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Queen's Cup Cocktail

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Any reason to make a new cocktail is a good reason. But Mardi Gras just might be the perfect reason. Whether you're throwing a little Mardi Party or watching the parades on St. Charles, you'll surely need a drink in hand. This one just so happens to be adorable and delicious. 

We took a New Orleans classic and put our own spin on it. King's Cups are notoriously served at Emril Delmonico's restaurant during Mardi Gras season. Inspired by the King's Cup, we declared our slightly sweet, fizzy drink the Queen's Cup. 

Unlike a thick daiquiri, this cocktail won't weigh you down so you can keep partying all day. You've got beads to catch! 

 

Queen's Cup

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • Champagne for topping off
  • Yellow and green sanding sugar
  • Lime slices

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the colored sugar to one plate.  Dip the rim of the glass into a little bit of water, then into the sugar, coating the rim completely.
  2. Add the vodka, pineapple juice  and lime juice to a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and pour into prepared glasses.
  3. Top off with champagne. Garnish with lime.

With the Queen's Cup in hand, you'll be looking like royalty. 

Keep dreaming, 

-xo The Rodéo Gils

Tags: champagne, cocktail, cocktails, Mardi Gras, party

A Rodéo Christmas - Holiday 2014 Lookbook

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We know it's long past Christmas, but we realized that we never shared these images on the blog. We had such a blast planning and shooting this lookbook! Our goal was to create a day filled with everything Christmas. Including decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, and finally, celebrating with your best buds over drinks and dessert. These are just a few of our favorite images from the lookbook. Hopefully you got a chance to see the rest when they were live on the lookbook page!

A big thanks to Lala and Brittney, our beautiful models! And to Julep Studio for their photography! Couldn't have done it without you ladies! 

Now who's ready for Spring to arrive?!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

 

Styling - Carol Meche

Photography - Julep Studio

Hair and Make-up - Brittney Bowers

Models - Brittney and Lala

Tags: Christmas, cocktails, fashion, Gift Wrapping, Holiday, look book, Photo Shoots, Style

Blackberry Gin Fizz + DIY Swizzle Sticks

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Honestly, we can't get enough of fun cocktails this summer.  Ingredients like berries, are so fresh right now that making a cocktail for a party or a girl's night out can be super easy and delicious!  Blackberries are kind of gorgeous and we couldn't resist making them our star ingredient for our blackberry gin fizz!

All you need is five ingredients and you can whip up happy hour any night of the week. Who needs a fancy cocktail lounge, when you can create a drink that's just as special right at home?

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Blackberries
  • Gin
  • Soda Water
  • Fresh Lemons
  • Agave Nectar
  • Crushed Ice

Directions:

  • With an immersion blender or regular blender, mix about a cup of blackberries with 2 tbsp. agave nectar and blend until smooth.  You can add a tsp. of water if you need a little more liquid.  (You could also just muddle the berries and agave in the bottom of a cocktail shaker if you don't have a blender.)
  • For each glass, use about 2 tbsp. of blackberry puree, 1 oz. of gin, juice from one lemon and shake vigorously in cocktail shaker.
  • Fill a glass with ice, pour blackberry mixture over ice.
  • Top the drink off with soda water and garnish with cocktail stirrer and fresh berries. 
  • Repeat with each glass until they are all full.

*To crush your own ice, place ice cubes in a pillow case and crush with a rolling pin, hammer, or something else that will crush the ice.  You could use a plastic Ziploc too, but it could break through the bag, so the pillowcase is less messy!

How gorgeous is this drink? 

Now that you've had your fill of this delicious cocktail, let's move on to our DIY project! Cocktail stirrers, also known as swizzle sticks, are such an easy way to make your drink a bit more festive. Whether you are throwing a party, going out with the girls, or just enjoying a cocktail on your own, adding something bright and fun will make drinking that cocktail even more exciting. We have two different types of stirrers to show you today. And you might recognize them, as they are the same ones we made for our Girls Night Out!

First lets discuss the materials you need...

You will also need an Elmer's glue stick, a hot glue gun (with glue sticks), and scissors. But we figured you already knew what those looked like. These two DIYs are super simple and easy, so let's get started....

Glitter Heart Swizzle Stick:

  1. Use your heart punch (we used a 1 1/2" punch) to punch out hearts. You will need two hearts for each stick. One for the front and one for the back. Punch as many as you need. 
  2. Take two hearts and cover the white side/non-glitter side with Elmer's glue. Then grab your skewer (ours were 5 1/2" in length) and adhere it to one of the hearts. Take your second heart and line it up with the other and press down. Make sure your skewer is nice and snug in the the middle of the hearts. 
  3. Continue until you've made the amount of swizzle sticks you need.

Paper Fringe Swizzle Stick:

  1. Plug in your hot glue gun, so it can get nice and hot.
  2. Take your tissue paper, and cut it into pieces that are about 3" wide x 2" high. Take these pieces and cut vertical strips into them. Make sure to stay about 1/4" away from the edge or you will cut/tear through your piece. For each swizzle stick you will need 2 gold pieces and 1 pink piece. Let's call these pieces your fringe.
  3. Take your skewer and place a dot of hot glue at the top of your stick. Next, take a gold fringe piece and adhere the bottom/un-cut edge to your dot of glue. You want the fringe to be sticking up above the stick. Then wrap it around the skewer, until you are out of fringe. Place another dot of glue to secure the piece. Try to wrap the paper around itself instead of moving vertically down the skewer, this way the fringe will be fuller once you are done. 
  4. Next, use the same process with your pink fringe piece and your second gold fringe piece. You want to keep each piece you adhere pretty much on top of the one before it. When you are done, you will have only covered about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of the skewer.
  5. Once all three fringe pieces are attached, use your fingers to fluff it up so it's nice and full! 
  6. That's it! Now, go pour yourself a drink! You've earned it!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

For more cocktail recipes, you can visit Leigh Ann's personal blog, My Diary of Us.  DIY cocktail stirrer by Carol.

Tags: blackberry, cocktail, cocktails, DIY, diy stirrers, gin, lemon, Recipes, swizzle sticks

Dinner in Grand Isle

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC  Photo by Julep Studio LLC [/caption]

Now that you have seen our amazing look book that we shot in Grand Isle, we wanted to give you a peek into the magic of this island town where it was shot and the yummy dinner that we ate, cooked by a man named Troy Morain, who has a passion for cooking and the island he loves so dearly.  

Grand Isle has truly become a central part of Troy's family and social life.  Troy said, "it's hard to speak of in modern terms without acknowledging the effects Katrina and the BP oil spill has had."

There is a line from Robert Penn Warrens ALL THE KINGS MEN that goes something like..."sometimes you gotta get good from evil cause there ain't nowhere else to get it from".

For Troy, this describes the modern day Grand Isle.  

He said, "After having been confronted with the possibility of total loss, the island has returned with a vitality never experienced before. The beaches have never been more beautiful and as will be seen this 4th of July, the island will be packed with island lovers basking in the sun and enjoying fireworks in between the many fishing and crabbing adventures."

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

Here are Troy's top 10 Reasons why Grand Isle is his happy place:

10. Cocktails on the deck of Artie's Big Daddy's after a day of fishing the Tarpon Rodeo can't be beat;

9.  The 4 seasons of GI... Snapper, Shrimp, Crab and oyster;

8.  Sunday's Mardi Gras parade is a gas;

7.  Megan's snowballs;

6.  The Mayor's annual Christmas party;

5.  The smell of shrimp...they're beginning to boil;

4.  Saturday night at our camp the "Sue Happy" cooking for a crowd of family and friends(25 person minimum);

3.  Golf cart progressive dinners;

2.  GRAND ISLE INTERNATIONAL TARPON RODEO the oldest saltwater fishing rodeo in the USA; and

1.  No better sunset in the world than off the back deck of our camp!

After only visiting for just a night, we all fell in love with this island that Troy loves so dearly...the people, the houses, the fishermen, the history that it holds.  It truly is unique and there is no place like it anywhere.

As I mentioned earlier, Troy loves cooking.  So we took full advantage being that he offered to cook for twelve hungry ladies!  Troy is a good friend of Shanna's and made up a special dish just for us called "Shrimp Shanna" of course!  

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2333.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

It was delicious and full of flavor with fresh shrimp caught locally.  To start we had a blueberry and kiwi cocktail, plenty of cheese trays along with a gorgeous caprese salad..it was almost to pretty to eat...almost. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2333.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

Now for the recipe for the pasta...

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lbs. of Cleaned and Peeled Shrimp
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Andouille Sausage
  • 1, 28 oz. Can of San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Onions
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
  • 1 Pint of Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Dubon Baby Peas Drained
  • I Can of Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic
  • 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 Cup Pasta Water or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Bos Rotini Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh Basil
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

Directions:

Boil rotini according to package directions. When done, drain and retain water for later. In a heavy bottomed skillet or Dutch oven sautee andouille till brown over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, mushrooms and garlic and cook till tender. Then add San marzano tomatoes crushing them with you hands into the pot. Now add shrimp blending well into the vegetable mixture seasoning with a tablespoon of Italian seasonings, salt and pepper. After sautéing for about 7 minutes add the cream of mushroom soup. Add grape tomatoes and strained peas and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer and add a cup of pasta water or chicken stock to retain moisture and create sauce. After stirring all completely incorporate the pint if heavy whipping cream and let simmer. Add grated parmesean cheese and fold in gently. When ready to serve add fresh basil and pasta and insure all is well coated with the sauce. If too dry add reserved pasta water for right consistency. Then season to taste with salt and pepper or favorite creole seasoning.  Goes great with a nice Pinot Noir and a chunk of crusty bread.

This dish was so tasty, it really encompassed the flavors of the island in one dish.  We all devoured every bite on our plates!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Photo by Julep Studio LLC Photo by Julep Studio LLC[/caption]

We cannot thank Troy enough for showing us such amazing hospitality while we were there and sharing his recipe with us so that we could share it with you!  

And thank you to Julep Studio for capturing this night for us!

Keep Dreaming,

The Rodéo Girls

Tags: behind the scenes, cocktails, dinner, grand isle, inside scoop, look book, Recipes, shrimp