Celebrating Mardi Gras with Family

By Melissa Moyles

Can you believe it is the last day of February?! This month has been a whirlwind for my family with Girl Scouts, dance, and family vacations.

But tomorrow is Mardi Gras so the celebration continues! I love New Orleans and anything Cajun. My high school bestie went to Tulane for College so I spent my fair share of nights in my 20s in the French Quarter.

Now that I have kids of my own, I still like to bring New Orleans to life at home on Mardi Gras. Here are a few of my favorite ways.

Decorations

I was lucky enough to be in New Orleans last month for work and picked up these adorable masks and beads. But if you aren’t, no worries! Dollar Tree also has a great selection of beads, crowns, and masks to stay festive.

I also encourage my family to dress for the occasion in the traditional colors of yellow, green, and purple.

Music

Hey Alexa, play Jazz music. You cant think New Orleans without thinking Jazz. Put on some classic favorites like Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis and you will be transported to Bourbon Street.

Food

Oh my the food! Beignets, Etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Shrimp and Grits, Oysters, and on and on on. Every single time I’m in New Orleans I eat 3 huge French donuts (beignets) at Cafe du Monde with their famous Chicory Coffee. I also can never skip a chance for Oyster’s at Felix’s. I could eat Cajun food every day and die happy.

Last night my dad made Shrimp Etouffee over rice with crusty French bread and even my kids loved it! Here is my favorite recipe from Emeril Legasse.

Drinks

Mardi Gras is basically synonymous with drinking! Whenever I’m in New Orleans I have to stop by Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane.

At home, I can usually find Louisiana Local Abita Purple Haze at Publix. This time, I tried something new but on theme with New Belgium “Voodoo Ranger”. Here is a great at home recipe for the classic Hurricane.

King Cake

I am saving the best for last – King Cake! If you ask my kids what their favorite part of Mardi Gras is, they will unanimously tell you King Cake. For those who haven’t tried it, King Cake is a pastry ring iced and covered with green, yellow, and purple sprinkles. The fun part however, is a small plastic baby hiding in one of the slices. At my house, whoever finds the baby is deemed Mardi Queen with good luck for the whole year!

You can have local favorite’s shipped to you but my local grocery store Publix also had them in stock. In the past, my kids have also brought them to class to share with their friends.

I hope you have a fantastic Mardi Gras! As they say in the French Quarter – Laissez le bon temps Rouler!

Best, Melissa and Girls

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