Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mardi Gras!!!!

My girlfriends (we call ourselves the YaYa's) celebrated Mardi Gras last night.  Here we are in our masks and beads and below you can see our faces (I am in the white blouse) -

Mardi Gras was held at my BFF's (Barb) home - she is second from right.  She put on a delicious spread -

The hot foods were on the stove and this is what my plate looked like -

We had 3 different kinds of shrimp, pirogi, and a Cajun rice dish with sausage for the main foods.  After we ate we planned to watch a movie and had some snacks.

We thought this was an appropriate movie for us to watch (again!) as not only is it about the YaYa's but it is centered in the Louisiana area -

After the movie we had the King Cake that I made -

Gwen had the "baby" in her slice of King Cake and she proudly put it on top to display -

Now, this was my first attempt at making a King Cake.  In looking over recipes online I saw where there were different variations on the filling and on the kind of dough (super easy to difficult).  This is the recipe that I used which seemed to have appeared in Southern Living Magazine 20 years ago.

King Cake
1/4 C. butter
16 oz. sour cream
1/3 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 T. granulated sugar
1/2 C. warm water
2 large eggs
6 C. flour
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. butter, softened

Cook first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts.  Cool mixture.

Dissolve yeast and 1 T. sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Add butter mixture, eggs, & 2 cups flour.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until smooth.  Gradually stir in the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (free from drafts) for 1 hour or until double in bulk.

Stir together 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon & 1/3 cup softened margarine and set aside.

Punch dough down; divide in half.  Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a 28" x 10" rectangle (I had a problem with this as my pastry board was only about 17" at the longest so mine was a different shape.).  Spread half of the cinnamon/butter mixture on the dough.  Roll dough jelly-roll style starting at the long side.  Place roll seam-side down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bring the ends together to form an oval ring - moistening with water and pinching the edges together to seal.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

**A little bit after I took the cake out of the oven I inserted the baby into the cake from the bottom.

3 C. powdered sugar
3 T. butter, melted
3-6 T. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Using a mixer - stir together the sugar and melted butter.  Add vanilla.  Then, add the milk to reach the desired consistency for drizzling.  (I used a total of 5 T. for the consistency that I liked.)

Normally, the frosting is left white and then sprinkled with the colored sugars of Mardi Gras - purple, green & gold.  But, I did not have any purple sprinkles (note to self -- next time in Amish country pick up purple sanding sugar!!) so I tinted the frosting purple and then sprinkled gold and green sugars.

Here is the dough as I was mixing it -

It is a soft dough.  This was when it was finished -

Kneading it til smooth and elastic -

Rising in a covered bowl -

Ready to go in the oven (should have made it more oval than round) -

Here are both of them.  I didn't put the baby in the one I kept here at home.  I could just picture Mr. Cardigan - I don't even want to think about it -- it would probably be something along the lines of "What the ____ is this???"

What a fun Mardi Gras celebration!!! 

I went to my cupboard where I nicely store(aka - all piled in there with no purpose, etc.)  a lot of my "fancy" dishes to get the nice pink glass platter that I used for the King Cake to take to our celebration.  Of course, I had to take quite a bit out to get to the plate that I wanted.  I stacked them on the washer (which is nearby) and in a little bit went back to put them away and this is what I found -

Now, keep in mind that there were a couple of very fragile glass pieces near her that I quickly took out before I went to grab my camera.  So, how she so gracefully got up there and didn't budge anything I will never know!!

I am linking to Just A Girl's Show & Share.  You can click here to see all the links.

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