Can’t get down to New Orleans? No worries, host a party at home with these easy ideas straight from the ‘Big Easy’!
February 12th is Fat Tuesday, the culmination and last day of the Mardi Gras celebration. Just because you can’t make it down to New Orleans, doesn’t mean you can’t party Mardi Gras style. You can easily turn a regular weeknight into a special one! Here are a few ways to celebrate what is often referred to as America’s Greatest Party at home.
1. Make a Muffuletta for Dinner this Fat Tuesday.
Muffuletta sandwiches are a wonderful New Orleans tradition! These famous sandwiches are served throughout the city, and particularly in the restaurants along Decatur Street in New Orleans’ Old French Quarter. Traditionally, this sandwich is served on an 8 inch round, 2 inch thick, crusty Italian bread made in New Orleans, especially for the Muffuletta Sandwich (A Muff). Muffaletta bread is hard to find outside of New Orleans, so just look for a loaf that is round, about 10 inches in diameter, with a fairly thick crust, or make a mini-muff on a sandwich roll. The crust is important because it has to be able to soak up the olive salad marinade without turning mushy.
- On Italian or French Bread, layer thin slices of Genoa Salami , Ham, Mortadella, and Provolone Cheese. Top with Boscoli Italian Olive Salad. Heat & Serve. Slice into skinny wedges and serve to guests when they arrive. This will take the edge off for hungry guests and allow everyone to mingle and get in the mood before supper.
- If you prefer to serve a “deconstructed” Muffaletta, offer the meat and cheese rolled up on a platter with the olive salad in a bowl. Set out hunks of bread and let everyone concoct their own mini-muff. This is a great way to pay tribute to a classic in a way that might be more suitable to your taste.
2. Pick up beads and masks at the party store. Guests of any age love these and it’s a must-have for any Mardi Gras celebration.
3. Make King Cake! The traditional King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, topped with icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold colored sugar. Try the Traditional King Cake via Family Kitchen pictured below.
Or try a short-cut recipe. Here is an quick and simple take on the traditional recipe. Make your own King Cake with this easy recipe I modified from Holidays.net.
- 1 can of cinnamon rolls, with icing
- 3/4 cup of sugar, separated into 3 parts of 1/4 each food coloring
- plastic baby (available at most party stores)
- Separate the cinnamon rolls and roll them out by hand so that they look like hot dogs. Then attached them by pinching the ends together into one long roll and shape into an oval by closing the ends together with another pinch. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook as directed.
- While it is cooking, use food coloring to dye sugar. Make one part purple using blue and red, one part green, and one part gold using yellow.
- When the cake is finished cooking, ice the top with the white icing. Then sprinkle the different colors of sugars alternating as you go around the oval. Enjoy!!
4. Keep the fun flowing with music. Zydeco or New Orleans Jazz are great choices to set the right mood. If you don’t have these genres of music in your collection, try out free radio stations like http://www.pandora.com/ and listen from your computer. Enter zydeco or jazz in the search field.