Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FAQs, or, How this blog came to be.

Q. What is "FeauxCajun"? I don't get it.

A. I chose this name because I wanted it to be obvious--I am NOT a Louisiana native. I was born in the Midwest, corn-and-cattle fed until the age of 23 when I moved to New Orleans for a graduate program. I survived Katrina and STILL stayed in Louisiana for another 6 years, until my desire to be close to family drew me back up to Missouri.

But I loved my life in Louisiana...the weather, the culture, the people...and of course, the FOOD!

I promise I'm not a horrible speller; "feaux" is a play on the frequent replacement of "o" with "eaux" that's common in Louisiana.

Q: What's with the obsession with Cajun food?

A: I love food in general, probably to a fault. I also love cooking. And one of the main reasons I stayed in Louisiana so long WAS the amazing foods I was exposed to there-- tons of spices, fresh seafood, and the interesting dynamics between "cajun" and "creole" cooking. My work still takes me down south four times a year, which is a true blessing, but that means the other 350 days of the year, I frequently get cravings for some good 'ol Cajun food... but town has but one Cajun restaurant, and there's not a Popeyes to be found for at least 200 miles. And even if there was...I'm a busy working mom! Lord knows I haven't got the time to work off all those calories at the gym.

So what's a girl to do? Why--make it yourself of course!!

However, by most accounts it is NOT terribly healthy.

I love to cook and make traditionally "bad for you" dishes healthier and diet-friendly, while still retaining all of their delicious-ity.

So, the purpose of this blog is to post my adventures in cooking Cajun & creole style food, but attempt to make it somewhat healthier. I do it with every other recipe I come across--WHY NOT cajun food? And having lived here long enough, I KNOW what the "authentic" stuff tastes if I can achieve the proper taste without as much fat and bad stuff = better for everyone.

Having diabetics in my family, I understand that struggle, as well as those of just the everyday dieter/healthy eater. I do NOT consider myself a "dieter"--I believe the secret lies in moderation and making smart lifestyle choices, and keeping things as fresh and unprocessed as possible. But I also understand having a crazy schedule and needing to keep things simple & quick (as well as using items that are readily available). So sometimes, shortcuts will be used.

I will post recipes, modifications/substitutions, Nutrifacts, as well as photos.

Q. What's with all the NON-Cajun recipes? I started following you for your CAJUN RECIPES!!!! [Added January 2012]

At some point in late 2011, I noticed a personal flaw in myself--I was hoarding. I was constantly taking in new recipes, new ideas...while almost completely ignoring the recipes I already have in my own collection. I have over a dozen cookbooks, about half of which are from Louisiana, and I have a binder where I keep printed recipes, recipes from magazines, recipes jotted down on notepaper from friends, etc... and I found recipes in said binder that were printed off in 2004---and have NEVER BEEN MADE.

Therefore, my New Year's Resolution for 2012 (along with the standard stuff like "read more", "go to the gym", etc.) is No. New. Recipes. I can only cook stuff from the recipes that are already in my possession, or improv dishes that I create on the spot without a recipe.

Not to fear-- I have so many Cajun & Creole dishes & recipes I gathered from Louisiana friends that there will still be a good variety of dishes. And, like always, I will do my best to keep them as healthy as possible.

And keep an eye out for other bits o' Louisiana lagniappe, like Louisiana music, entries from The Cajun Dictionary, random factoids, discussion of some of my favorite products from Louisiana, Boudreaux & Thibodaux jokes, artistic photos (taken by yours truly) from my time down south, and more!

Q. Umm...what's lagniappe?

A. It's what Louisianians call that "little bit of something extra", like the 13th doughnut in a baker's dozen.

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