REALCAJUNRECIPES.COM EXPANDS WITH NEW FEATURES

In December of 2002, we wrote an article about a website called RealCajunRecipes.com that was started by two Kaplanites, Christina LeMaire and Brandon Abshire. At the time, the site was still in its early stages but there were about 500 recipes - many of them submitted by Kaplanites.

Since then, the site has grown, thanks in part to the response from Kaplan Herald Readers. Now there are nearly 700 recipes with 135 of them being from Kaplan. The site has just about any Cajun recipe you can think of. In addition to having many versions of Cajun Classics such as gumbo, etouffee and boudin (boudoin), you can find recipes for debris, fried frog legs, rice and gravy, fried liver and fig tarts. There are even recipes for cleaning garfish, making cracklings and making dried shrimp.

The site has grown in many other ways as well. RealCajunRecipes.com now has a "visual cookbook" that has pictures of classic Cajun dishes submitted by both the creators of the site and website visitors. Some of the photographed dishes include frog leg sauce piquante, boudin balls, couche couche, Maw-Maw LeMaire's crawfish rice dressing and shrimp fettuccini. There are currently over 30 pictures and more are added each month.

RealCajunRecipes.com also features full-length articles written by Christina LeMaire and her mom Ruby Parker-Buchanan. Christina moved to Southern California four years ago so her articles tend to revolve around finding good Cajun food outside of Louisiana. One of her articles even talks about having crawfish overnighted to her in San Diego and the fantastic crawfish boil that she had the next day. Ruby's articles focus more on cooking and tradition. She covers everything from Cajun weddings to making boudin and cooking jambalaya for 120 people.

The most recent addition to the site is called "Maw-Maw and them's blog." Blogs, short for web logs, are online journals or diaries and they've caused quite a bit of stir in the online world. Bloggers, as blog authors are called, were even acknowledged as legitimate journalists at the recent Democratic and Republican conventions.

Christina and Ruby started the blog because of the overwhelming response to the "Ask Maw-Maw" section of the RealCajunRecipes.com website. So many people wrote in and asked about Cajun culture that it just made sense to start a journal about what it's like to be a part of the Cajun culture. Christina has already written about growing up reading Gaston books and the difference between being Cajun and Creole. They currently have plans to write about the Cajun French language, good places to eat in Acadiana and Cajun Folklore. Next week, they plan to post pictures of Dennis Menard (from Kaplan) wrangling an alligator and how Ruby was rewarded by some of her tax clients in crawfish, shrimp, frog legs, King cakes, pralines and fig cakes.

RealCajunRecipes.com has been described as "the best Cajun recipe site on the Internet" by their visitors. They would like to thank two of their biggest recipe contributors from Kaplan, Alberta "Bert" LeBlanc and Brenda Richard for helping them get there. Christina would like to personally thank her mom, Ruby, for spending countless hours entering in recipes and answering all the "Ask Maw-Maw" questions with such great care and detail.

So what's in RealCajunRecipes.com's future? Ruby told us "We have had so many requests for recipe books; we have started the fire and are boiling the water to start that project. We hope to have it completed in time for the holidays and we will announce it 'in da paper' when we release it".

Visit RealCajunRecipes.com today to find your favorite recipes or submit a recipe yourself. Call your Maw Maw, bet she has some good ones too that she always cooked when you went to visit! Your recipe will be seen across the world and acknowledged by hundreds of thousands as a real Cajun recipe.

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