Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Princess and the Frog

Week 2:

I've been in Florida all this week for work and I was having nightmares about beignets. I know, I am weird. I kept being reminded,just when I was about to forget, about the perils that lie in front of me. For example, while I was in the hotel gym on the treadmill, guess what I saw on the TV? So You Think You Can Dance.....New Orleans. Sigh, o well the time flew by fast and here we are at NOLA night (it is even humid out today)!

Justice and I have both been to New Orleans, so I knew I had to represent the Crescent City's food as best I could (I know, no PoBoys or Muffalettas...I already had enough challenges though!). Here was the big, but not so easy menu inspired by the Big Easy:

For the gumbo (which was mentioned several times...Tiana's dad's gumbo pot, Mama Odie's bathtub, swamp gumbo for Louis, etc.) I used a recipe I received from a friend/co-worker in Houston. I would post it, but I'm not sure if I am allowed.

If the beignets made me nervous, I should've been terrified of this...the roux...let's just say Justice and I both attempted and, just when we were about to give up, I got it to look less like scrambled eggs and more like chocolate sauce (happy clap)! The reaction pictures were taken, but I will spare you guys my face. I'm not sure its internet appropriate! Yes, I did sing a bit..."gumbo, gumbo in my pot..."!   

For the king's cake (which pays homage to Big Daddy as King of the Mardi Gras parade and Prince Naveen's heritage), I decided to make it even more fun. Justice likes miniature things, so I made them "firefly friendly". I,also, decided to put coins in some of the cakes (instead of a plastic baby).Here is the special part. Each color of Mardi Gras, purple, green, and gold, stands for something. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold represents power. I made a deal with Justice that, if he found the purple coin (without cheating), I would get him a small surprise from Amazon (his favorite place to shop..haha). I chose the purple coin to represent "the baby", because it is our wedding color and justice's namesake. He kept trying to see which cakes I folded the coins into which he could still see, because little glimpses of color could be seen no matter how much I manipulated the dough(words to the wise, it is hard to fold a coin into a small king's cake). So, until I could ice them and cover over the coins completely, I "hid" the cakes under a paper towel.

Here is the site for the recipe from Pillsbury (very simple..thank goodness):

Here is the finished product!

I swear there is gold on there, it just faded into the white icing a bit. I, also, tried to ice it like a "pinwheel" like a classic king's cake, but sprinkles are gonna go where sprinkles want to go. I tried to stop it..I really did.., but in the end, I just let the sprinkles fall where they may.

Justice did find the purple coin. I helped him by accidently telling him the coins wouldn't fit in the small ones...oops, but he did the rest by himself. I asked him how he picked "the baby" and he said, knowing me, it would be the one I would think was the "prettiest". Yup, he knows me. Right on the money (pun intended).

Ok, here we go, the moment you all were waiting for and that I was dreading attempting. The Cafe Du Monde beignets.

Justice helped me out with these (I guess they really are "man-fetching", Miss Charlottle) and threw in a surprise of his own. He had ordered a Mickey egg ring off of Amazon and used it to cut the beignet dough! AHH!!! Needless to say, I was even more determined than before to make these beignets work. They turned out a little thicker than I'd like and if I owned a fryer (which I have since added to my registry),it would definitely be the way to go! However, even I couldn't totally screw up the goodness of mini Mickeys covered in powdered sugar. Here comes the mouse:

Here is my frog prince with his Evangeline. We decided to kiss just to make sure though (wink, wink)!

..and they lived hoppily ever after in Mardi Gras matrimony!

My prince's turn to draw again....and it's FROZEN!

Since the Frozen menu is lighter (more of a lunch), we decided this would be one of those Double Feature weekends. Next post coming soon!

P.S. We finished the movie just in time to see my San Antonio Spurs seal their NBA Finals spot. Go Spurs Go!