Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time For The Crawfish Festival + Cajun Crawfish Dip

Ready or not, it's Crawfish Festival time. And am I EVER ready to eat some of the spiciest, best crawfish in the state and the world. Dubbed the "Crawfish Capital of the World" by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1959, Breaux Bridge, La. will host the 49th annual Crawfish Festival from May 1 thru May 3, 09'. What started out as a small hometown festival in downtown Breaux Bridge, over 40 years ago, has grown into a huge three day event that plays host to over 25,000 festival goers from around the state, the country, and the globe. There will be crawfish prepared in countless ways, including boiled, fried, etoufee, poboys, jambalaya, boudin, pies, pistolettes, bisque, and more. Plus three music stages with great acts like Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns, Nathan Abshire and Zydeco Cha Chas and many more favorites. Come on down for a great time. For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.bbcrawfest.com . Until then, I would like to share one of my favorite crawfish appetizers. Cest' bon, cher!



Cajun Crawfish Dip

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup each onions, bell pepper, and celery, diced
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
4 tbs.'s white wine
2 tbs.'s seafood stock or clam juice
Salt to taste
1 lb. cream cheese, cut into small pieces
2 lbs. peeled crawfish tails
1/4 cup each fresh parsley and green onions, chopped

Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and celery and saute' for 5 minutes. Add Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic and stir well. Stir in white wine and seafood stock, and reduce heat to low. Add crawfish tails and salt and mix well and cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Gradually add cream cheese until melted, stirring often and cook for 5 minutes. Add green onions and parsley and a little more white wine if mixture is too thick. Transfer to a dip bowl and serve with pastry shells. Makes 2 quarts. Sinfully delicious! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Lovely Light Cajun Lunch

When my daughter called and said that she wanted to have lunch, I was thrilled. We decided to go to one of our favorite lunch spots in downtown Lafayette that has a lovely patio and live entertainment on Friday nights. Since she is a vegetarian, recently turned pescatarian, she opted for the Cajun Grilled Tuna Steak with Garden Salad.


After eating festival food for five days I wanted something light and delicious. The Shrimp Stuffed Avocado is my favorite item on the menu when I'm in a low-cal mood, so it was my choice. Both were absolutely divine. Oh cest' bon, cher ! We were at this same restaurant last Friday night, and this popular honky tonk, rockabilly, band called "The Roebucks" was playing. The place was "packed to the gills" since it was located right in between two big music stages at Festival International.


Although it was quite dark, I managed to get a clip of one of their rockabilly numbers. Lots of hot dancing going on, too! And looks like we'll be doing the whole festival thing all over again this weekend, with The Crawfish Festival, in Breaux Bridge, and Jazz Fest, in New Orleans. Rest up, my friends, because it's all going to be a blast! More great music, food, and fun! Oh,the life of a Cajun !

The Roebucks

video

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spicy Cajun Buffalo Wings

The guy dancing right in front of me at the festival today, was wearing this T-shirt and I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. It pretty much sums up the whole festival weekend on everything from the music, to the food, to the dancing.... And when it was all over, it was very nice to come home to my crock pot full of Spicy Cajun Buffalo Wings. I had made a big bowl of potato salad and a big tossed salad, this morning, so all we had to do was dive in. These will vanish very quickly, especially if you have any hungry teenagers. And don't forget to serve with some crusty French bread for dipping. You can modify the amounts of hot sauce and pepper to your taste. Bon Appetit!


Spicy Cajun Buffalo Wings 


3 lbs. boneless chicken wings
2 1/2 cups spicy barbecue sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1/2 cup onion flakes
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. liquid smoke
1 tbs. hot sauce

 
Combine all ingredients except chicken wings, in large crock pot and mix well. Add chicken wings and stir to coat. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serves 6

******
Awesome music again today. Here's a snippet of one of my favorite blues bands that rocked the crowd at today's festival. Hot !

Lil' Buck Sinegal and Friends

video

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MORE Cajun Fun !

Another incredible day at the festival. It was one of the largest crowds on record for Festival International, yet everyone seemed to be happy and having a great time. There was a beautiful breeze blowing all day . My friends and I like to hang out at the heritage stage because it's mainly a boomer crowd and mostly Cajun/Zydeco. A bon ton, cher!

My favorites were "A Tribute to Walter Mouton" with special guests, Wayne Toups and Roddie Romero, followed by Balfa Toujour. The mood was exuberant and the dance mode was nitty- gritty waltzing and two-stepping. The music, the dancing, the cuisine, were fabulous and I wanted to share one of today's artists with ya'll.

What a blast ! Let the bon temps roll, cher !


Cajun Jam w/ Roddie Romero and Friends

video

The Cajun Fun Continues

The Cajun good times continued this evening at Festival International 2009'! With 6 stages of vastly different international music going on, simultaneously within a 6 block radius, it was a blow out of tremendous proportions. The crowds were huge and since the perfect weather is expected to last all weekend, they are likely to largely increase as the weekend unfolds. The mood was wonderfully excited, mixed with jubilance, and at times electric !


We started off at Scene Lafayette where Sherman Robertson and his hot blues band were playing. There was a fais do do there and a whole lot of street dancing going on.
We were in need of some refreshment so we dined at The Filling Station Pub and Grille, where there was an awesome rockabilly band, the Roebucks, playing on the patio.



Next was the fabulous Alpha YaYa Diallo, from Guinea-West Africa at Scene Fais Do Do, with his wildly sought after band. Very inspirational African guitar, percussion and dance.
Then it was on to hear Miss Divine Jones at Scene Heritage with her sassy Texas swing and talented band. The crowd loved this group and dancing was nitty-gritty, jitterbug-swing.



Then for some foot-stomping Zydeco with Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band. And imagine we get to do it all over again starting tomorrow morning. Twelve straight hours of fantastic music, food, dancing , and fun! See ya'll there. Let the good times roll, cher!

Divine Jones and Friends and
Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band


video video

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Cajun Fun Has Begun !

video video
The Pine Leaf Boys and Keith Frank & The Soileau Family Band

And this was just the fais do do (street dance) on the night before the official Festival International starts ! Lots and lots more to come in the next four days. Stay tuned for more festival clips and pics and meanwhile, "Let the Good Times Roll"! J'amie ca-Comme-Ca , Cher! (I like it like that, sha !)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Festival International de Louisiane, 09'

Over 500 Artists- 15 Countries- Six Stages ! Dubbed "one of the best festivals in the world" by Global Rhythm Magazine, the 23rd Annual Festival International de Louisiane kicked off tonight in downtown Lafayette.


The Scene Fais Do Do was the setting for two of Acadiana's best and most popular bands, one Cajun and one Zydeco. The crowd was huge and I cannot even imagine how large it will be over the weekend.



The Pine Leaf Boys were getting the crowd excited and the dancers were in a nitty gritty two-step mode. Then, Keith Frank and the Soileau Family Band took the stage and the crowd really went wild, dancing to their unique style of funky zydeco music.


The food was fabulous! I had the Crawfish Bisque and the Grilled Shrimp Kabobs from the Broussard's Cajun Cooking booth. Oh, cest' bon! And the "after parties" are everywhere. Great live music, tonight at the Blue Moon, featuring The Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Grant Street Dancehall will host the hot new band, The Cell.

Come on down and enjoy the wonderful music, the fabulous food, and the beautiful weather! It's an absolute blast! Lassiez les Bon Temps Rouler !

The Pine Leaf Boys

video

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cajun Hot Sauce Festival


 After several days of rain, we were getting "cabin fever" and decided to venture out to find some fun. The Cajun Hot Sauce Festival was still going on in New Iberia, La., so we took a ride to check it out. It was in full swing when we arrived and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys were rockin' the crowd! We really had a blast and the food was to die for cher! Cest bon!


The annual Hot Sauce Festival celebrates all hot sauce, but is partial to Tabasco Sauce, which is made not far from the festival fairgrounds, on the McIlhenny Pepper Plantation. There were booths selling  crawfish poboys, spinach and crawfish bread bowls, and seafood jambalaya.


The crawfish poboys were fabulous and one of the best that I have ever had! And of course, there were booths displaying and selling all kinds of hot sauce, from gourmet Habanero to authenic Cajun. A very pleasant and fun outing on a beautiful spring day in Cajun Country.


Let the good times roll! Festival International "coming right up" in just 2 days! See ya'll there!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Live from Lafayette- It's Marcia Ball !

Parc International in downtown Lafayette was the scene for tonight's incredible concert, with the fabulous Marci Ball and her fantastic band. Hot! Talented pianist, vocalist,and songwriter, Marcia brings her swamp blues, honky tonk,  boogie-woogie style to the stage, making her a favorite of music fans around the world. She was recently nominated for the 2009' Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year award and is currently working on a new studio album, entitled "Peace, Love and BBQ." She electrified the crowd, as they went into nitty-gritty dance mode with a whole lot of jitter bugging going on. I have many fond memories of seeing Marcia play at Grant Street Dancehall and Jazz Fest. If you missed Marcia tonight, you can catch her at the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 2nd. For a complete schedule of Jazz Fest,
click here. Guaranteed to be a blow out, as always.
Let the good times roll, cher!

Marcia Ball

video

Monday, April 13, 2009

Almost Time for Festival International!


Five days of music, food and fun, coming right up! On April 22-26, downtown Lafayette will be filled with the best bands from Acadiana, the United States, Canada, and 17 countries from all over the world. With over 100 performances scheduled, this year's festival is expected to bring in a record number of festival goers. If you have never been to this festival, you need to mark your calendar as one that you don't want to miss. For those of you who have, need I say more?


In addition to all of the fabulous music, there will be lots of delicious Cajun and Creole cusine at the LUS Pavillon De Cuisine, featuring my favorite food booths, Bon Creole Seafood, ( best crawfish poboys) and Broussard's Cajun Cooking. New this year is the Cirque de la Rue, with street performers from around the world on April 23-26. From Dwyer's Cafe on Jefferson Street towards the Natural History Museum, on Vine St., this new venue will highlight groups such as New Orleans Zulu Connection and Brazil's "Ile Aiye". Also new this year is the new location for Scene Heritage which will be located next to The Filling Station Pub and Grille on Jefferson Street. A favorite part of the Festival International for me is the Marche Du Monde and the Marche Des Arts, which has an excellent display of southern and international arts and crafts.


And there is no admission charge, for this wonderful festival, but you may want to purchase a festival pin, to keep the festival free. This year's musical line up, alone, will assure you of one of the best times that you've ever had. Marc Broussard, Zachary Richard, (Louisiana) Bertrand Laurence, (France), Les Chevres a Pull, (Belgium), and Locos Por Juana, (Argentina) just to name a few of my favorites. For a complete schedule and festival map for the 23rd annual Festival International, click here. Come on out and enjoy the beautiful weather and everything that one of the finest festivals in Louisiana has to offer. Festival International de Louisiane! Let the Good Times Roll, Cher!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cajun Easter Buffet

Almost time for Easter, the best holiday of the year. And with the beautiful spring weather that we're having, it should be a very special day. This year, my family has opted for a delightful Cajun Easter Buffet that will be just perfect for our noon time gathering. Part brunch and part dinner, it will have something for everyone, since as family tradition has it, each guest will bring a dish to share. It's always so much fun to see what everyone brings and it ends up being a huge feast. My contribution will include Cajun Baked Ham w/Sugar Cane Bourbon Glaze, Boiled Atchafalaya Crawfish, w/potatoes onions,  and corn,  and Creole Sausage Cornbread. Ca' cest bon, cher!
 
Cajun Baked Ham w/Sugar Cane -Bourbon Glaze

 
1 fully cooked ham, 6 to 8 lbs.
1/2 cup pure cane syrup,  (I use Steen's)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup southern bourbon
1 tsp. creole mustard
dash of ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice

 
Place ham, fat side up in a large roasting pan. Cook at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer reads 148 degrees. About half way through, make the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Spread half of the glaze over the ham about 30 minutes before ham is done. Spread other half of glaze in the final 10 minutes. Bon Appetit! So easy, so delicious!


 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spicy Creole Jambalaya

Here's a fabulous Cajun favorite that will feed a crowd or freeze well in individual portions. Since this was my godmother's recipe, I have many fond memories of eating this dish over at Nanny Bea's house. She used to make jambalaya on Mondays to make use of the leftover chicken, ham,  or sausage from Sunday dinner. It's smoky, spicy flavor is oh so good. Cest' bon, by itself or as a hearty side dish. The great thing about making jambalaya is that you can use any ingredients that you have on hand and experiment with different amounts of heat and spice, and adjust accordingly. I like my mine spicy and hot! Enjoy!
 
Spicy Creole Jambalaya

 
1 cup each, cooked ham, smoked sausage, and/ or chicken,
(chopped into bite sized pieces)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp.'s garlic, minced
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce,
3 cups water
1 tbs. creole seasoning
2 cups raw rice

  
On medium heat, melt butter in large Dutch oven, and add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 more minutes. Add chopped cooked ham, sausage, and/ or chicken and creole seasoning and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce , Worcestershire sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add rice, stir and cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 8 Bon Appetit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Allons Danser' Cher !


Downtown Lafayette was the scene this evening for a "whole lotta dancin' going on" ! Tab Benoit and His Band were rockin' on a very high frequency tonight and the crowd went absolutely crazy for his swamp-rock blues blended with a hefty dose of Cajun and Zydeco moves. Hadn't heard such fabulous guitar, in a long while.


Born in Baton Rouge, Tab learned his lessons well from the great Henry Gray and the Cats, Tabby Thomas, and Raful Neal, just to name a few. Just the thing to get in shape for the upcoming Festival International, April 22-26, when downtown Lafayette will play host to some 300,000 festival goers from all over the world. Did somebody say 5 days of fun, food, and music and nothing but 5 days of fun, food, and music! Let the good times roll, cher! 


 Here's a little clip that I took of some hot dancin' going on! The guy dancing in the hat is a friend of mine who can out dance most of the 40 year olds I know! Go Wayne! Stay tuned for a lot more about Festival International, and meanwhile, check out the complete schedule here, Festival International .
 

video