Saturday, August 23, 2014
Stop by the Welcome Center for Louisiana souvenirs,
1205 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles

Summer is a hot travel season here in Southwest Louisiana.  It’s the time of year for leisure travelers and weekend warriors to explore the beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, see the alligators along the Creole Nature Trail and hit up the casinos and live concerts.  

When visitors are looking for something authentic from Lake Charles to bring home with them, there are a few spots around the area they can shop for souvenirs.

Cottage Shops located on Alamo St.

  1. The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau gift shop has Louisiana art, Mardi Gras regalia, Lake Charles t-shirts, post cards, Cajun Ben’s Alligator Heads and Necklaces, magnets, cookbooks, Tabasco Jelly Beans, home decor and more.
  2. LeBleu’s Landing in Sulphur sells hot sauces, Louisiana culinary gift items, children’s toys, books, aprons and other authentic Southwest Louisiana items.
  3. The Cottage Shops Cultural District offers assorted boutiques offering Louisiana art, jewelry, coffee and local souvenirs, as well.
  4. The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail brochure features several locations who ship frozen boudin across the country.

For other Louisiana products and culinary ingredients, check out this video
Friday, July 11, 2014
Yellow Squash and Anaheim Peppers
My neighbor keeps spoiling me this summer. Every few days he'll bring over homegrown butternut squash, zucchini, cucumber or tomatoes. It makes me remember the days that I grew up helping my dad in his garden. 

A few weeks ago I made a list of all of vegetables I want to grow in my own garden. But as I got to thinking about how much work it was as a kid, I decided the next day I'll just start shopping more often at the farmers market!

Southwest Louisiana has four farmers markets. When I get in a rut about what to cook for dinner, I just go to the farmers market and see what's fresh and available. Plus, they keep their Facebook pages updated so I know what they will have!  
After shopping at the Charlestown Downtown Farmers Market,
see the exhibits inside the 1911 City Hall Arts & Cultural Center.

Yum! Fresh bread.
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Location: Corner of Enterprise and Broad in downtown Lake Charles
Tip: Get there as early as you can! And Garden Path Groceries always has healthy take away food. We love her quinoa and butternut squash stuffed red bell peppers.

 Charlestown Farmers Market on Nelson Rd.
Time:  3-5:30 p.m.
Location:  Trinity Baptist Church parking lot - corner of Nelson and Country Club Rd.
Purchase Louisiana-made items including grains such as jasmine rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, meats, gumbo, canned goods, baked goods and plants.
Organic juice, anyone?

Time: 8 a.m. - noon
Location: Behind 1911 Historic City Hall in downtown Lake Charles
Tip: Enjoy the day with the family in downtown Lake Charles. Bring a stroller for the little ones. They always have samples the children enjoy trying and advice for the adults on how to cook the veggies.


Time: 8 a.m. - noon
Location: Olde Tyme Variety Store, 810 Ruth St., Sulphur

Tip: This week there are figs! (I've been dying to make a fig pie!) And they often have someone making fresh crepes for breakfast and you can even pick up barbecue for lunch, in addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables for your side dishes.



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