Category Archives: Food Exploits

NOLA Eats, Sights and Sounds

So in the two days leading up to my marathon, John and I got to sightsee areas of New Orleans with his parents. We stayed in the Garden District which we loved and ate the best food that we’ve had in awhile, especially the oysters! I can’t wait to go back to NOLA (hopefully for Jazzfest) so I can eat more (as well as hear great music). My only regrets on this whole trip were not seeing Kermit Ruffins at the Blue Nile club or not getting to hear Rockin’ Dopsie at the post-race concert, missed his set!

Anyway… here are a bunch of pics of our exploits.

Magazine Street, New Orleans

A rad fountain at The Bulldog where we ate some grub.

New Orleans, Mardi Gras

The Louisiana cultural emblem: fleur-de-lis

Instagram, St. Charles Avenue, Garden District

The sight from our hotel's front porch.

flowers, Garden District

Just one example of the beautiful flowers in the Garden District.

beads, Garden District

I can only imagine the fun parades that caused this neat display.

Cavalcade of Curiosities, Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans

At the Expo, I got my gait analyzed by the Brooks Running crew! I'm a neutral.

Claim Your Journey, RunLA

One of my all-time favorite movie stars wearing his Claim Your Journey shirt!

Tweet-Up, Claim Your Journey

At Claim Your Journey's tweet-up, I met up with @esinglet, my t-shirt twin!

Garden District, corn

Back in the Garden District, this house had fascinating ironwork. The owner must have made some corn money back in the day.

Garden District, architecture, house

This house on Coliseum Street was used for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, one of my favorite Brad Pitt movies.

Acme Oyster House, French Quarter, New Orleans

The plumpest oysters I've ever seen were at Acme Oyster House, French Quarter.

Strawberry Harvest Abita

A tasty post-race treat: Abita Strawberry Lager!

Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, live music

Along Frenchmen Street, we ducked into the Spotted Cat Music Club and heard the Washboard Chaz trio. Always take care of the musicians and the bartender!

What a beautiful, magical city.

I do believe I’m starting my run mode again tomorrow with a leisurely 10K in Alexandria for the Red River Run and then my birthday is on Sunday so in honor of my birthday… make sure you spring your clocks one hour forward! I know, it’s a crummy birthday party favor.

Have you ever been to New Orleans? Would you ever?


Last Call for King Cake

It’s Mardi Gras which means hurry and get your revelry in now! I’ve got 12 days left before my marathon, but more about that in another post! 🙂

This being my first Carnival season in Louisiana, I focused on the beauty of King Cake. A Mardi Gras tradition that honors the three kings, King Cake is typically a ring or oval-shaped that is covered with sugar crystals. Modern King Cakes include a plastic baby that is placed underneath the cake and whoever receives the slice with the baby is in charge of bringing King Cake to the next party.

I had my first taste of King Cake a month ago at a poker party and it was deliciously indulgent!

Louisiana Mardi Gras tradition

A delight for the stomach and eyes.

Don’t the color squiggles look fun? This was from a bakery in Lake Charles, a city that’s about 1 hour away from where I live and is much bigger (it has a Target!). The frosting and the cream cheese filling made for a sweet slice of King Cake. I didn’t get the baby.

After this King Cake, I was focused on finding another one to devour eat. Lucky for me, Wal-mart was selling boxes of King Cake mix so I grabbed one and got down to business.

Artisan stand mixer Depaul King Cake mix

Prepping the workspace for King Cake.

King Cake uses yeast so I had to let the dough rise once before rolling and baking. I love the chemistry behind baking bread; seeing the dough doubled in size always makes me smile.

Mama Depaul's King Cake

Homemade King Cake. Do you see the baby?

I had a lot of fun shaking the colored crystals on. This cake had a praline filling (mmm…pralines…) that wasn’t overly sweet.

King Cake

Rolled dough with praline filling

My most recent King Cake experience was with Sucre, a bakery/sweets shop in New Orleans. I love their macaroons and when I read that their King Cake was judged the best for 2012 by the Times Picayune, I placed an order. This is what arrived:

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, dessert

King Cake, a Plastic Baby, and Beads. It's time to party!

After slicing into the cake and warming it in the microwave for 10 seconds, I found it to be delicate and subtly sweet. I like subtle flavor, but it tricks me and makes me want to get a second slice ASAP! So much for moderation…

Overall, Sucre’s King Cake was distinctive for its taste and style, but I liked my homemade cake more. I do recommend stopping by Sucre and sampling their chocolates, macaroons, or gelato if you’re ever in NOLA!

This year’s King Cake party was small, just me, husband, and puppy but I’m hoping next year’s will grow now that I’ve gained some baking confidence!

Happy Mardi Gras ya’ll! 

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Sucre, King Cake

Pretty art work that I plan to frame.