Mardi Gras Tablescape
Hey, remember that old Zatarain’s commercial where the lady shouts “Throw me some beads mister?” Well that was my soul inspiration for this Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras table.
I have always wanted to create a fun Mardi Gras themed tablescape. Being a native Georgia girl, I grew up hearing all about Mardi Gras, but it was never really celebrated this far north. It was very popular in southern states like Alabama, Mississippi and of course the king state of celebration we all know Louisiana. My father was always a fan of the Big Easy. He loved the dixieland jazz music and the fantastic cajun food, and had visited the area many times on business. Including the small town like Slidell, Louisiana which I always heard numerous stories about. My mother was a fan of Justin Wilson, known for saying things like “I Gua- Ron- Tee” and “How Y’all Are?” We must have watched him every weekend on PBS. This is where she learned to make several of his famous dishes which in turn appeased my father’s love of cajun food.
Be sure not to confuse Carnival and Mardi Gras! Carnival refers to the period of fun and feasting that begins some time in January known as The Feast of the Epiphany. Mardi Gras actually refers to “Fat Tuesday”, which is the final day of revelry before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The dates of Mardi Gras are determined by Easter each year so there is not a set date, it can be as early as Valentine’s Day or as late as St. Patrick’s Day.Ok, so as a Georgia gal I looked up a quick history lesson on Mardi Gras, from history in New Orleans, as there are some variations from region to region. It was believed to be originally established in 1718 by Bienville. In the early 1740s, Louisiana’s governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, established many elegant society balls. These became the model for the New Orleans based Mardi Gras balls of today. The first New Orleans Mardi Gras parade was held on February 24, 1857 by the Krewe of Comus. In 1875, Governor Warmoth signed the “Mardi Gras Act,” which made Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana and it still is to this day.I love the colors associated with Mardi Gras. I think the color combination of purple, gold and green have a very regal feel. The purple stands for justice; gold for power; and green for faith. I also love the ornate masks that are associated with the holiday. Did you know, that by law, parade float riders must always wear a mask on Fat Tuesday? Masking is also legal for everyone else on Fat Tuesday, and the more elaborate masks the better.
These are some of the prettiest venetian masks I have seen this season. I decided to dress up a few for the ladies, by adding some fun peacock feathers for a more authentic Venetian feel. Also, I found that the color of the peacock feathers really complimented this table as well.I decided to fan fold these regal purple napkins, which this created a peacock shaped napkin. The napkins are adorned with these unique, standing peacocks to finish off the look. I would also like to add that the peacocks, can also hold a place card perfectly, if you are hosting a more formal dinner party. My advice would be to use a monogram of your guest to add an additional touch of class.
Mardi Gras Feast of Kings
Appetizer: Etouffee’ Stuffed Mushrooms
Soup: Gumbo (recipe link)
Red Beans & Rice
Desserts: Traditional King Cake
Beignets & Cafe’ Du Monde Coffee
- Instant Pot 3 Qt. Mini ( can be doubled for a larger 6 Qt. Pot)
- 1 lb Andouille Sausage Sliced
- 1 lb Chicken Breast Chopped
- 1 lb Steamed Shrimp Peeled, devined, tails removed
- 1 Vidalia Onion diced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper diced
- 1 cup Celery diced
- 14.5 oz Tomatoes w/ pepper & onions diced, drained
- 1/2 cup Corn
- 1 cup Okra Sliced
- 32 oz Chicken Stock
- 1 box Zatarain's Red Beans & Rice
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Old Bay for shrimp
- Start by sauteing what is known as "the cajun trinity" -chopped onions, bell peppers and celery in 2 tbsp of oil for 3 minutes.
- Add in chunks of chicken breast, and slices of andouille sausage and saute for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in corn and okra along with 2 tbsp of garlic for the final 2 minutes of your saute.
- Add in your rice with seasoning to your Instant Pot and gently stir.
- Top with drained tomatoes and chicken stock.
- Seal your Instant Pot Lid and Cook at High Pressure Manual for 15 minutes.
- While cooking clean and devine your steamed shrimp and coat with Old Bay Seasoning.
- Once your Instant Pot is finished cooking carefully release the steam with pressure release vent and add in the shrimp, stir and serve.
Be sure to check outlaw to make this amazing King Cake Cocktails. They are so yummy and tasty. Just like a sweet slice of King Cake with hints of almond and cinnamon. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
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GET THIS PARTY STARTED: