Posts Tagged ‘RECIPES’


A Thank You to 2010 and a Salute to 2011!

January 3, 2011

The New Year is my favorite time of year because the energy of the season encourages us to go within to reflect on our past and focus on our inner vision and intentions. I spent the better part of  Sunday outdoors soaking in the sunshine and writing down my aspirations for 2011. There’s no better tonic for reflection and rejuvenation than spending time in Nature.

I used to get readings and predictions from astrologers and other intuitives, but have found Dr. Doreen Virtue’s Angelic Oracle Cards to be amazing tools for tapping into my own higher wisdom and whatever spirit guides surround me.

Doreen Virtue (don’t you just love her name!) has written dozens of books and oracle card sets about Angels, Archangels, Ascended Masters, Goddesses, Fairies and other Nature Spirits.  I used to have most all of her oracle card sets, but I’ve been giving them away as the spirit moves me because now I have my favorites on my iPhone! Yes, that’s right, they are now in the form of Apps! I was especially drawn to the Archangel Oracle Cards as they are so incredibly powerful, I quickly noticed all kinds of little miracles happening the more I used them.

I especially like that each Archangel is associated with a special color and gemstone and was drawn to create jewelry using gemstones to help attract certain Archangels.

Sugalite (pendent) is the gemstone for Archangel Michael.

Archangel Michael is a leader among Archangels.  His chief function is to rid the earth and its inhabitants of the toxins associated with fear and directs those who feel lost or stuck with respect to their life’s purpose or career path.  He can stimulate the unmotivated or fearful into action. Michael also has an incredible knack for fixing electrical and mechanical devices, including computers, telephones, fax machines, and other types of electronics.  I especially like to call on him to help clear my home and office of negative energies.

I was thrilled to discover that within the past few days, Doreen came out with two great new Apps: “Archangel Michael Oracle Cards” and a “Chakra Clearing” App that I highly recommend.  I’m ready for 2011!


Archangel Michael Oracle Cards now available as iPhone Apps!

I quietly rang in the New Year with just me and two of my favorite men friends: My daughter’s Dad, Kenwood Kennon (proprietor of  Shadetree Inn) and my old NYC beau from back in 1987 writer Bob McDonald, who moved to St. Francisville 5 years ago and brought everything we needed to make Beef Wellington (He had read a recent article about it in the Wall Street Journal and wanted to see if we could duplicate it.) It wasn’t nearly as difficult as we thought and was quite a treat! Here’s the recipe:

History & Recipe for Beef Wellington


Beef Wellington Photo from WSJ


Although the evening ended around 9:30 (nope, no kissing at this soiree!), we concluded the evening by each of us lighting a candle and making our wish for a glorious 2011 (something I do every year):


Church Candles burning on the Mantel from NYE Wishes - Archangel Sandelphon painting by Hunt Slonem

Wishing you all the best for 2011! Happy New Year!!!



Re-blogging a great blog post on “All the Trappings”

July 21, 2010

I just read the nicest blog post by designer Andrea Veron who attended a birthday bash several friends and I hosted for Hunt Slonem last Sunday at Hemingbough in St. Francisville. I have mentioned Hemingbough more than once because it is one of my favorite spots in St. Francisville–238 acres of gardens and rolling hills where owner Arlin Dease hosts many major events including weddings, the annual Garden Symposium and concerts with the Baton Rouge Symphony (imagine enjoying entertainers like the Temptations and Dionne Warwick under the stars on those grounds!).  The photos Andrea took of both Hemingbough and Nottoway Plantation, another Arlin creation (he’s quite the visionary!), are spectacular!  To read all about it:

“A Visit to Hemingbough and a Birthday Party for the Dapper Mr. Hunt Slonem”

Here’s a party pic from Frances Cranford who drove down from Little Rock with Buff Blass who had the pastrami flown in from Katz’s Deli in NYC. The cake, by Michelle Weller, has a copy of the toucan Hunt often draws as part of the autographing of his latest book, Pleasure Palaces.

Beth Fuller cuts the first slice of cake for Hunt

Beth and Duane Ulkins (you can see his head peeking out from behind Hunt) decorated, made most of the food and dare I say “worked like dogs for days” to put on a wonderful party.  Judging from the food tables, it was a smash hit!

What did I bring in the way of food? Well, I made a shrimp cheesecake using the recipe I shared in my March 7, 2009 blog post “Best Birthday Cake Ever” and attempted to re-create a Chicken Salad that Gaye Landry made for a party thown for me last year that everyone raved about (roasted chickens cut up, Craisins, red seedless grapes, chopped green onions, toasted almond slices & cracked black pepper tossed in a 50-50 mix of  Helman’s mayo and Miracle Whip) and my old standby “Chutney Cheese” from River Roads Recipes which I never tire of: Mix two 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese with 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, 8 Tbls. sherry, 1.5 teas. curry powder & 1/2 teas. salt. Mold into a disc and top with Major Grey’s Chutney & chopped green onions & serve on crackers).

I’m determined to get Beth’s recipe for her Whiskey Sour Punch that Andrea and everyone was raving about and when I do, I’ll share that, too!

Bon Appetit!


Full Spectrum “Tobacco Road” paint color ready!

March 23, 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been working on our full spectrum version of the old Duron paint color “Tobacco Road” and I’m happy to report, it’s finished and samples are painted up ready to send out if you’d like one. Just email me at with your mailing address and I’ll get one right out to you. Of course, the word “tobacco” just doesn’t seem very enticing these days, so I renamed it something I felt more fitting: “Champagne Gold”.

On another note, my writer friend Bob McDonald, who moved here several years ago from the Big Apple to create his own country retreat Bel Sit, is selling what I consider to be “THE Quintessential Country Retreat“. In addition to using our Full Spectrum Paints inside and out, Bel Sit (Italian for “beautiful place”) is on 6+ acres that Bob has spent the last three years turning into a bird and nature lover’s paradise. We’ve created a website with lots of photos and more information at

"Mushroom" Walls & Ceiling in Great Room

Not only has Bob turned out to be quite the talent at landscaping (he personally created walking trails, complete with steps and footbridges and labeled all of the many hardwood trees), he has become quite the cook and created this delicious recipe for brussels sprouts that I thought I’d share, because everyone who’s tried it (including friends who don’t even like brussels sprouts) have been raving about it, too!

Brussels Sprouts with Portabella Mushrooms

1 package Brussels Sprouts (sliced), 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms, 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped onion, minced garlic to taste, 1/4 cup Marsala, 1-2 cups vegetable broth, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Braise/saute’ Brussels Sprouts in olive oil, add onions, garlic & mushrooms & saute’. Add tomatoes, Marsala & vegetable broth & simmer until cooked. Serve over rice.

Bon Appetit!



OxBow Restaurant Recipes

May 12, 2009

I spent Mother’s Day pretty much like I have the past several years.  My daughter and her father treated me to a wonderful lunch at The OxBow Restaurant here in St. Francisville.  People drive for miles to come eat at The OxBow and their cookbook is one of my favorites.  Although they have quite an extensive menu with not only what is known around here as “Creole” cuisine, but also Italian and Asian-influenced dishes, I ended up ordering two of my favorite dishes that I never seem to tire of:  Shrimp Remoulade and Crabmeat au Gratin.  Recipes for both dishes are in their cookbook and I have made them both often with great results, so I thought I’d share:

Remoulade Sauce for Crabmeat or Shrimp

Ingredients: 1 Cup Mayonaise, 1/2 Cup Ketchup, 1/2 Cup chopped green onions, 1 Cup minced celery, 1 Cup finely chopped onions, 1/2 Cup finely chopped bell pepper, 1/2 Cup horseradish, 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons worchestershire sauce, 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1 Tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon red pepper.  Procedure: Mix all ingredients in food processor until blended & chill overnight before using on cooked boiled Shrimp or lump Crabmeat.  Garnish with chopped tomatoes on lettuce. Makes about 1 quart and keeps a long time.

Lump Crabmeat Au Gratin

Ingredients: 1 stick butter, 1 Cup finely chopped onions, 3/4 Cup finely chopped celery, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic, 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper, 1 jalapeno seeded & minced, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 Cup flour, 1 Cup evaporated milk, 3/4 Cups heavy cream, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 Cup shredded swiss cheese, 1/4 Cup grated Romano cheese, 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, 1/3 Cup Japanese bread crumbs moistened and blended with 2 Tablespoons melted butter, 2 Tablespoons chopped flat Italian parsley.  Procedure: In a 4 quart sauce pan, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapenos & saute’ until very tender without browning. Add salt, red and white peppers. Blend well and add flour. Cook 1 minute and then add milk and heavy cream. Whisk well and bring to simmer without scorching. Off the heat & add cheeses, stirring until melted. Add the egg yolks. Stir. Fold in lump crabmeat. Fill a casserole dish or individual ramekins & top with the bread crumb topping. Bake for 15-20 minutes until hot. Sprinkle with parsley & serve. One year for Christmas Eve dinner I made & served it with crackers as an appetizer.

Bon appetit!

P.S. The OxBox does not have a website, but if you’re in the area you can call them at 225-635-6276 for reservations. Not only do they have great food, but Mathew is there to greet & make sure your dining experience is delightful!



Best birthday cake ever!

March 7, 2009

I recently had the pleasure of escorting John Berendt around town to see if he might find St. Francisville interesting enough to include in his next book.  John is the best-selling author of  Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, the book that made Savannah’s eccentric folks famous.  It’s often said we have more nuts than a fruitcake and we even have our own Lady Chablis, but here he’s known as Matthew and “Gingersnap”, which is the name on the license plate on his convertible and he certainly isn’t “nuts“.  John came with photographer Bevil Knapp, who just finished a book on St. Francisville and Carter Hooper, who was celebrating his 49th birthday.  We had a wonderful time, filled with tours of plantations, a cocktail party on the veranda of Catalpa Plantation, a great lunch at the Magnolia Cafe’ and a fabulous birthday dinner at The OxBow Restaurant, where Matthew is maitre d’.  We had such a good time, they said they are coming back next month!

Duane Ulkins baked a birthday cake (strawberry) for Carter that had everyone raving, so I asked him for his recipe and have tried making it twice since.  Mine tasted every bit as good as his, but didn’t look nearly as pretty.  I bought a flat of strawberries off the side of the road and couldn’t resist putting too many strawberries into the icing than the recipe called for the first time, and the second time, I got the icing right, but iced the cake before it completely cooled.  But still, I shared both cakes with friends and family and I have to tell you, they LOVED it!

Duane’s Strawberry Cake

Batter:  1 package yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines), 1 package strawberry jello mix, 4 eggs, 1/2 each vegetable oil & water, 14 oz. frozen strawberries (drained) or 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries, 2 T. flour.  Combine all ingredients except strawberries, until batter is thoroughly mixed, then add strawberries & pour into 3 greased & floured cake pans & bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Icing: 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, 1 stick softened butter, 1 stick softened cream cheese, 1 box powdered sugar.  Combine butter & cream cheese & beat at high speed.  Then, slowly add the powdered sugar.  Once it is all mixed, fold in the strawberries.  Ice cake once it is completely cooled.  You may want to make the icing first and refrigerate while you are making the cake.  Here’s my third attempt!


I brought a Crawfish Cheesecake to the cocktail party at Catalpa and thought I’d share that recipe as well.  It was created by combining a couple of Emeril recipes.  If you don’t have access to crawfish, you can substitute shrimp, crabmeat, mushrooms, or whatever your imagination comes up with!

Crawfish Cheesecake

4   8 oz pkgs. Cream cheese

4 eggs

3/4 C. Parmesan

1 C. bread crumbs

3/4 C. grated smoked Gouda

1/2 C. each minced red and green bell pepper

1 C. minced onion

1 Pkg. crawfish

Stick of butter

3/4 C. heavy cream

Emeril’s or similar seasoning mix to taste

Melt butter, mix with 1/2 C. Parmesan and bread crumbs to press

into pan for crust. Bake 10 minutes and cool.

Saute’ peppers and onions in olive oil.

In mixer or processor beat cream cheese and eggs. Add cream, Gouda and rest of Parmesan. Turn off the heat and add vegetables, seasonings and crawfish.

Pour mixture into crust and bake @ 350 til sets (approx. an hour).

Cool and serve @ room temp.  Makes a good spread on crackers.

Bon Appetit!


Summer entertainment & entertaining!

July 31, 2008

If you haven’t ever been to the Seaside, Florida area, you should plan an excursion.  I enjoyed visiting last weekend when I went down with some friends to the Ogden Museum‘s reception honoring and showcasing the works of artists Hunt Slonem and photographer Richard Sexton.  Not only was it a beautiful little gem of a museum in the heart of Watercolor, Florida (located right next to Seaside–within walking distance), but the gracious folks there really know how to throw a party.  In addition to the great-looking crowd attending, there were waiters everywhere serving everything from champagne to oysters on the half shell (among many other delectable treats)!  The exhibition contained an interesting mix of Hunt’s angels, saints, birds & other flora and fauna along with beautiful sepia-toned photographs of the area’s landscapes by Richard Sexton. Both artists have new books out.  I’ve mentioned Hunt’s Pleasure Palaces before, but did not realize how many books Richard has, his latest being Terra Incognita:  Photographs of America’s Third Coast.

Although we were wined and dined at length by our charming hosts, we also managed to try out several of the area’s top restaurants and liked Jim Shirley’s “Great Southern” restaurant in Seaside so much, we went back for a second time to eat and purchase his cookbook, Southern Boy Cooks Great Grits (  Not only does it have the best grits and collard greens recipes we’ve come across, it has his key lime pie recipe which is divine!  I’m going to share it with you.  However, I am substituting the crust we’ve been using for a cheesecake my friend Beverly Walker makes which is also pretty incredible.  I made it for Hunt’s birthday dinner a few weeks ago and both the caterer and renowned Chef Andrea Apuzzo (Andrea’s Restaurant, New Orleans) asked for the recipe!  Speaking of cookbooks, I have all of Chef Andrea’s cookbooks, his latest, My Home is Your Home, is especially great!


Crust:  1-1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs,  1 stick melted butter, 1 cup pecans (Put all ingredientsexcept pecans in food processor & blend.  Add pecans and pulse 3-4 times so that pecans are still in large chunks.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.)

Filling: 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 4 egg yolks (Beat yolks ’til smooth. Add condensed milk & mix well.  Then slowly beat in the lime juice.  Pour into cooled crust and bake for 5 minutes.)

Meringue: 3 egg whites @ room temp., 3/4 cup superfine sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (While pie cooks, mix egg whites with cream of tartar, beating on high until soft peaks form.  Then add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until peaks get stiffer.  Pop back into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.)

(Alternative topping could be freshly whipped cream with a tad of sugar.)


Crust: (same as above)

Filling: 3  8 oz. packages of cream cheese, 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar & 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla (Mix ingredients and pour into baked pie shell & bake at 350 for 25 minutes.)

Topping: 1  8 oz. container of sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla (Blend ingredients and spread on top of filling & bake for 5 more minutes.)

(We also like to top with fresh blueberries and/or strawberries in a simple syrup!)

Okay, back to entertaining and entertainment:  I attended the opening night of “What Alice Saw There” last night (put on by our local St. Francisville Transitory Theatre, where my daughter Alex played the role of “Alice”.  She was also part of the composition team who wrote the play based on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland.  Now I know I must sound like one of those proud stage mothers (& yes I am), but I have to tell you, it was an outstanding production–everyone was amazing–and, of course, Alex was incredible!  If you are in the area, you can purchase tickets via their website,  The show runs July 30-August 3 and August 6-9.  I was a bit concerned because I have tickets to see it with other friends and family again August 2nd and August 9th, but I have to say, I’m looking forward to it.  I especially loved that the cast is both gender and color blind, so Robbie Gilmore’s brilliant performance as the Queen of Hearts made it quite the comedy!  We are so fortunate to have so many talented people involved with this theatre group that includes Tulane graduates and students as well as local adults and children.  The play was the local debut of Stephanie Waters who was recently in Project Dance on Broadway!

As is our usual custom, if you mention you’ve enjoyed trying our recipe(s) or enjoyed the play when you place your next order for paint, we’ll give you $5 off per gallon!

Hope you are having as much fun this Summer as we are!  So much so, our Summer Newsletter is running late!