Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Seafood Gumbo Recipe

Nothing compares to the flavors of Louisiana cooking, especially when seafood is involved! We want to share with one of our favorite recipes for Louisiana Seafood Gumbo. Bon appétit! 

Photo credit: George Graham (

Recipe by: George Graham -

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Serves: 6

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
12 cups shrimp stock
4 bay leaves
4 gumbo crabs, cracked and quartered
3 pounds large raw Louisiana Gulf shrimp, peeled
1 pint raw Louisiana oysters, with juice
1 pound white Louisiana crabmeat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cajun seasoning
Dash of hot sauce
Gumbo file’
6 cups cooked Louisiana long grain white rice, such as Supreme
1 cup diced green onion tops

  1. That’s right, first you make a roux. Over medium-high heat, combine the oil and flour in a black iron pot or heavy dutch oven. Begin stirring and don’t stop until you reach a peanut butter colored roux. You will smell it as it cooks, and it is a nutty aroma you seek that is perfect for a seafood gumbo. Darker roux is for heavier wild game dishes so don’t go too far past this point.
  2. Stop the roux from cooking by adding the onions, celery, and bell pepper. Continue stirring until the vegetables turn translucent and then add the garlic. Combine all the vegetables and then add the stock along with the bay leaves and the gumbo crabs. Bring the liquid to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 1 hour. Check it and give it a stir every 15 minutes and be sure to skim off any fat or foam from the surface.
  3. The key to this gumbo is not to overcook the seafood. You can stage the base gumbo to this point and hold it there indefinitely. Actually, it gets even better the longer it sits. When you are ready to serve it up, add the shrimp, oysters, and crabmeat and cook until the largest shrimp are done, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper along with a light hand on the Cajun seasoning. Don’t over season seafood gumbo. Your guests can always add their own hot sauce and gumbo file’ at the table.
  4. Ladle the gumbo around a mound of rice and garnish with a sprinkle of diced green onion tops. Ice-cold beer and hot French bread are a given.
Photo credit: George Graham (
Find the original recipe post for this Seafood Gumbo here, and check out our Louisiana Cooking Pinterest Board for more yummy recipes like these! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Most Share-Worthy Spots in Lincoln Parish

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

Between charming downtown streets, scenic views, and iconic Louisiana landmarks, Ruston & Lincoln Parish has several spots that lend themselves to being photographed and shared. Next time you find yourself in the area, be sure to snap a photo at one of these spots and share it on social media!

1. The Dixie Theatre

Built in 1928, The Dixie is a Ruston landmark. You can’t pass through Downtown Ruston without noticing its brightly lit marquee adorned with the famous flashing star on top. While the attached courtyard is perfect for daytime photos, the Dixie's iconic sign makes for a great shot at night. 

2. Lady of the Mist 

Photo via Instagram @rthhan
The Lady of the Mist is one of the most beloved and recognizable landmarks on Louisiana Tech University's Campus. The fountain is located in the Quad and symbolizes "Alma Mater," welcoming new students and bidding farewell to graduates. The Lady of the Mist is super photogenic, so be sure you get a photo with her when you're in the area. 

3. Mitcham Farms Peach Store and Orchard

Photo via Instagram @codyalbritton
The Mitcham Farms Peach Orchard is the site where Ruston Peaches are grown, processed, and sold. Mitcham's Peach Store has become a must-visit location in Ruston, where you can get homemade peach ice cream & more peachy products. The Mitcham Farms sign on the processing shed has become quite the spot to snap a photo during a visit to the orchard or Peach Store. 

4. The Piers at Lincoln Parish Park 

Photo via Instagram @raeshirl
Lincoln Parish Park has numerous scenic views that are downright picture perfect. While the park offers several different photo ops, people love taking and sharing photos from the piers on the park's lake. Complete with a sunset through the trees, it's hard not to share something this pretty!

5. The Ruston Farmers Market Mural

Photo via Instagram @bringthestew
The new Ruston Farmers Market building has quickly become one of the most share-worthy spots in the area. The beautiful mural, painted by LA Tech art students, is the perfect place to snap a fun photo. 

6. Fountain at Railroad Park

Photo via Instagram @therealjoshmac
Nestled in the heart of charming Downtown Ruston, Railroad Park is an ideal location to take photos. In February 2016, the original, historic fountain was brought back to Railroad Park, making it an even more appealing spot to snap a pic. 

7. Architecture at Huckleberry Trails Park

Photo via Instagram @ cassidyakeim
This amazing metal structure is located in Huckleberry Trails Park and was built to serve as an outdoor classroom for a local elementary school. The piece was designed and built by LA Tech architecture students. This structure is definitely one of the most unique and share-worthy spots in Ruston. 

8. Dubach's Dog Trot Welcome Center 

Photo via Instagram @ razorturf
Known as the Dog Trot Capital of the World, Dubach, LA offers several unique photo ops. Take a step back in time as you visit the Dog Trot Welcome Center in Downtown Dubach, which is one of two dog trot houses in the area. Be sure to snap and share your photos!

9. Eddie the Fighting Tiger 

Photo via Instagram @ giftedandsmart
This 17-foot tiger statue is located on the Grambling State University campus. Students named the tiger Eddie, presumably after Eddie G. Robinson, the university’s legendary head football coach. The ferocious sculpture has quickly become a prime place to pose and take a photo. 

10. The Carriageway

Photo via Instagram @ julian_jones
The Carriageway is a whimsical breezeway in Downtown Ruston that runs along the side of The Fashion and Chartreuse Pear. With twinkling lights, exposed brick walls, and delicate tables and chairs, The Carriageway provides a quaint and rustic backdrop to any photo. Strike a pose, snap a pic, and share this charming scene. 

We hope you enjoy these share-worthy spots in Ruston & Lincoln Parish. Don't forget to use the hashtag #RustonLA when posting photos on social media so we can see and share your Ruston photos! 

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website

Friday, October 7, 2016

Experience Gameday in Ruston

Written by Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant

If you’re a fan of small college towns where football takes over the entire weekend, then Ruston, La. is the place for you! Here in Ruston, gameday festivities last all weekend long, with events for the entire family. The City of Ruston, the Ruston Lincoln CVB, and the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association have partnered together to bring fans and visitors a weekend-long gameday experience called Loyal Blue Weekends.

LA Tech Cheerleaders performing during Rock the Railroad
Photo credit: Buie Photography

Loyal Blue Weekends take place every home-game weekend and feature family activities, spirit groups, live music, and more football fun. This is the perfect event for the out-of-town visitor who doesn’t have a set gameday plan, but wants to get out and have the Louisiana Tech Football gameday experience.

Loyal Blue Weekends kick off on Friday night in Downtown Ruston, where all football fans and visitors are invited to come out and Rock the Railroad. Starting at 5:30pm in Railroad Park, families can come out and take part in kids’ activities, including inflatables, face painting, and more. At 6pm Champ and the LA Tech spirit groups get the crowd pumped up with some fun and interactive performances. 

Enjoying kids activities at Rock the Railroad
Photo credit: Buie Photography

Stick around after these activities for some great live music from 6:30-8:30pm. This is also the perfect time to visit downtown shops and grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants in Downtown Ruston. The fun doesn’t stop there! Everyone is invited to come watch a movie in the Quad on LA Tech’s campus after the band wraps up at 8:30pm.

Did we mention that all of these activities and events are totally free and open to the public!?

Grab some cotton candy from the Social Bites cotton candy cart while you're downtown
Photo credit: Buie Photography

The festivities continue on Saturday, as fans and visitors are encouraged to shop and eat in downtown before the game. Avoid game day traffic and the hassle of stadium parking by leaving your vehicle downtown and catching the Tech Trolley at Railroad Park, which transports fans to and from the stadium free of charge. The trolley will run continuously 2 hours prior to kickoff, giving fans plenty of time to tailgate, and 1 hour after the game.

Don’t have a designated tailgate spot, but still want the tailgating experience? Bulldog Village, located at the bottom of the Thomas Assembly Center steps, offers live music, inflatables, a photobooth, interactive X-box play station and other games, a cell phone charging station, the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore, and much more! Everyone is welcome to come enjoy these free pre-game activities.

Come join us in Downtown Ruston for a fun Gameday experience!
Photo Credit: Buie Photography

We invite you to visit us this fall in Ruston to enjoy a weekend packed with football fun and small town charm. Whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, or with your family, Ruston has a gameday experience waiting for you; all you have to do is show up!

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Locals Love It: Chartreuse Pear

Written By Tori Ward, Marketing/PR Assistant
In this "Locals Love It" blog we're spotlighting a local shop known for its uniqueness and charm. Chartreuse Pear is a quaint store tucked away in Downtown Ruston that offers a little bit of everything! See why locals just can't get enough of this Ruston favorite. 

Locals Love the Cozy Atmosphere
" I feel like I walk into a friend's home when I'm there! " - Tracy A. 

Chartreuse Pear has an undeniably cozy and charming atmosphere. Entering the store requires taking a walk down an adorable, whimsical carriageway complete with chairs, benches, and twinkly lights. Locals love to sit and relax in the carriageway when the weather is nice! Inside, the store offers the quaintness and charm that you hope to get from a small-town shop; however, the eclectic décor and assortment of gorgeous products sets it apart from a typical boutique shop. 

Chartreuse Pear in Downtown Ruston

Locals Love the Unique Merchandise
"This shop brings so much to Ruston that you can't find anywhere nearby." - Sharon S. 

Chartreuse Pear offers an assortment of products ranging from home décor, antiques and bedding to bath products, jewelry and stationary. This beautiful shop carriers select brands that can't be found anywhere else in the area. Whether you're looking for a gift or something fun for yourself, you'll find it at Chartreuse Pear!  

Jewelry available at Chartreuse Pear

Locals Love the Personable Staff
"Brenda & Travis are over the top in service & sweetness and always help others!" - MK H. 

Chartreuse Pear is locally owned by mother-son duo Brenda and Travis. These two not only stock the store with the most beautiful and unique items, but they also provide incredible customer service to everyone who walks through the door. They know most local customers by name and are extremely easy to strike up a conversation with. The entire staff are experts at providing suggestions and even help overwhelmed husbands pick out the perfect gifts for their wives. 

Owner Travis embraces a customer at Chartreuse Pear
Photo via 

Next time you're in Downtown Ruston, be sure to pay Chartreuse Pear a visit. You'll be happy you did! 

Tori is a proud Louisiana native and social media nerd. She has a passion for travel, food, and all things related to tourism promotions. Tori is an avid movie watcher, coffee fanatic, and lover of the outdoors. Still want to know more? Head over to her website