience, they are nasty.
  2. Hey Soup, are you a native Louisianian? We order live crawfish from cajungrocer.com, and have done so successfully post-Katrina. If it's frozen tails you're looking for, I usually have luck at Whole Foods, though it might be a little early.
  3. We had a great time today at Cypress Cove Friends baking 9 miniature king cakes. Over the weekend, I'd done a test run with a recipe from Emeril which I've used several times, but have never been excited about. The dough ingredients are very similar to Danno's recipe. The main difference seems to be letting the dough sit overnight. Yesterday, I decided to give Danno's recipe a shot (by the way, Danno, it did not say where to add in the eggs, though perhaps you've fixed this by now). I was much happier with today's results -- much lighter and softer than my weekend cakes. I didn't take as many pics as I would have liked as things move quickly in the world of preschoolers, and my camera battery died on top of that. But here are a few decent shots: Miniature cakes fresh from the oven. I'd doubled Danno's recipe and split it into 9. The resulting size approximated bagels. Parchment paper helped out in labelling which was whose cake. Close-up of the golden goodness. My darling 4yo decorating her cake. The kids had a blast spreading their own fillings and decorating. Especially about the decorating. I also brought beads that I'd found that my parents had brought up a year or so ago, and those were a hit too. There was no eating on site though, as the school nixes any and all sugary foods to avoid crash and burn syndrome. I plan on making the Danno recipe again soon, but no more miniatures this year!
  4. What great timing. I was just going to post a king cake question myself... I'll be making king cake at my daughter's preschool next week, and doing a test run this weekend to try making 8-10 mini-cakes. I've made it a few times, and always found it pretty easy, just want to get my timing down. I figure I'll have my dough ready to go when we go to school, then divide it up according to how many kids are there (max 10), help them roll it out, spread on a filling (I'm leaning toward fruit preserves, though I usually use cream cheese), and let 'em bake so they can take them home. Has anyone done miniature king cakes and have any advice? Danno, I notice your recipe calls for refrigerating the dough. Is that for any particular reason? Anyone have any other ideas for talking up the king cake with 2.5-5 year olds? I'm going to hit the party store for some trinkets. Oooh... and maybe I'll bring our copy of The Mardi Gras Dictionary. I'll try to take pics and post later next week.
  5. -Hold a crawfish boil (to double as a fundraiser for Katrina relief) in the Spring, and a tamalada in the Fall........Crawfish boil was a smashing success foodwise, and we sent a bit of money to Habitat for Humanity. The tamalada has not happened. By some solstice miracle I may pullit off by the 31st. -Join a CSA......done. -Corollary to above: bring kids to work on CSA's farm... I tried, but will plead lack of organization on the farm's part. We have done some random digging around in our own yard, though. -Grow some kickass tomatoes...Nixed it. Maybe next year. -Do some anthropological or historical food reading....Does Real Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma count? -Try salsifry.....Well, maybe if I spelled it correctly, I'd have an easier time finding it! Will ask CSA farmer for salsiFY....Never obtained any. Did try scapes though. Yum. -Eat and learn to better prepare loads of veggies....Yes! An ongoing process. Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love is a great resource to that end. -Raise the bar on my home cooking/ingredient purchasing across the bar....The CSA definitely improved our produce quality. And I went to the farmers market almost every week it was open. For the winter, Whole Foods is my friend. I've also been ordering meats from Polyface Farm in VA. Such a huge difference. This raising of the bar has also meant not buying things like soda and chips and empty snack foods for the kids. We're all the better for it. -Get a stand mixer!!!!!!!!!!!!......Well, I got an 11-cup food processor, but still no stand mixer. However, my hand held mixer died the other day, so Santa may have to bring me the stand mixer after all. -In highchef's words, go "full circle". Visit New Orleans and inject a bit of cash into the economy. Get fed well in the meantime......Done. Times two. Now to think about 2007...
  6. bavila


    You go, homeboy!
  7. My favorite sandwich right now is grilled chevre and fig preserves. A little honey and basil mixed into the chevre. Chevre
  8. Mottmott, you're going to get us all confused! (let's all just go with the LAST ingredient/flavor listed).* Pumpkin and cranberries. Cranberries. *ETA-at least the feeble-minded like myself.
  9. Hey dago, I'll play. I have to go poke around the book though. I have an expat New Orleanian visiting next week for whom I wanted to experiment with something from home. Good timing.
  10. Actually, the numbers are worse than that. According to the Brookings Institute's "Katrina Index" only one-third of restaurants had reopened by Katrina's anniversary (see p. 9 of pdf).
  11. This gross error is enough to call the whole piece into question. While reading the article I imagined him as some loud boor on a plane droning on about his superficial "analysis". Which is not to say that he's completely without valid points, but it's little more than the punditry he eschews at a particularly sensitive time in the life of the city. Off-the-cuff comments like illustrate clueless snobbery.Boo to Mr. Richman and boo to GQ.
  12. I can't speak to the Cantonese side at all, but as a native Louisianian, I can tell you that deep fried foods at home were a rare treat. I remember my mom frying green tomatoes and eggplant fewer than five times. Grandpa did chicken and fish while he was still able -- a few times a year. A friend's mom fries catfish and trout often as her husband and son catch their own frequently. She'll also do beignets at home. Maybe Marcelle Bienvenu could comment here. I seem to remember from "Stir the Pot", a book she coauthored with an historian on Louisiana cuisine, fried foods became common in the mid-20th century namely in restaurants as most homecooks didn't (and still don't) want to deal with the mess at home. So maybe your question needs a qualifier -- home cooking or restaurant fare?
  13. And BTW, Megan, if you were visiting, I'd forego my soda boycott and have plenty of Diet Coke on hand.
  14. Here's my report: Friday night we went to the reception, where we brought the average age WAY down. Skipped out early and headed to Dick and Jenny's. We split the poke salad (fried green tomatoes with an Asian flare -- tempura batter, topping of tuna sushi and avocados). I had the red fish. For dessert we split the chocolate chip cookie Sunday. Saturday breakfast was McDonald's. Not a hell of a lot in walking distance of the hotel. Nearby Dunkin Donuts still hasn't opened post-Katrina. Luncheon at Commander's. Yay! The interior is beautiful. It still smells new, having opened only a few weeks ago. I don't remember the interior from the last time I was there about 10 years ago. Now there's a leaf print with scattered birds in the downstairs dining room with the occasional 3-d bird thrown in. I loved it. Here's the kitchen, which you'd walk through on the way to the patio. The menu. Made me think of a thread about what were considered "safe" foods in different parts of the country. gumbo: fish, reportedly drum: creme brulee (which I realizing just now must have been missing the pecan tuile and fruit garnish) and coffee with chicory (which when poured looks like it could stand up and bark): We also had a toddler in our group. The staff offered to bring a special dish for her -- chicken tenders and mashed potatoes. More later...
  15. I find it interesting too that so many specific requests are for breakfast items. I guess I lump milk in that category. Why is that? Are we all just more limited in our breakfast options than what we'll eat the rest of the day? Another wrinkle. I am anti-soda. Especially for kids. Yes, I have the occasional coke, but in general I don't stock any sodas. I used to provide sodas and juice boxes anytime we had kids as guests, but now I'm leaning toward just offering a couple of nice juices from TJs. I feel like I may be somewhat of a rebel in this sense compared to other parents of young children that I know. As for adults, I serve unsweetened iced tea with sweeteners on the side. At least, that's my current MO.
  16. My parents will be visiting this week, and as is our habit when we visit one another, she sent a shopping list of foods and beverages they would like to have on hand -- all items we don't normally have on hand. We'll also get bagels, which we don't usually keep in the house (a treat for Louisianians who don't have any decent bagel options -- yes, I know, they still won't be NY bagels...). And decaf coffee. Blech. I kind of laugh at the length and specificity of my mom's list. But my parents are both in their 70s, and need their fiber. And I want them to be comfortable when they visit. On the other hand, when we visit my sister, we always have to go out for coffee because her only coffee offering is instant, since she and her hubby don't drink it, and they have no coffee pot of any kind. This drives me completely insane. IMO, coffee is such a ubiquitous staple of a gracious household, I can't imagine why one wouldn't have SOME way to make a cup. I've taken to bringing my own french press when we visit. So what do you expect when you are a houseguest? Do you ask -- or at least hope for -- certain items? What do you try to keep on hand for your guests or get especially for them?
  17. Ok, where am I going for beignets? Croissant D'or? This may be breakfast on Saturday. Oh, and we did change the rez for Saturday lunch to Commander's. Commander's and August in one day. It's a tough job, but I think I'm up to it.
  18. Hi Sandy, I'm surprised to see turtle soup in Philly. I've always thought of this as a New Orleans/Creole dish. Any connection in origin? Is the Philly version usually seasoned with cloves and finished with sherry? How'd you make your brown gravy for the meatloaf? Thanks and happy birthday!
  19. I usually use pot holders, but they and the oven mitts hang on a hook that's attached to my fridge for ease of storage.
  20. I've made this acorn squash with chile vinaigrette a couple of times this month. Sooo good! And pretty low-maintenance.
  21. Why no yolk for the kids? Ohmigod. The more I read, Danielle, the more convinced I am that we are leading parallel lives. Our TJs has small carts with high centers of gravity. A few months ago Madeleine pulled one over on its side with Dax in it. Strapped in, thankfully. However, even the straps are not enough to hold back DangerBoy. I try to keep a hand on him at all times. Which means that I am a total scatter-brain on any shopping expedition that includes him.
  22. ooh... pork chops with ginger... excellent! Glad to see the sauerkraut. I'm trying to get better acquainted with cabbage.
  23. ugghhh... I identify with restless toddler boys in restaurants. (I had Dax a month after Danielle had Max. ). Madeleine (who's almost 4) has always been great in restaurants. Dax just has to keep moving. I can't say it's forced us to eat in entirely, but dining out isn't worth it unless he's in the right state. Did you freeze those raspberries yourself? They're beautiful.
  24. cheezits, chocolate ice cream in any form, goat cheese
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