How to make jardiniere (photo by Patsy R. Brumfield/Southfacin' Cook)

How to make giardiniera (pickled vegetables) – recipe

When I was a kid, our neighbor, Wilbur Pickett, made hot sauce on an open fire on the vacant elementary school-yard between our McComb, Miss., houses.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I didn’t think too much about why until years later when I made my first batch of garlicky dill pickles from garden cucumbers – and stunk up my house without the possibility of parole.

Luckily, I’d acquired a small, bottle-gas burner for football tailgating. From then on, I cooked my pickling juice out on the porch to avoid the penetrating aroma. It’s mighty good in the jar, but it’s a bit something to take into your nose when it’s steaming hot. It also infuses itself into drywall (just my opinion – not a scientific fact).

Now I know why Wilbur’s wife, Gladys, sent him to the school yard for his vinegary concoction.

This recipe for giardiniera mimics those fancy, expensive pickled veggies in the grocery but is easy to make at home. It makes a pretty gift for friends, too. Try it.

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picnicking at the Fly in New Orleans (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

Good places to picnic in New Orleans

Lazy summer/fall days call for a picnic with friends, especially at dusk when things cool off a little bit. Plus, this is a budget-friendly form of entertainment.

You can go all out for a picnic, but a poboy or a bucket of chicken are easy options for quick meal with a gorgeous view. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

You can go all out for a picnic, but poboys and chips are good options for quick meal with a gorgeous view. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, NewinNOLA.com)

We keep a blanket in our trunk so we’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. And no need for a fancy spread if you are picnicking on a whim. A bucket of Popeye’s or a poboy is equally as festive as a basket full of homemade goodies, in our opinion.

GoNOLA offered up suggestions for picnic destinations in New Orleans. Here are some of our favorite places to picnic in the city. Have another suggestion? Tell us in the comments.

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photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com

Running with the Bulls in New Orleans: Advice for first timers

Planning to run with the (roller) bulls in New Orleans? Prepare yourself for a wildly fun morning. This year’s event is Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 8 a.m. sharp. Seriously, don’t be late or you are going to miss the event. This NOLA event actually starts on time.

Event summary for San Fermin in Nueva Orleans:

Hundreds of roller derby women (bulls) chase thousands of runners through a short course in the CBD and Warehouse District. The bulls have wiffle bats and spank runners during the race. The event raises money for the Animal Rescue New Orleans and the Louisiana Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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We ran with the bulls last year and had a blast. We’ll be there again Saturday with our Meetup friends. We’d love for you to join us.

Advice if you are a first-time runner this year:

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photo by Carlie Kollath Wells / New in NOLA

Happy 4th of July (meetup info)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! Hope you are making the most of this three-day weekend. Want to watch fireworks tonight? Our Meetup friends are having a watch party tonight in the French Quarter. The group is meeting at 8:45 p.m. Click here for more info.

Happy 4th of July, y'all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen's?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen’s?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

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Original photo by NaJina McEnany and used under a Creative Commons license.

How to make Southern peach chutney (recipe)

Summertime is Peach Time in the South. That’s time for peach cobblers, peach pies, peach ice cream and other delicious doin’s.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

A couple of years ago, I made a savory peach jam, which was a big hit with the folks I gifted it to. This chutney recipe is quite extraordinary and a bit different from your butter-and-jelly ways. You’ll love it. It also doesn’t contain any salt, for folks watching their intake.

Try this as a last-minute grill topper on pork loin, chicken or veggies. It’s also a great condiment on the side or as a savory morning toast topper. Any way you like peaches, this works “mighty fine,” as we Southerners say.

Header image by NaJina McEnany and used under a Creative Commons license.

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praline from Southern Candymakers (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

#newinNOLA tip – praline is pronounced “prawleen”

Happy National Praline Day! Have you tried one of these delicious sugary treats yet? There are plenty of storebought options in the French Quarter, especially near the French Market. If you ask nicely, most will give you a sample.

#newinNOLA tip – we say “prawleen” not “prayleen” in New Orleans.

More praline tips:

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photo by Carlie Kollath Wells / NewinNOLA.com

Thanks to our 3,000 Instagram followers!

Woohooo! Three thousand –  3,000!!!! – of you have signed on for this @NewinNOLA journey on Instagram. We couldn’t be more honored that you’d share your time with us.

Thank you for making us feel welcome in New Orleans. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned about the city. Thank you for going on this adventure with us. Thank you for asking questions and suggesting better ways to do things. Y’all rock!

We're on Instagram (@newinnola)

We’re on Instagram (@newinnola)

In addition to right here on NewinNOLA.com, you can follow us on:

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fresh crabs for sale at Westwego Shrimp Lot (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

How to make West Indies crab meat salad (recipe)

My brother-in-law, Tommy Ratchford of Pensacola, isn’t much of a cook, but he knows a thing or two about seafood. Hearken to his “Southfacin’ Cook” recipe for perfect boiled shrimp.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

His “West Indies Salad” is a delicious, light, crisp, tart combo of vinegar-sweetened onions, brine and juicy lump crab meat. Can’t get much tastier than that!

It’s gorgeous on toasted French bread slices and even prettier in a stemmed cocktail glass as a true salad or a buffet specialty.

Easy, delicious. A great change of pace with summertime fare, too. Enjoy any time of the year, so long as the crab meat is fresh.

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creole tomatoes at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Photos from Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans

The French Market held its 28th annual Creole Tomato Festival last weekend in New Orleans. We tried the famous tomatoes, watched a Creole tomato-eating contest and ate some yummy tomato dishes.

Check out our food photos here.

Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Creole Tomato Festival at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

creole tomatoes at the French Market (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans – schedule, tips

The Creole Tomato Festival kicks off today (June 7) at the French Market and goes through Sunday night. This is the perfect time to get free samples of the famous creole tomato.

The entrance to the French Market has been transformed for the Creole Tomato Festival. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The entrance to the French Market has been transformed for the Creole Tomato Festival. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The festival has food vendors, cooking demonstrations and a tomato eating contest. We’re heading out Sunday so we can see the contest at 1. Interesting demo Saturday – creole tomato cupcakes at 4 p.m.

The French Market said each cooking demo has  2-oz samples for the first 100 people. The tomato sample station is at Dumaine Street. The fest also has cute tomato-shaped paper fans it’s giving away at the festival. The people in tomato costumes (photo opp!) have the fans and will give you one if you ask.

Remember, bring cash if you want to buy anything. Plus, if you spend $30 this weekend, you get a free bag of creole tomatoes. Via FrenchMarket.org:

creole tomato offer

What you need to know about the fest:

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