**Please note this picture was taken at the party which happened in January. It’s taken me much too long to get this post drafted.**
Living in New Orleans there is never NOT a good reason for a party. We attend many but throw none. This year is a bit different though in that we are engaged and it is a very exciting time for Cristina and I. In our engagement bliss, we thought this would be a perfect reason and time to get our families and closest friends to come together and have a little soiree.
I thought that it was going to be easy peasy lemon squeezy but realized shortly thereafter that I was being naive. I had envisioned a small personal gathering of family and friends but the number quickly grew. Cristina’s list was approaching small wedding numbers and I had expressed that this wasn’t the actual wedding but just close people near and dear to us. 🙂 Also when I originally envisioned this small intimate party I wasn’t really remembering that Cristina’s family actually lives here locally, whereas, my entire family lives in another country. After some discussion and going over the list a few times we reached our magical number of 60 people.
Well then there was much to do. I knew people who have never been to our house would want tours. Well that can’t happen unless the house is in the shape I would like it to be in. I have had plans to completely overhaul this under utilized room and as well as repaint the master bedroom and bath. There was also the issue of re-staining the deck that really was the focal location of this party. Mother nature beat us out on the deck staining but all other items on the checklist were completed.
The menu needed revising as the naive me hadn’t planned on 60 people. After a small panic I got my wits about me and got it done. My angelic mother was EXTREMELY helpful and came up with a few other items to cater as well that she would cover. I also tasked my sister with a couple of her signature dishes. Good thing I had their help because even though many people commented on the abundance of food we had- it all went! Which made me happy because that meant it was good.
Well families met, drinks were drank, food was eaten, DJ was popping, people danced, and the night was a success. If there was any regret it was that I never saw Cristina the whole night. Sure we got together for the occasional picture but honestly I was too busy playing host, making sure everyone had everything they needed, introducing people, visiting with everyone so that they were not left out, making sure everything was refilled, tending to needs, and before I knew it the night was over and I finally got some time with her. It was our engagement party and I never even got to enjoy it with her. I sort of didn’t really enjoy it at all since I was busy every minute. In expressing this feeling I was given some great advice by a friend named Sarah. She told me that when we get married we should promise to stay by each other’s side no matter what. That it had been a promise her and her husband had made prior to their wedding. After this party I could see how easy it was to get separated talking to guests, and so, I told my now fiancee that would have to be a pack we make. Based on this party I definitely don’t want the same thing to happen at our actual wedding.
Well even though the party was a bust for me I was happy to know everyone had a great time. Some people didn’t even want to leave! It hasn’t discouraged me from my next party idea which is a mustache party! Cristina will stick a mustache on her face if it kills her. (She isn’t a fan of this idea.)
Mardi Gras season is once again upon us and so far it’s been a pretty good one. Last year Cristina and I joined the Krewe of Cleopatra after being invited by Cristina’s friend. She mentioned having two spots available on the float and also mentioned some of our other acquaintances that rode as well. Although we both had ridden in a parade before we haven’t done it together and since EVERYTHING we do together is a blast- how could we resist?
I will admit that since it was our first time in this Krewe with mostly a bunch of strangers we weren’t as sociable as we could have been. We skipped meetings, get-togethers, the Coronation Ball, etc. Cristina felt more badly about it then I did but since none of it was mandatory I didn’t really care. I knew one event we would be attending was the Rendezvous Ball which is the Mardi Gras Ball for Cleopatra. Cristina told me as soon as we joined that there was no skipping that one. She wanted to go.
Well we got dressed to the 9s and attended the Ball with the friends we joined the Krewe with. It would be our first time meeting the rest of the people on our float and to my surprise they were very friendly. The very people we avoided couldn’t have been nicer. Our lieutenant (person in charge of everything for our float) was very personable, thoughtful, and an all around good time. The drinks flowed, food was good, company was great, and that equation makes up for a pretty fantastic night.
Fast forward several days and it was time to get the float loaded. Now as I mentioned before we skipped all the extra curricular activities which meant we missed Float Day. That is the day you get to take family and friends to an event where all the floats are on display to marvel in their beauty. Well with a combination of a miss-marked float and missing Float Day, we almost packed all of our overflowing bags onto the second deck of the wrong float. That would have been a disaster because loading your throws is not exactly fun, much less having to unload them, tote the heavy bags to another location, to then reload them again. Crisis averted we were loaded in the right spot.
The very next day was the day of the parade. Our float lieutenant arranges a pre-party to the official pre-party that the Krewe hosts prior to the parade rolling. Cristina and I dubbed that party the pre-pre-party. It was a private party held in the warehouse district of New Orleans. Again with drinks flowing and the great company it would be impossible NOT to have a great time. At the conclusion of the pre-pre-party we all walked together to the nearby official pre-party of Cleopatra and continued to have a great time and make awesome memories. I think it was at that time I maybe started feeling a teensy weensy bad about not attending the other events. Everyone there was very nice and included the two rookies into their Cleopatra family. Lesson learned.
Well needless to say Cristina and I will be riding Cleo again next year. We quickly learned by speaking to other members that they were previously on other floats within Cleopatra and transferred to ours because it is known to be the funnest group. I can confidently say in my experience of that day: I concur. Hail Cleopatra!
I liked this article so I posted on my blog. Clicking the link below will bring you to another website. Remeber to come back and checkout my other posts on MadPadExperiment.com
Okay people. Quick and easy Pineapple Dip. This has recently become sort of a quick go-to-recipe when entertaining or when you need to bring something to someone’s house in a jiffy. Everyone seems to really like it. Cristina, however, doesn’t like pineapple so she is not in agreement with me here. 🙂
1 block cream cheese
1 can crushed pineapple drained but reserve the juice *see tips below* (the above picture is seen with pineapple tidbits because I accidentally grabbed the wrong product in a rush)
at least 1/2 cup chopped pecans (i actually like more)
green onions (like 4-5 including the white part) and some for garnish
Now listen very carefully to these directions and take your time. Don’t skip ANY steps as it is critical to the preparedness of this dish. (pausing for effect) Mix it all together. Done.
- Softened cream cheese is easier to mix and incorporate all the ingredients
- I use more pecans then 1/2 cup because I LOVE pecans. In a rush I’ll grab the 4 oz bag of Diamond brand chopped pecans which equals 1/2 cup but I think you need at least that amount
- I wind up using some of the reserved pineapple juice and add to my liking. It helps the cream cheese get a little bit more of that pineapple flavor and also thins it out a little bit.
This recipe is easily doubled. Serve with club crackers.
This recipe is so yum. Quick and easy with only 4 ingredients. I can’t claim it though. A friend shared it with me years ago. (Shoutout to Angela Wilhoft!) Good for a party, to make with a dip, or just to snack on plain which is generally how it’s made in our house. When I do make them I have to bring a bag to my mom and one to my bro. These definitely don’t last.
1 box of saltines
1 cup canola oil
3 tsp crushed red pepper
1 pkg Zesty Italian dressing mix
2 gallon sized ziplock bag
Mix oil, crushed red pepper, and pack of dressing mix together in a cup or bowl. (I normally just do mine all in the measuring cup. ) Pour 2 sleeves of the saltines in one of your gallon sized bags. Pour 1/2 of the mixture in and close the bag. Use your hands on the outside of the bag to coat the crackers with the oil. Repeat with second half. In 5 minutes start to finish you are done!
You will want to go back to the bag every 30 minutes are so for the first few hours just to mix and flip. (I always lay mine flat.) Or I just do it as you’re passing by. If you try the crackers right out of the bag they wont have that much of a flavor to them. The longer they sit marinating the better the flavor will be. I find it is best that you leave them for 24 hours before enjoying. Also, I always find the second bag is better than the first. Whereas the first bag is good as well, no matter how vigorously you mix the oil some of the seasoning just sits at that bottom and of course those seasonings land in the second bag.
Please note that the above picture is not taken by me. Although those are Firecrackers, mine don’t normally have THAT much red pepper in it. If you like a little spice but not your mouth in flames mine should be the right amount of kick. 🙂 Enjoy!