Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Few Writerly Things

Hello on this fine Tuesday. Hope life's treating you well. Big thanks to all who've entered the book title contest, put the link at your blog and/or Tweeted about it!

This is gonna be the hardest contest yet to judge. Hilary at The Smitten Image shared instructions on how to do a blind judging, so I might just do that, making y'all responsible for picking the winner. (If you're in need of a free virtual vacation, cruise by Hilary's place and soak up her awesome photography!)

Word wranglers of all kinds might be interested in these links ~~ 

  • Poets and prose crafters alike will enjoy this review of a subject that regularly confuses many of us -- "Hyphens, Em Dashes, Ellipses—Oh My!" by friend and word master Harvey Stanbrough.
  • If you're looking for an online class, this article link sent to me by Amber Johnson might be your cup of tea. (I don't know anything about the biz listing these resources, but the information says they are all accredited colleges.) Check out "50 Awesome Open Courses for Web Writers." 
  • And finally, if you're interested in browsing some writing contests, there's always a great listing at Writers & Poets.
What do YOU need to kickstart your writing goals?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Short & Sweet Book Title Contest!

It's time to roll out another contest in honor of fall's approach and in celebration of the blog tallying  50,000 visitors!

Since just about all my bloggy friends {Insert Hank Williams, Jr.'s All My Rowdy Friends tune here} are neck deep in the business of working on their WIPs and/or just keeping up with life in general, I'll make it easy:
  1. Pick from among the 10 photos I've taken recently  
  2. Create a corresponding book title
  3. Leave your entry (Photo number, title and genre) in a comment
  4. One per customer, please
  5. Contest runs through Sunday, October 4th, midnight Central time
  6. Winner gets choice of Writer's Delight or Cajun Goodies package
Good luck! And pass the word around, wontcha?











*Book graphic from http://asymptotia.com/

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Boudreaux & Thibodaux Meet the Devil

Gabriel comes to the Lord and says, "I have to talk to you. I have some Cajuns up here in Heaven who are causing problems. They're swinging on the pearly gates, sliding down Stairway to Heaven, and my horn is missing!"

The Lord tells Gabriel, "Do you need me to send St. Peter to help you with them? How many are there?" 

"Lord have mercy! They play their accordions and dance all night! Crawfish shells and beer cans are all over the streets of gold and they're making sausage, boudin, and cracklins! And I know you're not going to believe this, but they've eaten almost every animal up here!" 

God asks Gabriel again if he needs St. Peter or some of the other arch angels to come help him, but Gabe isn't finished with his litany of complaints...

"Some folks are walking around with one wing missing. There's barbecue sauce all over their robes and some of them aren't even wearing their halos, saying they won't wear it because it doesn't have an LSU or New Orleans Saints logo on it, Lord. Have you ever heard of such?" 

The Lord says, "I made them special, as I did you, my angel. Heaven is home to all my children. If you really want to know about problems, let's call the devil and see how he's dealing with his Cajuns."

The devil answers the phone, huffing and puffing like he's out of breath. "
Hello? Dang it, hold on!" He returns to the phone in a few minutes and says, "Hello God, what can I do for you?"

"Tell me what kind of problems you're having with the Cajuns you have down there." 

God hears shouting, and some words he can't understand, then the devil says, "Wait a minute..." and puts the Lord on hold. 

After five minutes satan returns to the phone, and says, "Okay, I'm back. What's the question?"

"What kind of problems are you having with the Cajuns down there?"

"Man, I don't believe this...hold on, God..." This time the devil is gone for 15 minutes before he comes back to the phone. "I'm sorry, God, I can't talk right now. These coon asses are making me crazy; especially the two called Boudreaux and Thibodaux! They have put out the fire, and are holding a benefit jambalaya dinner to install air conditioning down here!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

On the Big Screen...

...in which movie would you star, and which character would you be?

Photo by dalbera

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Foibles ~~ Helmet Head

"Ma'am, ma'am...'scuse me, ma'am. I think you might wanna check and see if you have your helmet on correctly. Just sayin'..."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More Than You EVER Wanted to Know About Me

Mandy over at Mandy's Life After 30 tagged me a while ago for this game, so I'm finally playing along. (I'm not tagging anyone else...being the bad rule breaker that I am, but if you wanna do it at your blog, feel free!)

Meme Rules: Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention. Then tag a few people to answer the questions.

1) What’s your current obsession? Bad reality TV, reading, great food, learning more about my camera, writing....I better stop here.

2) What’s your weirdest obsession? My family would probably say it's how much I love picking zits. (Don't hate me.)

3) What are you wearing today? As usual, scrubs.

4) Why is today special? Because I ate lunch with a good friend AND I got a nap.

5) What would you like to learn to do? Take better photos.

6) What’s the last thing you bought? Lunch for a friend yesterday and dry cleaning I had to pick up.

7) What are you listening to right now? One son coming in the house, the dog begging for attention, and the sound of my fingers tapping on the keyboard.

8) What’s your favorite weather? Cool with no humidity -- rare things in Louisiana.

9) What’s your most challenging goal right now? Balancing life as a wife & mother of three (17, 18, 20) and taking care of my mom while trying to revise my ms and work on other writing projects.

10) What do you think about the person who tagged you? Great gal!

11) What's your favorite guilty pleasure? Eating food that's not good for me and catching a nap. In that order. One after the other.

12) Favorite vacation spot? Love the beach, but anywhere that's quiet and I can be in nature.

13) What would you like to have in your hands right now? A finished and lovely manuscript!

14) What would you like to get rid of? Clutter & negative/selfish people. 

15) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? To a deserted island with a good book. 

16) Which language do you want to learn? Agentese. :D

17) What super power would you like to possess? I'd like to be able to shoot rainbows out of my fingertips. LOL

18) What’s your favorite thing about the city you live in? Baton Rouge is an awesome conglomeration of cultures. A beautiful melting pot of flavors, peoples, foods, you name it.

19) What’s your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet? A vintage dress and coat with fake fur collar. And my thrift store pointy yellow cowboy boots!

20) What’s your dream job? Slush pile reader. And co-owner of a literary journal. Oh, wait....I have the second one! :)

21) What is the last thing that happened that made you laugh really hard? Some obnoxious gross thing my husband did last night.

22) Do you admire anyone’s style? My twin sister has great style and panache. I have none.

23) Describe your personal style. Slouchy, comfortable, blah.

24) Who’s fashion show would you want tickets to? I love some of the work on this season's Project Runway. (See guilty pleasure list above.)  

25) What talent would you like to have? Keeping mouth closed more often.

26) What are you most proud of? My kidlets, of course!

27) If you could choose one person to have lunch with who would it be and why? A famous Noo Yawk literary agent who's read my manuscript and could rake me over the coals tell me exactly what to do with/to my women's fiction manuscript.
Now, if you read through all that drivel, THANKS! How about answering #4 (Why is today special?) in comments and/or tell me what you think about memes?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hello, Muse?

...and how do YOU make contact?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Ain't Ya Momma's Squash

My twin sister Alaine, being jealous of the rave reviews I've been receiving at my parents' house for recent culinary successes, decided to put on her Betty Crocker apron and do the squash tango. :D 

All kidding aside, this is some of the best squash I've ever tasted! Although she reports needing a hacksaw to open the hardheaded veggie, the end results were well worth the effort. (I'm just sorry she didn't have a camera on hand to capture the beautiful finished product!)

Photo by erin.kkr

Alaine's Maple Apple Jack Pecan Squash

1 butternut sqush, stemmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. cinnamon-sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
5 Tbsp. plus 1tsp. Jack Daniel's bourbon
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 equal pieces
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 chopped Granny Smith apples

Preheat oven to 375 with rack positioned in center. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds---hollow out stem section to hold apples and nuts.

Place squash halves cut side up in a large baking dish with sides at least 1-1/2 inches high. Sprinkle the hollow of each squash half with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place half of the apples and nuts into squash. Pour 1 Tbsp. maple syrup and 2 tsp. bourbon over each half and top with butter pat. Season to preference. (If not baking immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Pour hot water into the pan around the squash halves to a depth of 1 inch (this helps keep the bottoms from burning). Cover the entire dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the flesh can just be pierced with a knife. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.

Serve warm. Yum-mmmy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Brain Food


Here's hoping for a great week ahead. To get us started the right way, some food for thought:

Which of your personal dreams or goals, if like this beautiful cactus flower with its very short lifespan, would you nurture and encourage to bloom today? 


4:30 A.M. (glorious birth)

9:30 A.M. (forever closing)

Whatever your dream, may it live a long and gratifying life! 

*brain photo by RogueSun Media

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Boudreaux & Thibodaux - Crime on da Bayou

One day Boudreaux and his wife go to town to run some errands. They stop at the Bank of Golden Meadow to get some cash for that night's Bourre (boo-ray) game.

They're standing in the line waiting their turn when an armed and hooded robber bursts through the doors, and forces the tellers to load a sack full of cash.

As the robber is on his way out the door with the loot, one brave Cajun customer grabs the hood and pulls it off, revealing the robber's face.

The robber shoots the guy without hesitation! He then looks around the bank to see if anyone else has seen him. 

One of the tellers is looking straight at him and the robber walks o
ver and calmly shoots him also.

Everyone by now is very scared and looking down at the floor.

"Did anyone else see my face?" calls the robber.

There are a few moments of silence...then Boudreaux looking down,  tentatively raises his hand and says:

"Mais, I tink I seen mah wife Marie peekin'..."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Get Well, Kathryn!

Image by abarndweller

Please go by Kathryn Magendie's place and leave her some get well wishes if you have a second. Kat had an emergency appendectomy yesterday, and to make matters worse, she missed a signing that had been arranged for Tender Graces.

Sending lots of love, prayers, and good thoughts, friend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Foibles ~~ Failure to Launch?

Welcome to a new feature here at Gumbo Writer's place. Management hopes you will enjoy these FRIDAY FOIBLES (*whoops* and *oopsies* the human animal often performs). It's my way of saying happy TGIF to you!

When you see the stick figure plunging down the stairs, you'll be reminded that Friday's finally here and a laugh is coming right up.

Now, to recap the schedule here at the blog, on Mondays we explore brain food and useless trivia usually; Tuesdays are yummy recipe day; Wednesdays are all about writing; Thursday is a sorta hodgepodge catch-all day which sometimes also feature writing stuff; on Fridays we showcase something for your funny bone (Friday Foibles or Ledbetter Lunacy); Saturdays are potluck because y'all are all busy to be stuck in front of your computers; and Sundays we round the week off with nonsense from those crazy Cajuns Boudreaux & Thibodaux.

Back to the Foibles -- The premiere installment of FF shows Bubba trying to launch his boat. Perhaps he has failed to fully grasp the concept. Judge for yourself. And have a great weekend!

Graphic by: by jyri

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Open for Submissions....You-hoooo!

Even though we've been busily packing boxes to move into our almost ready Rose & Thorn Journal home, the fall issue will be out on October 15th! We've got some great work ready to unveil at the new site and in our brand spankin' new newsletter.

And almost as exciting, reading is open again for both prose and poetry. Check out Rose & Thorn's submission guidelines and see if you don't have something to send for consideration. Even if it doesn't fit, or we've already accepted something similar, we're always grateful to those who submit. 

We already have 15 submissions since reopening after our slothful summer period, so we're really excited! {Notes: the old R&T site says we pay $5 for acceptances, but that is incorrect. Rose & Thorn, like most literary journals and publications, is not a paying market. We've also increased the prose word limit to 3,000 so as not to exclude longer works.} 


Andre West of Dream Quest One asked me to pass along an invitation to enter his latest contest~~

The Dream Quest One Poetry & Writing Contest is open to anyone who loves expressing innermost thoughts and feelings into the beautiful art of poetry or writing a short story that is worth telling everyone! And to all who have the ability to dream… Write a poem or short story for a chance to win cash prizes. All works must be original.

Write a poem, thirty lines or fewer on any subject, style, or form, typed or neatly hand printed.

And/or write a short story, five pages maximum length, on any subject or theme, creative writing fiction or non-fiction (including essay compositions, diary, journal entries and screenwriting). Also, must be typed or neatly hand printed.

Multiple poetry and short story entries are accepted.

Postmark deadline: December 31, 2009

All winners will be announced on January 31, 2010

Writing Contest First Prize is $500. Second Prize: $250. Third Prize: $100.

Poetry Contest First Prize is $250. Second Prize: $125. Third Prize: $50.

Entry fees: $10 per short story/$5 per poem.

To send entries: Include title(s) with your story(ies) or poem(s), along with your name, address, phone#, email, brief biographical info. (Tell us a little about yourself), on the coversheet. Add a self-addressed stamped envelope for entry confirmation. Fees payable to: “DREAMQUESTONE.COM”

Mail to:
Dream Quest One
Poetry & Writing Contest
P.O. Box 3141
Chicago, IL 60654

No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. “And remember, in whatever you do, it’s okay to dream, for dreams do come true.” – Dream Quest One

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writing Tools

If you haven't checked out Poets & Writers yet, you might enjoy a stroll through the publication's Tool for Writers section. Good stuff there.

What's the best thing in your writer's toolbox?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pinch da Tails & Suck da Heads - Boiled Crawfish!

Hey Blogland buds! Don't know why, but I've got a bad hankering for some real down home food today. Sadly, that "down da bayou" item  isn't available right now. 

So we'll be prepared in the spring when they're in season and plentiful, here's a little tutorial on that most glorious of all seafood ~~ CRAWFISH!

*To begin, check out this video on how to peel and eat crawfish (locally purchased always)!

*Photo from our last family boil in April.

Crawfish Boil 

1 sack of live crawfish (@ 40 pounds) 
24 quarts water
2 8-oz. bottles Liquid Crab Boil 
2 boxes salt
1 small sack onions peeled
3 heads garlic, cut in half crosswise
8 oranges cut in half
12 lemons halved
5 pounds small red potatoes
20 small ears frozen corn
**Then throw in any- and everything else you think you might like in the spicy boil: fresh mushrooms, sausage links, lobster, Brussel sprouts, canned hams punched a few times with an icepick, you name it!

Pour crawfish into a washtub or ice chest and cover with salted water. Drain. Repeat three times or until crawfish are clean. Drain water off, discarding dead crawfish (the ones with straight vs. curled tails!) and debris. 

{This is best done outside on a fish frying rig with propane tank}: Mix water, salt and Crab Boil in a HUGE stockpot. Add in onions and garlic. Bring to a boil on high heat for about five minutes.

Add in your crawfish, corn, fresh produce and anything else you're going to cook. Return to boil. Cover and cook for five more minutes.

Turn off heat and let stand 20 minutes covered. Drain and eat. You'll never be the same again!

*Serves 8 adults @ 5 pounds crawfish each.

Dippin' Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
Pinch of garlic powder
1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)

OR: Plain ol' melted butter makes a yummy dip.

*King Rufus on the right and his brother, dumping a fresh batch.

King Rufus and his "Crawfish Tray" aka Car Caddy.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mondays Aren't Always Bad!

Photo by Tatters:)
What a weekend! Thanks for all your one-year-old Blogiversary and Happy 50th wishes you shared over the last few days. Friends like you? "That's what it's all about..." as the Hokey Pokey song says!

I've had lots o' good stuff happening lately (besides the couple of milestones), and I'm hoping the same for y'all. Here's the short list:

  • Received my contributor's copy of Christmas Traditions: True Stories that Celebrate the Spirit of the Season and a check. (Shoutin' out to Terri Tiffany whose story appears in the same anthology!)

  • Oldest son earned his Eagle Scout ranking, making his mom one proud old lady who's hoping to repeat the process with younger son next year.

  • Major major progress is being made on the building of our new website home and newsletter for Rose & Thorn Journal. Myself and Kat Magendie, author of Tender Graces and hard at work on her sequel Secret Graces, hope when we have our open house, you'll come check out the new digs for our shiny sweet literary journal. The fall issue will be out next month on the fifteenth! (**Major kudos to Team Toups for the webmastering and construction, and to Susan Kramer for the newsletter revamping!)

  • I'm gonna be guest posting at agent Rachelle Gardner's wildly popular blog. Wheee! Here's a bit of her announcement of the chosen twelve:
"A big thank you to the nearly 180 entrants in my guest blog contest! It wasn't easy, but I've finally had a chance to choose my Guest Bloggers for the rest of the year."
So that's the scoopage from Gumbo Writer. May your week begin and continue in the same good vein. And since I'm on a roll...anybody wanna come tackle this mound of dirty clothes in the laundry room for me? Okay, well I love ya anyway! :D

Saturday, September 12, 2009

9/12/2009: It's Official ~~~

I'm old as dirt!

Wonderful daughter "Queenie" planned and executed a surprise party for her mom and Nanny (my twin sister) to celebrate the Big Five-Oh last night. Isn't the cake awesome? 

It was a fun gathering of friends, family, and a heaping pot of delicious jambalaya with fixings. Both sons were on hand to help out, and DH (that's "Dear Husband" today, instead of the normal "Deer Hunter") sweated over the jambalaya pot and provided the checkbook.  

WARNING: If you see photos on someone's FaceBook, or a grainy youtube video or any other cyber likeness of Gumbo Writer playing beer pong with teenagers, let's just say it's my identical twin Alaine. :D 

Happy weekend, and may you find yourself surrounded by the important things in life: good friends and family!

*Special thanks to sister Dee for taking my shift to care for Mom so I could attend the party; to Denise for hosting the soiree; to everyone who hauled ice chests, food, tables, the daquiri machine; to Patricia for loaning us the 70s CDs; to Stacy for the beautiful flower delivery, and everyone who was able to come celebrate the POOY (Passing of our Youth) with us!

If you're 50th is still looming, what do you dread or look forward to the most? If you've already "made it," how did you celebrate?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Since I've Neglected Poetry Lately...

...go visit Harvey Stanbrough's blog and read his newest post of interest to poets.

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments on my first year as a resident of Bloggeritaville yesterday. Y'all are great!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Turning One Year Old

Photo by stuart~

Today is my blog's first birthday! It's been a wonderful year full of meeting some really great people, exchanging ideas, encouraging one another in the writing process, sharing thoughts and opinions, and in general, just having a great time.

195 of you crazy goobers follow the shenanigans that go on regularly here at Gumbo Writer. That makes me smile. And this is amazing, but my sidebar counter thingy says, "Nice folks who've dropped in since 9/10/08 = 47,131." I set a goal of blogging every single day for a year and I made it! Aaayeeeiiiiii! Don't know if I'll keep up the pace, but I definitely won't be disappearing.

When I first started this blogging journey, I had no idea of the good things in store. You have enriched my life, made me smile and LOL, been there a few times when I had a problem or was down...in other words, you've become friends. I feel blessed and grateful. Words are pitifully inadequate, so please accept my sincerest THANK YOU!

Before I get all emotional and teary, please help me blow out the candle and make a wish for yourself. Leave it in a comment if you wanna, and the rest of us will be pulling for your dream to come true.
Love y'all!  Angie Ledbetter

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Writings ~~ Guest Post by Dan Holloway

Hello blog friends. I hope life slows down soon so I can get back to my regular visiting schedule. I miss not knowing what's going on with y'all!

Tomorrow is Gumbo Writer's first birthday, so in honor of that most momentous occasion, we've got a guest in the house today. Please meet Dan Holloway who would love to answer your questions. He's got some good information to share on culture and writing:

Every Story Counts

Thank you so much to Angie for having me. I hope this post is in the wonderful, warm spirit of her blog.

I do have a serious point to make, but I’ll get it out of the way first. One of the things I like to say to people is “The stories we publish are the voice with which we speak to history.” What I mean is in two hundred years’ time, people will only know us through the stories that have survived. Technology means that more and more stories will survive – and what this post is about is outlining three of the amazing projects setting out to preserve them. But that doesn’t place less of a responsibility on publishers, it creates a greater one. Because when historians look back, they will see the published books, the “official version” of our society, and they will also see the digital version, arguably the more representative one. And when they compare the two, that’ll tell them what we as a society really valued – and more importantly, what we didn’t.

OK, that’s the contemplation done. The great news is there are more projects now devoted to preserving our world’s stories before they disappear than at any other time. The result isn’t just that history will have a clearer picture of us. The result is that our life here and now is enriched, because we can all have access to a richly-textured world of story-telling.

I want to have a very quick look at three very different projects, each of which is dedicated to keeping culture alive.

The Endangered Language Fund does exactly what you’d imagine. It works to preserve the world’s endangered languages, endowing projects to that end. Why does this matter? It’s not, after all, strictly true to say that stories are lost when a language dies out, they simply migrate to a different language. Only that’s not the full picture – anyone who’s witnessed someone from the US speaking to someone from the UK knows how deeply connected language and meaning are. There are around 6,000 endangered languages in the world.

The UNESCO Red Book lists them and categorises them under five headings, from potentially endangered to extinct. It sounds rather like the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s classification of endangered species. And as far as the richness of our world is concerned, the work is just as important.

One example of this kind of cultural preservation I came across recently is A Jay Adler’s remarkable (all the more so because he’s a self-confessed tech troglodyte, who’s dragged himself into the digital age solely to help preserve the cultures he cares about) website The Sad Red Earth. He runs the site with photographer Julia Dean. I can’t put what the site is about nearly as well as Jay and Julia, so here’s what they say:

“We are two teachers – a writer and a photographer – traveling by motor home and considering the country. We report on contemporary Native American life and comment on American society, politics, and culture. Our intent is to document the range and state of Native American life in the country today, a story that remains the most neglected and underreported in the United States. This blog, the sad red earth, is an account of our experiences as we travel the nation. At the end of our journey we intend to produce a book of photography and prose entitled Native Now: the Lives of Native Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

It’s wonderful that individuals are doing this kind of thing. It’s a little sad that it’s left to individuals to do it.

Finally, a project to remind us that the silent and the invisible exist on all our doorsteps, and speak all our languages (or, at least, use our words). ABC tales is a site designed to help everyone tell their story. In particular, it’s a site that acts as a repository for stories told by the homeless. Not just (but obviously, and importantly, including) memoirs, but fiction and poetry. And they bring those stories to a global readership.

There are people living on the streets who’ve never heard of a query letter, who wouldn’t know where to start holding a pen in their freezing hands to write a synopsis. And as a result they are totally, and unless things change permanently, excluded from the traditional world of publishing. Does that make their stories any less important? Of course it doesn’t. Perhaps even more importantly, as we take a look at our privileged selves, does that make their stories any less good than ours? Take a look and find out.

Oh, and do give me a shout on any projects doing this kind of work you know about. If I can do anything to bring them to a wider audience, I will.

Dan Holloway is the organiser of the Free-e-day festival, on online event on December 1st designed to celebrate, and offer practical help to, every writer, musician, artist, and filmmaker working outside the mainstream cultural industries. He is also co-founder of the Year Zero Writers collective.

His novel Songs from the Other Side of the Wall was a number one book in 2008 on the websites Authonomy and Youwriteon, and is now available to download for free in all e-book formats from Smashwords and as a paperback for £7.98 ($11.25) from Lulu. It tells the story of 18-year-old art student Sandrine, whose mother abandoned her when she was a week old, the day the Berlin Wall came down, as she tries to find her place in the ruins of Eastern Europe, torn between the past and the future, her family and her lover.

*Image by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bread Pudding

Although bread pudding is good all year round, it's an especially delicious dessert to serve during cold months. Since we get very little true winter weather here in Louisiana, we serve it even when it's hot outside. (Kinda like coffee...good anytime!)

Before the bread pudding directions, a heads up about our regularly scheduled Writing Wednesday post tomorrow ~~ a guest blogger with an unusual take on the writing life will be here, so don't forget to come by!

This version of the popular dessert comes courtesy of my daddy's friend Al Smith who caters and creates yummy dishes for his clients. Enjoy!

Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Can evaporated milk
1 Can water
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 stick margarine/butter
1 loaf day old French bread
1/8 Tbsp. almond extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except bread. Mix well. Tear bread into chunks and add to bowl until most of the liquid is absorbed. (Leave moist enough so that when a spoon is mashed down on the bread, liquid still oozes.)

Pour into 8x8 baking dish you've coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until light brown in color.

Amaretto Sauce

1 egg
1 Cup sugar
1 stick butter/margarine
1/3 Cup Amaretto

In top of double boiler, add sugar, egg and margarine. Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth.

Add Amaretto and cook 3-4 minutes longer. Pour over bread pudding when it is ready. Serve warm and watch the smiles appear.

*Photo by indichick7

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gumbo Gripes & Grins


If you have time between firing up the BBQ pit, hosting or attending family & friend gatherings, or just lazing around...

share your gripes (pet peeves) and grins (things that make ya smile) with your Blogorama buddies today. Enquiring minds wanna know!

To get the ball rolling, I'll start ~~

Grins: naps and a day off from life's treadmill
Gripes: rude drivers and selfish people

See how easy that was? Now, your turn....

*Photo image by Emmaline

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Another Dose of Boudreaux & Thibodaux

The Cajun Diet

After several years of eating his wife's good cooking, Boudreaux became a bit overweight, so he decides to go see his doctor and find out if there was anything he can do. 

Boudreaux arrives at the doctor's office and asks him, "Mais, Yankee Doc, an' you know I call you dat wit affection, what you gonna do to help me lose some a' dis weight?"

The doctor, after thoroughly examining his patient, says, "I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least five pounds." 

After the two weeks, Boudreaux returns to see the doc who is shocked and dumbfounded to see his patient has lost nearly 60 pounds. He asks, "Why, this is simply amazing, Mr. Boudreaux! Did you follow my instructions?"

Boudreaux nods and says, "Mais yah I did, Doc. What kinda dummy you tink I am? I'll tell ya though, I tought I was gonna drop dead on dat terd (third) day! Hoooboy!"

"From the hunger, you mean?" 

Boo scratches his head and says, "Hell no, it weren't from no hunger! It was from all dat  skipping!"

Photo by Qfamily

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Nice Things, Nice People

If you're looking for something to spark your writing efforts, check out my new friend Joey's blog. She's got a fun Labor Day Challenge going on that you might enjoy. Joey has been living and teaching abroad, but has returned this semester to the hallowed grounds of LSU! Oh lucky students.

I've been remiss in my blog visiting and also in expressing thanks to friends who awarded blingage to Gumbo Writer. I want to remedy that next.

I appreciate you Linda Hoye

and Carol Murdock
for the lovely new blog adornments! You rock and so do your blogs! 
Now, if any of you are near Mechanicsburg, PA, hustle on over to 2ndFloorGallery at 105 S. Market Street to check out Susan Girolami Kramer's photo exhibit from next week through the end of September.

Susan is Rose & Thorn Journal's newsletter designer, and she's doing a fabulous job! Can't wait for y'all to see her creative work unveiled in mid-October...because I know you're all signed up to receive those quarterly newsletters that announce our editions going live, right? *wink* 

Hoping your Labor Day weekend is going spectacularly!

*"Nice" photo by Heart of Oak

Friday, September 4, 2009

Play the TGIF ABC Game!

Photo by Beadmobile

Happy Friday y'all! To greet the end of the week, let's try a blogging word game. 
All you have to do is come up with a word (in alphabetical order) that describes something you love about the weekend. For instance, the first commenter will have an A word, the second a B word, etc.

Have fun!

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