Cookbook: There are few things I love more than a holiday spent eating Cajun and Creole food in a Louisianian’s dwelling. However, I’m usually New England-bound and away from these special occasions and spicy feasts. This year, however, my Yankee family is in for quite a treat with the recently released publication by our sister publication, Louisiana Life, titled The Essential Louisiana Seafood Cookbook.

This year, I’m packing up my favorite Louisiana sausages (in ice packs, of course), hot sauce and seasoning to bring home. We haven’t decided which of the piquant and savory recipes we are going to cook from this gorgeous, minimalistic hardcover cookbook, but I’m deliberating between the mini crawfish pies and the crab cakes with lemon mayonnaise, or even the sizzling pecan crusted trout. The crawfish with white wine, lemon and capers are absolutely on the appetizer menu.

Regardless, I’m definitely bringing a copy of cookbook to my friends and family at home as a great gift – and to remind them of all the culinary delights awaiting them when they come to visit me in New Orleans. You can order your copy and send copies to your loved ones by visiting


Coffee Table Book: One of the most recognized artists in New Orleans, Simon Hardeveld’s work (better known by just the name “Simon”) can be seen in assorted businesses and eclectic homes across the city. An October-release brightly colored hardcover table book, Simon of New Orleans is rich in authentic, quirky stories. The book gives context and history to the many pieces made by Simon. A great coffee table book to give as a holiday gift for the eclectic New Orleans household.


Rhythm & Soul: A great independent release, Billie Davies featuring Iris P.’s On Hollywood Boulevard is a smooth album with jazzy piano riffs and soulful intentions. I love listening to it while I’m cooking something decadent, wine glass in hand. You can stream the entire album at


Rock-N-Roll: Just coming off their most recent tour, Sexy Dex & the Fresh are back in New Orleans about to drop a new album. I love their high-energy groove. They have been killing it on stage around the city and playing this month at The Art Garage on Friday,  Dec. 9 and Hi-Ho Lounge on Saturday, Dec. 11. Purchase their new album, Plus One Edition and preview it on



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