Round 2: The Big Easy Travel Guide

Round 2: A Big Easy Travel Guide

As I returned home from what is now my annual trip to New Orleans, I couldn’t help but miss everything that I was leaving behind. It’s a place I wish I could visit every day, but my body thanks me for choosing not to. For those of you who have never been, I highly suggest visiting. Whether you’re there to drink, eat, or simply enjoy the company you’re with, the Big Easy has a spot or two for you. If you take any suggestions from one of my prior NOLA posts or follow even one of my suggestions below, I guarantee that you will have an exceptional time while in the Cajun capital.

#1 – Any Big Easy Ghost Tour

When I say any ghost tour, I literally mean any ghost tour. Walking through the dimly lit back streets of the Big Easy while listening to a tour guide story out all of the sadistic things that have happened there over the years makes for quite the spooky experience. You can learn anything from the zombie rumors that surfaced during the plague of the 1700’s to the possibilities of what happened to Delphine LaLaurie after the slave fire of 1834. The history and architecture of New Orleans is absolutely spectacular and it amounts to loads of great ghost stories for your vacation.

#2 – A Drink from Pat O’Brien’s

Pat O’Brien’s is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, drinking destinations within the Big Easy. They’re known for their Hurricanes yet their cocktail menu is endless. Whether you decide upon a Hurricane, a Cyclone, or a Cat-5 Margarita, you absolutely must try one of their drinks. Besides the taste, all drinks have their own unique, exotic color scheme, and the Rainbow even contains every color of… you guessed it, the rainbow! I highly suggest going on a football Sunday when the Saints are playing at home too. You’ll experience a little of the local flare along with your tasty drink and I doubt you will lack amusement.

#3 – Johnny’s Po-Boys Fried Chicken Biscuits and Gravy

If you’re familiar with any of my other New Orleans pieces, you know how much I love Johnny’s Po-Boys. Every time I’ve eaten there its always been slammed packed full of patrons but it is well worth the wait. This time around while visiting my favorite Big Easy dining establishment I branched out from my typical Surf-n-Turf Po-Boy to try Johnny’s fried chicken biscuit and gravy. If I thought their Po-Boys were good, there wasn’t a word to describe how I felt while eating this masterpiece. It was probably the best fried chicken I’ve had in my entire life. The gravy was loaded with sausage and was the perfect consistency for the warm, buttery biscuit underneath. Plus they give you a massive portion so you know you’ll be full by the time you’re done!

#4 – Willie’s Chicken Shack

Many may disagree, but Willie’s is one of the greatest quick chicken spots to eat at in the Big Easy. They’re sprinkled all over the French Quarter and its surrounding streets, so if one is busy just head to the next one down the block. They also have an entire wall of frozen drinks that are a perfect pairing for that basket of chicken. Be sure to try their special sauces while you’re there as well, they’re very tasty!

Many people associate New Orleans with partying and absurd drunken conduct at all times of the day. While that may be true during Mardi Gras, anytime LSU has a big game coming up, or random weeknights, there is so much more to the city than that. Exquisite cuisine, great historical stories, and beautiful architecture are just a few things that envelop this magnificent city, and those are the real reasons why one should visit the Big Easy.


Thanks again for reading my guide on things to do in New Orleans. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!

My Weekly Recommendation (#9)

My Weekly Recommendation (#9) – My Jambalaya Recipe

Good Morning Everyone! In this week’s recommendation I will be walking you through how I make one of my favorite meals, Jambalaya. If you go alllll the way back to week two (<– Hyperlink) of my recommendations, you can see that I am a huge fan of New Orleans/Cajun based foods. Upon returning from my first NOLA trip, I decided that I was going to start making my own Cajun inspired meals because I simply could not wait until my next trip to eat the delicacies of New Orleans. And with that came my first attempt at Jambalaya. It was pretty good, but over the last six months I have nearly perfected the recipe and decided that I would share with you all. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • One Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage (Preferably Hillshire Farms)
  • One to two pounds of chicken (breast or thighs, your preference)
  • One 32 oz. container of chicken broth
  • One 24 oz. container of diced tomatoes
  • One large onion
  • One pound of shrimp (preferably fresh)
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder or garlic salt (Can be substituted with fresh garlic as well)
  • Cajun/Creole Seasoning (preferably Tony Chachere’s)
  • One to four cups rice (depending on how many you will be feeding)

Process

  • Dice the Andouille sausage and brown in a pan until one side is slightly black/crisp.
  • Cut chicken to your desired size and brown in a similar fashion to the sausage. As its cooking, add in the oregano and garlic salt/powder to flavor the chicken.
  • Once both meats are finished, dump them into a large pot (should be at least 20 Qt’s, this recipe makes quite a bit of food!)
  • Turn your stove to a low-medium heat and add the onions and shrimp to the meat.
  • Place a lid on the pot and let steam for 15-20 minutes (This allows the onions to soften as well as the shrimp soaking up some of the flavors of both the chicken and the sausage).
  • Now the tomatoes and chicken broth can be added in.
  • Depending on how you like your Jambalaya, you will either use roughly one cup of broth or two to three cups.
  • For a thicker, more hearty Jambalaya, use only one cup.
  • For a more soupy, pour over Jambalaya, use two to three cups.
  • You may also begin cooking your rice now if you haven’t already!
  • After letting sit for roughly another 25 to 30 minutes on low-medium, you can remove from heat to let cool before you make a bowl.
  • This is typically where I add my creole seasoning as well. I will sprinkle just a touch over the rice right before the jambalaya is added.

And voila, you’re now in one of the many fine dining establishments located within the French Quarter! Thanks, and while you’re enjoying your scrumptious jambalaya be sure to let me know how it came out!

How to Make Jambalaya

A Deliciously Easy Jambalaya Recipe

Good Morning Everyone! In this week’s recommendation I will be walking you through how I make one of my favorite meals, Jambalaya. If you go alllll the way back to week two of my recommendations, you can see that I am a huge fan of New Orleans/Cajun based foods. Upon returning from my first NOLA trip, I decided that I was going to start making my own Cajun inspired meals because I simply could not wait until my next trip to eat the delicacies of New Orleans. And with that came my first attempt at Jambalaya. It was pretty good, but over the last six months I have nearly perfected the recipe and decided that I would share with you all. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

  • One Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage (Preferably Hillshire Farms)
  • One to two pounds of chicken (breast or thighs, your preference)
  • One 32 oz. container of chicken broth
  • One 24 oz. container of diced tomatoes
  • One large onion
  • One pound of shrimp (preferably fresh)
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder or garlic salt (Can be substituted with fresh garlic as well)
  • Cajun/Creole Seasoning (preferably Tony Chachere’s)
  • One to four cups rice (depending on how many you will be feeding)

Process

  • Dice the Andouille sausage and brown in a pan until one side is slightly black/crisp.
  • Cut chicken to your desired size and brown in a similar fashion to the sausage. As its cooking, add in the oregano and garlic salt/powder to flavor the chicken.
  • Once both meats are finished, dump them into a large pot (should be at least 20 Qt’s, this recipe makes quite a bit of food!)
  • Turn your stove to a low-medium heat and add the onions and shrimp to the meat.
  • Place a lid on the pot and let steam for 15-20 minutes (This allows the onions to soften as well as the shrimp soaking up some of the flavors of both the chicken and the sausage).
  • Now the tomatoes and chicken broth can be added in.
  • Depending on how you like your Jambalaya, you will either use roughly one cup of broth or two to three cups.
  • For a thicker, more hearty Jambalaya, use only one cup.
  • For a more soupy, pour over Jambalaya, use two to three cups.
  • You may also begin cooking your rice now if you haven’t already!
  • After letting sit for roughly another 25 to 30 minutes on low-medium, you can remove from heat to let cool before you make a bowl.
  • This is typically where I add my creole seasoning as well. I will sprinkle just a touch over the rice right before the jambalaya is added.

And voila, you’re now in one of the many fine dining establishments located within the French Quarter! Thanks, and while you’re enjoying your scrumptious jambalaya be sure to let me know how it came out!

My Weekly Review (#2) – New Orleans Cuisine

My Weekly Review (#2) – New Orleans Cuisine

Hey everyone, on this week’s rec I’ll be talking about one of my favorite things, food! More specifically, the mouth-watering flavors that stem from New Orleans authentic Po-Boys and Jambalaya. Now, I have been a fan of Po-Boys for quite some time but I had never actually eaten an authentic New Orleans Po-Boy. It’s safe to say I can no longer eat them back in Florida because they just aren’t the same! My favorite Po-Boy, the Surf and Turf, came from Johnny’s Po-Boys in the French Quarter. Their menu is endless, ranging from regular Po-Boys with shrimp to Po-Boys stacked with roast beef, lettuce, and mayo. This will no doubt be the first stop on my list the next time I’m back in New Orleans, which hopefully happens soon. I did experiment last week with my own Po-Boy recipe though and it was pretty tasty, so maybe I’ll share that recipe with you all soon!

Next up is the Jambalaya, which has become a staple in my diet since traveling to NOLA late last year. I was lucky enough to be in New Orleans during the Tremé Creole Gumbo Fest, and it was quite the experience. With about 15 places to stop and try different New Orleans cuisines, it was THE pit stop on the way to foodie heaven. Over the course of two hours, I enjoyed an amazing bowl of gumbo, a heaping portion of jambalaya, and a golden square of fried grits (A.K.A. PERFECTION) before my stomach no longer had the room to enjoy the delicacies I was still dying to try. There was also live music the entire time, and all of the acts were NOLA natives which was super cool. This fest is definitely something I would recommend attempting to get to at some point as well if you can! All things considered, my rating of NOLA cuisine is 10/10 and if you’ve never been I highly suggest making your way there soon.

Thanks again for reading my weekly recommendation. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate/comment often!