Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

21 Feb

Mardi Gras Mambo

Happy Mardi Gras to all and to all a great night! I am a born and bred Louisianan, and Mardi Gras is one of the best times of the year. The entire state takes three days off to eat great food, drink bloody Marys and catch some beads. It is a time to let loose and enjoy all things Louisiana. It lands smack dab in the middle of crawfish season, which is one of my favorite parts. But the best part (besides no work and the great music) are the King Cakes!

Unfortunately, New York doesn’t seem to recognize the greatness that is Louisiana Heritage, so I was not able to attend Mardi Gras this year. But I did make my very own King Cakes to celebrate. If you have never had a King Cake, I highly suggest you either order one online, or use this recipe to make one. Yes you can order online and have it shipped overnight to anywhere in the US for around $50. Check out Manny Randazzo’s website, my Aunt Candy sent me one this year and it was gone in a few days.

If you are feeling a bit adventurous, try making your own. You can even customize the colors to fit the holiday or theme, because once you have had a King Cake you will want it at every gathering. Both my friend, Leighanne, and I have made one and modified the original recipe to make it even better!

My Homemade King Cake - Traditional Mardi Gras Colors

Dough

  • 18; cup butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (18; ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • ½ tablespoon white sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 1 eggs
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour , divided
  • Ground Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 2 (4 ounce) packages cream cheese , softened (16 ounces total)
  • ½ egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 116; teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

White Frosting

My King Cake Attempt #2 - Who Dat Saints Colors

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter , melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons milk
  • 18; teaspoon vanilla extract

Colored sugars

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1 drop blue food coloring

Directions:

  1. Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts; Cool mixture to 100 degrees to 110 degrees.
  2. Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes; Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth; Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes; Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top; Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Using an electric mixer, mix cream cheese until smooth; Add egg and blend well; Add sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy; Set aside.
  5. Punch dough down; Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28- x 10-inch rectangle; Sprinkle ground cinnamon onto the dough; Spread cream cheese mixture on dough; Roll dough, jelly roll fashion, starting at long side; Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet; Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and punching edges together to seal
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.
  8. Decorate with bands with frosting, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.
  9. FROSTING: Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter; Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla
  10. COLORED SUGARS: Place 1/2 cup sugar and drop of green food coloring in a zip-top plastic bag; seal; Shake and squeeze vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar; Repeat procedure with 1/2 cup sugar and yellow food coloring; For purple, combine 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food coloring before adding to remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Remember you can customize and do as many colors as you wish!

    Leighanne's Traditional Colored King Cake

If you want to double or even triple the recipe, check out the original website for revised directions. However, I made a few tweaks by adding the cinnamon and removing the colored frosting to simplify the process.  Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/king-cake-90932#ixzz1n4SCb33w

Lucky Scottie boy was able to go to Mardi Gras this year without me AND were in an actually parade. This is his brother and Scott dressed in traditional Mardi Gras costumes tossing beads. I wish I could have been there! There is always next year…

Throw Me Something Mister!

Advertisements

Happy Birthday Emma Harper Boucvalt!

8 Feb

Bright and early this morning, one of my dear friends and her husband had a beautiful baby girl. Megan is the first of our girlfriends to get married and the first to have a baby, and it truly was so exciting! My friends and I, who are scattered all over this country, were glued to our phones waiting for updates all yesterday. I could barely sit still throughout my day-long meetings, each time my phone would ding I would want to jump out of my chair.

It is crazy to think all that has happened in our lives. Jobs, marriage, new cities but one thing remains the same, our friendship. Of course we all have our ups and downs, but what good friends don’t? It is because we care too much! Last time I checked, that wasn’t a crime.

Out of our crazy group, Megan was called Momma Megan (very fitting since she is the first Momma out of the group). She took care of every single one of us, even if she drank a little too much herself. We sure did have a ton of fun throughout college. But I have a feeling the fun is just getting started…

Friends, please don’t kill me for digging up some of these old photos…

2007 - Night Out for Megan's Birthday

2007 - Group of Us Hugging at 2020

2007 - St. Patty's Day Parade with the Ladies

2007 - Megan and I at Our Old Stomping Ground, Bogie's

2007 - Megan Came to See Me in DC

2008 - Group of Us

2009 - Marci, Megan and I

2009 - Night Out with Megan

2010 - Megan and I at her Bachelorette Party

2010 - Megan's Wedding

Now You Can See Why We Needed a "Momma Megan" - Us after Megan & Gabe's Wedding in 2010

2011 - Megan's Baby Shower (As you can tell we clean up nice)

As her “Aunts” we have the duty of teaching her Kappa songs, giving her candy and spoiling her to death. Congrats Megan & Gabe! Emma Harper is absolutely beautiful and we all cannot wait to meet her. Love you guys!

Kiss-Worthy Treats

7 Feb

Time for Tasty V-day Treats! - Pic Via Lifebitsstyletips.com

With just one week until Valentine’s Day, the stores are overflowing with the standard red, heart-shaped boxes filled with mediocre chocolates. You can either follow the masses and buy an overpriced heart, OR you can go rogue and make a homemade treat, baked with love! So maybe baking isn’t quite your thing, but I promise this little treat is incredibly easy and even more delicious.

Homemade Chocolate Turtles:

60 small pretzels

1 Bag of Rollos

60 Whole Pecans (Add a little flavor by using Spiced Peans, see below for Spiced Pecans Recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap entire bag of Rollos. Place the pretzels, spaced apart on a sprayed baking sheet. Place a Rollo on each pretzel. Stick into oven for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye, and once the Rollos begin to look like they are melting, remove from oven. Take a while pecan and push down in the center of the Rollo to smash. Repeat for all pretzels. Makes about 60.

Take Out of Oven When They Begin to Melt

Simply Press the Pecan Down on the Rollo

Spiced Pecans:

1 Egg White, lightly beaten

1 Tablespoon of Water

1/2 Cup of White Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

! Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a small bowl beat the egg white with the water. Stir in the pecans, mixing until well moistened. In a small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the moistened nuts, while continuously stirring to coat Pecans evenly. Spread nuts on prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Be careful not to overcook and burn the nuts.

Simply Mix Sugar, Salt & Spices

Coat Sugar & Spice Mix Over the Egg-Soaked Pecans

Bake for 20 Minutes

Feeling adventurous and looking for something a bit more festive? Check out these heart-shaped Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies from the Novice Chef. Super cute!

Pic Via Novice Chef

Why recipes? Because beauty should be a part in everything we do, from Powerpoints at work to the color of our lipstick. Fashionistas exude beauty in every facade of life. So show your man you not only look fantastic in a LBD, but you can cook beautifully too!