...family, friends, home and other tidbits of a blessed life

Monday, March 7, 2011

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Mardi Gras translates from the French to English as Fat Tuesday. It's the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. In France, where I spent 13 years of my youth, celebrations were not anything like the wild celebrations associated with New Orleans. Even in Germany, the Fasching partying is a bit more demure (but not much)! Nonetheless, it was a time of feasting and parades and parties.


For our private celebration, I've chosen a piece of hand-dyed velvet for a table covering in a lush shade of green. Green, purple and gold are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. Green for faith, Purple for justice and Gold for power. 


The color variations in the velvet are what bring the hand dyed piece to life.


A simple place setting consisting of a not quite bright green charger, a gold rimmed plate, a gold napkin rolled into a sausage and folded, a crystal salad bowl, gold flatware and many strands of beads. 


Crystal for a bit of champagne and sip of wine.


Masks are a must. Although it's difficult to find the nice feather bedecked ones here, a bit of glitter glue on some plain Jane ones is a fair substitution.


To replace the missing stand, I used a larger votive bowl filled with more beads to hold the amber vase, a gift from a dear friend of mine. Crystal candle holders with  a bit of gold on them and adorned with candle decor. The ring of ornaments slides over the candle and rests on the candle holder.







  
Fresh flowers are such a nice touch.













I hope you enjoyed the brief Mardi Gras party.  How did you celebrate?
 

Saffron Crawfish Risotto Recipe

If you do not have access to crawfish, substitute shrimp in this saffron rice risotto. The key to good risotto is adding the liquid in increments, and stirring often.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 pinch saffron or turmeric
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 pound cooked and peeled crawfish tails
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Preparation:

Cook onions in butter in large skillet over medium-high heat until soft. Add rice and saffron; stir 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed.

Stir in 1 cup broth; cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding remaining 1 cup broth and 3 cups water, allowing each to be absorbed before adding another, until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency. It will take approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in peas, crawfish, Parmesan cheese, salt, cream, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce. Cook until risotto is thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes.

If crawfish is unavailable, substitute deveined medium shrimp.

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe Source: USA Rice Council





Cast of Characters:
Hand-dyed Velvet  - a quilt show somewhere
Olive-y green chargers - Hobby Lobby years ago
Gold rimmed dinner plates -  Rosenthal
Crystal bowls - gift
Crystal champagne and wine -Libbey Rock Sharpe
Gold flatware - International
Napkins - Pier One
Vase - gift
Base for the vase - Mikasa Cheers votive holder
Candle holders - Home Goods
Green tea light holders - Crate and Barrel
Beads courtesy of our son and I'm not asking!! Thanks sweetie.


Thank you so much for dropping in. I so enjoyed your visit and hope you did too. I'll be linking up to Susan's Tablescape Thursday and to Designs by Gollum Foodie Friday. Please go check out the lovelies presented there just for you!

39 comments:

Karena said...

Marlis, how fabulous and creative a tablescape, very fun elegant and delightful!

Do come and enter my Artful Offering!It is truly beautiful!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Miss Char said...

Marlis, I think your Fat Tuesday table is fantastic. Your Mardi Gras colors look so pretty together. I love your stemware and the way the light comes through on your table. Hope there is a piece of King Cake on your table soon. Thanks for sharing.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Lovely post Marlis. Good luck in my painting give-away at Art by karina.

Diann said...

Very pretty table! All the details are just wonderful!

Kuby said...

First of all, the table as always looks spectacular. I love the fresh flowers and the beads. The candles are so romantic and I love the way you captured them in the photo. The risotto, however, makes my heart sing! It is a recipe I'm sure to try. Crawfish is not easily available around here so I might try it with shrimp. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty of your table, it so reflects the beauty of your heart.

Bill said...

Stunning table, Marlis! The colors, the artful arrangement of each and every element, the crystal, flowers, the photography ... all gorgeous and so very inviting! Amazing job!

Warmest regards,
Bill

Alycia Nichols said...

I know what you mean about not asking your son about those beads! What you don't know can't hurt you! :-) Great idea to use the green balls on the candlesticks! Perfect!!! I hope you rock out for Mardi Gras!

Pat said...

Your table is beautiful Marlis!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Beautiful table Marlis! Pretty colors and sparkly glassware! Lovin' the great candle rings with fun ornaments-enjoy:@)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Marlis~ What a rich and opulent table. The use of the votive for the base of the vase was brilliant! I love the beads in it that carry out the theme! A truely beautiful table.
Thank you for telling me the name of the mossy mat~ nito. I saw them in a little shop and picked up several. But they SHED! Oh, what we for beauty!
xo Yvonne

xinex said...

Thanks for the recipe, Marlis. We have lots of crawfish here so I am going to try it. Your mardi gras table is lovely and I love your post cause you explained so much about it...Christine

Dianne said...

Such beautiful colors. Your flowers match perfectly. I especially love the candle rings with ornaments. I have never seen anything like them. Where did you find them?

Dianne

Millie said...

Every element gorgeous as always, Marlis. A few months ago either Pier 1 or World Market (it was a long day) had the most amazing Venetian masks: feather, paint, trim...

Debbie said...

Oh Marlis...what a beautiful, festive table you've set. So fun.
Debbie@lakehouse

Mary said...

I love your lighting~ your glasses are stunning with the light streaming through your bead & wine filled stems! Your risotto sounds delish!

Entertaining Women said...

This is a beautiful party! Did you do the flowers? They are magnificent. I've never done a Mardi Gras tablescape...not sure why. The not quite bright green chargers are a wonderful accessory...you used everything to its maximum effectiveness....well done. Thanks for sharing your design and for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

Entertaining Women said...

This is a beautiful party! Did you do the flowers? They are magnificent. I've never done a Mardi Gras tablescape...not sure why. The not quite bright green chargers are a wonderful accessory...you used everything to its maximum effectiveness....well done. Thanks for sharing your design and for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

Entertaining Women said...

Did you do your flowers? They are gorgeous, and they set the tone for your beautiful table. Don't you just love being able to pull out your mom's tablecloth and other treasures? So special. The not quite bright green chargers are wonderful. I can see them in so many different designs. Thank you for sharing your lovely tablescape and for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

Marigene said...

Love your festive table...the crystal is beautiful.

Debbie Moore at Slice of Pie Entertaining and Cookbooks said...

The etched stemware is the best part of your beautiful tablescape ... love the centerpiece and all the glow! Thanks for sharing

Sarah said...

Marlis, your photos are gorgeous. What an elegant table to celebrate Mardi Gras. ~ Sarah

Beth said...

What a dramatic and elegant table, Marlis! Love your stemware, your flowers, the masks, the beads, the flatware - everything together looks splendid.
Blessings, Beth

Debbie said...

Your risotto sounds delicious, and I feel a craving coming on! Your Mardi Gras table is lovely !

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

How fun and festive! Love your combination of the bright masks and beads with the elegant stems and flowers. A wonderful mixture. I'm afraid that although my table was set for Mardi Gras....I had to work late.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Designs on 47th Street said...

What a stunning table. I love the deep, rich colors and all that is on it. It was interesting to read of your past places you've lived. That sounds so fun to me.

Oh, my table?? Honestly, I probably put it together in 15 or maybe 20 mins. It took longer to do pictures and enter them!
Donna

Tess said...

Your table is so beautiful. All of the colors are gorgeous and very festive as Mardi Gras should be!!!

Magpies and Magnolias said...

What a gorgeous post!

The colors and the images are quite breathtaking. Great photography and styling!

I have never been to Mardi Gras...must put it on my bucket list!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Beautiful Marlis! Love that velvet for the table covering. Your stemware is gorgeous, and the clever way you rolled the napkins is something I'll have to remember. How smart to put the beads in a bowl under your vase holding that beautiful bouquet (and what a beautiful vase it is). I want some of those great candle rings. I think I'd change the ornaments and use those on every tablescape I did! laurie

A Perfect Setting said...

Hi Marlis, what a great table! The elements you used were perfect, from the beautiful vase and crystal, to all the colored beads. I love the velvet, and those green ornaments hanging from the candles are wonderful! I'm wondering if they came like that, or if you took something off and added them...anyway, they are perfect for your theme. Flowers are amazing, too! Great job!!

Deb S. said...

My gooodness! The photots are perfect! WOW, just beautiful! This table is elegant and festive! I have a eye ache from all the wonderfulness!!!! LOL!

lulumusing said...

Terrific, Marlis, the baubles, the color, the joy. Some day I will have to tell you a story about beads and Mardi Gras. Also, thanks for the recipe. Risotto is my current favorite food, so I will definitely whip this one up.

lulumusing said...

Terrific, Marlis, the baubles, the color, the joy. Some day I will have to tell you a story about beads and Mardi Gras. Also, thanks for the recipe. Risotto is my current favorite food, so I will definitely whip this one up.

Kathleen said...

LOL on the beads!
Lovely table, Marlis. Those stems are just stunning!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh dear Marlis, your table is stunning! The colours are fantastic and so festive, I love it the way you did it so artistically and with such talent only you have. Spectacular pics! Thank you for the recipe for the risotto, I love it.
Thank you sooo very much for your great comments on my hairloom table! Coming from you it just makes my heart jump, as you are a master at tablescapes with infinite talent!
LOVE
FABBY

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Your table setting is so creative! Love all the color you used. Everything looks so lovely.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

Mrs. Serendipity said...

Another beautiful tablescape and recipe! I love the festive candleholders! Mrs. S

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

This table is a beauty! So colorful and festive!

Denise said...

Marlis, your table is so beautiful and very artistic. The colors look so rich and perfect for a Mardi Gras celebration. I really love your etched stemware.

Enjoy your weekend!

Denise

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