NOLA love…

Yesterday was Mardi Gras!  I’ve mentioned my love for New Orleans several times before, my hubb and I even got married there!  I’ve been reminiscing about all of our wonderful visits to our favorite city, and am craving a trip back.  Man…that would be a heck of a food blog post!!!  But until then, a little trip down memory lane bourbon street…

our favorite breakfast spot, Mother’s.

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our favorite musicians (who played at our wedding!!!).

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our favorite late night coffee and beignets, cafe du monde.

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at our favorite jazz bar, fritzel’s.

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on our favorite day, at broussard’s.

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I had big plans for this week, different NOLA-inspired recipes every day.  Some gumbo, red beans, muffalettas and bananas foster.  I have fallen WAY short of that goal, but do have a bit of the Big Easy to share with you from dinner tonight…  But first, breakfast.

My oats this morning were tasty, but a little dry.  And not too filling, surprisingly.  I was starving just 3 hours later.

Breakfast:  ultra-textured oats

[398 cal]

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, pinch of salt
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp wheatberries
  • 2 dried figs, chopped
  • 1 tbsp TJ’s natural crunchy PB

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Lunch:  a lovely salad and 3 Back To Nature multigrain flax crackers

[400 cal]

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  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • wheatberries
  • chickpeas
  • poppyseed dressing

Snacks:  an orange and a slice of banana date bread.  Also, 2 Jolly Rancher cherry lollipops and 2 squares of dark chocolate…I was CRAVING sugar today! Bad healthy food blogger.

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I had my board meeting after work, so knew that dinner would be late.  I packed this bar in case of emergency, and needed it at 7:30.  It was pretty good…reminded me a lot of the Clif Nectar Cacao bars.

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When I pulled in my driveway at 8:30 and climbed out of the car, I could smell dinner cooking.  Seriously.  From the driveway.  And it wasn’t being cooked outside on the grill, it was inside my kitchen.  I don’t know if that speaks more of the amazing aroma of gumbo or the crappy quality of my windows but either way, I couldn’t wait to get inside and dig in!!!

Dinner:  GUMBO!!!!!  On rice, with a glass of cabernet.

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I’ve debated whether or not to share this recipe.  It was really delicious, but my hubb and I have had better.  My stepfather makes an amazing gumbo that he has adapted over many years of experimenting with many different recipes.  This one was from Paul Prudhomme, the father of the blackening method and owner/chef of one of our favorite NOLA restaurants, K-Pauls.

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I’ve decided not to share, because its not right yet.  The roux was a deep chocolate brown, just like Chef Paul specifies, but we’ve learned that we like gumbos with more of a milk chocolate hue.  And it was thick…much thicker than the last Chef Paul gumbo we tried.  We’re soupy gumbo folks, and will be working to perfect a recipe that reflects that texture.  So now we have an excuse to make gumbo more often, because I’m determined that by the time I write about our anniversary on April 28th, I will have a gumbo recipe to share with you all.

And now I’m off to read more of Molly’s book.  Its really wonderful so far, just like her blog.  I’ll give a full review when I’m finished!

G’night!

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26 responses to “NOLA love…

  1. I love all your New Orleans pictures! New Orleans is one of my favorite cities and I was lucky enough to go there for a couple days this Christmas. I’m a big fan of K-Pauls too!
    Do you watch Top Chef? The finale was filmed in New Orleans and they profiled several NOLA restaurants!

  2. Hi! I’m new to your site and very intrigued. I eat oatmeal almost every morning, but your bowls look much better than mine! I was hoping you could give me more details about how you prepare it (cooked on the stove? when to add the banana? do you stir in the PB?)
    Thanks!

  3. I have always wanted to go to New Orleans!!! LOVE THE PIC OF YOU AND HUBBY!

  4. What is the poppyseed dressing you used on your salad? I’d love to try it out!

  5. Awww, those were great pictures, especially since I haven’t seen a picture of your husband before! You make New Orleans look so romantic!

  6. i have to say, i’ve never been a fan of gumbo. but late night coffee and beignets, that’s something i can get behind!

    i just found out that Molly’s first book signing is at my university’s book store! i’ll definitely be there.

  7. that pic on the street is lovely!!!

    so was your NOLA wedding a so-called “destination wedding” of sorts???

    how fabulous! i’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans!

  8. I love NOLA and Mardi Gras as well 🙂

    Amazing wedding photo!!

    MY GOODNESS your breakfast looks lusciously tantalizing. Wowza.

  9. Mmm, those oats are fabulous!!! All that texture has got to be like a party in the mouth =)

    And I’m def. going to try wheatberries in my salad next time, it looks delish and I bet it adds a great chew.

    GUMBO! Love it! =)

    P.S. Your wedding photo had left me speechless.

  10. Love the pics – especially the Cafe Du Monde photos! My dad used to order beignet box mixes from there and make them for us at home. 🙂

  11. Amelia – I love Top Chef, but I haven’t seen it in months! I’ll have to see if I can find the finale… 🙂

    Lindsey – Thanks for reading! I’ll write more detail about my oats tonight, but yes, they are cooked on the stove. I mash the banana and add it when the oats are done cooking, heat is off, but pan still on the burner so that the banana gets heated through. I stir the PB in after I take the photo…I like it to swirl through the oats! 🙂

    Ann – It is Brianna’s Creamy Poppyseed dressing…and I LOVE it!

    Sarah W. – Sorta! I guess you would call it that, since we don’t have any family in NOLA. We just love the city so much that we knew we had to have it there! 🙂

  12. I have never been to NOLA, but I want to go so bad!

    that gumbo looks so good and dark 🙂

  13. I also LOVE NOLA. My mom is from LA so I am half cajun. I also had plans to make a pot of gumbo but I have too much other stuff clogging up the freezer at the moment. I went an volunteered right after Katrina. I hope that it gets back to the wonderful city that it is.

  14. Ahhh NOLA looks like such a great city! Love the wedding picture 🙂

  15. Those are great New Orleans pictures! I love the one of your wedding.

    So I have been reading your blog for a bit and I like it. I love your photos (and that table!)

    When do we get to see the whole table? I think you said there was a new light coming…. Did I miss it?

  16. Love the NOLA pics!

    As usual – all your food looks amazing – but lunch and dinner are especially making me hungry! 🙂

  17. I love New Orleans as well. My brother has been there for Mardi Gras the past 2 years and I’m jealous!

    Your gumbo looks good – I’ll be looking forward to your favorite recipe!

  18. What a wonderful picture post! I’ve actually never been to New Orleans but want to go! Nice job on creating inspired food!

  19. I love the wedding pic! That’s my favorite.

    My sister and her husband have been to New Orleans and my sister would eat TWO beingets every morning!

  20. love the new orleans pictures!!

    your oatmeal looks great! i have a new love for dried figs and i still need to try wheatberries….looks delicious!

  21. First, what an awesome hubby to make you dinner to come home to…. and a good southern cajun one at that!! NOLA is less than an hour from me, I visit a few times a month, totally in love with that city!!!!! Beautiful pictures!! 🙂

  22. I LOVE the pictures! your just so beautiful:)

  23. Fabulous pictures as always!

    NAOmni

  24. Andrea, you were an absolutely beautiful bride! Love New Orleans but I have not been back since Hurricane Katrina hit. I need to go!

    Looking forward to the perfect gumbo recipe!

  25. Your wedding dress was really pretty – I like the simple, classic style.

    I’ve never had dumbo! Can you believe it?

  26. Andrea, I share your NOLA love! I spent a summer there in 2000 and the experience changed my life! I’ve been back several times, though not since Katrina. I need to get back there. It’s fun seeing your favorite spots – who doesn’t love Cafe du Monde – but the other spots are new to me. Now I really want to get back there and explore. I’m sure a lot has changed since 2000.

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