Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Orleans

It turns out I love everything about New Orleans, starting with the fact that people call it The Big Easy. How great is that?! The whole time we were there I kept telling Andrew how THIS was where we needed to live and that we were for sure buying one of those adorable mansions in the Garden District some day. I need to live there. And Andrew may not be coming because he has not (will not) agree to these imperative future plans.

Yep, it turns out that I love the South. I love the culture and the food and the people! I love the architecture and the jazz. My grandma grew up in Oklahoma and still says things like "warsh the clothes" so I think maybe I have Southerner in my blood.

This is what we did:

We stayed just outside the French Quarter in the Rathborne Mansion. It was completely wonderful and old and original. The only negative part is that I saw The Skeleton Key (you know, Voodoo movie starring Kate Hudson) and kept thinking about it while in the house and getting freaked out.

We took Dr. Wagner's swamp tour. A tourist must. First stop, swamp people. My future resident if the mansion doesn't work out.

There are monsters in the water.

And they bite.

We had a great time on the boat. 

We went to lunch at Willie Mae's which is famous and has the BEST fried chicken I have ever tasted. 

And we walked through the gorgeous streets of the French Quarter. 

We got to hang out with my family! Yep, that's my mom harassing my uncle. It's what they do.

We took a carriage ride/tour. That is Red Beans, our mule.

It was kind of magical.

We toured a huge, old plantation home. The history in the South is incredible.

The grounds were beautiful. (Narnia, anyone?)

This is my pocket-sized, adorable grandma. I love this little lady. 

That's my sister-in-law, Saki! I love her too.

There are no better 82-year-old travelers than these ladies! They stayed up till 11:30 every night gambling, walking around, eating, and just hanging out with the rest of us. 

I highly recommend New Orleans as your next travel destination. New Orleans is for lovers.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Crab Pasta Salad

This is a great summer meal. You know what I mean, quick, easy, and no oven required. I pretty much can't cook anything that requires preheating from June until August because we have no a/c.  Yep, no a/c even though it gets hotter than hades here and our apartment stays at about 85 degrees all. day. long. and all. night. long.

Moral of the story: anything that counts as a main dish that you can serve chilled is a definite winner.

Serve it as a cool main dish or as a side dish/salad at your next BBQ! It's light, fresh, and delicious. A little sweet, kind of tangy, very filling. All in all a great combination.

Crab Pasta Salad
  • 3 cups Bow Tie Pasta
  • 1/2 jar Pimientos
  • 1/2 can Black Olives, Chopped Fine
  • 3 whole Dill Pickle Spears, Diced 
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons Sugar, More Or Less To Taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Lots of Black Pepper
  • 1/8 cup Milk 
  • Splash of Pickle Juice (about 3 TBS)
  • 1/4 cup imitation crab meat
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Set aside.
Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, milk and pickle juice. Set aside.
Place cooled pasta in a large bowl and pour in the dressing. Dressing will appear thin but will thicken in the fridge.
Stir in olives, pimientos, pickles, and crab meat.
Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!