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Mardi Gras Celebration – Monte Cristo

This is our biggest Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras celebration yet! 

Though in all fairness, the most we did to celebrate in the past was eat on Mardi Gras paper plates!

This year, aside from the decorating, and the King Cake and watching Disney’s The Princess and the Frog (set in New Orleans and gorgeous!) we also had a yummy Fat Tuesday dinner!

Peggo made AMAZING Monte Cristo sandwiches, and we all loved them!

She followed the recipe from the Blue Bayou restaurant in New Orleans Square in Disneyland (recipe below) and it was seriously dee-lish! 

Though I wasn’t able to capture the entire process/recipe in pictures, I did get a few!

The Monte Cristo is basically just a turkey, ham, and swiss sandwich dipped in batter and fried. It’s served with powdered sugar and some fresh raspberry jam/preserves.

It really doesn’t sound like flavors that would go together, but somehow it really does work!






Here is one in all it’s deep fried glory, fresh out of the pan… 








…before Peggo so artfully cut it on the diagonal, plated it, sprinkled it with powdered sugar and put a little raspberry jam/preserves on the side.

It looked and smelled and tasted divine!

This is all quite a departure from our usually healthy meals — not a steamed veggie to be found here!

Tomorrow we’ll have something extra healthy and nutritious for dinner balance it out…if we can resist that left-over King Cake!

Happy Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebration Y’all!!

Disneyland Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich
Serves 4
 
Ingredients:
1 egg
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 slices egg bread (challah works well), sliced 1/2-inch thick
8 thin slices ham
8 thin slices turkey
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
3 cups canola oil
Confectioners sugar
Raspberry preserves
 
Directions:
Line a cookie sheet with paper towels; set aside.
Whisk the egg and water together in a mixing bowl. Add flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, scraping sides of bowl.
 
On one slice of bread, arrange 2 slices of ham, turkey, and cheese, covering the bread evenly. Place another slice of bread on top and slice each sandwich in half diagonally.
 
Heat oil to between 365 degrees F and 375 degrees F in a 10-inch pan. Do not let the oil reach a higher temperature than this; if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down. Dip half of the sandwich into the batter, allowing excess to drain, and very carefully place into the oil.
 
Repeat with the other sandwich half. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Place the cooked sandwich on the prepared cookie sheet in a warm oven until ready to serve. Repeat with the other three sandwiches.
Cook one at a time, and allow the oil to reach the desired temperature between each.
Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve with raspberry preserves on the side.

Read more about our Mardi Gras decorating fun HERE!
Read more about our Mardi Gras King Cake HERE!

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Mardi Gras Celebration – King Cake

Happy Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras Celebration!

I have to admit, I have never tasted King Cake. I don’t know what makes a King Cake good or bad. 

I do know that I wanted a festive treat for Mardi Gras and King Cake is one of the most festive looking Mardi Gras treats around.

Please look away now if you are from New Orleans, or have tasted the real King Cake, because I have made a quickie version of a King Cake-like treat that probably pales in comparison to the real thing.


It’s a giant cinnamon bun twisted/ braided into a big wreath-like cake, with the cinnamon bun frosting covered in Mardi Gras colored sugar.

It was a lot of messy fun to make, and I would have taken more pictures of the process, but my hands were covered in sticky cinnamon filling and I didn’t want to have a cinnamon flavored camera — because I would have to eat that too.

So, this is the only in-progress picture, but I think its says it all.


I mentioned in a past post, that I have made my own colored sugar for the first time this year. It was easy and fun!

In case you missed it, here are the full and excessively lengthy instructions;

– put some sugar in a ziplock bag
– add a few drops of food coloring
– shake-a, shake-a, shake-a
– the end







The tradition is to hide a baby charm in the King Cake. The lucky person to get the piece with the baby in it will be blessed with good luck and prosperity.

Choking hazards aside, I’m wishing you all find the piece with the baby! 

Good luck and prosperity to you! 

Happy Fat Tuesday!


UPDATE: We just served it!

Here it is cut open!

I have not tasted the King Cake yet because I am still happily stuffed from eating THESE divine Monte Cristo sandwiches that Peggo made, but so far two of us have tried it and there are two thumbs up so far!

Not bad for a quickie substitute idea!

UPDATE again:  I tried it. *swoon*
4 out of 4 thumbs up so far! Best served warm. YUM!

Nitty Gritty Notes – We used two cans of Jumbo Cinnamon Roll dough from Aldi (2@$2.39) — the kind that explodes when you unwrap the cardboard can. Each can contains 5 rolls. We unrolled all the rolls into strips, and made two groups of 5. We loosely grouped/stacked the strips and then twisted them together. The twisted dough was loosely shaped into a wreath-like shape with only minimal efforts to tuck/blend the edges.
 
All of the dough shaping was on Non-Stick foil on a sheet pan that was also used for baking it. The directions on the can said to bake 18-22 minutes at 375. We were using two cans at once so we tried 22 minutes and then pulled it out and poked at it a few minutes before deciding to toss it back in for 8 minutes longer at 350. It came out PERFECT.
 
We used the frosting that came in the cans of dough, and frosted them with a flexible silicone spatula while they were fresh and hot, working quickly and covering the entire ‘cake’ with frosting before sprinkling the colored sugar on top before the icing cooled/set.
Want more Mardi Gras? 
Check out our Mardi Gras decorating HERE!
Check out our Fat Tuesday Monte Cristo HERE!

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Mardi Gras Celebration – Decorating

Happy Mardi Gras!

This is our first year celebrating Mardi Gras, so we’ve been doing some research!

Mardi Gras already has its own signature colors of Purple Green and Gold, so the color palette is already set as far as decorating, and each color has a special meaning. 

– Purple for Justice
– Green for Faith 
– Gold for Power.

Purple can be a difficult color to work with. Finding the right shade is quite a task, and it can be nearly impossible to find other items to match!

One way to get around this is to find items made by the same company, or from the same line, so that they least match each other. 

We made sure to do this with our tablecloth and napkins. Having that one consistent base to work with really helped pull the look together.

Our decorating goal for the dining room is to design the buffet and the table so they look like they are meant to be together. We want them to compliment one another instead of competing for the spotlight.

Here we have the buffet covered in a purple tablecloth, and the dining table is covered in a gold tablecloth with purple napkins placed diagonally as place mats to give the table a harlequin pattern. 

It brings the exact same color from the buffet to the table so they stay harmonious without weighing down the entire room with two dark purple table cloths.


We went with the literal metallic gold as opposed to introducing yellow accents. We did this mainly in the form of gold charger plates, gold platters, gold flatware, gold tablecloth, and an assortment of gold beads and baubles to simulate over-sized Mardi Gras beads (mostly Christmas decorations…sshhh!! don’t tell anyone!!)

Once again the dollar store saves the day with lots of awesome inexpensive bead necklaces to drape from every available surface. 

They had lots of other cute items as well, such as our cute little masquerade masks.

We’ve even wrapped beads around the napkins instead of napkin rings so guests can join in on the fun and wear them if they’d like.

We’ve draped beads from the candlesticks and on the pedestal in the centerpiece.










With the decorating complete, we can focus on our Mardi Gras feast!

The plan as of now is to make Monte Cristo Sandwiches — probably using a copycat recipe of the recipe used in The Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square in Disneyland. 

We’re also planning to make King Cake for the very first time — or a modified version of king cake, just as long as it has the traditional colored sugar.

UPDATE: We made  the King Cake and the Monte Cristo sandwiches, read more about it here;

Check out our King Cake HERE!
Check out our Fat Tuesday Monte Cristo HERE!

I made the colored the sugar for the King Cake myself for the very first time — so fun and easy I should blog about it! — except the whole blog would be;

1 – put some sugar in a ziplock bag
 
2 – add a few drops of food coloring
 
3 – shake-a, shake-a, shake-a
 
4 – the end

Maybe if we are lucky we’ll be able to score some Packzki this year. Though it’s not traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras fare, it is a traditional Fat Tuesday food.

I’ll update this post with how it all turned out! Until next time, Happy Mardi Gras y’all!

Check out our adventures in making a King Cake HERE!
Check out our Fat Tuesday Monte Cristo HERE!

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