September 9, 2012

New Orleans Deliciousness and Homemade Pralines!

Last fall my friend Vince and I took a weekend road trip to New Orleans. 
We did lots of walking and exploring, ate some amazing Cajun food, 
and saw the fabulous Katy Perry in concert. On our last day we attended a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking where we watched the amazing Chef Kevin make Gumbo, Jambalaya, and ~my fave~ Pralines! Scroll down for the recipe!

Nawlins food: so many delicious choices...
Modeling sunglasses at the market!
Trying my first Hurricane....whew I'm a wimp! Too strong for me!

Love the local treats and fun finds!

My first praline...definitely not my last...of the trip!
Time for some food!
Beef PoBoy

Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Wow! Bobby Flay lost here!
Voodoo BBQ was our fave and conveniently located across from our hotel!
 Their sweet potato casserole and corn pudding were mouth wateringly amazing.

Riding the trolley downtown!
Chef John Besh's Soda Shop at the WWII Musuem was old school fun and yummy in my tummy!

Devil Dog and Pimento Cheese with Country Ham Sandwich and Bananas Foster Milkshake!
Night out at Bourbon Street!

Buffalo Chicken PoBoy!
You know I had to try my luck at the Sex in the City slots. 
No big wins but I had fun anyway!
Katy Perry concert time!

         Wow! That girl knows how to put on a show! What an awesome concert!

We had such a great time at the cooking school! I definitely recommend it, you learn some terrific recipes by the entertaining Chef Kevin and have a delicious lunch and FREE local Abita beer!


1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk (can sub evaporated milk)
6 tbsp. butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/2 cup pecan pieces (roasted optional)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to a "softball stage" (238-240 degrees), stirring constantly. 
Remove from heat.
Stir until mixture thickens, stirring constantly, until it becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture.
Stir pot to cool for a minute before spooning. The sugar has to start to recrystallize to harden. Make sure you spoon fast! Let set for 5 minutes.
Spoon out on buttered waved paper, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to buffer with newspaper underneath, as hot wax will transfer to whatever is beneath.
Makes 1-50 depending on size!
Last for about a week until grainy.

Note: To roast pecans, bake them on a sheet pan at 275 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant.
Options: Make into a praline sauce (add 1/2 cup corn syrup to mixture). Or try adding chocolate, shredded coconut, 1 tsp rum extract or brandy, or 1 tbsp instant coffee.

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