Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Buttermilk Pielets

Hautelook.com is quite possibly the most evil site ever. I think the Devil created it to make us all poor. Every day at 11 o'clock new specials come out on clothes and homegoods and beauty products. When my friend first told me about this site I was not impressed. I could have cared less cause let's be honest, I'm not much of a girly girl. A few weeks ago I decided to give it another try. Every day my cart has something in it by 11:03. By 11:15 you have to decide if you want it and if you don't buy it right then, you lose it. I'm always scrambling to decide do I need it, do I want it? Will this make me look better!?!?! I get anxiety daily from this stupid website. My anxiety overtook me today and I ended up spending $45, sadness. Meanwhile, I bought a groupon yesterday for bikram yoga classes. I don't know what I was thinking. YEA, I totally want to stay in one pose for 5 minutes straight in 105 degree heat with men wearing tight little yoga shorts...

Maybe I will feel better about all this if I have one of these little pies today when I get home. I have a few left surprisingly. When I was trying to come up with these I wanted to use the last of my buttermilk and figured I could do it with buttermilk pies. I made them bite-sized since I was taking them to a birthday party. Every person I said those words to has almost recoiled in disgust. Maybe it's because it's more of a southern treat but buttermilk is not as bad as you think. At least there were only a few left so the name didn't get the best of them! These were so tasty and almost like a brownie in a little phyllo shell.     

~ 1 9" deep dish pie or about 50 mini pies
You can half the recipe to make 25 mini pies which is what I did. The recipe below is for the full serving though.

1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
 3 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

9" deep dish pie shell
half a package of defrosted phyllo dough

If you are making the full size pie, get your frozen pie shell out to thaw or make your homemade version. If you are making the phyllo shells make sure your dough is thawed completely so it does not break. Unroll the dough and cut a strip off the pile of phyllo layers at a time, about 3 inches long. You will then have a pile of sheets about 10 inches by 3 inches. Take a layer and place on an oiled surface, such as a cookie sheet. Then spray it with vegetable/canola oil. Take another layer of dough and repeat until you have 8 layers of phyllo dough with spray between each layer. Then cut your strip into thirds and stuff each square into the mini cupcake tin spaces. They should look like the picture above.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix eggs, sugar, and flour together in a bowl, then add in the melted butter. Next add in the cocoa powder. Last pour in buttermilk and vanilla and mix. If you are making a full pie, next you can just pour the mixture into the pie shell. Place in oven and bake 60 minutes or until center is only slightly jiggly. If you are doing the minis, pour a tablespoon of filling into each phyllo shell you have made. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so.

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Friday, February 24, 2012


Dorothyyyyyyyyyy? Dooooooooooorothy! That's all I can think about when I look at the weather forecast today. When I was little I remember every time the winds started picking up as a storm was beginning to move through. You could hear the leaves and branches swaying and my dad would be in the door way with his head popped out saying Dorothyyyyyyy? Memories. Then he would usually make us come inside where I would continue on to make my sister play tornado with me in the back room in our basement (as I mentioned in my first post). Those were the days.

Don't you just love weather in Maryland too? Last week we were concerned about having a snow storm, this week it's severe weather! How fun is that!? I'm excited at least, I'm kind of hoping a big old cell starts pouring on me in the middle of my run today. Actually, that happened once and it was pretty scary considering the bike trail runs along the power lines.... Sadly though (sadly to me, happily for most non morbid weather weirdos), I don't think we'll be getting any tornadoes here. North Carolina and Virginia have a better chance but it always seems to be that way.

See that yellow line between the green and yellow shaded area? That's us and normally it wouldn't be too promising but this is the first severe weather of the year in our area! and THAT get's me pumped even if it will be slightly to our south. Our best bet today is the winds. There's a potential for gusts up to 50 mph which is the whole reason I started thinking about Wizard of Oz. The winds alone as shown below will even get to around 25 mph. (the plot is in knots) One of my favorite plots to look at are winds when a front moves through. For some reason seeing such a sharp change in winds is so neat. It's even better when you drive through one. The first time I ever realized how sharp of a temperature gradient/front I had driven through was senior year of college. One minute it was sunny and 70 degrees. Next thing I know I'm driving into this torrential downpour and it's hailing, travel a total of 10 miles, and the temperature dropped to 48. It was still one of the coolest experiences I've had with weather. Nerd alert!

Anyway, wind wind wind. Don't blow away tonight if you're going out. I know I am a smidge worried about it since I'm going to Annapolis for the Annapolis Restaurant Week. Hopefully I make it without my dress blowing up or those residents will get quite the show.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blackberry Scones

Yesterday my day began by getting in my car at 5:45 AM to go to work. I turned on my Margaritaville radio only to find out it was National Margarita Day. Terrible timing to find this out. Obviously having a margarita at this time would be frowned upon. Plus it's a Wednesday AND it's Ash Wednesday, definitely not a party day. My party consisted of going to the gym after work only to end up in severe pain today andddd making blackberry scones. It all started because of buttermilk.

Many times you buy something for one recipe then you have a bunch leftover and you're like what the heck am I supposed to do with the rest of this? You couldn't possibly just waste it, especially if you're a cheap skate like me. That was me yesterday with leftover buttermilk from frying up some shrimp. I started thinking about what I could make. Scones sounded good and blackberries were on sale this week so it was my obvious choice. Also, since the weather has been so nice 60+ degrees! it made me want something summery aka berries.

I actually had never even had a scone before yesterday. This might make you question my recipe but I can tell you when I brought them into work they were gone within 30 minutes. Last night, I had my taste tester try them with me. After my first bite I was like "Is this what they're supposed to taste like!?" The response was yes. I had no idea they were more of a biscuit type thing.When I went to get them this morning, said taste tester had obviously taken another one out of the box after I went to bed.

Blackberry Scones
Yield ~12 scones

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk plus another ~1/4 cup
1 cup blackberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter in small pieces. Mix this together until mixture is crumbly, you may need to get your hands dirty for this. In another bowl, mix the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Next throw your blackberries in the powder bowl to coat them. This helps to keep them from mashing too much and running in the dough. You could even freeze them so that they are more firm. Next make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Carefully fold the ingredients together so that the berries stay as intact as possible. If the dough is too dry add in more buttermilk a tbs at a time.

Once dough is all mixed together, sprinkle some flour on your counter top or cutting board. Place dough on there and begin to spread out. You want it to be about 1 inch thick. Once mine was spread out it was about a 10x10 inch square. I then cut it into 3 strips and cut 4 triangles out of each strip. Place triangles on a greased cookie sheet. Next brush them with a little buttermilk and sprinkle some sugar on top. Put them in the oven for 16 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

King's Cake Cupcakes

"Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of these babies in a row to start having fun." - Jeff Carlin

Fat Tuesday was yesterday and unfortunately I didn't have any of these minis left to get fat with. Maybe that quote could help explain why. Maybe if a total of 5 girls hadn't eaten them all Saturday I'd have some left but I might be the most guilty party of them all. And what's worse, you put Nala in danger. Just kidding, but what is worse is now I have to think of something to give up for Lent. I could probably think of some really great ones but I'm too selfish to give them up. For example, Diet Coke or SUGAR in it's entirety which would include... cupcakes.

Cupcakes are kind of my thing. I guess you could say I got started on this baking kick with cake. I don't even know how many flavors of cupcakes I've made by now but it's more than I can count. These ones were pretty amazing though and definitely a welcome break from my frequent chocolate overload. This cake batter is great too. It's such an easy way to doctor up a basic cake mix for a more made from scratch approach. Plus, it's a fun way of incorporating the King's Cake taste into cupcakes.

King's Cake Cupcakes
Yield ~50 mini cupcakes ~20-24 regular cupcakes

For Cake:
1 package golden butter cake mix
1 package vanilla pudding mix (3.9 oz)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
2 tbs buttermilk powder
4 eggs
1 tbs vanilla

For cinnamon sugar layer:
1/2 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbs butter 

For frosting:
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, and buttermilk powder so there are no clumps. Add in the sour cream, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla. Stir together until completely mixed. In a separate bowl melt the 1 tbs butter then add in the brown sugar and cinnamon to make the middle layer of the cupcake. Next fill cupcake liners about 1/3 of the way with batter, then sprinkle a layer of the cinnamon sugar layer as shown below, then fill up to about 2/3 of the way with more batter. Place them in the oven and bake for about 14 minutes. Check on them at this time to see if they're done, they may need a couple more minutes. Take them out and set to cool.

Meanwhile, take your butter and cream cheese and mix them together in a bowl. Next add in your powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. After that, add in the cinnamon and any cream you may need to get your desired consistency. Then spread or pipe onto your cupcakes, whichever you prefer.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Muffuletta Pizza

Busted. At least that's what my forecast did. At least I can say I told you so. That it would bust along with most of the other meteorologists. Sorry, Justin Berk but I didn't really have #faithintheflakes. That dumb system just HAD to go farther south and bring snow to North Carolina. What the heck, they aren't supposed to get snow. We are, and we're notorious for snow on President's Day Weekend. Oh well, better luck next year. On to my next topic of discussion. Food, as usual.

THE sandwich to have in New Orleans is a muffuletta. Well, that and a po' boy. I decided to make a nice little twist on this typical sandwich and turn it into a pizza. Pizza is always good and it's even better when you throw some variations in. I present you with Muffuletta pizza!

Muffuletta Pizza
Yield ~1 large pizza

Paul's Pizza Dough (recipe below)
Olive Salad (You can make this but also can find this in the olive aisle at your grocery store- what I did)
Salami ~10 slices
Ham ~8 slices
Provolone cheese ~ 10 slices
Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Roll out your pizza dough and place on your pizza stone or baking pan. (Store bought dough works too) Brush the soon to be crust region with some olive oil. Spread out a layer of olive salad on the dough first. Next make a layer of salami, then a layer of ham, and finish it up with a layer of provolone cheese. Place the pizza in the oven on a rack about 2/3 of the way up in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, then check on pizza. You may need another 5 minutes more though if you like your pizza a little crispier.

Paul's Pizza Dough
Yield ~ dough for 1 large pizza
1 3/4 cups flour (possibly another 1/4 cup if it seems too sticky)
1 cup slightly warm water
1/2 packet yeast (5/16 oz size)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Mix yeast and water together. Let sit and become frothy for about 5 minutes or until it looks foamy. Next add in flour, olive oil, and salt. Mix together until becomes dough consistency. If it seems too sticky you can add in a little more flour until it seems more like pizza dough. I ended up using just a dash more than 1 3/4 cup flour. Roll dough into ball as pictured below and place in a bowl to rise for an hour at room temperature. After an hour or so punch it back down and create a ball like this again. Place it back into the bowl to rise for another few hours. By this time it will look like the second picture on the right below. Punch it back down again to a ball and begin to roll out into your pizza dough.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012


Pralines. Some will yell at you if you say it like I do. PRAY-leens. Last night I was told it was PRAH-leens. Either way, they still taste the same which is heavenly. Thank God I know how to make them now so I don't have to go back to New Orleans just to get some. This will save me a lot of money but it will not save me any room in my jeans. These things are pure sugar with a little bit of extra stuff added in. They are truly a New Orleans treat though so you should try them out.

They were a hit at my party last night except for the one person who said he might become diabetic from them. Really?! First of all, if someone invites you to a party with tons of food they made themselves don't criticize the goods. Second of all, if I haven't gone diabetic yet I'm pretty sure he won't considering I'm the biggest sugar freak ever. I had 3 of them last night... along with 5 mini cupcakes. Weekends are for overindulgence. At least that's what I tell myself so I feel better when I do this kind of thing. 

They had their own little setup with the King Cake cupcakes and Muffuletta pizza which are coming later this week! Side note: Diet Coke has nothing to do with Mardi Gras but I'm slightly addicted to it so it's everywhere in my house. It slips into pictures occasionally.

Yield ~20

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup light cream
2 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans (whole or chopped)

Place sugar, brown sugar, and light cream in a pot on medium heat. Whisk occasionally until sugar starts dissolving. Turn heat up to bring mixture to a boil, the temperature needs to reach 235 degrees (soft ball stage). Once it does, take it off the heat and add in the butter and vanilla. Do not mix, but let it sit for a few minutes. After that, pour in the pecans and whisk the mixture together. Quickly, take spoonfuls of the mixture and place them on a sheet of wax paper so they can spread out and cool. You want to make sure that you do this as speedy as possible though so that the candy doesn't start crystallizing. Within 5 minutes mine had started to do so. Once finished, let cool then EAT. It's so good, the sugar just melts in your mouth.

Here is what your mixture will look like right around the time it's reaching 235 degrees.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Mini President's Day Storm

The question of the weekend is... Will I get to make one of these on Sunday? 

Not so sure yet. This may have been made at my parents house 3 years ago. I also may have been 22 when I made it but who doesn't love a good old fashioned igloo? The last time we had snow on President's Day Weekend we had just a BIT more snow than this though. Try somewhere along the lines of 20 inches more.

Alas, we will not have a PDIII (President's Day Storm 3) but I will venture to say we will definitely see something. Right now the most recent model output is showing anywhere from .2-.5 inches of liquid in the form of WHITE which technically would mean 2-6 inches. The whole 6 inches thing is definitely wishful thinking though. Sorry, NAM. GFS is looking a lot better. And sorry to let you all down but no, those aren't the initials of an old boyfriend.
So far the only conclusions any meteorologist can make are that this is a bust waiting to happen. The precipitation gradient of this system is pretty tight. It would be really easy for a certain region to be entirely missed and somewhere 30 miles south get a decent amount of precipitation. At this point, I'll just say yes we'll get snow and against my better judgement I'll even say it will be the most we've had all season. This means nothing since it only needs to snow about an inch to top it. I'm going for 1-2 inches but I'll make an update as more model runs come out. Either way, it won't matter to me. I'm going to be baking all weekend in preparation for my Mardi Gras party on Saturday. Then Sunday, while it's snowing I'll just be sitting on the couch with 50 blankets pretending I'm warm in New Orleans as I stuff my face with all the Creole leftovers. With that being said, you will probably want to check back for 1. weather stats and 2. for some awesome recipes including pralines, king's cake mini cupcakes, and muffuletta pizza. 

Personally, I'm hoping I can recreate this moment. Although, knowing me I will strip my wiper arm for the third time in a year since I think it's a good idea to use them when they're frozen to the windshield. I don't learn lessons apparently. Who wins for best dressed in the snow? I think the answer to that is obvious. Polar bear pj pants; hottest new fashion accessory.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shrimp and Grits

You would think that since I can bake, I could cook. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely positive that's the case. At least that's what my boyfriend has led me to think (by my own conclusions of course). He cooks, I bake. Period. The End.

So this year, for Valentine's I told him I was going to cook our dinner. I have only cooked us dinner 2 times in the almost 2 years we've been dating. I settled on Shrimp and Grits. Good thing I did since he said it was perfect! Maybe I got some motivation to do an extra good job from the flowers that were waiting for me when I got home. *Cue typical Valentine's facebook picture of flowers and chocolate* At least I saved it for my blog.

Shrimp and Grits
Yield ~3 servings, originally planned for 2 but was more than enough

9 tbs instant grits (I know, a true Southerner only uses real grits. I'm only Southern by blood, not birthplace)
2 1/4 cup water plus 2 tbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tbs butter
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs white wine
Pinch of Old Bay seasoning
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs cut fresh parsley

Bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil. Next mix in the grits with a dash of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and stir frequently until thick, which will only take a few min. Once thickened, mix in the parmesan and 1/2 tbs butter.

Next, season the shrimp with Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper. Melt the last tbs of butter in a skillet. Add the shrimp, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix this around until the shrimp turn pink which should take around 5 min. Remove shrimp from little butter sauce and place in a bowl for time being. Add in 2 tbs of white wine and 2 tbs of water, the lemon juice and parsley to butter sauce. Place back on heat and simmer for another few minutes to reduce. Place shrimp back in to coat in the sauce. Fill bowls with grits and pour some shrimp and a bit of the sauce on top. Bon Appetit!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cookie Dough Truffles

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are all having a great start so far to your day. Mine is starting with these! They're kind of addicting. Last week I was trying to think what I wanted to make for Valentine's Day and I felt like I really wanted to do something with red velvet. I started thinking hard and decided on red velvet cookie dough truffles. I had heard of chocolate chip cookie dough truffles so I figured this could work and oh man, did it. 

On Sunday morning I woke up and went to the gym. When I came back this was sitting on the counter for me, along with a boyfriend making me brunch. I wasn't complaining, although it did make for an interesting "baking" session which resulted in a much messier kitchen than normal and me eating more of my truffles than I had really planned on.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough Truffles
Yield ~34 truffles

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
6 tbs powdered buttermilk
2 tbs cocoa powder (may want to do 1-1 1/2 if you want it to be more red)
1 tbs vanilla
1 tsp red food coloring

chocolate candy melts/wafers

Melt butter, then mix it with brown sugar, sugar, oil, water, and vanilla. Next mix in the powdered buttermilk (this gives the red velvet flavor), cocoa powder, and flour. Last add in the red food coloring. You can add more or less depending on the red color you want. Roll the dough into balls that are about 1.5 inches in diameter and place them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about an hour.

Melt chocolate candy wafers in a double boiler or just place a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir around until wafers are completely melted. Stick a toothpick in a ball of dough and then swirl it around in the melted chocolate, then place it back on the wax paper. Repeat until you've covered all your cookie dough balls. If you would like to add anything to the top of your truffles (coconut or anything else) do it as soon as you take them off the toothpick since the chocolate will harden quickly.

Lastly, since no Valentine's is complete without a little heart action this awesome picture is being brought to you by NOAA. Even the earth loves you.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Choco Coco Cup Brownies

Last Thursday my sister was feeling a little down. I told her she could come over and I could bake her something if that would help. She was there 20 minutes later. She said she didn't really care what I made she just wanted the bowl. I only had about an hour so I decided to go with brownies but I didn't want a big pan of them. I thought brownie cups might be a little better. Also, I thought they might be a little better with chocolate chips and some toasted coconut. So I started putting everything together but when it came time to add in the egg, I realized I had no eggs and only egg whites so I had to improvise. Here's what I came up with.
Choco Coco Cup Brownies
Yield 9 Brownie Cups

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbs butter
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate fudge (I used Smucker's)
5 tbs egg whites (~2 regular eggs)
1 tsp vanilla

chocolate chips
shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Add in chocolate fudge and vanilla and mix. Next mix in the eggs. Last mix in the flour and cocoa powder. Spray cupcake pan and fill each up 2/3 of the way. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top (I did around 10 for each one), then sprinkle some coconut on top of that. Bake for ~20 minutes and check to see if done. They may need a couple more minutes after that but it will depend on your oven.

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for my recipe for these little babies! I made them to bring to work for Valentine's Day but I'm just hoping they last until tomorrow. I may have already eaten 7. Oops...

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Cupcake Killer

So I go downstairs to the parking garage at work today to pay the parking meter. When I come back upstairs I sit back down at my desk and take off my flats to get in my comfy stance aka sitting indian style in my chair with my blanket on. (it's possible they keep the temperature set to 62 degrees in here)

After about 30 seconds my friend comes over and says, " Come here, you have to see this!" I say, "Do I have to put my shoes back on for it?" She reluctantly says yes... we start walking and I ask in excitement of a potential early morning dessert "Is it food?!" She says, "Well, sorta."

This is what she shows me...
on our community board...
Poor twinkie

Makes me wonder if this a passive aggressive lash out towards me? I do tend to bring in lots of sweets... and extras for said "friend". Hmmmm....

Monday, February 6, 2012

S'more Cookies

 Any time I go to a party I can't go without making a dessert. It's like a tick I have and can't get rid of. This weekend for the Super Bowl was no exception. When I was thinking about what to bring Sunday I started thinking about this past Friday night. I went out that night to a friend's house for a bit and came back and had the bright idea at midnight to bake (of course). I ended up throwing a bunch of random ingredients together, one of which included marshmallows...

Needless to say, when I woke up in the morning I thought to myself "what was I thinking?" Then I thought MARSHMALLOWS! I could totally turn this into something like a s'more! So I decided to start with a chocolate cookie base, add in some chocolate chips and marshmallows, then roll it in some crushed up graham crackers. With that being said, here's the recipe!

S'more Cookies
Yield ~24 cookies


1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallows
4 oz crushed up graham crackers

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Next add in the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Once everything is mixed together fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Take 2-3 tablespoon scoops of dough and roll them in crushed graham crackers. Place each ball of dough on baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Keep a close eye on them though so that they don't burn. It can happen pretty quickly cause of the graham crackers. If you like your s'mores with slightly burnt marshmallows though this might be a tastier option for you.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gone to New Orleans

This past weekend I went to New Orleans with 3 of my girlfriends. That city is awesome. I say you have to go there sometime in your life, at least once. I went twice within one year. Also, if you go, leave the French Quarter just for a little bit. I know you will want to just get a drink and walk down Bourbon Street. Honestly who doesn't feel cooler walking the streets with a DRINK in hand? But just do it, please.

Of all the places to go to outside of the French Quarter there were two that were the best. First off, we walked to Frenchmen St. within the first couple hours of being there and it was the best idea ever. There were so many neat little shops and bars and music clubs. It's definitely the hipster hide out that slowly people are finding out about. We found the coolest antique costume shop. While we were there my friend found a Mardi Gras Ball Queen's dress. We obviously tried it on, sadly we didn't get it though. Instead I got a necklace with a little Flava Flav action going on. I can now tell the time by looking at my necklace.

Next up, Saint Louis Cemetary Number 1. Granted, if you do your research you know all about Marie Laveau's tomb being here. At first the excitement of seeing that gets you all hyped up. Trust me, Queen of Voodoo granting you a wish? You don't need that. Nicholas Cage's future tomb pyramid is what you need in life. Yes, he already has his tomb erected in the form of a pyramid with "everything from one" inscribed in Latin on it. Nicholas Cage would do this. Exhibit A:

Since we all know how much I love food and neat places in general I'm going to share some top places you should probably most likely go for food and/or drinks.

Johnny's Po Boy's- They have been around since 1950 and are hands down the place to go for po-boys.

             Cafe Du Monde- Everyone knows you have to go here to try a beignet, the end. (They taste even better at 2:30 AM) The alligators don't come with the beignets by the way, you can pick one of them up in a drink at Tropical Isle. They just wanted to join in for the picture.   

Yo Mama's Bar and Grill- When you think of New Orleans cuisine, you probably don't think of hamburgers. This place has some HUGE rockin' hamburgers though. The peanut butter and bacon burger was great. Once you get here you definitely need to take notice of the decor too, it's quite interesting in an inappropriate way.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop- "Oldest Bar in America", Best Hurricane in New Orleans and if you like grape get the Voodoo Daquiri, my personal fav. The whole place is lit by candle light which adds to the whole atmosphere even more.

Well that's all the New Orleans traveling advice I have to share. If you do your research it's very easy to tailor your touring to exactly what you want. Walking around to random places is one of the best ways. So, I'll just leave you with some pictures I took of the French Quarter and surrounding area.