#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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Meetup group for new people in New Orleans

Our friend, Satyajit Dixit, has started a Meetup group that’s perfect for meeting other newbies. Meetup is an online community that helps people “meetup” in real life. Some groups are general interest, while others are grouped around specific interests.

Meet Sat (he’s the guy in the middle). He organizes the “Exploring New Orleans” Meetup group.

Satyajit "Sat" Dixit, pictured in the middle, organizes a wonderful New Orleans Meetup group. (image via Meetup)

Satyajit “Sat” Dixit, pictured in the middle, organizes a wonderful New Orleans Meetup group. (image via Meetup)

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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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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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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 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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Our food pictures from the 2014 New Orleans Oyster Festival

We filled our belly June 1 at the New Orleans Oyster Fest (first-timer tips). The food-centric fest was held in downtown New Orleans at Woldenberg Park. Fav part – free admission.

The day started with an oyster-eating contest in the rain was rounded out with sunshine and food.

Check out our Storify post for food pix from the fest.

In a Half Shelf blog also has a spectacular photos and tips. Check them out.

New Orleans Oyster Festival 2014 (schedule, tips, map)

The 2014 New Orleans Oyster Festival is this weekend (May 31 and June 1). The food is the same both days, but the music is different.

Want to see the oyster shucking contest? That’s Saturday at noon. Interested in the oyster eating contest? That’s Sunday at 11:45 a.m.

We’re tagging along with a Meetup group going Sunday at 11 a.m. Join us 🙂

The Oyster Fest serves up all sorts of bivalve goodness. Here are some of eats in 2013. (photos by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The Oyster Fest serves up all sorts of bivalve goodness. Here are some of eats in 2013. (photos by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

The fest is at Woldenberg Park, which is next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (map). We like this festival because it is free admission and there’s parking around the French Quarter. When we take a car, we usually park in the garage above Saks Fifth Avenue. Tip – if you get in before 9 a.m. at most garages, parking is $10 for the entire day.

You can also take a bus or streetcar and not fool with parking at all. It takes a little longer than driving, but it’s cheaper than parking and you don’t have to worry about a designated driver.

We went to the fest last year and had a really good time. See our pix.

Tips we learned about the New Orleans Oyster Festival:

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Good margaritas in New Orleans

Happy Cinco de Mayo! We crave margaritas and chips and salsa on May 5. How about you? Lucky for us New Orleans has plenty of watering holes. Check out these recommendations from various New Orleans sources:

GoNOLA recommends eight specific margaritas around town. Of course, Felipe’s house margarita is on the list. The options also include classic margaritas and craft cocktails inspired by margaritas.

One of the recommendations is a margarita from Rum House. This is what the house margarita looks like (on the right):

margarita and sangria from Rum House (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)

margarita and sangria from Rum House (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells, New in NOLA)

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How to cook liver and onions

Liver smothered in onions? So, 99% of you just went, “She’s cooking what?”

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I am among the 1% of people who love liver and onions atop rice. Likely, it was presented to me by my grandmother, the beautiful and willful Rosalie Dial, who wasn’t one to forgive a turned-up nose at dinnertime. Likely, I ate it, agreed it was good, and the rest is history.

It’s not something I think about often, but this weekend, it came to mind. I make a batch and freeze everything but the rice for another dinner.

It’s also an emotional meal for me because my dearly departed mother, Betty, made me weekly batches while I was pregnant with my two kids and needed boosts of iron to fortify my system (and theirs). When I eat liver and onions, I think of all three of them. Sappy, but true.

And so, for you folks whose grandmothers and moms made this and never showed you how, here it is. For you folks who’ve got the curiosity to try it, the recipe couldn’t be simpler. Go for it!

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