Sunday, February 7, 2016

Breakfast on Bourbon Street: Mardis Gras DIY's

While raucously celebrating Mardis Gras in New Orleans is still on my "someday" wish list (sigh), I thought for the time being I would give a nod to the city's most famous party with an easy project and a couple of quick southern inspired sweet treats. 

Admittedly this year's Fat Tuesday will probably find me catching up on Downton Abbey reruns rather than frantically catching beads or gleefully downing goblets of hurricanes, but I can at least enjoy a little festive Big Easy flare, with a quiet coffee at home.

Bourbon Street Lamp Post
A fun way to celebrate this iconic street.

You will Need
mini solar lamps
(I borrowed two from my yard)
planter with soil deep enough to support lamp firmly
or any tall faux floral arrangement with sturdy base
Bourbon St. printout
faux ivy flowers or greens
Mardis Gras accents:masks beads, crowns etc
 (available from Dollar or party stores)
Simply print out street sign image and glue onto sturdy paper or card stock. Then cut out and attach to light with strong tape
Then firmly insert lamp base into planter and adorn with greens and accessories
A crown from Christmas decor, gold rim glass and beads add sparkle
The taller post was made from a grapevine prop I found among my dusty "treasures" and the solar light just happened to fit perfectly in the center tube holding the vines! (and to think it almost ended up at Goodwill)
Make sure the lights get some sun exposure during the day if they are to be displayed at night- I simply popped the top part off and set outside or in a sunny window

"Not Quite" Beignets
While the beignets of New Orleans are the stuff of legend, a quick recipe search had me looking for an alternative more within my skill set (rising yeast and deep frying make me skittish) To the rescue a beignet-like cake recipe from the talented and very funny 
domestic rebel.
Starting with a butter cake mix and simply making a few tweaks, these golden cakes with a hint of nutmeg and sprinkled with powdered sugar, while not technically beignets, are delightful with a morning coffee.

Orange Spiced Coffee
I recently learned of a famous coffee, orange and brandy flambe concoction called Cafe' Brulot, popular in New Orlean's finest old restaurants. While brandy and open flames might not be appropriate for breakfast, the orange flavor sounded wonderful.
For a cafe worthy drink, I made a simple orange syrup that can be added to give coffee a bright but subtle orange flavor, or added to tea or smoothies as well.

Orange Syrup 1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
peel of one orange (white pith removed)
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp orange extract 
Place sugars, water and orange peel in small saucepan. Heat over low-medium until dissolved and almost to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes. Add orange extract and let cool. Strain into a bottle and store in the fridge.
add to coffee to taste and top whipped cream dusted with cinnamon and orange rind if desired
Image graphics fairy circa 1907 sheet music
Laissez les Bon temps Rouler


  1. The little lamps look like real ones once you transformed them! The baignets sound good!

    1. Thanks so much!
      This was a fun project to put together - Of course I'll have to put the lights back in my yard after Mardis Gras lol

  2. My dearest Christina, what a wonderful post this is !
    I love everything in it, the small bedflower with the lamp ... and your cookies ... well, they look so yummy !!!

    Enjoy your Mardi Gras, sweet friend,
    thank you for sharing all these so lovely ideas of yours,
    sending love to you

    1. Thanks so much Daniela,
      I thought I'd add a little fun decor this year to brighten up our February
      So glad you stopped by for a visit and enjoyed the projects :)

  3. How fun! It's all about having fun, whether at home or away! We celebrated Mardis Gras in Mobile Alabama one year on our travels ... It's a great place for the celebration too, tho it doesn't get as much press. It goes on all week before Fat Tuesday too, by the way, so celebrate more than on that one day😀

    1. Oh Alabama must have been a blast! and you're so right it's about fun wherever you are!-
      Unfortunately in Pennsylvania we northerners don't really do a lot for Mardis Gras lol- will have to plan a road trip next year :)

  4. The Bourbon St. lamp posts are so cute! New Orleans is on my bucket list, although the Mardi Gras celebrations may be too much for me. Hee!

    1. LOL- I know what you mean!
      Thanks so much for dropping by!

  5. Wonderful project, love the pictures.

    Hugs Diane

  6. Absolutely darling, my friend! The lamp is just too cute. Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspriation. Have a lovely Valentine's Day! Hugs to you

    1. Thanks so much!
      and also Many Thanks for hosting your lovely parties :)

  7. Christina, what clever decorating ideas you have! And I love the idea of trying this orange syrup in coffee. I always make lemon syrup for iced tea (I hate grainy sugar in iced tea), but I do think coffee would call for the orange.

    1. Thanks so much Jean,
      and love the idea for a lemon syrup for iced tea- will have to try that when ice tea weather finally arrives

  8. How cute those little lamp posts are, and what a clever idea. How fun to have a little light on your table. Your little cakes look delicious.

  9. Awesome idea you've got ..never thought you could do something like that with solar lights!


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