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paws for thought: my neighborhood bead dogs

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By Jen White · September 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

This week, I'd like to share photos of the Paws on Parade bead dog* sculptures around my neighborhood, the ones I see when I go to work or the grocery store or the gas station. Though there are some awesome dogs I love in other parts of town, these are the ones I'm going to miss seeing on a daily basis when the sculptures are taken down at the end of September.  Since hurricane Isaac just did a number on our fair city, I want to take this opportunity to share one of the reasons why I love where I live, despite the occasional floods, power outages, and swampy humidity.  I just plain like seeing portraits of saints drinking coffee on giant Mardi Gras beads that are part of a dog sculpture. Is that so strange?

These sculptures are ruffly (ha ha) three feet tall and made of something too strong for mean ol' Isaac to mess with.  You can see a slideshow of all the dogs here, but you can't get much detail that way. I tried to get a little closer to my daily dogs to show you a bit more detail. Enjoy! And check out the video about making bead dogs at the bottom of this post!


"Revolution Dog" by American Can Apartments.

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the mardi gras mambo

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By Jen White · February 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Ash Wednesday is here, Mardi Gras 2012 is over, and now it's time to get prepped for Jazzfest! We managed to catch a glimpse of Bacchus 2012 before melting with exhaustion from the rain-soaked Endymion parade.  Here are a few snapshots from the long weekend of Mardi Grasing with friends.

brunch at Riccobono's

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it's mardi gras, baby!

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By Jen White · February 15, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

It's that time again, folks! Time to head to New Orleans for a serious partyfest, or if you can't make the trip, host some kind of Mardi Gras shindig of your own. Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, February 21, so this weekend is the perfect time to celebrate.  On Mardi Gras day, lots of folks have open house brunches because the parades finish early in the day, so having some brunchy foods to eat late at night are a good idea. But all kinds of Louisiana foods are perfect for Mardi Gras. It's the last day to party before Lent! GET IT ON.

Here are some of my favorite recipes that would make a party extra bead-worthy:

Natchitoches meat pies

king cake with bacon pecan praline filling

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for twelfth night: king cake with bacon-pecan praline filling

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By Jen White · January 4, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

For most folks the holidays are over, but in New Orleans, they're JUST BEGINNING.  Yep.

Friday night, January 6, is Twelfth Night! That means it's the start of carnival season, and officially the coolest day of the year to eat king cake. But you should strive to eat a piece of king cake at least once a week every week leading up to Mardi Gras. Pick up a cake at your favorite place, take it to school/work/home, and slice it all up at once so you can see who gets the baby. If you get the baby, you bring the next cake.

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Hey you! Make a king cake!

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By Jen White · February 16, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

It's time to start shakin and bakin...Mardi Gras is March 8, so there's still time to get in lots of slices of king cake.  I suggest you try making one, if you're into really big, scrumptious art projects that go great with coffee.  I also believe that a warm Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to try it.

I've made this RECIPE several times now, and I declare it pretty foolproof. The dough has wonderful flavor from the nutmeg and lemon zest added to it (plus a ton of butter).  I'm not going to repost the whole recipe here, because I've never made any changes to it--I'm no tinkerer when it comes to baking.  But I do have some hints about how to form and shape it without ending up covered in gloopy dough.  Thanks to Paul for taking dozens of photos!

P.S.  Get some Cafe du Monde or French Market coffee for this!

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You Are My Sunshine

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By Jen White · May 19, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Last Sunday, we went to the Gulf Aid benefit concert with some dear friends. It was an enchanting, oh-so-New-Orleans kind of event: walking through Mardi Gras World, where hundreds of floats and float adornments are created and stored; sampling soundly delicious seafood creations by some of the city's best restaurants and caterers; watching the tugboats and barges troll along the Mississippi; listening to heartfelt, intensely dedicated performers like Tab Benoit call us to attention, lest we forget whom we need to help; chanting "Who Dat?!" spontaneously, like a family, because we are a family.

Singing "You Are My Sunshine"--our state song--a capella, at the tops of our voices.  You hardly ever hear the final Louisiana-specific verses, and we didn't sing them either, but here they are, in all their sweetness:

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