Unforgettable New Orleans

01-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-263Photo via Marla Meridith

One of the first adventures on our 6-day seafood experience with the Louisiana Seafood Board was a trip to Pontchartrain Blue Crabs fisheries in Slidell, LA. We met with local fishermen and got a first-hand look at how much hard work and care goes into the jobs behind the Louisiana seafood industry. We also got a chance to sample some seriously delicious freshly caught gulf seafood!

02-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-218Photo via Marla Meridith

Here was our captain for the day. Did I mention he was also a fireman?

KERRY MALONEY / LOUISIANA SEAFOOD NEWSPhoto via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

We took a ride on the boat around Lake Pontchartrain (an area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina) and collected baskets of fresh blue crab.

04-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-456Photo via Maggy

Here’s our catch!


The experience was made so much sweeter by spending it with a great group of fellow food bloggers. Even though I was meeting some for the first time, the camaraderie between food bloggers is truly unique. They are so kind and open. I believe food really does bring people together.

07-crab-and-crawfish-Amanda-876With Jenny, Maggy and Gaby

I knew these cuties before.

09-crab-and-crawfish-jenny2Photo via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

Definitely one of the best parts of the trip was chatting and sharing tips with my fellow blogging friends.  It wouldn’t have been the same without them.

05-crab-and-crawfish-Amanda-824Brooke and Maggy

And sharing photos! Maggy, Jenny, Marla and I all swapped photos at the end of the trip. It was so much fun going through their photos when I got home and reliving the week through their lenses. I would’ve never thought to capture some of the angles these talented ladies got.

By the way, if you’d like to read a great summary of why we were in Louisiana, check out Brooke’s recap of our trip. Seriously talented writer here.


Orrr if you’d just like to skip to the embarrassing photos of moi, head on over to Adam’s post at his blog, The Amateur Gourmet. Yes. That would be ChiChi and Pim laughing at me in the background. Oh dear.

06-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-448Photo via Maggy

Here’s a photo Maggy snapped of yours truly. I had to post this one to get Adam’s photo out of your head. This is what I look like all the time, okay? Tangled hair and all. Just so we’re clear.

11-crab-and-crawfish-jenny-flake-404Photo via Jenny

But back to the seafood, here folks! This was one feisty little crab, wish I could’ve taken him home with me!

12-crab-and-crawfish-jenny-flake-397Photo via Jenny

When we got back from our morning on the boat, the kind folks at Pontchartrain Blue Crabs had prepared a giant feast for us. There were whole crabs, crab claws (Kev’s favorite) and crab legs as far as the eye could see.

13-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-255Photo via Marla Meridith

I love this cutie. This is Marla, the talented writer and photographer behind Family Fresh Cooking and also several of the brilliant photos you’ll see in this post. I actually snapped this photo (since her hands were a little full at the time), but it was with Marla’s camera, which happens to be the exact same setup as mine — same body, same lens. I fretted for days on how to credit that one.

17-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-272Photo via Marla Meridith

Hello Mr. Crawfish!

KERRY MALONEY / LOUISIANA SEAFOOD NEWSPhoto via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

Our next excursion took us to an authentic Louisiana crawfish boil. What an incredible experience this was, I’m so glad Blake (our fabulous host for the trip) and the LA seafood board arranged it for us.

KERRY MALONEY / LOUISIANA SEAFOOD NEWSPhoto via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

These guys are about to be our lunch! But first — a bath.


We got such a kick at these cute critters, who were still alive at this point…

19-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-544Photo via Maggy

Although I was unsure if I actually wanted to eat one!

20-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-546Photo via Maggy

21-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-282Photo via Marla Meridith

But after it was all said and done, this might have been one of my most memorable meals from the entire trip.


Corn on the cob and red bliss potatoes were boiled with the crawfish, along with full heads of garlic and tons of seasoning which left the entire dish exploding with spice and flavor. Oh, and did I mention there’s andouille sausage in there too? Be still my heart.

24-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-296Photo via Marla Meridith

I even got a lesson on how to properly eat a crawfish. Pinch the tails, suck the heads. Guess which one of those I did not do.

25-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-570Photo via Maggy

We were also treated to family-style jambalaya, courtesy of local celebrity Kristen Preau, aka Jambalaya Girl. Loved her fork earrings!

26-crab-and-crawfish-maggy-559Photo via Maggy

Here was the huge cast iron pot of chicken, shrimp and sausage jambalaya Kristen made for us hungry bloggers with her signature jambalaya mix.

27-crab-and-crawfish-bloggers-16Photo via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

Another unforgettable experience! Jambalaya is one of my favorite meals and this did not disappoint.

29-crab-and-crawfish-marla-meridith-316Photo via Marla Meridith

After our lunch of crawfish and jambalaya we took a quick trip to Hopedale, Louisiana to the docks off Delacroix Highway to meet a fourth-generation oysterman.


We stepped on the oyster boat and saw their bounty — sacks of oysters waiting to be unloaded.

31-crab-and-crawfish-jenny-flake-461Photo via Jenny

KERRY MALONEY / LOUISIANA SEAFOOD NEWSPhoto via Kerry Maloney / Louisiana Seafood News

If you love raw oysters, these are as fresh as you can get ’em. This one was straight from the Louisiana bayous.

If you’d like to see the settings, cameras and lenses Jenny, Marla, Maggy, and I are using here, you can click on the photos above for all the details.

Lots of love!

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47 Responses
  1. Alta Dillon

    I am from Slidell and this made me a lil bit homesick…:(
    Great pics!! You have inspired me to make a jambalya!!!

  2. Dawn

    I’m sure the food was great but I couldn’t get past the second photo!

    j/k :P
    Beautiful photos! I don’t think I could suck the head either!

  3. Sherrie

    Love the pics, looks like a wonderful place with some good lookin’ peeps! Love your fingernails too! Did you plan that nailpolish on purpose to match the crawfish? Oh and, btw… I’m ready for another list of your “favorite five things,” the ones you cannot live without.

  4. Kiran

    What a great adventure with blogging friends! We’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans. Especially for it’s culture, great foods and atmosphere. I can’t wait to dig into some beignets and fresh seafood :)

  5. Meghan@travelwinedine

    These photos are straight out of a magazine, absolutely stunning! I have always want to go to New Orelans, and you definitely have me even more interested!

  6. Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media]

    The freshly caught sea food looks amazing! I feel like I can smell the jambalaya from this post. Yum!

  7. Brooke @ Food Woolf

    Amanda, thank you so much for the kind words and link to my site. I really appreciate your generosity. And even more, I love the pictures you took of everyone–especially me and Maggy! What a great trip. I am so glad we all got to meet and have such fun together! xoxoxo

  8. Pat Cantrelle

    OMG that Jambalaya is the bomb, but where can I purchase it ? And wher can we get those New Orleans Ear Rings – Love those forks!!!

  9. Kristen a.k.a. Jambalaya Girl

    Amanda – thank you so much for sharing the great photos and stories about New Orleans and my family business! Seriously, the Jambalaya photos looked so good it made me want to fire up the pot and cook up a batch right now :)

    And it was my pleasure cooking for you all and sharing a little taste of Louisiana. You’re right on with the comment that food truly brings people together.

    Tara @ The Butter Dish, and anyone else that’s coming to visit (or stay) in NOLA, please send me a note. I’d love to help make your trip just a memorable!

    Yum Yum, Come Get You Some! – Jambalaya Girl

  10. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic

    I so need to do this during my next trip to NOLA! The blue crab shots made my mouth water. I’m a Maryland girl born and raised and we LOVE our Blue Crabs! I just tried Crawfish boiled for the first time and I loved it. It’s a lot of work but so much fun! Thanks for the great pictures!!!

  11. Jenny Flake

    Fun, fun, fun describes the time we had in NOLA. I seriously will never forget it! So glad we got to be roomies again. Looking forward to our next adventure!

  12. AZAnjanette

    Living vicariously through your posts. One day I hope to experience all the treasures of New Orleans. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures you posted. I almost can taste the food! The blue crab are beautiful creatures. Had never really seen a picture of one before. Thanks and have a blessed day!

  13. Sandra

    You are the prettiest ladies i’ve seen in my life- Marla could probably model too. You are so luck to get to travel so much. Do you ever plan on having kids?

    Or is that question too personal.

  14. Nikki

    Putting aside the photo of you and Adam for a second, can we talk about what you guys WORE???? How adorable is that coral top???? Jenny’s outfit was equally as cute. Discuss…

  15. Georgia Pellegrini

    Amazing photos! I love a good crawfish boil especially. And that picture of Marla is priceless, I hope she blows it up and frames it!

  16. Brenda Hayes

    So glad you enjoyed yourself at my home state! I’m only 4 hours away from New Orleans and love to visit there as it always has so many fun things to do and, of course the food is like none other!

  17. Tara

    I’m so glad you guys got to experience the best of LA’s seafood! Those crawfish look A-mazing! And don’t feel bad – I’m a lifelong LA girl and the smell of uncooked seafood (esp. shrimp) makes me sick too. :)

  18. marla

    Amanda, I love this post!! It is so fun to relive our trip on your blog. I am so happy that you are enjoying my photos – your re-touching is splendid. I have not even gone through them yet. Might need to swing back over here to grab your enhancements ;) Miss you bunches!! xxoo
    By the way – everyone took such amazing pictures!

  19. Marilyn

    Great pictures and it looks like a fun trip! Did you try sucking the heads on the crawfish at all? That’s where all the good juices, aka poop (ha) is at. :)

  20. Adam

    Hey Amanda,

    Great post! And sorry for posting that picture, but I thought it perfectly captured the smell of the shrimp factory! I actually think it’s kind of cute. (I also really like that picture of us.)

    Hope you’re enjoying your time back home. One day you’re going to have to give me photography lessons!

  21. Shelby

    Looks like so much fun!! I am guessing you didn’t suck the heads of the crawfish…at least I would not do that! Yuck! But the food looks so yummy, the pictures are fabulous as usual and it looks like a memorable trip!

  22. Heather @ Sweet Sins 2 Share

    This trip looks like it was amazing! The photos are gorgeous!! Everyone’s posts about the trip are so great and informative!

  23. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Now that looks like some serious fun! I don’t know that I could “properly” eat a crawfish either. Bah! :) Thanks so much for sharing pics from this amazing trip!

  24. Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets

    Great pictures. Looks like you had a ton of fun. And I must say, they definitely picked the right guy to be your captain for a day. =)

  25. Tara @ The Butter Dish

    Theses are amazing photos Amanda and looks like you had a great time.

    My hubby and I are actually in and around New Orleans right now, currently waking up at The Dansereau House historic plantation in. Thibodaux (just west of Nola).

    Your blogs posts are giving us great ideas of things to do while we are here.

    We love it so much we have decided to MOVE HERE!!! crazy right?
    This is just incredible and I can’t wait to go home and plan our move. The sooner the better.

    Maybe you can come back to NOLA and see us next time. :)

  26. Jane Crawford

    The colors in these photos are amazing. Looks like you had 6 days of yumminess.
    Amanda-Do you have one of the Kitchen Ninjas that is being advertised on your blog? I’m trying to decide whether or not to get one. Came so close this weekend, but need to hear more! Thanks.

  27. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Wow, Amanda….such an awesome trip and wonderful pics!!!!

    “Definitely one of the best parts of the trip was chatting and sharing tips with my fellow blogging friends. It wouldn’t have been the same without them.”– Isnt that the truth. Friends can really take a fun experience and take it to new levels. So happy for you!

    Marla….love her, love that pic. She’s one of my besties and we get together for coffee talk and life talk and I just heart her. Love the image you snapped! I have that lens too :)

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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