Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday

Which do you prefer?  We claimed both at our home!  This year was just a little bit different at our house.   I decided to step up our celebrations a bit and attempt to cook an actual New Orleans style meal to enjoy with my tablescape. My dinner menu of choice was Jambalaya and California Dreaming King Cake. It may not sound like much for a celebration but for the two of us it was just enough.  We definitely were feeling like it was Fat Tuesday.

Our large round family table is in the den now and is where we enjoy most of our meals these days.  I decided this would be the perfect spot to set up my Mardi Gras tablescape.

This year I stayed focused on using dishes I knew we would use with the exception of a few filler plates.  It's okay to have some just for show, especially for Mardi Gras.   I wanted to try and stay close to the traditional Mardi Gras colors, though I ended up with quite a variation in the shades. I didn't have many choices in green, gold, and purple dishware.  I also didn't want to use anything I have used in my two previous Mardi Gras tablescapes.  I will reshare those again at the end of this post, or you can revisit those posts here, 2014 and here 2012.

  My charger plate (well that's what I'm calling it) is really a terracotta dinner plate that was set just for show.  I chose this to give the whole place setting a bit more depth and width.  I used the green in keeping with Mardi Gras colors and because it complimented the salad bowls I knew we would use for dinner.   Note to self: You really need some gold chargers!

 My next choice for the stack was these square melamine salad plates.  These were to be our dessert plates for later.  They  were also chosen to bring in purple, another one of the traditional colors of Mardi Gras.  I have some lovely small round deep purple salad plates I really wanted to use but they just didn't fit with the rest of the stack.  Maybe I will share them in another tablescape soon!

 This was the dish that was so important for me to keep and the very one I worked everything around. It is a terracotta salad dish that closely resembles a bowl.  I love this dish!  It is perfect for meals like the one we had tonight when you need something in between a bowl and plate.

Finally I topped the stack of dinnerware off with a yellow bowl.  This was to catch all the shrimp tails that we had to peel off ourselves.  I used frozen shrimp for this dish and I while I saw that is was indeed peeled and deveined (time saver) the tails were still on.

Of course I had to throw in a little Mardi Gras bling to spice up the setting.

 Sparkly and bubbly silver stainless flatware and a gold rimmed wine glass brought in a few more festive touches of silver and gold.

 The most exciting elements used for this table for me were the napkins that I embroidered myself just for the occassion.  I decided they looked so cute they even deserved a combination of three napkin rings for a big bling factor.

 This design was such a cute design I found online that I knew I had to try it.  I did some slight editing as it was supposed to have the word Royalty underneath Mardi Gras.  I didn't want that, nor did I want to use the colors that were recommended which brought in Royal blue and Red.  If there are any native New Orleans families out there peeking in, I do apologize for changing up the traditional royalty colors.  I really wanted to keep this design a little more simple yet still have a bit of  bling with the crowns.

For my centerpiece I used some faux flowers I already had.  I just pulled together all the different colors I needed and it was done.  I only added a few beads, again trying to keep it more simple.  I know it's quite odd to keep things more simple for Mardi Gras but that's the way I was rolling this year. 

I didn't want to go out and purchase anything for this setting.  I already had all of these on elements on hand and I really wanted to just focus on the dinner this year.

...And focus on it I did!

Let me tell you the Jambalaya I made was soooo good!!!!  It had all the right ingredients in it to make it one of my newest favorite dishes.  I used a recipe I found here at Gimme Some Oven, with just a few slight adjustments.  I am all about saving time so when I found a frozen package of celery, bell peppers, and onions I was very happy.  I also grabbed a bag of frozen Tyson chicken chunks.  I know it's processed and maybe not the best choice but I really, really, hate to cut up chicken.  It's strange but it just bothers me.  I like to cook fresh chicken, love it, just hate to "cut" fresh chicken.  I also used frozen shrimp because the local shrimp around here is just not the best this time of year.  Remember I was going for quick and easy.  I did use almost all the other suggested ingredients and let me just say it was the bomb!

 Speaking of bombs!  This was supposed to have been the California Dreaming King Cake.   Go ahead, you can laugh out loud now.  I did.   Unfortunately, I didn't grease my bundt pan well enough and it stuck and stuck and stuck.  I tried very carefully to get it out but it would not budge.  Then I finally just gave up, dug it out and preceded to dump it all in a bowl.  It was pretty good even though it looks absolutely awful!  Hey, I know, why in the world would I show you this?  Well, I'm all about keeping it real here.  You win some, you loose some!

I took this picture with such high hopes, thinking I would have a lovely cake to show you too.   You can find the recipe I used for the cake here at The Painted Apron.  This recipe called for olive oil and wine so I just had to give it a try.  I wanted to try this cake since I had some Chardonnay on hand given to me from a friend.   I'm not really a Chardonnay kinda gal.  I like White Zin so this was to be perfect time to open it and use it.  No, I didn't drown my sorrows in it later either, though the thought did cross my mind.

Thank you so much for stepping into my home today for a visit and a chat.  I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you'll come back again sometime.

Mardi Gras 2014

Mardi Gras 2012

  Tablescapes are just one more of the many things I enjoy sharing with all of you and I also plan to share this post with a few others at;

This is an action packed week for us.  We've got a 2 year old birthday coming up for this little one,
 and then a Valentines weekend too.  Whew, Good Times! 

Hope you had a wonderful Mardi Gras,
Hugs and Waves!


  1. Great blog post and link for the jambalaya!! We will be trying it next week! Your rooms are lovely and I am looking forward to seeing more.
    Thank you for your time to post, and blessings to you,
    and an extra hug for the cuuuute pupster!

  2. Mary, Soo nice to meet you! It has been a treat to view your Madi Gras post.
    You are very creative and have the gift of description too. I'm glad you kept it real about your cake. Happens to all of us. I am very impressed with your embroidery. You could sell napkins on Blogland because yours are so unique. Love how you added the extra bling too.It is very hard to do a new tablescape for occasions different from previous years without buying extra or new dishes. I struggle with that and the last thing I need is more dishes! I love them though and it's good I don't live near a Home Goods because I would be tempted all the time. You did a great job with your table. I have only done one Madi Gras tablescape and I think that was two years ago. I enjoyed doing it but time gets away from me. Easter is early this year so Madi Gras is too. I actually need to look it up. Can't keep up. I've been doing a lot of entertaining and it takes up time.
    Happy Valentine's Day.

  3. Thanks for the shout out Mary! I'm sorry your cake stuck, I have had my share of cake disasters, I'm glad you were able to salvage it! All your tables look wonderful, the creative centerpieces are perfect. Mardi Gras is so much fun to decorate for...


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