Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras Shindig

Happy Mardi Gras!

Now that Mardi Gras has come and gone, I should be getting back to more cooking and blogging.

It's not that I've been slacking lately, mind you. It's just that for the past two weeks, I've been focused on our combined Mardi Gras / Superbowl party scheduled for (you guessed it) Superbowl Sunday.

This is our third annual Mardi Gras party. It's a lot of fun treating all our friends to Cajun and Creole cooking, hurricanes, and Southern hospitality. Hubby, the New Englander that he is, probably thinks it's all a bit odd. However, he is always happy to be taken along for the ride each year.

This year, Hubby and I opted to combine our Mardi Gras party with the Superbowl. Here's why:
  • We usually throw our party on the weekend before Mardi Gras, which also happened to be Superbowl weekend this year.
  • We've never thrown a Superbowl party.
  • Hubby treated us to a fabulous, new HDTV last year.
  • The Patriots, Hubby's favorite team and mine once the Saints showed no hope of getting anywhere near the Superbowl, were a lock. (We'll come back to this one later.)

I spent Friday and Saturday cooking and decorating the house. Hubby helped with cleanup, running errands, and keeping my head from exploding. :)

My menu included appetizers for nibbling as the game got underway and a couple of main dishes for half-time and late game consumption.

Cajun sweet and spicy nuts
Pickled okra and pickled green beans
Veggie platter with Tabasco Green dip
Fruit platter
Zapp's Tabasco chips and Zapp's Salt & Vinegar chips with remoulade dip
Tortilla chips with mango salsa (decidely un-Cajun, but full of Mardi Gras color)
Mini muffalettas
Cheese platter
Boudin with Creole mustard
Grilled duck, andouille, and smoked sausage gumbo
red beans and rice
hurricanes, Abita beers
a king cake and a queen cake, both with praline filling

Here are some shots of the food and decor:
The appetizer spread

Veggies with Tabasco Green Dip

Mini Muffalettas

The Cheese Plate: Chef John Folse's Bittersweet Dairy Vache Sante' cheese and a random aged, sharp cheddar served with crackers, red pepper jelly, muscadine jelly, and fig preserves. (Excuse the rough-looking photo. This was taken long after the cheese had been attacked by our guests.)

We had a nice turnout and a good group of folks. Everyone went along goodnaturedly with my silly Mardi Gras trivia contest just to get a shot at winning a prize package of New Orleans books, beads, masks, and some Louisiana foodstuffs.

My friend Mrs. AP revealed herself as quite the shark and beat Mr. KP at pool. There was the incident of Mr. M2 selecting and finding the plastic baby in a slice of queen cake instead of king cake. I bestowed the most beautiful of Mardi Gras tiaras upon him and had him parade around waving to everyone.

There was the tomato seed spitting contest and a few other hilarious party fouls. The only problem with the party was the Patriots having lost the Superbowl. I was bummed for Hubby. But, hey, if Tom Brady has to lose to another team, I don't mind him losing to a Louisianian like Eli Manning. :> As for the Pats, there's always next year.

0 red beans:

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