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Cool and simple, a great sandwich can fit the bill

National Sandwich Month is being celebrated this month, which seems like an appropriate time to honor the humble sandwich. Still too hot to want to turn on the oven, August calls for cool, easy-to-make weeknight meals. But, the start of after-school activities also requires a need for filling supper choices. Sandwiches — and salads, too —… Continue reading →

Mango recipe easy on hot summer day

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Cool off with Mango Salsa.

Like most fans of fresh salads and salsa, I’ve come to love that there are as many ways to make salsa as there are vegetables to imagine it — traditional tomato salsa, fruity salsas with cantaloupes, tomatillo salsa or veggie salsa with crisp cucumbers and tangy limes, to name just a few. It’s beyond hot in Baton… Continue reading →

Corn adds sunny side to dinner omelet with salmon

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Open-faced Corn and Zucchini Omelet With Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream

For the first couple weeks of corn season, my family is content to eat plain old corn on the cob day after day. But even perfection gets boring after a while, which is why I tend to fancy up our corncentric preparations as we get deeper into the season. So here’s a large, family-style, open-faced… Continue reading →

Bites of History: In savory, sweet dishes, vanilla bean’s flavor anything but boring

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  A dash of vanilla adds a sweet note to Seared Scallops With Lemon Vanilla Sauce.

When it comes to flavoring desserts, nothing is used more than that little brown bottle of vanilla extract almost all of us have in our cupboards. But did you realize that, next to saffron, vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world? The reason for its high cost is the vanilla bean’s complicated growing process. And… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Aug. 14, 2014

 Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Graham Nichols, far right, helps Rachael Flores with her selection at the grand opening of the Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market at Star Hill Baptist Church Wednesday. The mobile market was established to bring locally grown produce to areas of North Baton Rouge currently designated as food deserts.

Students from Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will fire up the grill for the next five weeks as part of a cooking competition sponsored by the Dansereau House Bed and Breakfast. The public is invited to attend the Grill-Off Challenge, which will… Continue reading →

Schools’ demand for locally sourced food increases

When Anupama Joshi spoke in New Orleans recently at the International Farm to Table Symposium, she had great news for local farmers and growers. The cofounder and executive director of the National Farm to School Network said demand for locally sourced food products for school cafeterias has grown dramatically in the past 10 years and will continue to… Continue reading →

Ruffino’s hosting ‘Lobster Festival’

Ruffino’s Restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, is hosting a farewell fling to summer — with its own “Lobster Festival.” The award-winning restaurant is offering a special three-course menu through Aug. 31. For $30, guests can choose one of Ruffino’s lobster-inspired appetizers, from creamy bisque to spring rolls to crispy Maine lobster dumplings, as well as one… Continue reading →

Celebrate the season with a triple-tomato salad

Associated press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- Tomato and Avocado Salad with Gingered Tomato Vinaigrette and Toasted Peanuts

At the peak of ripeness, an in-season tomato is one of those things that makes life worth living. This recipe is my ode to the summer tomato. At the base of this salad are sliced beefsteak tomatoes, which are topped with chopped small tomatoes and drizzled with a tomato-based vinaigrette. Given that this is… Continue reading →

Grand Asian Buffet a disappointing mix

Photo by LESLIE D. ROSE -- The sushi rolls at the Grand Asian Buffet were quite fresh and flavorful.

When Nagoya Japanese Buffet opened its doors on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in Baton Rouge, many Asian buffet-style restaurants rushed to change their formats in competition. It’s that competition that finds so many of the area’s Asian eateries looking like clones of Nagoya. The Grand Asian Buffet is a prime example of that. Except … the Grand… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for Aug. 7, 2014

The Red Stick Farmers Market will celebrate National Farmers Market Week on Saturday in downtown Baton Rouge. As part of the activities a basket of farm-fresh ingredients will be given away during the morning market. In addition, Galatoire’s Bistro chef Kelly McCann will join host chef Celeste… Continue reading →

Wine, food fest Fête Rouge kicks off with lifetime award for J.H. ‘Jay’ Campbell

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON  --- With one batch done, Jay Campbell starts on another batch of his famous Buttermilk Biscuits.

Following in the footsteps of well-respected, community-minded individuals is nothing new to J.H. “Jay” Campbell. He did it when he assumed the title of president/CEO of Associated Grocers Inc. in 1995, and he’ll do it again Aug. 21 when he receives the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society’s eighth annual Grace “Mama”… Continue reading →

Tales of the Cocktail shows latest trends might be old trends

Photo by Jennifer Mitchell  --  Paul Sevigny, Disaronno Northeast brand ambassador based in New York City, prepares cocktails for the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner at Hotel Mazarin in New Orleans.

Classic cocktails haven’t been forgotten, but today they are getting a fresh look with upbeat touches, participants learned during the Tales of the Cocktail held July 16-20 at Hotel Monteleone and Royal Sonesta in New Orleans. Mixologists and distillers led discussions on such topics as the history of gin, the use of cocktails in popular… Continue reading →

What’s Happening for July 31, 2014

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne

Nineteen chefs from throughout the United States will compete Saturday in the 11th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board are hosting the event, which kicks off at 11:30 a.m. during… Continue reading →

Muffin Meal 

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- Broccoli Cheddar Breakfast Muffins

Wouldn’t you love to start your day with something tastier and more substantial than that all-too-typical bowl of cold cereal? It’s so boring day after day. And, most cereals won’t tide you over until lunchtime. Here, then, is a meal in a muffin, a delicious and substantial alternative to the usual breakfast fare. The base… Continue reading →

Celebrating the Piña Colada

Photo provided by Caribe Hilton  --  Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico is celebrating the 60th anniversary of what it says is the Original Piña Colada.

Puerto Rico’s Caribe Hilton is sharing what it says is the original Piña Colada, Puerto Rico’s official drink. Its famed Piña Colada recipe turns 60 next month, just a few weeks after National Piña Colada Day, which was July 10. The hotel is hosting a Piña Colada festival on Aug. 16 to kick off its year… Continue reading →