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2012 – The Best Tastes & Sights of Clearly Delicious

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© 2012 Helana Brigman
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2012 has been a great, trying, eventful, (sometimes) overwhelming, and delicious year. Clearly. Since 2009, I would rate these last twelve months as some of the most clearly delicious times I’ve had so far. Between plates of homemade ravioli, bowls of tortilla soup, and wonderful tastes at local restaurants, I don’t think it’s possible that I’ve ever eaten better!

And, I want to take a moment to say just how grateful I am for the kind comments and emails I receive from you readers as well as your constant support sharing my recipes and pictures on Pinterest, Facebook , and Twitter. When writing a food and cooking blog, content is always key, but the sense of community that comes out of this content has really given me a wonderful amount of pride in writing and photographing quality recipes and posts for you. In 2013, I promise to make Clearly Delicious even more exciting and engaging with these new updates:

1.) Videos – I’ve talked for several years about adding videos to Clearly Delicious, and now, I’m biting the bullet, taking that leap, and grabbing the metaphorical bull by its horns. You can expect videos contributing to the Clearly Delicious “How To” series as well as more creative narratives that will follow me in the kitchen as I cook recipes from my posts. For a sneak preview at the first video (a simple clip on How to Scramble Eggs), you can visit my YouTube page here.

This particular video was a pleasure and learning experience to make. Only 3:23 long, I’ve synced it to my favorite Louis Armstrong song, “La Vie en Rose,” and filmed all of the steps in making perfect scrambled eggs from start to finish. The video was shot in one sitting (a “single shot” if you will), and serves many of the didactic purposes I hope to continue on this blog.

Watch for each of the key steps and little reminder tips and tricks when cooking with eggs in order to not run the risk of them over-cooking or drying out (especially when using teflon surfaces).

2.) My Book Finally! It’s here! The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round will be out March 11th, 2013. Pre-ordering is already available online from a variety of sellers (Amazon being my favorite, here), and I can’t wait to hold the baby in my arms. I think I’ll call her “Fresh” for short.

3.) Book Signings, Appearances, Talks, and Cooking Demonstrations – That’s right, I, Helana Brigman, will be hitting the road in southern Louisiana signing copies at local bookstores and giving demonstrations and talks as the book release gets closer. Currently, I only have a few events on my schedule for the months of February, March, and April (here), but I hope you come out if only for some delicious sample recipes.

4.) New Newsletter – Another (finally!) for this one. Clearly Delicious has (finally) gotten her act together and drafted up a more visually stimulating and content-driven newsletter that can help you jump between posts and read about what’s “trending” on the blog. This might be book reviews, new recipes, or recipes gone viral (as with my Tortilla Soup and Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme). Be sure to subscribe on the homepage to keep up with what’s going on here. I would like to thank, especially, the engineers at Wysija, who’ve developed one of the easiest and user-friendly newsletter plugins I’ve yet to see for WordPress. And of course, to Will Fawcett for all of his help with the blog and always keeping me company on Skype business calls and blog updates.


Now, enough about 2013. Let’s look at the year that’s been at Clearly Delicious. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have experienced these tastes and sights with you!


2012 – In Pictures

Great Recipes – Gone Viral:

Alison’s Green Juice Detox – over 10,000+ shares on Pinterest (plus – over 7,000 individual pins from the website alone).  Some recipes are so good, everyone can identify with them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 12.24.23 PM


Screen shot 2012-12-30 at 3.15.29 PM

Pictured: a screen shot taken this weekend of my Tortilla Soup recipe page. I posted this version about a year ago right after running the Cypress Challenge 5-K with my friend Ellen. I had no idea it would become one of the most popular dishes on this site or that it would dominate Pinterest like none of my other recipes.


Baked Eggs with Bacon and Thyme – a relatively new recipe at the blog, but one that’s been receiving hits at Reddit, Tumblr, and Foodgawker.

Restaurants – Here are some of my favorite places to eat this year:


One of my favorite Restaurant, low-lighting food shots ever: a waiter decanting red wine at Baton Rouge’s Le Creolé, home to Executive Chef Ryan Andre.


Insanely good “Divers en Nage,” a tapas featuring buttery scallops and micro-greens at Baton Rouge’s Restaurant IPO, home to Executive Chef Chris Wadsworth.


Deep fried perfection with these heavenly fried shrimp at Satterfield’s in New Roads, LA. A restaurant Rhett and I hit up on the way back from north Louisiana.


Spicy Cajun Bloody Mary’s available at The Chimes in Baton Rouge. Rimmed with Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning and stuffed with okra, I could drink this beverage every Saturday!


A real gem in the Baton Rouge food community: Fat Cow Burgers at the Southgates of LSU. Pictured: basil, tomato, and mozzarella atop the Sicilian Burger. I can’t get enough of this burger (or its sweet bun) and the Duck Fat Fries. Gah. . . so good.


Student preparing submission for the Seafood Fitness Challenge with Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine in May of 2012. I still get giddy when I go into the Louisiana Culinary Institute’s test kitchens.

Photoshoots, Photoshoots, Photoshoots – For the first time in a while, I’ve been both in front of and behind the camera. Whether it be candid cooking shots with one Jon Barry or this promo image with Lovetrolux Photography, it’s been nerve-racking and exciting to see these images produced:

book cover

August photoshoot with Lovetrolux Photography. Originally intended as the cover of my book (and in some ways, I wish it was), but a beautiful shot nonetheless. I will continue to use it for press, but maybe even for my first eBook of tips and tricks from the blog. Thanks Bret for making me feel so comfortable AND beautiful.

Author Headshot

One of the most stunning photos of me could only be accomplished by one Jon Barry. I look at this sometimes and think. . .wow, do I look like that?


The Fresh Table Book Covera stunning actualization of my first book. What an incredible experience.

People, People, People – I’ve had the opportunity to cook with and meet some amazing people. Here are the highlights:


Holly Clegg of the Trim & Terrific Cookbook series.


Jessica Pineda – the night of some incredible batches of Homemade Tomato Sauce.


Corinne Cook at The Advocate’s White Christmas Photoshoot.


Thanksgiving with Lydia Dorsey, her family, and their dog Boo! What a wonderful way to spend the holidays.

Mr. Buddy1

Endless Saturdays at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. Mr. Buddy’s Peaches from Plantation Pecan and the subsequent Peach Pie were highlights of my summer.

And just because this is fun, the bizarre advertisement treasures from Victorian Periodicals (Sunlight Soap, volume 2, 1902, Illustrated London News):

Sunlight Soap

Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful year! I look forward to next year’s 2013 post and all of the experiences, recipes, and pictures to come.

Happy New Year.

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