Wining & Dining
12/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

The magic of the holiday season changes over the course of our lives. We transition from kids with sugar plums dancing in our heads to parents handling the "some assembly required” part of Christmas. Gifts, travel, planning, family and office gatherings, white elephants, ugly sweater contests, elves on shelves…it can all become rather stressful.


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12/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

In the ashes of what many remember as the old Dairy Barn has arisen a phoenix which is The Captain’s Table; a new riff on an old idea. And behind every great idea, there’s an architect and guiding light; in this case, that’s David LeJeune.



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12/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

The holidays mean different things to different people. For families, it’s a season of magic mixed with childhood wonder. For adults of legal drinking age (with or without kids), it can be about all those things . . . plus a little alcohol. 


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11/1/2019 1:10:48 PM

Thanksgiving is just around the corner; a time when we take stock of where we are and what we are grateful for. Family, friends – it's a time of celebration! It is also a time time to celebrate food – turkey, dressing, ham, cakes, pies, and a banquet of delectable dishes. It's a feast that results from hours and hours of preparation: stuffing the turkey, glazing the ham, preparing sides, baking the pies . . . this holiday can cause a lot of stress in the kitchen! Unless it doesn't. Ever consider having your Thanksgiving meal catered? Several local establishments stand ready to do the work for you.


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11/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

The world might have survived The Great Fried Chicken Sandwich War of 2019, but we will carry the battle scars with us for the rest of our days. Bitter words were spoken, pitting brother against brother, cousin against cousin, that one friend from high school who won't stop selling essential oils on Facebook against that other friend from high school with a cosmetics side hustle.


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11/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

The holiday season is a festive time but can present unique challenges for those with food allergies—whether you are a host or guest – as many of the top food allergens appear throughout the meal.



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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

This month, we celebrate McNeese’s homecoming against Houston Baptist with a Cowpoke Chili. We think the sweet heat will match the Cowboys intensity come game day. And we’re pretty sure this is a recipe that new head coach, Sterlin Gilbert, would approve of! Our southern traditions run deep here in SWLA, as do our allegiances. Now as we scramble to find any evidence of fall, the one thing we can always count on to unite our community, football, is back in full swing. Whether its Barbe, St. Louis, McNeese, LSU, ULL, or the Saints, it feels good to root for our favorite local teams again.


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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

When Should We Introduce Nuts? 

Could early avoidance of high-risk foods be partially to blame for increased allergy rates? In 2008, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) rescinded its recommendation to hold off on introducing high allergy-risk foods to healthy infants. Based on a 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the AAAAI issued a statement of the importance of early introduction of developmentally appropriate peanut products in almost all children, regardless of their allergy risk. Discuss how to do this specifically with your pediatrician.


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10/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Things are popping down on Lake Street! Happy snackers are being spotted around the Lake Area with bags of brightly colored popcorn, and it’s all thanks to RhinoPOP.


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9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

If you love salads and a huge variety of ingredient options, Nelson Rd. is your new health food haven. Not to say there aren’t good salads at restaurants all over Southwest Louisiana, but several new salad-based eateries have recently popped up along this South Lake Charles thoroughfare. 

Like any businesses that serve basically the same product, there are similarities and differences. Some create your salad for you with ingredients of your choice or pre-designed company concoctions, Subway-style. Others allow you to dish up your own meal, like a giant salad bar on growth hormones. Some serve primarily salads, while others offer other dishes for those who like something a bit heartier.



9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

In 2013, Liz Fuselier and her start-up, Sassy Oil & Vinegar moved into the SEED Center Business Incubator. In 2017, she opened the Café on the SEED Center’s first floor. In addition to very reasonably priced coffee (75 cents a cup!) the Café also serves as home base for her oils and vinegars. She hosts "Tasting Socials” in the café or in homes and demonstrates how to use her exceptional products. She’s a mobile retailer and can take these events on the road, as well. She also offers on-line ordering, gift baskets, and free delivery in Southwest Louisiana.


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9/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

September is National Rice Month and as any good Cajun knows, this small but mighty grain is an integral part of life in Louisiana. We eat it, we farm it, and we mill it. From flooded fields dotted with bobbing crawfish traps to bowls of étouffée and gumbo, rice is part of everyday existence in our state. 


But how much do we really know about this versatile grain? 


Rice may seem a bit straightforward, but there are actually over 40,000 varieties of rice grown worldwide, each with their own qualities and uses. Let’s consider just a few of them.


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8/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

By popular demand, Rouge et Blanc returns to downtown Lake Charles on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Southwest Louisiana’s premier wine & food festival, a sell-out event for 13 years running, is also moving to a cooler 4:00-8:00 p.m., in the shade of the historic 1911 City Hall building at 1001 Ryan Street. 


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8/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Everyone knows that Rouge et Blanc is one of the best and most prestigious annual events on the Southwest Louisiana social scene. But do they know WHY the Banners team works so hard to plan this amazing event year after year? The answer is simple – so that Banners, a financially self-sustaining organization within McNeese State University, can continue to provide the community with access to exceptional arts and humanities programming, and education through the arts that is unique to the area. Banners is committed to lifelong learning and an appreciation of cultural diversity, with a focus on enhancing quality of life in the communities of Southwest Louisiana.


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8/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
Walking into a retail wine shop or the wine section of a grocery store can be quite overwhelming. Whether you are looking for a bottle for a special date night or a case for a weekend party, there is a lot of pressure to choose something that everyone will like and not break the bank. Unfortunately, higher price does not mean higher quality and the variety of wines from different countries can make picking the right one intimidating for many people. 

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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

July is National Grilling Month, and hamburgers are finding their way onto grills all over Southwest Louisiana! However, the simple acts of picking a meat, choosing a grilling method, and mixing ingredients can all contribute to radically different flavors. For best results, keep these tips in mind.


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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Summertime is peak season at area farmers’ markets. Fresh produce, meats, jams and jellies, locally-roasted coffee, fresh milk, kombucha, herbs, fresh-made prepared foods, local honey, baked goods, meats, fresh-pressed juices, tamales, homemade candles and soaps, and other crafts comprise a short list of all the fantastic items you might find on market day. There are a multitude of reasons why you might want to shop at these bastions of bounty.


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7/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Take a short drive down I-10 to Welsh, LA, and transport yourself back to your childhood in this cool retro confectionary.


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6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Good food is easy to find in Lake Charles. Great food – now that’s a different story. Great food is not only tasty, but also leaves you healthier. It helps you work, play, and live better. Food is meant to be enjoyed but also to nourish.



6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Summer is here! Caregivers and students get a mental break from homework, uniform washing, and carpool lines. This is a perfect time to get the kids away from the TV and into the kitchen and garden with you! One of the best ways to encourage "picky eaters” is to involve them in the process of preparing the family’s meals. So, get out and grow something—even if it is just a small pot of herbs. Kids are more willing to try foods they have had ownership in growing, selecting, or cooking.  


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Eggs are a staple of our kitchens, yet few ingredients have faced such a rollercoaster of opinions. With their nutritional value and health benefits constantly in question, eggs are a controversial – and essential – element of almost all cuisines. 


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Here in Southwest Louisiana, we love the convenience of a mom-and-pop drive-thru, be it for crawfish, po-boys, snowballs, or daiquiris. Recently, several new shops have opened, each with their own unique flair.


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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM
There seems to be no end to new dining options in the Lake Area. TaD’s Steak and Seafood is a recent example. Located in what was originally Coyote Blues, owner Darrin Cobb has updated the space and offers an extensive menu sure to please the whole family. The food is all fresh and homemade; gumbo, etouffee, salads, poboys, are a few of the popular house specialties. The Cobb family owns Eunice Poultry and all their steaks, boudin, and sausage comes from there. Their seafood is sourced in Louisiana. 
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5/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Here in Southwest Louisiana, we love the convenience of a mom-and-pop drive-thru, be it for crawfish, po-boys, snowballs, or daiquiris. Recently, several new shops have opened, each with their own unique flair.


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4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Looking for a great cup of coffee? You’re in the right place. Louisianians love their morning cup, most having grown up on "coffee milk.” 


Whether you like it black or loaded with cream, sugar, flavorings, and whipped cream on top, read on for places to satisfy your coffee cravings. Most of these establishments are open for breakfast and lunch and offer some combination of pastries and baked goods, homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches. So go there hungry!


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4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

There’s nothing we Louisianans have in common more than our food and drink. Regardless of age, gender, or race, most all of us all love our crawfish, our boudin, our jambalaya, our gumbo, a good Sazerac, or a cold Abita Strawberry. But there’s one staple we share more than any, and that’s a hot cup of Community Coffee in the morning. 


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4/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Everyone knows someone who can’t make it without their daily coffee. Maybe it’s you, a loved one, a co-worker . . . or all of the above!


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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
Did you know that St. Patrick's Day is also Eat Like an Irishman Day? Well, it is, and there’s one place where we can celebrate both: MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub in Downtown Lake Charles, where everyone is Irish as soon as they walk through the door. 
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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
During Lent, forgoing meat on Fridays is a common way to show devotion. Along the Gulf Coast, seafood offers a great alternative. Shrimp, fish, crawfish, and more are delicious options available to the faithful. But if you’d like to vary your Friday meals more this Lenten season, here are a few ways to boost the protein in your meal without breaking your fast.
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3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM
It’s not easy being a green. Most kids (and adults) turn up their noses at the sight of these beautiful super-foods. However, there are many reasons to learn to love your greens. Pound for pound, greens may be the most nutritious food you can buy at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Some favorites are spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, or turnip greens, kale, and chard. You can also use the tops of carrots, beets and other root vegetables.  

2/4/2019 12:52:07 PM
Gail Simmons has said, "There is no better way to bring people together than with desserts.” This Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking to make relationships even sweeter, a great way to do that is with unique Valentine treats. In Southwest Louisiana, it’s a piece of cake to find something equal parts impressive and delicious to share with the special people in your life.
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2/4/2019 12:48:09 PM
Southwest Louisiana is known for many wonderful qualities, most notably its amazing food! This area flourishes with restaurants serving most any kind of food you can imagine – some with a storied history, some brand new, and some that were here, were gone, and have come back in exciting and delicious ways. This month, we celebrate the gastronomic greatness that calls SWLA home. 
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1/3/2019 11:53:27 AM
Much like food fads, beverage trends come and go faster than you can sip a soda. Kombuchas, ciders, coconut water, plant-based milks, sports drinks, even pickle juices tout the latest in ultra-hydration, enhanced energy, probiotics, and other health benefits. Switchel is one of the latest in this long line of hip liquid refreshments.
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1/3/2019 11:51:09 AM
Bundt cakes evoke images of cozy times: family gatherings, church dinners, and bake sales. The distinctive ring-shaped mold became popular back in the 1950s after the cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name "Bundt" and began producing Bundt pans. Since then, Bundt cakes have remained a steady favorite, as there isn’t one recipe for the Bundt cakes – the sky’s the limit!
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1/3/2019 11:45:11 AM
Most folks in Southwest Louisiana love gumbo and chili this time of year. And who doesn’t crave those traditional comfort foods like hearty beef stew and chicken noodle soup when the temperature drops. While those can certainly satisfy the need to warm your belly, consider expanding your repertoire and stir up something different this winter season. Entire cookbooks are written solely on the subject of soups. Soup can be made from just about any vegetable, meat, carbohydrate, and combination thereof. Find yourself some new recipes and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. To help you get started, here are several favorites from Thrive office staffers.
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11/30/2018 12:15:34 PM
There are a lot of health fads circulating these days. It can be tricky to find out which ones are legitimate and actually provide benefits, versus those that science has debunked. Apple cider vinegar – known as ACV to some – is one of those foods that some people swear by for its health benefits, while others are more dubious. 
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11/30/2018 12:12:44 PM
The holidays are a time for food – we splurge on treats and bring out old family recipes that only see the light of day a few times each year. Our love of good food during the holidays is reflected in several popular carols and songs of the season. Let’s dig in!
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11/30/2018 12:09:34 PM
There’s always something new on the horizon when it comes to food. Poke bowls are one of healthiest new food trends out there, which is great news for those of us looking for something that tastes delicious and is good for us, too!
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11/1/2018 10:55:09 AM
Waitr, the popular app that lets you order food from local restaurants and delivers it directly to you, is helping feed local families in need this Thanksgiving. Through November 15, anyone using Waitr can make a donation that will go toward buying meals for the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving holiday.
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11/1/2018 10:53:05 AM
Fall is and always will be about going "all natural” when it comes to design and decorating. Leaves turn beautiful amber, orange, and red hues; fall fruits and vegetables are harvested; and pumpkin spice everything fills the air. Few can resist bringing these elements into their home.
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11/1/2018 10:50:09 AM
When you think of Thanksgiving, you may have memories of family gathered around a well-appointed table, smiling, laughing, and enjoying all varieties of holiday fare come to mind. If you’re the host of the day, however, you may have memories of frantic preparation like dusting the baseboards in every room of the house, making sure clean sheets are on all the guest beds, preparing a show-stopping breakfast, along with every aspect of the main event — the Thanksgiving Day feast, including Uncle Jim’s favorite mile-high banana-meringue pie and all the other Pinterest-inspired delicacies you can’t resist . . . mixed in with a panic attack or two. 
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10/2/2018 3:46:23 PM
Diet trends can be fascinating, and the keto diet is no exception. It’s currently one of the top dietary trends in the United States, so you’ve probably heard of it, but you may not know exactly what it is.
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10/2/2018 3:30:37 PM
In this issue, we celebrate spirits, and we don’t mean only the spooky, scary kind. We’re talking about rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey made right here in the Bayou State with locally-harvested ingredients – especially Louisiana sugar cane!
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8/28/2018 9:53:21 AM
The Rouge et Blanc staff and Thrive magazine want you to have a great time at this annual premier party. But we also want you to be safe. We strongly encourage you – if you’ve been enjoying the wine all afternoon – please don’t drive yourself home. There are plenty of other options.
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8/28/2018 9:50:37 AM
Long-time attendees have developed their tried-and-true routines for strolling through the various vendor booths. As the event has evolved over the years, and as Southwest Louisiana’s population has grown, there are more and more people attending Rouge et Blanc for the first time. If you’ve never been to a tasting event, it can be overwhelming. Where to go? What to do?
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8/28/2018 9:43:39 AM
Everyone knows that Rouge et Blanc is one of the best annual events on the Southwest Louisiana party scene. But do they know WHY the Banners committee works so hard to plan this amazing event year after year? The answer is simple – so that Banners, a financially self-sustaining organization within McNeese State University, can continue to provide the community with access to exceptional arts and humanities programming and education through arts integration that is unique to the area. Banners’ programs focus on lifelong learning and an appreciation of cultural diversity, working to enhance the quality of life in the communities of Southwest Louisiana.
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8/6/2018 12:23:04 PM
"What do I make for dinner?” Who doesn’t ask that question several times a week, if not daily? Meal prep is a buzz phrase in healthy eating circles lately, and you may want to get on board. But do you know what meal prep is, how to do it, and why it is important?

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8/6/2018 12:19:08 PM
For months now the question on the tongue of every sweet toothed resident in Southwest Louisiana has been, "Where is Alice P?” But for the uninitiated, the question might also be, "What is Alice P?” Based in Lake Charles but distributed throughout the region, Where is Alice P? specializes in unique and decadent cakes, cookies, desserts and custom confections for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or anytime you need a good sugar fix. These delicacies can be custom-ordered or found on the shelves and check-out counters of several local restaurants and stores.
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8/6/2018 12:15:53 PM
Local culinary connoisseurs might not expect to find a Michelin Star-rated chef leading the kitchen staff of an unassuming eatery in Moss Bluff, La., but that is exactly where Chris Wise currently shares his gastronomic expertise. He and partner Bonnie Richard opened Brown Bag Café early May and have made a remarkable first impression. Together, they make a great team; he manages the kitchen and she works the front house, ensuring each customer leaves satisfied and eager to return.
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7/3/2018 10:02:55 PM
Happy National Ice Cream Month! Summer is here and the heat is real, so what better way to celebrate than with a cold cup of ice cream goodness? We’ve rounded up a list of places to get ice cream and beat the heat this summer!
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7/3/2018 9:52:12 PM
Nothing says Louisiana quite like delicious food or the iconic Blue Dog that artist George Rodrigue made famous during his lifetime. One can go into the Blue Dog Café, Lake Charles, and experience the joie de vivre that Rodrigue captured in his paintings communicated through a beautifully prepared dish. And while Southwest Louisiana has been able to enjoy the delicacies that can be found at the heart of Cajun country for a while, the Blue Dog Café is changing things up.
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7/3/2018 9:43:52 PM
Jason Holder founded Pure Press Juicery in 2013 in Lake Charles and started selling juices at The Cash and Carry Farmers Market every Tuesday. Pure Press Juices quickly gained popularity and became a farmer’s market staple. The local demand for Pure Press was great, and for good reason. Their commitment to locally sourcing as many of their ingredients as possible, and to ensure that all of their ingredients are 100 percent organic, lends incredible freshness and flavor to Pure Press juices that are unrivaled by store bought juices.
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5/30/2018 10:32:16 PM
When flowers can’t quite communicate what you’re trying to say, an edible arrangement might do the trick. Edible arrangements are a delicious reinvention of the traditional flower bouquet. Lake Street is now home to an Edible Arrangements franchise managed and owned by the Piper family, and they offer a multitude of tasty treats to tickle even the pickiest palette. 
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5/30/2018 10:27:53 PM
We all know vegetables are good for us, but did you know that cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6? And, it’s incredibly versatile!

Take a look at these creative ways you can prepare and enjoy this powerhouse veggie.

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5/30/2018 10:24:51 PM
Like our food in Louisiana, the cuisine in Jamaica is made up of a melting pot of techniques, ingredients, and flavors. The island of Jamaica has a rich history that’s brought culinary influences from indigenous peoples, Spain, Ireland, Britain, Africa, and even India and China, with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. In Lake Charles, that tasty history is on full display at Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant. 
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5/3/2018 8:58:19 PM
Pair cool creamy confection with sheer novelty and you get the latest ice cream craze to hit Southwest Louisiana. Louisiana Reauxl opened in February to rave reviews from the community.
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5/3/2018 8:56:01 PM
There’s nothing quite like a Bloody Mary to get a weekend morning off to a zesty start. These cocktails have been a popular brunch beverage since the 1960s. Back then, the drink was little more than tomato juice, a shot of vodka, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, a squeeze of lemon, and a few shakes of salt and pepper.
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5/3/2018 8:53:43 PM
With summer just one month away, outdoor chefs across the country are uncovering their grills and prepping them for tasty barbeque goodness, especially the all-American hamburger.
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4/2/2018 6:15:17 PM
Imagine your favorite plate of pasta – covered in marinara, alfredo, or a sharp cheddar cheese sauce. Whatever your preferred topping, they all share one thing: a carb-loaded base. 

Whether you’re cutting back on carbohydrates, need to avoid them for health reasons, or simply want a lighter dinner for the coming summer months, we have an answer – zoodles.

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4/2/2018 6:10:31 PM
The Plaid Pig Café, one of Lake Charles newest eateries, opened early February in the Lake Charles Transit and Customer Service building. Not surprisingly, owner Denise Bertrand furnished her establishment with a bounty of whimsical pigs. The theme is a tribute to her grandmother, Lessie Landry. 
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3/5/2018 1:04:19 PM
While none of it is "healthy,” (even some fast food salads have too much sodium!) if you must hit the drive-thru, know your best options to make wise "heathier” choices.
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3/5/2018 1:01:34 PM
Modern medicine and science tell us that by eating more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods we can increase our energy levels, lose weight, focus better, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Eating more plants may also be better for the environment. Studies have shown that by eating vegetarian you can lower your carbon footprint, conserve water, and prevent agricultural- related coastal dead zones like the one we see annually off our own Louisiana coastline. 
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3/5/2018 12:58:15 PM
It’s a medical fact that too much sugar in our diets is unhealthy. Refined white sugar is made from a long process that removes every bit of trace minerals. After harvesting sugarcane stalks and beets, white sugar is washed, milled, extracted, juiced, filtered, purified, vacuumed, and condensed. It is pure carbohydrate with zero nutritional value.
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1/31/2018 10:35:00 PM
Chris Meaux incorporated the immensely popular Waitr app along with four ambitious college students in December 2013. Waitr, if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t know, is an on-demand restaurant delivery order application. After a year of development, Waitr was on the App Store. That first year, they processed 57,000 orders. Today, they manage 57,000 orders in two days. In four short years, the company soared from concept to a multimillion-dollar company that employs over 3,000 people in six states, 150 cities, 3,600 restaurants, and three million app users. How does this happen?
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1/31/2018 10:31:47 PM
Most of us eat food in season without even realizing it. In summer, when we need more hydration, we naturally crave juicy watermelons, peaches, tomatoes, and other foods high in water content. In winter, our palates turn to heartier fare such as apples, pears, and squashes. But if we are more intentional about eating seasonal foods, we discover even more benefits.
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1/31/2018 10:17:18 PM
Southwest Louisianians love a lot of things, and food is often near the top of most everyone’s list. Fortunately, we have enough variety of eateries to satisfy everyone’s cravings! This month, we highlight that variety, celebrate the culinary diversity of our region, and maybe encourage you to try a restaurant you’ve never experienced before. Please know, these are only a very small sample of the many fantastic restaurants in the Lake Area.
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1/5/2018 4:33:22 PM
The new year is here, and with it all our resolutions to eat healthier and resist the temptation of sweets. One of the easiest ways to break that resolution is by consuming snack foods – quick, easy-to-grab things like chips, crackers, and pre-packaged sweets. If you struggle to maintain your healthy diet, here are some tips and ideas to up your healthy snacking game in 2018!
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1/5/2018 4:30:43 PM
Southwest Louisiana’s best-kept dining secret is not a restaurant, but rather a school. SOWELA Technical Community College’s Culinary Arts Program offers top-notch lunches to the public three days a week at The Landing Restaurant in the Charleston Building on campus.
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1/5/2018 4:20:31 PM
This time of year, king cakes abound in grocery stores, bakeries, breakfast nooks, and office break rooms. Because we all love those familiar sweet rounds of filled bread drenched in colorful icing, several area businesses have creatively concocted their own unique versions of king cake-inspired goodness.
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12/2/2017 3:33:21 PM
Two of Lake Charles’ finest chefs, Chef Lyle Broussard from L’Auberge Casino Resort’s Jack Daniel’s Bar & Grill® and Chef Justin East from Golden Nugget Lake Charles’ Vic & Anthony’s, were part of a team of 10 premier Louisiana chefs who went to New York City to prepare the state’s world-class cuisine for key influencers, encouraging media to write about the Louisiana culinary experience.

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12/2/2017 3:30:36 PM
One of the best things about a dreary, wet, cold winter day is breaking out a big bowl of a hearty soup. It doesn’t just make you feel good by warming your soul; soup on a cold day has a very practical purpose. It’s a great way to extend ingredients and reduce food waste, combine flavors that wouldn’t otherwise blend, and create meals that can be easily taken on the road. 
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12/2/2017 3:26:54 PM
Hebert’s Specialty Meats, "home of the de-boned chicken,” originated in Maurice, La. in 1984. Serving South Louisiana for over 30 years, the business is now a franchise, with 10 locations between Destin and Houston. Fortunately for residents of the Lake Area, Joe Roseberry opened an Hebert’s franchise last year at 1140 Country Club Rd, Lake Charles.
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12/2/2017 3:11:17 PM

For some families, baking, decorating, and eating Christmas cookies are as much a part of the holiday tradition as trimming the tree, singing carols, and giving gifts.

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11/2/2017 4:44:32 PM
Read on for 12 great tips for using up your leftover Halloween Candy.
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11/2/2017 4:41:09 PM
November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. And there are so many ways to eat this creamy, tasty pantry staple! Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and bananas. Peanut butter and honey. The list goes on and on. It’s a versatile snack, packed with protein, and great on a stalk of celery, a sandwich, or a spoon.
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11/2/2017 4:37:20 PM
An excellent Thanksgiving meal is mostly about a plump, moist turkey with all the trimmings, but that doesn’t mean Thanksgiving drinks have to be just so-so. If you’re looking to impress your guests with some fun cocktails and wines that complement the meal, here’s a guide for serving Thanksgiving libations that may just steal the show! 
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10/2/2017 10:57:13 PM
October is National Apple Month, and it’s a great time to try out some new recipes for this autumn favorite. While the most American dessert of all may be apple pie, there are many other ways to enjoy this fruit! Here are a few ideas to try.
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10/2/2017 10:54:16 PM
The days of the appetizer menu beginning and ending between spinach dip and fried cheese sticks are over. The variety, creativity, and prominence of Tapas, also commonly known as starters, or small plates, is one of the hottest growing trends in restaurants right now, and eateries in Southwest Louisiana are no exception.

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10/2/2017 10:51:39 PM
Veganism isn’t a new concept, but it’s receiving a lot more attention lately. It seems you can’t dine, research a recipe, turn on a cooking show, or even open your favorite social media app without hearing or reading the term "vegan”.
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9/1/2017 12:57:12 PM
You hear a lot lately about probiotics and their myriad of health benefits. These healthy bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system as they absorb nutrients and ward off infection and illness. They contain antioxidants which detoxify the body, decrease inflammation, and protect against disease. They are found in common foods such as yogurt and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi. But you can also drink your probiotics in the form of kombucha.
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9/1/2017 12:55:37 PM
What happens when you mix two sassy, creative sisters with 85 years of farm-to-table tradition? You get Bulldog Pepper Jelly, handcrafted jellies made by Westlake natives Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders that are blazing a delicious path toward success in the specialty food market. 
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9/1/2017 12:52:01 PM
Paul Pettefer wasn’t always a barbeque fan. Yet five years ago, there he was, standing in his kitchen, craving a rack of ribs. So Pettefer made himself a rack of ribs. "They weren’t great, but they hit the spot and satisfied my craving,” he said. "Even meat that’s cooked badly is still pretty good.”
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8/3/2017 12:21:22 PM
Visit Vicki B’s Café on any weekday, and you’ll likely find Vicki B. Stahl taking a break from the kitchen and strolling through the dining room. "I love to be out on the floor, greeting customers, asking them if they like their food or if there’s something else I can get them,” she says. "I love to cook and see the looks on peoples’ faces when they eat food I’ve prepared.” By interacting with her customers, Vicki can better meet their needs. "Sometimes people just need a kind word, a hug, or someone to talk to.”
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8/3/2017 12:18:33 PM
When Craig Dugas first had the idea to open a new wine bar in Lake Charles, he wasn’t exactly sure where to put it. But he had some friends building a new shopping center on E. McNeese Street. It seemed like a good fit, so earlier this summer, Dugas and his business partner, JR Vasquez, opened Delano Wine Bar, a place he believes to be unique in the area. "I think we have a totally different look,” he said. "We’re going for something more upscale.” The modern interior décor has unique lighting that can change colors, depending on the occasion and time of year. Outside, the gated patio area has seating and scenery of its own, while serving as the bar’s smoking area.
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8/3/2017 12:13:03 PM
Breakfast... it’s the most important meal of the day! We all want to break the night’s fast by awakening our energy, packing a nutritional punch, and stimulating our palates. And now there’s a new breakfast option on the menu. Fans of the traditional smoothie, meet a trend-setting companion—the sensational smoothie bowl.
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7/5/2017 10:52:48 AM
For the past decade or so, yogurt has reigned supreme in the dairy aisles of grocery stores. Whether it’s Greek or goat, yogurt has become the healthy snack staple of health nuts, foodies, and dieters alike. But slightly older shoppers may remember a time when cottage cheese was all the rage. 
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7/5/2017 10:49:24 AM
Imagine a cookie dough-flavored ice beach under a cocktail umbrella with Sour Belt beach towels, a Sour Patch gummy bear floating in a Gummy Life-Saver on an ocean of blue-Hawaiian ice. This quirky creativity can be found year-around at Mama Shine’s Shaved Ice and More, where patrons enjoy specialty shaved-ice snow cones, like the Beach Day described above, or craft their own custom masterpieces from 62 flavors and 16 toppings, including the popular cheesecake, whipped cream, fruits, and even pickles, for those so inclined.
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7/5/2017 10:47:07 AM
In 2007, when Jamison Trouth told his chemical engineering classmates at McNeese State University about his future plans to own and operate a vodka distillery, they voiced considerable skepticism. Chemical engineering majors move on to work in petro-chemical plants. Everyone knows that! But Trouth never gave up on his dream. Sure, he indeed had to work in the plants for seven years to save up enough money to make his dream become a reality. But in 2014, he decided it was time. "If I was going to do it, I needed to jump all in. I quit my job, sold my house, and started making it happen,” says Trouth.
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6/1/2017 1:13:58 PM
Most people can remember being a kid at a carnival and pulling puffs of sweet sticky cotton candy off a paper cone. Carnival cotton candy gets a major upgrade with Air Confetti Gourmet Cotton Candy.
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6/1/2017 1:11:02 PM
Jesse O’Neill discovered he has a gluten allergy in 2011. A gluten-free diet can be rather restricting, and he missed some of his favorite foods. He asked his wife Lauren, who loves to bake, if she would create a gluten-free doughnut.
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6/1/2017 1:09:22 PM
If you’ve driven down Pujo St. in Lake Charles lately, you may have noticed some shiny new lights. Just west of Botsky’s is a flashing yellow and red arrow sign pointing to a glass door. Open the glass door you’ll find yourself walking down a long hallway. It feels like you’re entering an old speakeasy during prohibition, but at the end of the hall isn’t a bar full of alcohol; it’s a bar filled with delicious popsicles with an 80’s flair. It is easily one of the coolest new places in Lake Charles -- the new Pops and Rockets Laboratory. 
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5/5/2017 2:15:01 PM

Tumeric has been trending lately, and it’s no surprise. This yellow-gold spice, used for over 4000 years in Asia and India, is a key ingredient in curry and purportedly boasts numerous health benefits. But first, let’s talk about taste and how to use this versatile spice.


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5/5/2017 2:06:18 PM

May is National Barbeque Month and nothing says summer quite like outdoor grilling. For eons humans have cooked and smoked food over an open flame on beautiful warm evenings. It’s a summertime tradition and maybe one of the oldest human customs in history. Slow smoking meat is the purest version of the ancient tradition we call barbeque, and while it can take years to master, it’s much easier to get started than you think. You don’t need a fancy smoker, and you don’t need to do any complicated DIY project. All you need is the grill you’ve already been using!


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5/5/2017 2:02:58 PM

According to pizza.com, 94% of Americans eat pizza "regularly.” While somewhat vague, it is nonetheless good news for Scott McClaskey, who opened Pizza Artista at Prien Lake Mall last October with his wife, Cynthia, and their partner, Kirk Miller. The success of this pizza parlor is evident from numerous online review sites. Both buzzfeed.com and onlyinyourstate.com rate Pizza Artista as the number one pizza restaurant in Louisiana. Social media sites collectively give Pizza Artista 4.9 out of five stars.


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4/5/2017 11:17:44 AM

What makes a perfect, relaxing picnic? Location, good weather, lovely company, great food, and because this is Southwest Louisiana, lots of mosquito spray. Picnics are an excellent way to enjoy the company of someone you care about or someone you would like to get to know better, but there are a few elements required in the planning stage to ensure your picnic is flawless and fun.



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4/5/2017 11:16:06 AM
To say that Louisiana native George Graham is remarkable in the kitchen would be like saying that Leonardo DaVinci dabbled with painting. Sure, it is an accurate description, but it barely encompasses the awe in which both men inspire creativity, the masterful artistry of their craft, or the way their imaginations bring art to life.

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4/5/2017 10:53:42 AM

Whether it’s juggling baseball practice and gymnastics, or just a long day at the office, nothing can put a damper on the evening like realizing its 8 o’clock and your cupboards only hold half a block of Velveeta cheese, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a sleeve of saltine crackers.  Before you throw your hands up in defeat, there is another mealtime option that doesn’t require multiple trips to the supermarket or tons of planning.



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3/9/2017 9:16:28 AM

If you’ve driven along Highway 14 in Lake Charles, just north of E. McNeese St., you likely have seen a herd of cows idly grazing in a large pasture along the side of the road. What may surprise you is that the farm is owned by McNeese State University and the cows, as well as pigs and lambs, are all part of the education for the 400-some students in McNeese’s School of Agricultural Sciences program. This farm is the first step in the program’s Center for Advancement of Meat Production and Processing (CAMPP). From the McNeese Farm, the animals spend some time "beefing up” at Fuller Farm in Kinder, and from there they go to CAMPP’s meat processing and packaging facility in Lacassine for "harvesting.”



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3/9/2017 9:15:00 AM

Fusion cuisineisa style of cookingthat combines elements of different culinary traditions into one innovative, creative, often daring dish. The variations of fusion food are basically limited only by a chef’s imagination. California cuisineis considered a fusion culture, taking inspiration particularly fromItaly,France,Mexico, along with the culinary ideas of the Europeandelicatessen, easternAsia, and creating traditional dishes from these cultures with non-traditional ingredients - such asCalifornia pizza. Tex-Mex, possibly one of the first recognized fusion foods, combinesSouthwesternUnited StatesandMexican cuisines. Asian fusion combines foods and flavors from various Asian countries.



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