Side Dish: Give the gift of cookbooks

Photo provided  --  Book jacket of Southern Living's 'Christmas All Through the South.'

Don’t panic — yet — if you haven’t decided on gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list. If one (or more) of those names on that list belongs to an enthusiastic home cook or someone who likes to read cookbooks, you’re in luck. A wide variety of outstanding cookbooks and coffee table books featuring recipes are available this … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Roasted veggies are a holiday hit

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a flavorful side dish, try Rosemary Roasted Vegetables  --  Brussels sprouts, green beans and green onions.

Baton Rouge has some mighty fine home cooks, and I’m always reminded of that when I share a meal with members of my dinner club. I recently was among the lucky guests at the home of Paul and Barbara Hoffman, who hosted a dinner that was top-notch from beginning to end. The menu was mainly made up … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Savor these cookbooks over holidays

Just in time for the fall holiday season come “Southern Holidays” by Debbie Moose and “Sweet Potatoes” by April McGregor, the latest additions to the University of North Carolina Press’ delightful “Savor the South” series of cookbooks that looks at the favorite foods and culinary traditions of the American South. Like the eight previous volumes in the planned 24-book … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Foolproof muffins are this easy

I can’t pass up a new cookbook by Jean Anderson. With her background in food chemistry, I know the book will include plenty of useful information and its recipes will always work. Her latest cookbook is no exception. Anderson has had lots of experience baking muffins, the subject of her latest book. She was only about 4 years old … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Cookbook has plenty to chew on

HHH “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” edited by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones Kingswell, $19.99 255-page paperback Fans of the television lifestyle show “The Chew” will welcome the latest cookbook from its five hosts — Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” includes recipes from each host, along with … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Fig gelato a great treat for summer

Photo provided by LSU AgCenter -- This LSU Purple fig will be one of many figs offered to taste so you can compare differences between varieties for taste, sweetness, texture and color.

When in New Orleans a few weeks ago for a seminar, a friend and I stopped by Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant shortly after it opened for its evening dinner service. Were we ever happy we did. It was the first time I’d been there as a customer since the restaurant and adjacent Carousel Bar & Lounge have … Continue reading →

Side Dish: All you need to know about tea

“Victoria The Essential Tea Companion: Favorite Recipes for Tea Parties and Celebrations” from the editors of Victoria Magazine. Hearst Books, $24.95. 204-page hardcover. June may be National Iced Tea Month, but that’s no reason to forgo relaxing with a fresh-poured cup of hot tea. Enjoy hot — or iced — tea for … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Speaker offers a toast to commitment and to friendship

Jessica B. Harris organized and moderated an all-day coffee seminar on Saturday at The Historic New Orleans Collection. She probably doesn’t realize it, but she taught the seminar’s attendees a more valuable lesson than the history and business of coffee. The lesson? Honoring your commitments. Harris — author, food historian, scholar, consultant to the National … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Come hogs and high water

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  A fried red beans and rice ball topped with an aioli is among the entries in the new bean category at Hogs for the Cause. The snack was the idea of Jay Ducote and Aimee Tortorich, members of the Bacon Rouge team.

Torrential rainstorms Friday and very early Saturday had the 2014 Hogs for the Cause competitors scrambling to move their pits out of high water and hang on to flying tents. Overcast skies and cool temps greeted Saturday morning’s early arrivals, who slogged through mud to get to the 90 competitors’ food booths at “City Pork” in New … Continue reading →