Party Gras

Don't worry if you can't make it to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday. With a little bit of TWINSPIRATION, you can plan a memorable Mardi Gras celebration at home. We were excited to plan a dinner with style, sophistication of plenty of fun with our friend, Scott.
Mardi Gras festivities are all about excess and debauchery before Lent. Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday or Carnival, culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday. Proper celebrations include a feast with rich, fatty foods before the 40 days of fasting until Easter. The biggest Mardi Gras celebration is in New Orleans and features masks, beads, food and music. We wanted to incorporate a number of these traditional elements into our dinner party.
Scott hosted an Italian dinner party last month and was excited to host his second Twinspirational dinner party for 8. We incorporated the traditional colors of Mardi Gras, which have symbolic meanings, into our color palette.
  • Purple represents Justice
  • Gold represents Power
  • Green represents Faith
We wanted this to be a formal dinner party and we took some TWINSPIRATION from our sister's  40th Birthday Masquerade Ball. Patrick from International Garden created our stunning floral arrangement featuring violet ostrich feathers, green bells of Ireland and an assortment of golden yellow flowers (iris, roses, football mums, mini daisies, and pincushion flowers). We scattered purple votives on the table for an additional pop of Mardi Gras color. The spectacular place settings included Mardi Gras place cards and chocolate masks, which also worked as party favors.
New Orleans is known for its rich culture and one-of-a-kind cuisine that combines French, African and American flavors. We wanted our dinner to incorporate the classic Mardi Gras dishes with Cajun and Creole flavors. Kanchana created the Mardi Gras menu with Must Have Menus
For welcome drinks, guests had their choice of a Bayou Bloody Mary or a refreshing glass of Lillet.
The twins sipped on the wine but our friend Andrea tried both!
Our 4-course tasting menu with wine pairings was DELICIOUS. Our friend Matt prepared the fried green tomatoes. This dish was originally created as a way to turn out of season tomatoes into a delicious appetizer. Fried green tomatoes are a true Southern classic and so popular that there was even a movie named after them! Our friend Dominque picked up corn bread from Whole Foods. We paired these appetizers with a refreshing Pinot Gris.
For our next course we enjoyed a slow cooked jambalaya prepared by our host, Scott. Jambalaya is a Louisiana dish with Spanish and French flavors. Scott prepared the dish with chicken sausage, vegetables and chicken broth. We paired the spicy jambalaya with a tart Barbera. Scott also made the Cajun salmon, shrimp Maque Choux and roasted okra. Our favorite dish of the night was the Maque Choux, an amalgam of Creole and Native American flavors. 
It isn't Mardi Gras without a King Cake! Archana baked this traditional Mardi Gras dessert, using a recipe selected by our friend Ashley, a professional chef. Ashley taught us how to make sushi last year. The King Cake is shaped in a ring and covered with green, purple and yellow sprinkles. Hidden inside the cake is a chocolate or plastic baby. The baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it. This year it was our friend Paul, who got the lucky piece of cake with the baby!
Of course, we took a group shot with our gorgeous Mardi Gras masks! What a fun night. Thanks again Scott.

"It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans." — Mark Twain

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