Let Mardi Gras Come to You!

It is “Carnival season”. Bourbon Street is getting ready for the most awaited time of the year in New Orleans. It has been down that the Mardi Gras celebration is just about excess. Excessive drinking, eating and doing crazy stuff to win plastic beads are things that have characterized this celebration along the years. But besides considering it to be an R-rated celebration, Mardi Gras is also a family-friendly celebration.

Hundreds of families gather at the avenue’s median (or “neutral ground”) to spend some time with their kids and have a better chance of catching goodies from the floats. While having a good time, they eat and snack as much as they can. Not only people and families in New Orleans celebrate what is considered to be the last days of eating richer, fatty foods, but people across America also celebrate “Carnival season” at their local towns. So, if you can’t go to Mardi Gras, let Mardi Gras come to you!

Here are some party ideas and recipes that you can incorporate to your Mardi Gras party:

Create a masquerade ball party

If you are hosting the party, make masquerade invitations so your party follows a theme. Make the invitations colorful and playful. Cook or buy cookies with a masquerade shape and learn how to decorate them with glitter—you will have a real Mardi Gras masquerade cookie! Follow these easy steps from Sweetopia.net (http://sweetopia.net/2011/03/how-to-decorate-mardi-gras-mask-cookies/).

Decorate your dinner table with beads

Remember to keep it colorful! Use a gold, green, or purple tablecloth and put some plastic beads over each plate. Combine colors to make it interesting to the eye of your guests. Use confetti and glitter and sprinkle over the table. Click on this link to view a picture of a Mardi Gras decorated dinner table: http://media-cache-ec2.pinterest.com/originals/73/4a/41/734a41adee3bcb89ffbb267c016ece3f.jpg

Cook following the real New Orleans style

Spice it up! Two of the most well-known New Orleans dishes are the Gumbo and the Jambalaya. In just 45 minutes, you can cook a delicious Chicken-Andouille Gumbo from MyRecipes.com (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-andouille-gumbo-10000000257659/) that all your guests will love. You can also make an easy Cajun Jambalaya in just 45 minutes from AllRecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Cajun-Jambalaya/Detail.aspx?prop24=RD_RelatedRecipes).

Finish your party with a cherry on top!

No Mardi Gras party is complete without a King Cake. This cake is a sweetened yeast bread, usually baked in a ring shape.  According to About.com, the cake is frosted with gold, green, and purple icing representing in order, power, faith, and justice. Although you will have to refrigerate it for 8 hours, it will only take you 1 ½ hours between the preparation and the cooking procedure. Learn the ingredients and how to make a delicious and sweet King Cake on FoodNetwork.com (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/king-cake-recipe2/index.html).

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