McKenzie’s Oyster Patties

If you grew up in New Orleans, then you will remember eating some type of canape, whether sweet or savory, served in small, flakey pastry cups made by McKenzie’s Bakery. To facilitate sales, the bakery even handed out fliers of filler recipes that used their pastry shells as the base. One of the most popular uses of the shells, especially for holiday parties, were for Oyster Patties.  Here is the original McKenzie’s recipe.

 

Fills 12 large or 36 miniature patty shells

4 dozen oysters and liquor

1 onion, grated

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped canned mushrooms and juice (optional)

Salt and pepper

Dash cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

12 large or 36 miniature* patty shells (find them in the frozen food section or local bakery)

Cook oysters in their liquor by bringing to a boil, then simmering 10 minutes. (*For miniature patty shells, finely chop oysters before cooking.) Sauté onion in butter; blend in flour until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and oysters. Cook 5 minutes; pour into patty shells and bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.

 

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McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | NOLA.com.

via McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | NOLA.com.

 

McKenzie’s Oyster Patties | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Saving the Louisiana Black Bear

Louisiana black bear

 

There is some good news in the nature world. Saving the Louisiana black bear, a species that is currently considered threatened, may be possible if conditions remain stable, the US Geological Survey revealed Wednesday in a new study.

Along with alligators and brown pelicans, black bears could also be one of the state’s iconic species to recover. According to the study, things are looking up for the animals that inspired teddy bears, with findings suggesting they will survive for another century.

“We’re super excited,” Maria Davidson, head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told The Associated Press (AP).

Led by associate professor Joseph Clark of the University of Tennessee, and his colleague Jared Laufenberg, the research team found that bear numbers jumped from a sparse 80-120 in the 1950s to 450-600 animals today.

In order to learn the movements of the Louisiana black bear – mostly to determine whether or not populations were inbreeding, which can hinder recovery – Clark’s team used barbed wire to (harmlessly) snag hair from live bears around the state, from 2002-2012, to study their DNA.

The study showed that almost one-third of today’s bears are in the lower Atchafalaya River Basin in south Louisiana, while over 10 to 15 percent are in an area located northwest of Baton Rouge called the Upper Atchafalaya River Basin.

Researchers also said that in the 2000s, almost 48 female bears and 104 cubs were moved from Tensas into central Louisiana in order to bridge a gap between the upper Atachafalaya basin and the small stock northwest of Baton Rouge.

Clark and his colleagues could not be more hopeful for these cuddly omnivores, especially after extensive habitat loss and hunting by humans drove it to being an endangered species.

Paul Davidson, executive director of the Black Bear Conservation Coalition, however, is a little skeptical.

“I might question some of the assumptions, but overall, it represents a very good study,” he told the AP.

Louisiana black bears, one of 16 sub-species of American black bears, are the smallest bears found in the United States. Though there are just three core populations left in Louisiana, the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries notes, these mammals once ranged in parts of Mississippi, Arizona and Texas as well.

Saving the Louisiana Black Bear : Animals : Nature World News.

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Saving the Louisiana Black Bear | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Louisiana Thanksgiving Recipes – Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons

No matter what you call them, mirlitons, alligator pears, chayotes, a favorite in Louisiana during Thanksgiving are shrimp stuffed mirlitons. 

Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons

Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons

1 hour 30 minutes 6 entree or 12 side dish serving

Ingredients

  • 6 mirlitons (chayote squash)
  • ¼ tablespoon butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed, canola or other neutral oil
  • ¾ cup sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons bell peppers, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons celery, diced small
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 12 ounces of chopped shrimp (about 13 large, unpeeled shrimp)
  • 1 ⅓ cups shrimp, chicken or vegetable stock

Preparation

  1. Cut mirlitons in half and scoop out the large seed in the middle. Boil in salted water to cover for 25 minutes, or until tender when punctured with the tines of a fork. Be careful not to overcook.
  2. Drain and cool for 15 minutes, then scrape out insides into a colander to drain. Leave 1/4 inch of flesh inside shell, being careful not to puncture skin.
  3. Chop drained mirliton flesh and add to a medium bowl. Mix in butter, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup bread crumbs; set aside.
  4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a medium saucepan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery and sauté until almost translucent. Add garlic, green onion and tomatoes for just about 2 minutes. Add shrimp for 30 seconds to give them a touch of color. Quickly remove pan from heat and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes to cool slightly. Fold sautéed ingredients into mirliton mixture.
  5. Scoop stuffing mixture into each mirliton half. Place mirliton in an oven-safe 1 1/2-inch deep pan. You may need two pans. Dust top of each mirliton evenly with remaining bread crumbs. Pour stock into pans to a half-inch depth, before covering and baking. Cover pans tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States – NYTimes.com.

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Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish

Tired of the same old turkey on Thanksgiving? You’ve probably had it baked, fried and even stuffed with a duck, and a chicken, but more than likely, you’ve never had it like this.  Start a new Thanksgiving tradition this year and boil it like crawfish!

 

Kerry Gogreve vividly remembers a certain family crawfish boil when he was 17 years old.

“We had boiled some crawfish and were sitting around, and had eaten all the crawfish. My dad said, ‘We ought to try a couple of chickens.’ We went to Winn-Dixie and got two chickens, boiled them and took them out. Everybody was full of crawfish, but people went after that chicken.

“So we did it every time after that,” Kerry said. “That chicken turned into turkey.”

This is why, for the past decade or so, Kerry and Mary Kay Gogreve have turkey prepared three different ways at Thanksgiving. None of them is roasted in the oven.

One is deep-fried; one is smoked; and the third is boiled with onions, garlic, new potatoes and a lot of crawfish boil spice.

Straight out of the boiling pot, the turkey is not pretty. This is not your Norman Rockwell roasted bird. The Gogreves remove the skin and bones and cut the bird into slices for serving, with a little of the boiling water poured over it.

It always goes first, they say.

“It’s better for you,” Kerry said. “Fried turkey is good, but when you eat the boiled turkey you forget about it.”

The Gogreves are the prototypical south Louisiana skilled indoor and outdoor cooks, generous and friendly, devout Saints fans. Their back yard has rows of neat vegetables, fruit trees and trellised grapes grown from seeds of supermarket grapes. Kerry’s creativity is evident everywhere. In the garage he makes traditional-style copper lanterns and is putting a new engine in an El Camino; he converted an industrial-size air compressor tank into a smoker that makes what he says is the best brisket ever.

A family photo gallery in their spacious Harahan home includes his great-grandfather in his streetcar conductor uniform. Kerry, an engineer and facilities manager at a busy medical center, grew up Uptown. Mary Kay is a Waguespack from the tiny rural community of St. James, and is the operations manager of a local law firm.

Neighbor Robbie Lack came over to consult on something in the garage with Kerry on a recent Saturday, as Kerry boiled a turkey for a reporter and photographer. Lack has eaten it at their home.

“I never heard of anybody doing it before,” Lack said of the turkey in the boiling pot. “It’s a way to make the bird juicy.”

Like many things, their boiling pot turkey got its start after Hurricane Katrina.

Some 45 pounds of chicken thighs, which had been frozen in cold storage, were available when the power came back on in their house on the Thursday after the storm. They were some of the first in their neighborhood to have lights. They decided to invite all the neighbors. Kerry boiled the chicken thighs as his dad had done with those chickens when he was 17.

It was the first time Mary Kay had poultry cooked in a boiling pot.

“I was immediately enamored,” she said.

Mary Kay said she likes the crispy wing of a fried turkey, and having the two on Thanksgiving is the best of both worlds. Sometimes, Kerry smokes the turkey after it’s boiled, as he has also done with ribs.

The turkey is harder to overcook when it’s boiled, Kerry said. A turkey fried for five minutes too long can be dry. Traditional roasting has long-documented problems that successful cooks must overcome: The white meat cooks and dries out faster than the dark meat.

For the past couple of Thanksgivings, a technique making the rounds of national media was to braise turkey legs separately from the roasted breast. This is similar but much less fussy, in that the whole bird is cooked in liquid.

One could think of the Gogreve’s boiling pot turkey as a creative Louisiana cooking crossover, applying the traditional seafood boiling technique to poultry.

Years ago, readers taught me to add a couple of drops of liquid crab boil to perk up the flavor of poaching liquid for chicken breasts and the cooking liquid for hot dogs.

The couple never knows how many they will have for Thanksgiving dinner, but they plan for around 16 to 20 guests. For the sample boiled dinner for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Mary Kay also made mirlitons and shrimp casserole, and sweet potatoes mashed and topped with a crunchy pecan mixture. For the first time ever, she cooked a cucuzza, the heirloom Italian squash that grows as long as a yardstick, which somebody had given it to Kerry. (“My mom cooked it all the time,” he said.) She boiled it, scooped out the flesh and cooked it with shrimp like the mirlitons.

She made a buttermilk custard pie and a chocolate pie for Kerry, who prefers chocolate desserts over all things. Click here to see the Buttermilk Custard Pie recipe, which she got from a co-worker years ago.

After sharing the early Thanksgiving meal, Kerry stood up and looked toward the garage.

“Time to get out the Christmas decorations,” he joked.

 

BOILING POT TURKEY RECIPE

Kerry Gogreve prefers Cajun Land brand seasoning. He uses a four-pound jar of dry seasoning and a cup of the liquid crab boil, which makes a seriously spicy turkey. You may want to lower the amount of seasoning the first time you try this, especially if guests do not have a high tolerance for picante flavors.

“I taste the water as I go,” Kerry says. “You make the water taste like what you want the food to taste. Stir it, and stick your hand in there and taste. I play with it.”

Size: Be sure to choose a turkey that will fit in the boiling pot you have and that the water line will stay above the turkey for the entire cooking time. (Kerry’s unmarked pot is 30 or 40 quarts, plenty big for a 13-pound turkey.)

Timing: Kerry cooked a 13-pound turkey for 40 or 45 minutes, then let it soak for 20 minutes in the boiling water, “just like seafood,” he says, to absorb flavors; this gives the meat a reddish cast. A 16-pound turkey would need to be boiled about an hour to hour and 15 minutes at a rolling boil.

Vegetable notes: Kerry leaves heads of garlic whole and adds them with the onions (halved or whole) at the beginning of the boil. The onions dissolve into the water after about 20 minutes. New potatoes are added about 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

Boiling Pot Turkey

Makes 15-20 servings

1 (13-pound) turkey, defrosted if frozen

1 (3 pound) bag onions, peeled, halved and/or whole

10-15 heads garlic, tops cut off

3 to 5 pounds new potatoes (use as many as you like and what will fit in the pot)

4-pound container powdered crawfish boil seasoning mix (or less if you can’t take very spicy)*

1 cup liquid crab boil (or to taste)

Prepare a boiling pot with water as for a seafood boil: Add powdered and liquid seasoning; stir well. Add onions and garlic.

Taste the water for seasoning and adjust accordingly. The water should taste like what you want the food to taste like. When water has come to a hard rolling boil, submerge turkey in the water.

Add potatoes after the turkey has boiled about 20 to 25 minutes.

After about 45 minutes, remove turkey from water and check the thigh joint to see if the turkey is done. There should be very little or no redness. The turkey can be left in the water to soak up additional seasonings. Kerry recommends at least a 20-minute soak.

Remove turkey from water, and remove potatoes and garlic. Keep potatoes warm. Reserve boiling liquid until turkey is prepared for serving.

When cool enough to handle, cut turkey into large slices, removing skin and bones. Put the slices on a large shallow platter or bowl. Arrange potatoes and heads of garlic around the slices. To keep the turkey moist, pour a cup or two of the boiling liquid over the turkey. Serve with a meat fork as well as a big spoon for the liquid.

*As noted above, this amount of seasoning makes a very spicy turkey. Adjust the amount to your taste.

 

By Judy Walker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

 

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Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish | NOLA.com.

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Thanksgiving turkey meets crawfish boil: a new way to cook your main dish | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free or almost free

If the cost of a college education is holding you back from getting a higher degree, this might be the answer you’re looking for.  There are several countries in Europe that you can attend English speaking classes for free.  Perhaps it’s time for an extended European vacation!

Since 1985, U.S. college costs have surged by about 500 percent, and tuition fees keep rising. In Germany, they’ve done the opposite.

The country’s universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October, when Lower Saxony became the last state to scrap the fees. Tuition rates were always low in Germany, but now the German government fully funds the education of its citizens — and even of foreigners.

Explaining the change, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a senator in the northern city of Hamburg, said tuition fees “discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study.  It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany.”

What might interest potential university students in the United States is that Germany offers some programs in English — and it’s not the only country. Let’s take a look at the surprising — and very cheap — alternatives to pricey American college degrees.

Germany

Germany’s higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them “excellent institutions.” What’s more, Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences. For some German degrees, you don’t even have to formally apply.

In fact, the German government would be happy if you decided to make use of its higher education system. The vast degree offerings in English are intended to prepare German students to communicate in a foreign language, but also to attract foreign students, because the country needs more skilled workers.

Finland

This northern European country charges no tuition fees, and it offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they “are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses.” In other words: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.

France

There are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs in France, but many are offered by private universities and are expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speaking students, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student.

“It is no longer needed to be fluent in French to study in France,” according to the government agency Campus France. The website studyportals.eu provides a comprehensive list of the available courses in France and other European countries.

Public university programs charge only a small tuition fee of about 200 dollars for most programs. Other, more elite institutions have adopted a model that requires students to pay fees that are based on the income of their parents. Children of unemployed parents can study for free, while more privileged families have to pay more. This rule is only valid for citizens of the European Union, but even the maximum fees (about $14,000 per year) are often much lower than U.S. tuition fees. Some universities, such as Sciences Po Paris, offer dual degrees with U.S. colleges.

Sweden

This Scandinavian country is among the world’s wealthiest, and its beautiful landscape beckons. It also offers some of the world’s most cost-efficient college degrees. More than 900 listed programs in 35 universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.

Norway

Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English. American students, for example, could choose “Advanced Studies for Solo Instrumentalists or Chamber Music Ensembles” or “Development Geography.”

But don’t expect to save money in Norway, which has one of the world’s highest costs of living for expats.  And be careful where you decide to study. “Winters in general are quite different in different parts of the country, with the north having hard, arctic winters, and the southwest mostly having mild, wet average European winters,” the Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Education notes.

Slovenia

About 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll. Slovenia borders Italy and Croatia, among Europe’s most popular vacation destinations. However, Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine based in London, did not list one Slovenian university in its recent World University Ranking.

Brazil 

Some Brazilian courses are taught in English, and state universities charge only minor registration fees. Times Higher Education ranks two Brazilian universities among the world’s top 400: the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Campinas. However, Brazil might be better suited for exchange students seeking a cultural experience rather than a degree.

“It is worth remembering that most of USP activities are carried out in Portuguese,” the University of Sao Paulo reminds applicants on its website.

7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free or almost free – The Washington Post.

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The Colleges With The Happiest Students, According To The Princeton Review’s 2014-15 Ranking | Arlen Benny Cenac – Education

 

Tulane University ranks among the “happiest students” list.

 

COLLEGE STUDENTS

If you feel like a room without a roof, you’re either Pharrell Williams or a Commodore. That’s because Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, recently scored the number one slot in the Princeton Review’s ranking of colleges with the happiest students.

The list was released Monday in conjunction with Princeton Review’s annual guide, “The Best 379 Colleges – 2015 Edition.” All Princeton Review lists are based on survey responses from 130,000 students at colleges and universities across the U.S.

Trailing behind Vanderbilt, Claremont McKenna College in California earned the silver medal, followed by Clemson University in South Carolina and Tulane University in Louisiana. There’s just something about sunshine that makes college students happy.

See the Princeton Review’s top 12 schools with the happiest students for 2014-15 in the list below and head over to Princeton Review for the full list. You can also head here for some videos of Vanderbilt students explaining why they’re so happy at their school.

  • 1
    Vanderbilt University
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Nashville, TN
  • 2
    Claremont McKenna College
    Wikimedia Commons
    Claremont, CA
  • 3
    Clemson University
    Wikimedia Commons
    Clemson, SC
  • 4
    Tulane University
    Wikimedia Commons
    New Orleans, LA
  • 5
    Virginia Tech
    Wikimedia Commons
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 6
    Rice University
    Wikimedia Commons
    Houston, TX
  • 7
    Kansas State University
    WIkimedia Commons
    Manhattan, KS
  • 8
    Bowdoin College
    Wikimedia Commons
    Brunswick, ME
  • 9
    Vassar College
    Allan Montaine via Getty Images
    Poughkeepsie, NY
  • 10
    Hillsdale College
    Wikimedia Commons
    Hillsdale, MI
  • 11
    Whitman College
    Wikimedia Commons
    Walla Walla, WA
  • 12
    The College of Idaho
    Caldwell, ID

The Colleges With The Happiest Students, According To The Princeton Review’s 2014-15 Ranking.

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The Colleges With The Happiest Students, According To The Princeton Review’s 2014-15 Ranking | Arlen Benny Cenac – Education.

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Frozen Steaks Cook Better Than Thawed Ones, Says Science

Have you ever forget to take out meat to thaw for dinner?  The best meal might be the one still in your freezer.

how to defrost a steak

Steak is a favorite dinner of many a carnivore, and there are so many things you can do with it! If you’ve bought fresh beef at the grocery store and aren’t planning to make it right away, you probably pop it in the freezer to save it for when you’re ready. But when that time comes, you might not remember to allow enough time for the meat to thaw completely. (Though it’s been said that with this trick you can defrost a steak in just five minutes!)

If you don’t even have that kind of time, not to worry. According to a new video making the rounds, there’s a solution for that: cook it frozen! Dan Souza, senior editor of Cook’s Illustrated, decided to test the taste of steak that’s cooked frozen versus steak that’s cooked after being thawed. The results were very surprising.

Check out the slideshow above to learn why it could be better to cook frozen rather than thawed steak.

 

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Frozen Steaks Cook Better Than Thawed Ones, Says Science | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Guy Crittenden Wins 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

 Congratulations to Guy Crittenden on his unanimous win of the the 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

 

Guy Crittenden Wins 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition

Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Va., took first place in the 2015 Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp competition sponsored by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). The contest determines the image to be used on what is commonly known as the Louisiana Duck Stamp.

Crittenden, who has placed second in the last two competitions, beat out 19 other competitors and was recognized at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission’s Nov. 6 meeting as the 2015 winner.  Jeffery Klinefelter, of Etna Green, Ind., the winner of the 2012 and 2008 contests, took second place, and Dale Pousson of Egan, La., who won the contest in 2003 and placed third last year, took third place again this year.  Last year, Tony Bernard of Lafayette, La., won this contest.

Crittenden grew up hunting and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay in Gloucester, Va.  He attended William and Mary College on a full football scholarship and after graduating, attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and earned an Associate Degree in Arts.  He worked for advertising agencies for several years before opening Crittenden Studio in the early 1990’s. His photography and digital art have since gained national recognition as have his wildlife paintings.  He has won the Virginia Migratory Waterfowl Stamp competition four times, has consistently placed in the top 10 at the Federal Duck Stamp competition, and is experiencing a tremendous year in 2014.  Along with winning in Louisiana, Guy has also won Duck Stamp competitions in Connecticut, Michigan, and Oklahoma this year.  “I am thrilled,” Guy said when notified of his victory, “the competition in Louisiana each year is very strong, and this is one of the top honors in my artistic career.”

“The Department continues to be impressed with the number of high-quality entries,” said LDWF Waterfowl Study Leader Larry Reynolds.  “We had some concerns when artists were restricted to painting Blue-winged teal after five years of open contests where they were free to choose any species known to winter in Louisiana.”  Crittenden’s painting combined outstanding contrast with a classic Louisiana background reminiscent of the first Louisiana Duck Stamp.  “Bluewings are an important species in the bags of Louisiana duck hunters,” Reynolds said, “and the winning design will make an outstanding stamp.”

The Louisiana Waterfowl Conservation Stamp program was established in 1988 by the Louisiana Legislature to generate revenue for conservation and enhancement of state wetlands, benefitting migratory waterfowl overwintering in Louisiana. This program has generated over $12 million for wetland conservation in Louisiana since 1989, with over $472,000 from last year’s stamp/license sales alone.

The 2015 stamp, featuring Crittenden’s work, is expected to go on sale June 1, 2015.  The artist will retain the original artwork and will have reproduction rights to the image for prints and other commodities after LDWF has used the image to produce the stamps.

Judges for the competition were Dr. Luke Laborde, Dr. Jim Bergan, Randy Caminita, Tony Bernard, and Michael Patterson.  Dr. Laborde is a Research Associate and Instructor at LSU’s School of Renewable Natural Resources; Dr. Bergan is the Director of Freshwater and Wetland Conservation at The Nature Conservancy; Caminita is a professional wildlife artist from Folsom, Louisiana who has competed in this contest many times; Bernard is the 2007 and 2014 contest winner from Lafayette, Louisiana; and Patterson is a Financial Planner for Lee, Dougherty, and Ferrara Investment Management and is the current State Chairman for Ducks Unlimited.

For more information, contact Larry Reynolds at lreynolds@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0456.

 

Guy Crittenden Wins 2015 Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition | Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

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Cajun Cornbread Dressing

As the holidays are fast approaching, you can get a head start on cooking by making this cornbread dressing in advance and freezing it until needed.

Cajun Cornbread Dressing

For the cornbread:

2 cups buttermilk

8 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1 cup Aunt Jamima buttermilk pancake mix

4 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a large skillet or 9 x 13 baking dish.  Combine all ingredients and bake for 30 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For the dressing:

3 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

6 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups finely chopped onions

1 ½ cups finely chopped bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped celery

2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic

2 bay leaves

1 pound link smoked sausage

1 14 ½ oz. can chicken stock or homemade chicken or turkey stock

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

6 eggs, beaten

Butter two casserole dishes, one large (9 x 13) and one small (8 x 8).

Thoroughly combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Boil sausage in a pan in 2 inches of water for 12 minutes.  Drain the water and grind the sausage in a food processor.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic and bay leaves. Sauté about 2 minutes on high heat. Add seasoning mix and continue cooking until vegetables are barely wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground sausage and stock; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaves.

In the large bowl, crumble the cornbread.  Add the milk and eggs, stirring well.  Add the vegetable and sausage mixture to this and mix well.  Divide the dressing between the two buttered casserole dishes.  

Bake at 350 until brown on top and bubbly in the middle, about 45 minutes.

Freezing instructions: If you decide to make this in advance and freeze it, wrap it well with aluminum foil and freeze.  To defrost, move the frozen casseroles to the refrigerator for 36 hours.  Put the defrosted casseroles in a cold oven.  Turn the oven to 350 and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until bubbly.  Do not overbake.

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Cajun Cornbread Dressing | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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The best private school in Louisiana? Niche.com has new rankings

Newman school class 2004

 

A 12-year-old website that has been ranking colleges in the United States trotted out something new, daring and unusual Monday: rankings of private schools. They come from Niche.com, which says it was founded by Carnegie Mellon University students as CollegeProwler.com.

Its assessment: Isidore Newman School in New Orleans is the best private high school in Louisiana, closely followed by Metairie Park Country Day School and the two-campus Episcopal School of Acadiana, in Lafayette and Cade.

Unlike public schools, where accountability laws make volumes of data available to anyone, private schools typically shield much academic information from public view. That’s likely a reason why established ranking outlets, such as U.S. News and World Report, primarily feature public schools.

In ranking schools, Niche said it examined academics, student diversity and responses to parent and student surveys. The firm graded almost 4,000 schools across the United States, and collected responses from nearly 17,000 students, alumni and parents — an average of less than five per school.

Given this, its unsurprising that Niche’s methodology largely relies on subjective data. To gauge schools’ academic quality, for example, Niche examined ACT and SAT scores reported by its student users — not by the testing agencies themselves — as well as user-reported data on college admissions. It also relied on parent and student opinions about academic quality.

Read Niche’s full methodology.

Niche also looked at some federal data: schools’ percentage of seniors who go on to four-year colleges and student-to-teacher ratios. These data, however, weren’t weighted as heavily in the academic grade as more subjective data were.

When examining student diversity, it used federal data on school demographics, and some subjective surveys. The more subjective academic grade was the largest component of a school’s overall score.

In the New Orleans area, Niche concluded that the top five private high schools were:

  • Newman
  • Country Day
  • St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie
  • Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans
  • Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans.

Newman also is the priciest school in the area, with a year of high school costing about $23,000 per student. Country Day costs about $22,000, McGehee and St. Martin’s about $20,000 a year. Mount Carmel costs about $8,200.

Newman Head of School Dale Smith said he was “thrilled” to hear of the rankings. “When we sort of drill down and think about what’s at the foundation of everything we do, the foundation is strong relationships and high expectations,” he said. “We have a strong commitment to academic excellence.”

In the Baton Rouge area, Niche’s top five private high schools are:

  • Episcopal High
  • Bethany Christian in Baker
  • The Dunham School
  • Catholic High
  • St. Joseph’s Academy.
Niche also ranked public high schools. The top five in Louisiana were:
  • Benjamin Franklin in New Orleans
  • Baton Rouge Magnet 
  • Lusher Charter in New Orleans
  • Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy in Avondale
  • Zachary High.

 

The best private school in Louisiana? Niche.com has new rankings | NOLA.com.

via The best private school in Louisiana? Niche.com has new rankings | NOLA.com.

 

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The best private school in Louisiana? Niche.com has new rankings | Arlen Benny Cenac – Education.

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10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For

Please consider these items next time you donate to your local food bank.

Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them. A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 below. If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one of our area food banks.

1. Spices.

Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.

2. Feminine Products.

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate.

People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.

4. Toiletries.

Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.

5. Canned meats and jerky.

This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.

6. Crackers and tortillas.

They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries.

Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.

8. Soup packets.

Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks.

From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.

Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

Read More: 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For | http://1027kord.com/10-things-food-banks-need-but-wont-ask-for/?trackback=fbshare_mobile_top&trackback=tsmclip

Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them. A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 below. If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one of our area food banks.

1. Spices.

Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.

2. Feminine Products.

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate.

People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.

4. Toiletries.

Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.

5. Canned meats and jerky.

This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.

6. Crackers and tortillas.

They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries.

Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.

8. Soup packets.

Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks.

From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.

Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

Read More: 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For | http://1027kord.com/10-things-food-banks-need-but-wont-ask-for/?trackback=fbshare_mobile_top&trackback=tsmclip

Some items are in high demand at the food bank and you may not realize it. Because they aren’t essentials, the staff doesn’t publicly ask for them. A survey on Reddit.com asked volunteers what items people would be most appreciative of and we’ve listed the top 10 below. If you’re looking for an easy way to help out, pick some of these up while shopping and drop them off at one of our area food banks.

1. Spices.

Think about it. People who rely on the food bank eat a lot of canned food, rice, oatmeal, white bread, etc. They love spices. Seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, oregano, basil and so on.

2. Feminine Products.

Can you imagine being worried about affording these? Pads, tampons, panty liners, etc. Recommended: Buy in bulk at Costco for donating.

3. Chocolate.

People don’t need it, but think about being in their shoes and how nice it would be to be given a chocolate bar or brownie mix along with your essentials.

4. Toiletries.

Grocery stores are great about donating surplus or unsold food, but they have no reason to donate toilet paper, tooth paste, soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. Food stamps often don’t cover these.

5. Canned meats and jerky.

This isn’t true of all food banks, but some struggle to give users enough protein.

6. Crackers and tortillas.

They don’t spoil and everybody likes them.

7. Baby toiletries.

Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby food, bottles, etc.

8. Soup packets.

Sometimes you look at rice, beans, instant potatoes, and cans of vegetable and think, “What do I make with this?” Hearty soup is a complete meal.

9. Socks.

From a former homeless person: “Socks mean the world to you. They keep you warm, make you feel like you have something new, and just comfort you.”

10. Canned fruit other than pineapple.

Food banks get a lot of pineapple donated. Their clients love it when other kinds of fruit are available.

 

And remember! Food banks love cash donations because it allows them to buy whatever they need!

10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For.

via 10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For.

 

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

10 Things Food Banks Need But Won’t Ask For | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

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Rare reptiles hatched at Audubon Zoo

Source: Audubon Zoo

 

A pair of rare reptiles was hatched at the Audubon Zoo.

These are fertile – and historic – times at the Audubon Zoo Reptile Encounter. In recent weeks, the zoo welcomed the first-ever births of critically endangered false gharials at Audubon.

Gharials, a freshwater crocodilian native to Southeast Asia with a very thin and elongated snout, have been housed at Audubon Zoo since the mid-1980s.

However, the zoo states that the species has not been bred in captivity anywhere in the United States since 2009 and never at Audubon Zoo until now.

Two gharials were hatched in September, doubling the Audubon population to four. Currently, there are only about 30 gharials on exhibit in American zoos.

The species is considered to be one of the most critically threatened of all crocodilians, and was alarmingly close to extinction in the 1970s. The major threat is habitat loss due to human encroachment and disruption of populations through fishing and hunting activities.

Of a clutch of about 20 eggs, two were successfully fertilized, said Melanie Litton, senior reptile keeper at Audubon. Audubon Zoo will keep one gharial while the other will go to the Houston Zoo.

 

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Rare reptiles hatched at Audubon Zoo – FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports.

via Rare reptiles hatched at Audubon Zoo.

 

Rare reptiles hatched at Audubon Zoo | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Mississippi And Louisiana Reach Agreement On Hunting Liscenses

The hunting and fishing license war between Mississippi and Louisiana is over, and officials say sportsmen from both states have reason to smile.

The battle started last year when the Louisiana Legislature approved higher out of state fishing fees. Mississippi retaliated by increasing out of state hunting fees.

Today, some members of the Louisiana legislature came to Jackson to sign an agreement, with both states making a number of concessions:

Mississippi agrees to:

  • Lower its all game hunting license from $425 to $300
  • Lower its archery/primitive weapon license from $100 to $75

Louisiana agrees to:

  • Lower its annual non-resident saltwater fishing license from $110 to $90
  • Create a 3 day non-resident saltwater license for $55
  • Create a one day saltwater license for $20  For the thousands of Mississippians who enjoy fishing in Louisiana’s waters, buying an annual license will now cost $90 dollars instead of $110.

Sen. Lynn Posey, D-Union Church, is chairman of the Senate Wildlife and Fisheries Committee. He was instrumental in getting the changes.

“I don’t think everyone’s completely satisfied but I think under the circumstances we did as good for the state of Mississippi as we could do,” Sen. Posey said after a meeting with Louisiana legislators.

The Mississippi and Louisiana Departments of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks operate off of the license fees. Even though both agencies will take a hit by lowering prices, negotiators say it’s worth it.

“That’s why we’re here today to sign an agreement just saying, look enough is enough lets have peace and make sure we can cross the line without that animosity,” said Sen. Craig Romero, R-Louisiana.

“What’s more important, for the first time we have an open line of communication between Mississippi and Louisiana regarding any kind of future license fee adjustments,” said Jim Walker with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

At the end of the meeting, Mississippi officials received this jug of Tabasco as a token of appreciation and an end to a heated debate.

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Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Mississippi And Louisiana Reach Agreement On Hunting Liscenses – WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi.

via Mississippi And Louisiana Reach Agreement On Hunting Liscenses – WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi.

 

Mississippi And Louisiana Reach Agreement On Hunting Liscenses | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Guide to Cajun History and Heritage – infographic

The History of CajunIf you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
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Pin by Arlen Benny Cenac on South Louisiana | Pinterest.

via Pin by Arlen Benny Cenac on South Louisiana | Pinterest.

 

Guide to Cajun History and Heritage – infographic | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana.

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Nicholls executive to return to writing

Best of luck to Mr. Al Davis in his “wrestling match”.

http://www.nicholls.edu/university-college/files/2007/11/1113-davis-al-01.JPG

After 34 years at Nicholls State University, Al Davis will “technically retire” this spring to write fiction — his first love but which he says was like “a big sumo wrestler” that beat him down.

Sitting behind his desk, wearing his trademark bowtie, this one orange with silver diagonal stripes, Davis reflected on a career built upon his ability to write.

He’s currently vice president for interim academic affairs. He’s been dean of the University College, Alcee Fortier distinguished professor, distinguished service professor of languages and literature, and novelist in residence.

Davis was born and raised in Houma and graduated from Terrebonne High School.

Recognizing his talent early on, teachers encouraged Davis to write. Taking their advice to heart he wrote as often as he could, including poems for girls he had a crush on. Those he stuck to the girls’ lockers.

Writing, he said, was always what he wanted to do.

“I was reading ‘As I Lay Dying’ one night, and when Addie Bundren started talking I said ‘Oh my, I’ve got to do this,’” he said.

Davis attended the University of Louisiana-Lafayette graduated from Nicholls in 1969 with degrees in history and English.

After briefly teaching in Terrebonne Parish, Davis earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Colorado State University, then returned to Houma, covering the court system for the Houma Courier.

“We carried cameras around. We had to have a story, we all had a byline, had to have one every day,” he said. “I had fun at the newspaper.”

He soon returned to Nicholls as a professor. He taught English for several years until he completed his first two novels, “Leechtime” in 1989 and “Marquis at Bay” in 1992. He began teaching creative writing and was named novelist in residence in 1993.

Davis cites William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway as his inspiration.

“Faulkner is my hero,” he said.

The novels, Davis said, were a personal struggle.

“Writers look for any excuse not to write. I can write a poem every day, but a novel, no. That’s a big sumo wrestler that beat … me and won,” he said.

Shortly thereafter he was commissioned to write a different kind of book: the university policy manual.

“I got familiar with administration, policy, promotion and tenure guidelines. That’s where working in administration became really attractive to me,” he said.

Not long after he completed the faculty handbook, Davis was named director of general studies.

He worked his way up to dean of the relatively young University College. During the past decade, he guided the John Folse Culinary Institute through the addition of several four-year degrees and a new building, and the Petroleum Engineering Safety and Technology Management program as it expanded to meet workforce needs.

The opening of the new culinary building, Davis said, will mark the official countdown to his retirement.

Since becoming interim vice president, Davis has pulled double duty.

“This has been an interesting little place. I’ve got a bigger perspective of what’s been going on. I’m a little closer to faculty, outside of my limited view. It’s very busy, he said.

He said Nicholls President Bruce Murphy, who started his job in January, has hired the right people and “is a smart man with a plan.”

And, he said, for years he’s been feeling an increasing call to finish that third novel. He had set spring 2015 as a potential exit date even before Murphy was named, he said.

He’ll still be around campus. As an Alcee Fourtier distinguished professor, Davis gets an office to continue his work on publications advancing the Nicholls’ name.

“When you get to 30 years you start to think about it,” he said. “Your body starts telling you ‘you’re not going to live forever.’ Maybe you do want to get back in the ring with the sumo wrestler just to try it out. Maybe you do need to do that puzzle your granddaughter likes to do, maybe you do want to watch your granddaughter get off the bus and run at you and say, ‘Papa!’”

By JACOB BATTE  The Daily Comet

Nicholls State official retiring after 34 years to return to fiction writing – Daily Journal.

via Nicholls State official retiring after 34 years to return to fiction writing – Daily Journal.

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▶ Kendall Jones: Game On – Alligator Hunting Girls

The premiere episode of “Game On” features Kendall Jones and her best friend Taylor Altom as they slip away from college for a weekend to go gator hunting in Lake Charles, LA with Louisiana native and farmer/rancher Charles Schultz.

 

 

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Louisiana festival guide 2014: November | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana

Louisiana Festivals in November fete frogs, experimental theater, and steampunk living. Highlights include Hell Yes Fest, New Orleans Fringe, the Louisiana Renaissance Festival, and more.

Oct. 23-Nov. 2

Greater Baton Rouge State Fair Live music, stage shows, more than 40 carnival rides, concessions and more. Admission: $5 for anyone at least 48 inches tall. Ride wristbands cost $20. Baton Rouge Fairgrounds, 16072 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, 225.755.3247, email cbarton629@cox.net.

Oct. 23-Nov. 9

State Fair of Louisiana A carnival with live entertainment, a rodeo with livestock exhibitions, plus competitive events, concessions, and more. Shreveport, 318.635.1361.

Oct. 28-Nov. 2

Yellow Rails and Rice Festival The sixth annual festival brings together birders, farmers, and spectators for field days, workshops, information booths, and more. Jennings.

Oct. 31-Nov. 2

Antique Trade Days Art and Crafts Show A three-day outdoor festival with antiques, collectibles, fine arts, craft booths, foods, and children’s activities. Admission: Free. Ponchatoula Trade Days Grounds, 160 S.E. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, 985.386.0026.

Holy Ghost Creole Bazaar and Festival Creole and zydeco music, a gospel choir concert, parade, raffles, games, food and more. Admission: Free. Holy Ghost Catholic Church, 747 N Union St., Opelousas, 337.942.2732.

La. Swine Festival Pageants, a parade, pork cook-off, live entertainment and contests. Basile Town Park, Basile, 337.230.1479.

The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience Voodoo Fest features rock, hip-hop, electronic, indie, funk, jazz, zydeco and brass bands on multiple stages, plus large interactive art installations, a family area, craft vendors and Louisiana cuisine. Camping options are available New Orleans City Park Festival Grounds, 1701 Wisner Blvd, New Orleans, email Info@thevoodooexperience.com.

Nov. 1

Southdown Marketplace Fall Arts and Crafts Festival More than 300 vendors will be selling their wares during the festival, sponsored by the Terrebonne Historical and Cultural Society. Admission: $5 for adults, free for children under 12; additional fees for food, museum tours and select activities. Southdown Plantation House, 1208 Museum Drive, Houma, 985.851.0154.

Louisiana Book Festival More than 120 authors, poets and storytellers will read and discuss their work, plus vendors, an area for young readers, children’s activities, food and music. Admission: Free. State Library of Louisiana, 701 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, 225.219.9503.

Bayou Bacchanal Friends of Culture hosts the 12th annual Caribbean festival, with authentic cuisine, dancing, and music. Louis Armstrong Park, 801 N Rampart St, New Orleans.

Nov. 1-2

Celebration of the Giant Omelette Music, food, antique cars and farm equipment, egg-cracking contests, children’s activities, arts and crafts. On Sunday, the giant omelet will be cooked in a 12-foot skillet. Admission: Free. Magdalen Square, 1 S. Magdalen Square, Abbeville, 337.893.0013.

Sabine Free State Festival Celebrate the history of the neutral strip between Texas and Louisiana with an old-time shoot-out, craft and food vendors, live entertainment and more. Florien, 800.358.7802.

Nov. 1-Dec. 7 (weekends only)

Louisiana Renaissance Festival A cast of 300 costumed actors re-create life in a Renaissance village, with live stage shows, jousting, craft demos, food, music, falconry, games and (man-powered) rides, plus vendors. Admission: $17 adult, $10 children 7-12, children 6 and younger free. 46468 River Road, Hammond, 985.429.9992, email info@larf.org.

Nov. 6-9

Port Barre Cracklin Festival Cajun, zydeco and swamp music, carnival rides, arts and crafts, a pageant and food. Veterans Memorial Park, 504 Sazian Avenue, Port Barre, 337.585.6673.

Rayne Frog Festival Rides, food, music, crafts, frog racing and jumping competitions, a bullfrog derby, parade and more. Fairgrounds, Rayne, 337.334.2332.

Nov. 7

“If Headstones Could Talk” Take a guided, living history tour of the cemetery, and listen as “residents” tell stories of what life was like in Abbeville at the turn of the 20th century. Tours depart every 30 minutes. Admission: $10. St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 300 Pere Megret St., Abbeville, 337.740.2112 or 337.898.4110.

Nov. 7-9

Scandinavian Festival and Christmas Sale Scandinavian food, children’s activities, traditional jazz concerts and a bazaar. Sunday features a jazz service, followed by Scandinavian lunch and cakes. Admission: Free. Norwegian Church, 1772 Prytania St, 504.525.3602.

Pecan Festival Live music, contests, fireworks, a queens’ ball and grand parade. Downtown Colfax, 318.627.5196.

Westwego Cypress Swamp Festival The 19th annual Wego Fest honors all U.S. military and vets with live entertainment, carnival rides, food and drinks, crafts and raffles. Admission: $2 (Free for children 10 and younger). Pay-one-price ride tickets, $20 for five hours. Westwego Farmers and Fisheries Market, 484 Sala Ave., Westwego, 504.341.3424 or 504.341.9083.

Nov. 8

Atchafalaya Basin Festival Live music, a car show, cook-off, raffle, parade, bingo, auctions, food, arts and crafts. Admission: Free. Henry Guidry Memorial Park, 1454 Henderson Hwy., Henderson, 337.257.2444.

Irish Fest The Irish Famine Commemoration Board presents Irish Fest. New Orleans is a first-time host city for the event, which is an international commemoration of the 1840s famine. Admission: $13.65 advance. Kingsley House, 1600 Constance St, New Orleans.

Special Needs Day The third annual event for families with special needs includes face painting, music and live entertainment, animals to pet and hold, and a social service fair. Admission: TBA. Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, 800.774.7394.

Steampunk and Maker’s Faire A liars contest and competitions for beards, mustaches, and other facial hair; plus live music, theater, vendors, demonstrations, workshops, discussions and more. Admission: Free. Downtown Lafayette.

Thibodauxville Fall Festival Live entertainment, food, crafts, a car show, a duck race and children’s activities. Admission: Free. Downtown Thibodaux, 985.446.1187.

Nov. 8-9

Destrehan Plantation Fall Festival Arts and crafts, Cajun and creole foods, antiques and collectibles, pony rides, face painting, craft demonstrations, and tours of the plantation house. Admission: $7 (free for children age 12 and younger). Additional fee of $5 for plantation house tours. Destrehan Plantation, 13034 River Road, Destrehan, 985.764.9315.

Treme Creole Gumbo Festival A who’s who of New Orleans brass bands, plus a large arts market, gumbo vendors, second lines, a dance contest, and a vegan gumbo contest. Admission: Free. Louis Armstrong Park, 801 N Rampart St, New Orleans, 504.558.6100.

Nov. 12-16

Hell Yes Fest The comedy festival’s fourth year brings a flurry of standup, sketch, improv, podcasts, films and more funny stuff to New Orleans. Admission: 2014 pricing TBA. Various locations including The New Movement, 2706 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans.

Nov. 14-16

River Parishes Fall Festival Rides, games, music, a pageant, raffles, children’s entertainment and more. Admission: Free. Sacred Heart of Jesus School, 453 Spruce St., Norco, 985.764.9958.

Nov. 15-16

Covington Three Rivers Arts Festival A juried show of 200 artists in a festive atmosphere with demonstrations, food, live music and children’s activities. Admission: Free. Columbia Street, downtown Covington, 985.327.9797.

Nov. 19-23

2014 New Orleans Fringe Festival Scores of alternative theater works will be performed at venues throughout Faubourg Marigny and Bywater, including the Shadowbox Theatre, during a celebration that includes a parade, a yard art tour and children’s activities. The Shadowbox Theatre, 2400 St. Claude Ave, New Orleans, 504.941.3640.

Nov. 20-24

Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans The Faulkner Society’s annual literary festival includes a Sunday night gala, masterclasses, book sales, panel discussions with noted authors, music performances, literary luncheons and much more. 2014 theme is “The Art of Improvisation in Words, Music, and Life.” Admission: Varies. Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St, New Orleans, 504.586.1609 or 504.525.5615, email info@wordsandmusic.org.

Nov. 22

2nd District Cops 2 Blues Fest The event, formerly known as the Magazine Street Blues Festival, features live local music, artist vendors, food trucks and restaurant vendors, children’s games and inflatables. Pets welcome. Proceeds benefit Citizens Organization for Police Support 2 (COPS 2), dedicated to support of police officers assigned to the Second District. Admission: Free. Palmer Park, South Carrollton Avenue at South Claiborne Avenue, New Orleans, 504.962.7260.

Nov. 22-Jan. 6

2014 Festival of Lights Several weeks of festivities offer outdoor light displays, live entertainment, children’s activities, open houses, arts and crafts, fireworks, food vendors, parades, 5K, holiday home tours and more. The annual Christmas festival is Dec. 6. A full schedule of events can be found at the website. Admission: Varies. Historic Landmark District, Natchitoches, 800.259.1714.

Nov. 25-30

Bayou Classic The 41st annual event celebrates the rivalry between Grambling State University and Southern University with a big game, plus a parade, golf tournament, Battle of the Bands and more. Admission: Varies by event. Various locations, New Orleans, 504.293.2619, email info@mybayouclassic.com.

Nov. 29

Fleur de Lis Arts and Crafts Show More than 100 vendors show and sell at this biannual indoor arts and crafts festival. Browse pottery, woodworking, jewelry, clothing, kitchen goods, jams, jellies, spices, and much more. Natchitoches Event Center, 750 Second St., Natchitoches.

Nov. 29-30

Tis the Season Street Stroll Artisans and craftsmen from the South display their wares in booths along Columbia Street, where there also will be food and live music. Admission: Free. Downtown Bogalusa, Columbia St. at East Fourth St., Bogalusa, 985.732.4684 or 985.750.4054.

Nov. 29-Dec. 13

Fall Harvest Festival Arts and crafts, farm demos and hayrides. Grant Christmas Tree Farm and Syrup Mill, 716 Whitaker Road, Grant, 318.634.3408.

 

Louisiana festival guide 2014: November | NOLA.com.

via Louisiana festival guide 2014: November.

 

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Louisiana festival guide 2014: November | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana.

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Louisiana hunters, it’s time to grow your beards, and help a good cause | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman

Luke Landry beard

 

For many hunters, growing a beard during duck season is as important as buying shotgun shells. A beard not only is a fashion statement for the hunting blind, it also is functional, serving to keep a hunter warm and reduce the glare of the sun on his face.

To unite hunters in the facial-hair brotherhood, Ducks Unlimited has again organized the Beards for Conservation program that allows hunters to track their beard growth for a good cause, and hopefully win some valuable prizes along the way.

The first step is to download the free Beards for Conservation app, which is available for both iPhone and Android devices. Then participants select one of DU’s top five conservation-priority areas to help raise awareness about on-going work in that area. The Gulf Coast is one of those priority areas.

After that, the next step is to drop your razor in a bathroom drawer and forget about it until February.

Each day, hunters may use the mobile app to take a photo of the progress. The photo will appear in that hunter’s public profile page on the DU website.

As part of the process, beard-growers may ask friends and relatives on Facebook to make a donation to DU through their personal fundraising pages. The top-five fundraisers win valuable, hunting-related prizes, including seven cases of Federal ammunition.

Throughout the program, DU will also award prizes like waterfowling gear, coolers and DU merchandise to random participants.

 

 

Louisiana hunters, it’s time to grow your beards, and help a good cause | NOLA.com.

via Louisiana hunters, it’s time to grow your beards, and help a good cause | NOLA.com.

 

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

 

Louisiana hunters, it’s time to grow your beards, and help a good cause | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Louisiana shrimp catch in September largest since 2003

 

Louisiana shrimpers caught more shrimp in September than any other September since 2003, according to federal fisheries estimates released this week.

Shrimpers caught 7.9 million pounds of shrimp, the largest on record for the month since the 8 million pounds landed in 2003.

The September shrimp landings were 63.2 percent above the 7-year historic average for the month of September, which is 4.8 million pounds, according to a recent Southern Shrimp Alliance analysis of the National Marine Fisheries Service preliminary catch numbers.

Strong landings for the past few months have helped buoy the slow start to the year. The Louisiana shrimp harvest for the first nine months of 2014 was now about equal to the 7-year historic average for that period – 37.3 million pounds.

Meanwhile, prices for shrimp at the dock in September continued to be significantly higher than previous years. Depending on the size of the shrimp, prices were anywhere from about 50 cents to $1.50 more per pound.

For the entire Gulf of Mexico, shrimp landings for September were 31 percent of the 12.1-million pound historic average.

Still, for the Gulf as a while, landings were 8 percent down for the year, when compared to its historic average of 81.7 million pounds.

“The primary drag on landings volumes (in the Gulf) has been Texas, which has continued to report weaker landings data,” according to a Southern Shrimp Alliance newsletter sent to its member this week.

For the year, Texas shrimp landings are 30 percent below its historic average. That makes it Texas’ lowest volume year since 2008.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance is an eight-state coalition of shrimpers and processors that has long pushed for greater regulations on shrimp imports.

 

Louisiana shrimp catch in September largest since 2003 | NOLA.com.

via Louisiana shrimp catch in September largest since 2003 | NOLA.com.

 

 

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

 

Louisiana shrimp catch in September largest since 2003 | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

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Video: New Orleans Food Memories | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen

If you grew up in New Orleans, you will love this video which highlights those local food memories we have all come to know and love. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did.

 

 

Video: New Orleans Food Memories | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

 

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

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