Mardi Gras 2015

mb7fCdGzFKrjKPBG.png(picture by Diem Le)

Mardi Gras!!! Was yesterday… Which means today is ash wednesday. I’m not catholic, but the only reason I know these things is because one of my favorite holidays is Fat Tuesday. We celebrated this weekend with friends. I usually hide a baby in the cake and give out prizes buuuuuut, since there’s a baby in ME, we decided to use this gathering as a way to announce the sex of our baby!


Qo6tsGQFd3dYBQyI.jpgAnd it is a GIRL! A Mini Miemo!


Mardi Gras/Birthday

Thank you so much to everyone who came to my birthday party, mardi gras celebration. Every year it gets better and better and I’m so happy to share it with them. n0azaBMReVKtGwAA.jpg


This cake was the best cake ever. My friend Tiffany was in charge, and I told her to make whatever she wanted, as long as I got to blow out candles. She went above and beyond what normal friends would do if you asked a friend to make you a cake. SHE MADE ME AN ICE CREAM CAKE.LMKbjyrc9a1E6WiJ.jpg

No this wasn’t your normal chocolate vanilla ice cream cake. She made a red bean and green tea ice cream cake, with a fluffy chiffon cake. YUM. I almost didn’t have any cake leftover, it was such a hit! (Tiffany managed to hide a piece in the freezer for me, for later).

I have the best friends, fiance and family. So happy to have lived another year!


Jammin’ Jambalaya

What a cliche name, I know, but it really is jamming. And delicious. So delicious, that AFTER my mardi gras party, I had to make another round to enjoy (since I didn’t get to at the party). And I made it a little spicier, which I didn’t do for the party since I was feeding a large group of people with a different range of spice levels.

So let’s get cooking!

Get the ingredients ready. The divine trinity in cajun cooking is celery, onions and green bell pepper. This is the base for the flavor in both etouffee and gumbo as well! For jambalaya I’ve got those three, plus garlic, tomatoes and a medium grain rice.

Emeril used olive oil. I used butter. Cook the onions, celery and green onions in the butter for about 4 minutes, when the onions turn clear.

Then add the garlic, tomatoes, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well mix. Then add the rice.

After rice is mixed in well, slowly add chicken broth. Simmer over medium until rice is tender. While this is happening, I dice the chicken breast, and chop the shrimp then add the crawfish tails in the same bowl, and mix well with cajun seasoning, you can you Tony’s or Louisiana brand creole seasoning. Emeril also has a recipe for his bayou blast.

You can find the recipe here.


Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Sorry for the awkward silence last week. It’s been busy with a new puppy! But that didn’t stop me from celebrating one of my favorite holidays! Mardi Gras is today, but I celebrated with friends and family this weekend.

We had beads, hats, masks, noisemakers, lots of good food, and good times! On the menu this year was, jambalaya, catfish nuggets, fried shrimp (head on), crawpuppies, and beignets (thanks Deanna!)

I hope you have a great day indulging before giving things up for Lent!

Those of you that loved my jambalaya, recipe to be posted later this week!

The Cajun Experience

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…not really. Out of all the cajun restaurants I’ve been to in DC, looking for a taste of home, this was my first disappointment. After coming down from my personal mardi gras 2012 party, I was having high hopes for a professionally done Mardi Gras dinner. I was looking for the Cajun Experience, pun intended.

Lets start off with the food, because that, to me, is always where we should start! I love food. Instead of offering their regular menu tonight (which is what I was hoping for), everyone was getting the buffet. The place was set up nicely, and had a great, fun zydeco band with a tiny dance space available if you wanted to get down. I did enjoy the vibe and I like the space.

Abita beer was unlimited that night, which was awesome considering the $45 price tag. The food however was sub-par. I really expected better, but I won’t be too harsh, since it was massed produced for the crowd. There was a variety of traditional cajun entrees, gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee..and mac and cheese and hushpuppies. The jambalaya tasted like tomato sauce from a jar with sausages thrown in. There was no hit of cajun spices. The  etouffee was good, I prefer my cajun dishes a lot spicier, but I understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However there were no spices on the table to help it out. You were confined to your styrofoam divider plate and your plastic cups.

Needless to say, I only had one plate, and spent the night enjoying the music, and my company and $45+ worth of delicious abita beer. I also felt overlooked as a customer. Our server was very sweet, could be a little more attentive, but nothing blatantly wrong with the service. The guy who might have been to the manager seemed to talk to every table and dropping off goodies such as masks, and  drink cozies, and didn’t even make eye contact or attempt to say hello to our table… but made a point to say hello to the surrounding tables. Make note that I wasn’t even in a corner table. And no, I wasn’t a quiet mousey, no eye contact patron either. I joked with the table next to us, clapped and cheered to the live band and was trying to make it a good experience. Overall it was not.

I will give it another shot on a regular day, their brunch menu sounds awesome. But I won’t be attending their Mardi Gras party again in the future.

Mardi Gras 2012

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It’s FAT TUESDAY! I celebrated it this weekend with my friends and family and we had a blast! We had gumbo, etouffee, crawpuppies, hurricanes, bourbon slushies, and lots of love. Dinner tonight at the Cajun Experience. Photo Album from this weekend will be up on my facebook!

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Edit:// The Details
Sorry about the quick photo album blurb, I wanted to get  pictures up on the day of. As you can probably tell, it was a lot of fun! I spent the night before baking cupcakes from Cupcake Rehab’s recipe and birthday cupcakes for my niece. I also spent almost an hour making a roux for the gumbo the night before.

The next morning it was time to frost all the cupcakes, make the crawpuppy batter, chop up green onions, celery, onions and more for the gumbo and etouffee. I’ve stressed myself out before trying to make sure there was enough food for everyone at my previous parties, but this time around, I put a first come first close disclosure on the evite. There was food, cocktails and fun for the night.

My oldest brother decided that we needed a real witch doctor for the party, so he and his wife made a costume, and I painted his face. The guests could take polaroids taken with him in front of the laugh now cry later cut out. We had plenty of beads, hats and kazoos, not to mention prizes for the golden baby.

I am not a fan of the traditional King Cake, but luckily my favorite baker Marilla had a cupcake form for me to try out…they were awesome. Everyone loved it. I had huge golden babies to put inside. Except instead of being in charge of planning the next party, or king for the day, they got to choose from silly prizes. I love being able to share the spirit of Louisiana with my friends and had a GREAT TIME. I can’t wait for my annual crawfish boil, location TBD.

What did you do for mardi gras?