writeonthebay

Posts Tagged ‘beignets’

scenes from an expat’s Mardi Gras

In In My Kitchen on March 7, 2011 at 10:01 pm

There are plenty of us expat New Orleanians here in the DC-Metro area, and plenty of opportunities to celebrate Mardi Gras with our Louisiana peeps, but they generally involve expensive tickets sold by lottery, formalwear, and lining up a babysitter. Since I rarely want to deal with all that, I’ll do something like meet my friend Ryan in Dupont Circle for a taste of home. First stop, The Cajun Experience. The owners are from Lafayette (like Ryan and I). The chef and bartender are from New Orleans. Our waiter was from San Francisco, but we’ll forgive him for that.

Seems like other expats have been pounding the Abitas at the restaurant lately. They were out of a couple of Abita drafts, as well as out of Andy Gator, so we went for Abbey Ale a Belgian style dubbel ale.

Ryan had been to the restaurant before (they’ve only been open about 5 weeks), and he said the hush puppies (often a freebie afterthought in many Louisiana restaurants) were the lightest he’d ever had. He was not exaggerating. These little buggers just about melted on the tongue, and the chipotle sauce was a nice surprise.

We ordered an appetizer portion of crawfish mac-n-cheese. Hardly a traditional dish, but a pairing I was up for after loving crab mac-n-cheese here in Chesapeake country.

Pot roast poboy. I would have liked some debris, the gravy from the bottom of the pot that Mother’s slathers their roast beef poboys with. But, nice tender beef on Leidenheimer French bread shipped in from New Orleans.

We also ordered crawfish etoufee, which we were so busy enjoying I forgot to get a pic. I make a great etoufee at home, but right now even Chinese crawfish tail meat is $16 a pound, and Chinese crawfish is just — wrong.

Anyhoo, I was having such a good time, I let the waiter talk us into beignets, despite our plans to get them in Northern Virginia. Sorry Ry! They were good, but a little doughy.

After a ridiculous drive through Georgetown (reminding me how glad I am I don’t have to commute into DC everyday anymore), we popped into Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Virginia. I picked up som Porkorn (spicy caramel corn with bacon — fantastic) to bring home to hubby.

Somehow we had room for a second dessert, buttermilk chocolate for him, red velvet for me. And an iced coffee to fuel the drive home, also fitting since Ryan introduced me to iced coffee many years ago at PJ’s Coffee in New Orleans.

Decorator’s tip: tear up your old cookbooks and decoupage them all over your bathroom for funky wall paper!

Tomorrow morning as the Krewe of Zulu rides down St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans handing out those legendary coconuts, I’ll be in my boot camp class at the gym, sweating off the calories from the weekend. N’awlins, I miss ya, dahlin. Happy Mardi Gras, y’all.

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time for adventure

In In My Kitchen, In Other Words, On My Mind on December 8, 2010 at 9:32 am

I am so over New Year’s resolutions. They are so 20th century. But I have been compiling a list of adventures to have in 2011, or whenever. Here’s the first batch, along with some background.

ski down a mountain

attend a film screening

It’s been about fourteen years since I’ve been skiing. And in a few weeks, my little family will head out to Park City to visit the fabulous Heather and Chris. Serious skiing there, people. Like, my heart is skipping a beat just looking at pics Heather is sending us from the trails. AND. We’ll be there during the Sundance Film Festival. How cool is that? I’m such a voyeur, I can’t wait to walk down the snowy street with the Hollywood types, and take in a flick or two while I’m at it.

visit a dairy farm

build something

go to a Tractor Supply Store

shoot a shotgun

I admit to falling under the influence of good friends. And two of my bestest buds, Jen and Christian, have got me loving their new home in Pennsyltuckey — er — York County, PA. I could easily do all of the above in a weekend trip to visit these doers on their 11 acres. The building I’ll probably do at home. Maybe a bat box. Maybe a desk. We’ll see. Either way I’ll probably bug Christian for advice.

ride my bike

And speaking of influential friends, Christy was crazy enough to say “yes” when I asked her in 2008 if she wanted to train for a triathlon with me. I borrowed a road bike at the time, and my own hybrid has sat neglected for I don’t even know how long. It’s high time I tune it up and roam the hood with the kids, or chase after Christy on her road bike.

visit the Smithsonian

It’s right there!

shop at a tienda

I want to improve my game in the Mexican cuisine category. And sometimes it’s fun to just explore a store I don’t usually visit, pick up some mystery vegetable, bring it home and try to turn it into something worth eating.

write a friend a letter

I write a mean letter. Well, nice letters, really. And who doesn’t like to receive a real, honest-to-goodness handwritten letter?

make beignets

make king cake

Because they are yummy. Because I know what it means to miss New Orleans. Because I can.

read poetry

write poetry

Where oh where has my literary mojo gone?

practice yoga on the beach

I don’t know about all you other baby mamas out there, but I have a hard time with self-care when I’m tending a new baby. But he’s not so new anymore, and I could use a little more downward dog in my life. Pair it with staring out at the water, and that spells serenity for me.

spend the day doing nothing

Too many days of my life are overscheduled. A whole lot of nothing will have to fill my calendar sometimes.