Monday, February 28, 2011

Krewe of Muses - If a Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

Than this video says it all!!!  It's a short documentary all about Muses.  It truly encapsulates everything that is special about our Krewe.  And if you watch closely, you'll get to see me make my big screen (well, youtube) debut.  I am the Muse who introduces the float titled "The Guy Who Loves Me" based on the dirty deeds of Senator Larry Craig.

I hope this helps explain just why it is that all I've been talking about is our parade!!  Just a few more days!

What did you think?  Pretty special, right!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Krewe of Muses Gives Back

Oh Muses!!  Four days and counting...  I know it's all I've talked about recently, but honestly, it's all I think about.  Well, that and work.  Mardi Gras and tax season are a tricky combination.  It's a lesson in the old adage "work hard, play hard."  I'm working extra hard these next few days so that, come Thursday morning, I can have Muses on my mind. 

I mention how fabulous I think the Krewe of Muses is for all of the reasons that most of you already know about - the fantastically creative throws, the satirical floats, and the glittered shoes.  But the thing I think makes being a part of this Krewe so special is that it is truly an expression of our love for New Orleans and her people. 

Photo courtesy of Melinda Morris, The Times-Picayune
Each year the Krewe holds a contest in which high school students submit drawings for our cup design.  The winner is not only featured on the cups we throw, but the art department of his or her high school is the recipient of a $1,000 grant.  This year's winner is Michael Washington from O. Perry Walker.  With no formal art training, but a love of drawing, Michael delved into his cup design with all the
passion a Muses puts into her glittered shoes.  I was most impressed that he spent time researching the history of this year's Muse, Terpsichore, and that he carefully incorporated her inspiration's,  dance and choral singing, into his drawing.  I was so happy to read that the grant given to O. Perry Walker was not only being used to benefit the art department, but that it was also helping pay for costs associated with Michael's portfolio which he will be submitting to art schools!  GO MICHAEL!!!  If you're on the route, ask for a cup and be sure to admire his lovely design.  Click HERE to read more about Michael and see his submission...

In 2010, Muses set a goal to raise $20,000 to help the St. Bernard Project rebuild the home of Pamela Johnson.  As it's 2011 honorary muse, defined as a woman who embodies the spirit of one of the nine muses, the Krewe selected Liz McCartney.  Liz is the Director of Development and Co-Founder of St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization that rebuilds storm-damaged homes and lives in St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes.  She was the 2008 CNN Hero of the Year, and is truly an inspiration to us all.  She proves that the power of empathy, love, and compassion can heal even the deepest wounds and bring us all closer in the process.  As the honorary muse, Liz will get to ride in our signature fiber optic red high heel float.  Riding along with her will be Pamela Johnson.  I couldn't be prouder to call them my Muses sisters.

I'll end this post with our parade's motto...

Happy are those who the Muses love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Krewe of Muses - The Complete 2011 Shoe Collection

After months spent at a crafts table surrounded by glue gun strings, glitter, sequins, and flowers, I have put away my crafting  supplies away.  That can mean only one thing, there's less than ten days till Krewe of Muses 2011 hits the streets of New Orleans.  I've put all of my shoes in their own ziplocks, and I have packed them away in a bead bag.  There are ready for the 2011 ride!!!

Here's a look at the whole collection...

The flower collection...

A salute to our NOPD officers.  I thought I'd give this one to one of the officers on Canal Street. 

 Every year we see some men and women of the US Armed Forces in uniform on the parade route.  I'm hoping to find one for this shoe!

 As a tribute to Trombone Shorty who will be playing at our parade's after party, here's a New Orleans jazz shoe!

For all you Strawberry Shortcake fans out there!!!

 My Mardi Gras Madness Collection

The Butterfly Collection

For the Muses in Waiting

Each year, Mark gets to pick one shoe for us to keep.  This shoe was my favorite, and he was so sweet to pick it!!!!!

Countdown begins...  Nine days and counting!!!!!

Tasty Tuesdays: Chicken Paprikash Topped Potatoes

Chicken Paprikash Topped Potatoes

I love finding recipes on Cooking Light's recipe portal, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of options, number of ingredients, number of steps involved.  Know what I mean?  When I'm searching for tasty and delicious recipes that are quick and easy to make, I go immediately to their "Dinner Tonight" section.  It has a great selection of meal options that can be prepared with just a few common ingredients in no time at all.
Just because a recipe is quick and simple, doesn't mean it has to be low in flavor.  I have made chicken paprikash several times, but I've never served it over a baked potato before!  I thought this looked like such a great way to change up my old version paired with egg noodles.  
Paprika not only adds a lovely color to this dish, but it also adds a great flavor.  There are many varieties of this delicious spice.  There is a sweet variety which is often found in deviled eggs or goulash.  There is a smoked variety prepared by drying the peppers over an oak burning fire...mmmm!!!  You can also find a spicy smoked paprika.  You can use whatever you have around in this recipe, but I like to mix it up with the spicy variety.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 potato and 1/2 cup chicken mixture)


  • 4  baking potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4  skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons  paprika
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/2  cup  coarsely chopped onion
  • 1  (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4  cup  reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley


Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at high 16 minutes or until done, rearranging potatoes after 8 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.
Combine chicken, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake to coat.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture, onion, mushrooms, and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook 6 minutes or until chicken is done and the sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.
Split potatoes open with fork; fluff pulp. Divide chicken mixture evenly over potatoes; sprinkle with parsley.

What's your favorite spice to cook with?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mark's Birthday at His Parade's Den Party

Doesn't this photo just capture the spirit of Mardi Gras?!  We got to celebrate Mark's birthday at the den parties for his parade and mine.  A den is where a parade's floats are housed when they are in use during the parade.  The den party is the first time the riders get to view their floats for the year. I may have mentioned in past years that each year a parade chooses a theme for their parade and each float has a title that corresponds to the theme.  Many, like ours, keep these themes a secret until the day of the ride.  It adds to the mystery of carnival!

This float was just beautiful!  I love how the horses appear to be climbing into the heavens...

Mark's parade's floats are so colorful.  They really are works of art!

The Roman Candy man made an appearance at Mark's den party!  So did the Lucky Dog man.  It was truly a New Orleans birthday!

This is Mark's first year riding, and I love seeing how excited he is.  There is absolutely nothing as special as your very first ride.  It's something you imagine your whole life, and that moment when your float turns on to St. Charles Ave from Napoleon and you see rows of people for miles...  it all becomes real.  I can't wait to be in that crowd and shout to Mark, "throw me something, mister!!"

After Mark's float viewing, we went to mine.  The first float we spotted was the signature fiber optic red high heel!  Can you say fabulous?!?!

Mark and my dad helped get my spot in working order.  I like to have a good idea of where I can hang up all of my beads!!  Although no matter how much you try, you're never really organized!

 But I'm going to try!  We added a lot of extra hooks, and we added three small buckets.  This will give me a place to store my light up rings, light up hair clips, and rhinestone bracelets!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Our First New Orleans Supper Club: A Rare Cuts Event

Photo Courtesy of Rare Cuts

Tomorrow night, Mark and I will attend the very first dinner with our new supper club.  Our Beaufort supper club was truly one of my very favorite things about living in the Lowcountry.  So we thought we'd get one started here.  Since not all of the couples (there are four of us) know one another, we thought it would be fun to dine out for our first dinner so we could all get to know one another.  

While there are tons of restaurants to choose from in New Orleans, we thought it would be fun to try something different and new.  So we have scheduled a dinner for eight at Rare Cuts on Magazine Street.  Rare Cuts is a specialty meat market that has just started hosting multi-course dinners in their courtyard.

Here is more information about what we have in store.  I have listed our choices in red!

The rare cuts tasting is a private 5-course family-style dinner held in the dining room of the uptown location. The meal features various cuts and prepartions of meat, as well as a choice of house made sides.

First Course
Spinalis Bruschetta
Grilled Harris Ranch rib eye spinalis on top a french bread toast point with roasted red peppers and melted brie cheese

or Domestic Lollipop Lamb Chop

or Niman Ranch Barbecue Pulled Pork Slider with caramelized red onion

Second course
Husdon Valley Duck And Mushroom Gumbo

Third course
Mixed Green Salad

Fourth course
Harris Ranch Filet Mignon
choice of two sides

Fifth course
Harris Ranch Rib Eye & NY Strip
choice of two sides

Scalloped Potatoes with Shiitake Mushrooms and Brie
 Twice Baked Potatoes with Niman Ranch Bacon
 Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes 
Grilled Green Onions 
Grilled Asparagus 
Creamed Spinach

$55 per person, including tax. Does not include gratuity.
The dining room accommodates a maximum of 8–18 people seated or up to 40 people for a cocktail style event.
Rare Cuts provides ice, bottled water, cups and glasses; guests provide any and all other beverages.
Parties may be held Tuesday through Saturday, after 7:15 pm.
Call for reservations. 504.267.4687
801 Nashville Avenue New Orleans ph 504.267.4687 fax 866.469.3610

I can't wait to get dinner started!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Krewe of Muses - We Load Our Float in TWO WEEKS!!!!!

Hello, hello, bloggers!!!!!

I cannot tell you how excited I am that in just two weeks, I will be loading up Krewe of Muses Float #19 with all of my beads.  This Saturday, we go to Beads by the Dozen to pick up all of the additional beads we've ordered.  Our big package is actually loaded for us by the krewe, but at bead distribution, we get to have a sneak peak at all of our extra throws before the big day!  In preparation, Mark went by Home Depot and picked up some small buckets for me so that we can drill them in my riding spot.  This will give me some space to store our light up rings, and our light up high heel hair clips, and some rhinestone bracelets!!!

I thought I'd share some photos of our 2011 throws.  There's a few that remain top secret because they'd reveal our theme for this year's parade.  But as we get closer to our ride, I'll share our theme and the title of my float (which is absolutely hysterical!!!)!

 Muses Light Up Rings...

Signature Float Light Up Hair Clips

Muses Rhinestone Leather Bracelets 
Muses Insulated Lunch Box (Fits a Picnic or a Six Pack!)

Muses Princess Silly Bands

 Krewe of Muses Shoe Bracelet

Muses Magnetic Dress Up Kit

 Hasn't the krewe outdone itself!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm a Military Spouse Again

Saturday, Mark was commissioned as a Major in the LA Air National Guard.  It has been several months since he left the Navy, and I think both of us realized how much we missed being a part of the military the second we got on the base.  
This is Mark in his new uniform!!!

The Louisiana Air National Guard, aka "The Bayou Militia"

Mark is being sworn...  This was followed by a lot of paper signing...

Here is Mark with his recruiter and one of the other doctors on base...

Our good friends joined my dad and me to witness Mark's commissioning.  We couldn't have been prouder of him!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Party Favor

Photo Courtesy of My Cakies

A few months back, a friend of mine passed along the cutest idea I had seen in ages.  She saw this adorable post on Cakies blog that described how to make cupcakes in a jar!  I love anything in a Ball jar (ingredients for cookies, lemonade on the 4th of July, and cupcakes too!).  I think this party favor has a simple but very chic look to it. 

You simply must head right over there to check how it's made.  

Hop on back and tell me what you think!  

I'm thinking this would be fabulous with chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting too!!


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