I love the excitement of Mardi Gras and the many opportunities it brings to gather with friends...and it's the season to enjoy King Cake! And it's the perfect way to gather with small groups - your pod, during the pandemic.
I began this story in Feb of 2020 and have added a few more favorites! I still love everything from last year and there's more now on my list!
Louisiana has so many wonderful bakeries. I enjoy trying everything from the classic homespun cinnamon-flavored King Cakes we grew up and other offerings including 3 that I'm highlighting below.
What's your favorite? Leave a note to spread the word.
A Few King Cake Favorites
Their version of the traditional galette de rois. This is phenomenal! Flaky pastry is filled with pecan citrus frangipane! Local artist Jackie Brown makes the feves....Availability is limited. Call ahead or email to order. I emailed my order and they were very responsive. Get the large!
This new bakery is a great addition to the city.
LIMITED HOURS DUE TO COVID - CAN ORDER ONLINE
Levee Baking Co. • 3138 Magazine St., Ste D, New Orleans, LA 70115 • firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cajun Kringle
A crowd-pleaser! This is a classic offering from Haydel's: Flaky pastry with praline filling that's topped with caramel icing and decorated with pecans!
I picked mine up from the new 3117 Magazine Street outpost. For everything Haydel, visit their website or go to the mother store.
4037 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans, LA, 70121
Crawfish King Cake
Garlic and butter brioche filled with warm Crawfish au Gratin and topped with colorful Parmesan Cheese.
Serve it warm with a green salad and you'll thank me later! I love this casual neighborhood gem in the Bywater. I haven't tried their sweet King Cake offerings and I'm tempted to do that soon with such heavenly sounding flavors as their Chantilly King Cake which is filled with Marscarpone Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries, and their Bouille King Cake that's filled with a Cajun custard....amongst their many offerings.
They are also offering a pop up location in the CBD for King Cake Season at 234 Loyola Street - in the Pythian Market, closed Wednesdays, 8am-6pm.
3624 Dauphine St. Bywater, New Orleans
The King Cake Bevi
get the recipe here!
Sip the flavors of Mardi Gras with this wonderful seasonal take on their ever popular Bourbon Milk Punch - this version made with rum. It's available to-go for taking in the street side revelry (HINT!). This is a delightful combination of homemade vanilla ice cream, orgeat syrup, cinnamon, orange, and local Old New Orleans Rum.
144 BOURBON STREET, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130 504.522.0111
2021 New Offerings with Pairing Recommendations!
The insanity continues - More delicious offerings now than ever!
King Cake is a most excellent reason for celebratory
moments in safer small gatherings.
And another Shout out goes to Bywater Bakery!
Heaven in a bite! The Chantilly King Cake
filled with Mascarpone Cheese & Fresh Berries
Chicory Coffee Served Black in Hand-painted 1820's Paris Porcelain Demi Tasse
I make sure to use them every carnival season
to help celebrate life.
LA PETITE SOPHIE
Brioche Strawberries & Cream King Cake
PAIRING SUGGESTION: BOURBON MILK PUNCH!
Market + Eatery
HERE'S AN INSIDER'S TIP:
The Commissary is an extension of Dickie Brennan's restaurants and offers the most delectable items to create celebratory experiences.
A few menu highlights:
Bloody Mary's, party dishes like: Crab & Brie Dip, Beef Debris Po-Boys, Gumbo Ya-Ya, Red Bean Hummus, Pimento Cheese, Smoke Catfish Dip, and everyone's favorite: Crabmeat Cheesecake -whole or squares with a side of sautéed roasted mushrooms and Creole meunière sauce!
Angels are singing!
Here's another stunner from
this gem in Baton Rouge
Pink Champagne King Cake
with pink champagne mousse filling, iced, painted, sprinkled and glittered with everything pink!
Champagne is always a great idea!
HAPPY MARDI GRAS Y'ALL!
MORE MEMORIES OF DEAR JULIA - Kumquat Season is Here
As I move past her untimely late August passing and with the holidays upon us, memories of Julia Reed have and will continue to flood my mind. These are joyful memories tinged with the bitterness of her loss.. Sharing always helps. So, here goes.
I've already told a few of our stories...
In a previous blog post timed after the release of her last cookbook writing effort: Julia Reed's New Orleans: Food, Fun, and Field Trips for Letting the Good Times Roll....with the front cover shot in my courtyard and a marvelous Creole Gumbo Lunch chapter. There's also a foray to my Patoutville family home and Bayside Plantation for an entertaining chapter which included the company of dear friends over an Aioli Dinner.
Then, after her passing, I shared an extensive recollection in an email linked below featuring photos she had saved over the years. She sent them to me after becoming ill.
To see the story, just keep scrolling and PLEASE, if you see a house you want to purchase, contact me before continuing.... The Julia post is a celebration of our friendship filled with.our crazy wonderful adventures, and a recipe, of course.
IT'S A HOLIDAY TRADITION!
But back to why I'm posting now, the holidays are here and Julia treasured handmade delectable gifts so much that she wrote about it years ago in a New York Times essay.
Julia recounts her early recipe gift failures and offers two favorites. There's a praline recipe and my Aunt Evelyn Patout's Kumquat Preserves. About this time, every year I make Aunt Evelyn's Kumquat preserves. I get so many recipe requests. It is indeed a holiday tradition!
"Among the Holiday Baubles, nothing shines like real home cooking."
When I posted the video above 55 weeks ago on Instagram, there she was in the comments.
Thank you dear Julia.
You are missed!
Click the recipe title link below to enjoy the full story.
FOOD; EXTREMELY GIFTED
By Julia Reed
an excerpt from...
Evelyn Patout's Preserved Kumquats
"His Aunt Evelyn's candied kumquats are fabulous on cake or ice cream, with pork or duck or sweet potatoes, and I once slivered them and used them to decorate the top of a glamorous holiday charlotte russe. Peter managed to finagle Evelyn's recipe, which calls for three days of stirring and boiling -- but only for a few minutes each morning. And Peter says he actually enjoys the ritual of fooling with them while he makes his café au lait."
1 quart kumquats
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup.
1. Scrub kumquats thoroughly. Prick each several times with a large needle or poultry pin. Put them in a large saucepan, add water to cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Combine the sugar and 3 cups of water in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. Add kumquats and boil again. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, overnight. The next morning, add 1/2 cup corn syrup. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let stand overnight again. Repeat the process twice more.
3. On the fourth morning, after the kumquats have been brought to boil, spoon them into hot, sterilized, Mason-type jars. Pour in hot syrup to within 1/4 inch of the top of each jar and seal. Refrigerate until ready to give or seal in a hot-water bath according to jar manufacturer's directions and store.
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts.
NOTE: For directions on how to sterilize jars, see page 60 of the new edition of ''Joy of Cooking.''
The city is awash in blooms! Here's how to experience Natchez now!
Photo Credit: G. Douglas Adams
Last year year, I founded the Natchez International Crepe Myrtle Festival because the extraordinary Crepe Myrtle Blooms of Natchez are worth celebrating! While there’s not a festival with speakers this year, our Committee members have created a perfect experience to Celebrate the Blooms!
There's three self-guided free tours have been developed by Crepe Myrtle Historian and Committee member, Elaine Gemmell:
Trees & Counting!
self-guided bloom tours
So here's a summer sightseeing trip idea: take in some of the loveliness and deliciousness that Natchez offers and experience the city in a low contact manner!
Rita Tebbetts tells us the trees are still moving towards peak season and that the blooms should be pretty possibly even into August!
"Of course, mother nature didn't get the Co-Vid memo. Come to Natchez to take in the show. the beauties won't mind a bit if you want to snap a few photos to share with friends. You'll need evidence anyway to prove to doubters what you will witness.
The best photos are probably done from a distance, but these trees won't mind if you want to move in close. I don't think they will be taking social distancing too seriously," Tebbetts said.
Take in the magnificent architecture of Natchez!
In addition to digital downloads at
Self-guided bloom tour maps are available:
Fat Mama's Tamales
Rolling N' The Dough
Natchez Brewing Company
Biscuits & Blues
The Guest House
Natchez Coffee Company
Natchez Grand Hotel
Pearl Street Pasta
Silver Street Gifts
Natchez Convention Center
Photo Credit: Ben Hillyer
Natchez Celebrates the Blooms FB event page
See 2019 News Stories & Details
On Press Page:
Scroll down the page to read about last year's event.
I became aware of our rich culinary culture early on having grown up in Bayou Teche Country, Patoutville, just next door to New Iberia. Our family was filled with great cooks. Simple backyard gatherings, crab boils this time of the year, often become incredible feasts.
The pleasures of the table, and how it evokes friendly conversation and develops lifelong friendships is a tradition I carry forth in my life. Sometimes I post pics on social media capturing these traditions. Are you enjoying blueberries and peaches these days? Has peach cobbler always been this good?
Fittingly, New Iberia and Natchez get their due in this short list of tasteful small southern towns in Forbes Magazine (click for story).I'm glad for the Tabasco shout-out, which is like adding sunshine to a meal, and over in Natchez, Regina Charboneau gets her due. I encourage you to visit all the restaurants featured, and to bring a friend. Bon Appetit!
For those taking in the Simien Open House and others venturing to New Iberia, Louisiana ...You are deep in the heart of Bayou Teche Country where I grew up! I offer a few stops to enjoy the day. But first things first - a wonderful Cajun lunch experience.
BON CREOLE LUNCH COUNTER
for the best Shrimp Po-Boy ever!
I always make a point of seeking out beautiful trees. Here's William Guion's Evangeline Oak photo. I call your attention to his blog The 100 Oaks Project.
It's Valentine's Day Weekend and could there be a more enduring symbol of love than the Evangeline Oak immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem about Evangeline and her long lost love Gabriel. It's a beautiful tree. Go see. Just 10 miles from Simien House.
The Jungle Gardens at Tabasco on Avery Island: Breathtaking blooms throughout the year along with phenomenal bird-watching opportunities.
Shadows on the Teche: Built in 1834 and set amongst moss draped ancient oaks. Take in the well-preserved home and gardens - operated by National Trust for Historic Preservation.
A few favorites ... presuming you already own Intimate Enemies.
I'm so glad to be her friend, and yes,
that's my courtyard! Get the backstory here!
Holiday Shopping Ideas:
Most precious new children's book - a classic already!
See more here: jeanetteweiland.com
THE EXHIBITION CATALOGUE!
CHASING THE BUTTERFLY MAN:
The Search for a Lost New Orleans Cabinetmaker,
1810-1825 by Cybèle GontarBE SURE TO SEE THIS AMAZING EXHIBIT
NOW AT THE CABILDO!
DRAG QUEEN BRUNCH
I LOVE POPPY!
Tag along with Poppy’s bevy of rollicking drag queens for an
unforgettable time. Stunning photos of glamorous divas vie with world-famous brunch dishes bringing a surprise with every turn of the page.
Author Alexandra Kennon weaves classic offerings of
Creole grande dames with contemporary neighborhood staples
for a guide through the Crescent City's culinary soul.
THE BOOK! I CALL THIS THIS THE BIBLE!
Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835
by Jack D. Holden, H. Parrott Bacot, and Cybèle T. Gontar
PRESERVATION RESOURCE CENTER'S
Building on the Past:
Saving Historic New Orleans
...and so does Julia Reed! Recipe featured:
Julia Reed's NEW ORLEANS
Food, Fun, and Field Trips for Letting the Good Times Roll
Photo by Paul Costello
PETER PATOUT'S FAMOUS SATSUMACELLO
A few years ago, I gave my dear friend Julia Reed a bottle of my homemade satsumacello and she loved it enough to include it in her wonderful book - as part of her fun field-trips from New Orleans…to my country home in Patoutville.
P.V. is deep in the heart of sugar cane country, and I’m across the street from our family’s sugar mill. In grinding season, it’s quite the spectacle with smoke swirling, trucks unloading and all the energy the seasonal activity generates around the clock until suddenly it ends, usually by January.
Citrus season coincides with grinding season and many mature satsuma trees are near my home. While Julia Reed generously credits me for this recipe. Poppy Tooker is the one who steered me to creating this wonderful treat. Sip slowly!
Makes 6 cups
10 - 12 Satsumas
1 750 ml bottle of Everclear
3 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
That's my courtyard!
Get the backstory here!
Holiday Shopping Ideas:
Wash the satsumas in hot water with a vegetable brush to remove any residue of pesticide or wax. Pat them dry.
Continually zest the satsumas with a zester or vegetable peeler, being careful not to include any white pith from the peel. (The pith, the white part under the rind, is too bitter and will spoil your satsumacello.
Place the zest in a large jar and fill with the Everclear. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 days and up to forty days in a cool, dark place. Turn the jar upside down 2 or 3 times to help bring out the flavor of the zest. The zest will eventually turn white.
When ready to proceed, combine the sugar and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, until sugar is well dissolved.
Strain the Everclear/zest mixture through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel into the simple syrup mixture. Stir and allow to cool. When the satsumacello has cooled completely, you may pour it into individual bottles.
TWIN OAKS GREEK REVIVAL HOME For Sale
See Press for more News!