05 July 2010

Muffin Monday: Sweet Potato Muffins

*** Check out delicious muffins and a Louisiana bed and breakfast inn stuffed with high end antiques for eye candy!

From Denny: Muffin Monday arrives with a sweet potato sweetie! We love our sweet potatoes in Louisiana and enjoy them in our high end restaurants along with our diners. When was the last time you enjoyed a snack of sweet potato chips dusted with powdered sugar while you waited for your restuarant meal? Louisiana farmers are proud of their sweet potatoes and are always on the move to develop new recipes for muffins, breads, chips and casseroles.

Today's bed and breakfast inn is a real stunner of a beauty with the way it is furnished. They even provide fun packages like Cajun cooking lessons which is a great way for a tourist to get into the culture. This bed and breakfast inn is chock full of culture all around it so get in the fun and book a room here sometime soon! They speak both French and English at this unique stay.

"Maison Daboval is a circa 1892 home centrally located to museums, theaters, historical attractions, famous Cajun restaurants, and much more." - Maison Daboval

From the website: Step back in time to Maison Daboval, a Bed and Breakfast in the quaint Southern town of Rayne, Louisiana.

Escape to your bedroom of tall ceilings, hardwood floors, antiques, lace curtains
and a bed fitted with sun-dried, ironed sheets. A deep claw-footed bathtub filled with bubbles awaits to chase your troubles away.

Awake each morning to the inticing smells of sweet potato muffins and Cajun sausage or Frog Legs. Frog Legs?

You never know what you might find in the Frog Capital of the World. You never know what you might find at Maison Daboval.

Maison Daboval has five beautiful rooms, decorated with antiques. Each room has a private bath and all have original claw-footed bathtubs. Every morning a full Cajun breakfast is served. English and French are spoken. Checks, MasterCard and Visa accepted.

Martha and Gene Royer's home was featured on HGTV's "If Walls Could Talk." HGTV was inspired by the rich history of the home and the extensive renovation work.

History of the home

The home was built in 1892 by Emile Daboval, the sixth mayor of Rayne. In 1927, Mrs. Besse bought the property and it became the Besse Annex.

Martha and Gene Royer, French Acadians native to Rayne, bought the home from Mrs. Besse in 1994. Gene, a talented residential painter and Martha, a tour guide for Louisiana have lovingly restored Maison Daboval to its original elegance and charm. During the restoration Gene and Martha found many discoveries about the home. One was the ledger Mrs. Besse kept during the 30's - 40's. This treasure reveals a slice of history about the boarding house days.

In the tradition of Cajun hospitality, the Royers often share nostalgic stories of couples falling in love during the bygone era of the railroad boarding house. A passing train can set the mood for story telling on the front porch of Maison Daboval.

Rayne’s unique history will inspire you to take a walking tour of the city to view the famous frog murals. Once a top exporter of frog legs, Rayne is known as the Frog Capital of the World.

Specials at Maison Daboval: Cooking with the Cajuns

Maison Daboval is offering special cooking classes with a two night stay. Learn how to make (and eat) an authentic Cajun meal. Martha and Gene will take you on a culinary journey - teaching the origins of the meal, ingredients, and cooking techniques that have been handed down through generations of great Cajun cooks. Packages include a two night stay, one cooking lesson and full breakfast each morning. Please call for availability and prices.

Although the term prairie is usually associated with the Great Plains, there is another American prairie–the coastal prairie of Louisiana, the birthplace of a unique and thriving culture.

The words "Cajun country" may bring to mind a freshwater swamp or a moss-draped bayou. But the prairie is also home to Cajun culture.

The word "Cajun" comes from Les Acadiens, French colonists who were exiled from Nova Scotia in 1755. Rayne is located in the heart of the region known as Acadiana, named for the Acadians who came here centuries ago.

Cajun food and music help define and add spice to prairie life, but Cajuns are only part of this cultural gumbo found no place else. The modern-day cultures of the region–Creole and Cajun–are a rich blending of diverse cultures, including French, Spanish, German, African, Scotch-Irish and Native American.

Wherever you go in Cajun country, you will be captivated by the friendliest people in the world—genuine, hardworking folks who find the time to laugh a little, dance a little, and live a unique way of life to its fullest.

The Mississippi Flyway

Rayne, Louisiana is the backyard of the migratory bird Mississippi Flyway. The Flyway, wildlife routes from north to south during seasonal migration for Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, Wood Ducks, Lesser Scaup and other waterfowl, empties into South Louisiana each year. During the height of migration this region offers wonderful observation sites.

The Rayne Railroad

The Louisiana Western Railroad built the Rayne station in 1880. Three years later, named after the railroad engineer who laid the track, B. L. Rayne, the city of Rayne was born. The railroad has played a vital role in the history of Rayne. From exporting rice and barrels of frog legs, to bringing soldiers into the city for training in World War II.

Maison Daboval Bed and Breakfast was a railroad boarding house during the 1940's, linking the home's history to the special relatonship between the railroad and the city.

Prairie Mardi Gras

On the prairie, Mardi Gras runs or courirs de Mardi Gras take place each year in Acadiana's parishes. In one of Louisiana's most richly dramatic traditions, masked and costumed riders on horses, trucks or wagons ride from house to house in their community, begging for contributions to their gumbo that night. At each stop, they entertain their hosts by singing, dancing and clowning in exchange for donations.

Frogs and Rayne

Frogs and Rayne have a history leaping back to the 1880's. The Weill brothers from France started exporting Rayne frog legs, a delicacy made famous by chef Donat Pucheau, to restaurants all over the country. For many years the famous frog legs were found on gourmet restaurant menus, like Sardi's from New York. Rayne is now internationally known as "The Frog Capital of the World". The city even hosts an Annual Frog Festival every year during the second weekend of September.

Listed as one of Louisiana’s top festivals, the immense popularity stems from the appeal of the frog racing and jumping contests, the Frog Festival Queen's contest, the Loins Club Frog Jockeys, and many more unusual events.

From the opening "Fais-do-do" with traditional Cajun music to Frog Festival Parade, guests are filled with a contagious "Joie d’vivre."

*** Remember to support small business in your area and when you travel. Why stay at a Big Business hotel as you travel when you can stay in a more home like atmosphere of a bed and breakfast inn? The prices are comparable, the people friendlier and your stay will be memorable.

Mrs. Besse Room

Use the footstool to reach the grand four-poster queen bed in this elegant room. Mrs. Besse’s room has her original dresser, beautiful accessories and a private bath. The room is furnished with a TV/Cable and remote.This upstairs room faces the front of the house, and you can slip onto the second story front porch at night and watch for the train.

Maison Daboval
305 East Louisiana Avenue
Rayne, Louisiana 70578

Fax: (337) 334-3488

Martha and Gene Royer, Innkeepers

Sweet Potato Muffins

From: Maison Daboval


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetalbe oil
1 17oz can sweet potatoes, drained & mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dates chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift first four ingredients in a bowl. Combine eggs and next four ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Mix sweet potato mixture and dry ingredients together. Dust pecans and dates with the 1/4 cup flour then add to muffin mixture. Grease muffin pans and bake for 27-30 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.

*** Sweet potato muffin photo by erin.kkr @ flickr

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