Laissez les bon temps rouler!

New Orleans is one of those American cities I've been to so many times, I've lost count. I first went my freshman year of college and fell in love. The Spanish moss, the Garden District, the voodoo, the creole cooking - it's just too spooky and swampy and beautiful and full of secrets to even begin to describe in this blog post.

Mardi Gras masks

Those who have been understand what I mean. Those who haven't need to book a trip stat. Just don't go in the summer. 

Laissez les bon temps rouler is a famous slogan in New Orleans. From French to English, it translates to "Let the good times roll!" And that we did, when my friend Kristy threw a Mardi Gras party at her home. 

red beans and rice

The party was centered around food and conversation with close friends, but there were other perks, like fireworks and a fun array of masks and hats for photo ops. 

adouille sausage

There were red beans and rice, simmered in copious amounts of butter and shallots. There was andouille sausage, pan-seared and juicy.  The most fun dish of all was a cocktail party staple from the 60s & 70s - crab delights. Lump crab and cheese baked into an English muffin. They were very Southern and very scrumptious, with a touch of camp.

crab delights

And what's a Mardi Gras party without king cake? Kristy takes dessert seriously, and had her two (!) king cakes shipped in from Louisiana - with the baby inside and all. And if that weren't enough, we were served a crème brulee cheesecake, as a thematic nod to the French.

king cake

Parties like these liven up winter, sucking the drabness right out of it. Fat Tuesday may have passed, but that's no excuse not to throw together a feast of Southern food, play some zydeco music and laissez les bon temps rouler!

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