Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mardi Gras boxes from Pizza Man

We went to Pizza Man a couple of weeks ago and these were some of the pizza boxes decorating the walls. If you remember, Pizza Man is the restaurant that changes out painted pizza boxes on a regular basis. I will share more boxes with you in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Scenes from Zulu parade 2009

Have you seen the Zulu King?

This has been a wonderful Mardi Gras season for us! We hit four parades: Olympia in Covington, Orpheus in Mandeville, then Thoth and Zulu in New Orleans. Zulu was definitely the highlight. This was the first time that we have made it to Zulu. It rolls at 8AM, so you have to be there early... to find a parking space and to find a good spot on the parade route. This year things just came together for us.

Zulu was awesome! As I mention in this episode, Zulu is unique. It is traditionally an African-American krewe... in blackface and colorful (almost tribal) attire. Oh, and this year they celebrated their 100th anniversary.

New Orleans parades are known for things being thrown from floats. Usually, the things thrown are Mardi Gras beads... cheap plastic beads that everyone goes crazy for! And Zulu has its share of beads. But Zulu is most known for its coconuts. They used to throw coconuts, but they can't do that anymore. It's just a tad bit dangerous. Now they have to hand them out (though I did see several tossed from the floats). Getting a coconut at the Zulu parade is a BIG deal. Everybody wants one. And at our very first Zulu parade, we walked away with three!

If you would like to know more about the history and traditions of the Zulu parade, there is an excellent article in the New York Times here.

The parties, king cakes and parades of Mardi Gras 2009 have prepared us for Lent. It is now time to take a more serious look at our lives and our faith. My family is excited about Lent this year, and we can't wait to share some of our thoughts and ideas with you in episode 11.

So what are you doing for Lent? Let us know!

Leave feedback at or call the listener feedback line at 985-635-4974.

You can download episode 10 here or listen to it below:

Here are a couple of photos of our trip to Cafe du Monde:

Monday, February 23, 2009

What are you doing for Lent?

What are you doing for Lent? Giving something up? Doing something extra?

The Catholic Foodie wants to know! I will share your feedback on the first Lenten episode of The Catholic Foodie.

Email your comments to or call leave a voice message at 985-635-4974.

God bless you!

**Photo from richdrogpa on Flickr.**

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another King Cake

This is the king cake that I made about a month ago for my oldest daughter's birthday. Tomorrow is Lundi Gras and I will spend the afternoon making another king cake. This one will be for the party we are going to on Mardi Gras afternoon. The cake is filled with cream cheese... and it's awesome!

Here's the recipe if you are interested:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marhaba, habibi! Episode 9 is up!

Marhaba, habibi! "Hello, dear" in Arabic. In episode 9 we recap our experience at the Lebanese convention, including the Maronite liturgy we attended on Sunday. We respond to feedback about Lebanese food and culture, and I share with you my falafel fiasco! We also have a special treat on the menu: kibbeh nayeh.

Kibbeh nayeh is a common dish in Lebanon. It may not sound appealing, at first, to our North American ears, but it is delicious! Yes, it is raw lamb. But there is just something about it. Hence, the song at the convention. I think it is one of those things that is distinctly Lebanese and lends a sense of connection for those Lebanese living outside the homeland.

There is a great blog post about kibbeh nayeh from a blogger living in Lebanon. Check out the post here.

I just want to make one note about the Maronite liturgy we attended on Sunday of the convention weekend. It was a sacred experience. There is such a sense of Mystery in the liturgies of the Eastern Churches. The focus is totally on the mercy of God... on begging God's mercy. And there is plenty of incense and chanting. Even though we were in a hotel ballroom celebrating the Eucharist, it was a sacred and inspiring event. Beautiful!

Just the other day I had the grand idea of making falafel. Falafel is basically a "paste" made with chick peas, lots of flat-leaf parsley, lots of cilantro, onions, salt, cayenne, and maybe a few more ingredients. Usually you process it in a food processor until it becomes a thick green paste. After shaping the paste into small flattened balls (sort of like thick pancakes), they are fried. They are truly delicious, and we love to order them out. After looking up a recipe I thought, "Wow, this looks so easy!" I decided to make falafel that night. It was a fiasco. I started cooking too late in the evening... and everything takes longer than you think. At first I thought my paste was too thick, so I added just a bit of water. However, the onions ended up providing all the water I needed. So my paste was not "paste-y" enough. I added more beans. Anyway, the directions called for the paste to be refrigerated for at least 30 minutes. But, guess what. It was already late and I did not want to wait. In retrospect... I should have. Lastly, I am terrible at frying! I mean, I can pan fry something. But, really frying... I usually leave that to the professionals. Not to mention the fact that frying makes a total (stinky) mess of the kitchen. Add all of this together and you can see why I ended up with a falafel fiasco! However, I tried again the next night with the leftover paste (which had been refrigerated over night!) and they turned out so much better. Goes to show you that directions are important.

By the way, the kibbeh nayeh photo above is from jwinfred on flickr. The photo of the falafel is from roboppy on flickr. The top photo is of our 9 year old son "dancing the night away" with his "girlfriends" at the Lebanese convention.

Finally, here is a photo of the cake that was served Saturday night at the convention. It was just plain indescribable:

Leave feedback at or call the listener feedback line at 985-635-4974.

You can download episode 9 here or listen to it below: