How to Throw a Fat Tuesday Party

As the winter chill begins to wane, one of the first signs of spring’s arrival comes in a gaudy bang. Mardi Gras, a holiday of fun fare and brightly colored beads, is a celebration full of joy and culture. Inextricably linked with the day affectionately known as “Fat Tuesday” are good old NOLA dishes — ones that are enjoyed and prepared around the country. Chef Mike Valentine of Ford's Oyster House, a New Orleans themed restaurant in Greenville, SC, knows a thing or two about bringing New Orleans authenticity wherever you are.

There are so many different feelings in the midst of Mardi Gras,” says Valentine. “You look around and you see revelry, romance, madness and music. Of course, there are endless parades and parties, and plenty of comic costuming in the streets.”

To help you bring that NOLA flare to your own celebration, chef Valentine has given us a few ideas on how to host a killer Mardi Gras party. Check out his tips here:

Make your guest list.

The number of attendees will determine a lot about your menu. If you're having a big group, serve food buffet style. If your guest list is small, consider doing a more formal, seated multicourse menu.

Plan your menu.

If you're trying to keep the menu simple, think about doing a crawfish spread, muffaletta sandwiches, andouille & red bean dip in the crock pot, cajun grilled chicken on biscuits, or a big pot of ambalaya. If you're going for a fancier menu, you could do shrimp and grits, fried okra gumbo, or panko crab cakes with jalapeno remoulade sauce.

Decide on a drink menu.

Have fun with a few classic New Orleans cocktails — Sazerac, Hurricane Punch, Arnie Palmer Shots, or a make-your-own bloody mary bar.

Buy your decorations.

Don't wait until the day of the party to do this. You should be focusing on the food at that point, and the decorations can be bought and put together a few days before the event. Doubloons and beads in vases with jester wands make a nice centerpiece. When in doubt, go with purple, gold, and green.

Don't forget the music.

Mardi Gras and music go hand-in-hand. Whether you hire a brass band or play Mardi Gras music from iTunes, make sure you set the mood with your music

Have fun!

Relax, have a drink, and enjoy your guests.

How to Throw a Fat Tuesday Party - Recipes

Mardi Gras is a French term which means Fat Tuesday. The idea is that you let loose during Mardi Gras before abstaining from bad habits during Lent. With that in mind, celebrations must come with liberal amounts of amazing food!

If you’re throwing a Mardi Gras party or are attending one make sure you share one (or several) of these delicious appetizers! They’re easy to make and allow guests to splurge and try a variety of different dishes.

How to Throw a Fat Tuesday Party - Recipes

Fat Tuesday Drink Mixes

Possibly the Finest Drink Mixes in the World!

One of the most significant achievements in the history of our company is the development of the Fat Tuesday Premium Drink Mix line of specialty drink mixes concentrates. In order to maintain consistency from location to location as the company expanded, we recognized the need for a proprietary line of drink mix concentrates that duplicated the one-of-a-kind recipes in our frozen drink library. Instead of opening tubs of frozen strawberries, cans of pineapple juice and jugs of flavorings every time we made a batch of ready to freeze product, we simplified the process by putting all of these high quality ingredients in one convenient, shelf stable package.

The company worked diligently with a noted flavoring company to develop the unique formulations and the Fat Tuesday Premium Drink Mix line was introduced in 1990. Each flavor is packaged using an innovative aseptic processing system that affords an extended shelf life when the mixes are stored unrefrigerated at room temperature. They are made with real fruit juices and purees and the quality is second to none. Additionally, this aseptic carton processing system is one of the most sustainable beverage packaging options available. Not only are they recyclable, they are also lightweight and have a low carbon footprint through their lifecycle.

Over the years consumer preferences have evolved and there’s been an increase in recent years of consumers that prefers drink mixes that have a more natural composition. To meet the needs of this discerning group, we introduced our Fat Tuesday Selects Drink Mixes in 2008. While our Selects contain the same real juice and purees as our Premium Drink Mixes, they’re made with dry sugar instead of corn syrup and natural colors and flavors instead of artificial ones.

Today, Fat Tuesday Drink Mixes are used to make over 25,000,000 frozen drinks sold each year in our New Orleans Original Daiquiris and Fat Tuesday locations as well as the many bars, restaurants, resorts, casinos and event operators that choose to serve the finest frozen, non-alcoholic or specialty cocktails in the world to their customers – Fat Tuesday!

Fat Tuesday Drink Mixes are also available for purchase by discerning home consumers through the Online Store of our website. Whether you’re in one of our locations or at home, the party always starts with Fat Tuesday!

15 Fat Tuesday Recipes That'll Let The Good Times Roll

At its core, Mardi Gras is essentially a reflection of New Orleans&rsquo ancient traditions and diverse culture however, most of us have to come to appreciate it as a celebration of pure indulgence. Beyond Bourbon Street, colorful beads, and lavish balls and parades lies a deep connection to food&mdashrich, dense, and satisfying dishes to sustain revelers before Ash Wednesday marks the start of the fasting season of Lent. Thus, the aptly named Fat Tuesday is the last day to enjoy all the meaty and fatty delicacies you can muster up. Because, frankly, 40 days is a long time to go without eating our Southern favorites.

We couldn't let the good times roll without offering some New Orleans-inspired meals to prepare you for the ultimate cheat day of decadence. Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or Shrove Tuesday, here, food and religion marry together for one last pre-Lent hurrah. Feel free to take your pick from these 15 recipes&mdashjust indulge responsibly.

10 Super Cool Star Wars Desserts for the Geek in All of Us

Those with a creative eye know firsthand that inspiration is all around us. Whether you're energized by the earth tones of nature, a color-filled walk through a local farmer's market, or even by a quick scroll through Instagram, you never know what might spark a new creative project.

In the spirit of inspiring your next masterpiece, we're excited to partner with Bounty to fuel the next generation of artists and designers forward by launching a national design competition. We're calling on graphic designers to apply for a chance to see their work featured on a new Brit + Co and Bounty paper towel collection, set to launch in 2022.

Aside from the incredible exposure of having your illustrations on paper towels that'll be in stores across America next year, you'll also receive $5,000 for your art a scholarship for Selfmade, our 10-week entrepreneurship accelerator to take your design career to the next level (valued at $2,000) and a stand alone feature on Brit + Co spotlighting your artistry as a creator.

The Creatively You Design Competition launches Friday, May 21, 2021 and will be accepting submissions through Monday, June 7, 2021.


Who Should Apply: Women-identifying graphic designers and illustrators. (Due to medium limitations, we're not currently accepting design submissions from photographers or painters.)

What We're Looking For: Digital print and pattern designs that reflect your design aesthetic. Think optimistic, hopeful, bright — something you'd want to see inside your home.

How To Enter: Apply here, where you'll be asked to submit 2x original design files you own the rights to for consideration. Acceptable file formats include: .PNG, .JPG, .GIF, .SVG, .PSD, and .TIFF. Max file size 5GB. We'll also ask about your design inspiration and your personal info so we can keep in touch.

Artist Selection Process: Panelists from Brit + Co and P&G Bounty's creative teams will judge the submissions and select 50 finalists on June 11, 2021 who will receive a Selfmade scholarship for our summer 2021 session. Then, up to 8 artists will be selected from the finalists and notified on June 18, 2021. The chosen designers will be announced publicly in 2022 ahead of the product launch.

For any outstanding contest Qs, please see our main competition page. Good luck & happy creating!

Have a Fat Tuesday: Throw a Mardi Gras party

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Cafe Beignet owner Adam Hilsenrad explains the science behind making the best beignets from the kitchen of the Fish House on Winter Avenue. 1/27/16 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The C-J) Buy Photo

Louisville, let's be honest, is known for its parties.

We have epic parades for St. Patrick's Day, countless neighborhood festivals, even an annual zombie walk.

But there's one let-loose holiday that could probably catch on a little better - Mardi Gras.

It might be that the celebration - a French tradition that involves people gorging on food and fun before fasting for Lent - is overshadowed by other February events (ahem, Super Bowl and Valentine's Day). Or it might be that people here just don't know how to plan a great Mardi Gras.

So, we're here to help. With Mardi Gras coming up fast on Feb. 9, we've compiled a few tips from local restaurants on how to put on your own party, along with a list of events for those who decide to leave hosting to the pros.

6 local Mardi Gras parties


On a typical Tuesday, Cafe Beignet and the Fish House may go through a couple hundred beignets - squares of fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.

But on Fat Tuesday, even former employees get called in to assist the combined restaurants at 1310 Winter Ave. in selling thousands of the New Orleans-inspired pastries.

"This is our time of year," said Adam Hilsenrad, owner of Cafe Beignet and co-owner of the Fish House along with his dad. ". Come Feb. 9, it's all hands on deck. Everybody we can possibly get."

A full covering of powdered sugar is the standard way of dressing the beignets at The Fish House on Winter Avenue. 1/27/16 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The C-J)

The Fish House, an Original Highlands staple for 25 years, added beignets almost 15 years ago when Hilsenrad took over the restaurant on Sundays to serve breakfast as Cafe Beignet. The cafe has since expanded its hours and beignets have been added to the Fish House menu. And with both fish and beignets offered, the restaurants have unintentionally become a go-to on Mardi Gras and during the Lenten season, Hilsenrad said.

Restaurant employees are now experts at rolling and frying the beignets, but Hilsenrad said the pastries aren't always easy to get right on the first try.

The trick, he said, is to practice rolling the dough to get it between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick.

"Properly formed dough" is essential to creating the perfect beignets according to Fish House owner Adam Hilsenrad. 1/27/16 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The C-J)

"The idea with a beignet is you do not want it to be completely hollow or completely dense," Hilsenrad said. ". Once an individual gets down the consistency of the dough and so forth, they're good to go. Other than that, it's a struggle."

Not up to the challenge? Buy three beignets for $2.95 at the Fish House.

Mardi Gras recipe | Beignets from Cafe Beignet


New Orleans isn't the only city that can get down for Mardi Gras. Traditionally, the festival has been celebrated in cities throughout the south - and Louisville should be no exception, said Roux events planner Brad Jackson.

"We're a border state," Jackson said. "(At Roux), we just have a general appreciation for that whole let the good times roll mentality, and Mardi Gras just happens to be the Christmas of partying. It's the day that the south just cuts loose."

To stake the holiday's grounds more firmly in Louisville, Roux, 1325 Bardstown Road, has planned five days of events with varying live music and food specials. Specifically, the restaurant will bring back its all-you-can-eat crawfish boils after a winter lull, likely serving more than 800 pounds of the shellfish over two nights.

Adam Hilsenrad shares a laugh with customers during lunch on Wednesday afternoon at The Fish House/Cafe Beignet on Winter Ave. 1/27/16 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The C-J)

"Through the winter, we can't get crawfish live in season, so we don't keep them on the menu," Jackson said. "Fat Tuesday will be the first time they're back on the menu. It's like our big welcome back to the crawfish, a mass slaughter of them."

Reservations for Mardi Gras are already filling up quickly at Roux, but the restaurant is still taking reservations for Monday and the weekend prior.

Not into going out? Sous chef Jason Gilbert offered up tips for mimicking Roux's jambalaya ($14) - his favorite dish on the menu.

First, use duck fat to flavor turkey legs or other meat that are put into the dish, Gilbert said.

"The process for that actually takes two days," he said. "What we do is cure them and let that go for at least 12 hours. Then we come back in and wash them off, cook them in fat and let that go overnight. It comes right off the bone."

Second, give the meal your own spin. Mix up the meat and spices to develop the flavor you prefer.

"Ours is the best because all the flavors and preparation that goes into it," Jackson said. "It's definitely one of the top in the city."

Mardi Gras | Cocktail recipes from Roux

For 10 years, Jeffersonville's Adrienne & Co. Bakery has served King Cakes made from scratch to thousands of customers on both sides of the river. And that number will probably go up even higher next year after the business opens its third location in New Albany this March.

"We just go nuts and make it happen," said owner Bernie Pasquantino. "A couple years ago, we made 8,000 or 9,000 mini ones. We're a family bakery, so we just pull everybody that we can and get back there and make it happen."

King Cakes from Adrienne & Co. run from $2.49 for a 4-inch cake to $19.99 for a full-size cake. And everything about the desserts is handmade, Pasquantino said, from the dough to the cream cheese filling.

"For Mardi Gras, you've got to have one of those things," Pasquantino said. "And they're so good. They're not low calorie, though, I've got to tell you that."

If you want to try the cake yourself, put an order in early, Pasquantino said. Just don't get stuck with the piece with a plastic baby inside. That means you're on the hook for next year's cake.

Remember to drink smart, drink safe. Reach reporter Bailey Loosemore at 502-582-4646 or [email protected]


What: Five days of Mardi Gras celebrations with live music and food specials. On Monday and Tuesday, get reservations in early for all-you-can-eat crawfish boils.

Where: 1325 Bardstown Road

What: Listen to bourbon jazz by the Billy Goat Strut Revue while sipping New Orleans-inspired cocktails.

What: The Southern Indiana brewery will tap a special Hurricane Walkabout Mardi Gras beer and serve New Orleans style fare.

Where: 130 W. Riverside Dr., Jeffersonville

What: The brewery will serve New Orleans dishes with oysters and shrimp and will host a gumbo contest.

Where: 3929 Shelbyville Road

What: Celebrate Fat Tuesday with the Bourbonville Buskers and Cajun food specials.

Also known as Mardi Gras, this celebration is known as one last indulgence before the observation of Lent. Though Lent is a Christian tradition, Fat Tuesday has become more of a cultural celebration than a religious one and is especially popular in New Orleans. Like all of the best celebrations, Mardi Gras focuses on food and drink. Put your culinary academy skills to the test and try your hand at some traditional dishes:

Make a king cake this Mardi Gras.

King Cake
This New Orleans cake is slightly sweet and topped with a simple icing made of powdered sugar and water. For Mardi Gras celebrations, many people sprinkle the top with colored sugars in purple, green and yellow. In addition to the decoration, what sets a Mardi Gras cake apart from others baked year round is that a porcelain or plastic baby is baked inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the baby is supposedly set up for a year of good luck – and has to make the cake for next year’s celebration! Try this simple king cake recipe from All Recipes.

The perfect dinner for a Fat Tuesday celebration is a New Orleans classic – jambalaya. Spicy and flavorful, there’s a reason that it’s not just made on Mardi Gras. This recipe from the Food Network calls for andouille sausage, smoked ham and shrimp, so there’s no shortage of protein. Flavor this stew with a combination of garlic, jalapenos, onions and bell peppers, in addition to strong herbs and spices like cayenne, oregano, thyme and pepper. You can toss your ingredients into a slow cooker to let them simmer all day or prepare it on the stove right before your party!

​If there’s any Polish in you, you’ve probably referred to Fat Tuesday by yet another alternative name – Paczki Day. This name comes from the very rich Polish doughnuts that were traditionally made before Lent to use up the butter, lard and oil that weren’t to be eaten the next 40 days. This recipe from Seasons and Suppers suggests stuffing your paczkis with raspberry, blueberry, cherry or strawberry jam. Though custard wasn’t usually used in traditional paczkis, it’s become a popular filling for modern-day doughnuts.

Step 1

Soak the raisins in your sweet liqueur of choice for 8 hours or overnight. Amaretto or Cointreau are recommended.

Step 2

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract.

Step 3

Bring the heavy cream and milk to a boil, then pour in the egg yolk, sugar and vanilla mixture. Whisk continuously.

Step 4

Cut 3 slices of bread into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour half of the egg and dairy mixture over the top of the bread.

Step 5

After buttering the remaining slices of bread, cut them into triangles or smaller rectangles, placing them neatly in the casserole dish. Pour the remaining egg and dairy mixture, and then add soaked raisins over the top.

Step 6

After allowing the pudding to soak for 20 minutes, bake at 350ºF for 30 to 45 minutes, until the filling has set. The pudding needs to be baked in a hot water bath, with the water filled up to half the height of the casserole dish. Top with powdered sugar and toasted almonds.

Not-So-Fat Tuesday: Slimming Down Mardi Gras Recipes

When you think of Mardi Gras, you probably imagine streets filled with costumed revelers and Creole music, with plenty of drinking and bead throwing&mdashbut another main player in this delightfully decadent holiday is the food.

Fat Tuesday came by its name honestly: The celebration is deeply rooted in regional cuisine, giving party-goers one last chance to indulge their culinary cravings before Lent begins.

If you're trying to lose weight or adopt a healthier lifestyle, standard New Orleans fare&mdashmuch of which is fried, drizzled, sugared, cheese-filled or all of the above&mdashis likely to crush your daily calorie quotas. Fortunately, there are lighter versions of popular Mardi Gras dishes, allowing you to enjoy all the flavor of classic Southern dishes without the excess.

For a truly majestic Mardi Gras, a King Cake is a must. Baked in honor of the three kings, the sweet confection is served at the Feast of the Epiphany or the Twelfth Night, which is 12 days after Christmas. Each cake serves up a special surprise: a tiny baby baked into the middle. According to custom, the lucky reveler who gets the baby-bearing slice is tasked with hosting the next King Cake party.

Unfortunately, the baby is the only low-calorie part of most King Cakes. Braided Danish dough is shaped into a ring and then topped with glaze, cinnamon and colored sugar, usually in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. For an even more decadent dessert, some cakes are filled with custard, cream cheese or fruit.

Smarter Version: For a less sinful treat that's still royally delicious, try this Healthier King Cake. It cuts calories by substituting reduced-fat dough, reduced-fat cream cheese and skim milk. Each slice contains just 160 calories and less than 6 grams of fat.

Throw together meat, rice, stock, spices and veggies, and you have NOLA's trademark dish. Whether you prefer it Creole-style or Cajun-style, this versatile stew is a melting pot of Southern flavors. Before grabbing that spoon, keep in mind that the medley of meats&mdashtypically sausage, seafood, chicken or all of the above&mdashcan send the dish's fat content skyrocketing.

Smarter Version: This Cajun Light Jambalaya packs all the flavor of this favorite Carnival dish with half the fat. Turkey sausage and lean chicken breast strips take center stage, flavored by fresh veggies and sodium-free seasoning.

Funnel Cakes

Dough is a staple of Mardi Gras, and when it comes to Southern sweets, you can't beat the sugary goodness of a funnel cake. The only drawback? The dough's batter is deep-fried and then sprinkled with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon&mdashnot exactly a recipe for healthy snacking. In fact, it would take more than three hours to walk off the calorie consumption.

Smarter Version: Cheat without cheating when you prepare a healthy alternative to a childhood carnival favorite. This Whole Wheat Funnel Cake will only cost you a little over 180 calories and less than 5 grams of fat per serving.

It wouldn't be Mardi Gras without the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana. While jambalaya is more of a stew, gumbo lands somewhere near the soup category. It also contains meats (such as sausage, ham, chicken or shrimp), veggies and stock, but it's typically served with rice on the side.

Smarter Version: Your search for guilt-free gumbo is over. In this healthy Seafood and Sausage Gumbo recipe, low-fat meats are mixed with whole-wheat flour, fresh veggies and seasoning to create a delicious stew that's surprisingly healthy.

Fried Chicken

Here's yet another fried dish along the Carnival route&mdashare you sensing a theme? Indeed, fried chicken is a Fat Tuesday staple&hellipbut for those who want to be healthy on Wednesday, it's probably best to modify this high-fat indulgence.

Smarter Version: You'll enjoy all the crunch with a fraction of the fat when you prepare Megan's Pan-Fried Chicken. This dish relies on herbs and spices for its Southern flavor.

Sweet Bourbon Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a little (or not-so-little) slice of Southern heaven&mdashbut the combination of plentiful sugar, bread and drizzled caramel sauce takes this French quarter confection way out of the running for healthy desserts.

Smarter Versions: With our low-fat bread pudding recipes, you can enjoy this timeless comfort food without stretching out of your calorie zone.

Mardi Gras isn't exactly known for moderation&mdashbut if you're celebrating at home, you don't have to succumb to parade route temptations. By creating smarter versions of popular New Orleans-style meals, you can enjoy all the fun flavors of Fat Tuesday without living up to the name.

What are your favorite smart, yet scrumptious, Southern-style dishes?

Cajun Corn Chowder

We celebrated Mardi Gras with a Fat Tuesday Party at the office today. Did you know Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French? Yep. Here are a few more Mardi Gras Fun Facts that I learned today.

I’ve shared before that I work with 35 of my favorite people. We work hard and play hard and rarely miss an opportunity to throw a party. Today was a no-brainer. Tomorrow we’ll be breaking in our new work out room as we burn off the Fat Tuesday calories.

Here’s how I put this Cajun Corn Chowder together. The key is fresh corn on the cob. Even if it was grown in Florida instead of your back yard, go ahead and buy some fresh cobs. It really makes a difference.

Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add in your shucked corn (I also threw in my potatoes) and boil for 10 minutes. Remove corn and allow to cool slightly before cutting off the kernels. Don’t stop there. Turn your knife around and using the back edge scrape down each cob extracting even more of the yummy milky corn goodness. Remove the potatoes when then are tender but not over done. Stick a fork in each one, if it can stay on the fork for 2 seconds before falling off, they’re perfect.

See recipe below for the next three steps to Cajun Corn Chowder love. Just 30 minutes away from bowls of comfort.

Watch the video: Fat Tuesday Party (December 2021).