Road trip time * Gumbo cook off

Hi Monday Readers ! Today’s road trip with Tom and Lisa we are in Opealousas for the annual Gumbo cook off held this weekend .

French:les Opelousas) is a small city in St, Landry parish. Which takes its name from the Native American tribe that had occupied the area before Europeans arrived in the Territory in 1690. Home to many spice company its comely known as being -Perfectly Seasoned .

The 13th annual Opelousas Gumbo Cook-Off heats up with live music, a kids’ activity area, silent and live auctions, food, drinks, dancing, and, of course, lots of gumbo—all held in downtown Opelousas. Prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place; and the winner receives a specially designed Gumbo Cook-Off Champ Paddle from last year’s champ.
Winners will be announced at 4 pm. All proceeds will benefit a local child and family who are burdened with medical and related expenses.

Monday’s Recipe :

So get ready and Cook :  Chicken and Okra Gumbo

  • 1-3 lb chicken cut up
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 1 lb okra sliced
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salt & pepper chicken and brown until golden brown. in a large pot with oil. Remove chicken from post and add onions,okra,green peppers and fcook slowly until soft About 1 hour. Add in water and chicken -cook another hour. Taste for seasoning, And serve with hite rice.

Celebrating Thanksgiving * Around the World

Happy Tuesday ! Today’s post is in honor of Thanksgiving -a true American tradition or is it.  It’s true if you want that typical Thanksgiving lunch and Macy’s parade on TV  but did you know Canada had the first actual Thanksgiving.

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are also sometimes traced to the French settlers who came to New France in the 17th century, who celebrated their successful harvests. The French settlers in the area typically had feasts at the end of the harvest season and continued throughout the winter season, even sharing food with the indigenous people in the area. Celebrated now the 2nd Monday in October. 

This came to light when I married my husband his parents had immigrated from China and spent there holiday in Canada where everything was open for business as usual. As being the first American daughter in law – I started holding a regular Thanksgiving lunch at my house for all the family that was a East meet West Lunch – with Turkey and Ham  and Chinese dumplings side by side.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in other places: 

  • The Netherlands (Pilgrims honor)
  • Germany (Harvest time)  in October
  • Norfolk Island (Australasia ) introduced by American whalers in late November.
  • Liberia (founded by free American slaves ) 
  • Grenada : 
    Grenadians have celebrated Thanksgiving Day on October 25 since 1983.

  • Grenadians have celebrated Thanksgiving Day on October 25 since 1983.

*China’s large ex pat community has brought American Thanksgiving to China but you will likely see a Chicken instead of a turkey. on the menu.  But most native celebrate the Autumn Harvest festival in September – celebrating the good harvest of the year. And if you are lucky like me you Celebrate booth.  Lisa 

Fall * Sugar Cane

Yesterday was the official start of fall !!!


autumn autumn leaves blur close up
Photo by Vali S. on

In South Louisiana not much changes . It’s actually a great time to visit her . The weather is a little cooler ,No color on trees but lots in the football stand and there’s still plenty to do with festivals every weekend  Sugar Cane

Sugar Can Festival is held in New Iberia ,La ( Sept 26 -30 ) with parades,contest ,food and more celebrating this great crop.  Lisa





Sugar cane has been an integral part of the south Louisiana economy and culture for more than 200 years. When Jesuit priests first brought sugar cane into south Louisiana in 1751, little did they know that the foundation was being laid for an industry that now contributes $2 billion to the Louisiana economy. Today, Louisiana sugar cane yields range from 30 to 50 tons per acre, with recoveries ranging from 180 to 240 pounds of sugar produced from each ton of cane

Mostly used commercially the stalk can be peeled and use for drinks, skewers  , and eating by  peeling the stalks ,and chewing (like gum) to release the sweet juice.  Lisa





Celebrating Shrimp Festival* Shrimp and Eggplant casserole

Happy Saturday ! 

And this weekend is time head to the  Delcambre Shrimp Festival:   located about 20 miles southwest of Lafayette, is home to one of the area’s most productive shrimp fleets. The town devotes an entire weekend to honor this economic lifeblood. Events include a shrimp cook-off, queens pageants, fais-do-do’s, food booths, carnival rides, and the blessing of the shrimp boat fleet. There’s plenty of fun for “kids” of all ages and lots to see, hear, and EAT!



Information       If you are in the area don’t miss it- the weather will be Hot with a chance of rain this afternoon,

In 1950, the Delcambre Shrimp Festival was born as a project to raise funds for the Delcambre Fire Department. The festival has continued to support community projects. The area wide attention it has received has helped the festival grow. The festival has grown so much that it has been listed in the top ten festivals in the State of Louisiana.


So  this Saturday recipe  honor’s this great festival : 

Shrimp and Egg plant Casserole : 

  • 1 lb cooked  shrimp / cleaned & chopped if needed
  • 2 med Eggplants (parboiled/chopped)
  •  4 slices toasted bread ( Crumbled) 
  • 1/2 C margarine
  • 1 onion  & bell pepper   (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic ( chopped)
  • 2 Eggs

In a skillet melt margarine- saute -onions,bell pepper and chopped Egg plant about 10 minutes. Add shrimp and Crumbled toast – add seasoning to taste and let Cool.

When mixture is Cool add 2 beaten Eggs-Mix. And pour into a greased 9×13 baking Dish . Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

* You can top before baking cracker crumb s,bread crumbs or panko. 


Hot Air Balloon Day

Happy Tuesday !  Hot Air Balloon Day –

two assorted color hot air balloons
Photo by Tabitha Mort on

It’s held every Sept in this area if you are planning a visit More information

The 2018 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival returns to Gonzales, right in the heart of Ascension Parish.

The two day festival consists of hot air balloon glows, live entertainment, barbecue competition,  great food, nightly fireworks shows, carnival rides and plenty of fun activities for children of all ages. Yes-don’t miss the BBQ competition it’s


So today it’s very quite around home as I write this. The gang is sleeping in while i go about morning chores & coffee. It will be another day of temperatures in the 90’s but a Storm is predicated to come through.

In South Louisiana Summer also means it’s Hurricane Season for us -I hope this year it will skip us.

If your kids are looking for something to do this Summer – Check with your local Libraries. Our summer reading program is in full force. They have some fun & learn at the same time.  Lisa

Tulip Time * April 28th


April 28th  Flower of the month is Tulips. One of my favorite flowers. When we lived in Michigan I had beds of them but they dont like the heat of Louisiana. So I don’t plant them here . 

But by chance you are in the Michigan area check out the Tulip Festival coming in May .

Need more info Tulip Time





book link


Get ready to crack the case with Pink and Detective Briggs!

Lacey Pinkerton is busy getting ready for spring at Pink’s Flowers and at the same time Port Danby is bustling with activity as it prepares for its annual flea market in the town square. In the midst of it all, a talented group of artists has shown up with their easels to paint pictures of the Pickford Lighthouse. When one of the artists turns up missing and then dead, Lacey works alongside of her favorite detective, James Briggs, to solve the murder. What she doesn’t expect is to end up on the murderer’s short list of enemies.

Book 5 of the Port Danby Cozy Mystery Series. Each book can be read as a standalone but they are best read in order.

1. Marigolds and Murder
2. Carnations and Chaos
3. Mistletoe and Mayhem
4. Roses and Revenge
5. Tulips and Trouble
Books 6-14 TBA

Full-length novel ~50,000 words


London Lovett is a cozy mystery author and connoisseur of delicious baked goods. Many readers have called her Port Danby Cozy Mystery series a ‘new favorite’. London is also the author of the new, upcoming Firefly Junction series—a cozy mystery series that has an irresistibly fun paranormal twist!

You can keep up with London’s books and access some delicious recipes on her website:

Tuesday * College road trip

Hello Tuesday ! The next couple of Tuesday I will be sharing our college road trip ! Join us on our adventure _ Lisa 

Its another busy day at hour house – school & then volunteering at the Library.

Time is passing so fast – graduation plans are just around the corner & college had to be decided on . With all of the hard work he did he had many offers to choose from.  Both in state Public schools & Private college who like non traditional students. We narrowed them down by what he wanted to study (environmental science /computers) ,Size & location.

Why Size ? As he had been out of a regular classroom for 6 years we though a small college & classroom would suite him better . The top 3 we visited Up first :

College Tour Time – 

First stop about 3 hours from home ( near New Orleans )- Nicholls State University, founded in 1948, is a public university located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, United States. Nicholls is part of the University of Louisiana System of universities. College of 6,000 on the banks of Bayou Lafourche.

  • great small town atmosphere
  • affordable in state fee
  • small class size

Famous for: 


#1 Nursing school in Louisiana

Specialized study in River study – river control & management .





Biscuits and Slashed Brown

It’s March & time for National Maple Syrup time in Indiana.



book link

For country-store owner Robbie Jordan, the National Maple Syrup Festival is a sweet escape from late-winter in South Lick, Indiana—until murder saps the life out of the celebration . . .
As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?

   Lisa Net Galley Review : 

This is the 4th book in this series but my first. I really enjoyed the characters and the vivid description of the area. We lived in Indiana for many years & I can picture this happening in the small towns in the area & the sugar shacks in the woods making maple syrup.

. It’s March & National Maple Syrup Festival in town & everyone is busy with a conference going on.a breakfast cook off and now a murder to solve. Robbie is there  to help solve the murder before her biscuits can burn. A fast paced and sweet (like syrup) cozy mystery. One not to be missed.   Lisa

Chopsticks : Let’s Eat

happy Friday -my finial day of Celebrating Chinese New Year. But in China it;s a month long celebration -so who knows you may see sum more post. 

Today  it’s :   Chopsticks

History Lesson:

In ancient times, chopsticks were called ‘Zhu’. At that time, Chinese ancestors liked to steam or boil food. It was difficult for them to use spoons to dip vegetables in the soup. So they cleverly invented ‘Zhu’ to nip food, thus it has become the most convenient tableware in their lives.

Chopsticks were invented in ancient China before the Shang dynasty (1766–1122 BCE) and most likely much earlier prior to establishment of the Xia dynasty sometime around 9000 years ago. … The first chopsticks were probably used for cooking, stirring the fire, serving or seizing bits of food, and not as eating utensils.


Do you use them? Are  you like Me need a fork . I know it’s embarrassing but I can’t seem to get it right.  And drop everything.  Put if you ask I  can play it on the piano.. Lisa

Need a little help @ how to use chopsticks


Chopstick Edi quite: 


Do not stick chopsticks vertically into your food when not using them, especially not into rice, as this will make Chinese people think of funerals. At funerals joss sticks (sticks of incense) are stuck into a pot by the rice that is put onto the ancestor altar.

Do not wave your chopsticks around in the air too much or play with them.

Do not stab or skewer food with your chopsticks.

Pick food up by exerting sufficient inward pressure on the chopsticks to grasp the food securely and move it smoothly to your mouth or bowl. It is consider bad form to drop food, so ensure it is gripped securely before carrying it. Holding one’s bowl close to the dish when serving oneself or close to the mouth when eating helps.

To separate a piece of food into two pieces, exert controlled pressure on the chopsticks while moving them apart from each other. This needs much practice.

Some consider it unhygienic to use the chopsticks that have been near (or in) one’s mouth to pick food from the central dishes. Serving spoons or chopsticks can be provided, and in this case you will need remember to alternate between using the serving chopsticks to move food to your bowl and your personal chopsticks for transferring the food to your mouth.

Knives are traditionally seen as violent in China, and breakers of the harmony, so are not provided at the table. Some restaurants in China have forks available and all will have spoons. If you are not used to chopsticks, you can ask the restaurant staff to provide you with a fork or spoon.



Trip to the Asian Market * Noodle Aisle

My family loves Noodles of all kind – from traditional ramie noodles to any kind of pasta. While exploring the local Asian market we always hit the noodle aisle.

Types of Noodles :


My-Tho Noodles : Rice Noodles

Excellent Flour stick : whet flour

Canton Style Egg Noodles: Wheat flour

Immerse in cold water for 2 minutes. Remove from cold water & cook in Boil water for 3 minutes. Noodles can be fried in a wok & mixed with oyster sauce & food to serve.

Rice Stick flat noodles : Bring a good amount of water to boil. Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged. Every minute or two, give the noodles a stir to loosen them up. When they are completely limp, give them a taste to see if they’re cooked through.


Family favorite : These wide noodles are stir fry ed with sliced onion, scallions & sliced beef with soy sauce. You can add cabbage ,ginger & other vegetables to change it up.  Lisa