Last month I had the chance to visit New Orleans for my friends at The Kitchn, and while it was not my first encounter with this magical city, Iâ€™m never bored with it. NOLA has a special way of making you enjoy going with the flow and creating new experiences. What started off as a trip with goals and plans ended with my flight back home being grounded, extra time in the Crescent City, and a masquerade ball and dinner hosted by Mario Batali for the Link Stryjewski Foundation (an organization that supports local youth empowerment groups). I scrambled to find something to wear, but it was totally worth it as the Bal MasquÃ© featured an amazing array of dishes by some of the best chefs around the country. My favorite dish of the weekend was a boozy, citrusy, Baked Alaska type thing called â€œSatsuma Business,â€ born from the minds of Babboâ€™s Rebecca Deangelis and Nick Morgenstern. In typical over-the-top New Orleans style, The Kitchnâ€™s Managing Editor and I stole a whole one from a nearby table and dug in with spoons after finishing our own slices. And though I may not rock an evening gown with high tops again for the foreseeable future, Iâ€™m grateful for another wonderful trip, surprises included.