August 26, 2014

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Bacon. Simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but so, so good!! We loved this one!! #recipe #dinner #pasta

New recipe on Kevin & Amanda Recipes today! :)

This decadent pasta has shrimp, bacon, garlic, a hint of lemon, fresh herbs, and soft angel hair pasta swimming in a creamy, buttery scampi sauce. It’s packed with flavor and super impressive, but simple to make. It’s one of my favorite recipes to serve to guests!

Click the title below to get the recipe:

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Enjoy!! :)


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Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Lauren and I had a fabulous first two days in New Orleans, and had some of the best food we’d ever had in our entire lives. On our third afternoon in NOLA, we went to one of the most amazing bakeries I’ve ever been to in my entire life. For two food bloggers and dessert-lovers, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Sucre Bakery.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Sucre does it all — traditional French pastries…

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Gorgeous French macarons.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Fabulous cupcakes!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Decadent chocolates…

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Homemade marshmallows and hot chocolate mixes. It’s the perfect place to shop for souvenirs.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

And even their own gelato in tons of different flavors.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

We got a special, behind-the-scenes tour of their test kitchens, where we got to try their new invention called the MacBubl: an inside-out, chocolate-covered macaron, coming to Whole Foods across the nation soon. Keep an eye out for these bad boys!!

Here’s my post about Sucre from my very first visit there in 2011.

Sucre even has an online boutique where you can buy their macarons, chocolates, marshmallows, cookies and more online and have it shipped straight to your door. Dangerous!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

After a indulgently sweet morning, we had some serious R&R time with massages at The Spa at Windsor Court.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

We spent the afternoon lounging around the spa and sauna. They even had Moroccan Oil products for us to use to freshen up with before we left!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Okay, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Hansen’s Sno-Bliz!!! They serve the softest, finest shaved ice you will ever have in your entire life. LIFE-changing. Be sure to get a scoop of ice cream at the bottom!! I always get the wedding cake flavor. :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

That night we had a fabulous final dinner at Gautreau’s, prepared by our new friend and head chef Sue Zemanick, a 2014 James Beard Award winner, as well as Top Chef and Top Chef Masters alum. The pork chop was out of this world!!!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

And would you get a load of all these desserts??! We were in hog heaven.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

The following day, our last breakfast in New Orleans was at The Old Coffee Pot, just a block away from our apartment in the French Quarter. I got their signature dish, the Lost Bread. It’s their po-boy bread that been griddled, then battered, fried, and topped with plenty of powdered sugar. Phenomenal! 

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Lauren had never had a praline, so for her first trip to New Orleans, we definitely had to get her a warm, freshly made praline. There are a billion praline shops all over the French Quarter, but Southern Candymakers is the best!! Be sure to hunt it down, and definitely get one of the samples that’s warm and freshly made!! :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

On a whim, right before heading to the airport, Lauren and I decided to have our fortunes read. We were in New Orleans after all. :) I’d never had it done before. Mine was pretty generic. Have you ever had your fortune read?? How did it turn out?? :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

We spent the rest of the morning wandering around the French Quarter.

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So much beauty everywhere!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Of course we had to stop by Brad Pitt’s house!! ;)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Thank goodness!! ;)

Be sure to check out Lauren’s fun recap of our week in NOLA!! :)

Thanks so much for looking! Have a fabulous weekend!


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August 20, 2014

New Orleans Girls Trip

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Right after I got back from LA with Kristen, I turned around and hopped back on a plane to New Orleans with my amazing friend Lauren. She has a wildly popular recipe blog at Lauren’s Latest, where she turns everyday ingredients into extraordinary meals. At the last minute, another one of my friends from New Orleans invited us to come stay with her for a few days, and since Kevin was still out of town, and Lauren had never been to New Orleans, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a quick girls getaway. :)

You guys. We found some incredible food in New Orleans. I cannot stress this enough. I was blown away. I honestly had two of the BEST things I have ever eaten in my entire life on this trip. Seriously, put these “must try at least once before you die” list. Keep reading for our can’t-miss New Orleans restaurant recommendations!! :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Lauren wouldn’t be getting in until later that night, so when I arrived in New Orleans that afternoon, the first thing my friend Allison and I did was go out for appetizers at Cane and Table in the French Quarter. We got the Squash Blossom Cangrejitos, these rangoon-style dumplings stuffed with fresh, sweet Louisiana Blue Crab, and drizzled with their famous General Joe’s Sauce. LOVED the sauce — it was sweet, citrusy, and phenomenal. SO good!! Definitely the best crab rangoon I’ve ever had. :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

For dinner, we moved on to the two-time James Beard award-winning restaurant Peche in the artsy Warehouse District of New Orleans. The above beer-battered fried fish filets and house-made tartar sauce may not look like much — they’re labeled as simply “fish sticks” on the menu — but hands down, this is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. They were just unbelievable. If you are ever anywhere near New Orleans, put this restaurant on your must try list!!! Be sure to make reservations.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Plus they have some super fun desserts!! We sat at the oyster bar and got to see all the desserts being made. This resulted in us wanting to order one of each! Here’s their chocolate, peanut butter, and banana pie, topped with crushed Butterfingers and drizzled with salty caramel.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Their fabulous keylime pie.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

They even offer several house-made ice cream flavors with buttery shortbread. Fabulous. Peche is a must in New Orleans!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

The next day Lauren and I enjoyed a quiet morning in our private courtyard in the French Quarter. The apartments where we stayed were the film location for several New Orleans based movies — The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid, Runaway Jury with John Cusack, and yes, the ever-classic Britney Spears movie, Crossroads. ;)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

After a lazy morning, we finally decided to grab brunch at The Ruby Slipper Cafe. I got their signature item, the Eggs Cochon, which was two buttermilk biscuits topped with slow-cooked apple-braised pork, poached eggs and hollandaise. Lauren got something similar but with bacon, and we both loved the bacon!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Since we were in New Orleans, we obviously had to have beignets. Our first stop was Cafe Beignet. We were served up a basket with three pillowy puffs of fried dough smothered in powdered sugar. Incredible!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Then we tried the famous Cafe Du Monde beignets. Would you get a load of all that powdered sugar??! They were loaded with it!! We both preferred the beignets from Cafe Beignet, but Cafe Du Monde is a New Orleans institution, and a must visit if you’ve never been. :)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

That night for dinner, we concluded our beignet tour at La Petite Grocery with these savory Louisiana Blue Crab Beignets.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

You guys.. These are a MUST TRY BEFORE YOU DIE!!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Oh my word. Honestly one of the best things I’ve ever had in my entire life. They were SO good! I am still dreaming about them. I could’ve eaten an entire plate entirely by myself. They were so, so, so, so, SO good. Make these happen in your life ASAP!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

They also had incredible desserts. We were with a group, so of course we got one of everything to try. ;)

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

My favorite was the Butterscotch Pudding with Vanilla Bean Cream in a cute little mason jar.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

The next day we made some fun new friends at Söpö, an ultra stylish boutique in the 7th Ward. Söpö is Finnish for “cute” and stands for Southern Posh.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

They brought in delicious baked goods from Pagoda Cafe for us, like these Strawberry Basil Muffins and Nutella Banana Bread.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Love!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

They had seriously the cutest stuff. How fun is this backpack / travel bag?? It even has a padded pocket for your laptop!! Need!!!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Gorgeous jewelry.

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Even sparkly gold twine!

Best Restaurants in New Orleans. #travel #neworleans #nola #restaurants

Lauren and I were dying over the Krewe sunglasses!! Such a fun morning shopping at Söpö.

That afternoon we went to one of the most amazing bakeries I’ve ever been to. They do it all — chocolates, pastries, cupcakes, macarons, gelato – and they make it ALL themselves. It is definitely a New Orleans must. Stayed tuned for the next post!! :) xoxo


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