I never cooked an entire meal on my own until I left home in the mid-70's. At the time, there was a local food writer named Leon Soniat who had a weekly column in the food section of our paper. I used to clip his recipes and try them out, just basics you think of from this area - red beans, jambalaya, etouffee, etc. Then he came out with his cookbook - La Bouche Creole (the Creole Mouth) which is a compilation of his columns, plus personal stories, local food customs, and what it was like growing up in NOLA with fond memories of his French-Creole grandparents, his Mamere, and Papere. His recipes are easy to follow and tasty, though for some reason when cooking seafood dishes, his recipes call for using water or broth, when making a seafood stock would be so much better, and it's not like the ingredients aren't handy.
EdSails - you'd really like this cookbook for it's stories as much as the recipes.