Christmas Amid the Oaks

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     It’s Christmastime in New Orleans, and while that doesn’t bring forth images of snow covered driveways and chimneys thick with smoke, it does conjure images of mighty oak trees adorned with lights. The sound of a small train horn reminds locals that the holiday season is once again in full swing as City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks opens its gates to invite visitors to bask in the magic of the season. Complete with Santa Claus, hot chocolate, and the light display of a Cajun Night before Christmas, Celebration in the Oaks combines all of the elements of a perfect New Orleans Christmas.      Every season, thousands of park visitors gather to embrace the joy of the season in what has truly become a New Orleans tradition. The beautiful carousel that...

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My Bloody Valentine

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     Most moms seem to have little to no gross-out index.  They take a chewed-up egg sandwich in their hand.  They will wipe a kid’s nose with their hand.  They will catch a poop that has escaped in the pool WITH THEIR HAND.  They kiss scraped knees, clean up puke, and are drooled on, spit up on, sneezed on, coughed on, etc.      I used to watch this happen with a mixture of horror and wonder.  I assumed when I finished gestating Lulu the Wunderkind, I would somehow become immune to being grossed out.      I was right.  I was also wrong.      Lulu hands me a half-chewed raisin.  I take it.  Lulu gestures for me to come closer.  I do.  She sneezes and laughs with delight at my “surprise” (read:  ew).  I have...

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Southern Wine Pairings for the Holidays...

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     If there’s anything we do right in the South, it’s the holidays. After all, these are times we bring loved ones together, over food, and you’d be hard pressed to find a folk better at that than us. Am I right, y’all?      But between all the baking, stuffing, roasting, and mashing, it can be all too easy to forget the pairing -- wine pairing, that is. This year, don’t make wine an afterthought at your holiday gatherings. After all, what would Scarlett be without Rhett, or Blanche Devereaux without her sassy comebacks?      This year, get those pairings right. I’ll show ya’ll how: Green bean casserole: Amazing what some butter and cream to do to little ol’ green beans. Bring out the snap in those greens with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc that has vegetal notes...

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Springtime Lunch

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Whether you’re hosting Easter lunch or some other event, we’re bringing you recipes ideal for an early spring meal. Here are a new spin on pineapple casserole, a guide to making a perfect salad with in-season produce, some divine potatoes, and other special dishes to round out what may be your first outdoor meal of the season. Whatever your occasion, these delicacies will let your palate know spring has finally arrived. Menu Ham Pineapple-Cornbread Casserole Herb Roasted New Potatoes Layered Spring Salad with Dill Buttermilk Dressing Dill Deviled Eggs Strawberry-Lemon Shortbread Creams Photo credit: Amanda Odum Photo credit: Amanda Odum Photo credit: Amanda Odum Photo credit: Amanda Odum Photo credit: Amanda...

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Palm Sunday

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The only thing staining my palms is Sharpie ink. A hypocrite who loves liturgy and science isn’t likely to bleed for her faith, though I watched that movie last night on cable, the one with Gabriel Byrne as the sexy priest and Patricia Arquette as the unduly afflicted, and I stare at my palms all through church willing them to bleed something other than a grocery list, thinking how good it would feel to be a saint, thinking how I need to write milk on my hand before I...

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