I know I have plenty of company in feeling that things are just rough as all hell right now.

I found some good news on Nextdoor, an app geared to neighborhoods, where I discovered my neighbor, Kat McCann, and a friend are “Baking our Bottoms off for ARNO (Animal Rescue New Orleans), a no-kill animal shelter. Through Sept. 15, McCann is offering a selection of sensational homemade cakes baked using her sister’s recipes. On offer are round, 7-inch cakes for $15 each, the proceeds from the sale of which will be donated directly to ARNO.

“It’s enough for a small family or group to each have a slice of cake without having a ton of cake left over,” McCann said.

She chose ARNO as the recipient of her largess because each of her four adopted black cats (which are hard to place) came from the rescue group. Available varieties of cake included Chocolate Turtle, Red Velvet, Apple Pecan with Caramel Drizzle, and Pucker Up (a lemon variety with a lemon drizzle). Full-sized Cream Cheese Pound Cakes are available for $30, with or without a lemon glaze, and half pound cakes are available for $15. Orders may be placed by calling or texting Kat directly at 504-230-4418.

“I am looking forward to making your belly smile,” she said!

Chocolate Turtle Cake
Chocolate Turtle Cake

If we are feeling banged up, we have nothing at all on our friends to the southeast in Haiti, where they were wacked by an earthquake last week less than a month after the assassination of their leader during the same on-going Pandemic, we are enduring. These islanders need relief. Chef Alison Vegan Knoll (and, quite possibly your own bad self!) of  Station 6 to the rescue. Currently during her annual culinary tour of the Caribbean through Sept. 11, this week the restaurant is flying the flag of Haiti and featuring cocktails and a special menu featuring items reflective of Haiti. All proceeds from this week’s island tour will benefit WC Kitchen, a group currently on the ground in Haiti providing relief efforts to get fresh meals to people in need. Think back to Katrina, my people. We know how this feel: Pony up and head to 6!  You are in for a grand meal that will start with a krema cocktail (coconut milk, cream of coconut, Gosling dark rum, Bacardi light rum, lime) followed by joumon soup (oxtail, butternut squash, acorn squash, mirliton, Yukon potatoes), lambi salad (fried conch over greens), griyo, pikliz, diri ak pwa & bannann peze (fried pork, spicy slaw, black bean rice, sweet plantains), and sweet potato cheesecake.  This menu will run through Saturday night.

On Tuesday I was in Kit Wohl’s Cookbook Studio with Kelly Massicot, the myneworleans.com web guru, and we shot a demonstration of me making the Fresh Fig and Boursin Cheese Tarte featured in my column, NOSH, in the current issue of New Orleans Magazine for the magazine’s IGTV page. Check it out: instagram.com/neworleansmag


Here is the recipe so you can follow along:


Fresh Fig and Boursin Cheese Tarte

Serves 6 to 8

  • Unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 sheet (half of a 17.3-oz. package) frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm brand, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 4 ounces Boursin cheese with shallot and chive
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 8 ripe, fresh figs (6 if large), preferably a mixture of black and green varieties, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt


Heat oven to 400 ºdegrees F.

Lightly dust a sheet of parchment with the unbleached flour. Unfold the pastry, place on top of the parchment, and lightly dust additional flour. Roll out the pastry to a 10-inch square. Prick all over with a fork at 1/2-inch intervals. Make a 3/4-inch border on all sides by pressing the edge of a ruler into the pastry to mark it. Fold the pastry over at the markings to make a double-thick rim. Transfer the pastry on the parchment to a rimmed baking sheet. The pastry can be prepared up to this point a few hours ahead and kept in the refrigerator. Bake until the center is golden-brown and puffed, about 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the Boursin cheese and 2 tablespoons of the honey in a medium bowl. Spread the cheese mixture inside the border of the puff pastry. Arrange the figs on the cheese. Sprinkle with the rosemary and about 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bake until the rim of the pastry is golden-brown, about 7 minutes.

Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons honey and cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


NOTES: 1. Other fresh fruits, such as peaches, strawberries, blackberries, pears, or apples may be used if figs are not available 2.  Use softened goat cheese, cream cheese or Mascarpone in place of the Boursin; 3. For a more substantial tarte add julienned pieces of thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma just before the final baking.



That’s it. Have a great weekend.  Y’all play nice,