I love a good party. Who doesn't? Better than attending a party, I love to throw a party. Really, there is nothing I like more than setting the perfect scene for people to mingle and have a good time. If I had one wish it might very well be to have a career as a professional party planner. This summer I did 2 parties with a N'awlins menu and theme. The first was an afternoon baby shower for my sister-in-law inspired by HWTM's "Fete Du Bebe" and the second was a dinner party for friends.
* Shower Decor *
So first of all a recap of the baby shower... My sister-in-law is one of the sweetest people I know. Also, she is going to make the best mother and me for an aunt for the first time (any day now...). When her and my brother got married, Loni *really* wanted a tent. Unfortunately, their wedding day was full of showers. Good luck, right? But, for the shower, we definitely needed a big top. Hung from the tent top were 48 Chinese lanterns in different shades of blue and orange. The tables were done with feather accents, custom zebra tablecloths and orange runners. Blue and orange cocktail monkeys hung from the glasses and customized cards were used for the favors.
* Baby Shower Menu *
- Cajun-spiced Popcorn (served in decorative paper cones... of course!)
- Tangy Cucumber and Grapefruit Salsa with crackers
- Spicy Shrimp with brown sugar glazed andouille over Cheesy Grits
- Mini Crawfish Gratins
- Petite Gateau du Sirop
- Blue Monkeys (Champagne with Blue Curacao)
- Orange and Mint infused Water
* Dinner Party Decor *
Now as I mentioned, the feathers were really, really fun and for the dinner party I wanted to carry more of the feather accents through. Pier One helped me out with that task, because really what girl that lives in a Barbie Dream Home doesn't need peacock placemats? The orange runner was re-used from the shower. Black and white napkins finished the classy-French quarter themed look.
What did I serve at this dinner party? Crawfish Etouffee, of course!
* Crawfish Etouffee Recipe *
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 pounds crawfish meat
1/4 cup flour
2 cups seafood stock
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Chopped Italian Parsley
1. Melt butter in large skillet. Add seasonings, onions, green pepper and celery. Sautee until vegetables are translucent.
2. Add crawfish and cook for 5 minutes. Add stock and flour stirring constantly until it is a thick gravy.
3. Add tomatoes, tabasco, fresh time and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Serve over jasmine rice. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.