Anywho, there is this website called House Party that partners with different companies and asks people to host parties centered around their products. When I applied to host the Zatarain's Mardi Gras party, I did not think I would get accepted and I totally didn't think about the fact that Tuesdays are not a good night for us. So, it was to my surprise and not-so-excitement when I was notified that I had been selected as a host.
Hubby has basketball practice with his nephews and brother-in-law every Tuesday, and this week they are preparing for the post-season tournament. His sister's family would have been a large part of my invitee list if this were not the case, so I decided maybe I could make the party work around their schedule. Luckilly they were kind enough to let me bring the party to them!
So, tonight I will be travelling across town with all of my party supplies and food and setting up shop at their apartment. Here's what I will be serving (mostly thanks to the food and recipes provided by Zatarain's):
- Jambalaya with andouille sausage and shrimp (Jambalaya mix provided by Zatarain's)
- Red beans and rice (mix also provided)
- Grilled chicken with creole honey mustard glaze (mustard and creole seasoning provided)
- Creole mustard dip with celery and crackers (same mustard and seasoning used in glaze)
- Homemade root beer (apparently root beer extract was the first product Zatarain's ever made - it was included in my party pack and I'm very curious to try the finished product - I just had to make a simple syrup, combine with the extract and refrigerate, then will mix it with club soda at the party)
- Mardi Gras cake (I refused to buy a king cake for $6 so I just made 2 little cakes out of a box of Duncan Hines marble cake mix - frosted one with Funfetti and one with chocolate frosting, then added green and purple accents)
Because there will be such a tight schedule tonight, I tried to do most of the cooking last night. I made the jambalaya but cooked it 10 minutes less than it called for and chilled it before adding the meat so that the shrimp can cook when it reheats. I also cooked the red beans and rice short of their instructed cooking time so hopefully they won't be too mushy upon reheating.
I attempted to make the glaze for the chicken (recipe was included from Zatarain's) but I'm a little skeptical about how it will taste. It has orange juice as a main ingredient and it's the only thing I could really distinguish as I tried it last night. Also, it said to reduce by half and that it would take about 30 minutes. I let it cook for about 2 hours and it still didn't reduce to the right consistency. We might just be having plain grilled chicken! I think everything else is plenty flavorful though so that might be for the best.
The root beer mix and the creole dip are both chilling in the fridge. All that's left is to cut up the celery, cook the chicken and reheat everything. Here's hoping for a great party!