Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries – 2015 Family Fish Fests

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Family Fish Fests

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Family Fish Fests

For the second year, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries is sponsoring Family Fish Fests. The program provides opportunities for families to fish together, while learning successful fishing techniques. There is a $10 registration fee per family, and each participant will receive a T-shirt and lunch.

Register early for each event! The first 50 registrants will receive a rod and reel combo, and the first 100 registrants will receive a fishing goodie bag. Additionally, all registrants will be entered in the raffle of prizes.  Awards will also be given for the biggest fish among a host of species.

 

2015 Family Fishing Fests Schedule

April 11 — Louisiana Oil & Gas Park, Jennings
May 16 — Ivan Lake Recreation Area, Cotton Valley
June 13 — Myrtle Grove Marina, Myrtle Grove
July 11 — Elmer’s Island, Grand Isle
Sept. 26 — Waddill Wildlife Refuge, Baton Rouge ( As part of the National Hunting and Fishing Program, no registration required for this event.)

 

For more information, or to register for a Family Fish Fest, visit www.wlf.la.gov/familyfishfest. Registration is now open for the first event in Jennings.

 

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries – 2015 Family Fish Fests | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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KFC Introduces the Edible Coffee Cup

The Scoffee Cup - KFC's edible coffee cup

The Scoffee Cup – KFC’s edible coffee cup

Fast food giant, KFC, announced today the invention of their next menu item, and it’s probably not what would you would imagine.  No, not a new pink Easter basket-shaped chicken sandwich, or, even Doritos flavored chicken nuggets. Those ingenious devils have invented an edible coffee cup. Yes, edible.

The cup, which will be available this summer in the U.K. only, has teamed up with Seattle’s Best Coffee to create what they are calling the Scoffee Cup.

While the cup looks like any other normal coffee cup, it’s actually made up of a cookie shell, lined with white chocolate. Even the outside wrapper is made of edible sugar paper. As the warm coffee melts the chocolate inside, the cookie softens so that it melts in your mouth, but not in your hand.

While they taste good, they smell good, too. The cups are infused with different scents, known to influence moods. Your cup can come in enticing scents such as, Coconut Sun Cream, Freshly Cut Grass, and Wild Flowers. According to food scientists and collaborators at The Robin Collective, the scents were added to evoke positive memories of sunshine and holidays.

KFC unveils the UK's first EDIBLE coffee cup

KFC unveils the UK’s first EDIBLE coffee cup

Thank you KFC for making my coffee not only a drink, but also a snack.  It’s delicious and  eco-friendly.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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Shrimp and Mirliton Soup – recipe

Are you looking for a warm dish to serve during this cold and dreary day?  Try this satisfying shrimp and mirliton soup.  It’s quick and easy to make and it’s perfect for Lent.

 

http://www.mirlitons.org/mirliton-guide.jpg

  • 2 medium mirlitons
  • 2 lbs. medium whole shrimp
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbs. diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 2 Tbs. diced onions
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1/4 cup thinly-sliced leeks
  • 1/2 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup of green onions
  • 1/2 cup sweet white wine (Riesling, Chenin Blanc, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid crab boil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • hot sauce to taste

1. To prepare the broth, peel the mirlitons skins and remove the cores. Peel the shrimp of the shells and heads and devein. Put the trimmings, shrimp shells and heads, and the bay leaf into a small saucepan with two cups of water. Bring up to a light boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, during which you can do the next step.

2. Dice the peeled and cored mirlitons. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Stir into a blond roux and cook for two minutes. Add all the vegetables, except the mirlitons, and cook over low heat for five minutes, or until soft.

3. Stir the shrimp and mirlitons into the vegetables. Add the wine and bring to a boil for two minutes. Strain the stock from the shrimp shells. Add the stock to the saucepan, along with the crab boil.

4. Warm the cream and stir into the soup. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and hot sauce to taste.

 

serves 4

 

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Shrimp and Mirliton Soup – recipe | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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New Land Off Louisiana Seen from Space

With years of news reports that show how Louisiana’s coastline is disappearing, finally comes good news.  Recent satellite imagery now shows that areas around Wax Lake Outlet and the Atchafalaya River are continuing to grow.

Louisiana’s coastline has been rapidly disappearing due to natural processes, as well as, dams and levees causing less sediment flow down the Mississippi River.  Extraction of oil, gas, and extraction of groundwater all play a major factor, too. You can read more about how the coastline has changed here.

For the first time in the 1950’s, geologists began noticing small areas in the Atchafalaya Bay that were forming above the waterline. The Atchafalaya delta now grows at about 0.6 square miles per year.  The Wax delta is growing at a slightly slower rate of .46 square miles per year.

Landsat satellite imagery acquired on Nov. 7, 1984, shows emerging specks of land at the mouth of Wax Lake Outlet (left) and the Atchafalaya River (right) in Louisiana. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Landsat satellite imagery acquired on Nov. 7, 1984, shows emerging specks of land at the mouth of Wax Lake Outlet (left) and the Atchafalaya River (right) in Louisiana. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

The 30 year satellite shows the difference that sediment accumulation can make. By 2014, you can see that the Atchafalaya River shows a thick tributary, and a smaller, more natural shaped delta near Wax Lake. This is because the Atchafalaya is dredged, whereas Wax Lake is not, making it thinner and more symmetrical.

 

Landsate satellite imagery acquired on Oct. 25, 2014, shows the difference 30 years of sediment accumulation can make. Both the Wax Lake Outlet and Atchafalaya River deltas continue to grow. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Landsate satellite imagery acquired on Oct. 25, 2014, shows the difference 30 years of sediment accumulation can make. Both the Wax Lake Outlet and Atchafalaya River deltas continue to grow.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

This proves that the coastal erosion that plagues the Louisiana “can be slowed by diverting significant portions of the water and sediment from the main channel of the Mississippi River into adjacent wetland, lakes, and bays.”, says Harry Roberts, Louisiana State University coastal erosion researcher.

 

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

New Land Off Louisiana Seen from Space.

via New Land Off Louisiana Seen from Space.

 

Originally posted: New Land Off Louisiana Seen from Space | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana.

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Forget Bourbon Street: 7 natural wonders of Louisiana

For those that come to town to enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities, you will certainly get what you came for.  The obligatory walk down Bourbon Street, your first taste of a real Hurricane from Pat O’s, and more beads than you can pack in your carryon.

Yet, there is so much more that Louisiana has to offer. Venture outside the city limits and explore the all the wonders the state has to offer.

Louisiana: Jean Lafitte
Photo: Mark Gstohl/Flickr
Barataria Preserve
If you’re visiting New Orleans, consider taking a day trip to the 23,000-acre Barataria Preserve. Located only a half hour away from the Big Easy, this preserve filled with bottomland hardwood forests, swamps and marshes is one of the most important natural and cultural places in the state. Whether you decide to explore on foot or by canoe, keep your eyes open for the area’s most popular residents: alligators and nutria.
Did you know this beautiful preserve is actually a park within a park? Barataria Preserve is one of six distinct locations that make up the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Named after the famous French-American pirate, this national park was established in 1907 to protect the natural and cultural legacy of Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta region. The other five sites are the French Quarter, the Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, and three separate Acadian-Cajun cultural centers located throughout southern Louisiana.
* * * 
Louisiana: Breton Wildlife Refuge
Photo: Greg Thompson/USFWS
Breton Wildlife Refuge
Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, Breton Island is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the country (second only to Florida’s Pelican Island). Roosevelt was prompted to take this action after learning of the ongoing destruction of the island’s birds, nests and eggs.
More than 100 years later, the island has transformed into a thriving, low-impact bird watching and fishing destination. The NWR has worked hard to rehabilitate the ecosystem’s threatened and endangered species, such as the pipin plover and the brown pelican, though if the damage of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is any indication, there is still much work to do.
* * * 
Louisiana: Kisatchie
Photo: finchlake2000/Flickr
Kisatchie National Forest
This may be the only national forest in Louisiana, but rest assured, Kisatchie really packs a punch amidst the state’s vast stretches of swampland. Designated in 1930 by President Herbert Hoover, this beautiful 604,000-acre stretch of woodlands is filled with a combination of longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods.
The forest is home for many animals, the rarest of which include the Louisiana black bear, the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Louisiana pine snake. If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person, then you’ll be delighted to learn about the variety of recreational activities, which include camping, horseback riding, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming and more.
* * * 
Louisiana: Cypress Island Swamp
Photo: j.c. winkler/Flickr
Cypress Island Preserve
Known for its thriving rookery, this preserve protects 9,500 acres of cypress-tupelo swamp and bottomland hardwood forest just outside the city of Lafayette. While hiking the preserve’s levee and boardwalk trails, it’s not uncommon to encounter a variety of wading birds, including blue herons, roseate spoonbills, cormorants and a variety of egret species. Although the preserve is open year-round, plan to visit the rookery between March and June, which is the peak gathering season for these magnificent avians.
* * * 
Louisiana: Ouachita
Photo: finchlake2000/Flickr
Ouachita River
Named for the indigenous Ouachita tribe, humans have traversed the waters and banks of this river for thousands of years. Originating in Arkansas and running 605 miles south into Louisiana, this is the 25th longest river in the country.
Today, it is mainly utilized for commercial purposes, though certain parts of the river are popular hunting and fishing areas. One area through which the Ouachita runs is Louisiana’s Boeuf Wildlife Management Area, which was set up to preserve the forest and help control deer populations.
* * * 
Louisiana: Pass a Loutre
Photo: Lauren Sullivan/Flickr
Pass-a-Loutre
Accessible only by a 10-mile boat ride, Pass-a-Loutre is a 66,000-acre wetland that is located just outside of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish. With its scenic marshlands, manmade canals, natural bayous and channels, it is an exceptionally scenic place for all kind of activities, including both freshwater and saltwater fishing, crabbing, camping and even houseboating. As a wildlife management area, the hunting of migratory game birds, waterfowl, rabbits and deer is permitted.
* * * 
Louisiana: Atchafalaya
Photo: Anton Foltin/Shutterstock
Atchafalaya River Basin
Meet the country’s largest wetland and swamp. That’s right. Squeezed roughly between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, this sweeping wetland ecosystem in south-central Louisiana is comprised of a whopping 260,000 acres of cypress-tupelo swamps, bayous, marshland and open water.
To experience this remarkable place, visit the Atchafalaya Wildlife Refuge, which is located smack dab in the middle of the basin between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. To get to the refuge, you must travel across the second-longest bridge in the country — the 18.2-mile-long Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

via Forget Bourbon Street: 7 natural wonders of Louisiana | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

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BOUDIN King Cake – recipe

Twins boudin king cake

Have you heard the big news?  Boudin King Cake is a real product and foodies all over Louisiana (and beyond) are rejoicing.

The original concept was invented by Robert Carrker, the man behind boudinlink.com and kingcaker.com. His websites are dedicated to rating boudin and king cakes, so, I suppose, it’s only natural that the two Louisiana delicacies would merge. Be prepared. This not the usual cinnamon and sugar king cake that you grew up on.  This is a savory concoction of braided bread, stuffed with boudin, topped with cracklin crumbs, and, just for good measure, drizzled with Steen’s Cane Syrup.

When Carriker originally announced the availability of his new king cake on his website, he had no idea the impact it would make.  After his post went viral in just a few short days, he quickly realized he couldn’t personally fulfill all the orders he was getting.  His next step was to partner with a local Lafayette bakery, Twins Burgers and Sweets, and, ever since, the king cakes are flying out the doors ever. Most days, it’s  not unusual for the cakes to be sold out before lunchtime. If you are not lucky enough to get your hands on one, mail orders can be placed by emailing Cake@boudinlink.com. The cakes range from $27.99 for  a small to $46.96 for the large. However, do note there are hefty shipping charges for frozen, overnight delivery.

If you’d rather not pay the shipping charges, you can always make your own. There are only a few ingredients needed and you are sure to be voted “Most Favorite” at your next King Cake party.

 

Boudin King Cake – from Boudinlink.com

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Pilsbury Country White Bread Mix (dough prepared according to directions)
  • 3 Links of your favorite boudin, steamed and crumbled
  • crushed cracklins
  • Steen’s Cane Syrup

Directions:

Prepare bread dough according to package directions. Divide dough into 2 sections.  Roll each section out lengthwise and then flatten to make a bed for the boudin. Sprinkle boudin along the center of the bed, keeping it away from the edges.

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

Fold the bed over to form a tube and seal the edges closed. Repeat with the other half of dough. Twist the two tubes together and form into a circle.

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

 Bake according to bread package directions.

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

 Drizzle with Steen’s Cane syrup.

Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

 Make new friends!

 Boudin King Cake - Boudinlink.com

 

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

via The King Caker: BOUDIN King Cake!!.

 

BOUDIN King Cake – recipe | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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King Cake Bread Pudding aka Mardi Gras Magic

There are many foods which are quintessentially New Orleans.  Of those, you can definitely count in king cake and bread pudding. Now imagine if you combined the two into some outrageous, double New Orleans delicacy. I give you, King Cake Bread Pudding, or, you can just call it Mardi Gras Magic!

 

Here’s what you’ll need:
One large king cake, leave out to dry overnight (regularly I use 1-2 French bread loaves or croissants)
2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
3 cups of milk
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips (I use just enough to sprinkle them on top. You can also add whatever topping you prefer here like chopped pecans or white chocolate chips.)
One plastic baby, of course

Instructions:
Cut the king cake into small slices while inside the box, then leave open all night to dry it out the night before.
Cut the slices in half to make cubes of bread and toss with melted butter inside the 9″ by 11″ pan.
Let stand until bread soaks up most of the butter (at least 30 minutes).
In a separate mixing bowl, lightly blend eggs together first.
Then add milk, sugar, nutmeg & cinnamon and blend into the eggs.
Pour liquid mixture over bread into pan and let stand until bread puffs (I have found the longer it stands, the better it is, but I’d say 2 hours max before putting into oven.)
Add chocolate chips on top, evenly.
Again, make sure the bread cubes have soaked up most of the mixture; at this time i may add additional cubes of bread if needed to soak up liquid mixture. I like to arrange the bread cubes at the top of the heap so that the part of the cake that has colored icing is on top.
Bake at 300 degrees for one hour or until firm.
Let stand 15 minutes.
Hide the baby.

slice it up to speed up the drying out process

mixing up the eggs, milk, sugar & spices

ready to put into oven!

final product: mardi gras magic

 

Simple King Cake Bread Pudding aka Mardi Gras Magic! – Show Me Your Nola.

via Simple King Cake Bread Pudding aka Mardi Gras Magic! – Show Me Your Nola.

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King Cake Bread Pudding aka Mardi Gras Magic! | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Available Scholarship Opportunities at Nicholls State

Scholarship opportunities at Nicholls State University are available for the Spring 2015 semester.  The deadline for scholarship applications is February 4, 2015.

Nicholls State

**Applications can now be completed online at http://www.nicholls.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/current-scholarships.  Applications should be submitted online no later than Wednesday, February 4, 2015, or the deadline date noted in the scholarship description.  If you are unable to complete the online application, you may pick up a copy in the Scholarship Office.

**Students who have received other scholarships/awards, have extra-curricular involvement, or are members of organizations MUST submit a co-curricular activity reporting form (may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office or at http://www.nicholls.edu/osa/) to the Scholarship Office once an application has been completed.

ADAM SCOTT PECORARO HONORS PROGRAM ENDOWED MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP [1@$1000]:  Awarded to a full-time student at Nicholls State University in the Honors Program.  The recipient must plan to participate in the summer Study Abroad Program and have the highest cumulative GPA the spring semester prior to the summer program of all students planning to participate in the program.  Upon completion of the Study Abroad Program, the recipient must write an essay explaining what the study abroad experience meant to him or her.

THE BURT EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP [1 @ $250] is awarded to a full-time student enrolled in the College of Education at Nicholls State University. The recipient will be majoring in Education and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. The recipient will be classified as a junior.  The recipient will be a resident of Assumption Parish, residing in the town of Labadieville.  If no applicant meets the residency requirement, other towns in Assumption Parish may be considered.

DR. AND MRS. ROBERT DOLESE SCHOLARSHIP [1@ $500]: Awarded to a graduate from a Lafourche Parish public high school. The recipient must be an upper-classman of at least sophomore standing. Graduate students may also apply. Undergraduates must have and maintain at least a 3.00 GPA. Graduate students must have and maintain at least a 3.50 GPA. The recipient must be a full time student (12 or more hours for undergrad, 9 or more hours for grad).

HECTOR PHILIP MARCOMBE SCHOLARSHIP [1@ $100] is awarded to a full-time freshman, who is a graduate from South Lafourche High School.  The applicant must have a 3.00 grade point average.  The scholarship is valued at $100.00 per semester for one year.  The applicant must be majoring in an engineering program at Nicholls.  Applicant must not be married.

FEMMES NATALES SCHOLARSHIP [1@ $500]: Awarded to a full-time undergraduate student, who is in good academic standing with the university.  The student must be a graduate of E.D. White or Thibodaux High School.  The applicant must have and maintain an overall 2.50 GPA.  Personality, character, and leadership are other qualities that will be considered in addition to academic standing.  Application is available at the Scholarship Office.

FREDERICK A. DOUGLAS TEXTBOOK AWARD [1 @ $300]:  Awarded to a full-time student of sophomore, junior, or senior standing maintaining at least a 3.00 GPA.  The applicant must be involved in at least two extra-curricular activities and must write an essay on the term self-made and what it means to them.  The applicant must also attach a co-curricular form with the application.  Application is available at the Scholarship Office.

INGREE COOPER PETERSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP [2 @ $100]:  Awarded each spring semester to a second-semester freshman with the highest GPA.  Two awards are given:  one to a male member of the freshman class and one to a female member.

MARY B. WELCH AFRO-AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIP:  Awarded to a full-time African American student of at least sophomore standing who is enrolled in the four-year Nursing Program at Nicholls.  The applicant must have at least a semester and cumulative 2.5 GPA and must be a resident of Lafourche, Ascension, Terrebonne, Assumption, or St. James Parish.  Need is a major consideration.

PHIL J. NAQUIN, JR. SCHOLARSHIP [1@$250]:  Awarded to a high school graduate who demonstrated strong academic and leadership achievements and maintained an overall 3.000 GPA.  The applicant must be an entering freshman and must be enrolled as a full-time student.  The recipient must also be a graduate of Thibodaux High or E.D. White Catholic High Schools and have at least a 22 on the ACT.  To retain the scholarship for the second semester, the recipient must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and earn at least 12 semester hours.

POLICE JURY ASSOCIATION OF LOUISIANA SCHOLARSHIP [1 @ $500]: All applicants must be a junior level student in Political Science, Government or Education, with the major field being Political Science, Government, or Social Studies.  They must also be a resident of Louisiana, a Louisiana high school graduate, of good moral character, and maintain a worthy scholastic average.  Application is available at the Scholarship Office.

WOODROW J. DEFELICE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP [1 @ $50]:  Awarded to a high school graduate who demonstrated strong academic and leadership achievements and maintained an overall 3.00 GPA.  Applicants must plan to enroll full-time at Nicholls State University, be a resident of Lafourche Parish, be able to show financial need, and have an overall ACT composite of at least a 22.  In order to retain the scholarship for the second semester, the recipient must maintain at least an overall 2.50 GPA while attending Nicholls.  The recipient cannot be the holder of a Nicholls academic scholarship.
COMPLETE YOUR application TODAY!

Available Scholarship Opportunities » Office of Financial Aid.

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27 Pictures That Will Change The Way You Eat Food

You are about to have some “Aha!” moments.

1. Make filling a taco easy by putting a fork under it like this:

Make filling a taco easy by putting a fork under it like this:

2. Put a cup of ice in a pitcher of beer to keep it cool:

Put a cup of ice in a pitcher of beer to keep it cool:

3. Balance a pizza box on a bottle to keep the toppings from getting all over the place:

Balance a pizza box on a bottle to keep the toppings from getting all over the place:

4. If you and another person want to tackle a pint of ice cream, split it the right way:

If you and another person want to tackle a pint of ice cream, split it the right way:

5. Use a straw to ensure even topping distribution:

Use a straw to ensure even topping distribution:

6. The right way to open a kiss:

27 Pictures That Will Change The Way You Eat Food

7. How to microwave two bowls at the same time:

How to microwave two bowls at the same time:

8. How to cut small foods:

How to cut small foods:

9. How to get the best bread for a sandwich:

How to get the best bread for a sandwich:

10. The right way to empty soda into your fridge:

27 Pictures That Will Change The Way You Eat Food

11. If you’re down to your last bit of something in a jar, just throw some ice cream in there and go out with a bang:

If you're down to your last bit of something in a jar, just throw some ice cream in there and go out with a bang:

12. How to eat a cupcake the right way:

How to eat a cupcake the right way:

13. What the lines on solo cup actually mean:

What the lines on solo cup actually mean:

14. The right way to eat Oreos:

The right way to eat Oreos:

15. How to make Oreo ice coffee:

How to make Oreo ice coffee:

16. Wrap a wet paper towel around a drink and throw it in the freezer to cool it off quickly:

Wrap a wet paper towel around a drink and throw it in the freezer to cool it off quickly:

17. Cool off a drink the right way:

Cool off a drink the right way:

18. How to eat a strawberry like a professional:

How to eat a strawberry like a professional:

19. How to cut bread the right way:

How to cut bread the right way:

20. No bowl? No problem:

No bowl? No problem:

21. Freeze a water bottle on its side to ensure you have cold water the next morning when you fill the rest of it up:

Freeze a water bottle on its side to ensure you have cold water the next morning when you fill the rest of it up:

22. How to open a stubborn pistachio:

How to open a stubborn pistachio:

23. The right way to drink out of a can:

The right way to drink out of a can:

24. How to separate the yolk from the rest of the egg:

27 Pictures That Will Change The Way You Eat Food

25. How to cut food the right way:

How to cut food the right way:

26. How to ensure a proper sandwich to meat ratio

How to ensure a proper sandwich to meat ratio

27. And, most importantly, how to make sure you always have a taco on the go:

And, most importantly, how to make sure you always have a taco on the go:

via 27 Pictures That Will Change The Way You Eat Food.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about King Cake

In Louisiana, the beginning of Carnival season starts on Twelfth Night, or January 6. That’s the “official” day that king cakes are also available. But, just how did the tradition of eating a pastry with a small child inside begin?  Here’s a great article on the history of the king cake.

2009 Winter - Long Live the Kingcake

Every year as the Christmas holidays are winding down, my friend Lenora Costa heads to one of her multiple storage spaces, takes out the box containing her collection of small porcelain and plastic dolls, and begins to construct the centerpiece that will decorate her parents’ dining room table for the next few weeks. She carefully sorts through the dolls organizing them on a mirrored tray that allows viewers to see all of their features. The central spot of preference is usually saved for the Frozen Charlotte doll that is a favorite, but it may also go to the small image of the French nursery character, Bécassine, or to one of the newer ones from Haydel’s Bakery—the FEMA trailer one is a special favorite. Lenora’s collection of these small figurines is one that spans generations and contains some that were her grandmother’s. It is a family treasure not only for the memories it holds but also because it signals the continuity of the New Orleans tradition of king cakes.

King cakes are traditional in many areas of the world and get their name from the three Biblical kings who journeyed to honor the Christ child with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh on the twelfth day after his birth. The day is known to Christians as Epiphany and is celebrated on January 6. In areas where Roman Catholicism holds sway, the kings’ visit is celebrated in many ways. In Hispanic countries, children receive their gifts not from Santa Claus, but from the kings, also sometimes known as the Three Wise Men. In Mexico, the occasion is celebrated with a cake called la rosca de reyes. In France, the Kings are celebrated with a flaky confection known as the galette des rois. This cake is usually layers of puff pastry filled with a thick frangipane mixture. Inside hides a small figurine called a fève in remembrance of the small fava bean that was historically placed in the cake. The individual who is given the slice of the cake containing the fève becomes the ruler for the day. Modern French bakeries offer these cakes throughout the month of January, usually surrounded by a gilt paper crown all ready for the ruler’s coronation.

In New Orleans, where both Hispanic and French traditions converged, the arrival of the king cake on Epiphany also signals that it is the time of year to think of the reign of another king: Rex —the King of Carnival. Around the world, kings are traditional icons of the pre-Lenten Carnival season, from those who reign from atop floats to those who parade through the streets greeting their public on a more humble scale. The celebration of carnival predates Christianity and is thought to hark back to Roman days of Saturnalia, a holiday marking the dedication of a temple to Saturn, the god of agriculture. It was a festive time when the everyday world was turned topsy-turvy. Schools were closed, gambling was allowed in public, and slaves could not be punished. Indeed, some have said that on that occasion a slave king was elected and subsequently executed at the festival’s end. Many of the traditions surrounding Saturnalia became part of the celebration of Carnival including that of electing a commoner king.

In the New World where Africans were enslaved, the tradition of blacks becoming kings and queens for a day became an integral part of the pre-Lenten festivities. In Recife, in northeastern Brazil, carnival kings and queens of the Maracatú parade through the streets in elaborate costumes usually carrying a baby doll representing their heir, known as the Calunga. In 19th-century Cuba, during Carnival, the cabildos (fraternal groups that were often formed around the various African nations from which the slaves came) also elected royalty. Early images show the Cuban parades of the kings and queens of Congo who ruled over their betters for the Carnival season. In present day Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, Carnival season is ushered in by the election of el Rei Momo, the fattest and supposedly jolliest man in town who supplants the mayor and rules over the city during the days of Carnival. The celebration of Carnival predates Christianity and is thought to hark back to Roman days of Saturnalia. 

In Louisiana, where the “Kingfish” Huey P. Long declared “every man a king,” the words are true, at least for the season that celebrates what writer and social chronicler Robert Tallant called the “revival of monarchic rule.” Organizations known as krewes, from Bacchus to Zulu, elect their kings and select their queens. In times past however, the election of carnival kings and queens was a more intimate affair. According to the Picayune Cookbook:

The method of first choosing the king was by cutting the King’s Cake….When Twelfth Night arrived there was always a flutter in old Creole New Orleans. Generally some grand mansion was chosen for the first ball, and as the evening progressed, when the clock struck twelve, the guests were all invited to be seated around the spacious dining room where the “King’s Cake” was brought in. Now, hidden away somewhere in the cake was a bean, or often as not a magnificent jeweled ring. The cake was cut into as many slices as there were guests, the smiling cavaliers and the lovely Creole maidens ranged around,…

If a man found the fève, he became the king and selected his queen. If the lucky individual was a woman, she was named queen and selected her king by offering him a bouquet of violets which always was provided with the cake. No matter how the king was chosen, he was expected to “bear the entire expense of the ball of which he was king, and to provide the King’s Cake” for the next ball. At the following ball that cake was cut, a new king and queen chosen, and so it continued with weekly balls until the final ball of Mardi Gras evening.

Today, for the general public, things are considerably less lofty. King cakes are more commonly found at office parties and school gatherings and the “king” or ”queen” is only responsible for providing the cake for the next gathering. The cake has changed as well. The French cake of puff pastry layered with frangipane was initially transformed in Louisiana into a brioche-type twisted bread decorated with candies, caramels, and the sprinkles and Jordan Almonds, known as dragées in French. Today, many have morphed into what one writer has called a “sticky coffee-cake type confection” topped with purple, green and yellow (or gold) sprinkles, or glazes in the trilogy of carnival colors.

The féve or fava bean that is found by the king or queen has changed as well. Today, the bean is more often than not a small plastic baby in one of the carnival colors of purple, green, or gold. But there are new trends. French traiteurs like Fauchon and Hédiard put out their own highly collectible annual series of king cake babies as does Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans. Haydel’s offers a different New Orleans’ icon each season and has included king cake babies like Mardi Gras Indians, the Rex float, and an especially memorable post-Hurricane Katrina FEMA trailer.

Several years ago, another friend of mine, Gail McDonough, started me on a collection of Haydel’s king cake babies. So every year right after Christmas and Kwanzaa at the beginning of the carnival season, I now emulate Lenora polishing up my mirror, getting ready to show off my collection, and starting off the Carnival season by advertising my allegiance to the Crescent City. I may never be the empress I was truly born to be, but in New Orleans, if I snag the right piece of king cake, at least I have as much chance as anyone to become queen for a day.

– See more at: http://www.louisianaculturalvistas.org/long-live-king/#sthash.IW9FZcg2.dpuf

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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2015 Mardi Gras Terrebonne Area Parade Schedule

 Happy Carnival 2015! Here is this year’s Terrebonne area parade schedule.

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

  • Hercules, 6 p.m., Houma

    Saturday, Feb. 7
  • Des T-Cajuns, noon, Larose
  • Ambrosia, 5:30 p.m., Thibodaux
  • Bayou Petit Caillou, noon, Chauvin
  • Aquarius, 6:30 p.m., Houma
    Sunday, Feb. 8
  • Versailles, noon, Larose
  • Krewe of Shaka, 1 p.m.,Thibodaux
  • Hyacinthians, noon, Houma
  • Titans, following Hyacinthians, Houma

Friday, Feb. 13

  • Aphrodite, 6:30 p.m., Houma
  • Athena, 7 p.m., Golden Meadow
    Saturday, Feb. 14
  • Apollo, noon, Lockport
  • Atlantis, 1 p.m., Golden Meadow
  • Le Krewe de Bon Temps, 6:30 p.m., Larose
  • Mardi Gras, 6:30 p.m., Houma
    Sunday, Feb. 15
  • Terreanians, 12:30 p.m., Houma
  • Cleophas, 12:30 p.m., Thibodaux
  • Chronos, folowing Cleophas, Thibodaux
  • Terreanians, 12:30 p.m., Houma
  • Montegut Children’s Parade, 2 p.m.
  • Nereids, 6 p.m., Golden Meadow
      Monday, Feb. 16
  • Xanadu, 6:30 p.m., Labadieville
  • Cleopatra, 6:30 p.m., Houma
    Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17
  • Krewe of Gheens, 11 a.m.
  • Ghana, 1 p.m., Thibodaux
  • Houmas, 11 a.m., Houma
  • Kajuns, following Houmas
  • Neptune, noon, Golden Meadow
  • Choupic, 2 p.m.
  • Bonne Terre, 4 p.m., Montegut

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Lafourche.com: Mardi Gras.

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2015 Mardi Gras New Orleans Parade Schedule

https://www.mardigrasparadetickets.com/assets/mardi-gras-parade-tickets-6fccb97f5cc0f405b63ebdb6d57f8a65.jpg

Happy Carnival 2015! Here is this year’s New Orleans parade schedule, including dates, times, and route maps.

Print Parade Schedule

Tuesday | Jan 6
Route

French Quarter

Uptown

Slidell

  • Krewe of Claude – January 18, 2015 rolls at 1:00pm – regular Slidell route
  • Krewe of Slidellians – January 25, 2015 rolls at 1:00pm – regular Slidell route
Saturday | Jan 31
Route

Slidell

French Quarter

Sunday | Feb 1
Route

Metairie

Slidell

Friday | Feb 6
Route

French Quarter

Uptown

Metairie

Mandeville

Saturday | Feb 7
Route

Slidell

Westbank

Chalmette

Uptown

Marigny

Metairie

Covington

Sunday | Feb 8
Route

Uptown

Slidell

Madisonville

French Quarter

Wednesday | Feb 11
Route

Uptown

Thursday | Feb 12
Route

Uptown

Friday | Feb 13
Route

Uptown

Slidell

Krewe of Selene 6:30pm view map

Metairie

Saturday | Feb 14
Route

Westbank

Uptown

Mid-City

Metairie

Sunday | Feb 15
Route

Uptown

Metairie

Monday | Feb 16
Route

Uptown

Tuesday | Feb 17
Route

Uptown

Westbank

Metairie

Covington

2015 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule | Mardi Gras New Orleans.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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Christmas tree recycling information for local parishes

SLU Christmas Tree Recycling

With the end of the Christmas season, many parishes are recycling your old Christmas trees for marsh restoration. To follow is a list of pickup dates by parish.  Please note, flocked or painted trees are not accepted and volunteers are also needed for this worthy project.

JEFFERSON PARISH:

Christmas trees will be collected curbside throughout unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Gretna, Harahan, Lafitte and Westwego on January 8, 9, and 10.

In Kenner, trees will be collected on January 7, 8 and 9, 2015. Garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees.

Residents of unincorporated Jefferson Parish, Lafitte, Gretna, Harahan, and Westwego are advised to place trees curbside on the evening of Wednesday, January 7. Garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees on January 8, 9, and 10.

Kenner residents are advised to place trees curbside on the evening of Tuesday, January 6. In Kenner, garbage trucks will make one pass through each neighborhood to collect trees on January 7, 8 and 9.

Trees will be recycled for beneficial re-use – some will be used for marsh restoration and some will be composted. Only clean, unpainted and non-flocked trees are acceptable for re-use. Prior to placing trees curbside, residents must remove all lights, tinsel, garland, ornaments, tree stands and plastic bags from their Christmas trees. Artificial, flocked or painted trees are not eligible for the program.

This year’s project involves two (2) phases. Some of the trees will be placed in the marsh, refurbishing previously constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou near Lafitte to help protect and restore coastal wetlands; and others will be brought to Wood Materials, LLC to be chipped and used for composting.

Volunteers are needed, especially those with shallow draft boats, to move trees from a Lafitte staging area to the pre-constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou. Volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at Cochiara’s Marina, 4477 Jean Lafitte Boulevard in Lafitte and move trees to the pre-constructed shoreline fences in Goose Bayou, near the Town of Jean Lafitte on Saturday, January 10 and January 17, 2015. If inclement weather leads to the cancellation and rescheduling of these events, please call (504) 731-4612 for information. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and are advised to wear layered clothing including long pants, long sleeved shirt, and closed-toe, hard sole, sturdy shoes. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. Gloves, safety glasses, life vests, lunch and refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to volunteer, contact the Jefferson Parish Department of Environmental Affairs at (504) 731-4612.

ORLEANS PARISH:

Place trees curbside on your regular collection day, starting Jan. 8 and ending Jan. 10.

ST. CHARLES PARISH:

Those wishing to donate their real Christmas trees to local wetlands protection should place their trees curbside for pickup by January 12. Alternatively, trees may be brought to designated areas at the East and West Bank Bridge Parks in Destrehan and Luling beginning Dec. 26.

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH:

 

Beginning Monday, January 5 through Friday, January 16, the St. John Parish Public Works Department will collect Christmas trees throughout the parish. Residents should place their trees curbside for pick-up instead of discarding them in the landfill. All trees should be completely stripped of decorations.

Residents are encouraged to call the Public Works Department at 985-652-4815 to request pick-up.

TANGIPAHOA PARISH

DROP OFF LOCATIONS: Hammond Maintenance Facility
Address: 18104 Hwy. 190 in Hammond (next to Piggly Wiggly Super Market)
Hours: 7 am – 3:30 pm Mon-Fri, starting Dec. 26 through the end of January

Southeastern Sustainability Center
Address: 2101 North Oak Street in Hammond
Hours: 7 am – 4 pm Mon-Thurs and 8 – 10 am on Fri, starting Jan. 5 through the end of January.

Middendorf’s Restaurant in Manchac
Address: 30160 U.S. 51, Akers, LA 70421

Please make sure your tree is not flocked and is free of any lights, ornaments, metal stands, or other un-natural materials. Donated trees will be used to help build up marshland in areas that have been impacted by erosion and other factors.

TERREBONNE PARISH:

Residents of Terrebonne Parish are requested to place their Christmas trees in the area of their normal garbage pickup from January 2 to January 7. Residents may also drop off their Christmas trees at any time prior to January 7 at any of the TPCG Residential Drop-off Sites located at 263 Ashland Landfill Road, 651 Isle of Cuba Road in Schriever or 160 Crochetville Road in Montegut. Only green trees will be accepted. Flocked trees and trees with tinsel, decorations, or tree stands cannot be used.

Christmas tree recycling information for local parishes.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014

Just a few days left to catch red snapper in Louisiana.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the state recreational red snapper season will remain open through the rest of December and will close at 11:59 pm on December 31, 2014. Using real-time data from LA Creel, our recreational landings monitoring program, we have determined that Louisiana anglers have not yet landed our state’s historic and projected share of the total Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper harvest (14 percent, or 754,000 pounds). The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission previously opened a state waters season for red snapper to extend Louisiana’s season from the nine-day federal waters season originally proposed by NOAA. NOAA based this short season on imprecise estimates of recreational red snapper landings from their Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP); with LA Creel’s more precise estimates, Louisiana officials knew that nine days would not allow our anglers sufficient opportunity to catch their share.

On January 1, 2014, the Department withdrew from MRIP and replaced it with LA Creel due to MRIP’s history of providing poor data and its inability to monitor landings in real-time. Had the Department accepted MRIP’s estimates and the subsequent nine-day season, Louisiana anglers would have only been able to land about 150,000 pounds of red snapper—far short of Louisiana’s historic landings. Through the extended state waters season, Louisiana anglers have landed about 605,000 pounds of red snapper to date, which is why the season can remain open through the rest of the year. Thanks to tremendous angler support of LA Creel and a recent saltwater license fee increase to continue to fund the program, the Department has the necessary tools to precisely monitor our recreational red snapper landings, flexibly manage the fishery, and maximize our anglers’ opportunities to fish red snapper.

The Department has continued negotiations with NOAA to recognize the validity of LA Creel and recently reached an agreement to “benchmark” LA Creel and officially establish it as a replacement for MRIP. Through the benchmarking process, the Department will run the MRIP survey side-by-side with LA Creel for the 2015 recreational fishing season. NOAA will compare the results from both surveys and adjust historic recreational landings estimates accordingly. Once LA Creel is benchmarked, Louisiana will no longer run MRIP, and officials hope that NOAA will support LA Creel and use its more precise results to conduct future stock assessments. This process paves the way for other Gulf states to adopt their own recreational angler survey programs, improves data collection, and helps move management of the recreational red snapper fishery forward.

Beginning in January 2015, Louisiana anglers can expect to see an increased survey presence as Department personnel conduct both surveys statewide throughout the calendar year. “Our anglers have always been incredibly patient and helpful with our biologists, whether at the dock, over the phone, or via email,” said Department Secretary Robert Barham. “We ask for and greatly appreciate their continued cooperation as we take this important step in our quest towards regional management.” Secretary Barham recently testified on the benefits of Louisiana’s enhanced data collection in support of state management of red snapper during the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs hearing on H.R. 3099—the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013.

The Commission will determine Louisiana’s 2015 recreational red snapper season in their early 2015 meetings. For the latest updates on Commission meetings and actions, sign up for Department meeting alerts and/or news releases.

 

 

Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014 | Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

via Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014 | Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

 

 

Louisiana Recreational Red Snapper Season to Close December 31, 2014 | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana

If you’re going to be traveling around Lake Charles, Louisiana, you should check out this list of the best places to get boudin.

It's pronounced "boo-DAN" in case you were wondering.

Think of boudin as the down-home Cajun style of sausage. The rice-and-pork tubesteak is native to Lake Charles, Louisiana and the surrounding area. And, it’s pronounced “boo-DAN,” thank you very much. This pale frank started as a typical product of a boucherie, the day Cajun-French families would butcher a whole pig. Like most of its meaty brethren, boudin provided an excuse to use up every last pig part. And, since this is rice country, some of that was thrown in to stretch the pork.

Though once looked down upon as a poor man’s food, boudin’s stock has risen in recent years. These days, there’s a thriving network of mom-and-pop joints in Lake Charles and beyond specializing in this homegrown product, each with a slightly different recipe. Smoked and spicy varieties are common. Fried boudin balls are popular, too. Creative spins might include boudin stuffed with alligator or crawfish. And, there’s at least one boudin burger. Here are five essential pit stops for getting your boudin fix in Cajun country.

1. B&O Kitchen & Grocery
Ten miles from Lakes Charles, in the small town of Sulphur, you’ll find this 31-year-old establishment with a billowing American flag and, most likely, a few pickup trucks out front. Jeff Benoit is the third-generation owner, and if you’re nice to him, he might let you come out back to the smokehouse, where some of the sausages are hung to dry. You might also spot the special oil-filled cauldrons rendering his award-winning cracklins (cubes of fatty pork meat and skin, another area specialty). The takeout joint goes through upwards of 200 pounds of boudin a day. It also offers cheese-stuffed boudin balls (popular for tailgating, says Benoit). And, there’s even a burger made from a smashed boudin ball, dubbed the gaudidaun (meaning “look at that” in the regional French). Thursday lunch plates like brisket or gumbo have proven so popular that Benoit is planning to add sit-down seating sometime in the next year. 3011 E. Burton St., Sulphur, LA; 337-625-4637; facebook.com/pages/BO-Kitchen-and-Grocery

2. Hollier’s Cajun Kitchen
Another one located in Sulphur, Hollier’s is most popular for its lunchtime and dinnertime all-you-can-eat buffets (as the girth of its clientele attests). Still, if you order off the menu, there’s some tasty boudin — and you can really taste the pig liver, a traditional ingredient many places now eschew. The deep-fried boudin balls are very nicely spiced, and there are alligator balls, too, in case you’re feeling adventurous. 1709 Ruth St., Sulphur, LA; 337-527-0061; hollierscajunkitchen.com

3. Famous Foods
Amid the gas stations and used-car lots of Highway 14, you’ll find Famous Foods, where three generations of the Guillory family turn out award-winning boudin and cracklins that folks have been known to drive all the way from Mississippi to eat. “It was my daddy’s recipe,” explains the charismatic Darby Sr. about the boudin his own father used to sell at another now-closed family restaurant. “He taught me to use every part of the pig.” Famous Foods, which sits on the site where Darby Sr. originally ran a snow cone stand, has plenty of seating. In addition to smoked and regular boudin and three kinds of not-to-be-missed cracklins (regular, smoked and spicy), you’ll find a freezer stuffed with specialties like Darby’s famous cornbread boudin. The must-have accompaniment to all that meat? Fresh biscuits drizzled with Steen’s, a molasses-like sugarcane syrup. 1475 Gerstner Memorial Dr., Lake Charles, LA; 337-439-7000; famousfoodsllc.com

4. The Sausage Link
In Sulphur, located next-door to the popular LeBleu’s Landing Cajun restaurant, sits the Sausage Link, a butcher shop turning out 1,000 pounds of boudin each week. Boudin master Matt Fruge, who started his work while still in high school, reveals that his secret recipe contains rice, pork, pork broth, green onion, yellow onion  and parsley, among other ingredients. You can watch it being made through glass windows that look onto the butchering area. The shop sells deep-fried boudin balls and cracklins, as well, along with unusual frozen offerings like crawfish etouffee and gator boudin. Or, for those special occasions, turducken. 2400 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, LA; 337-625-2030; facebook.com/pages/The-Sausage-Link

5. Sonnier’s
If a boudin craving strikes while you’re exploring historic downtown Lake Charles, pop over to Sonnier’s, conveniently located near the town’s main attractions. The six-year-old outpost looks like it’s been around longer, and sells boudin in the now-familiar smoked, spicy and regular varieties. This is mostly a takeout joint, but there’s one plastic table and a couple of chairs out front if an immediate need to nosh should strike. 1217 Mill St., Lake Charles, LA; 337-656-2876; facebook.com/pages/Sonniers-sausage-and-boudin

Visit Lake Charles publishes an online and print map of the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. Check it out here.

Read more about boudin in my post here.

Also, check out this short film all about boudin.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana | Food Republic.

via 5 Places To Eat Excellent Boudin In And Around Lake Charles, Louisiana | Food Republic.

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Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan

Have you tried roasting a whole head of cauliflower?  It sounds delicious!

Cauliflower Recipes - Kevin O'Mara

Roasting a whole head of cauliflower at high heat creates a caramelized coating that is extremely flavorful!  This zesty recipe combines cumin, garlic, and coriander with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice for a vegetable dish that is both easy to prepare and healthy.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Recipe.

via Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Recipe.

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Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch

Cinnamon River Shrimp

Raymond Leday was shrimping under the Interstate 10 bridge Monday afternoon when he pulled in something rarely seen in these parts.

Leday said at first he thought it was a mutation or a crossbreed between a shrimp and a crawfish.

He brought the catch to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries office in Lake Charles and they identified it as a cinnamon river shrimp.

According to “Crawfishes of Louisiana” by Jerry G. Walls, the cinnamon river shrimp is usually “found along the shore and in brackish bays but extends up large tidal rivers.”

The shrimp is notable for its extremely long legs with very small claws at the end.

Leday said he plans on taking the shrimp back to the LDWF office so it can be placed in an aquarium.

Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch – KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

via Local shrimper hauls in unusual catch – KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars

This may give you an incentive to travel more.

Wine has played an important role in the world. It has been involved in ceremony, tradition and celebration since the beginning of recorded history — and even before that. With Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans spreading wine grapes throughout Europe and beyond, it’s not a surprise that they would create places specifically to imbibe these libations.

Check out this list of some of the world’s oldest wine bars, dedicated to the enjoyment of this tipple of the gods. Make your travel plans now!

Al Brindisi – Ferrara, Italy

This is considered by Guinness World Records to be the oldest enoteca in the world, believed to have been built in 1435. For a restaurant with a remarkable history and that can show off astronomer Copernicus, Titian, and Benvenuto Cellini as clients, the location is modest in its décor — bare wooden tables, dusty wine bottles and bench seating.

To be in good Renaissance company, drink a fine Port wine or sample authentic Ferrarese fare, be sure to stop by this wine bar located just southeast of the Duomo.

Antica Bottega del Vino – Verona, Italy

This is an osteria with a long history and an impressive number of domestic and international national wine labels. Founded in 1890, Bottega del Vina boasts more than 3,000 wines, hearty Veronese cuisine, and first-rate wine experts. Once an inn thought to have been built in the sixteenth century, this renowned restaurant and bar has hosted wine-loving artists and politicians as patrons for over a century.

If you’re in the home of Romeo & Juliet, the Bottega del Vino is an absolute must-visit – if not for the famous Amarone wine, then for the historical books, photos and documents.

Gordon’s – London, UK

Gordon’s has been a family run business since 1890 when Angus Gordon, one of the last ‘free vintners,’ (a person who could sell wine without applying for a license) set up shop in West London. The building itself has been around since at least the 1680s and since then has been used as a home, a warehouse and most recently (just about 125 years ago!) the place where Rudyard Kipling lived and wrote The Light That Failed.

The dusty bottles in the window add the charm of what looks like a Victorian shop on the outside. Once indoors, you’ll be led to a cool grotto to sip from their extensive list of wines. Try their very own Fat Bastard 100% Chardonnay wine – you won’t be disappointed.

Réserve de Quasimodo – Paris, France

This wine shop and eatery located on an old-world side street on Ile de la Cité is often overshadowed by the nearby Notre Dame cathedral. However, Réserve de Quasimodo deserves a little attention too – they serve affordable and authentic French food expertly paired with vintner-supplied wines  – and just happen to be the oldest wine bar in Paris.

Apparently a tavern opened here as early as 1240, but photos show that the location was a wine bar by 1869. Current owners Nathalie and Christian can suggest wines to accompany your meals in their back room or patio, or you can walk in, grab a bottle and sip it on the Seine with a nice picnic.

Zur Traube – Hamburg, Germany

Tucked away in old Ottensen, the stone of this bar was laid in 1880, and in 1899 it began operating as a wine shop. In 1919, renowned wood sculptor Otto Wessel developed the wood paneling over 6 years to complete and the owners commissioned the gorgeous ceiling artwork for its opening as the first wine bar in Hamburg.

Zur Traube has a selection of 250 French and German wines, which are served alongside French dishes. Candlelight and jazz music will definitely put you in the mood for a sophisticated tipple. Sit outside on the patio for a beautiful view of the river Elbe – a perfect setting to enjoy a glass.

What is it that makes a historic wine bar worth visiting? I asked Anna Von Bertele, of Roberson Wine in London. As she told me: “There are many wine bars that have stood the test of time because what they offer is interesting. Old wine bars have a lovely feeling of history and character to them, but at the moment there is also a new wave of wine bars due to the demand of something different.”

Now jump on a jet plane and enjoy the romance of history.

5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars.

via 5 Of The World’s Oldest Wine Bars.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Here are some fun food ideas to do with the kids this Christmas.

 

1. Decorate upside-down waffle cones to make Christmas tree desserts.

Decorate upside-down waffle cones to make Christmas tree desserts.

It’s a more manageable alternative to the perennial gingerbread house.

2. Make “Elf Cookies” using Cheerios.

Make "Elf Cookies" using Cheerios.

3. Store your ice cream in a Ziploc bag so it doesn’t get too hard.

Store your ice cream in a Ziploc bag so it doesn't get too hard.

It’ll be soft and ready to serve.

4. Make hard-boiled eggs en masse in the oven.

Make hard-boiled eggs en masse in the oven.

Place the eggs in a muffin tray so they do not move around, turn the oven to 325º, and pop them in for about 25 to 30 minutes. Not only are they tastier, but they also are much easier to peel!

5. Use your leftover egg cartons to store ornaments.

Use your leftover egg cartons to store ornaments.

6. Pulverize candy cane dust in a food processor or blender and add to EVERYTHING.

Pulverize candy cane dust in a food processor or blender and add to EVERYTHING.

Icing, cookies, ice cream, mousse, hot chocolate, and cocktail rims are just a few ideas.

7. Make bulk French toast in the Crock-Pot for brunch.

Make bulk French toast in the Crock-Pot for brunch.

Get the full directions here.

8. Make lattice-pie mug toppers for your mulled cider.

Make lattice-pie mug toppers for your mulled cider.

Get the full directions here

9. For a no-cook snack, make Santa strawberries.

For a no-cook snack, make Santa strawberries.

Get the recipe here.

10. Freeze whipped cream dollops for a hot chocolate bar.

Freeze whipped cream dollops for a hot chocolate bar.

They’ll get melty once placed into a hot mug of cocoa.

11. Draw Christmas trees on parchment paper using melted chocolate.

Draw Christmas trees on parchment paper using melted chocolate.

Place in the fridge to harden. Once it’s done, you have a lovely cake decoration.

12. Make a snowman pizza.

Make a snowman pizza.

Pizza is now an official holiday food! And you can feed a multitude by making three pizzas in one.

13. Make a large serving of hot chocolate in the Crock-Pot.

Make a large serving of hot chocolate in the Crock-Pot.

This recipe for Crock-Pot coconut hot chocolate looks amazing.

14. Make Rice Krispie Treats with hot chocolate.

Make Rice Krispie Treats with hot chocolate.

Get the recipe here.

15. Turn candy into Christmas lights.

Turn candy into Christmas lights.

Use as a cupcake topper, or string them around a cake.

16. Use a potato peeler to make chocolate peels for garnishes.

Use a potato peeler to make chocolate peels for garnishes.

17. Easily make a large batch of French toast in your oven for Christmas breakfast.

Easily make a large batch of French toast in your oven for Christmas breakfast.

Get the recipe and directions here.

18. If it’s snowing outside, make snow ice cream.

If it's snowing outside, make snow ice cream.

It only requires two other ingredients. Get the directions here.

19. Set out small candles for a s’mores bar.

Set out small candles for a s'mores bar.

Requires no cooking on your part!

20. Easy hot chocolate stirrers: Stick marshmallows on the end of straws or candy cane sticks.

Easy hot chocolate stirrers: Stick marshmallows on the end of straws or candy cane sticks.

21. Two candy canes glued together makes the easiest place card settings or food labels.

Two candy canes glued together makes the easiest place card settings or food labels.

22. Turn your napkins into elf hats.

Turn your napkins into elf hats.

Watch the video here for the instructions.

23. Use Christmas cookie cutters to make pancake shapes.

Use Christmas cookie cutters to make pancake shapes.

24. You can bake brownies in cookie cutters too.

You can bake brownies in cookie cutters too.

25. Repurpose Pringles cans for storing and gifting home-baked cookies.

Repurpose Pringles cans for storing and gifting home-baked cookies.

26. Build a gingerbread house with graham crackers.

Build a gingerbread house with graham crackers.

Get a recipe for “Royal Icing” aka “Seven Minute Cement.”

27. The five-ingredient no-bake fruitcake

The five-ingredient no-bake fruitcake

Keep in mind that this needs eight hours to chill and it makes a very rich fruitcake.

28. Use condiment bottles filled with icing to decorate cookies.

Use condiment bottles filled with icing to decorate cookies.

A great way to let the kids help.

29. Set the condiment bottle in warm water for drizzling chocolate.

Set the condiment bottle in warm water for drizzling chocolate.

30. Use the bottom of a crystal glass to imprint shortbread cookies.

Use the bottom of a crystal glass to imprint shortbread cookies.

31. Use dental floss for cranberry or popcorn garlands.

Use dental floss for cranberry or popcorn garlands.

The items will glide on more easily.

32. Place cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker for Christmas morning.

Place cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker for Christmas morning.

Just use the canned kind for a breakfast that can be prepared in minutes.

33. Reuse cereal boxes for impromptu gift packaging.

Reuse cereal boxes for impromptu gift packaging.

Get the instructions here.

34. Use gingerbread frosting flavoring to make these adorable gingerbread man Jell-O shots.

Use gingerbread frosting flavoring to make these adorable gingerbread man Jell-O shots.

It can be very difficult (and expensive!) trying to get the perfect gingerbread flavor by mixing liqueurs. This one only requires gingerbread flavoring, sweetened condensed milk, water, gelatin, and vodka. Get the recipe here.

35. Snowman doughnuts

Snowman doughnuts

Easily turn store-bought doughnuts into fun treats for the kids. Get the directions here.

36. Dip cookie cutters in flour first to help sugar cookies retain their shape.

Dip cookie cutters in flour first to help sugar cookies retain their shape.

The dough slides out more easily. This trick comes courtesy of Sweetopia.

37. Possibly the simplest centerpiece ever.

Possibly the simplest centerpiece ever.

Just add shiny peppermint candies to a tray.

38. One dough, six cookies.

One dough, six cookies.

This recipe for cookie dough can potentially make six different kinds of cookies.

 

38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier.

via 38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

38 Clever Christmas Food Hacks That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge

This fudge looks delicious and it’s easy to make.  Perfect recipe for holiday baking without the baking.

Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge-same great taste you love as ice cream in a creamy melt in your mouth fudge!

Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons mint extract (not peppermint)
  • green food coloring
  • 3/4 cups mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8 square pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave white chocolate chips and butter on high for 1 minute. Let rest for 1 minute then check to see if melted. If needed microwave for another 30-45 seconds. Stir chocolate until all lumps are gone.
  3. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and mint extract. Add food coloring to desired color. Once completely incorporated, let cool for a few minutes then fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.
  4. Press fudge into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining mini chocolate chips on top and gently press into fudge.
  5. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to set before cutting into squares.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

via Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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