If you are in New Orleans and you are looking at this view of Jackson square...
...you may notice a heavenly, sugary smell in the air. Simply turn to the right, walk a few steps and you will come upon this institution:
Cafe du Monde originally opened as a coffee stand in 1862. Eventually, beignets were added to the menu. Today, the menu consists of chickory coffee, iced coffee, blended coffee, hot chocolate, milk, and beignets. The coffee is great, but everyone comes for the beignets, as close to heaven on earth as you are bound to get.
About a month ago, my mom showed up at our house with a sack of gourmet goodies from World Market. In addition to some tagliatelli and garlic olive oil were a can of Cafe Du Monde Chickory Coffee and Beignet mix. Immediately, Collin, who constantly watches the Food Channel and had heard of beignets kept bugging me about making them. At first, I had no powdered sugar. Then the time was never right to have a pot of 375 F cooking oil on the stove and a mountain of flour to clean up afterwards. The time finally came, and this morning, Collin helped me create heaven on earth.
This mix is fairly easy to find (I know that they carry it at Giant Eagle), but if you can't find it in your area, you can order it here. Anyhow, they were quite easy to make. 2 cups of mix, 7 ounces of water, mix it together, roll out onto a WELL floured surface (we needed to use LOTS of flour), then cut into 24 squares. Deep fry, cover with mounds of powdered sugar (a must), et voila, beignets.
Obviously beignets at Cafe du Monde. Mine weren't quite so square. But they were just as delicious!
As I said, Collin helped me make them, so I could say that they are so easy to make, a 10-year-old can do it. He did the mixing, I did the rolling, he did the cutting, he put the beignets in the oil, I did the turning and removing of the completed beignets, and he covered them with powdered sugar.
My sous chef. Notice the flour all over the hoodie.
The beignets were enjoyed by all with my husband making the "heaven on earth" face while eating them, my toddler giving a grand "Mmmmmm" with each bite, and the kids making sure that there was more mix so further beignets could be had in the future.
Afterwards came the clean up. There was flour all over the kitchen, and it sort of looked like someone had exploded a bag of powdered sugar in the living room, where Collin, the messiest eater ever, had his beignets.
A particularly sugary area.
Despite the sugar madness, I will be making these again. Did I mention that they are delicious? Which makes the clean up definately worth it.
My Photographic Genius
As I was going through my camera looking at pictures, I came across a series of photos taken when Will got his hands on the camera. They are pretty cool, so I thought I'd share.
I'm not sure how he took them or whose leg that is, but they are quite modern artsy, no? Now concludes the section where I brag about my baby.