Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lemon Coconut Cottontails

Posted just in time, before we head into May, is April's cookie of the month: lemon coconut cottontails. I saw the recipe on one of my favorite baking blogs, Bake at 350 (with the recipe itself on the Imperial Sugar website), and immediately "pinned" it.  It's a perfect springtime treat!  Huge scoops of cookie dough studded with lemon zest and coconut, drizzled with lemon glaze, and topped with more coconut.





The recipe said the cookies don't change much in shape during baking, so mine spread more than I expected.  I'm wondering if it's because I baked them in a convection oven?  It didn't change the taste, for sure.  Very subtle, but delicious.  I'm surprised how many people said lemon and coconut were their favorite things when I passed them out to friends and neighbors.  Joseph, as per usual, agreed wholeheartedly!




Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Family is Family

Whether they're just being tolerant while someone constantly hangs all over them, staring at their electronics,


sharing a glass of wine and good conversation,


scaring the bejeezus out of you by getting admitted to the hospital while you visit, even if it turns out everything is OK in the end,


spoiling you with attention and affection until the very second you leave for the airport,


or are the adorably furry kind, who like to sleep in the sink, look mad as heck when they're really sweet as can be, or are the new kid on the block who can win you over with those puppy dog eyes and all that energy wrapped up in a little 5 pound body.




We love each and every one of them to bits and are already missing them like crazy.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Swamp People

We thought it would be fun to take Joseph and his cousins on their first "swamp tour" during this visit to Louisiana.  It's actually a pretty big tourist attraction, especially since The History Channel started their reality series about alligator hunters a few years ago.  We settled on Annie Miller's Son's Tours and met up behind the Bayou Delight restaurant.  A boat came to pick us up and take us further into the bayou and through the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge.  Despite not being happy about having to take a picture, Joseph was excited the rest of the time.






It's quite serene on the water, with lots of pretty scenery,




and then there's suddenly an alligator sitting there.


Interestingly, most of the gators will either ignore you or swim away from the boat if it gets too close.  Each guide has actually trained a few alligators to come when they call!!   Soon enough, along came poor Lulu, who had apparently swallowed some kind of a trap that has a hook and a floating pool noodle attached to it.  She was completely unphased by it, and there weren't any volunteers to try to reach over and cut it off her.  It certainly didn't effect her appetite.






Our guide was very knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna, pointing out all the different kinds of trees, Spanish moss, Cypress knees, water hyacinth and the like.





Who knew bald eagles came to nest in Louisiana, but there there were perched on the highest tree tops and soaring overhead.  We also saw egrets and herons and lots and lots of turtles.




Swamp tour selfies!  Even one with an alligator over my shoulder.




Swamp People!



Along came another alligator for a snack.  Check out the video from Uncle Glenn!  I think I hear the guide say this one is Louie Louie, not Lil Joe or Robert (that's pronounced Ro-bear in Cajun country), but he was awfully close and amazing to watch.





Joseph is now totally into alligators, and he came happily marching back from the gift shop at the airport with this big guy.  I now get to see "Lulu" lurking in my bathtub when I go to take a shower every morning.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Crawdads

This little guy


went into this giant pot


with a whole lot of his friends



courtesy of this big guy



and they were delicious.


All of them!


Apparently it is a tradition in Louisiana to have a crawfish boil on Good Friday.  Mimi and Poppy invited the family over and Bo did of most the cooking.  The rest of us just got to visit and enjoy it all.  Joe Joe even loved the crawfish!



He also loved the pool.  He had to be in there for a good 6 hours with very few breaks, even long after his cousins had tired of it.  I guess our long winter up north really effected him ;)