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I Eat La.: The fine art of layering and balance: Sweet and Smokey Glazed Shrimp and Creamy Risotto

Advocate photo by Teresa B. Day -- Sweet and Smoky Glazed Shrimp over Creamy Risotto

That perfect balance of smoky and sweet is divine, but a little tricky to achieve. First, be careful to add a smoky flavor that is mild and understated. Then, let the sweet aspect enhance the way the smoke warms the flavor of your dish. Last, mix in a little vinegar to make it all come together… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Tails of summer: Great recipes just in time for crawfish season

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Crawfish Chajitas

Summer is crawfish season, and we’re able to get tails at a reasonable price, so let’s make a pot of Crawfish Étouffée, or a tasty Crawfish Spread, or maybe Crawfish Chajitas. This classic étouffée recipe is easy enough for a novice cook. Take the time to have all the ingredients chopped and measured before you start; after that,… Continue reading →

First Farm to School conference set May 27

The state’s first Farm to School conference will be May 27 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. Hosted by the LSU AgCenter and Pennington and funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant, the conference is free to anyone interested in Louisiana students learning about local food and farms,… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Discovering delectable ‘shrimping opportunities’

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Shrimp Scampi on Noodles

I’ve bought some beautiful heads-on, wild-caught, fresh Louisiana fresh shrimp lately. I don’t mind peeling large shrimp (if it’s only a few pounds). I cooked these scampi-style and served them two nights in a row. I first served the shrimp on boiled noodles, then on a baguette for an appetizer and on grits. The grits recipe… Continue reading →

The Ice Creamiest: Need a new favorite ice cream? It’s pretty cool making your own

Photo by Cynthia Nobles -- Bananas Foster Sundae

Kleinpeter’s ice cream? Gone. Blue Bell? Bit the dust, at least temporarily. K&B’s paper gallons are relegated to history, as are those blue-and-red cartons of Brown’s Velvet Creole Cream Cheese. Now might be a good time to consider making your own. There are basically two types of ice cream… Continue reading →

Tips for cooking pasta al dente

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Fusilli With Italian Sausage, Peas and Creamy Tomato Sauce

What’s the one ingredient you should always have in your cupboard? Dried pasta, of course. It’s the base of a zillion easy-to-make weeknight meals and the friendly playmate of 2 zillion ingredients, including leftovers. Pasta comes in all sizes and shapes, all of them designed with a purpose. Pastas in long strands — including spaghetti and… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge art, martini event to benefit orchestra

Grab your glasses. It’s time to judge some martinis. The Baton Rouge Symphony League will hold ART-ini 2015 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Renaissance Baton Rouge, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd. The art auction and martini competition benefits the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Guests will be able to bid on art,… Continue reading →

L’Auberge, Sullivan’s host Patron dinners

L’Auberge Casino Hotel’s 18 Steak and Sullivan’s Steakhouse will host Patron Tequila dinners. At 18 Steak, 777 L’Auberge Ave., Baton Rouge, the four-course mixology dinner will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 20. Hors d’oeuvres will be Maine lobster spring rolls with cilantro, house pickles and hydroponic bib lettuce. The first course… Continue reading →

Louisiana Culinary Institute offering leisure classes

The Louisiana Culinary Institute, 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, will offer a variety of upcoming leisure classes: Sauces to go with Everything, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday. Learn to produce the five mother sauces — tomato, hollandaise, veloute, béchamel and Espagnole. The class also will cover stock and broth production, food pairings… Continue reading →

Review: Baton Rouge's Souga Pizza a small, cozy, work-in-progress restaurant; here's what's to like, dislike

Advocate photo by Tim Arnold --  Served in a large bowl, this Gorgonzola cream dish was velvety and cheesy and tossed with sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers and fresh spinach over fettuccine and then hit with shredded Parmesan.

Souga Pizza Factory, housed in the old Oscar’s pizza place on Perkins Road, kept many of Oscar’s menu items, even “The Oscar” calzone. The new owners, however, are adding their own touches and it definitely has a lot of potential. Start your meal with the meatballs ($7). Made with beef, well seasoned, then topped with lots of… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Smoked Gouda and English Muffin Strata, casseroles perfect for breakfast

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Smoked Gouda and English Muffin Strata

I’ve had several requests for more make-ahead breakfast casseroles. With graduation and overnight guests visiting, these are nice to have in the refrigerator, ready to pop into the oven. This one is different because of the English muffins, and I think you will like that hint of smokiness from the Gouda cheese. This particular recipe bakes… Continue reading →

What A Crock!: Slow-cooker snacks can save mom on any day

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Curry Kix Mix, for 'What A Crock.'

Homemade snacks are just as popular with those on the go as they can be with young moms, something I’ve thought back on as we approach another Mother’s Day. I often see young mothers digging through their purses or a tote in search of something to sooth a troubled youngster, something I can remember myself doing in years… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: Eating local, eating well is easy in Louisiana

Photo by Teresa Day -- Green Beans With Glazed Pecans

Hello faithful Advocate food readers! I’m excited to be joining you on this journey of home-cooked meals and interesting stories told around tables throughout south Louisiana. I’ve been writing about food in and around Baton Rouge for more than a decade. I grew up in Natchitoches and Winnfield, but have called Baton Rouge home for more… Continue reading →

Mobile Farmers Market adds stop at ExxonMobil YMCA

The Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market is adding a stop in north Baton Rouge. The market will be at the ExxonMobil YMCA, 7717 Howell Blvd., from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through July. A variety of seasonal produce will be available, including tomatoes, squash, cabbage, leafy greens, strawberries and blueberries. The market will also include… Continue reading →

Review: Why Newk’s in Baton Rouge should be on your list of new places to try

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- Newk's Mediterranean pizza toppings include grilled chicken breast slices, sliced Roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, feta and mozzarella cheese and diced red onions.

A chain restaurant that specializes in sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza sets my expectation level at “meh.” Newk’s Eatery, however, turns it up a few notches, to “hmm.” The Mississippi-based chain spread mostly throughout the Southeast recently arrived in Baton Rouge’s Towne Center (another is planned near LSU) and proves the adage that if you limit yourself… Continue reading →

Maidens meal: Bridesmaids’ luncheon includes history lesson

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Well-Dressed Crab Meat

My niece Claire is getting married soon, and, to honor her attendants, I recently hosted a girls-only luncheon at my home in Baton Rouge. While the hors d’oeuvres were making their way around the room, I started mixing a Champagne cocktail for the only unmarried attendant. A petite thing, she was wearing the high, spiky heels… Continue reading →

Dine Out helps support HIV/AIDs service groups

Grab a bite out and support HIV/AIDS service organizations. Dine Out for Life will be held Thursday, April 30, in 60 cities across North America — including Baton Rouge and New Orleans — and raises an estimated $4 million annually. Last year, Dining Out for Life organizations assisted more than 350,000 clients, delivered more than… Continue reading →

10 fresh ideas for turning toast into something exciting

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Tarragon Beet Toast

We’re not entirely sure what the difference is between a classic open-faced sandwich and the suddenly hip world of toast with toppings. Then again, maybe it doesn’t much matter. A thick slab of lightly toasted good quality bread topped with delicious ingredients is an almost unbeatable comfort food no matter what you call it. Maybe it’s… Continue reading →

Gourmet Gallery: The Berry Best: Nothing beats fresh Louisiana strawberries as the perfect finish to a great meal

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Pineapple Strawberry Cake

We can get strawberries year around, but there’s nothing like this time of year when our Louisiana strawberries are so delicious. Honestly, there’s nothing better and prettier than a bowl of freshly sliced strawberries. We can’t seem to ever stop there; we have to add the cake or the cream or the pudding. I absolutely loved… Continue reading →

‘Hot Honey’ tops Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition

Photo provided by Tréo  --  The cocktail Hot Honey in the City by Tyler Chauvin of Tréo in New Orleans wins first place in the Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition on March 4 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Tréo bartender Tyler Chauvin took the top prize in the recent Louisiana Sisters Cocktail Competition with her original craft cocktail, Hot Honey in the City. She was one of nine New Orleans bartenders challenged to create cocktails inspired by Louisiana Sisters spiced gourmet foods at the event at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. In addition… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Food lover’s favorite companion and handy reference

“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, 2nd Edition” by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $29.99 854-page hardcover It seems fitting that I write about the latest — and “deluxe” — edition of Barron’s authoritative “The New Food Lover’s Companion” today. The reference volume, which first appeared in print… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Fancy-cut, Hasselback potatoes not as tricky as they look

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Hasselback Baked Potato

Serve up a skillet of fancy-cut potatoes for dinner tonight. Potatoes cut this way were made famous at the Hasselbacken restaurant in Stockholm. It was their way of preparing them for baking that resulted in a crispy outside and creamy center. Today, there are many versions of buttery herb toppings but they all begin with cutting… Continue reading →

Thumbprint Cellars sets wine dinners in Baton Rouge, New Orleans

Winemaker Scott Lindstrom-Dake, owner of Thumbprint Cellars in Healdsburg, California, will be pouring his wines at wine dinners this week in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The Baton Rouge event will be held at Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, on Thursday, April 23. The reception will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner at… Continue reading →