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Archive for the ‘Uniquely American’ Category

It’s a great time to be in New Orleans.  The Saints won the SUPER BOWL and the good times have begun to roll!  Parades and parties kicked off the festivities, which continued right into Mardi Gras season. Spring is right around the corner, bringing St. Patrick’s Day and St. Josephs Day celebrations. The seven day Jazz Fest arrives in late April, and will feature megastars like Lionel Richie, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam and B.B. King. 

All this celebrating boils down to one important fact about New Orleans – the fabulous food!  That means iconic Creole /Cajun foods like gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, remoulade, grillades & grits, red beans n’ rice, beignets and bread pudding.  Don’t forget po-boy sandwiches stuffed with delicacies like alligator, deep fried oysters, crawfish and soft shell crabs.   

You may not make it to New Orleans but you can celebrate with a hearty pot of Courtbouillion  – a popular home-style Creole fish dish with a piquant tomato-based sauce. The word Courtbouillion means, “short boil.”  Cajun cooks make it too, and in the local patois, the pronunciation is, “COU-bee-yohn.” 

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Each service member’s needs are different, but in this post,  you will find several lists with suggestions for general items you can send to them while overseas. Service members tend to look out for each other and share the contents of their packages. Keep this in mind and send extras if you can, especially food items. Small, frequent packages seem to be a good bet since Marines, soldiers and sailors often stay mobile. 

For additional ideas and recipes, read the companion post, OPERATION CHRISTMAS COOKIE .

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Homemade cookies and the holidays march hand and hand. For the U.S. troops  or elderly shut-ins who can’t bake their own treats, receiving home-baked cookies is a sweet reminder of family, traditions and home. 

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Peanuts were known as early as 950 B.C and may have originated in Brazil or Peru then carried to Africa by early explorers and missionaries. They are not really nuts, but legumes in the same family as peas, beans and pulses. From there traders carried peanuts to Spain and “The New World.”  Because they were cheap and of high food value, Colonial traders used peanuts as food aboard ship. The peanut became a significant agricultural crop in the early 1900’s after the the South’s cotton crop  was destroyed by boll weevils. 

To celebrate the South Carolina peanut, last month participating financial institutions throughout the  state offered peanuts at their teller windows. October was the peak of  the peanut harvest season.  Fall is a great time to celebrate with peanuts by serving your family and friends  Old Fashioned Peanut Butter; Honey Mustard Peanut, Apple and Pepper Slaw; Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream and Peanut Noodle Sauce. You will find all the recipes within this post. 

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“A delicate, white mist embraces lavender plants

Whose leaves dance in light Kona winds

From the Lavender Farm”

           Lavender & Hawaiian Winter 

 

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Mango BBQ Glazed Chicken Wings

It’s Super Bowl weekend, and if you are looking for something really fast  and fun to snack on during your Super Bowl party, try Perdue Farms new chicken products – SAUCE & TOSS® Wings  and SAUCE & TOSS® Chunks.   Recently, I spent some time  at Perdue Farms in Maryland and had the opportunity to become familiar with their chicken and chicken products.   Perdue is the top brand of premium fresh chicken in the eastern United States and a leading food and agricultural company that is recognized globally.     

 

 

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Beer Turkey

 

It’s that traditional time of year again, when family and guests enjoy favorite flavors like turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. But that doesn’t mean that the recipes have to be the same from year to year! Try spicing up your traditional favorites with beer. The wide variety of beer flavors and styles available today makes this popular beverage a prime ingredient for cooking.  Chocolate stout, pumpkin ale and Belgian Fruit Lambics will add exciting flavors to your favorite holiday dishes. 

 

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