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Adventures in Dining 
Children love to explore. However, not always at the table. You resort to serving the same Mac 'n Cheese, Chicken Fingers, Hamburgers and Fries along with the same old kid drink. Time to change. If you put tasty, colorful, well-prepared food in front of them, they will eat.
Maybe, you say!

Why not try to set aside at least one evening for the family and schedule a "dinner party". A special meal centered around a regional dish that will appeal to the whole family. The old adage, "try it, you'll like it", might just win out and a future "foodie" is born. The best way to keep the child's interest alive is to include him/her in the cooking (where possible) and preparation process. Every child delights in showing off what they made. Since we are featuring the Creole and Cajun cuisine of New Orleans, here are some of the city's specialties that children will enjoy. There's an interesting story behind every bite. 

Creole/Cajun Jambalaya - with shrimp, chicken or spicy Cajun andouille sausage combined with rice, bell peppers, onions, celery and spices.

Red Beans and Rice-  local comfort food, usually served on Lundi (Monday) over rice. Add a dash of Tabasco hot sauce popular since the 1860's.

Po-boy - New Orleans version of the hero sandwich. Crusty French bread stuffed with any number of ingredients from fried fish, oysters to turkey, ham or roast beef and "dressed" with lettuce, tomato and Blue Plate mayonnaise, a Louisiana favorite. Created in the 1920's to feed striking streetcar workers. Cost 5 cents.

Beignets- Creole pastries carrés (square-shaped pastries), fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Enjoyed with a Café au Lait at the Café Du Monde in the French Quarter.

Pralines (say Praw-leen) - New Orleans style are soft, rich and buttery. Aunt Sally's are the most famous.

Crème Brûlée- Arnaud's restaurant served the first one in the 1980's. Kids will love the sugar crusted on top of creamy custard.

Pecan Pie -  Louisiana Pecans

King Cake- traditional brioche-type ring cake served at parties and masked balls during Carnival season from January 6 to Mardi Gras. Try one for a birthday party. Insert a lucky token for someone to find and ask the kids to decorate with colorful icing and colored sugars. 

We have included the recipe for King Cake in the Recipes section of this issue.

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