Diet rice? Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories

Many cultures, from Chinese to Spanish, use rice as a cheap, filling staple of their cuisine. However, at over 200 calories per cup, the starchy grain may not always be the healthiest choice. This is a very interesting article on how scientists have found a new way to dramatically cut the calories in rice. This simple discovery could eventually affect the way the entire world eats.

Lower calorie rice

Lower calorie rice

Rice, the lifeblood of so many nations’ cuisines, is perhaps the most ubiquitous food in the world. In Asia, where an estimated 90 percent of all rice is consumed, the pillowy grains are part of almost every meal. In the Caribbean, where the starch is often mixed with beans, it’s a staple too. Even here in the United States, where people eat a comparatively modest amount of rice, plenty is still consumed.

Rice is popular because it’s malleableit pairs well with a lot of different kinds of food—and it’s relatively cheap. But like other starch-heavy foods, it has one central flaw: it isn’t that good for you. White rice consumption, in particular, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.

But what if there were a simple way to tweak rice ever so slightly to make it much healthier?

An undergraduate student at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka and his mentor have been tinkering with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50 percent and even offer a few other added health benefits. The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice.

“What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil—about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you’re going to cook,” said Sudhair James, who presented his preliminary research at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday. “After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That’s it.”

How does it work?

To understand what’s going on, you need to understand a bit of food chemistry.

Not all starches, as it happens, are created equal. Some, known as digestible starches, take only a little time to digest, are quickly turned into glucose, and then later glycogen. Excess glycogen ends up adding to the size of our guts if we don’t expend enough energy to burn it off. Other starches, meanwhile, called resistant starches, take a long time for the body to process, aren’t converted into glucose or glycogen because we lack the ability to digest them, and add up to fewer calories.

A growing body of research, however, has shown that it might be possible to change the types of starches found in foods by modifying how they are prepared. At the very least, we know that there are observable changes when certain foods are cooked different ways.

Potatoes, for instance, go from having the right kind of starch to the less healthful kind when they are cooked or mashed (sigh, I know). The process of heating and cooling certain vegetables, like peas and sweet potatoes, can also alter the amount of resistant (see: good) starches, according to a 2009 study. And rice, depending on the method of preparation, undergoes observable chemical changes. Most notably, fried rice and pilaf style rice have a greater proportion of resistant starch than the most commonly eaten type, steamed rice, as strange as that might seem.

“If you can reduce the digestible starch in something like steamed rice, you can reduce the calories,” said Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah, a professor who is supervising the research. “The impact could be huge.”

Understanding this, James and Thavarajva tested eight different recipes on 38 different kinds of rice found in Sri Lanka. What they found is that by adding a lipid (coconut oil in this case, because it’s widely used in Sri Lanka) ahead of cooking the rice, and then cooling the rice immediately after it was done, they were able to drastically change its composition—and for the better.

“The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its architecture,” said James. “Chilling the rice then helps foster the conversion of starches. The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up.”

So far they have only measured the chemical outcome of the most effective cooking method for the least healthful of the 38 varieties. But that variety still produced a 10 to 12 percent reduction in calories. “With the better kind, we expect to reduce the calories by as much as 50 to 60 percent,” said James.

Cooking that can change the world

The prospect of lower calorie rice is a big deal. Obesity rates are rising around the world, particularly in the developing world, where people rely more heavily on cheaper food staples. China and India, which are already seeing rising obesity problems, are huge consumers of rice. Rice, of course, is not the sole cause of weight gain. But reducing the amount of calories in a cup of rice by even as little as 10 percent could have an enormous impact for future generations.

“Obesity has been a problem in the United States for some time,” said Thavarajah. “But it’s becoming a problem in Asia, too. People are eating larger and larger portions of rice, which isn’t good.”

The researchers still have to test the remaining varieties of rice, including Suduru Samba, which they believe will produce the largest calorie reduction. They also plan to experiment with oils other than coconut oil, like sunflower oil.

A world where commercially sold rice comes pre-cooked and with much fewer calories might not be that far off. People should already be able to replicate the process at home, although James warns the results might vary depending on the type of rice used. And there’s good reason to believe the chemistry could be applied to many other popular but less-than-healthy foods.

“It’s about more than rice,” said Thavarajah. “I mean, can we do the same thing for bread? That’s the real question here.”

Roberto A. Ferdman

via Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories – The Washington Post.

 

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Diet Rice? Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Tony Chachere’s Bloody Mary Biscuits

Tony Chachere' s Bloody Mary Mix

Tony Chachere’s Bloody Mary Mix

 

Tony Chachere’s has become world-known for it’s Creole spice blend. The company, located in Opelousas, Louisiana, has expanded it’s brand to include dinner mixes, sandwich sauces, marinades, and even their very own Bloody Mary Mix. Here is an original recipe from Jude Tauzin, their test kitchen chef, which uses the Bloody Mary Mix in an unusual way.

Tony Chachere’s Bloody Mary Biscuits

Ingredients

4 cups biscuit mix

1 cup Tony Chachere’s Bloody Mary Mix

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 stick butter

 

Directions

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in sheet pan. Combine Bloody Mary Mix, sour cream, and biscuit mix in mixing bowl. Fold in cheddar cheese. Portion mixture into biscuit-sized dollops on sheet pan, as desired. Butter tops of biscuits with the remaining 1/2 stick of butter. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown.

 

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via Tony Chachere’s Biscuits.

 

Tony Chachere’s Bloody Mary Biscuits | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Massive Swarm Of Sharks Filmed Off Louisiana Coast

As sharks begin their yearly migration from the south, a gam of sharks was filmed near an oil rig 30 miles off the coast Grand Isle.

 

via Massive Swarm Of Sharks Filmed Off Louisiana Coast.

 

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Massive Swarm Of Sharks Filmed Off Louisiana Coast | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Discovery of Enormous Ancient Crocodile That Walked Upright

Carnufex carolinensis Jorge Gonzales by Jorge Gonzales

Carnufex carolinensis Jorge Gonzales

A new scientific study has reported that fossil remains of a large, upright-walking crocodile have been found in Chatham County, North Carolina.  The study, published by Scientific Reports this week, shows that this ancient ancestor of the modern day crocodile was about nine feet long and lived on land. It had ferocious teeth and hunted along side earliest dinosaurs.  It’s razor sharp teeth and supreme hunting ability contributed to what the scientists’ have now nicknamed, “Carnufex carolinensis,” or the “Carolina butcher“.

Fighting for survival among the earliest dinosaurs, the “butcher” roamed Pangea during the late Triassic period. However, a mass extinction 200 million years ago, led to predatory dinosaurs becoming the dominant predator of the time.

From partial unearthed bones of the skull, teeth, ribs, and vertebrae, scientists from North Carolina State University used high resolution scanners to recreate a 3D computer model of the reptile’s skull. The computerized reconstructed skull depicts the found pieces in white, while the gray areas show missing elements which have been constructed from close relatives.

Reconstructed computer model of the skull of Carnufex carolinensis photo by Lindsay Zanno

Reconstructed computer model of the skull of Carnufex carolinensis

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Researchers Discover Enormous Ancient Crocodile That Walked Upright | IFLScience.

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Alligator Tire Art

These amazing alligator sculptures by Eric Langert are made from recycled tires. You can see more of his art at http://www.langert.se/.

recycled tires, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling

Alligator sculptures from recycled tires

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Fast Fish Cleaning

This could be the easiest and fastest way to clean fish!

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Fast Fish Cleaning | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored in Lake Charles, LA 

Ted J Award 2014

 

Ted Joanen, late investigate personality during a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, was famous during a Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) assembly May 26-31 in Lake Charles.

Joanen, a wildlife biologist for over 30 years, was respected with dual superb investigate awards in tolerable use management. His bachelor’s grade alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU) in Hammond, presented an enclosed professorship to serve studies in tolerable mire government and charge of wetlands.

Dr. Chris Beachy, conduct of a SELU’s Biology Department presented a $100,000 endowment on interest of a University and benefactors. A commercial from Louisiana State University (LSU), where Joanen finished his master’s degree, determined a “Ted Joanen Outstanding Research Award in Sustainable Marsh Management.”

LSU connoisseur students will be authorized for annual grants to serve studies and investigate focused on mire and tolerable use management. A first account of $30,000 was donated to a connoisseur studies program. Additional contributions can be done to a LSU Alumni Association by Jamie B. Bueche, Accountant, LSU Alumni Association, 3838 West Lakeshore Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70808.

 

Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored in Lake Charles, LA | Louisiana News Feed.

 

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Retired LDWF Alligator Research Pioneer Honored in Lake Charles, LA  | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Fallen Heroes

Military Flag

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to those family and friends who have been affected by the Black Hawk helicopter tragedy. May God bless the American heroes who lost their lives. We thank you for your service.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Wayne Griffin Jr. 37, of Delhi

Chief Warrant Officer George David Strother, 44, of Alexandria

Staff Sgt. Lance Bergeron, 40, of Thibodaux

Staff Sgt. Thomas Florich, 26, of Baton Rouge

Capt. Stanford H. Shaw III, 31, of Basking Ridge, N.J.

Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, 33, of Williamsburg, Va.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Seif, 26, of Holland, Mi.

Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol, 27, of Warren, Mi.

Staff Sgt. Kerry Michael Kemp, 27 of Port Washington, Wi.

Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock, 29, of Lake Orion, Mi.

Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, 33, of Queens, N.Y.

Louisiana National Guard identifies Black Hawk copter crew killed in crash | NOLA.com.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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

 

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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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

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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

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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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