Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Five ways to turn your Superbowl Party into a SuperGras Party


The Superbowl is one of those sporting events that even non-sports fans can get on board with.  Who doesn't like hanging out, drinking beer and eating chilli?  Personally, I really get on board when the Saints are playing but even though Who Dat? nation didn't have the best season this year we get to celebrate because Nola is hosting!  Any excuse to infuse a little of my home-away-from-home into my daily life! 

Read on for my tips to bring a little of the Big Easy to your easy chair this Sunday while you watch the big game!

1.  Tunes

Sure, the game is on, but if I were you, I'd turn the sound down and crank some of these Mardi Gras classics up.


Now that I've got you started go find some Dr. John, some Fats Domino and some Harry Connick Jr. or just tune into the best radio station in the world, WWOZ.  They've got you covered.

2.  Cocktails

Pat O'Brien's Bar introduced the Hurricane at the 1939 World's Fair in New Orleans.  It's said that O'Brien created the cocktail as a means to get rid of the large amounts of rum his Southern distributors forced him to buy.  

Ingredients:

2 oz light rum
2 oz dark rum
2 oz passion fruit juice
1 oz orange juice
Juice of a half a lime
1 Tbsp simple syrup
1 Tbsp grenadine
Orange slice and cherry for garnish

Preparation:

Squeeze juice from half a lime into cocktail shaker over ice. Pour the remaining ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a hurricane glass. Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

3.  Eats

The options are endless, but a great #SuperGras party wouldn't be complete without Fried Chicken and Red Beans & Rice (feel free to go to Popeye's) and then filter all of your domestic energy into making these homemade Pralines - this great recipe is courtesy The New Orleans School of Cooking.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
1/2 cup milk 6 tablespoons butter 
1 1/2 cups pecans 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a “softball stage” (238-240 degrees F), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Stir until mixture thickens (again stirring constantly), becomes creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture. Spoon out on buttered waxed paper, aluminum foil or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to buffer with newspaper underneath, as hot wax will transfer to whatever is beneath.
Note: To roast pecans, bake them on a sheet pan at 275 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant.
Options: Praline sauce (add 1/2 cup corn syrup to mixture). Chocolate covered praline candy. Flavored pralines (chocolate, coffee, brandy, etc.)
Makes 1-50 pralines depending on size

4.  Activities

Crafts are a great way to keep the youngsters in your crowd occupied while you try to catch the half time show. Everyone needs a mask at Mardi Gras, so why not decorate some for #SuperGras?  You could cut some football shaped masks out of construction paper or go ahead and print out these great free printable masks available at the website Family Shopping Bag.

5.  Finishing Touches

These wee cupcake toppers and flags would be equally at home on desserts as they would sliders, Muffulettas or other finger foods.  All you need is a colour printer, some toothpicks and some tape. 


Click here to download these super cute cupcake toppers from the good folks at Pizzazzerie
Pizzazzerie has also made these adorable Mardi Gras flags available for free here.
Last but not least, beads, beads, BEADS! As many as you can get your hands on to wear and share!

Lenny, after her first New Orleans parade, April 2011

Check out my Mardi Gras board on Pinterest for more inspiration!  Happy #SuperGras!

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