Shopping in New Orleans

Give the Gift of NOLA

Christmas OrnamentAre you looking for a last-minute gift for a New Orleans native who’s moved to another city? Or for a friend or family member who loves visiting New Orleans? Or simply your family and friends who would appreciate your own love for the city? This holiday season, you can give the gift of New Orleans to any giftee, and you have many options at your disposal.

Fleurty Girl

Fleurty Girl sells a huge range of gifts, including some very unique gifts, from cocktail-named, hand-stamped towels or a fleur de lis nightlight to a vintage New Orleans map, cuff bracelet, cosmetic bag or mouse pad. The store also carries plenty of T-shirts, books, music, footwear, accessories and gifts for the home—just about anything you can think of, all in delightful New Orleans themes. Gift prices run the gamut, and gift cards are available as well.

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New Orleans Christmas Celebrations

Celebration in the Oaks

New Orleans is a fantastic city to spend Christmas in, whether or not you have family in town. The city is alight with Christmas-themed things to do, many of which are common in other cities but have a unique New Orleans twist. From light displays to caroling in Jackson Square, you’ll find plenty of Christmas celebrations this holiday season.

New Orleans Christmas in the District is one such celebration, and it lasts from now until Jan 5th.  Sponsored by the New Orleans Convention Center, the event features Concerts at the Plaza every Wednesday at 5:30pm, including the National WWII Museum Victory Bells and more this Wed., Dec. 18th. There are also brand new holiday-themed light displays synchronized to music going on every day of the week. The music is provided by 93.9 FM so that drivers can tune in on their car radios, and they run each night from 5:00pm to 11:00pm.

City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks lights up City Park each year with one of the best holiday light festivals in the country draped among the park’s magnificent oak trees and gardens. 13 gated acres of the park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland and Carousel Gardens all take part in the lights display. The park’s attractions and Storyland area are also open for adults and children alike to take part in the fun and fantasy land. The Cajun night before Christmas display is one of the most popular spots in addition to New Orleans’ iconic snowman, Mr. Bingle.

This Sunday, Dec. 22nd, you can partake in the 58th annual Caroling in Jackson Square, which is a beloved and moving tradition in the city. A candlelit crowd sings spirit-lifting carols in front of the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral. The gates open at 6:30pm, and caroling begins promptly at 7pm. Candles and sheet music are provided.

Held on most days until Dec. 23rd, the St. Louis Cathedral plays host to Christmas concerts that feature Christmas carols and gospel favorites in the lovely backdrop of this historic cathedral. The concerts are free and begin at 8pm. Jeremy Davenport will play on the 18th, Thomas Kientz on the 19th, and the final concert will feature the St. Louis Cathedral Choir at 5:30pm on Dec. 22nd.

These are a few of the biggest events held throughout the city, but you can find plenty more hosted by different churches and social groups if you know where to look. Even just driving around the city looking at the lights on homes in different neighborhoods is a wonderful way to spend a holiday evening. We hope you visit New Orleans this holiday season, and we’d love to see you over at Southern Comfort B&B!

French Quarter Bars New Orleans Dining New Orleans Events

French Market’s Holiday Cooking Demonstrations

Commanders palace crab soup

 

 

 

No matter what a holiday or celebration calls for, in New Orleans, rest assured that food will play a major role in the festivities. Whether that’s cooking at home for family and friends or learning how to cook from local masters, food always finds a way into the holiday fun.

Cooking demonstrations have become a popular travel activity, as visitors often love to take home a new set of recipes or cooking methods from the places they visit. Already known worldwide for its unique and timeless cuisine, New Orleans is a city rife with opportunities to bring a fresh cooking experience home for the holidays.

This year, as part of the holiday celebrations, The Market Stage at the French Market will host a series of holiday cooking demonstrations by local professional chefs. These demonstrations will give both locals and visitors a chance to see various dishes, prepared by the masters themselves, that they can bring home to their own holiday tables.

The demonstrations take place on Tuesdays through Fridays in December from Dec. 17th through 20th at 2pm, and they last about 30 minutes, plus samplings to follow. Admission is free for all, but seating is limited. read more »

New Orleans Events New Orleans Festivals

NOLA Lit Fest: 2013 Words & Music Festival

cocktail glass filled to the top sitting on a napkin from the Hotel Monteleone

Literature is ingrained in the history of New Orleans, and many authors have lived in and loved the city, both visitors and natives alike. You can enjoy a few different festivals celebrating this long lit history and current state of reading and writing, and one is the upcoming Words & Music Festival this week and weekend, Dec. 4th-8th. The event centers at Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St), including the lobby and Carousel Bar upstairs in addition to rooms upstairs.

Both established and up-and-coming writers alike join together with other scholars, editors, publishers and performing artists to share their passions of the art of writing and reading. You’ll find ticketed events to panel discussions, readings, writing sessions, manuscript critiques, book signings, music events and more. There’s even a black tie award ceremony for writers who win the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, a creative writing competition of previously unpublished work in categories such as narrative non-fiction, short story, essay and poetry, among others.

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Southern Comfort Recipes

New Orleans-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes

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 Looking to bring a little taste of New Orleans to your Thanksgiving table? Enjoy some of the city’s unique ingredients and cooking styles to create a Southern and often Creole-style meal or sides to share with your family, friends and coworkers this holiday season. Here are three recipes to try.

 

Mirliton Casserole with Crabmeat, Crawfish and Shrimp (courtesy of Nola.com)

Makes 24 to 30 side-dish servings

12 medium to large mirlitons, scrubbed

2 sticks (1/2 pound) plus 2 tablespoons butter

4 cups finely chopped yellow onions

6 large cloves garlic, minced

6 medium bay leaves

1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over

1 pound peeled crawfish tails, coarsely chopped

1 pound peeled boiled shrimp, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste

3/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

3 tablespoons Worcestershire

2 1/2 (about) cups Italian-style fine dry bread crumbs read more »

New Orleans Events

Hell Yes Fest: New Orleans’ Comedy Gold

Prytania TheaterOver the next week, New Orleans’ annual fall comedy fest, Hell Yes Fest (Nov. 12th-18th), will fill seven New Orleans venues with comedy lovers and performers of all types. From sketch and improv to stand-up, films and full productions, dozens of performers will put on shows that have a little something for everyone.

Hell Yes Fest is an annual comedy festival held in November in New Orleans and each April in Austin, TX. While those in the comedy scene have long said that New Orleans has not been a center or accessible city for good comedy, the scene is coming back with a vengeance to prove the quality and quantity of comedians located in and around New Orleans (plus some of the fest’s special visiting acts).

Different shows for Hell Yes Fest take place at a handful of venues throughout the city. Opening night, headlining weekend shows and closing night will all take place at One Eyed Jacks, and Hell Yes Film Fest’s opening night is at Prytania Theater. All sketch comedy shows and podcast recordings are hosted at The New Movement, and all improv comedy shows take place at The Shadowbox. Special production shows take place at Café Istanbul. Most stand-up comedy shows are held at Hi-Ho Lounge except for one stand-up showcase which will be held at House of Blues.

The Hell Yes Film Fest is the cinematic portion of the comedy festival. Screenings for the spotlight feature The Bounceback and NOLA Webseries Sunken City will be held at Prytania Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 13th. The Standup/Short Film Mashup, featuring such short films as Red Light, Model Wife and How It’s Made, will take place at Hi-Ho Lounge on Thursday, Nov. 14th. On Friday, Nov. 15th, you can see the film Summer League at Café Istanbul. read more »

New Orleans Festivals

Mirliton Festival – 2013

Mirliton Festival In New Orleans, we love our mirlitons. This light green, pear-shaped member of the squash family is popular in casseroles and stuffed with seafood, especially around the winter holiday season. Just in time for the holidays to begin, you can check out the Bywater neighborhood’s Mirliton Festival held this Saturday, Nov. 9th.

The 24th annual celebration of the mirliton features great music, food from Bywater eateries, an artists’ village and various activities for the kids, making it the perfect festival for attendees of all ages. This year, you can enjoy live performances from musical guests like The Tin Men, Meschiya Lake, Gal Holiday, Kristen Diable, Strange Roux and more.

The Mirliton Festival will be held on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at The Brickyard at 3036 Chartres St. Admission is $5, and children 12 and under are free. read more »