199616_472341322798859_917239130_n 2

On a recent visit to New Orleans, J and I got to take a cooking class at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. The very appropriate slogan is “decadent with no apologies” and that proved more than true during our class. We made several wonderful dishes, including an Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Artichoke. Unfortunately, the artichokes at home, didn’t quite look as good. Luckily, Chef Amy told us about 15 ways to use the same stuffing/dressing and we improvised stuffing a green pepper instead.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound Andouille sausage
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced bell pepper
1/3 cup diced celery
1 and 1/4 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups crumbled cornbread
1/3 cup parsley
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 pound shredded smoked gouda
couple of pinches of Emeril’s essence cajun seasoning (we made our own, recipe to come)
1/2 cup chicken stock (only use if the mixture is too dry and crumbly!)
olive oil (for the pan)

Directions:
If not using pre-made cornbread, bake the cornbread according to package instructions.
Cornbread

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the andouille until browned.
Andouille

Then add the onions, bell pepper and celery (the holy trinity) and the garlic until the vegetables are wilted. Add the pinches of Emeril’s essence cajun seasoning to taste. You want it to be a little red. That’s from the paprika, not the cayenne, so don’t panic. Remove from heat and add cornbread, parsley and green onions.

IMG_0218

Mix well and allow to cool. Add the cheese and mix again. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add chicken stock a little at a time to make it more like a dough (it should stick together). Stuff the peppers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Andouille cornbread stuffed peppersRemove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Cooked Andouille Stuffed Peppers

My opinion:
I love this super filling dish. It is light enough for a summer meal, but surprisingly filling. Plus, if you have left over mix, Chef Amy suggests freezing it in patties for a nice side dish.

About these ads

187845402

There’s a fine line when using a person’s first name. In some cases, it makes the recipient uncomfortable and may make you come across as condescending.

This post from the New York Times is from 1988, but don’t let the year make you think it isn’t relevant. The author writes this overuse of first names makes him bristle. “I resist people I don’t know (and on the phone have never met) addressing me by my given name. It makes me uncomfortable and robs me of the right of choosing to call someone a valued friend. This forced friendliness is most often found in dealing with sales-people. When a total stranger calls me by my first name, my usual reply is, ”Do we know each other?”’

It seems this practice is called repeat signifying, which according to this page is a common sales tactic. “Repeat signifying (or repeat naming) has become the bloodsport of telemarketers, as well as others who one would not expect to be in the business of intimidation. It consists of ‘addressing’ someone by name, mid-conversation. Repeatedly. One would presume this is to initiate the conversation, but what about the repetition? The frequent repetition demonstrates the offensive intent of the tactic.” You can read more about this here.

The extra catch to this is in social media when usually an organization or business decides to show they’ve done their research on you by using your first name in a tweet. Not only is this usually a waste of  characters, but it comes across as patronizing and overly familiar.

Bottom line, don’t over use this tactic regardless of your profession.

Here’s a prime example of when using someone’s first name in social media just comes across as condescending and patronizing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 1.00.46 PM

USAirways was already tweeting directly to me, making it completely unnecessary to use my first name at the end of the sentence. This went on for several more tweets becoming incessantly rude.

Keyhole.co is a real-time hashtag tracker for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It’s a visual dashboard that tracks keywords, hashtags and URLs. Using Keyhole.co you can measure and amplify conversations around your brand and campaigns.

For a reasonable price compared to other tracking services, you can also identify prospective clients and influencers who are talking about (or looking for) your services, products or organization.

Keyhole.co goes deeper than standard impressions and reach by giving you more insight into demographics and where your potential customers, clients or members are sharing the conversation.

On the dashboard (in this case for #TeamUSA), you can see the conversation, the numbers around tweets, users, reach and impressions. You can see who had the most top posts by retweets, Klout score or most recent tweets for the topic.

 

The Top Sites section allows you to see what domains were mentioned using that hashtag, and what tweets sent traffic there.

KeyholePost_html_23226ba3

Share of posts shows the breakdown of original posts, RTs and Replies. Most Influential give you details about who had the most retweets or who has the biggest Klout score, which tells you who talks about the brand or keyword the most. Recent users will show you who tweeted with the topic or hashtag in chronological order.

To read the rest, you’ll have to go check out PRBreakfastClub, where I wrote this as a guest piece.

p.s. there is still time to enter the contest to win a free 30-day trial for one PRBC reader. Just Tweet why you deserve to win tagging @keyholeco with the hashtag #PRBCKeyhole Winner will be announced on March 18, 2014.

My mom didn’t make banana bread very often because she doesn’t really like bananas, but my dad, sister and I did, so when she made it, it was a great day. I was pretty surprised at how easy this is to make. It’s perfect for a cold late winter day.

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (if it’s lumpy, it’s ok)
3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla (you can add a bit more if you want!)
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas (you can use two if you prefer less banana flavor)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter or Crisco. No need to flour the greased pan. Mix the wet ingredients into a bowl, adding the milk last.

20140302-122122.jpg

20140302-122134.jpg

Mix the dry ingredients. If your brown sugar is a little lumpy, that’s ok! It will add pockets of caramel notes.

20140302-122144.jpg

Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together.

20140302-122153.jpg

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55 to 60 minutes until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean and the sides start to pull away from the greased pan.

20140302-122203.jpg

My opinion: This makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s delicious and one of my most favorite breakfast foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter (if you add peanut butter reduce the oil by one tablespoon). The options are endless!

Flags at half-staff

In my town, flags are flying at half-staff to honor a fallen firefighter, including the one at my office. Yesterday, I had to verify that flags do indeed fly at half-staff and not half-mast as some media outlet in town were reporting. Luckily, my favorite argument settler, the trusty AP Stylebook settled this question.

Per the AP Stylebook, unless you are on a ship or at a naval station, flags are flown at half-staff. The h is lowercase and the word is hyphenated.

If and only if you are on a ship or at a naval station, then the flag is at half-mast. In this case, the h is lowercase and the word is hyphenated.

While the difference may appear obvious, a mast can only be on a ship or Navy related space (base, shipyard, station, air station, recruit depot. For further example: New York Naval Shipyard, Norfolk Naval Base, Naval Air Station Key West), many people seem to be mixing this up. Flags fly on flag poles when not related to the Navy.

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 41 other followers

pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers

%d bloggers like this: