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Gourmet Galley: Pimento cheese makes a comeback

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  -- Pimento Cheese Spread can be served on a sandwich, crackers, a vegetable round or celery sticks.

Southerners have always liked a well-seasoned pimento and cheese spread. Each family had its favorite way of mixing the spread and what went into it. Some families liked it creamy with lots of homemade mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish, others only liked it made with sharp hoop cheese, Miracle Whip salad dressing and dill pickles. Pimento cheese… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Recipe reminiscent of Bananas Foster

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  For an easy, yet decadent dessert, prepare Banana Toffee Croissants.

Vacations and traveling, in general, are good times to throw caution to the wind and never is that more desirable than when choosing dessert. We may not opt for desserts much in our day-to-day meals, but come vacation time, well, let’s just say that’s another story. Lately, there’s interest in croissant-type desserts so I played around… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Complement the season’s first sweet potatoes

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  With Louisiana's new crop of sweet potatoes available, now is a good time to try Oven-Candied Sweet Potatoes and Tangerines (or Satsumas).

This candied sweet potato recipe is different from most in that the peeled sweet potato wedges are cooked in apple juice and brown sugar. When the potatoes are tender, sliced tangerines (or satsumas) are layered over the potatoes and heated through. The citrus permeates the syrup, and it’s the perfect complement to these first sweet potatoes of… Continue reading →

Creamy soup recipe a Sweet Rewards winner

Photo provided by Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission  --  Samantha Foglesong of Baton Rouge takes first place in the 10th annual Sweet Rewards recipe contest's fresh category for her Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup. The contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, along with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine,

Baton Rouge resident Samantha Foglesong won first place in the fresh category of the Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest by pairing smoked sweet potatoes with crabmeat in a creamy soup. The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, along with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, last week announced the winners in the 10th annual contest. Foglesong was awarded $500 for her… Continue reading →

Healthy choices Cancer diagnosis leads to life-changing diet

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Jan Hansbrough changed her diet after her diagnosis with breast cancer.

Jan Hansbrough, 61, has always liked vegetables. As the price coordinator for the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Coursey Boulevard, she praises her co-workers and customers for choosing healthful foods. “Even as a kid, I always loved eating vegetables. I used to eat two ears of corn on the cob for dinner,” she said. Now, her… Continue reading →

Here are 10 new ways to try butternut squash

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Butternut Squash With Dried Cranberries and Honey-Infused Vinaigrette is a takeoff on the popular carrot and raisin dish.

Just as you’re finally finishing up the mounds of zucchini that have haunted you all summer, autumn’s overabundance of butternut squash hits you. Time for some fresh ideas. But before we get cooking, let’s talk prep. Butternut’s thick skin and rock-hard flesh can make the peeling, seeding and chopping part of the meal a challenge.… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Savor these cookbooks over holidays

Just in time for the fall holiday season come “Southern Holidays” by Debbie Moose and “Sweet Potatoes” by April McGregor, the latest additions to the University of North Carolina Press’ delightful “Savor the South” series of cookbooks that looks at the favorite foods and culinary traditions of the American South. Like the eight previous volumes in the planned 24-book… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Oct. 23, 2014

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Brusly will hold its 34th annual “Feast on the Levee” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The event will include a Cajun food fest with dishes prepared by parishioners and a cake-baking contest. It will… Continue reading →

Altering your diet while diagnosed with cancer

Can diet cure cancer? Doug Kaufmann published “The Fungus Link” in 2001, but scientific evidence supporting his antifungal diet theory is lacking. He said he will have an article in the November/December issue of the Oncology News publication. Other popular diets such as Atkins or The Caveman Diet follow some of his dietary principles.… Continue reading →

Part family pizzeria, part Italian tavern, a Domenica spinoff forges its own identity Uptown

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Garlic knots are served with aged provolone fonduta at Pizza Domenica.

The same type of wood-burning oven produces the same char-pocked, bubble-crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas. The same unaccountably delicious, whole roasted cauliflower is a go-to appetizer. And the same chefs and partners — John Besh and Alon Shaya — are at the helm. But Pizza Domenica is a very different restaurant from the one that… Continue reading →

Carmo’s drinks flavored with Amazon fruits and sugar cane

Photo by Lee Domingue -- Carmo recreates the vibe of a tropical cafe with murals and furniture crafted of reclaimed wood.

The languid pace and the flavors of the tropics always have been welcome to New Orleans palates. That connection is the driving principle of Carmo, a restaurant in the CBD where patrons can sample drinks and dishes from over 40 tropical countries. What distinguishes Carmo’s bar program is the way it utilizes a variety… Continue reading →

Meet 2 New Orleans women who’ve cracked open the traditionally male-dominated field of oyster shucking

Advocate staff photo by J.T. BLATTY-- While many women shuck oysters, industry experts say it remains very rare to see women working behind oyster bars like Two Girls One Shuck.

The recent wedding of Steven Marlin and Mi Mary Conlon in the French Quarter came with many familiar rites of New Orleans celebration, from a post-ceremony second line to a round of French 75 cocktails to toast the newlyweds. There was an oyster bar at the reception, too, but here things went a little off-script.… Continue reading →

Bites of History: Cooks didn’t always have handy appliances; Guess what these utensils did ...

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Braised Beef Short Ribs With Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes is seasoned with freshly ground whole peppercorns, which in past centuries would have been stored in a spice box.

Even though our modern kitchens are full of appliances that slice, fry, broil, stir, beat and grind, we still often complain there isn’t enough time to cobble together a meal. But imagine being transported back to a time when there wasn’t such a thing as an electric mixer or even a stove and you had to get… Continue reading →

Fresh Ideas: Bake ‘beautiful bread’ at home with this no-knead method

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Easy Ciabatta Bread requires only four ingredients.

Perhaps I’m a purist, but there is such a thing as fresh, beautiful bread. No, not the industrial loaves packaged in sleeves at your local supermarket, but real bread with deeper flavors and crispier textures. Part dense and part light, good bread conceals its fluffy white insides beneath a golden sturdy crust. Slice into… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Add deboned chicken thighs, spinach for a hearty mac and cheese main dish

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- For a hearty main dish, add chicken and spinach to macroni and cheese.

Macaroni and cheese has been in the limelight for the past year or so. Yes, it’s everything from the granny-type casserole of yellow cheese (or a cheesy product) to exotic cheese blends melted and folded into cooked macaroni. How it’s served determines where it fits in the menu. I’ve seen mac-and-cheese balls for appetizers, mac-and-cheese cakes as… Continue reading →

Children with cancer also face difficulties with food

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Natalie Porta is the pediatric clinical dietitian nutritionist at Our Lady of The Lake Children's Hospital. The drinks are nutritional supplemental shakes for patients.

Feeding growing bodies is tricky enough for most parents, but for parents whose children are undergoing cancer treatment, getting them to eat enough to keep up strength and energy to face a normal day is the ultimate challenge. According to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital Pediatric Dietitian Nutritionist Natalie Porta, children undergoing cancer treatment can… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Oct. 16, 2014

Red Stick Farmers Markets reopen for fall In addition to the Red Stick Farmers Market’s two year-round locations, its five seasonal Baton Rouge-area locations are now open for the fall season, a spokeswoman said. The year-round locations are open from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursdays at 6400 Perkins Road behind Pennington Biomedical Research… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Foolproof muffins are this easy

I can’t pass up a new cookbook by Jean Anderson. With her background in food chemistry, I know the book will include plenty of useful information and its recipes will always work. Her latest cookbook is no exception. Anderson has had lots of experience baking muffins, the subject of her latest book. She was only about 4 years old… Continue reading →

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival: This weekend, one smoky showcase with a blues soundtrack will offer dozens of arguments that barbecue has arrived

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - The cochon de lait po-boy from Walker's Southern Style BBQ.

There’s more than one way to sing the blues, as the wide-ranging lineup of performers for this weekend’s Crescent City Blues and BBQ Festival demonstrates. There are plenty of ways to cook barbecue, too, and once again this year festival organizers have selected food vendors to show the diversity of flavor and tradition united under the… Continue reading →

Magazine bar with an international feel

Advocate staff photo by J.T. BLATTY -- in New Orleans, La. Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Chef Phillip L. Lopez prepares steak tartare with the assistance of cook Mike Fields (right) behind the bar of Root Squared.

It’s hard to walk into Root Squared and not want to move in immediately. Perched a floor above the upscale restaurant Square Root and overlooking one of the most architecturally intact stretches of Magazine Street, this recent cocktail spot feels like the living room of an international sophisticate, say James Bond or, in his… Continue reading →

Think beyond Thanksgiving pies with canned pumpkin

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Pumpkin puree's rich flavor and creamy sweetness work great in both sweet and savory dishes.

Let’s talk about one of the season’s most iconic vegetables — canned pumpkin. Yes, canned, because that’s how 99 percent of us get our pumpkin. Which is fine except for one thing — Americans overwhelmingly associate canned pumpkin with just one dish (pumpkin pie) and one day of the year (Thanksgiving). But canned pumpkin actually has all… Continue reading →