Taste of Home Cooking School- Let’s Go!

Cooking School Logo

Do you guys read the Taste of Home magazine?

I have a subscription, and I especially love their Special Edition magazine/books they publish seasonally. I can always find a recipe I want to try, or a project I want to tackle contained within those pages.

I was really excited to discover that the Taste of Home Cooking School Culinary Specialists and Cooking School Team responsible for so many of those mouth watering recipes host nationwide cooking schools! For people like you and me.

Cooking School Logo

A day of cooking demonstrations, vendor taste testing, gift bags, and just a day of, well, fun!

Don’t believe me?

Then watch this short video from a previous Cooking School, I bet it’ll get you pumped up!

I am so excited that I’ve been asked to special guest host the Birmingham, AL Cooking School event on Thursday, Oct. 3rd!

While there, I’ll be chatting with attendees about their experience, I’ll be going behind the scenes with Culinary Specialist Michelle “Red” Roberts, and what I’m most excited about…..I’ll be bringing aprons with me!

And because when in Rome, do as the Romans.

And when in Alabama, do as the Alabamans (is that a word?).

I’ll have this one:

Alabama Houndstooth Apron by Aimee Broussard & Co.

(Photo: via)

And this one:

Auburn Aprons by Aimee Broussard & Co.

(Photo: via)

And who knows, I might even be spotted running around in one myself.

I can’t wait to meet Michelle, the Culinary Specialist for next week’s event, and learn a thing or two!

Originally from Eddiceton, Mississippi Michelle started cooking at the early age of 6, learning the basics with her easy bake oven.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Arts from the Mississippi University for Women and has worked in the restaurant industry and served in an internship with a popular national magazine!

I wonder if I can get her in an apron?

For more information on the Taste of Home Cooking School & Blog, click here.

For more information on a Taste of Home Cooking School near you & to purchase tickets, click here.

For more information on how you can get me and my aprons at a Taste of Home Cooking School near you, click here.

Just joking! But that would be a really fun link, huh?

Now, if you ARE in the Birmingham, AL area and don’t have plans next week I’d LOVE to hear from you!

This show is special as it involves TWO cooking shows, and is part of the Southern Women’s Show.

You’ll get to SHOP in between cooking shows. Hooray!

I have 2 tickets that I’ll be giving away and I’d LOVE to spend the day with you.

Just comment below or drop me an email and let me know you want to come play.

And if you’re not local to Birmingham, be sure to follow along next week while the aprons take on Alabama & the Taste of Home Cooking School!

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Oak Alley Plantation (and a Mint Julep stand!)

Oak Alley Plantation

 Hi Ya’ll, Aimee here. Your unofficial, official Oak Alley Plantation tour guide.

 

Oak Alley Plantation, referred to as “The Grand Dame of River Road” is located in Vacherie, Louisiana. I always mistake that it’s “on the way to New Orleans” but I’m directionally challenged. I will say that it’s about an hour’s drive for me in Baton Rouge.

It’s probably one of my favorites for a couple reasons that I’m about to share with you.

For starters, the alley of Oak trees.

There is something really magical about such large trees with such impressive stories.

Don’t you wish they could speak?

I’m pretty sure their stories would be quite interesting.

Additionally, Oak Alley has a Mint Julep stand.

Yes, they sell lemonade too but can we just pause for a moment and reflect on the sheer joy of obtaining  a Mint Julep from a Mint Julep stand?


After your trip to the Mint Julep stand, you can stroll through the reconstructed slave quarters on your way to the restaurant and gift shop.

I really don’t like typing “slave quarters” but calling them the “helpers quarters” sort of just skirts over the issue of what they were called.

Oak Alley has the purchase prices listed in a separate history marker and it made me cry on the entire walk to the restaurant.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come, but embarrassing that at one point in history a human being could purchase a mother and her children for less than $800.

It broke my heart for that mother and her children.

A woman I will never know, or have no connection to.

But whose innocent children were part of a package deal.

Sigh.

It was going to take some serious good food to cheer up my depressed mood.

Oak Alley Restaurant did not disappoint.

We had the Louisiana Crawfish Cake for an appetizer.

Here’s the menu description:

Louisiana Crawfish Tails, Creole Seasonings, Sweet Potatoes, Herbs & Spices, formed in a cake, grilled in a cast iron skillet, and topped with Cajun Cream.

Oh. My. Dear. Goodness.

Note to self: You need a baby sized skillet like that.


I had the Shrimp Gumbo for lunch and ate it too fast to photograph.

Hate when that happens.

I did break long enough to snap a picture of my new best friend.

The Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake with Praline Topping.

Ya’ll. You should just go visit for the cheesecake & mint juleps.

It alone is worth the drive.

I’ve put it on my to do list to try to recreate.

I mean, I do put praline topping on just about anything anyway.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my little saunter through Oak Alley.

See ya at the next one.

Bocage Plantation (And a BIG Annoucement)

Bocage Plantation

Bocage Plantation

Oh, give me a home

Where the crafters will roam.

Where the ribbon and scissors will play……

Where seldom is heard,

A discouraging word.

And the hem on your fabric won’t fray!

Home, home on the range.

Where the ribbon and scissors will play!

Wondering where the heck I’m going with this post?

I did it, ya’ll. I put my foot down and set out to achieve a dream I’ve had for, well, forever.

To book an entire Plantation.

To rally my favorite crafty friends.

To invite women from all over the country to experience the loves of my life.

Southern living.

Antique shopping.

Encouraging connections.

Late night pajama parties.

And out of control CRAFTING.

I am proud to announce the SOUTHERN CRAFT ACADEMY FOUNDERS!

(Me, Stacy- She’s Kinda Crafty, Susie- Susie Harris Blog)

We’ll unveil the rest of the details next week, but for now save the date for August 2-4th, 2013 and start frantically googling how far you are from Baton Rouge, LA.

Tickets will fly.

Tears will be shed.

And if that’s enough to encourage you, we’ll be having nightly cocktail hour before bed.

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If you’d like to be given first priority to ticket information, please send us an email to southerncraftacademy@gmail.com

This event is HIGHLY limited.

Houmas House Plantation

Houmas House Plantation

When you live in the heart of the South, plantations become your playgrounds.

I have always had a bit of an obsession with them.

I did my engagement photos at the former Tezcuco Plantation in Burnside.

I married in 2010 at Loyd Hall Plantation in Cheneyville.

I spent my last anniversary at Nottaway Plantation.

And I’ve participated in festivals at Oak Alley Plantation and San Fransisco Plantation.

All of that to say, I am often asked about particular ones, which ones are open for tours, which ones have lunch offerings or attached restaurants, or which ones  function as bed and breakfasts.

I am always happy to help, but it got me thinking that I should chronicle the ones I’ve been to (there’s a lot of them) and have them listed for your reference. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be uploading all my photos and adding the links to the sidebar.

If you’ve never been to a Louisiana Plantation, then grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some eye candy!

 

This past weekend, we wrapped up my birthday week at the Houmas House Plantation.

It’s relatively local and only a quick 20 minute drive from Baton Rouge.

 The lush gardens and fountains make for a nice afternoon away from the hustle and bustle.

 

 

The property sits on 38 acres of gardens, fountains and massive Oak trees. One is said to be over 500 years old!

Lunch at the Cafe Burnside is nestled inside this quaint carriage house.

 The domed area houses a hidden bar area known as the Turtle Bar is ideal for grabbing a quick Southern cocktail.

  Lunch at the Cafe Burnside included Bourbon Shrimp, roasted potatoes and petite green peas. Delicious.

This particular Plantation offers lunch most days at Cafe Burnside, a Southern Sunday brunch at the Le Petite Houmas House Restaurant, and a more upscale dinner offering at the Latil’s Landing Restaurant under Executive Chef Jeremy Langlois.

 I’ve made a mental note that I want to own dinner plates with my name on them.

 

 A tour of the home and a melody from the movie Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte played by our lovely tour guide.

 

A Japanese tea house isn’t exactly what I was expecting but is quite gorgeous.

As we were making our exit and ending our afternoon, we ran into….

 One of the puppies of legendary King Sam and Princess Grace Kelly!

 Quick story: in 2003 current owner Kevin Kelly held a LAVISH wedding ceremony for his beloved Sam and Grace (dogs). 1,800 people were invited, CNN covered the story, and it was in 175+ newspapers. The dress and veil that Grace Kelly wore? Housed in one of the rooms of the Plantation along with their certificate of marriage. While no longer with us, two of their puppies live on the grounds today with Kevin Kelly’s mother, whom he built a special wing onto the garconniere (garconniere means a place for an unmarried man to live alone) already located on the property.

So if you’re touring and you see an old lady in her house dress, with a cane, rounding up two yellow labradors- she’s the owners mother!