Green Shoots

My vegetable garden is finally becoming productive. I planted a few things for fall harvest: cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, kale and mustard greens. While some are slower growers than others, check out this cucumber I harvested today.

The Figs

I love the The Figs, no not Newtons, not fruit and not pudding - I'm talking about the band. Six lovely ladies from a unique South Louisiana city, Lafayette, have combined their talents to form this charming yet sassy musical group. They are a perfect mix of old timey bluegrass, swing and folk with their own twist of tradition, learning as they go. 

They dress the part they play and I love the look as much as the music. 
Their merchandise is available on the 
website; much of the art is designed by band mate (ukulele player), Jillian Johnson

Their new album, What Keeps Me Up At Night, has been released by Valcour Records and it is a dandy. My favorite song is To Sail the Sea. Listen to it here.

New Orleans Bread Pudding

My mom made bread pudding the other night for her pokeno game. She had leftovers so I thought I'd try it out. 

Eew, yuck! I can't stand the texture. I'm from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and we are practically baptized in this sacred whiskey soaked sunday brunch dessert. 

I just can't get past the mushy custard like texture; it's just wet bread! Perhaps I was adopted.

Yields 6 


3/4 cups Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
3 Medium Eggs
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Vanilla
5 cups New Orleans French Bread, 1" cubed (see note)
1/3 cup Raisins
(18: in length or approximately 1 1/3 G/ sliced thin)


1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1 Tbsp. Water
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/4 cup Bourbon


9 Medium Egg Whites
3/4 cups Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar

To make the bread pudding, first preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8" square baking pan. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow bread to soak up custard.

Place the raisins in a greased pan. Top with the egg mixture, which prevents the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden brown color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. The mixture of pudding should be nice and moist, not runny or dry. Cool to room temperature.

To make the whiskey sauce, place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Whisk corn starch and water together, and add to cream while whisking. Bring to a boil. Whisk and let simmer for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the mixture on the bottom. Remove from heat.

Stir in the sugar and the bourbon. Taste to make sure the sauce has a thick consistency, a sufficiently sweet taste, and a good bourbon flavor. Cool to room temperature.

To make the meringue, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six 6 ounce ramekins. First, be certain that the bowl and whisk are clean. The egg whites should be completely free of yolk, and they will whip better if the chill is off them. This dish needs a good, stiff meringue. In a large bowl or mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the sugar gradually, and continue whipping until shiny and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving cream, when you pull out the spoon, the meringue is ready. Do not overwhip, or the whites will break down and the soufflé will not work.

In a large bowl, break half the bread pudding into pieces using your hands or a spoon. Gently fold in one-quarter of the meringue, being careful not to lose the air in the whites. Add a portion of this base to each of the ramekins.

Place the remaining bread pudding in the bowl, break into pieces, and carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. Top off the soufflés with this lighter mixture, to about 1 1/2 inches. Smooth and shape tops with spoon into a dome over the ramekin rim. Bake immediately for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Using a spoon, poke a hole in the top of each soufflé, at the table, and pour the room temperature whiskey sauce inside the soufflé.

Note: New Orleans French bread is very light and tender. If substitute bread is used that is too dense, it will soak up all the custard and the recipe will not work.

Hope for America

Wow, this 2008 presidential election was pretty intense. I have never been so emotionally involved in politics as I am now. After all of the economic downturn, war and international threats, energy crisis, and failing healthcare, it is hard to believe that anyone in the world has not been affected.

Now we finally have decided who will lead us through these challenging times, we have elected a man who has defied all odds and made history in our country. My hope for Barack Obama, is that he can continue to inspire hope in the rest of America, and that the entire nation will support him. I really hope our country can put aside party affiliations and focus on uniting our Nation. The more we can work together and be compassionate and respectful of one another, the stronger our country will be. 

Here are some powerful images from The Big Picture

Spooky Cute Recycled Pouches

Halloween is soon approaching and we have fully decorated our front entrance way. Costumes are ready and treats prepared for the little ones. We already have a pumpkin waiting to be carved. In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd find some Etsy items suited for the occasion.

I came across these very creative recycled pouches made by Eclipse

They feature a zipper top and are made entirely from recycled plastic bags. I think these are so creative and cute for Halloween treats. Plus they are ecofriendly.

Arctic Friends

polar bear original aceo by RobsDoodles

Today I decided to feature the Polar Bear. This furry creature is not one I am familiar with down here in Louisiana, except for the one or two in our zoo, so I have searched for a few interesting facts about them.

Polar bears are a potentially endangered species of a about 20,000-25,0000 living in the circumpolar north from Russia to Alaska, from Canada to Greenland and onto Norway's Svalbard archipelago.

Scientists believe that the polar bear evolved from a group of brown bears that became isolated by glaciers in an area near Siberia. The stranded bears underwent a rapid series of evolutionary changes in order to survive on the ice. Today's polar bear is superbly adapted to life in the Arctic.

Bear Ancestry ACEO Limited Edition 2 by scarlettcat

Climate change is the main threat to polar bears today. A diminishing ice pack directly affects polar bears, as sea ice is the platform from which they hunt seals. Although the Arctic has experienced warm periods before, the present shrinking of the Arctic's sea ice is rapid and unprecedented.

Who Cares About Global Warming Button by thedogcoatlady

Polar bears are the world's largest land predators They top the food chain in the Arctic, where they prey primarily on seals.

In all of Canada, only seven people have been killed by polar bears in the past 30 years.In the U. S. (Alaska) during the same time period, only one person was killed.

Trouble woodblock print by Cakeasaurus

Adult male polar bears weigh from 775 to more than 1,500 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, normally weighing 330 to 550 pounds.

Mr. Stemke - 100 Percent Organic Cotton - Alternative Apparel - 6032 V-Neck T-Shirt by partybots

Pregnant female polar bears den up in the fall after feeding heavily in August and September. Most choose den sites in snowdrifts along mountain slopes or hills near the sea ice. Others den in banks of snow on the frozen sea.To build her den, the female scrapes a tunnel into the snow and digs two chambers. She gives birth to her cubs in November or December.

Polar bears are fastidious about staying clean. In the summer, the bears typically feed for twenty or thirty minutes and then head for a pool of water in which to wash off.

Follow Your heart - Lets Swing 7"x7" print by krisblues

Hurricane Gustav

Wow, what a week this has been. Hurricane Gustav blew through this state and wreaked havoc on us for quite some time! What was thought to be a safe haven for some Gulf Coast residents turned out to be one of the hardest hit areas of the state here in Louisiana. This was the worst recorded storm to ever hit Baton Rouge and the most damage I have ever seen in my city.

Our property didn't sustain much damage since we don't have any tall trees but my Mom didn't fair as well as us. A 100' pine tree fell into her bedroom.

This storm was quite different from Katrina; instead of flooding, we got lots of wind, and in a city full of beautiful old trees, wind is not your friend. After 5 days, we finally got power back, but over half the city still is in darkness and may be for a month. Schools remain closed for another week.

After tasting my first MRE, we decided to hit the grocery store today to refill the refrigerator that had to be cleaned out. I found only one that didn't have a line of people waiting to get inside. We were able to get most of the staple items, only one choice of bread but no eggs were available. It looks like the 2 hour gas lines are finally tapering off too and we are finally going to have to fill up the car soon.
The streets are still littered with debris and uprooted trees. It will be quite some time before things get back to normal and it looks like IKE is headed for the Gulf!

The only thing we were able to do while the power was out was take a hot shower since we have a gas water heater. I was thinking it would be great to have a gas stove, natural gas grill and what about a CNG car that you could fill up at your house. Especially in times like these when petroleum transport and refinement is difficult and there is no electricity. I would love to just have natural gas for everything during times like this!