Friday, April 30, 2010

Cajun Crawfish Delights + Crawfish Festival Preview


A good friend of mine stopped by yesterday and brought me several large bags of fresh cleaned crawfish tails. Oh, a man after my heart and a good friend indeed! I will be making lots of crawfish dishes in the month of May, with this wonderful stash in my freezer. Another dear friend, Drick @ Drick's Rambling Cafe, asked me to post a recipe for a Crawfish-Spinach Bread Bowl, after he saw a photo of one, on one of my Festival International posts. Well, I am delighted to oblige, since the basic recipe is already on my blog! Here it is, with a few tweaks. Enjoy and bon appetit', cher!

Crawfish Spinach Bread Bowl

1 lb.peeled, cleaned crawfish tails
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup butter
1 8 0z. carton sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1 small can Rotel tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbs.'s fresh parsley
Salt to taste
Cajun seasoning, to taste
Large loaf of round French bread

Saute the onion in the butter, in large skillet until tender. Add the tomatoes w/ liquid and salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add the crawfish and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the soups and a little water, to desired consistency, and blend well and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Add the spinach, sour cream, cheese, and parsley, and Cajun seasoning, to taste, stir well, and cook on low for 10 more minutes.

Scoop out center of a large bread bowl and fill with crawfish-spinach mixture. Place filled bread bowl on baking sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve with crackers or
mini toasts. This recipe is also delicious, with small shrimp, instead of crawfish, or without the crawfish, for vegetarians. Cest bon, cher!

Time for the Crawfish Festival!


Yes,we get to do it all over again, for another wonderful 3 day festival, beginning this evening at the 50th Annual Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Pegged as "the crawfish capital of the world" Breaux Bridge knows how to throw a party. There will be tons of crawfish, prepared every which way you can imagine, a fantastic musical line-up, with three music stages, carnival rides for the kids, and a whole lot more. Click here for a complete schedule. I simply can't wait to visit the Two Cajuns Cafe', food booth and have some of their divine Crawfish Bisque and their sinfully good Grand Isle Shrimp and Crab Etouffee! Of course, that's after I have 3 lbs. or so, of fabulous Louisiana boiled crawfish, and dance a little! Wish you ALL were here!




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Here's a little clip that I took at last year's festival! Let the good times roll, cher!
Hope ya'll have a fabulous weekend! Merci for stopping by!

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

video

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Festival Weekend Finale'! - Day 5 !

On Sunday, my guests and I started off our day with a good Cajun breakfast! I made eggs benedict, French toast, jalapeno hash browns, and cornmeal biscuits, and served it all up with lots of strong Community coffee! After all, we had another whole day of walking and dancing ahead of us, plus, I always love to spoil my guests and make them feel at home. It is the Cajun way, cher!


When we arrived at Scene Chevron, the place was filling up fast, for a true Cajun legend, D.L. Menard, who has been entertaining Cajun country with his unique style of traditional, Cajun music, for over 40 years and is still going strong! A surprise included a few special guests, including Sonny Landreth, and members of the Jambalaya Cajun Band. The results were amazing and the crowd was super charged and raring to go!

Allons danser, cher!

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After all of this dancing, we decided to catch a little AC and refresh with a cold drink. We headed over to Agave' Mexican Cantina and ordered a round of Coronas, and a few Margaritas. We also had some of their delicious homemade tortilla chips and salsa.


Our next stop at the festival, was at Scene Popeyes , for the fantastic, La Excelencia show. This fabulous salsa orchestra, from Puerto Rico, reaches through all the barriers, with it's "salsa dura" sounds and fresh, original music.. The enormous crowd was lovin' this band!




By then, it was time to head back over to Scene' Chevron, for the next band. It was a was a show that I had been looking forward to all week and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas were about to take the stage. The mood was estatic and the crowd was ready for some action! Nathan and his "hotter than chipotle sauce" band did not disappoint, and the crowd just couldn't sit still for this one!

Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas

video




After this great show and dancing, we headed over to the Fais Do Do food court, where I couldn't resist having one of my favorites, a Shrimp Poboy from the Lagneaux's Restaurant booth. Plus, I downed two bottles of water!


It was around this time that my camera started having some issues. It told me that the batteries were dead and that the memory card was full, and I had already maxed out my other camera, too. So, I just danced for the rest of the evening! Cie la vie, cher! Sometimes you just have to go with the flow!





It was one for the books! A blast, cher!
A bon ton! A veritable marathon of food, music, and fun!


Oh, the life of a Cajun is oh, so fun!!!

And, last but not least, here's a little clip of the the Krewe de Canaille, who were out in full force, for this waltz on the patio, at Scene Chevron! This one's for you, Eddie!

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Hope that ya'll are resting up this week, mon amis, because we have the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival coming up, this weekend, (April 30-May 2), and don't forget about Part II of Jazz Fest, in New Orleans! See ya'll there! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Festival Weekend Blow-Out ! - Day 4

On Saturday, after a wonderful breakfast of crawfish omelettes, fresh fruit, beignets, and bloody mary's, we headed downtown to the festival for Day 4! After four days, you become ONE with this glorious festival, and being there feels normal and whatever your previous life was, LBTF, (life before the festival), seems a distant memory. My dear bloggie friend, Joanne @ Whole Latte Life said it best, in a comment on my last post, "You have a veritable marathon of food, music, and fun going on"! And cher, believe me when I tell you that she's right! We started off at the Marche de Arts and Crafts Market and did a little shopping. I just couldn't resist this wonderful Fleur de Lis lamp (on right) for a hallway in my home. And a "WHO-DAT" t-shirt from the Alexander Art Studio booth.

We made the trek over to Scene Bacardi, just in time to catch "The Bluerunners Band" reunion show and they were really getting down, cher! Their fabulous Cajun-Zydeco-Punk-Rock- Gutbucket Blues style is off the charts! The crowd really enjoyed this rare performance. We sure miss you guys! This one's for you, Robert!

The Bluerunners

video


After all that dancing , I was ready for a nice frozen drink. I spotted the Fat Tuesday booth, (New Orleans Daiquiris) and had to make a decision about what to order. I made a new friend, while waiting in line. She was from Florida and ordered a Pina Colada and I got the Strawberry Daiquiri ! This was just heavenly, along with a beautiful breeze blowing in. We had such beautiful weather, for this year's festival, and it was really a pleasure be outdoors, so much. Especially to dance to live music, outdoors! So much FUN!!!




Then, it was time for a little Cajun cuisine, before the next show that I was really excited about seeing. The Pavilion de Cuisine was mobbed and there were long lines to wait in. But I knew what I wanted and that was a plus, and it gave me a chance to make a few phone calls, so I didn't mind waiting. This little guy, (on left) was handling the serving for his family's booth, at the Antler's Restaurant food booth. From left to right, that's crawfish etouffee, rice, and corn mache choux! Oh divine, cher! And a crawfish poboy from Bon Creole booth was excellent, too!






Then, we were ready to head back to Scene Bacardi, to see the legendary, Grammy nominated, "Henry Gray and the Cats". This band is one of the best New Orleans Blues bands in history, and they were really rockin' and rollin' the crowd!! Henry is 84 years young and has performed all over the country and the world for the last 30 years, and has been instrumental in "keeping the blues alive! Crank it up, cher!
Henry Gray and The Cats

video

After this great show, I left my friends , to walk over to the TV5 Monde Stage, where one of my dear daughter's, favorite bands were scheduled to play. I figured that I would find her there and sure enough , I did. A large part of this area was shady and many were taking a little siesta, before the band came on.


A short while later, Radio Radio, a half/ electro and half/ hip-hop group, from Quebec, took the stage and had the 20 somethings really dancing and wanting to tymer, all night long! My phone rang and it was mon cher amis calling to let me know that they were at the old Stan's Downtown, chillin' on the patio, and listening to a fantastic Cajun-Rock band.


So, I high-tailed it over there, and joined them! This fine group was playing on Stan's Downtown's patio and they were really kickin'! We had a round of cold drinks while we absorbed their eclectic style. Didn't get their name, but they sure were good! Let the good times roll, cher!

video

To be continued..........


Lots more to come! Stayed tuned for Day 5!
Merci for coming by, cher amis!
Hope ya'll have a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

LOTS MORE Festival Fun ! - Day 3


The show went on at Festival International on Friday evening, despite a cloudy sky and threats of stormy weather. Luckily, it didn't rain and the inclement weather stayed well to the north of us. The mood was esctatic and Scene Chevron was bursting at the seams with exuberant fans of the fabulous Cajun band, Feufollet. They started playing together when they were mere teenagers and now as "twenty somethings", have grown and expanded into, not only one of Acadiana's premier acts, but into a popular group in the world arena, as well! It was so crowded in this "Boomer Tent", that many took to the patio to dance, where they could really let loose. Sorry if the video is a little shaky, but I was dancing when I took it! The crowd LOVED this band!

Feufollet
video

After all of this dancing, we were in need of some refreshment and we were starving, so we decided to walk over to the Pavilion de Cuisine and get some Red Beans and Rice w/ Sausage and I just had to have one of these divine Crawfish-Spinach Bread Bowls. Cest bon, cher!

After devouring these Cajun delicacies, we returned to the "Boomer Tent", where Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie had just taken the stage, and were really jammin' and rockin' the crowd. One of Cajun country's favorite dance bands, Geno was hotter than hot, tonight! A whole lot of Zydeco-ing going on, cher! So much FUN!!!


Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie

video

Just as Geno finished playing, friends called and wanted us to meet them at Scene Bacardi, where another fabulous band was playing. Los de Abajo out of Mexico City, really got the huge crowd excited and they went absolutely wild over this band! Their unique sound, called tropipunk, really got the crowd jumping for joy! They really put on a fantastic show!
Los de Abajo

video

After all of the jumping and shouting, we were in dire need of a nice cold drink, so we headed over to the nearby, Filling Station Bar & Grille, which is one of my favorite downtown patios. A nice glass of wine and a Spring water with lemon please! There was a wonderful band, called The Roebucks, playing on the patio, and it felt good to relax and listen to their fun, Retro Rockabilly sounds! Another great festival evening! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher!
Hope that ya'll are having a fun and wonderful weekend, too! Stay tuned, there's so much more to come! Merci for stopping by, mon amis!

Friday, April 23, 2010

MORE Festival Fun ! - Day 2



It was another fabulous evening at Festival International de Louisiane! A gorgeous Spring evening with a lovely breeze and lots of great music and food. We started out at the Pavilion de Cuisine with some delicious Crawfish Nachos and Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. Cest bon and out of this world, cher! After enjoying this delicious treat, my companions and I headed over to Scene Popeyes to catch the opening ceremonies. The French Immersion students were carrying flags, (see top photo), representing all of the countries that have participated in Festival International. (click to enlarge to view cuisine and drink menu)

The French Immersion program serves to preserve the Cajun French language and culture. The National Anthem was sung by a former student, and the more than 1500 volunteers who made this year's festival possible were recognized. For a complete schedule click here.

Next up was the amazing group, Grupo Fantasia , out of Austin, Texas, whose goal is to advance the Latin music sound. Well , they sure reached their goal in Lafayette, and they were fantastic! This exciting, funky, 10 member band "really had it going on" and they totally mesmerized the crowd with their hypnotic beats and cohesive style.! One of the best things about this festival is getting to experience all different kinds of music from all over the world. Here's a little clip that I took. Enjoy !


Grupo Fantasia

video

After a 15 minute, cold beverage break, the next band up was the fabulous, Sonny Landreth Band! Sonny is one of the most gifted slide guitar players in the world, as well as an old friend of mine from the college days. Back then, I dated one of his best friends, a "then" jazz drummer, who is "now" a priest! (that's another post, entirely) Anyway, he just blew the crowd away with his spectacular guitar moves and "hotter than hot" band! Here's a little snippet of this talented Louisiana artist in action! Geaux Sonny!

Sonny Landreth Band

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The crowd was much larger, last night, and with several hundred thousand festival goers expected for the weekend, it's all going to be a blast, cher!! Starting tonight, all six stages will be up and running. Imagine six stages of incredible international and local music, within a six block radius, and all of this wonderful music is free! But, be sure to buy a festival pin, to keep the festival free! (a $10. donation) See ya'll there! Oh, the life of a Cajun, is oh so good!! Have a wonderful, fun weekend, mon cher amis! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Live from Lafayette - It's Festival Time! - Day 1

It was a beautiful evening for the fais do-do, at the kick-off for Festival International, 2010! The mood was exuberant and the first band up was High Performance, and they were really rocking the crowd! The first dance was a traditional waltz, and some good old fashioned Cajun dancing! As the dancers warmed up, and the music got faster and faster, there was some nitty-gritty, two-stepping going on, cher! Moi-j'aime-ca-come-ca! Next up, was the fabulous, Keith Frank & the Solieau Zydeco Band and the crowd was really huge by this time. They went wild for this one! Let the good times roll, cher! Wish you all were here!!


High Performance Band



Favorite Food Booths



Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band



Here's a little taste of each!


High Performance Band

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Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band

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Stay tuned for lots, lots more! Merci beaucoup for stopping by, cher!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Festival Fun Preview + Cajun Pineapple Rum Cake

Almost time for the biggest and best festival of the year, the 24th annual Festival International de Louisiane! On April 21-25, downtown Lafayette will be transformed into a 6 stage, multi-cultural, global music playground, with bands from 15 countries, including class acts from France, Brazil, Mali, New Brunswick, Zimbabwe, and many others. As well as some of the best bands that Louisiana and Cajun country have to offer, including the Sonny Landreth Band, The Bluerunners, Feufollet, and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, just to name a few of my faves, out of 500 artists, at the festival!


And of course , tons of scrumptious, world famous, Cajun cuisine, and decadent drinks, as well, with 26 wonderful food booths to choose from, at the Pavillon de Cuisine. And do not forget to check out the incredible International and Southern, arts and crafts market, at Marche des Arts, with over 80 vendors selling unique, handcrafted items and beautiful art and apparel. I can't wait to shop here!



The kick off to this year's festival will begin with a fais do-do, (Cajun street dance) on Wednesday evening with the High Performance Band, taking the stage at Scene Bacardi, at 6:30pm, followed by Keith Frank & the Soileau Family Zydeco Band. Get your dancing shoes on, and get ready to do some nitty- gritty dancing, with these two fantastic groups. And don't forget the AFTER PARTY at the Blue Moon Saloon, with the legendary, Lil' Band of Gold , entertaining the crowd! See ya'll there! Woo hoo! I'm so excited and cannot wait!




Life doesn't get any better than this, so come on down and get into the festival spirit, for five straight days, of fabulous Cajun and International music, cuisine, and fun! This unique festival celebrates all music and all cultures and the Acadiana cultural connection with the francophone world and is a fabulous, fun experience that you will always remember! For a complete schedule, click here.

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Lil Buck!
(This guy plays a mean blues guitar!)

Here is a little clip, from last year's festival , of one of my all time favorite bands, Lafayette's own, Lil' Buck Sinegal and Friends. And check out this keyboard player! HOT! Enjoy! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher!

video

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Cajun Pineapple Rum Cake

This heavenly cake is so simple to make and the flavor is so fabulous that you will have a hard time resisting a second piece, cher! Worth the calories, cher!! Cest bon! Bon appetit!

1/2 cup pineapple rum
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spray a bundt pan with "Baker's Joy" baking spray. In large bowl, combine first six ingredients. beat at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Cool and remove to cake plate. Make glaze and drizzle over cake.

Glaze

Melt 1/4 cup butter, in saucepan. Add 2 tbs. pineapple juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Cook and stir, until sugar is melted. Boil gently for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and slowly add 1/4 cup pineapple rum, until blended. Prick top of cake with a fork and drizzle glaze over warm cake. Divine!

Wishing all of you a happy, fun, Springtime week!
Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Friday ! + Rockin' on the River !


T.G.I.T. (thank gawd it's Thursday) doesn't even begin to describe the mood, last night, at the weekly Thursday night, "Rockin' on the River" concert, in River Ranch, in Lafayette. It was a lovely evening, with perfect, beautiful weather, with such a nice breeze. It felt more like we were in California, instead of Southwest Louisiana.


There were some who were having a nice glass of wine or two, or a few cold beers to unwind from a very stressful work week! Cheers, cher!

The folks from Rouse's Market had a tent and were dishing up lots of Cajun delights. Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya and Barbequed Ribs! Oh cest bon, cher!





 
The one and only "Louisiana Red", was playing some of the best bayou boogie around!
And some were dancing to some good old rock n' roll!



Oh, the life of a Cajun is oh, so fun!!

What do ya'll do on Thursday evenings, for fun?

Stay tuned, we have the biggest and the best festival of the year, coming up next week, Festival International de Louisiane! Five days of nothing, but glorious weather, fun, food, and music, in downtown Lafayette! Let the good times roll! For a complete schedule, click here.

Wishing everyone a fabulous and happy weekend! Like my dear Daddy always says, "Have all the fun you can, cher!" Merci beaucoup for coming by!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Best Buds Award + French Coconut Pie

My dear friend, Alix, over at Casa Hice, recently passed this great award to me and I am so honored to be among her blog buds. She is the perfect example of a great Blogger Buddy and if you don't already know her, then please stop by her place and check out her fabulous blog! She's bold and tells it like it is, which is why I just adore her plus, she's tons of fun and her writing skills are amazing! Never a dull moment at Casa Hice! Like she just went on a weekend cruise to the Bahamas for her sister's birthday. Don't miss her cruise post and pics, guaranteed to be good! Merci , Alix, you are "the best"!

I'm supposed to tag 10 blog buddies, to pass the award to, but as I started making my list, it turned into three pages of fantastic blog buddies. So, I'd better stick with 10, although there are so many more! Congrats and cheers, mon amis, and merci beaucoup for being some of the best blogger buddies in Blogland!

Carol @ The Writer's Porch 


Cloudia @ Comfort Spiral

Dave @ My Year on the Grill

Eddie @ Clouds and Silvery Linings


Joanne @ Whole Latte Life

John @ I Love Old Cameras

Julie @ Midlife Jobhunter

Kat @ At the Compound

Kathryn @ "The Graces -Sagas"


Laura @ White Spray Paint

They are all wonderful writers, photographers, and/or cooks and their blogs are fab, so please pay them a visit, soon! You'll be so glad that you did!

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French Coconut Pie

Here's a great recipe for a heavenly pie that my dear friend, Drick @ Drick's Rambling Cafe', shared on his blog, recently. Please pay him a visit and check out his "over the top" cooking blog and wonderful cookbook! His dear neighbor, Marilyn brought the pie over, as an Easter gift, and called it "French Coconut Pie", while Drick referred to it as "Lemon Coconut Pie". One bite of this divinely delicious pie, by any name, and you will know that you're in heaven, cher! I really had to control myself with this one! Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!


3 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbls.'s fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
9 inch pie crust

Mix sugar and eggs in large bowl, with wire whisk. Add melted butter, vanilla, and lemon juice. Stir in coconut, last. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake @ 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, or until browned and toothpick comes out clean. Sinfully delicious!