October 25, 2010

Red Bean Crostini Appetizer

 Red Bean Crostini Appetizer

If you love our Monday tradition of red beans and rice, then you are sure to enjoy this yummy recipe for Red Bean Crostini appetizer. This recipe presented by Louisiana Cookin, combines red hearty beans and a Louisiana chicory flavor into a great appetizer.  This recipe could be made with left over home-made red beans as well (instead of canned red beans.)

Red Bean Crostini
created by Holly Schreiber for Louisiana Cookin

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 14-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches fresh chicory, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
16 slices French bread, 1/2-inch thick, toasted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, covered, until soft. Add the beans and warm through. Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it forms a coarse purée. If it is too dry, add a little water or chicken stock to moisten it. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the same sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicory and chicken stock and let wilt. Remove from the heat and drain excess liquid from the chicory. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls of the wilted chicory onto a slice of toasted French bread. Top with a dollop of red bean puréee. Repeat with remaining French bread slices. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Note: If you can’t find chicory, use dandelion greens.

If you try this recipe, let us know how you like it. Leave us a comment or send us a note at ideas@mardigrasoutlet.com.

Bon Appetite!

October 20, 2010

Deco Mesh Halloween Wreath created by Lulu and Junebug

Deco Poly Mesh Halloween Wreath

Heather over at Lulu and Junebug writes on her blog that she is always creating "ever-changing seasonal displays."  She definitely has a knack for it. This fun Halloween wreath she created for her family, is precious!

Ghost on Wreath
I love the addition of the bright white ghost and trick-or-treat sign.  Isn't it a cute ghost? She made him with a styrofoam ball, buttons and cheese cloth. The white ghost really pops on the orange plaid deco mesh.

This wreath was made with our Halloween plaid deco mesh. The plaid deco mesh was tied onto a plain round box wreath form with black tulle. The size of the wreath is not mentioned in the post, but it appears to be a 16" wreath form.

For other ideas, tips and a video tutorial on creating deco mesh wreaths similar to this Halloween one, see our wreath section.

Deco poly mesh  is available in assorted patterns for Halloween and other holidays as well as a wide range of solid colors. Its comes in a standard 21" wide garland form, used here and narrower ribbon (2", 4" and 6"). Here are a few of the styles of Halloween patterns that are available in the 21" wide garland. 

Halloween Striped Deco MeshHalloween Patterned Deco MeshHalloween Deco Mesh

Thanks, Heather for sharing your creative Halloween wreath!
Check out her blog, Lulu and Junebug, for more pictures, details and cute craft ideas.

We have made a new video tutorial on how to create a different version of a Halloween wreath. It uses a work wreath form as the base instead of a wire from, and orange and black striped mesh with orange ribbon. Click here to see it!

October 14, 2010

Our top 20 funny group costume ideas for Halloween!

It is more fun to dress up with a group for Halloween. Whether you are going to a costume party or headed out for the Halloween costume festivities at a local bar or restaurant, funny group costumes are sure to be a hit. The larger the group, the more impressive you will be. A great funny costume will get some laughs, but a big group of them will be hilarious!

So here is some inspiration for your own big entrance! Hope you find something humorous or interesting on our list of top 20 funny costumes for a group.

1. Peanuts costumes
Not the kind you eat, although that would be funny. We mean the comic strip with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and Woodstock. Charles Schulz beloved characters can come to life for Halloween night.  Don’t forget to bring a football for Charlie Brown or Lucy. Looking for a few other costumes to coordinate with the peanut gang? Add in a few sheet covered ghosts to complete the bunch. A mud, smudged Pig-Pen ghost would be funny. Get creative and have someone dress in a cardboard dog house for Snoopy. Or what about a great pumpkin with our bobble-headed pumpkin costume. Just add a sign for the “Great Pumpkin.” Finally a Halloween where the Great Pumpkin arrives! OH, brother!

Fraggle Rock costume: RedFraggle Rock Costume: MokeyFraggle Rock Costume: Gobo

2. Fraggle Rock costumes
Dance your cares away, worries for another day…”  Ring any bells?  I am dating myself. I loved this show in its heyday. Bring back the group from Fraggle rock: Gobo, Red, Mokey and Wembley. Jim Henson created this legendary group. I think it is time for reunion. Be sure to bring along the theme song. I can see the “light bulb” looks you are going to get.

Too young to remember this classic? Check out this video on youtube: Fraggle Rock

Star Magazine Bikini Body CostumeNational Enquirer Costume
3. Gossip Magazines  costumes
We all love to read them, but hate to admit to it! In our media obsessed world, masquerading as a gossip magazine is so appropriate. Get a few friends together to go as a mass of magazines. You will get to be the “new party girl” on The Enquirer and or show off your "bikini body" on Star magazine. Who can resist America’s new “heart throb” on the cover of the National Enquirer. We even have adult magazine cover costumes.  Be sure to include your own paparazzi (black clothes and BIG cameras are a must!)

beer keg costume
4. Beer Theme costumes
The variations of this beer theme are endless. Here are a few options: Beer Keg, Beer Mug, Beer Bottle, Beer Can. Get a group together to form a six or twelve pack. Want some variety? Add in a Beer Pong game or how about a Breathalyzer costume. Or maybe even a Frank the Tank costume…from the looks of him I would bet he drinks a lot of beer.

5. Shark Attack
A half eaten man in a shark costume is sure to garner some attention. Add in a few bathing suit clad ladies and maybe a life guard or two and you have a show stopper.

6. Game Night costumes
Everyone loves games. Why not wear a few to the party? Tic-tac-toe and  the Dart Board costumes are sure to be a party hit (no pun intended.) These two games come in a unisex style and a sexy ladies dress style. Need more ideas for the group? How about  playing card costumes and maybe some dice for a complete game night line up.

7. Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes
The cult following behind ATHF will need not explanations of these characters. But for the rest, the characters: Carl, Frylock, Master Shake and Meatwad are part of a long running adult animated TV show. Funny, bizarre and surreal these characters will fit right in on Halloween.

8. Money costumes
Dollars, Bucks, Dead presidents, Cash and Dough, what ever you want to call it…Cold hard cash is one of the most recognizable items in our culture! Get together with a big group and go as 20 bucks! Looking for some funny accents for your dollar costumes: Don’t’ forget to bring your fifty cents (costume) or even Uncle Sam (he always wants his cut.)

9. Saints Fans- Flying Pigs
This one is for you Saints fans. It was years in the making. Years of brown bag on your head support for the Saints team, but it finally happened. The Saints won the Super Bowl. Many said, it will never happen or maybe when “hell freezes over” or when “pigs fly.” Well the time has come! Pigs are flying. Picture it….a flock of flying pigs descends on the party with Saints paraphernalia blazing: Saints pom-poms, beads and pennants. Be a flying pig and be proud! Way to go Saints!

Want to be the face recognized by millions each generations? Halloween night is your chance! Dress up as a famous painting. Be Mona Lisa for a night. Or Vincent van Gogh in his famous self portrait. Or the most familiar images in American art, American gothic by Grant Wood. Can’t you just picture yourself in these artful costumes?

11. Food/ Cereal costumes
Everyone recognizes these food icons. We grew up watching them on commercials and eating the products they market. Here are some funny food mascot costumes:
Hamburger Helper, the jolly Green Giant, a Wheaties cereal box, the Trix rabbit. Kellogg Keebler Elf: Ernie, Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, and Luck Charms: Cereal box, Lucky Charms: Lucky the Leprechaun. You could just do a whole group of cereal costumes. If you do, don’t forget the milk costume. You can’t have cereal with out milk.

12. Chick Magnet/ Peeps  costumes
This one is great for a group of girls with a special guy friend. One Chick Magnet  costume and a group of chicks or peeps. This would work for a couple too!

13. Candy costumes
For those of you with a sweet tooth, here is a great costume idea for you. A bunch of candy costumes: Pez dispenser, Peeps, Candy Corn witch and the Tootsie roll owl. Be sure to bring a bunch of tootsie roll pops…you know everyone will want to know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop.

14. Bar/Drinks costumes
What goes best with an outrageous costume? A good drink! Sometimes you need it to get the courage to go out dressed at a giant ____ (insert your costume here.) Bring the cocktails with you, with these funny bottle costumes:  Champagne, tequila  (don’t forget the lime and salt shaker costume) and vodka. Other costumes that coordinate with these bottle costumes are the cosmo girl in blue or pink and a cute White Russian.

15.Travelocity Gnome 
He seems to be everywhere, this little Travelocity gnome. Gather a group together for a gnome party!

16. Show guys costumes
For those adventurous out there, I think a group of show guys in these Oh La La costumes would be hysterical. Now, let us see those legs!

17. Vintage Prom costumes
What was once a fashion statement is not a joke! Bring out the pastel and brightly colored tuxedos for a fun night reliving vintage style. I am sure you can still fit in that prom dress, right?


18. Mexican
Everyone loves a fiesta. Bring Cinco de Mayo to the party. A funny Taco custome starts the party; add in tequila, lime and salt then a fiesty cha-cha dancer and a sexy tequila shooter.

19. 50’s / Grease costumes
The movie Grease costumes of T-birds and Pink ladies are so much fun. Who would not want to be Sandy and Danny?  Relive this musical classic with vintage styles that is so in right now. Poodle skirt costumes are cute, too.

20. the Fatty costumes
From super heros past there prime to rock and rollers revealing too much gut, these hysterical fatty costumes would be fun for a group. Would you be rather be Elvis, a real American Hero or your Spider-Hero once youth has past you by?


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