Happy Fat Tuesday!

Mardi Gras holds a special place in our hearts.  We did it up RIGHT with our besties Desiree' and Emily during our junior and senior years of college, so it's only fitting that we are still celebrating 7 years later...with cookies.


Sigh.

Although we refuse to believe that our Bourbon Street days are over, it is highly unlikely that you will see us downing hurricanes on a Tuesday night.  Sure, in 2005 we prided ourselves on getting more jager bombs than beads, but this year we'll pride ourselves on not being hungover at work on Wednesday.

Yes, this is a picture of a printed photo.  No, we apparently did not trust ourselves with a digital camera in NOLA.
Still, this time of year is too much fun to just let it pass without a celebration.  Our consolation prize for not actually partying at Mardi Gras is to at least get the girls together for dinner and wine.

Tonight's menu is so simple and perfect for a large group.  Paula Deen's jambalaya recipe is such a great one-pot meal.  You can get everything prepared ahead of time and let it simmer on the stove before your guests arrive.  After all, it's not fun to be the hostess stuck in the kitchen.  (I know all you Cajuns out there are probably thinking this is a sorry excuse for New Orleans cuisine, but throw some cornbread on the side and you've got yourself a decent Fat Tuesday meal.)

Source
For dessert, we whipped up some festive cookies in the traditional green, yellow and purple mardi gras colors.  We didn't have a mask cookie cutter on hand so we used a stencil.  We don't recommend this technique for large quantities of cookies, but it's fun if you have your heart set on a certain design.

If you want a heartier dessert, grab a king cake from the grocery store or try your hand at making your own.  (We just personally think they're too ugly to waste time making ourselves.)

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!  What are your favorite Mardi Gras traditions?