CREOLE CONFECTIONS
20091221-finds-0101.jpg Give yourself dozens of good reasons to hit the gym (and the dance floor) this year with Carolyn Shelton’s Zydeco Blues ’n’ Gumbo Cookbook (Chanel Zeno Publishing), a pleasure trove of soul food recipes from the great Afro-French kitchens of southwest Louisiana. The book also features short biographies and culinary contributions from some of the region’s best-known Creole musicians and artists — from Geno Delafose’s tasso and smothered sausage to Sid “El Sido” Williams’ mirliton dressing. Born in Louisiana and raised in Texas, Shelton is a former flight attendant, etiquette coach and cooking show host who learned Creole cooking at the knees of the best teachers of all: her mother, Angelina Zeno, and her grandmothers. These are the rib-sticking comfort foods that steam forth from Acadiana’s sacred, celebrated plate-lunch emporia. In the foreword Shelton admits as much, confessing that she used to refer to her mom’s pineapple cake as “Diabetes with a Smile.” Honesty is the best policy. Zydeco Blues ’n’ Gumbo Cookbook is available for $19.95 through the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, (337) 232-3737 or www.lafayettetravel.com. — Walter Pierce

ALL SAINTS DAYS
Abdul the Tentmaker, Whistle Monsta, Da Pope, Voo Doo Man, Penalty Man, Supa Saint, Fleur D Licious, Gris-Gris man, Randy Elvis, the Who Dat Clown, they’re all here, the most colorful collection of super fans ever assembled in one calendar. Two thousand ten is looking like the Saints may finally break into the Super Bowl, so what better way to commemorate than by hanging up the wildest dome denizens of New Orleans to mark each month. The brain child of Supa Saint, the Black & Gold Super Fans Calendar costs $15 and can be ordered online at www.dirtycoast.com. A portion of the proceeds benefit the 9th Ward Field of Dreams charity in New Orleans to build state-of-the-art track and football facilities in the 9th Ward. ­— Nathan Stubbs

OVERNIGHT STYLE
It’s one of the fastest-growing handbag, travel bag, and tote companies in the country, and it’s selling like hotcakes at Bath Haus in River Ranch, which has restocked its cinda b inventory several times since first receiving the popular bags in November. The line includes everything you need for traveling (the hot iron case, pictured here, even has a heat resistant interior, so you can pack it hot!) in terrific quilted patterns and fun colors, like the most popular over-nighter, also pictured, in roundabout red. This size is also great as a carry-on for air travel. The bags are made in the U.S. with durable, poly/nylon fabrics, making all of them water-resistant and machine washable. Check out the wide selection of cinda b, including jewelry cases and makeup bags, ranging in price from $17 to $100 at Bath Haus, 993-0644. — Leslie Turk

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