Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thirsty Thursday: Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places


Today’s Thirsty Thursday is again brought courtesy of one of my favorite watering holes: Ophelia’s Wine & Tapas.  We so rarely have hard alcohol around the house, and I can only post so many beer floats before you all think I’m loony.


So, here we have a DELICIOUS fruity cocktail entitled “Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places”, named after a Kid Creole & the Coconuts album:


With a name like “Kid Creole”, you’d suspect they were from New Orleans, amiright?  Well, you’d be wrong, as I was.  Kid Creole, aka August Darnell, grew up in the magical melting pot of the Bronx, though his parents were from South Carolina & Georgia.  Their sound mixes American Big Band w/Latin American, Caribbean, South American, et al.  In retrospect, “Fresh Fruit” is delightfully 80’s, but it was hailed at its release as a brilliant “musical travelogue”, with each song representing a journey to a foreign land.  I’ll stick with Deep Forest for my musical travelogues, but I still have an appreciation for a band that brings in a variety of sounds, pulling inspiration from all types of musical genres.

But enough history.  You want a cocktail.


2 oz Pomegranate Vodka

2 oz Sour Apple Pucker

4 oz Cranberry juice

Combine & serve over ice; garnish with, what else—fresh fruit!


(for the record, I don’t actually have Ophelia’s recipe for this cocktail, but this is my best estimation based off taste & the menu.  It’s fantastic!)

Very light and summery—almost completely makes you forget about that cold @$$ weather outside, eh? 

MUahahahahHAhahahah, take THAT,  Gulf Coast!  Now you see what we have to deal with up here!  All joking aside…winter sucks.  Wherever you are, stay safe, stay warm, and of course, stay thirsty, my friends!

PS—The Hubs started brewing his own beer this past weekend—so stay tuned for that in a future Thirsty Thursday!!!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pinterest Project: Homemade Peppermint Coffee Sugar Scrub

After making so many gifts this Christmas (lotion bars, candy, body scrub, cocoa mix, etc) I realized that I didn’t really keep any for myself!  For shame.  So I rooted through my Pinterest boards and decided to give this coffee sugar scrub a whirl.

Why coffee?  The article states that just the smell of coffee can help perk you up in the morning (SO true), and the caffeine is good for your skin.  I took it a step further & used a coffee/chicory blend, because a) this is a Cajun food blog, and nothin’ screams “NOLA” like a cup of chicory coffee, and b) because chicory has some great skin health benefits of its own. It can be used to reduce swelling, it’s an anti-inflammatory, and it can help tighten your skin & reduce wrinkles, while increasing collagen synthesis.




1 cup white sugar

5 Tbsp coffee grounds (I used Community Coffee’s New Orleans Blend w/Chicory)

1/8 - 1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil, but you could just as easily do almond oil, olive oil, etc.)

2 tsp of extract or essential oils, your choice.  The Pinterest recipe recommends peppermint & vanilla to help wake you up, which I really like.  You could also use almond, coconut, etc.



Combine the sugar & coffee in a small bowl & mix well.  Then add your extracts (I used peppermint & vanilla), and slowly add the oil.  You may not need to use the whole 1/4 cup.  Just add enough til you get all the grains coated & it will hold together.  Beyond that, it’s up to your personal preference.  If you accidentally add too much, just mix in a little more sugar and/or coffee.

Transfer to a sealable jar (I save old pickle & olive jars & keep them in my pantry for projects like these—just clean them out really well), and voila—you’re done!


NOTE:  The coffee grounds will leave a bit of a mess in your shower, so just be prepared for that.  If you have a detachable showerhead or a handheld shower head, it’ll clean up really easily.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Abita Bottle Cap Magnets

I like to decorate my kitchen with my Louisiana memorabilia, since that’s what inspires me to be creative, and it’s where I found my passion for food.  Our walls and overhead storage are decorated with framed vintage Louisiana food ads:


Cajun Cookbooks clutter the countertops (including my “bible” from Chef Folse):


Utensils go in an old coffee can:


And of course, my Louisiana pelican oversees all from a perch in the corner:

pelican 004

(That’s the Time Life “American Southern Cooking” cookbook in the middle, circa 1960’s.  I inherited the full “World Foods” set from my Nana.)

But I realized I didn’t have any tributes to Abita, which is just sinful. I love their beer, and their root beer, and they just sorta symbolize South Louisiana life.  We tried to win an Abita neon at trivia last year, but were not so lucky.  Also, our wall space is pretty limited at this point. As is counterspace.  So until we move & get a bigger kitchen (not in the cards for a few years), there’s not a lot more I can do.  But you know what else is left to decorate?  The fridge! 

Photo Jan 06, 7 52 52 AM These make for an excellent kids’ craft if you’re looking for a quick project to keep the lil’ uns entertained for a while.  They also make nice gifts!


What You Need:

Bottle Caps (whichever you choose—but go for good local brews to make them unique. Probably not a huge demand for Bud Light kitchen magnets.)

Magnets (these round ones work great)

Hot Glue (the magnets usually have some adhesive on them, but hot glue will help reinforce that seal)

Photo Jan 06, 7 57 42 AM

NOTE: Pry-off caps will present a problem, since they usually get bent in the process & them don’t want to lay flat.  We got this “automatic” cap remover for Christmas last year and it works really well—and doesn’t bend the caps in the process, which is great if you’re a crafter.


Directions:  Pretty simple.  If your magnet has adhesive, remove the backing & stick it to the inside of the bottle cap.  Then use hot glue around the edge to ensure a good seal.  Let sit until dry, and then place on your fridge!  If you’re lucky, maybe you also have a magnetic backsplash behind your stove?  These work great for holding up recipes while you’re cooking!

Photo Jan 06, 7 57 53 AM

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Shrimp Boil Salad (Guest Post)

Hey there FeauxReaders!  Today, I am thrilled to present you with a guest post from none other than my cousin Primo from New Orleans.  He dreamed up a delicious-looking warm (or cold) salad that I can’t wait to test out!



I enjoy cooking. I enjoy challenges and experimenting with new recipes. I’m the kind of guy that watches shows like Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and other game-type shows on Food Network and honestly thinks he could do well.

For my company Christmas party, we decided to do a pot luck lunch. As we were divvying up the assigned dishes, I deferred to making whatever dish wasn’t claimed since I don’t have a “signature dish”. In my office, that translates to “I can only make *insert item here*” Low and behold, the category I ended up with was… SALAD. What a slap in the face. Not only do I feel like that’s a cop-out dish for any pot luck, but I’m a meat and potatoes guy that doesn’t normally like traditional salads.

I had to make a salad that not only wowed my coworkers but would also be something new and exciting for me. After a couple hours of pondering and a quick brainstorming phone call with Prima, (aka Ms. FeauxCajun, herself) the shrimp boil salad was born.


  • Shrimp/Crab boil to taste (If you are unfamiliar with seafood boil seasoning, premeasured boil in bag versions are available at most grocers)
  • 3 pounds of baby red potatoes cut in halves or quarters
  • 1 pound smoked link sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 pack of frozen corn on the cob (fresh Missouri/Iowa sweet corn on the cob would be best but it wasn’t available to me in Louisiana in December)
  • 2 pounds peeled beautiful Louisiana shrimp  (if you’re unable to buy fresh gulf shrimp, any fresh or even frozen [then thawed] UNCOOKED shrimp will probably work with this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 local beers (for the chef while cooking)


Essential cooking tool.


1. 1. Bring 10 cups water and boil seasoning to a boil in a large stock pot over high heat.


2. Add potatoes and sausage; return to a boil, and cook 13 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. While your potatoes are cooking, combine lemon juice, EVOO, parsley, Creole mustard, horseradish, garlic, and paprika and whisk together well.


4. Remove potatoes and sausage and set aside in your large salad bowl

5. Add corn to stock pot and return to a boil. Cook 3 minutes. Add shrimp; cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.


Now THAT is a beautiful sight.

6. Drain and peel shrimp. Cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs. Stir together corn kernels, shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and lemon juice mixture in a large bowl.

7. Serve hot or cover and chill to serve cold the next day.

NOTE: While this dish is fantastic fresh out of the pot, it is equally as fantastic served chilled. The flavors remain strong. I think the new twist on a COLD shrimp boil combined with the lemon juice dressing made for an unexpected surprise.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Quinoa Salad & a 3 Day Cleanse

Somewhat symbolically, with the beginning of the new year, the Hubs & I decided to try a cleanse.  I say “somewhat” symbolic, because it was really more about trying to get our systems back in check after consuming massive amounts of holiday food.  The sis-in-law told us about the 10 Day Water Cleanse, but she also mentioned that her brother in law broke down crying after being on it for 7 days.  Umm… no thanks.

Instead, we opted to go with the 3-Day Jumpstart Cleanse, because, well…it’s only 3 days.  I am far less likely to give up something that’s only 3 days.  And it seemed pretty simple too: protein shake in the morning,  some probiotics & vitamins throughout the day, and you only have to give up caffeine, gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and booze.  I can live without those for 3 days.

Photo Jan 04, 9 04 37 AM

Prebiotic protein shake: blueberries, almond milk, banana, kale, protein powder, & apple cider vinegar.

However, the tricky thing about eating is what you’re allowed to eat together.  Fruits & veggies you can have any time, but you’re not allowed to have animal protein, grains, or legumes together.  That may sound like no biggee at first, but it poses a big challenge when you’re planning a meal…especially when you throw those other rules in there. 

“Glazed chicken wings with peas! Wait…are peas legumes?  And wait, we can’t glaze wings, because of the sugar… Okay, side of corn w/dry rub wings? Wait…is corn a grain?  What does it say about starches?  Does it count potatoes as a veggie?  How about tuna salad…wait, no, there’s sugar in the mayo…”

“I’m craving sweets…how about a microwave oatmeal muffin?  Wait…no…can’t have the brown sugar, and can’t combine egg (animal protein) and oats (grains)…. are oats even gluten free?  UGHHH…”

My first day of the cleanse, I was completely ill-prepared.  I ended up taking a hard boiled egg, some edamame, and raw veggies for lunch.  For dinner, we did grilled chicken & steamed broccoli…and were then pretty well worthless all day because of how few carbs we’d taken in during the day.

Now, on Day 3, here’s what I threw together for lunch, so we could make up for some missing carbs.


This is a twist on my salsa rice recipe, but I used quinoa to get more protein & be more filling, since I couldn’t use beans & grains together.



2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

1/4 onion, diced

1 tsp garlic powder

14 oz can tomatoes & green chilis

1 handful cilantro, chopped

Corn, removed from 1 ear

1/2 avocado, chopped

2 Tbsp lime juice

chili powder, cumin & paprika to taste



Combine the water & quinoa in a pot & bring it to a boil.  Add the diced onion and the garlic powder, cover, and reduce the temperature to simmer & let cook for 15-20 minutes.

When the quinoa is fully cooked, add the remaining ingredients & mix well to combine. 

Then, voila, you’re done!  Healthy, delicious, and super easy!  I love all the colors!



NutriFacts: (makes 4 servings)

Calories: 350

Fat: 8.3 g

Fiber: 8.4 g

Carbs: 60.3 g

Sodium: 358 mg

Protein: 11.7 g