Sugar Bowl 2016

Submitted by Christi

Lots of people visit New Orleans for various reasons. One of those reasons is to watch your favorite team compete in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. This year, we will be welcoming fans of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys and the Ole Miss Rebels.


It looks like the weather will be a bit cool (50’s – 60’s) with the possibility of a little rain. That shouldn’t keep you from enjoying this beautiful city! There are plenty of things to see and do while you are here. There are many events planned for the Sugar Bowl and also events that are not related to the Sugar Bowl. You won’t even have time to notice the weather.

There will be fireworks over the Mississippi River and you can watch the fleur de lis drop over Jax Brewery at the NOLA New Year’s Eve 2015 event. It begins at 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public. It includes live music from: Like Winslow King, Cyril Neville’s Swamp Funk and special guest Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.

There are plenty of options for watching the fireworks as well as many other events going on. Check them out at

Also, be sure to check out the French Market and Jackson Square and the obligatory beignet and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.

There is a great little bookstore on Pirate’s Alley where Faulkner used to live. If you love bookstores, be sure to stop by there.

One of my favorite places on Chartres Street is Lucullus. It is a culinary antique shop. So much fun to browse. I have a great absinthe spoon that I bought there years ago.

This list could go on and on and on. New Orleans is a city that saturates the senses. There is music everywhere you turn. The smell of amazing food is everywhere, albeit, occasionally interrupted by some not so great smells. Have fun, and follow some of these tips:

I recommend that you just avoid Bourbon Street altogether, unless you are going to Galatoire’s.

If you are going to Galatoire’s, jackets for men are highly recommended. This is the case for many of the lovely dining options in New Orleans. There are also many casual options as well. Just be prepared.

If you are drinking (and even if you are not), PACE YOURSELF! New Orleans has brought down many with its carefree attitude towards libations. Really, just pace yourself. ‘Nuf said.

If you are in the French Quarter, you will be approached by panhandlers. I always refer them to the New Orleans Mission or Ozenam Inn. They already know about these places where they can get food and shelter and help, but they would rather have cash instead. It’s your call, but giving them cash is not helping them… just sayin’.

Get out of the Quarter – take the St. Charles Streetcar and see the Garden District and Uptown. Take the Canal Streetcar out to City Park. It is one of the most beautiful parks in the United States. The New Orleans Museum of Art is located there. Check out Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo.

Check out the Pontchartrain Lake. Lakeshore Drive on the lake offers some great dining options with views of the lake.I recommend The Blue Crab.

Uber is a great way to get around the city for places that aren’t easy to reach by foot or streetcar. No need to carry cash. You sign up in advance and everything is handled without money changing hands. You can choose our driver based on reviews by other riders. If you haven’t signed up with Uber, you can use my code –  christiw103ue – to get your first ride free (up to $15), and I’ll get a free ride too!

Hope everyone has a fabulous time! If anyone would like to add other tips, places to see or ask questions. feel free to do so in the comments.

Love ya,





Christmas Around the House

Submitted by Christi

It seems that I never “finish” decorating for any holiday. I am constantly moving things around and adding and taking away. Do you do that? I’ll probably be doing that until it is time to take everything down. Oh well, I am definitely feeling the Christmas season! We have had beautiful weather here.

With the help of CaliCat, we have been busily decorating for Christmas in New Orleans. Welcome to my home . . .


We decorated the tree:



Something pretty on the top:


Wreaths and greenery were added:


A little on the mirror. . .


And, some on the doors to the porch . . .


Then a little decoration on the dining table . . .


The weather has been mild which allows us to spend time on the porch, so of course, that has to be decorated as well . . .





When the evenings are warm, we can enjoy the lights on the porch .  . .


Time to sit back and enjoy the season! Hope you enjoyed the tour. Wish you could join me on my porch.




New Orleans “French” Bread

Submitted by Christi

New Orleans French Bread …served at fine dining establishments and hole-in-the-wall poboy spots… is crispy on the outside and soft as air on the inside. For home, I love the version that the local grocery store, Robert’s (pronounced Roe-bears), makes. Leidenheimer’s bakery is famous for their version. Driving by their bakery when they are baking can cause you to swoon in delight. It is that good!


Should one even attempt to make this delicacy at home? Can it be done? For help, I turned to Julia Child, the grand dame of French cooking. According to her, in the US, we don’t allow our bread to rise long enough to develop an interesting flavor and character. She contends that French bread making should take a minimum of 7 hours. It is basically the same recipe as any other French bread recipe, but the rising times are at lower temperatures and last longer. Instead of doubling the volume on the first rise, we give it time to triple.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Below is her basic recipe with my adaptation of the instructions. She says to do this on a dry day – as if that ever happens in New Orleans! Maybe, that makes a difference. Humidity is just part of life around here, so we have to adapt. New Orleans is supposed to be the city that care forgot; so, I’ll slow down and give it a try.

First the ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Yeast
  • Water


That’s it. Very simple ingredients to make very good food. Take a day, and see if you don’t agree it is worth the time. Of course, most of the time is passive – while the dough is rising. You can even stop and put the dough in the refrigerator between any of the risings and pick it up the next day or so. Just don’t let it go past a couple of days.

For the recipe below, I actually added a bit of rosemary and shaped it into round loaves. Delicious!

New Orleans "French" Bread
Print Recipe
Crispy on the outside and light as air on the inside. Takes some time but it is soooo worth it,
Servings Prep Time
3 bagettes 8 hours
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 bagettes 8 hours
Cook Time
30 minutes
New Orleans "French" Bread
Print Recipe
Crispy on the outside and light as air on the inside. Takes some time but it is soooo worth it,
Servings Prep Time
3 bagettes 8 hours
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 bagettes 8 hours
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings: bagettes
  1. Stir the yeast in 1/3 cup warm water in a small bowl (optionally, you can add a pinch of sugar to feed the yeast here). Julia says you must make the yeast prove itself! So much pressure. Set aside while measuring flour into a large mixing bowl. When yeast has liquefied, pour it into the flour along with the salt and the rest of the water.
  2. Stir and cut the liquids into the flour with a rubber spatula, pressing firmly to form a dough, and making sure that all bits of flour and pieces are gathered in. Turn dough out onto a floured kneading surface. Dough will be soft and sticky. Let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes while you wash and dry the bowl. Knead the bread by lifting the near edge of the dough and flipping it over onto itself. Turn the bread and flip over on itself again. In 2 to 3 minutes the dough should have enough body that you can give it a quick forward push with the heel of your hand as you flip it over. If it remains sticky, knead in a sprinkling of flour. The whole kneading process will take 5 to 10 minutes. Knead until the dough draws back into shape and begins to clean itself from the kneading surface. Let it rest for 3 or 4 minutes and then knead again for a minute until the surface is smooth.
  3. First rising - let rise until the dough has tripled in volume (3 to 5 hours at around 70 degrees). Turn the dough out of the bowl onto the lightly floured kneading surface. Lift the corner of the near side and flip it down onto the far side. Do the same with the left side, then the right side. Finally lift the near side and tuck it just under th edge of the far side. The mass of dough will look like a rounded cushion.
  4. 2nd rise - Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise 1 1/2 to 2 hours until it is not quite tripled in volume. Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 3 pieces for baguettes or in 2 for round loaves.
  5. After you have cut the pieces, fold them over on themselves and let them rest for 5 minutes before shaping.
  6. Shape the dough into baguettes or round loaves. Cover on the board and let rise for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. With a sharp knife, quickly cut slashes in the the baguettes in long diagonals on the formed dough. For 16 to 18 inch loaves, cut 3 slashes. On round loaves, cut an x into the dough. Back for about 25 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven. In the last 5 minutes, brush with butter. Cool the bread for 2 to 3 hours on a rack or upright in a basket.
Recipe Notes

Storing - Because it contains no preservatives, French bread is best when eaten the day it is made. It will keep for a day or two when wrapped airtight and refrigerated but does best if you freeze it once it has cooled. To serve, thaw, unwrap and place on a baking sheet in a cold oven; heat the oven to 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

For more detailed instruction and variations, get Julia Child's book here:


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New Orleans Halloween

Submitted by Christi

New Orleans is a city that embraces the macabre. Not just on Halloween, but all year long. Our cemeteries are tourists attractions. Any day (or night) of the week, you can take a haunted history tour or a ghost tour or a vampire tour. Some of the properties for sale even feature “Haunted” or “Not Haunted” signs along with the other information.

Photo courtesy of Realty Today

Photo courtesy of Realty Today

On any given day, you can find people in costume – people in tutus, vampire costumes and Mardi Gras Indians are common sights.

Mardi Gras Indian


I personally believe there really is spiritual warfare going on, so I’m not really looking to hook up with any “spirits” or the “undead,” whatever that is. That being said, it is certainly fascinating and even mesmerizing to see the decorations that pop up this time of year.

Here is a sampling (click for larger pics):

Here is a spooky boneyard:

Rosemary for Remembrance

Submitted by Christi

Shakespeare said, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” The saying “rosemary for remembrance” is obviously taken from this quote, but interestingly enough, science shows us that rosemary and memory do have a connection. Several studies show that rosemary actually stimulates memory and may preserve some cognitive function. Who knew?

I love rosemary. One of the things I found fascinating in New Orleans is the number of people who use rosemary as an ornamental shrub. Maybe, they use it to snip for culinary uses as well. I hope so. I have actually been known to snip a bit off some of these shrubs as I’m out for a walk (don’t tell anybody).



My own pot of rosemary is pretty sad. I think it is actually a creeping rosemary rather than the upright plant I thought I was getting.


Well, as luck would have it, rosemary is easy to propagate so I decided to add a little upright rosemary to my already creeping pot.

I snipped a bit of rosemary from an upright shrub, removed the leaves (or needles) from the lower 2/3 and put them in a small vase of water. This is the way I usually try propagating everything at first because it is so easy. It doesn’t work for everything, but actually is pretty reliable on a lot of plants (at least the things I propagate). You can also put the cut stem in a rooting hormone and plant it in potting medium and cover until new growth appears. I may have rooting hormone around here somewhere – I think.

Here is the pot with the creeping rosemary and my newly rooted shoots. Hopefully, they will grow in harmony with the creeping rosemary and fill up the pot. I’ve got some more rooting in my kitchen window to add as well – can never get enough of a good thing.


My Grandmother, Johnnie Lloyd

My Grandmother

I learned to propagate plants this way from my grandmother, who was always snipping cuttings. At one time, she lived on a farm and I think she could grow anything. I will have this rosemary in remembrance of her.

Another Happy Anniversary

Submitted by Christi

Another year, another wedding anniversary. This one makes 18 years! It is fun to reflect back on the years – the good times and bad. When I look through my wedding album, I enjoy seeing pictures of friends and remembering those that have passed.

This year, we stayed home and had a quiet dinner together. In a city like New Orleans, there are so many wonderful places to choose from, but we love cooking, and it was quite lovely. I set the table with my pretty Spode dishes. Now that I am writing this, I’m wondering why I didn’t think to use our wedding china! Oh well, I’ll do that soon.

Anniversary Dinner




anniversary6 anniversary7

anniversary dinner

Here is a throwback pic of the happy occasion.

The happy couple

The happy couple

I love the advice I was given by my parents about marriage: It is important to love who you marry, but commitment is even more important. It doesn’t sound very romantic, but it is true that year after year in marriage, there will be times when you don’t feel as much “in love” as other times. It is these times that commitment takes you through. Just thought I’d pass that along 🙂

Happy Day to you!

Sharing today with Tablescape Thursday on Between Naps on the Porch.


P. S. I love hearing what is going on with you in the comments. Thanks for visiting!

What Is Really Important?

Submitted by Christi

flowering kudzuTwenty-three years ago, I lost my dad to cancer. He was 54 years old. I’ve been thinking a lot about Daddy lately. I remember when he had his first chemo treatment after he was diagnosed. Everyone else was gone, and he and I had a great visit.

We sat on his hospital bed, and he told me what was important to him. He said that the most important thing in his life was his relationship with Jesus Christ. With tears, he expressed his amazement at God’s love. Daddy wasn’t afraid of death because of the assurance he had of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Remembering his words and reflecting on them this week has helped me remember to put things in perspective. If I knew that I only had a short time to live (which is a possibility, not just for me, but for everyone), what would my priorities be? I think that Daddy had it right.

In the end, you can’t take anything in this life with you. I want to focus on what lasts. His love is what lasts and it is His love that I can share with others. What is important to you? If you only had a short time to live, would it change your priorities?

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James 4:14 (NASB)

French Quarter Fest

Submitted by Cindy

The French Quarter Festival is the intro to New Orleans’ jam packed spring season, and of course we were there!  In its 30th year, it’s the largest free music festival in the southeast.  We hit the event rather late on its Saturday afternoon.  With rain the day before and more predicted, a whopping 303,000 people were enjoying the beautiful day.  Our strategy was to avoid the crowds by patronizing the smaller bands, and we discovered some gems.

cathedral (640x477)

We love our festivals for the quirkiness, especially the people watching.  But music is the heart of the event, so here’s some samples.  Sorry I can’t give much attribution to the “unofficial” groups who play for the love of music and the occasional tip.

Here’s Doreen’s, a Dixieland band with soul.  The trombone player was a character!

Read more…

How to Boil Crawfish

Submitted by Cindy

Crawfish boils are a rite of spring in New Orleans.  They combine two of our favorite activities – eating good food and visiting with friends.  We recently spent a picture perfect Saturday afternoon in a beautiful setting eating to our heart’s content.  Here’s the star of the show.

closeup (640x366)

We are lucky here to have boiled crawfish readily available.  You can buy a few pounds, still hot from the pot, at a lot of groceries this time of year.  There are specialty caterers who will bring their equipment on site to cook for larger parties.  But it’s a lot more fun to cook them yourself.

crawfish in pot (640x504)

My friend Chris, a master crawfish boiler when he’s not behind his desk at an investment firm, shared his cooking secrets with me.  It’s as much an art as a science, and the results are delicious!

my first serving (640x407)

Read more…

Caring For A Dining Table

Submitted by Christi

I have always enjoyed entertaining. It is a great way to get together with friends and family and show them how much you care with a beautiful table setting and wonderful food. However, occasionally, when you entertain, a dish gets broken or a water ring or heat ring is left on your beautiful wood dining table. Don’t fret. Dishes are created to be used and breakage is just a part of life and . . . you can’t take it with you anyway. 🙂 The table is another matter. With the right supplies, you can fix that table right up.

I did that just recently with my dining table. After a dinner party, I noticed some heat marks and a few water rings. No problem, just got out my supplies and added a little elbow grease and took those marks right out of the wood. Here is how I did it.

Wood Care Supplies

These are the product I used.

I started with the Restore-A Finish product. You apply it with a cloth in the direction of the wood grain. For stubborn heat or water marks, you can use a fine grain steel wool (0000). Read more…

Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Submitted by Christi

This beautiful spring day with its gorgeous blue sky and soft Southern breeze was screaming for us to get out and enjoy, so . . . we did. We grabbed our kite and string and headed out to the Mississippi river levee area in New Orleans called “The Fly” which is located at the river end of Audubon Park and enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Up, up and away . . .

kite above the trees

High into the sky!

kite flying

Higher and higher . . .

kite flying

With my fist holding tight, to the string of my kite 🙂

kite flying

A day that just made me smile . . . so, I wanted to share it with you!

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Spring on the Porch

Submitted by Christi

The weather in New Orleans tends to be mild, year-round. However, this past winter brought many cool/cold days (though no frost or freezing – it’s all relative). Now that Spring is officially here, it is wonderful to get outside and enjoy the front porch.

We spend so much time on the porch that I am constantly changing up the look for the newest season. You may remember how it looked during the Carnival season:

mardi gras porch
A purple cloth and Mardi Gras beads adorned the table and the columns were adorned with purple, green and gold bows and ribbons.

Here is the Spring look:

Gardenia on the porch

A new look on the swing and table: Read more…

City of the Dead

Submitted by Cindy

As Easter approaches our thoughts turn to loved ones who are no longer with us.  I made a trip recently to Metairie Cemetery, where my family is buried, to place flowers on the tombs.  While newer than a number of the city’s cemeteries, it is one of the largest and most historic.

View - Metairie Cemetery

It was previously the site of a horse racing track, Metairie Race Course, founded in 1838.  During the Civil War it was used as Confederate Camp Moore.  The track went bankrupt during reconstruction, and the site was chartered as a cemetery in 1872, with its design influenced by the oval layout.  In 1991 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The cemetery is the resting place of over 9,000 people, including 9 Louisiana governors, 7 New Orleans mayors, 49 kings of Carnival, and 3 Confederate generals.  With the largest collection of elaborate marble tombs and funeral statuary in the city, the artistry alone is well worth a trip.

Confederate monument

Read more…

Fish on Friday

Submitted by Cindy

New Orleans is a very Catholic city.  I’m not Catholic, but I heartily endorse one of the faith’s tenets – the “sacrifice” of eating seafood as opposed to meat.  On a recent Friday during Lent, I decided to honor the occasion by featuring Louisiana specialties from the sea.

For starters, we had Crawfish Bisque.  I have to confess that it wasn’t my creation – it was stashed in the infamous freezer after a catered party I hosted.  The main course was Trout Pecan accompanied by a rice pilaf.  My husband caught the trout while on a male bonding office outing, and it arrived home cleaned and filleted.  (Any time, dear!)  The dessert was a praline parfait.


Read more…

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Submitted by Cindy

On a recent Sunday morning 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries took to the New Orleans streets.  My running days are over, but I can’t resist going to cheer them on, and sympathize with their pain.  It was a perfect, cool winter day, with the sun peeking over the oak trees as the runners filled both sides of St. Charles Avenue.

In New Orleans we can turn any event into a party!    A jazz band from Tulane University started up at 7 AM.  Cheerleaders from a local high school sang their encouragement, waving big records as part of their routine.  Neighbors lined the route just as for a parade, though most were drinking coffee rather than the typical beer.  We brought our coonhound to cheer them on, and she provided a welcome distraction to the monotony of 26 miles. Read more…