While I'm glad Gustav slowed down long enough to spare Louisiana the full wrath of it's stormy powers, it looks like he decided to bring company. Have y'all been watching The Weather Channel? There are hurricanes and tropical storms lined up like airplanes on a tarmac. Hanna, Ike and Josephine are all waiting in the wings - ready to possibly take on the Caribbean and U.S. in the next few days. Yikes.
As someone who lived in South Florida during the tumultous hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, I must say it's nice to now watch the coverage from a city where I don't have to worry about loss of electricity and flooded roads. (I can't even begin to describe how NOT FUN it is to spend one of the hottest months of the year with no power or running water and little access to fresh fruits and veggies.) But with friends and family still living in towns dotted across Florida, Louisiana and Texas, it's distressing to see so many other people left powerless. Literally. So here's hoping that the next few weeks bring little rain and turbulence - and that all those folks in the Gulf Coast finally get the weather break they deserve.
And in honor and appreciation of one of this nation's most fabulous cities, as well as a 'thanks' to Mother Nature for taking it a wee bit easy on the Big Easy, here are two sugar-free, New Orleans-themed recipes. Vive la French Quarter!
2 oz light rum
2 oz dark rum
* 2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
* 1 tbsp simple syrup
1 tbsp grenadine
* For a healthier recipe, use some V8 Splash Guava Passion and make sugar-free simple syrup combining 1 cup of sucralose with 1 cup of boiling water. Once it has cooled, strain the sucralose and water through a coffee filter.
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, pour into a hurricane glass and garnish with an orange slice and cherry.
2 tablespoons granulated Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a saucepan, combine Splenda, salt, butter, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.
2. Add flour and cook over medium heat, beating with spoon until dough forms a ball and leaves side of pan. Remove from heat.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with electric mixer at medium speed after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
4. Mix in vanilla.
5. Roll dough on a floured surface and cut into 2-inch squares.
6. In skillet, heat 1 to 2-inches of oil. Then fry dough (three or four pieces at a time) until puffy and golden brown on both sides.
8. Remove beignets and drain on paper towels. While hot, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.