We’re smack in the middle of January and I don’t even know how that happened. Wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve? Time is clearly not on my side. But I’m very excited about 2014. It’s a new year, a clean slate, an empty page that holds so much possibility. What do I want from this year? It’s a hodgepodge of big and small: more adventure, less time in front of the computer, comfortable short boots, better skin, more hikes! And as I already mentioned in my last post, lots of soup.
If time is running away from me, it is at least getting me closer to knocking off one of my travel must-dos: visit New Orleans! We were lucky to snag a fantastic deal on air fare and will spend 10 days at the end of January and into February in the Big Easy. I’m excited and also a little confused since the weather there is a little wonky at the moment. Cold, cold nights (even colder than our Vancouver winters) with some afternoons that reach temperatures of a standard Vancouver summer. How is a girl supposed to pack – especially since we’re hoping to travel with only a carry-on bag. We’re renting an apartment in the Bywater neighbourhood and plan on walking and biking most everywhere. Tips, suggestions on where to eat, drink, enjoy are more than welcome in the comments! Thanking you in advance.
If there’s another thing that we all can use more of is raw vegetables and the incentive to eat them. Lo and behold, this crazy delicious dill yogurt dip! I made it for our Boxing Day open house and it was well-appreciated. It has a ton of flavour – bright with lemon and herbs and tangy from the yogurt. And it’s thick so it won’t slide off your carrot stick. It even has the stamp of approval from 2 very rambunctious small boys, so there you are. A dip of the gods!
So, if your resolution was to eat more vegetables, you can’t go wrong with this tasty little number. Enjoy!
dill yogurt dip for vegetables
This is a very versatile dip and a crowd favourite. In the past, I’ve used a mixture of half sour cream and half yogurt, but since I rarely have sour cream in the house, I’m firmly rooted in Camp Yogurt. It’s delicious either way. Adjust the fresh herbs to whatever you’ve got on hand, though I love the big hit of dill in this version. Multiplies easily for a crowd.
1 c greek yogurt
2 T red onion, minced
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
zest from 1 lemon
1/2 – 3/4 t kosher salt
1 t aleppo pepper (or 1/4 – 1/2 t cayenne pepper)
2 T fresh dill, minced
1 T fresh parsley, minced
a few drops of hot sauce, optional
Combine all ingredients and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavours to blend. Serve with plenty of fresh vegetables, crackers and pita bread.
This looks great! I love a good dill dip! I’m so jealous of your trip. Have so much fun! I remember this GOOP new orleans guide from 2010 and maybe there are some goodies inside http://goop.com/journal/go/96/new-orleans. Also, I have two pairs of the Sam Edelman Petty boot and I love them. One in black suede and one in brown leather. Maybe it will knock that short comfortable boot off of your list 🙂 I also love the Madewell biker boot and sometimes they have a 20 or 30% off sale.
New Orleans! Best place I’ve ever eaten!!
Don’t miss Nola, of course and I have to say that I had the best meal I’ve ever had in my entire life at K-Paul’s. It was absolutely epic…
It goes without saying beignets at Cafe Dumonde (with coffee and chicory)…
Another favorite was Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine’s…
OH and if you see a roadside stand with crawfish, suck down a few!!!
You will LOVE it..
Fried Alligator at Royal House, just so you can say you did it…
and one last thought – anytime you see fried green tomatoes on the menu as an appetizer, order them! you won’t be sorry….
This sounds delicious!
New Orleans is one of my top cities to visit, so jealous! I would watch Anthony Bourdain’s shows and eat where he ate. 🙂
I had a similar packing quandary when we drove to Palm Springs in November- first and last few days were Pacific Northwest winter, then straight into hot hot California days! I found layering a fleece and a raincoat wasn’t too bad. Wear your coat and boots on the plane, pack your sandals, and bring leggings to layer under your dresses at night?
Of course, I’d second Cafe Du Monde.
A great place to grab lunch is Cochon Butcher; you should try the muffaletta sandwich! They also have bacon pralines which are crazyyy.
You should also stop at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, “the oldest continually occupied bar in the United States,” and the Spotted Cat for music.
Camellia Grill is a great diner where the staff wear white coats and are super friendly. I may have had a slice of chocolate pecan pie AFTER my breakfast (they heat it on a griddle with butter!)…
I didn’t spend very long there, but these were the highlights of my trip.
Also, go to Willie Maes Scotch House for fried chicken. I didn’t make it there, but my friends said the chicken is to die for and they also spotted Spike Jonze there.
I was just there over Christmas. We had a great meal at Dominica. You may need a reservation.
It was also cold when we were there, about 45 F
Quick question for you: where do you buy aleppo pepper in Vancouver? I’ve looked a few places in the past without any luck. Thanks!
Pizza delicious in bywater, happy hour at American sector, brunch at the country club, barcade
Yes, I’m one of those “I must eat more veggies” people. I think this dip would work wonderfully to get me to eat celery sticks, which I’m not a fan. I read an article recently about how good they are for us.
And as for New Orleans, no suggestions to offer you except that they sell glass skull bottles with booze in them that I think are so cool….for decoration purposes 🙂 Have a wonderful time! So jealous of your trip. I desperately want to get out of Toronto and away from all the snow and cold.
I love dill dip. This looks wonderful!
I have one recommendation for New Orleans. When I was there the first time I took this wonderful picture of a cafe in the French Quarter. I haven’t actually eaten here. But it looks like a really nice place to eat. Its called Café Amélie on Royal Street. Also, you should try fried alligator. I thought it was really good!
SoBou @ the W was pretty cool, you have your own personal beer taps. Also Crescent City Brewhouse was good, too. And don’t forget the beignets, Cafe du monde is it. Don’t inhale while eating…
How fun! NOLA is awesome and I think you will really love it! I brunched at a place called Stanley Restaurant while I was there. Super.
I love New Orleans! It has an amazing energy and spectacular food. Here is the list I put together of the places I went:
Have fun in New Orleans! I’ve never been, but have always wanted to go, so I’ll be looking to you for recommendations when you get back.
If you’re going to be in the Bywater, don’t miss Elizabeth’s on Gallier! http://www.elizabethsrestaurantnola.com
This looks delicious! I am always looking for another dip for vegetables in addition to hummus. I am going to try this. I love your recipes. Your vegetarian fajitas have been a family hit for several years!
I saw the opening of the Rum House Caribbean Taqueria on the Food Network. Looks awesome, casual and fun.
Thanks Nicole, I can’t wait! And thank you for the Goop tips! Looks like there are things I haven’t noticed yet! Also, thanks for the boot recs – I’ll see if I can find a pair to try on.
Oooh, that’s what I hear RMW! We plan on renting a car for the last few days of the trip, so there will be trips into Cajun country! Thanks 🙂
Lydia, me too! The weather is stressing me out, we’ll see how it goes!
Megan, thank you! Some good recs here 🙂
Darci, thanks for the suggestion and I’m a little saddened that it won’t be warmer while we’re there.
Sarah, I buy it at the Gourmet Warehouse! I can also find it at a shop on Commercial Drive around 2nd Ave (I think) – a large market that carries a lot of Mediterranean foods. Good luck!
Joanne, I love celery sticks so I don’t need more convincing!
A second vote for fried alligator…I guess I’ll have to try it. Thanks Sarah!
Great tips, thanks Lmurr!
Thanks Joanne, I can’t wait!
Awesome list, Stacy, thanks!
Sheena, I hope I can do you proud 🙂
Donna, that was one of the first places I read about in the Bywater!
Erica, so glad to hear it! I hope you like this dip too – it’s delicious.
Lisa, I’ll look into it, thanks!
Definitely check out Coop’s place in New Orleans. It’s a little hole in the wall bar, but the food and drinks were fantastic. I will second the vote for Antoine’s. Definitely try the Barbecued Shrimp. They are not at all what you would expect, but they are crazy delicious. The fried crab claws were also a revelation. And don’t waste your time with the hurricane. There are much tastier drinks to be found. The horse and buggy ride through the french quarter was really nice and informative. And the pharmacy museum is quite cool. If you go to the voodoo museum you might get to hold a snake! I did. It was crazy. Have a great time.
Wow, I’m super jealous that you get to go to NOLA for 10 days! We went last year but we could only get away for 3 days, and I felt like it wasn’t nearly long enough. We LOVED it. I literally don’t think we ate a bad bite of food the entire time we were there. We went to Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Muriel’s, Casamento’s…I can’t even remember all the other places we went–there was so much awesome! Bourbon Street was gross in our opinion (we’re not really party animals), but the energy in the french quarter is pretty infectious. We also had lots of classic cocktails, like a sazerac at the Sazerac Bar, a french 75 at, you guessed it, French 75 bar. Took a carriage ride around the city, which was lovely and romantic. Honestly, it was probably one of the best trips my husband and I have ever taken. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it immensely!
Yummy! Great flavors!
Jeannette! You’re going to be in my city!
You should go and get ice cream at Creole Creamery to eat in the abnormally warm weather. And get a fabulous banh mi sandwich at Dong Phuong Bakery, which is way out where I live, not near the Bywater at all, but totally worth a trip. And then eat at Lebanon’s on Carrollton, another one of my favorite places.
I will try not to get too excited and stalk you, I promise.
My fiancée and I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans this past August! It was an absolute blast–great food, fantastic sights, and the energy in the city is so vibrant and inspiring! We can’t wait to go back–the absolute charm and spirit of New Orleans city are unmatched!
In terms of some restaurant recommendations, Café du Monde for beignets and café au lait, Alfonso’s on Frenchman Street, Coop’s Place, Cochon (the ribs were awesome!), and Central Grocery (the original owners invented the muffuletta sandwich. Sidenote: we also saw their grave in St. Roch cemetery).
Frenchman Street is SO much better than Bourbon Street (Bourbon is overcrowded, smelly, tourist-y … we were not fans). The best music that we heard on our entire trip was a band of teenagers playing on a corner of Frenchman Street–absolutely incredible!! We did a bicycle tour of the Ninth Ward with Ninth Ward Rebirth Bike tours. The tour was led by a History Ph.D. student and his passion for his city makes for an excellent tour. The bike tour was powerfully eye-opening and the resiliency of the residents of the Ninth Ward is unforgettable. We attended a Sunday morning church service at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church. It was absolutely wonderful–the church’s gospel choir was unbelievable and the entire congregation was SO welcoming to us. We visited City Park, but we did not have much luck there as the Sculpture Garden that we were hoping to see was closed (we didn’t know to check the hours in advance). From what I have read, the Sculpture Garden has a great collection of art and there is also supposed to be a “singing tree” in the Park full of wind chimes that I would have liked to have found. City Park is also close to many cemeteries.
We visited Cajun Country for a few days (we were so excited when we spotted our first fields of sugar cane!). We stayed in a small town called Breaux Bridge (Café des Amis is a lovely restaurant). We did a swamp tour in Breaux Bridge with Cajun Country Swamp tours. For only $20 we spent the best two hours exploring the swamp–what struck us the most about the swamp was how diverse, beautiful, and peaceful it was. Very interesting.
New Orleans was an unforgettable trip and I know that you will LOVE it! I can’t wait to hear about your trip and the places that you visit! Safe, happy travels to you and to your husband!
Francie, thank you for your tips!! Coop’s is definitely on my list – can’t wait!
Jen, I’ve heard that Bourbon Street is like vegas so it doesn’t really appeal to us, but I can’t wait to check out all the different neighbourhoods. Thanks for your recs 🙂
Jinger!! Hooray 🙂 I’m looking forward to it and I hope for some warm weather, though it does seem to be on the chilly side while we’ll be there. I’ll cross my fingers for a few warm days though – must eat ice cream!! And stalk away 🙂
Amy, what a rundown of your trip!! I’m definitely going to put City Park & the sculpture garden on my list. I love things like that (& I’ll make sure to check the hours). We also plan on heading to Breaux Bridge too! Okay, now I’m super excited, thank you!!!