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The Best for a Beautiful Weekend


It is supposed to be a gorgeous weekend. In connection with the Three Rivers Arts Festival that takes over downtown Covington on Saturday and Sunday (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), wildly popular North Columbia Street artist Marianne Angeli Rodriguez is moving her annual Black Friday Sale up a week to accommodate the Northshore’s largest outdoor arts festival.  From Friday through Sunday, Rodriguez will offer 40 percent off paper prints, 20 percent off canvas prints, and 10 percent off of jigsaw puzzles.

Next Tuesday, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SOFAB) will host Exploring Olive Oil & Beyond from 2-4 p.m. An olive oil master class will be conducted by local mixologist Anna Giordano, owner of Anna’s NOLA. She will be discussing the use of olive oil as an ingredient in cocktails and creative ways to pair olive oil with cocktails and cocktail-friendly foods. Light bites created by SOFAB resident chef Dee Lavigne will be served as part of the seminar. Free with museum admission, registration required. Register here.

Years ago, SOFAB Founder Liz Williams shared this seasonally appropriate recipe for an olive oil-based cake that makes great use of the abundant citrus ripening on our trees right now. It is not too sweet, a breeze to make and it gets better if it sits out for a day. It never lasts that long in my house, where I make it to use up the bumper crop of kumquats that fall from my tree each year.


Lemon Pecan Cornmeal Cake with Olive Oil

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans pieces
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup stone ground yellow corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar    NOTE: for dusting, optional


  1. Oil a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 325ºF degrees
  3. Add the lemon juice to the milk to sour it. Stir and set aside until needed.
  4. Place the pecans, sugar, lemon zest, and corn meal into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts have formed a fine meal and the dry ingredients are thoroughly integrated.
  5. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pulse once or twice. Transfer the meal to a large bowl. Add the soured milk, the eggs, and oil. Stir together until well incorporated.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan. Place the pan on a cookie sheet to avoid any accidents in your oven. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle shelf for 50 to 55 minutes.
  7. Cool completely in pan before release. This cake is even better if you allow it to cure for 24 hours. Keep under a dome or wrap in cling wrap. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

NOTE: To make a kumquat topping pulse whole kumquats in the food processor and mixed them with about a cup of sugar. Oil the pan well. Add the kumquats and then the cake batter on top. It is like an upside-down cake.


Ready for seasonal cocktails? Consider the chic Elysian Bar, open Monday-Friday for lunch and seven days a week for dinner, plus brunch on the weekends. They also boast an extensive menu of light spritz cocktails.

Here is a sampling:


Ramazotti Rosato

Hibiscus, orange blossom, peach


Cynar & Soda

Caramel, toffee, quinine, cinnamon, dark berry


Ferreira Porto Branco & Tonic

Honey, walnut, dried figs, chamomile, lemon peel


Berto Aperitivo & Tonic

Orange peel, gentian root, rhubarb




Have a great weekend, Everyone!





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