Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

“Big Easy” Mardi Gras Bash

In Celebrations on March 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm

The holiday season is long gone and the winter blues have officially set in.  Instead of sitting around anxiously waiting for spring, throw down like you’re in the Big Easy and host a killer Mardi Gras party.

Folks in New Orleans party for two months, beginning January 6 thru Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras day, which falls on March 5.  All of this leading up to Lent, the season of reflection and restriction. While two months of partying and indulgence is only a fantasy for most of us, this easy-to-follow guide will help pack all the Carnival season fun into one day!

How to Decorate
  • Decorate your space with classic Mardi Gras colors of Green, Purple, and Gold.
  • Use balloons, streamers,  and crêpe paper to cover walls and surfaces.  Try to replicate the feeling of Mardi Gras floats. If you have a stairwell leading up to your apartment hang some decorations leading up to your door.  Create some excitement for your guests as they make their assent.
  • Pump classic New Orleans brass band music, called Zydeco, into the room.
  • Have plenty of Mardi Gras beads on hand.  Deck your guests out in them as they come thru the door and use whats left over to amplify your decor.
  • Move any furniture to the perimeter of the room.  Your might even consider covering sofas and chairs with green, purple and gold fabric.
What to Wear?
  • Ask guest to come dressed in their most gaudy and lavish outfit. The more color the better.  Anything goes here – sparkles, boas, jewelry, hats you name it!  The louder the better.
  • Masks are famous Mardi Gras accessories.  Either give masks to your guests as party favors or ask each person come with one on.  You could even hand out an award for the guest with the most creative mask.
  • Classic costume ideas include: jesters, kings, queens.

Keep your menu as simple as possible.  The key to this party is the decor and dress. This menu is best served buffet style. If space is an issue check out this earlier post to easily create and instant buffet.  Forget small apps and hors d’oeuvres with all the drinking hearty food is best!

Classic New Orleans Hurricanes

Seafood Gumbo

Red Beans and Rice

King Cake


Chocolate Fondue

In Recipes on February 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

Yield: 8 servings

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Fondue is such a fun dessert and can be really fun for a cocktail party.  It’s interactive and who doesn’t love chocolate and fruit.  Make sure you remind people, no double dipping!




1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup super fine sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream, added gradually

7 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1-2 tablespoons of Frangelico or Amaretto (optional)

Fruit (banana, strawberries, apples, pineapple, mango in bite sized pieces)

Pound cake, lady fingers, pretzels, marshmallows


Bring water, corn syrup, and sugar in the saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth. Add the heavy 3/4 cup of cream and bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes.  Mix in the chocolate pieces.  Remove from the heat and stir in liquor if using.

If the mixture still seems thick gradually add in the rest of the cream.  Keep chocolate warm and serve with fruit and cake.

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