Thursday, February 27, 2014



Mardi Gras History and Traditions.

 Mardi Gras is about music, parades, picnics, floats and excitement. It's one big holiday in New Orleans! Everyone is wearing purple, green, and gold, and adorned with long beads caught from the beautiful floats.

Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”.  The name comes from the ancient custom of parading a fat ox through Paris on this day.  The ox was to remind the people that they were not allowed to eat meat during Lent. Lent runs from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. 
This year MARDI GRAS begins on "FAT TUESDAY" March 4th.  The date depends on when Easter falls ( APRIL 20, 2014)
 Traditionally, it is the last day for Catholics to indulge—and often overindulge—before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that come with Lent. 

A Krewe is the word for an organization that creates the balls and parades during Mardi Gras. Each Krewe has several members and a captain. Krewes are practically a secret society in New Orleans. Throughout the year, the Krewe builds floats and holds meetings in secret, on the day of their parade they ride as masked riders.  Every Krewe holds their own parade leading up to Mardi Gras, There are now dozens of Krewes. Each Krewe has its own style, such as The Muses- an all female Krewe or Bacchus- a Krewe famous for its “super floats” and celebrity riders. The larger Krewes designate a royal party each year. The royal party has a queen and a king who preside over the parade in their own floats.

The tradition of throwing beads and small trinkets from the parade floats dates back almost as long as the parades themselves.  Throws started in the 1920s when Rex and a few other Krewes started throwing small trinkets. Today, you can catch almost anything from a masked rider- stuffed animals, plastic cups, small toys and even bags to hold all your goodies.

The purple, green and gold seen everywhere during carnival season can be attributed to Rex, the original daytime Mardi Gras krewe. 
 The result was the purple, green and gold, the official colors of Rex and soon Mardi Gras itself. The colors themselves have symbolic meaning. Purple stands for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Today, the Mardi Gras colors are seen on everything from costumes, to beads to throws.

Doubloons predate Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. Doubloons were actually the first type of coins minted in America and go back as far as the early 1700s. The doubloons we think of now- the two sided coins thrown from the parade floats- started in 1960 with Rex. H Alvin Sharpe created the first doubloons. These doubloons had the Krewe’s name, emblem and founding date on one side and the current year and theme of the parade on the other side. Soon every Krewe was tossing their own doubloons and now they’re so popular people are willing to get their hands trampled just to get one.

New Orleans-Style Shrimp

  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced small ( 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small bunch scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large lemon, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 3/4 pounds shell-on extra-large shrimp, deveined


  1. STEP 1

    In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/4 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice, stir, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. STEP 2

    Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high. Add celery, scallion whites, and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add Creole seasoning and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  3. STEP 3

    Add Worcestershire, lemon, and shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and coated with sauce, about 4 minutes. Serve shrimp over rice with scallion greens on top.
Everyday Food, April 2010

Carnival Jambalaya


  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup oil (optional)
  • 2 8-oz. boxes Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions

    1. Bring water and oil to boil in large saucepan. Stir in rice mixes, chicken and sausage; return to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
    2. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.

Makes 12 (1-cup) servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions 
Variation: Two cups cubed cooked ham and/or 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved crosswise, may be added to rice mixture after 10 minutes of cooking time.
SOURCE: Zatarins

The drink:  SAZERAC

Designated the official cocktail of New Orleans by a 2008 act of Louisiana legislature, the sazerac is sometimes referred to as the oldest known American cocktail.
In a chilled Old-Fashioned glass, pour 1 ounce of simple syrup. Add three dashes of Peychaud’s bitters, a floral, aromatic bitters from New Orleans.
Pour in 2 ounces rye whiskey. Swirl those ingredients together to blend. In a separate chilled Old-Fashioned glass, pour a bit of absinthe and swirl to coat the inside of the glass. Discard the excess.
Then pour the rye mixture into the absinthe-coated glass. Swipe a lemon twist around the edge of the glass and then use as a garnish.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Your engaged!  
Now it's time to build the details of your wedding.  You know your theme, you've chosen your colors and maybe the date and venue, 

 But what about your wedding party?  This can be the most stressful decision you make, because you certainly don;t want to hurt any one's feelings.  If you have siblings, it's a no-brainer (provided you get along!) 


1. Wait until you have chosen your date before you ask people to be a part of your wedding party.  If your wedding is a year or more away, you may not have the same feelings for that person or there may be a conflict of dates, where that particular friend may have a major event prevent him or her from participating.


2.  You don;t have to choose siblings!  Maybe your not that close or your sister cannot fulfill the duties of a maid or matron of honor.  Invite her to be a bridesmaid instead.  Do you have a brother you are very close to?  There is no reason he can't be your MAN OF HONOR.

3.  Do you have more bridesmaids than groomsmen?  Not a problem.  Bridesmaids can walk down the aisle alone or in pairs,  

4. Yes, you can have 2 Maids of Honor or one Maid of Honor and one Matron of Honor or Man of Honor.  Maybe you want to honor your brother and sister, so the Maid (Matron) of Honor and Man of Honor gives both siblings a special place in your wedding.  ** When I was married, my husband had his 2 sisters stand up for him as his "Best Ladies"


5. Do you have to include your future sister-in-law in your bridal party?  No, but it may keep peace in your future family.

6.  You do not have to reciprocate.  If you were in other weddings, as a bridesmaid, it is not expected that you include that person in your wedding.

7. So how do you tell a friend or family member they will not be in your wedding party? 

    * Do not ignore the situation, especially if you feel she is expecting to be included.  Take her out for lunch or drinks.

   *Explain how difficult the decision was for you.  Tell her that you are having a small wedding,your trying to keep expenses within a tight budget or you have to accommodate your new in-laws.

   *Understand that she may be angry or hurt, but feel good that you addressed the mater in an honest and kind manner. 

  * You now can move on with a clear mind..

8.  Remember, the only rules for your wedding are the ones you set for yourself!  


For more tips read this article .....

Friday, February 14, 2014



 the Carmine’s Lover’s Punch – 
a beautiful drink-for-two in a 23 ounce glass which incorporates Run, Elderflower, Absolute Raspberry, pineapple and cranberry juice – and is topped with Prosecco. 


1 cup pretzel rods
1 cup almonds
3 (4-ounce) bars semisweet chocolate, melted

 (recommended: Valrhona chocolate)
8 long-stemmed strawberries
Chop pretzels and nuts and place in 2 separate bowls.
Chop chocolate.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth and

Dip strawberries in chocolate and then in pretzels or


Place covered strawberries on a 1/2 sheet tray lined
with waxed paper. Allow to set at room temperature and



Monday, February 3, 2014




We are so appreciative of your kind comments and support on Facebook, Twitter and here on our blog.  

Press Release
Instylepartyfavors.Com Receives 2013 Best of Davidsonville Award
Davidsonville Award Program Honors the Achievement
DAVIDSONVILLE October 21, 2013 -- Instylepartyfavors.Com has been selected for the 2013 Best of Davidsonville Award in the Wedding Supply Store category by the Davidsonville Award Program.
Each year, the Davidsonville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Davidsonville area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Davidsonville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Davidsonville Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Davidsonville Award Program
The Davidsonville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Davidsonville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Davidsonville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Davidsonville Award Program

Davidsonville Award Program
Please tell us what we can do to better serve you and what items and services we can provide to continue to improve our website and customer service.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Starts JANUARY 31 and is celebrated for 15 days

Horse (Birth Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)

Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse enjoy exploring and their independence. They are honest and enjoy holding meaningful conversations with others. Horses enjoy traveling and a change of scenery. Their family and friends may view them as drifters because of their constant need for a new environment. A weak quality that the hose holds is that they can come across as self centered; this can lead to them having a difficult time making friends. Sticking to a routine for an extended period of time can easily bore them. Horses enjoy careers where they can interact with their co-workers freely; a quiet office is not their cup of tea. They easily grasp new concepts, and are reliable when it comes to meeting deadlines. Their spontaneity keeps their partners interested in them, but they have a tendency to fall in love too quickly. The best love matches for Horses are Dog or Tiger.

    Chinese New Year celebrations mark a new beginning. Houses are aired out to get rid of last year’s bad luck, and they are decorated in red, which symbolizes good luck and fortune. Family members gather to give children red envelopes full of money for good luck.  

The food eaten during the celebration 
is intended to promote
 wealth, happiness and longevity.
One traditional dish is uncut LONGEVITY noodles,to promote a long life.


  • 8 ounces (1/2 box) spaghetti or linguine
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 3/4 cup snow peas, blanched and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar


  1. 1. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
  2. 2. Toss the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. 3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it turns white.
  4. 4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts, snow peas and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sauce and stir-fry until blended, about 1 minute. Add the reserve noodles and toss until coated. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Long Life Noodles with Chicken

Dumplings  to promote wealth in the upcoming year because their shape resembles old forms of Chinese currency. Most are savory, but some have added sugar for a sweet life.  Others are stuffed with coins for extra luck for the ones who discover them.
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Happy Chinese New Year! (Asian Dumpling and Vegetable Soup, recipe submitted by TK member Lauren of The Beneshes)


  • 1 box (32 Oz.) Asian-flavored Chicken Broth*
  • 2 whole Carrots, Peeled And Sliced Thinly On The Diagonal
  • 1 bag Frozen Chinese Or Thai Dumplings (such As Pork, Chicken, Shrimp, Veggie, Etc.)
  • ⅓ cups Mushrooms, Sliced Thinly
  • 1 whole Scallion, Chopped
  • ½ cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • Preparation Instructions
  • *Broth can be found next to the stocks and broths on the soup aisle or on the ethnic foods aisle of the grocery store. I use a coconut curry broth.
  • Pour the broth into a pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Add the carrots. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the dumplings and mushrooms and simmer for about 8 minutes. (Do not cook the dumplings at a rapid boil or they will break open.) Add the scallion and spinach leaves and continue to simmer for about two minutes longer, or until the dumplings are heated through and the vegetables are tender enough.Courtesy of the Tasty Kitchen
Another must-have dish is the the five-vegetable stir fry, representing The five blessings  Longevity, Riches, Peace, Wisdom and Virtue,  

Stir-Fried Chinese Vegetables

Serves: 4 to 6
4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ medium red onion, cut into 4 wedges, layers separated
2 heads organic baby bok choy, trimmed, cut lengthwise into quarters
¼ pound organic Chinese broccoli, stems and leaves separated and cut into 1-inch pieces, or an equal amount of broccoli rabe
¼ pound organic Chinese long beans or regular green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 green onion, trimmed, 5 cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces, 1 thinly sliced and reserved separately
¼ head Napa cabbage, leaves cut crosswise into strips 1 inch wide
23 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water, heated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Heat a large wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot enough to flow freely and begins to shimmer, add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and stir-fry just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Scoop out the aromatics and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the wok. When it is hot, add the onion pieces and stir-fry until they turn glossy and bright, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the bok choy and the Chinese broccoli. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Add the long beans and the 1-inch green onion pieces. Continue stir-frying until they are bright green and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Add the Napa cabbage, along with about 13 cup of the hot broth or water and the reserved aromatics. Continue stir-frying until the vegetables are all tender-crisp, about 2 minutes longer.
Add the remaining broth or water, and soy sauce; briefly stir the cornstarch mixture and drizzle it in. Continue stir-frying until the vegetables all look lightly glazed with sauce, about 1 minute longer.
Transfer the stir-fried vegetables to a heated serving dish. Garnish with the sliced green onions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.
From and tested by Wolfgang Puck
Celebrities Born in the Year of the Horse
Louisa May Alcott, Chopin, Davy Crockett, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sandra Day O'Connor, Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt, Sir Isaac Newton, Barbara Streisand, Cindy Crawford, Cynthia Nixon, Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Jason Biggs, Jackie Chan, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, Leonard Bernstein, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Rembrandt, Ashton Kutcher, Emma Watson, Josh Hartnett, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Genghis Khan, Emperor Kangxi and Yongzheng of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911)