Archive | April, 2011

Cat’s Claw Days

24 Apr

For a few short weeks in early spring, the cat’s claw vines that grow all over some of NOLA’s neglected buildings bloom.

I love the sight, even though blight, one of the city’s biggest problems, is underneath it all.

The flowers are so sweet and cheerful, you wouldn’t guess that cat’s claw is such a destructive weed.

This house was one of our favorites; we named it “Cousin It.”

These pictures are from 2009, and though I really wanted to get out this year to take some more cat’s claw pictures, alas, it was not to be. Next spring, I won’t miss it.

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French Quarter Fest, a Visit From My Mother-in-Law, My Birthday and a Virus

16 Apr

These are the main reasons I haven’t written in so long. And work of course. Pesky day job!

I had not been a big fan of French Quarter Fest, but then, I had only ever tried to go on a weekend day. This year, they added Thursday. There were no lines at the food booths, and plenty of places to sit, even in the shade.

I wanted to try Muriel’s goat cheese crepe with crawfish sauce and Boucherie’s roast beef po’ boy with pickled red onions with horseradish sauce. Both were great! We spent almost all our time at the stage with the more traditional brass jazz bands, including the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I would have gone back with Adam and his mom and given Friday a try if I hadn’t been working that day.

I didn’t do a lot for my birthday this year because I was sick with a cold. It was a bit of a bummer because I really do love the idea of a new year, be it a calendar year or the start of a new age for me. Though I love fresh starts and thinking about goals and all, it’s hard to feel excited and gung-ho when you are tired and congested.

But no real complaints from me. I’ve got some things in mind that I’m excited about, the weather has been fine and I’m back to feeling good!

Today I am freezing raspberries which I got for a steal at 25 cents for each 6 oz container. Later, we may go to a movie. I’m gearing up for a very work-intensive week next week, so I’m just happy to be taking it easy.

Strawberry Shortcake

6 Apr

Louisisanna strawberries are everywhere, and though I usually don’t make strawberry shortcake until summer, I realized that’s just a habit related to midwestern strawberry availability. Or I should say, lack of availability.

So the other day I made some. The biscuit recipe I use is so easy because you don’t have to cut any fat into the flour, instead, you just use some of the heavy cream you already bought to make your whipped cream! Because you do whip some cream right? It’s easy, and it tastes about 80 million times better than anything else.

I got this biscuit recipe so long ago, and I have no idea where it’s from:

2 c. flour

TB baking powder

3 TB sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 c. heavy cream

Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the cream until just blended.

You can roll out to about 1/2″ thick and cut out circles OR just divide your dough and make flattened discs. I do the latter, and make 8.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk; I put a little milk in a bowl and use my fingers. Put on an ungreased sheet and bake at 425 for about 15 min. The end!

Louisianna strawberries tend to not be super sweet, so I often add a bit of sugar. This time, I had some mint simple syrup, thanks to a friend who gave me a giant bunch of mint and another friend who had the idea. We used this recipe.

The strawberries were so good with the mint syrup, and I bet it would be just as good if you chopped the mint very fine and tossed it in with the berries.

Won’t be the last time I make strawberry shortcake this year, I’m sure!