A Tropical Storm Weekend Waiting

It’s Friday!!

I can’t believe that I can say that now and be happy about it.  I’m still loving that I gave up the crazy job.

So what’s been happening with me?

Well, I was able to hang out with a few Nyx members..that’s always fun!  I’ve met some truly fabulous women in this Krewe.

It still blows my mind that I’m in.

And as you all know, the Hamp Festival was last Saturday. The festival is  held on the black top at St. Augustine HIgh School.  It’s a wonderful event. They have to do a bit of tweaking when it comes to admissions (they had two lines set up and  the line I was in was chaotic) but other than that…

Man! That fest was off the charts!!

The O’Jays were the featured act and they were wonderful!

Although, I was a kinda sad that Walter Harris Sr. has lost his chops. I know most folks are Eddie LaVert fans, but I’ve  always been  a fan of Walter.  He was struggling at the microphone trying to get those notes out.  I noticed the band  playing on top of him …trying to hide the struggle.  I could barely hear him up there.

Oh well, Walter’s 71 years old…he’s allowed.

And they really did put on a great show. Here’s a 2 minute peek. And pardon my lil phone…that’s all I was working with y’all…lol

The opening acts were the Brass-A-Holics, Michael Ward and Glen David Andrews.  New Orleans has some of the best musicians ever.  The talent in this city is amazing.

I have to say though, that the Brass-A-Holics just blew me away…pun intended.

There are a lot of groups in the city that I like, but this one here,

I LOVE!

From what I’ve read on their site, their sound is a blend of  NOLA Jazz and Washington D.C.’s Go-Go Funk.

Whoddathunk  that the combo would make such a gumbo?!

I didn’t get a good video of them at the fest, but this video is better cuz they’re playing and riding around the French Quarters.

The Quarters looks so pretty …how da hell they manage to capture the Quarters all clean and everything!?!

I get to catch them again this weekend at the Gentilly Fest.

That is If Tropical Storm Karen don’t come around here acting a fool and ruin it for everyone.

Glen David Andrews, in true New Orleans form, got the crowd second lining.

I love the new lyrics, “ain’t no more projects, everybody got a voucher”…lol

It’s true.

The Hamp Fest is a real great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on some great music, food and fun.

It’s a great way to support the school and y’all know  already know how I am about Aug.

Well, that’s all I got for now.

I gotta go get some stuff for the storm and then walk down my block to make sure all the storm drains are clear of debris.  Yeah, I’m that chick on the block. That’s another post for another day though.

Y’all be cool and all my Gulf Coast folks,

hunker down and be safe!

 

Better With M Super Bowl Launch

Last Thursday,NS and I attended the ‘M&Ms Better With M Dinner’ at the Foundry (thank you Charlotte).   It was a star-studded event which celebrated the launch of their brand new marketing campaign ‘Better With M.’  Proceeds from the event went to New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.

No marketing campaign was needed to get me through the door, they had me at M&Ms.

I love me some M&Ms!

The three-course, chocolate infused dinner was created by New Orleans own Chef John Besh and for the entertainment…Vanessa Williams!

What a treat!

The event was spectacular!

As soon as you entered, there was a beautiful table set with gift bags of m&ms with your name on it. On the other side of the tag was the name of a street in New Orleans.  NS and I were on Frenchman St.  Later on, we learned that, the street was actually the table where we would be seated.

Nude posing M&Ms...too funny.

Nude posing M&Ms…too funny.

Cocktails were flowing in typical NOLA fashion (food and drinks everywhere) and the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band kept everyone grooving.  I usually take pics of the food but those hors d’oeuvres didn’t stand a chance.

NS was in heaven as they were serving Glenfiddich 21-year-old Scotch. I even imbibed a cocktail or two.

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Rebirth Brass Band

Rebirth Brass Band

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I didn’t get the chance to take pics of too many celebrities. I did catch Neil Patrick Harris walking in though,

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and I met Chef John Besh  as he was walking around the room, talking to everyone. He is such a sweet man!

I eye-spyed Chef Arron Sanchez (my husband in my next life) walking around and well, there was no way I was letting that moment of opportunity get away.

Chef John Besh,NS and Chef Aaron Sanchez

Chef John Besh,NS and Chef Aaron Sanchez

After cocktails, we were all ushered into the dining area.

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our table

our table

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1st course.

1st course.

2nd course.

2nd course.

 

Unfortunately, I have no pic of the desert, but it was delicious!  As soon as the wait staff began to bring out the deserts, Vanessa Williams hit the stage.

She looks incredible and her voice is flawless!

That woman can SANG!

van williams

photo credit m&ms

photo credit m&ms

Her daughter Jillian was also there as one of the background singers.  I was floored by Vanessa’s performance. I always knew she had a beautiful voice, but I had no idea that she would put on such a great show.

For her last act, she changed her outfit and then sang her hit ‘Work To Do.’

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She put a spin on it and did a Salsa that would put these young’uns to shame!

Way to go Vanessa! If you ever hit the road, count me there!

The city is really being hammered with festivities. We began with a week-end of parades, followed by the Super Bowl and now we’re back to parading with the Krewe of Druids and the Mystic Krewe of Nyx kicking it off Wednesday night.

I wouldn’t change it for anything.

The good times are rolling in full force,

and everything  has been much better

with M.

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Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party

City Park’s 26th Annual Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party was held November 16 and am I ever  glad that I decided to go.  This was my first year attending the preview party and I’m putting it on my “things to do every year” list for sure!

The party is a  3 1/2 hour cocktail attire affair,which benefits the New Orleans Botanical Garden.  It was so worth the $100 per person tickets.

Walking through the Celebration in the Oaks on any given day is a magical experience.  The adult preview party ups the ante by having fantastic food from restaurants such as Galatoire’s,Pascal Manale’s,Ralph’s on the Park and dozens of others. In addition, there’s all sorts of adult beverages (i.e. all the liquor you can handle) to  keep you going as you walk among millions of holiday twinkling lights.

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The bands were awesome! The Mixed Nuts and The Tip Tops brought the house down,

or rather, “the trees down” since it’s an outdoor event.

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It’s the perfect date night affair…food, drinks,music and a wonderland  type atmosphere.

They even had the Antique Carousel and Train operating for those of us who are nothing but big kids at heart.

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My only regret is that, I didn’t get to take a picture of Mr. Bingle while I was there.

My dogs were howling pretty bad for me to take those boots off. They just would not walk me to where Mr. Bingle was located.

That’s alright because, I’ll be there next year….with flat shoes on.

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If you only experience the preview party once, you should go…you will not regret it.

It’s a spectacular way to let your inner child come out  and play.

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Holiday Season and the Hot Sausage Hook Up

Well folks, the holiday season is slapping us in the face and the one topic of conversation I keep hearing here is NOLA is,

what ‘cha cooking?

I’m not planning anything fancy…just the regular stuff like,

Gumbo,Baked Mac and Cheese, Stuffed Bell Peppers,Candied Yams,Potato Salad,Turkey,Dirty Rice,Veggies, a few cakes and of course,

dinner rolls.

Again, nothing fancy…just my regular holiday cooking.

A few friends of mine and I were discussing what we put in our gumbo.

One of my friends puts everything but the kitchen sink in hers…gizzards,turkey wings,and all sort of other meats.

My other friend mentioned a lot of stuff as well but, the one thing I noticed that they both did not mention was,

Hot Sausage!

Where’s the heat!?!

I know a lot folks who  make their gumbo without heat but, my mom was a creole-cooking, heat seeking woman and I was raised on gumbo with some serious heat to it.

My mom would always get her hot sausage from Bachemin’s Meat Market….Home of the Original Creole Hot Sausage.

Bachemin’s Meat Market

Located next Circle Food Store on St. Bernard Ave., it was in the perfect location.

Folks would flock to Circle Food Store (you never said you were going to THE Circle Food Store) to purchase their staples and then, go next door to Bachemin’s (or Mule’s depending on how old you are…I grew up calling it Mule’s.)

Kevin Bachemin is a third-generation butcher. His grandfather purchased the meat market in 1969.  Bachemin’s Meat Market had some of the best creole hot sausage around….tasty with some serious heat. Kevin was running the very lucrative business and holding down the family recipe when Katrina hit, wiping out their 40-year old business.

Bachemin’s did not reopen but, Kev still cranks out  hot sausage for those of us who just refuse to eat anything else.

Every holiday season, NavySeal and I give him a call and put the order in for our hot sausage hook up.

Ya can’t blame us for it…you can see the heat in it,

Talk about taking your gumbo up a notch…put some heat in it!

So this Thanksgiving, I’d like to say thank you to Kevin.

Thanks for crankin’ out some hot sausage for those of us in NOLA who know what it means to miss

Bachemin’s.

A Tale of Two Tony’s

Well, it’s the end of the month already and my favorite blog time is here….

Restaurant of the month!

NavySeal and I were out and about (again) and while heading home, we passed 2 Tony’s in Bucktown. Now, I gotta say, for me..it’s always been hard to go to  II Tony’s.

It’s not that I’d heard anything bad about them but, II Tony’s is walking distance from Deanies Seafood.

It’s hard as hell to pass up Deanies!

But, I did.

I held my head down and passed Deanies and all of that delicious seafood…

and went to  II Tony’s.

and was I ever glad I did!

We arrived before the lunch crowd. The place is small…the atmosphere, really nice.  NavySeal said that, inside of it reminded him of the scene in the Godfather when Michael killed  “The Turk” Virgil Sollozzo and  police Captain McClusky.

yeah, I can see that.

Hey, don’t be surprised that I know the characters in the Godfather off the top of my head( I know the Oracle and Andrea aren’t surprised…lol.) I’ve had a small obsession with The Godfather since  high school.  I read the book in 1978 and have seen both versions of the movie…most people don’t know they’re two versions. They tend not to show the other version which I happen to like because, it’s more detailed. It’s also my “holiday movie” to cook to.  For some reason, whenever I’m cooking for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I end up playing that movie.  I think it’s because part one and part two are so long,  that they keep me company while I’m cooking.

See, this how obsessed I am with the movie.  This pic was taken in 2006. NavySeal and I had gone to Universal Studios in Florida and they have the Genco Olive Oil Company front with Michael Corleone name on it… and I just HAD to take a picture by it.

NavySeal started with a salad and me, well…I had the seafood gumbo.

I usually don’t like my gumbo with Okra in it but, this darned gumbo was so frigging good!  I ate the whole thing and that’s something I don’t usually do because, I like to leave room in my tummy for the “big kahuna” dish.

NavySeal had Veal Parmesan as his big kahuna dish.  The veal was so tender and juicy…I wanted his dish after he let me taste it.

I like the fact that, it’s a nice serving…not too much not too little. NavySeal ain’t trying to bring home no doggie bags if ya know what I mean.

I was torn between two dishes and eventually decided on  the Lasagna. I was surprised that it looked like this. I’m used to my lasagna having more length than bulk. but, after tasting it…who the heck cared? It was delicious!

The wait staff was mediocre but, the food was great.

I had been looking at II Tony’s it seems like forever but, as I’ve said…it’s so hard to pass up Deanies and go somewhere else when you’re right there.

I’m glad I went though.

Would I go again? Probably not.

Why?

Because Deanies will trump them every.single. time.

Sounds of Saturday

Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, Afromamba’s post. On her site she was counting down her five favorite songs that had her hooked within the first 5 seconds of it.

One of the songs was, Somebody To Love by Queen.

Now, I have always been a fan of Queen for as long as I can remember. However, this weekend, I was really in  more of a “George Michael mood.”

But, I couldn’t get the damned song, Somebody To Love outta my head.

…and THEN it hit me.

Just like that Reese’s commercial…SOMEBODY put chocolate in my peanut butter….SOMEBODY put peanut butter on my chocolate!

Viola!..or as my nephew used to say, WAL-LA!

Now, Freddie is Freddie and anyone who knows Queen, knows what that means.

But, if ANYBODY was EVER  going to sing this song…

they found the right one when they found George….he sang the piss out of this song! Check the video out at 4:03…he even had Brian smiling!

Freddie would be proud George…very proud.