I came, I decorated, I was satisfied . . . for awhile. And then I decided I wanted the darned thing out of my house. But it was up for the first three weeks of the year, and it made me feel very subversive. The gaudy tinsel is now filling a trifle bowl on top of a bookcase, various of the gaudy ornaments and the excess beads are filling vases throughout the house, and there it all will stay until the 24th. The mantel is similarly bedecked (don't have a photo of that), and I've tucked Mardi Grad coins and "dollar bills" into picture frames here and there for a little extra "purposeful whimsy." Oh, and the dining room table is rocking a MAH-di GRAH centerpiece, too.
We're taking the grandparents (great-grandmother included) to Ridglea's jazz brunch this weekend, I've got some of my girls coming over on Fat Tuesday night and then we're thinking about venturing to Buttons for more jazz and some late-night crawfish done Ken Hicks style. This is one of the recipes I'm planning on making on Tuesday - it combines two of my all-time favorites, King Cake and bread pudding:
CHEF JOHN FOLSE'S KING ZULU BREAD PUDDING
4½ ounces Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
4 cups king cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 325ºF. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and egg yolks until well blended then set aside. In a large saucepan, combine whipping cream, milk and sugar. Bring mixture to a low simmer then add chocolate. Whisk mixture until chocolate is completely melted. Remove pot from heat and, stirring quickly, add whipped eggs to the cream mixture. Blend thoroughly to keep eggs from scrambling. In a 8" x 8" baking dish, place king cake cubes. Pour chocolate mixture over the cake. Using your fingertips, press cake gently allowing the cream mixture to be absorbed evenly. Cover dish with aluminum foil and allow to soak a minimum of 30 minutes prior to baking. Bake, covered, for approximately 1 hour. Remove foil and bake 20 additional minutes or until top is golden brown. This bread pudding is actually better if chilled in the refrigerator overnight, after baking, then cut into squares and heated in individual portions in the microwave. You may wish to create a chocolate sauce for topping the bread pudding by combining 8 ounces of melted chocolate and 3 ounces of heavy whipping cream. This may be done in a double boiler or microwave. Yield: 6-8 servings.