Let the good times roll! Send winter blues flying with an evening celebrating New Orleans food and music. Jambalaya takes center plate for a casual meal that has sumptuous appetizers at the start and luscious desserts to cap the evening.
Color It Purple, Green and Gold
- Optional party plans: Queue up this party with just the appetizers and desserts in the cocktails and dessert party mode. Or put together a progressive dinner party with neighborhood friends with each course at a different home and shared cooking!
- Whether you're inspired to decorating excess or keep things more restrained, you'll find lots of decorating and paper goods sources at party stores and online to decorate just the way you like! You'll also find plenty of masks and clothing ideas if dressing up and masquerade-type parties fit the bill for you!
- Whatever you choose and how many beads, doubloons and feathers grace your party, the colors need to be those of Mardi Gras: purple, green and gold.
- Purple represents justice; green represents faith; gold represents power.
- Shrimp, oysters, crayfish and other seafood are a big part Mardi Gras food traditions. Just be sure that none of your guests are allergic to them. These allergies can be severe! Some of our jambalaya recipes have no seafood.
- For other good food choices, simply search for 'Creole' or 'Cajun' recipes in our collection.
- French-inspired chocolate tortes, pecans, bourbon- and praline-flavored desserts, and New Orleans specialties like Bananas Foster or Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce are other desserts you might like to serve.
- Look for New Orleans French Market-style coffees to serve with dessert. Some blends have the distinctive flavor of chicory.
All That Jazz
- Whether music is the centerpiece or the background of your party, there's plenty of ways to enjoy this great sound. Do a little research and think about what your friends will enjoy. Will it be dancing to a Zydeco beat, karaoke performances of New Orleans jazz standards or simply listening to cool jazz throughout the evening?
- If live music is possible all the better. Look into jazz players from a local high school or college for a set or two; their programs would no doubt appreciate an infusion of your cash!
- Send the sound home by putting together a CD of jazz favorites for guests to remember your evening.
Mardi Gras Mixology
- If you and your friends enjoy cocktails, the Mardi Gras Carnival season is the time to set up the bar and polish your mixing skills. Drinks like the Hurricane, Sazerac and Mint Juleps are classics to offer.
- Look for New Orleans versions of martinis and mojitos, too, or come up with your own signature drink recipe for the party!
- Send guests home with little bags of made-by-you Pralines tied with purple, green and gold ribbon, of course!