Louisiana Book News by Cheré Dastugue Coen

Published Sundays in The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette and Monroe News Star of Monroe.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cookbook Thursday: July Fourth fun in the kitchen with the Andrews twins

Identical twins Lilly and Audrey Andrews have been interested in cooking since they were 3 years old and saw their first food show on the Food Network. They started in the kitchen during kindergarten, working their way up to cooking side-by-side with mentor chefs like Bob Blumer, TV food personalities like Wolf Gang Puck and Michael Chiarello, and talk show hosts including Ellen Degeneres. Now, at age 13, they have published their first cookbook, "We [Heart] Cooking: Totally Tasty Food for Kids."
The book includes more than 80 of their favorite recipes that are guaranteed to please kids and their parents, items that range from easy banana almond butter French toast sandwiches to more intricate dishes such as crepes and paella and pad Thai spring rolls. In addition, the book contains tips for making recipes easier for kids to prepare, plus ideas on how to riff on dishes by using different ingredients.
            Here are some fun recipes the twins created that make for fun July Fourth offerings.

Grilled Hot Dogs with Fresh Vegetable Relish
6 organic uncured beef hot dogs
100 percent whole wheat hot dog buns
1 1/2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
Brown mustard (optional)

Fresh Vegetable Relish
1 1/2 cup finely chopped Kirby cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Directions: Heat a small pan to medium and add vinegar, honey and salt, bring to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer the mixture for about 3 to 4 minutes until reduced and starting to thicken. In a heat proof bowl toss together the cucumber, sweet pepper and red onion, pour the pickling mixture over the top of the vegetables to coat. Add the dill and toss again, place in the refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Heat a barbecue or a grill pan to high heat and grill the hot dogs until golden brown on all sides and starting to plump. To serve, evenly distribute the chopped romaine into the bottom of each hot dog bun. Add a small amount of mustard if using it, place a hot dog in each bun. Top with desired amount of fresh vegetable relish and serve. Serves 6, 1 hot dog each.

Sparkling Lemonade and Berry Ice Cubes
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup organic sugar
4 cups sparkling water, chilled
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries  

            Direction: Place berries in two ice cube trays and fill the rest of the way with water. Place in the freezer until frozen. In a 2-quart pitcher add the lemon juice, sugar and stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir the lemon juice and sugar together and add sparkling water. Pour 1 cup lemonade into 4, 16-ounce glasses and add the ice cubes until glass is 3/4 full, serve immediately. Replace any unused berry ice cubes back in the freezer to refresh drinks.

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tom Piazza to receive 2015 Louisiana Writer Award

The State Library of Louisiana through its Louisiana Center for the Book announced that New Orleans resident Tom Piazza is the recipient of the 2015 Louisiana Writer Award, awarded annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life.
Tom Piazza is celebrated both as a novelist and as a writer across all aspects of American music. His 12 books include the novels “City of Refuge” and the forthcoming “A Free State,” the post-Katrina manifesto “Why New Orleans Matters,” and “Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America,” a collection of his essays and journalism. He was a principal writer for the innovative HBO drama series “Treme” and the winner of a Grammy Award for his liner notes to Martin Scorsese “Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey,” as well as a three-time winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Bookforum, Oxford American, Columbia Journalism Review and many other periodicals.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will present Piazza with the 16th Louisiana Writer Award on Oct. 31,  2015, in a ceremony at the beginning of the 2015 Louisiana Book Festival. Piazza will also discuss his work and career with author Michael Tisserand.
            Past recipients of the Louisiana Writer Award include novelists Ernest J. Gaines, James Lee Burke, Christine Wiltz, John Biguenet, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard, Tim Gautreaux, Valerie Martin and James Wilcox; children's author William Joyce; historian Carl Brasseaux; scholar Lewis P. Simpson; and poets William Jay Smith, Yusef Komunyakaa and Darrell Bourque.
For more information about the festival and Piazza, visit LouisianaBookFestival.org.

 Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New books out by University of Louisiana at Monroe faculty and graduates

Rickey E. Pittman, adjunct English instructor in the School of Humanities at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recently released a multi-discipline children’s book titled “Rio Grande Valley ABC.” The book covers the English alphabet, and introduces readers to the history, social science and geography of Texas. The book is illustrated by Julie Dupré Buckner, an award-winning artist and illustrator whose portrait work is held in private collections throughout the United States. Pittman is an award winning author, storyteller and folksinger originally from Dallas. In addition to his writing — “Scottish Alphabet,” “Irish Alphabet,” “Jim Limber Davis” and many more, — he has also recorded musical albums including “Bard of the South” and “A Lover’s Ghost.”
Dr. Kenneth Clow, the ULM Biedenharn Endowed Chair in Business, and Dana-Nicoleta Lascu of the University of Richmond recently collaborated on a 15-chapter textbook designed for introductory courses in marketing. “Essentials of Marketing, 5th Edition” was published by Textbook Media and features international examples and illustrations as well as business-to-business concepts. Clow has created a blog to accompany the textbook that allows instructors using the text to keep up with recent events in the area of marketing. In addition to the “Essentials of Marketing” textbook, Clow has published books in advertising, marketing research, sports marketing and services marketing. He also has published more than 200 articles in academic journals and conference proceedings.
Michael Deschamp, a 2013 graduate of ULM, has published “One Egg or Two,” a collection of short stories that explores family, friendship and tragedy through a host of characters. The series ends on the streets of New Orleans where characters help to explain the mysterious death of a popular hairdresser.
Deschamp’s first novel, “An Education through Letters: A Memoir of My First Grade Teacher Mrs. Jacobson,” was published in 2006 and follows 15 years of correspondence between a young boy and his first grade teacher.
Deschamp earned a Master of Arts in English from ULM, and holds several degrees in liberal arts, philosophy, English and creative writing. He has also taught English for more than 25 years at both the high school and collegiate level.
Both of Deschamp’s novels can be found on Amazon.com.

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.