Showing posts from 2010

Who Says Diet Food Can't Taste Good?

Another confession.  I have gained too much weight!  The high life has to stop.  I joined Weight Watchers at the worst possible time of the year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are the biggest eating seasons on the calendar.  In an effort to stay "on program" as they say in "WWese", I have been searching for recipes that use ingredients that we love and are diet friendly, too.  I think I found a winner.  I have prepared this dish three different ways, but finally hit on the version that we like best.

Poisson en Popillote

4  (6 oz.) fillets of fish ( I have used catfish and drum)
4 Tablespoon olive oil
Sprinkles of : parsley flakes, dried basil, Italian Seasoning, black pepper, coarse salt
Paprika (enough to cover fish lightly)
4 onion slices
4 tomato slices or several halved cherry tomatoes
4 teaspoons butter
Juice of a lemon

1.  For each fillet, layer on your counter top, a piece of  foil, shiny side up, and a piece of parchment paper on top of the foil. Place one fis…

Thanks, Aunt Audrey!

When I was about 12 years old, I wanted to learn to sew.  My Mom, bless her heart, was not talented in this area.  We owned a sewing machine, but Mom's talents lay in the culinary arts and not the art of creating clothing from fabric and thread.  My Aunt Audrey was the expert with thread and needle.  Her specialty was not clothing.  She owned a business at home and made slipcovers and draperies for homes all over the Baton Rouge area.  Her clientele were referred to her by interior decorators.  Out of her converted garage, she created beautiful home furnishings for years.

I was persistent in wanting to sew.  I viewed the skill as a vehicle to an expanded wardrobe.  I was sent to Aunt Audrey to learn some basics.  She gifted me with scraps from slipcovers and draperies.  Most of the time her clients were not interested in keeping left over snippets of fabric.  Some of the pieces were large enough for me to make a skirt and that's where the instruction began.  She taught me to …

A Bluebird Day

My husband has a saying.  If the weather is cool, crisp and sunny, he proclaims it a "bluebird day."  Today was one of the first bluebird days of the fall season, such as it is in southern Louisiana.  Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to enjoy good weather, we headed to New Roads, Louisiana.  We drove to St. Francisville and took the ferry across the Mississippi River.  The ferry is operated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and is free for cars.  I did, however, see the operator collect money from truck drivers.   On the St. Francisville side there is always a person selling homemade pralines.  I have found this to be a very entrepreneurial endeavor!  We bought some today and they did not disappoint.  The praline vendor has gone high tech in recent years and has added a label to the candy with information about phone orders and mail-outs for those who can't get enough sweetness.  Emily's Southern Pralines is the business name. The phone number for o…

New Baby in the Neighborhood

Our first grandchild was born last week.  Her name is Olive Marie.  Olive's parents are our daughter, Gretchen and her husband, Jeremy.  She weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.  She's a cutie!  Indulge me by taking a look at some of her first pictures.

Olive was born at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge.  The care was phenomenal!  Thanks to the doctors and staff who made the occasion an unforgettable experience.  I will be back at my regular blogging in a few days.  I have been consumed with an infatuation for this precious bundle of joy.  Thank God for his blessings and this precious life.

Boston, MA Second Installment

Today we hopped on the “T” and headed to the Museum of Fine Art.  I love using the “T”.  I get a sense of freedom that comes from not having the burden of a car and parking.  It costs less than $2.00 for each ride and you can buy a card that is swiped on the gate or the ticket machine on the train car.  There are even special rates for senior citizens, but an application must be completed before that rate is granted.  The card can be “loaded” at several locations in town including convenience stores and kiosks in the stations.  What a way to get around!
On our way we stopped and had a tasty lunch at La Verdad Taqueria.  It’s across the street from Fenway Park and I can just imagine that it is packed on Red Sox game days.  A sign in the restaurant touts that it is “like  a night in Tijuana.”  The tortillas are made fresh each day and the sauces are authentic and home made.  We ordered guacamole and chips and were served a trio of sauces and warm chips seasoned with a grated soft white c…

Boston, MA First Installment

I visited my son, Greg, in Boston for five days.  It was not my first visit and he and I were considering some of the sights we should see.  Of the offerings we found we had already done the Freedom Trail, the "Pru" and the Common, so finding new things to experience was the challenge.  Even shopping on Newbury Street and seeing the JFK Library had been accomplished in past visits, so we really had to dig deep!

I arrived early in the afternoon on a somewhat on time flight and after getting rid of the car we loaded our T passes with money for riding and headed out!  After a simple lunch of Pizza at Upper Crust on Harvard Street at Coolidge Corner we sauntered down to Serenade Chocolatier for some chocolate.  Serenade is in Brookline Village and is known for  hand made confections in the Viennese style.  We went in for a "piece" of candy and were tempted by the idea of a chocolate dipped Oreo ice cream bar.  It was explained that the ice cream was that of a local purv…

At the Beach

It was a mid-week outing for three friends.  We had not seen each other in a year, but when we were together, it felt as if we had never been separated by time.  Our destination was Gulf Shores, Alabama and the beach.  We had several beach trips during the years that we worked together as teachers, but it had been many years since our last trip. Needless to say, there were lots of things to discuss.  Rain was predicted and the Alabama shore was threatened by "The Worst Oil Spill in History," but we didn't care.  Our trip was more about friendship and total relaxation. The rain and the oil held off long enough for us to enjoy our time together.  We were lucky!

On the way we made a couple of stops that were tradition to us.  First, there was the stop in Loxley, Alabama for the Burris Farmer's Market.  This is where we picked up tomatoes and fruit for our leisurely "at the beach" dining.  We made mental notes of which veggies were available and planned to stop …

Signs of Summer Foods

It has been too hot to get on the road, so I have been staying at home for a couple of days.  I have been doing the obligatory laundry, dusting and vacuuming and lots of cooking.  Today I prepared a couple of old favorites:  Stuffed Green Bell Peppers with Cheese Sauce and Vidalia Onion Pie.

When I was pregnant with my second child (1980), I entered a recipe contest sponsored by a local newspaper.  To my surprise I won the summer vegetable category for my Bell Pepper recipe.  The dish had its beginning in a huge paper sack of the largest bell peppers I had ever seen.  My husband, an Exxon employee at the time, bought the peppers from a colleague who had a garden.  He purchased them for $1.50.  Thinking back on this makes me sad that I had to pay $1.00 for two peppers at the grocery yesterday.  My chore was to "do something" with all those peppers!  Thus the recipe.  I even had a picture of myself in the newspaper for winning the contest!  I am sure there was some sort of pr…

A Remarkable Woman

I am honored to be counted as a friend of Mildred, a remarkable woman.   Recently, I received an invitation to her birthday party.  This was not an ordinary party.  It was a commemoration  of 85 years and 40 years cancer free living!  I arrived early and had the privilege of congratulating the honoree and meeting her family members who came in for the celebration.  It was a lovely party.  I am including some pictures of the refreshments and the flowers that graced the serving tables. 
Initially I was surprised to learn that "Millie", as she is affectionately known to many, has her 85th birthday this year.  If you met her, you would also be surprised.  She is the youngest looking and youngest acting 85 year old I have ever seen.  I have played many bridge games with her and she is smart and funny.  Her positive outlook and busy schedule belie her chronological age.  
I wanted to know more about her than I could find out at a bridge table where concentration on the game is manda…

A Relaxed Afternoon at Avery Lane Salon and Spa

Today I went to Avery Lane Salon and Spa to have my hair cut and colored.  I love my new stylist, Lauren, and she and I decided to make some changes to my hair.  I had been collecting pictures of styles that I liked and had even snapped a picture (with permission) of a lady in the grocery checkout line who had a haircut I admired.  Lauren worked on the color to add some "dimension."  Dimension is the term used to describe visible highlighted streaks of color.  That had to be explained to me and now I know the lingo.   Anyone who has ever had his or her hair colored in a salon knows that there is a waiting period for the color to "process." My eyeglasses have to be removed so they will not be stained by the chemicals that are applied to my locks.  I normally spend the waiting time in a fog since I can't see well enough to read anything or even browse a magazine without my glasses.
 I was enticed to spend the time wisely and treat myself to a Dreamsicle pedicure. …

Destination: St. Francisville, LA

Louisiana in the spring brings the blooming azaleas, beautiful mild days and an urge to get out of the city and into the country.  Last week Karen and I met Kaye in St. Francisville for some lunch and retail therapy.  Kaye is from there and was the perfect tour guide for some unique spots.

St. Francisville is a plantation town, but we were not interested in touring any on this day.  We were more interested in food and spending our green.  Kaye and her daughter, Shannon, met us at Magnolia Cafe near the center of town on Commerce Street.

The Mag, as it is called by the locals, specializes in original Louisiana cooking.  The original Mag was in a building that formerly housed a service station.  That building burned to the ground a few years ago and the owners relocated behind the burned-out spot.  The facade (and the interiors) are very rustic.  I was intrigued by the large golden pig statuary that greeted us as we approached the steps to the main dining room.  It was such a pretty day …