I happen to adore New Orleans jazz. My favorite artist is Professor Longhair. He died about 10 years before I even heard of him. There's a great video (only on VHS - geez!) called Piano Players Rarely Play Together that I got for my birthday a few years ago. It is awesome. Tuts Washington, Henry Roeland Byrd (Professor Longhair, aka 'Fess) and Allen Toussaint were going to perform a concert together. The process was being documented on film to show how they rehearsed and influenced each. However, the focus of the documentary changed when Professor Longhair died in his sleep two days before the concert.
I'm hardly an expert for New Orleans Jazz or even Mardi Gras songs. I'm game for anyone telling me their favorites. I've just put together a list of my favorite songs. Most of them are by Professor Longhair. I've seen a few of these guys in concert thanks to the WIsconsin State Fair and Summerfest (Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Harry Connick, Jr. and Dr. John). I threw in a little Ray Charles' Mess Around. Not technically New Orleans Jazz but I like his version of the Mess Around better than Fess'. I'd love, love, love to head down to New Orleans and go to Tipitina's (named after Professor Longhair's famous song). Until then, I will turn up the music.
Iko Iko, The Dixie Cups Tipitina, Professor Longhair Zydeco Gris-Gris, Beausoleil Mess Around, Ray Charles Mardi Gras In New Orleans, Professor Longhair Hey Now Baby, Professor Longhair Huey Smith Medley, Dr. John Junco Partner, Professor Longhair Mess Around, Professor Longhair Jambalaya, Professor Longhair Mardi Gras Day, Dr. John Meet Me Tomorrow Night, Professor Longhair How Long Has That Train Been Gone, Professor Longhair Mean Ol' World, Professor Longhair Rockin' Pneumonia, Professor Longhair Stag-O-Lee, Professor Longhair Rum And Coke, Professor Longhair (They Call Me) Dr. Professor Longhair, Professor Longhair Doin' It, Professor Longhair Iko Iko, Dr. John Memories Of Prof. Longhair, Dr. John Junko Partner, Dr. John Mother In Law/Lipstick Traces, Allen Toussaint She Walks Right In, Professor Longhair Ball The Wall, Professor Longhair In The Night, Professor Longhair Hey Now Baby, Professor Longhair Some Iko, Henry Butler Tiger Rag, Preservation Hall Jazz Band When the Saints Go Marching In, Tuts Washington Ode to Fess, Henry Butler Tipitina and Me, Allen Toussaint Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home), Preservation Hall Jazz Band Bourbon Street Blues, Dukes Of Dixieland Basin Street Blues, Harry Connick, Jr.
Sorry for the lack of picture. My night food pictures just do not turn out well. I served a Fat Tuesday meal tonight because I'm making stuffed pizza tomorrow. No reason for the switcheroo except Jeff won't be home until late tonight. I did not make the intended King Cake because I heard it isn't that awesome (dry). Is that true?
If you get Penzey's catalog, you will find a coupon for a free spice. This month's spice is Cajun Seasoning. Looking for a way to cook it, I used this recipe as a guideline on how to make Blackened Cajun Chicken.
The chicken turned out excellent - real moist and delicious. I think I'm going to find a way to blacken a butterflied chicken (hammered thin) that can be used for sandwiches with some cuban rolls. Cajun and Cuban together? Oh yeah - it will be excellent! I served this chicken with some brown rice and glazed carrots. This meal was enough to feed 4 people.
A few things I did different from the original recipe besides using a pre-made spice: I oiled the breasts with Canola oil (olive oil has a low smoking point) and baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes rather than the recommended 5 minutes. I don't know about you, but I don't really like raw chicken. I thought I was going to put the cast iron skillet into the oven from the stovetop but the skillet was smoking like crazy (unfiltered Camels). Seriously, it was open the windows and turn on the fans smoking. Maybe I need to season the skillet again.
Ingredients Penzey's Cajun Seasoning 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts Vegetable Oil (I used Canola Oil)
Special Tool Cast Iron Skillet
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While pre-heating, take your chicken breasts out of the fridge. Now's not the time to be cooking direct from the freezer. Line a baking pan or baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with a little oil. Put your cast iron skillet on the burner and set it to high 5 minutes before you are ready to begin seasoning.
Lightly oil your chicken breasts on both sides. Liberally season your chicken breast with the Cajun Seasoning. Rub it in. Turn the chicken over and season again. Rub it in. Wash your hands very well. Twice.
Place your chicken breasts in the hot skillet. Count to 60 and turn them over. Count to 60 again.
Place your chicken breasts in your baking pan or baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake until the juices run clear - about 25 minutes.
Here's a fun craft that looks pretty darn neat hanging in your windows. Aidan and I made cellophane hearts and they are easy!
Heavyweight, decorative paper
Small, round paper punch
Twine, ribbon or string for hanging (optional)
Suction hook cups for hanging (optional)
Take two pieces of your decorative paper and place wrong sides together. Fold in half and cut your prettiest heart out. You are trying to cut two, identical hearts.
Move your scissors inside your heart about an inch and cut another heart out from the heart you just cut. This will give you that nice heart border.
Cut a piece of cellophane a little larger than your heart. Now I used cellophane from a roll. If you have sheets of cellophane, you may wish to adjust your heart size first before cutting so that the cellophane will fit.
Using your glue stick, glue the entire wrong side of one heart. Then, gently place the heart on your cellophane. Make sure the cellophane is nice and smooth. Turn the cellophane over.
Glue the wrong side of your second heart. Carefully place the glue side down on the reverse side of the cellophane and match the edges of the first heart you glued down. If your edges don't line up exactly, do not fret. It will be difficult to notice when the sunlight is prettily shining through it.
Let the glue dry for a moment and then trim the cellophane around the outside edge of the heart. You may even trim your heart a little in the process as it will give you a cleaner edge.
Paper punch in the middle of your heart and hang directly on a suction cup hook or string some pretty ribbon through the hole to hang. My first picture shows both techniques. I made the top heart. Aidan - who is 6 - made the bottom one. It is hard to see but he put another heart on his in the middle. Off topic - I wish I could fix my neighbor's top window.
The second picture shows the paper in more detail. I used scrapbook paper. I don't think it matters as you really don't notice anything but the beautiful cellophane.
This is a simple little project my Mom and I came up when trying to figure out what to do with the leftover hearts from my Fabric Hanging Heart Garland. I realize that the instructions may be a bit basic as it is easy enough to look at the garland to figure it out. But I thought it would help to explain how I did it.
Heart paper punch (necessary if you can't cut your hearts freehand)
Thin twine or string (smaller in diameter than your small paper punch)
Magnetic tape or thin, self-adhesive magnets
Punch the desired number of hearts out using you heart paper punch. You can use the old-school technique of folding your paper and cutting your hearts, too.
Use a small paper punch to punch a hole on each side of the heart.
Cut a length of twine or string long enough for you to feel comfortable tying a shoelace bow (I used about 2 1/2 inches). Cut 7 pieces for a 6-heart garland - this includes one piece for between each heart set and the ends.
Tie a shoelace bow (as in how you tie your shoes) with your twine/string to connect each heart to the next. Do not overlap the hearts, rather set them side-by-side. Trim the extra twine/string. Tie a bow on each end of the ending hearts.
Cut a small square of magnetic tape and attach to each end heart. This allows the middle hearts to hang nicely.
Attach to your refrigerator or file cabinet or another fine, magnetic surface.