Tag Archives: mardi gras

Best Ever: Mardi Gras Faves

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We love Fat Tuesday and all of the Cajun and creole flavors that go along with it.  We usually try to make a week long event of it so that we can fit in all of our favorite recipes.  Here is a list of our favorite recipes to help you celebrate Mardi Gras.  Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for the best last-minute Fat Tuesday recipes.  Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Crawfish Etouffee: Swoon!  If you have never had etouffee you MUST try this recipe.  One word: bacon.  Convinced yet?  It is not difficult to make but has huge flavors.  We have made this one with crawfish and have used frozen parcooked shrimp when we can’t find the crawfish.  This is the recipe that makes me a little jelly that I am not from Louisiana.

Crawfish etouffee will make someone fall in love with you. I promise.

Crawfish etouffee will make someone fall in love with you. I promise.

Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo: This is one of our favorite recipes even though it is not as traditional.  There is no roux in site for this one, but it does contain the “holy trinity” of onions, peppers and garlic.  We always sub the green pepper for an orange or yellow one since we like the flavors better that way.  We like to use jasmine rice with this since it has a mild flavor.  This is a more tomato-ey gumbo and with some hot sauce it is divine.

Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-Ya: If you are looking for a traditional chicken and sausage gumbo this is the recipe you are looking for.  It takes about two hours or so to make so if you can wait that long then definitely give it a try.  The prep is really easy, but there is some hands-on time when you make the roux.  And you have to make the roux as patiently as it calls for or the flavors and colors will not be quite right.  It is worth every ounce of patience you can muster.  And trust me, you can stir the roux if you have to {very carefully} hold a baby in the other arm.

We like the Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo heavy on the rice.  Yum!

We like the Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo heavy on the rice. Yum!

Pan-Seared Shrimp Po’ Boys: Because the shrimp are pan-seared it is a little lighter than a traditional po’ boy.  The sauce is what really makes this one special.  We have tried lots of po’ boy recipes and keep coming back to this one.  It has tons of five-star reviews, ’nuff said.  This is the first one that is great for a last-minute Fat Tuesday party.

Chicken-and-Sausage Jambalaya: When the recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken you know that it is going to make your life easier.  This is one that we have made with some frozen parcooked shrimp instead of the chicken (just add the shrimp right before serving instead of when you add the rice) and it turns out just as good.

This dirty rice is one of our fave one-pot meals.

This dirty rice is one of our fave one-pot meals.

Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage: This is one that you can grab the ingredients on your way home today and impress everyone with your Fat Tuesday prowess.  It is quick and easy and since there are so many veggies it can be a one-pot meal.

I hope you have a great Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday!  If you are looking for more recipes like this check out John Besh’s latest cookbook.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

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Mardi Gras and a Real Fat Tuesday

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Smoked sausage dirty rice was a big hit with the whole fam!  Find the recipe pinned on my "Favorite Sinful Recipes" page on Pinterest.

Smoked sausage dirty rice was a big hit with the whole fam! Find the recipe pinned on my “Favorite Sinful Recipes” page on Pinterest.

This week we had take-out twice.  Eek!  A little bit of an off week for us.  I blame being very pregnant (and not feeling up to cooking) and having cravings for our inability to stick with the plan this week.  (Excuses, excuses).  I have planned accordingly for next week so hopefully it will be easier to stick to the plan.

Sunday: Crawfish etouffee.  This was the perfect way to kick off our Mardi Gras menu.  There was so much flavor (is it Cajun or Creole?!) and the crawfish tails taste like teeny tiny little lobster tails.  I suppose that maybe they are quite similar to that.  We actually found the crawfish in the frozen fish section at our grocery store.  I was shocked and very happy!  Hubby bubby made this and we all chowed down.  Ryan was a little unsure at first, but then decided that it was “bubble gum” (his word for delicious). 

Monday: New Orleans’ style barbecue shrimp with smoked sausage dirty rice.  Hubby bubby made these and a salad with a cajuny dressing.  He is a saint!  The kids just ate the dirty rice and salad since the barbecue shrimp were spicy.  Hannah did try one of the shrimp and liked it, but she was good with just one.  The kiddos both love sausage, rice and salad so ate lots of these. 

Fat Tuesday: King cake, lemon-garlic shrimp and grits and a creole tomato saladWith only a few days left of this pregnancy (12 as of this day, but who’s counting?!) I was just not feeling very good and decided to capitalize on my last few days of cashing in preggy lady cravings.  Oh yes, I ate a LOT of Chinese food.  I had some Crab Rangoon, an egg roll, some hot and sour soup and some Hunan shrimp.  It was glorious…and I swear it made those contractions simmer down a bit.  The baby started doing some flip turns in my belly so I think she appreciated it, too. 🙂

Ash Wednesday: Leftovers.  Thank goodness since I was not feeling like cooking!

Chicken gyro sandwich with baba ganoush and shish fries...heaven on a plate!

Chicken gyro sandwich with baba ganoush and shish fries…heaven on a plate!

Thursday: Bayou chicken pasta with saladHannah came to me when I was getting ready this morning and said we should have Shish Wraps for dinner.  Twist my arm!

Friday:  Blackened Tilapia Po’ Boys with salad.  The po’ boy was just okay.  It was definitely not as good as the pan-seared shrimp po’ boys we have had before.  You can find that recipe pinned on my Pinterest “Favorite Healthy Recipes” page.

Saturday: Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-ya (chicken and Andouille gumbo).  Turkey Sausage and Gnocchi soup with salad.  If you have been following along with recent weeks you will know that I sometimes (okay, often) forget to pull the meat out of the freezer (to the fridge) when I should so it will be thawed when I need it.  This happened again so instead of the gumbo we had turkey sausage gnocchi soup but subbed cheese tortellini for the gnocchi.  This was one we have had before and we all like it.  It was super quick and easy and perfect for a wintery day.

Blackened tilapia po' boy with salad.

Blackened tilapia po’ boy with salad.

Did you celebrate Mardi Gras this year?  Have you ever had (or had to fulfill for someone you love) any pregnancy food cravings?  I hope you had a great week!  Thanks for reading!

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Laissez le bon temps rouler!

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This week we are celebrating Mardi Gras and the beginning of Lent.  We will be having a week of Louisiana inspired meals and will make sure we have meat-free meals on Ash Wednesday and the first Friday of Lent to follow the Catholic food traditions.  We are T-14 days to the arrival of baby #3 so the menu for the week may get shaken up a bit…but she’ll want to wait until at least next Saturday so I can get my hair done, right?! 🙂

Ryan enjoyed the crawfish etouffee.  He really is our kid!

Ryan enjoyed the crawfish etouffee. He really is our kid!

Sunday: Crawfish etouffee.  Since a bunch of the meals this week will call for some heat we will omit most of it (but not the Cajun seasoning) while cooking and then will add hot sauce at the end for hubby bubby and I.

Monday: New Orleans’ style barbecue shrimp with dirty rice and veggies.  This one is impossible to make without the hot sauce so the kiddos will have leftovers.

Fat Tuesday: Let the good times roll!!!!  We will have a king cake (as long as all goes according to plan), lemon-garlic shrimp and grits and a creole tomato salad.

Ash Wednesday: This is the first day of Lent and is a day where we need to have a meal and two small snacks (as a preggy lady I don’t really have to follow this, but I might) and abstain from meat.  Luckily we will be having leftovers and most of them so far this week are meat-free so that makes life easy.

Thursday: Bayou chicken pasta with salad.  We are leaving out the habanero (even though it is sooooo much better with it!).  Our salad will probably be the romaine salad with parmesan vinaigrette that is hubby bubby’s new favorite.

The girls won the grocery race again (naturally!).  Girls rule! Boys drool! :)

The girls won the grocery race again (naturally!). Girls rule! Boys drool! 🙂

Friday: This is a Friday during Lent so we will have no meat.  We will be having Blackened Tilapia Po’ Boys.  Growing up we always had fried fish since Lent only lasted six weeks and it was our little indulgence.  My mom (Gigi) always made sure we had healthy meals growing up so this was a special treat.  We have strayed from this tradition since hubby bubby and I don’t really eat fried food and don’t know where to get good fried fish in Dayton.

Saturday: Mr. B’s Gumbo Ya-ya (chicken and Andouille gumbo).  I have to admit that this is on the menu simply because of the name.  It just sounds fun!

Do you have any religious food traditions you follow?  Have you found ways over the years to make them meaningful to your family?  I hope you have a great week!  Thanks for reading!

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