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"Laisse le bon temps rouler"

party-goerBring the Fun and Flavors of Mardi Gras Home   

All materials courtesy of Zatarain's

(Family Features) Looking to capture the spirit of Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy but can’t make it to the French Quarter for Mardi Gras? It’s easy to bring the spirit of New Orleans’ Carnivale into the comfort of your own home with music, fun and food.

Today, the entire Mardi Gras season of parades and masquerade balls is as much a celebration of New Orleans’ heritage as of its cuisine. So whether in New Orleans or New York City, it’s easy to jazz it up and host a Mardi Gras-themed celebration with friends and family. Here’s how to do it:

* Set a festive mood with Mardi Gras beads in the traditional colors of purple, green and gold. The meaning of the colors – justice (purple), faith (green) and power (gold) – was established during the 1892 Rex Parade, the city’s oldest Mardi Gras parade.

* New Orleans is considered the birthplace of Dixieland jazz, so be sure to play music from native son Louis Armstrong to create an atmosphere reminiscent of Canal Street. Real New Orleans jazz has a style all its own.

* Complete your guests’ festive attire with wild Mardi Gras masks. Though it’s technically illegal to wear a mask out in New Orleans, that law is lifted from dawn to dusk on Mardi Gras.

* The centerpiece of a Mardi Gras gathering should be the menu. A New Orleans favorite for over a century, Zatarain’s offers authentic foods, like jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans and rice, that make Mardi Gras menu planning fun and easy.

* A true Mardi Gras celebration ends with the traditional King Cake. This delicious dessert, which originated to commemorate the coming of the three wise men, is baked with a tiny trinket inside – usually a little plastic baby. The lucky person to get the piece with the prize is the reigning King or Queen of Mardi Gras and tapped as host of next year’s party. recipe photo

Get recipe for Carnival Jambalaya

For more recipes and ideas to jazz up your Mardi Gras celebration, visit Zatarain's.

Courtesy of Family Features

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