Everything's Coming Up Crawfish: Adventures In Wreath Making

Today I am sharing a deco-mesh wreath I made for my sister.  I love to drive by homes and see the beautiful door wreaths, but for me personally it’s not my cup of tea.  Why would someone who has a knack for crafts not have a wreath for every occasion you ask? STORAGE!  Not that I don’t have plenty of storage, but the thought of climbing the attic stairs every 6 weeks to celebrate the next holiday that has been immortalized in wreath form just sounds exhausting. Don’t get me wrong I have some Easter, Fall and definitely Christmas boxes, but I almost never take them all out and display the many wonders tucked away up there.
So why am I going on about this, well I wanted to try my hand at a deco-mesh wreath and the opportunity presented itself in the form of a crawfish boil.  My beautiful sister celebrated a monumental birthday with a crawfish boil and I knew the time had come to give this craft a try. 

I went in search of inspiration and crafts supplies and came up with a ton of options.  I went from store to store searching out the combination of items I was sure she would like being careful not to go overboard with my theme, and being mindful of the budget.  A $15 bag of faux lemons would have done the trick, but I searched for the three lemons I found at the Dollar Tree. That's my little helper hand checking out mommy's supplies.

I began by watching tutorials on YouTube and was confident I had a good idea of what it was I needed to do.  I added pipe cleaners to my wreath form and began to load the wreath like the videos showed.  

The inner ring went well but I discovered that the outer rings needed extra pipe cleaners to achieve the same fullness I achieved on the inner ring. No biggie I gave myself a do-over and got the look I was hoping for.

Then came the bow and finally the stuff. I found a checked wired burlap ribbon and I like the drape of the extra mesh at the end so I left it hanging.  Then I cut an extra length to match the drape and wired it on so they matched. 

I found a fabulous item in the floral section of Hobby Lobby that looked like chicken wire, but was made of floral wire.  I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use it, but I knew I had to have it.  I ended up cutting pieces and fashioning miniature crawfish traps. 

And that cute bottle of Tony Chachere's came from my kitchen. It was the right size so I was happy to recycle it into a craft project. 

I placed the other items around the wreath to determine the spacing and when I was satisfied with the spacing I gave them all a healthy glob of hot glue and made it permanent. 

Her party was in March and to date the crawfish have proven too heavy for the hot glue, they will have to be wired in place but the rest is holding up nicely on her front door.
This one was such a big hit I was asked to make others.  So while my door is still pretty plain, others in my family have beautiful wreaths.  I will show you the Spring wreath my mother requested soon.

Crawfish Boil Corn Grits: Now That's Spicey

It is a new week and what better way to celebrate than with good food.  This is sort of a follow up to the previous crawfish boil post where I made yummy potato salad.  Another recipe I whipped up Easter Sunday was yellow corn grits using the left over crawfish boil corn. 

So without further ado, I present Crawfish Boil Corn Grits.  Here’s what you’ll need. 
2 cups water or chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup yellow corn grits
4 tbsp. butter
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup of corn kernels (previously boiled)
½ cup sliced green onions

I purchased my corn at a local seafood market blocks from my house.  They are crazy busy this time of year and 3 ears of corn will set you back $1.49.  For this recipe I used 6 ears, but given that theirs was much spicier that the ones we made during our own boil next time I will only use three.
Begin by removing the kernels from the cobs with a sharp paring knife and break them up with your fingers.

Bring the water, heavy cream and butter to a boil with a good dash of salt.  When this comes to a boil I add the grits and immediately stir to keep the grits from clumping. 

Then lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Add the corn and green onions after about 10 minutes to give the flavors time to come together.  Serve immediately and enjoy. 

Something to think about, when I made this for Easter I used an 8 quart stock pot for the recipe and I made 1 ½ cups of grits with 3 cups each of water and heavy cream.   I prefer the texture in the larger pot and the cooking seemed to be more precise. The grits cooked more evenly and with less stirring and I was able to adjust the seasoning easier. 

Next time I make these I will use a much larger pot than the one I used here. It may even be a good excuse to buy a pot like the one in my mother’s kitchen.   There you go, Crawfish Boil Corn Grits, enjoy and remember to share with a friend.

Crawfish Boil & A Sack Of Taters

Thank goodness it is spring time! I bet you thought I dropped off the face of the earth, well good news, I’m still here.  I have adjusted my approach to the blog and decided that it doesn’t have to be perfect with long explanations and perfectly cropped and airbrushed photos my projects. This is my way of sharing my excitement for homemaking and creating and its coming to you live and in color straight from the heart, and yes, most of the time direct from my iPhone.
Today it is Crawfish Boil Potato Salad.  My beautiful sister celebrated her birthday a week before Easter and I came away with left over crawfish, potatoes and corn.  What does one do with so many leftovers? Well invent recipes of course. 

I am giving you approximate measurements here, as with any potato salad, it's a matter of taste.  Here’s what you will need.
3 lbs. of small red potatoes cooked in crawfish boil
1 large stalk of celery
2 green onions chopped
½ jar of pimentos
½ to 1 cup of mayonnaise
¼ to ½ cup of spicy brown mustard
¼ cup horseradish sauce
Splash of lemon juice
Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning
Salt & Pepper

Here’s what I did. This was two gallon size freezer bags of potatoes.  I started by using my paring knife to peel mostly around the center of the potatoes.  I like a little potato peel in my salad to keep it rustic, but too much gets in the way and interferes with the flavor in my opinion.  Then I cubed them and added them to my large bowl. 

I chopped 1 large stalk of celery, 2 green onions and added those to the bowl, along with ½ a jar of pimentos, mayonnaise, spicy brown mustard, horseradish sauce and lemon juice.  I seasoned with salt, pepper and the beloved Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning.  Because the potatoes had been refrigerated for a week I used a potato masher to give them a little smashing and get the texture I wanted.  I mixed this all together and put in a container overnight.

The next day I tasted the potato salad again and decided on a little extra mayo, and another hit of Tony’s.  The crawfish boil seasoning on the potatoes was enough that I didn’t have to work hard to season the salad.  The horseradish added a nice zing to it.  It just so happened that I picked up the ham for Easter at the Honey Baked store and couldn’t resist their horseradish sauce.  I know it is pricey, but it’s so good and I only buy it once a year.  You can use any jar horseradish you want to here, but if it is straight horseradish you might start out with a couple of tablespoons and add to your liking.
I used the leftover crawfish to make a few crawfish pies, and the spicy crawfish boil corn made the best yellow corn grits.  Needless to say we ate well for Easter, and thanks to my wonderful family for all their dishes and desserts that made it a wonderful holiday. So there you go Crawfish Boil Potato Salad.    Enjoy and remember to share with a friend.