July 31, 2016

Cafe Du Monde New Orleans Beignets

Living in Louisiana, we are served a massive amount of delicious Cajun delicacies. We eat our fair share of fried catfish, gumbo, jambalaya, boiled crawfish, bread pudding, pralines, and, my favorite, beignets {just to name a few}. These fluffy fried pillows of goodness are covered in a blanket of powdered sugar and served piled high on a plate. How can it get any better that that?!
New Orleans treats including beignets, king cake, and pralines.
 The most famous place in the country that serves beignets is Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. They have a short and sweet menu, basically beignets and coffee, preferably Cafe Au Lait, a combo of chicory coffee and milk. They have two locations in New Orleans and the main location, right off of Jackson Square, is open 24 hours a day. Service is fast, the food is good, and if you are ever in the area I recommend you stop by! I have been eating at Cafe Du Monde since I was a kid and I love stopping there on my trips to New Orleans and the surrounding areas {they have a wonderful drive through location in Covington, LA too}.
 During my birthday trip to Baton Rouge, LA we visited Coffee Call, which was a local beignet and cafe au lait stop. I swear if you blinked twice you would think was Cafe Du Monde! Same decor, same food, same prices, and almost as amazing.  It was a wonderful find and I am sure to make a pit stop there when I drive through the city now.
Exploring the great city of New Orleans earlier this month.
Needless to say, I love beignets and so does my family. But it's one of those recipes I have never tried to make at home because they are so darn good at Cafe Du Monde {and now Coffee Call} why would I mess with a good thing? But after my last trip to NOLA earlier this month for the IRetreat conference, I decided what the heck let me give it a try at home! 

Coffee Call beignets on the left and Cafe Du Monde beignets on the right. Which is better?

Ok, I'll be honest. I had a few bombs. Many, many beignets were tossed in the garbage and poor Ashton, my hubby/taste tester, did his job his job well and probably doesn't want to see another beignet for a good year or so.  But finally we had a winner! I perfected a recipe that was, in my opinion, right up there with the big dogs at Cafe Du Monde!

Give it a try and let me know what you think. I hope you love them as much as we do! 

Southern t-shirt company celebrating southern style. Everyday life.
I recently discovered a fantastic online store SFT, which stands for Southern Football T Shirts, on Instagram. I connected with the owner, Meredith and gushed to her about how I adored every. single. shirt she sells and she graciously gave me a Beignets and Cafe Au Lait All Day shirt for myself and one to give away{are you starting to see the beignet theme now?}. 
Be sure to check out SFT online and enter the giveaway below. 

How awesome is this crawfish shirt from SFT?
I can't get enough of their Southern inspired tees!

Connect with SFT 

http://www.shopsft.com/
https://www.facebook.com/southernfootballtshirts/
https://www.instagram.com/shopsft/
https://www.pinterest.com/SHOPSFT/
I couldn't talk about our visits to Cafe Du Monde without sharing these pics of my Ava baby!
This was her first trip to NOLA and Cafe Du Monde at around 6 months old. 
She sure makes me laugh!
I can't believe my girl is 3 now. 
Time to introduce her little sister to beignets now!
My Beignet Babe at the Covington, LA location. 

Ingredients: 

Makes approx 40 beignets

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet instant yeast {2 1/4 tsp}
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups white flour {plus more for rolling}
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Combine the warm water, 1 tbsp of the sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the egg and egg white, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together both flours, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. Pour into the large bowl with the wet mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. {It will be extra sticky}.
  5. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge until the dough has risen and doubled in size, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days if you make in advance.
  6. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a large ¼-inch-thick rectangle. 
  7. I use a pizza wheel cutter and cut into squares around 2 or 3 inches. 
  8. In a large heavy bottomed pot or cast iron skillet, heat a few inches of oil to 350° F {about medium to medium high heat}.
  9. Carefully drop 3-5 beignets to the oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown. {They cook fast so about 60-90 seconds per side}.
  10. Remove beignets with a slotted spoon to a papertowel lined baking sheet or rack.
  11. Repeat with remaining beignet dough. 
  12. While beignets are still hot, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. 
  13. Serve immediately and prepare to get messy!
After letting your yeast bloom with the warm water and sugar in a bowl, add the egg and egg white, buttermilk, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together both flours, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
Pour into the large bowl with the wet mixture and stir to combine.
You will have an extra sticky dough like this.
Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or up to 2 days until it has doubled in size.
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat a few inches of oil to 350° F 
{about medium to medium high heat}.
Make you you have a well-floured surface 
and flour your hands and rolling pin too. 
Scoop the dough out and sprinkle with flour.
Roll the dough into a large ¼-inch-thick rectangle. 
I use a pizza wheel and cut into squares around 2 or 3 inches. 
The perfect little beignet!
Carefully drop 3-5 beignets to the oil and fry, flipping once, until golden brown. 

They will bubble and float to the surface. 
They cook fast so about 60-90 seconds per side.
Remove beignets with a slotted spoon to a papertowel lined baking sheet or rack.
Repeat with remaining beignet dough. 
While beignets are still hot, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. 
Nope not enough powdered sugar.
Don't be stingy with the sugar, y'all!
That's more like it.
Serve immediately and prepare to get messy!
Add a hot cup of Cafe Au Lait on the side
 if you want to really be on your game! 
Now you have your beignets, your Cafe Au Lait, but something's missing...
your SFT Beignet Tee, of course! 
Enter to win one below.
Cafe Du Monde makes big ol' monster sized beignets but I preferred these square size ones. 
For a fun twist, Coffee Call makes Beignet Fingers! Can you believe this is the small size plate?! 
This would be a great treat for the kiddos. Too bad mine were napping so I had to eat them!

Giveaway!


Enter to win this awesome Beignets and CafeAu Lait All Day shirt from SFT!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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July 30, 2016

Icy Cool Blackberry Lemonade

Well folks, we are smack dab in the middle of a hot ol' summer here in Louisiana and I am literally knocked over by the 100 degree heat and humidity when I walk outside. But my girls and I hate being inside all day so we brave the heat and usually spend part of our afternoons at the park, splash pad, or our neighborhood pool. I try to always be prepared {and hydrated}, so I bring my cooler bag full of snacks and drinks for us to enjoy anywhere we go. Y'all know I love iced tea but that is not really a kid friendly drink so I make lemonade {both homemade and from concentrate} for the girls and I to enjoy on these hot days. 
This week I had plans to make a Blueberry Lemonade but when I was grocery shopping I came across a new juice from Welch's called Unfiltered Blackberry Juice. Right then and there I knew I had to try it and make a refreshing Blackberry Lemonade for my girls instead. I used fresh blackberries, both in the drink and in the ice cubes, along with the blackberry juice. The result was a sweet and tart, icy cool, and refreshing lemonade that we all enjoyed! 

Ingredients: 

Makes 8 servings
  • 12oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 6 1/2 cups of water {about 4 1/3 cans full}
  • 1 cup Blackberry Juice {I used Welch's}
  • 1 pint blackberries

Directions:

  • First, make blackberry ice by adding one blackberry to each space in an ice cube tray and then filling with water. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  • Prepare lemonade by mixing the concentrate with water in a pitcher. 
  • Stir in 1 cup of blackberry juice and half of the remaining blackberries. 
  • Chill until ready to serve.
  • To serve: add a hand full of blackberry ice cubes to a glass then fill the glass with Blackberry Lemonade. Garnish with a few extra blackberries on a toothpick.

Start by preparing your lemonade. 
I mixed one can of frozen lemonade concentrate with 6 1/2 cups of water in a pitcher. 
I just discovered this juice this week and I love it!
I can't wait to try the other Welch's Unfiltered juice varieties. 
Pour in 1 cup of Blackberry Juice and stir.
 I add half the remaining blackberries to the pitcher too.
Chill until ready to serve.
I like to serve my drink with fruit ice.
Just simply add one berry to each space in an ice cube tray then fill 
with water and freeze until solid. 
How cute are my blackberry heart ice cubes?!
To serve: add a hand full of blackberry ice cubes to a glass.
Fill the glass with Blackberry Lemonade 
and garnish with a few extra blackberries on a toothpick.
I even got festive and added a paper umbrella until Stella crushed it moments later!
Now take a big sip, sit back, and relax!
 Ahhh! 
The perfect icy cool drink to quench your thirst during these hot summer days!

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