Archive | March, 2011

“Things I Couldn’t Find”

31 Mar

That’s the title of my husband’s show that’s opening this Saturday night at d.o.c.s. Gallery.

Adam works primarily with metal, and he’ll go on and on about how great aluminum is, if you want him to. The work above is a large wall piece. I’m excited about the show, and I love Adam’s art so much! Oh, and he’s not so bad himself, either.

 

 

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Ranunculus

26 Mar

Could any word have more ‘u’s and could any flower be prettier?

I bought my first bunch of ranunculus at the farmer’s market here, and I fell in love with them. They open up into such thick and lush blooms, and the stems! The stems are so crazy with their twists and bends and their feathery leaves. They are one of my favorite flowers.

I wish my cats didn’t enjoy nibbling on flowers and knocking over vases as much as they do, because I love having them around.

Red Velvet Recipe Showdown: Part Deux!

25 Mar

I must admit that one of the things I look for in red velvet cake is a distinct chocolatiness, and perhaps for traditionalists, that shouldn’t be a very pronounced flavor. But to each their own, right? And on with the showdown!

So I tried the recipe for red velvet that I saw on wit and whistle – they got it from allrecipes.com – that called for more cocoa than a lot of recipes I’ve seen. I wanted to compare this one to Megan B.’s amped-up red velvet cupcake recipe that I tried in my original red velvet recipe showdown.

The verdict is: Megan B.’s amped-up red velvet still holds the #1 spot! It’s moist and light and the most chocolatey of the bunch. Dee-licious.

So I guess I’m stuck buying red cocoa for the amped-up version, but if I can find some Hershey’s special dark cocoa, I’ll give that a whirl in some red velvet. My friend made chocolate icing with the special dark and it was so brown it was almost black. Look for a red velvet recipe showdown: part trois! in the future. Megan B.’s recipe is looking hard to beat in my book.

Spring

24 Mar

Not to brag, but the weather in New Orleans has been perfect for at least a week. We’ll get our comeuppance once summer rolls around, but for now, it’s been sunny and clear and not hot and not cold.

We’ve been riding our bikes more and taking the dog to the dog park and to the levee more. I’ve been wanting to paddle our canoe around the Bayou St. John and to visit Jean Lafitte Preserve, where I have always seen at least one alligator. I do consider the alligator sightings as a good thing, even if they scare me a little.

I grew some wheatgrass for my little plant-lovin’ kitty Max.

Nom nom nom! A little bit of spring for my indoor pet.

I’ve still been working on my cleaning and organizing, but I do have a big (for me) craft project that I should be finishing up in the next couple weeks. Can’t wait to post pictures of it!

Re-do

16 Mar

I hadn’t yet erased any posts, but when one writes the most boring post possible about closet organization, erasing is called for. While I am very happy to be getting my closet straight, it just doesn’t make for an exciting read. In short, my husband cut the metal hanging bar and added a column of shelves in the middle of the closet, so I’m hoping this new layout will be magical. I had visions of painting the inside of the closet a bright color, but I decided it’s too much work for a space that will be behind closed doors most of the time. I have so many other house projects to tackle.

Today I’m loading things back into the closet and tonight, we’re going to see West Side Story at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. So excited! I think that is my favorite musical.

 

Eating at Willie Mae’s Scotch House and Sammy’s

15 Mar

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

You may already know that Willie Mae’s was named as some of the best fried chicken by Bon Appetit. I suppose that whenever you get named “the best” anything, you are going to have detractors along with your cheer squad. If you look at restaurant reviews or boards like Chowhound, Willie’s Mae’s has lots of both.

I went to Willie Mae’s for the first time yesterday with an out-of-town friend. The menu was pretty small, which for me is a good thing, and we both chose the $10 order of 3 peices of chicken with one side.

The fried chicken had a flaky, light coating that was nice and crispy and the meat was juicy and flavorful. My friend got green beans, which she enjoyed (no visible pork, though, and I like my southern green beans pork-y) and I got potato salad which was unremarkable but good. We never got the cornbread we ordered, but the server was cheerful about removing that from our bill. Unlike most places here, there are no free refills on drinks, even sweet tea.

So is it the best fried chicken? It’s yummy, that’s for sure. I’m really glad I tried it and the building is a charming old storefront that got remodeled after the flood. But there can be a wait, and there are places around town with excellent food that are a better value. All in all, it’s more of a place I’d take interested visitors than a place I’d go all the time.

Sammy’s

On the other hand, I’m sort of in love with Sammy’s. I’ve only been once, but I’m itching to go back and I want to try everything.

I had fried catfish which had that great crispy cornmeal crust. And they had tartar sauce, which not every place has down here. We got two sides with our fish and they were the big portions we’re used to. I got mac and cheese and cole slaw, Adam got the slaw and potato salad. They were all good; the slaw was the standout.

Sammy’s has a huge menu, which can be overwhelming for me, but I’m dying to try their fried chicken and their burgers. And their onion rings. And I’ve got to have that catfish again.

There are free refills on drinks, and though the lemonade is basically yellow sugar water, you can follow other people’s lead and put a bunch of cut lemons in your cup. You can tell lots of folks are regulars, and it was crowded, but we got a place to sit without too much trouble.

The day we went, they were cooking baby back ribs on a big BBQ out on the sidewalk. They smelled great, but weren’t ready yet. I just saw they are a special today as well, and that’s one of Adam’s favorites, so I’m about to see if he’ll go with me for lunch!

Mardi Gras 2011

9 Mar

I am still a little worn out from Mardi Gras; I’m so glad I didn’t have to work Ash Wednesday.

We walked through our neighborhood, the Marigny, to the French Quarter like we usually do. It has become a moveable street party with tons of people in costume. I look forward to it every year so much.

When we got to the Quarter, we sat on some steps for awhile to watch people go by, and a nice woman passing gave us each a vintage whistle. She said it was a parade throw from the Krewe of Thoth in the early ’60s. You blow through the narrow end, and there is a hole in the circular part. It is tiny, but loud!

What a lucky thing!

I also had my first All That Jazz sandwich from The Verti Marte, and that was an experience! In all honesty, I tend to like things that are flavorful but relatively simple, so I had never ordered the All That Jazz before. It is grilled ham, turkey and shrimp with swiss and american cheese along with grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, and “wow sauce” on grilled french bread.

I do not think it is simply the cocktails I had that made me swoon over this sandwich! It’s really, really good and if you haven’t had one, you should. They say it cures a hangover, but I didn’t have one…maybe it prevents them as well?