Friday, August 30, 2013

Six Things in Six Minutes

My blogger and IRL friend Haley at Les Petites Joies recently tagged me in her post "6 Things in 6 Minutes." Yay for blog games!

Here’s how she said it works: “[Haley] answered six questions in her post [Emily tagged her], and then she tagged six people with six of her own questions, and now we're supposed to pay it forward. Fun!”

Both an answer and a question ... Butter Pecan Ice Cream via Pinterest

Haley’s Six Questions:

1.  What is your greatest extravagance?

Spending money on coffee. Since I am a freelancer, I like to get my creative juices flowing at the corner coffee shop — wherever that may be in the town I currently find myself.

2. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I say, “You know what I mean?” too much.  I think it stems from Oma saying it.  But she had an excuse.  She was trying to form sentences in her second language, English.

3. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what do you think it would be?

I don’t know … Once, I decided that if I were ice cream I would be Butter Pecan.  Traditional, Southern, unique, classic in style and just a little nutty.

4. What is your most treasured possession?

My two rings that are worth nothing monetarily but so much personally. My mom made two rings in high school.  They are identical but with different stones. Oma had one that was green and mine is gold.  My mom made them and Oma and me matched, very special. After Oma passed away, I got her ring and now the set is very special to me.

5. Which talent would you most like to have?

Sing. I am so bad at singing.

6. What is your motto?

Lazy people work the hardest.  So true.

Ok here are my six questions …

1) If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?
2) Favorite holiday?
3) Current Netflix binge?
4) What is something you are good at?
5) What is something you learned the hard way?
6) Something about your best friend that makes you jealous?

For these six ladies … or anyone else who wants to hop on?

Kristen at A Few Good Meals
Fannie at Fannie, Darling

My nominator, who does not have to answer again :), Haley 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Orleans & Baton Rouge Recap With Delicious Tips

How I ate my way around Southeast Louisiana ... 

Let me start by saying that this is no way a list of all my favorite New Orleans/Northshore/Baton Rouge haunts.  These are just the ones I revisited or met for the first time when I was home this month.

I spent the last two weeks relaxing at home in New Orleans and eating a lot — my souvenir was an overall increase in body fat.  But it was totally worth it!  While I was there, I had a bucket list of places to go and people to see. And, what better way to catch up than large portions and home brew?

New Orleans

Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream & Italian Desserts

Brocato's falls under a places to go — not people to see, happens to be a random place to eat/meet.  Brocato's was a destination on my bucket list.  Every treat is delicious and New Orleans nostalgic — I'll always remember how my Gammie would bring me the spumoni on ice when she visited us on the Northshore. From tiramisu to gelato to St. Joseph's cookies there is something authentic and sweet for everybody.

Crescent Pie and Sausage Company
This place marries pizza and gourmet hot dogs ... sold yet?  With a range of sausages plated like hot dogs from Mediterranean lamb to German brats to hot sausage Po Boy, the menu is impressive, diverse and savory.  Not to mention there was a wide selection of local beers, I tried Parish Brewing Company's Canebrake American Wheat Pale Ale, brewed with local Louisiana Sugar Cane Syrup – it was golden, crisp, drinkable and just sweet enough. I also had excellent company at this meal in my dear friends Haley and Amanda — and our respective gentlemen. Just love these girls.

Fat Hen Grill
Haley and her husband Jim made sure I tried one of their favorite BBQ spots, Fat Hen. I did something sinful in Louisiana and ordered a veggie sandwich in a Southern BBQ joint.  But it was still delish and smoky! This place also gets points for being cute. I loved the giant hen sculpture in the front which was accessorized, in traditional New Orleans fashion, with a few strands of Mardi Gras beads.

Fat Hen veggie sandwich and blueberry lemonade.
C/o Haley's instagram

Fleurty Girl
The best place for sentimental New Orleans apparel and accessories for women. Period.  I got the best Calavera Nola t-shirt that I have worn more times than I care to admit in the past two weeks. If you are a New Orleans or Louisiana girl, there is something for you in Fleurty Girl.

Manhattan Jack
I have been wanting to go here forever.  Haley always talks about it in her Chocolate Friday posts! And, it lived up to its reputation. I had a big espresso cookie, iced coffee and chocolates.  You have to try the chocolate!

Everything at Sucre is beautiful and ridiculously good.  Going to Sucre is simply sensory overload, giving adults a kid in a candy store feeling.  I mean it is all gorgeous and delectable.  It's like meeting a beautiful woman with a good personality. Sucre is something special. I got a few of their famous macaroons and my mom had something chocolate and luscious.  Drool.

Our Sucre adventure, according to instagram.


Cafe Lynn
In the tradition of typical Louisiana quirk, this fine French restaurant is located in what used to be a Burger King.  But don't let that scare you.  Everything there is decadent and lovely.  I went with Robert and my parents and we had a very enjoyable and filling evening over fancy soups, fresh seafood and succulent meats.

Cafe Rani
Where Northshore ladies lunch.  I like it for its vegetarian options like the Mediterranean sandwich.

Krummel's Mandeville Bake Shop
Nothing smells more like home than Mandeville Bake Shop.  One sweet waft of the fresh baked air brings me back to Sunday donuts and the anticipation of picking up a birthday cake. I went twice when I was home.  The first time for Robert to get his favorite at Mandeville Bake Shop, a bear claw.  And the second to pick up my Dad's pecan pie for his birthday. I don't mind running errands that involve pie. [PS There is no website because this place has been around so long no one needs to learn about it on the Internet.]

Old Rail Brewing Company
New on the block in Old Mandeville, this place creates a brewery tri-fecta on the St. Tammany Trace with Covington and Abita — bite, bike n' booze anyone? I got a flight to taste four beers and also had a sip of Robert's and my Dad's drinks too. I was impressed with all of the beers.  My favorite brew was the Rusted Rail Ale.

3/4 of the flight: Cow Catcher, Golden Spike Wheat & Rusted Rail Ale. 

PJ's Coffee
Best Nola chain for a caffeine fix, for sure. Try the English Toffee iced coffee.

Trey Yuen
Asian Cajun fusion. This Chinese restaurant has a unique twist of using fresh Louisiana ingredients, creating enticing blends like Szechuan Alligator.

Baton Rouge

Brew Ha Ha
Great little coffehouse with adorable cake balls. Robert and I treated ourselves to red velvet, German chocolate and wedding cake.  You would think the smell of cake while studying is a distraction, but it's more like an aromatic incentive!

Chelsea's Cafe
Possibly my all time Baton Rouge favorite.  Everything here is good.  But I recommend the gumbo or the grilled cheese ... or the feta and tomato salad ... or ... really it is all so good. Ugh, now I want Chelsea's!

Garden District Coffee
My old office ... well kinda. When I lived in BR, I was always studying or writing here.  I don't know what I would have done without my pecan iced coffee and almond milk ... and the occasional cookie.

Honeymoon Bungalow
Totally fabulous vintage furniture and home goods store.  And get this, while you peruse the retro goodies from mod furniture to records, sometimes you can hold a kitten (PS I wrote that story)! That's right, the store partners with shelters to domesticate kitties!

Jay's BBQ
I think I was the only one in Jay's who looked at a menu. I had never been before, but this is a Government Street staple that runs on regulars. Robert and his friends, who all grew up in Baton Rouge, all talk about how their dads used to, or still do, frequent Jay's.  I ordered a sausage sandwich which was smoky and succulent.  But, everyone told me I missed out by not ordering the chopped beef. I would argue they missed out by not getting sausage. Bona Fide. Louisiana. BBQ.

Radio Bar 
Radio Bar opened senior year of college and quickly became a favorite.  It is probably the best bar in Baton Rouge right now and they make a mean old fashioned, my favorite.  Robert and I had a little party there our first night in BR and we were so glad to see our Baton Rouge folks.

Time Warp
Another destination. I can't be in Baton Rouge and not at least get sunglasses at Time Warp — I pretty much exclusively get sunglasses and accessories from there. But they are so much more than that.  I went to four proms in high school ... don't judge me, my boyfriend went to another school ... senior year ;) ! All of my dresses came from Time Warp. And I have stayed loyal ever since. Of all the vintage stores I've been to across the country, I promise Time Warp has the best selection.  Even when I don't have an occasion to buy a cocktail dress, I like to pilfer through the pink and blue and green tulle, ruffles and silk.  I feel like I am in a bakery enjoying the different pastries, but with my eyes/less calories.

Time Warp sunglasses circa 2009.

The only prom pictures I had on my laptop (facebook) were too embarrassing.
So, here is a pic with Haley, both of us in Time Warp dresses,
sophomore year of college. Happy? 

I make sure when I am home to enjoy the luxuries of Abita Beer, Zapp's chips and Sno-Balls. For you Abita Beer lovers, I tried a new brew on tap at the Bulldog in Baton Rouge. Strawgator is a combination of two of my favorite Abita beers.  It's like Andygator, a doppelback, and the strawberry ale made sweet love and had a baby. And, that baby tastes delicious.

Half Pina Colada, Half Ice Cream + Gummy Bears

I've been bad lately ...

I haven't been blogging! 

So, I know you all have been worried sick, wondering why I haven't been posting every Wednesday like the diligent Debbie I am.  Well, your sleepless nights and nail biting are over, because I am back and I have a good decent excuse for my absence.  

As I have already complained noted, 2013 has just not been my year — as Rachel Green would say ...

With a year like this, I needed a little RNR at home in New Orleans.  And, my two week vacation home was just what the metaphorical doctor ordered.  As a way to get back on the horse, I decided to tell you guys a little bit about my trip and I will post a New Orleans/Baton Rouge recap tomorrow.  Next week will be business as usual and I have a DELICIOUS German family recipe for you.  So stay posted and keep me honest with requests and prodding :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fairy Bread & An Australian Farewell

As another DC-ite(?) friend flies the coop, I decided to honor his home country in this week's post.  My friend Andrew (not my brother in law) is an Australian who has called DC home for years and is now moving to Europe — where he will start a new chapter as a betrothed man.  We will miss him here! So, here's to a great Australian! 

My crack at Fairy Bread.
The traditional triangles and my most Australian cookie cutter ... A kangaro.
... Yes, I know he looks more like a T-Rex. 

Australian Fairy Bread

2 Tbs Butter, melted
2 Pieces White Bread 
Sprinkles, poured on a plate

Tear crust off bread and cut into triangles.  It can also be prepared with cookie cutters. 
Dip bread into butter on one side.
Pat buttered side in sprinkles. 

I'm sorry .... What is Fairy Bread? 

Fairy Bread is a common snack found at children's parties in Australia and New Zealand.  The whimsical sweet is usually cut into triangles, but modern parties boast cookie cutter shaped pastries.  They are topped with hundreds of sprinkles, befitting the adorable name.  Many guess the origin of the recipe stems from the Robert Louis Stevenson poem below, published in the late 19th Century.  

Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods

Fairy Bread 
COME up here, O dusty feet! 
Here is fairy bread to eat. 
Here in my retiring room, 
Children, you may dine 
On the golden smell of broom 
And the shade of pine; 
And when you have eaten well, 
Fairy stories hear and tell.

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