Last week, I picked up a beautiful bunch of rainbow chard at our Red Stick Farmer’s Market and immediately thought about how great it would taste in a batch of white bean, greens and sausage soup. The combination of beans, greens and sausage, along with aromatic veggies and fresh rosemary, is just delicious in soup. I especially love this in the springtime, but it’s fun to make it year-round with whatever seasonal greens are emerging from local farms.
Last week, on my 225 Magazine food blog, Spatula Diaries, I posted about Spinach Madeleine, the iconic spicy spinach side dish that helped make the Junior League of Baton Rouge’s River Road Recipes one of the best selling community cookbooks of all time. The dish has a great story arc. It was invented on the spot, became wildly popular and was thrown into confusion when one of its key ingredients, Kraft’s jalapeño cheese log, was discontinued.
In 2011, I had the pleasure of interviewing its creator, Madeline Wright. Here’s that story, which ran in 225 in 2011.
In all my years of food writing, I’ve never once blogged or written about my awesome skills with pie crust.
Because I have none.
Pie crust has been like Pennywise, the scary thing in the closet I battle from time to time but haven’t fully defeated.
This has always irritated me. Plenty of people make pie crust! But, no, not me. Instead, I hide behind easy stuff like cobblers, crisps and the occasional cake. A good friend of mine effortlessly bakes a pie every couple weeks, despite also being a working mom of three. And every time I visit my favorite cooking blogs or watch the Food Network, I’m met with another set of hands rolling out dough with confidence and sass.
It’s one of those beloved rituals of Gulf seafood lovers: sliding your front teeth across the sturdy membrane of a crab claw to remove every last bit of sweet meat. Crab claws are one of my favorite party foods for their charm, ease and taste.
This year’s Louisiana peach crop is less robust than usual due to a mild winter across the south, but there’s still time to buy fresh peaches here in Baton Rouge. Waterproof-based Plantation Pecan Company had plenty last Saturday at the downtown Red Stick Farmers Market, but you need to arrive early. I picked up a half-bushel and have been sinking my teeth into a peach a day ever since. They’ve been really delicious and scream summer.
My favorite application for fresh peaches is peach ice cream, and I love to make it in when I have an abundance. But in years like this, I settle for peach sorbet, which requires fewer peaches and can be made with minimal effort.
Whether you find it inspiring or nauseating, whether it makes you wear red – or see red – Valentine’s Day is here once again. All over town today in the Capital City, couples met for lunch, women wore red and guys scrambled for last minute roses and dinner reservations. Personally, I’m a low-key girl when it comes to this particular holiday, always opting for a crowd-free dinner at home with my hubby and our three kids. And this year, with Val’s Day on a weeknight, Cupid is going to have move along while two exhausted parents deal with sports practice, homework, an obnoxious Spanish project and work deadlines. We need a drink a lot more than a box of chocolates.