Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Louisiana State of Mind!

I'm sitting here about to enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir-staring at a photo from last night's dinner. It evokes everything I love about Louisiana cooking and triggers many happy food memories from my life in New Orleans.

This particular recipe triggers memories of a favorite restaurant in the late 70's-early 80's, The River Bend Restaurant. It sat almost at the corner of Carrollton and St. Charles Avenues and offered really wonderful Italian-inspired dishes using local ingredients!

One of my favorites was the crisp lightly-breaded calamari with a wonderful dipping sauce of butter, lemon and plenty of garlic! The pasta dishes were creamy and well-balanced like my crawfish pasta picture featured here!

I made this pasta in the most traditional NOLA fashion! Olive oil, butter, cream, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, garlic and plenty of plump Beaudreaux crawfish! I blended a young asiago cheese with an aged parmesan for a sinfully satisfying pasta experience!

This easy recipe will be featured on an upcoming episode of Home At Last! where I used my own freshly-prepared linguine. I'll pair it with a decadent double chocolate gelato!
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Lazy Breakfast on July 4th

I don't find myself in much of a hurry to do much, today.

I'm luxuriating in the fact that I have a much-needed day off. There will be plenty of time to rush about madly preparing for the next guests at Casa Bella Bed and Breakfast or cleaning and preparing for a taping of Home At Last!

No, today, I'm drinking way too much coffee, enjoying a late breakfast of a simple potato scramble with fresh tomato, baby spinach, three peppers and a sprinkling of a freshly-grated cheese-just in time to almost be an early supper!

Zena, my sweet Rottweiler, is by my side and I'm grateful for the peace and quiet!

It's a great day to be a proud America!  God Bless America and keep us safe . . .
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Friday, July 1, 2011

July 4th Picnic-All Grown Up

Orzo Pasta Salad with Fresh Baby Spinach

Blueberry Ketchup
Eager to experience a recent gift of Applewood-Smoke Bacon Burgers from Pine Street Market, I saw a chance to create a few of our family favorites. Ron loves blueberry ketchup and I adore Orzo Pasta Salad with Baby Spinach and vine-ripened tomato.

My fiery blueberry ketchup with minced garlic and shallot added wonderful texture to the pork with a little heat and sweet! The smokey pork burger was lean and flavorful but called for a strong, sweet flavor! The smooth orzo with mild flavors and fabulous texture kept everything grounded and well-balanced!

The final side that put it all over the top was a light summer salad of sweet, juicy Valencia orange slices with paper-thin slices of red onion and a homemade blueberry vinaigrette with a nod to the traditional by use of a scant teaspoon of stone ground mustard.

All in all, a perfectly grown-up July 4th picnic menu! Happy Fourth of July, y'all! Stay safe!
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