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Mardi Gras at Home: Beads, King Cake, Muffulettas, and Hurricanes

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Happy Fat Tuesday! This is the day when good Christians stuff themselves with booze, food, and show their boobs in exchange for beads in a last-ditch effort to get in as much partying as they can before Lent. Thankfully, like Christmas, everyone can enjoy a good Mardi Gras celebration.

Sure there are some great places to party, but sometimes you just wanna stay home. We'll tell you everything you need to celebrate Mardi Gras at home.

Hurricanes

The Hurricane is the unofficial "official" drink of New Orleans. 

Invented by bar owner Pat O'Brien, the Hurricane is a blend of light and

dark rum, fruit juice, and Amaretto.  Usually when served in bars, it

looks and tastes like boozy Kool-Aid.  This recipe recreates what the

famous New Orleans barkeep had in mind all those years ago.

Classic Hurricane

1 oz. dark rum

1 oz. light rum

1 oz. Amaretto

2 oz. fresh orange juice

2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice

Dash of Grenadine

Teaspoon fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients into shaker filled with ice.  Strain and pour into

tall Collins or Hurricane glass filled with ice. Garnish with cherry and

orange.

Muffuletta (or Muffaletta)

The sandwich of New Orleans, traditionally a giant sesame seeded roll

filled with salami, ham, provolone, Swiss, and oily, salty olive salad

(which is basically what makes it great).  Make your own by over

stuffing a seeded roll with the above mentioned meats and cheeses.  Make

your own olive salad by tossing green pimento olives and olive oil into

a food processor and chopping for 30 seconds. 

Muffuletta in Coconut Creek sells authentic New Orleans muffulettas.

Choose the traditional or custom make your own with your choice of deli

meats.  A half ($8) serves one person, a full ($15) serves two. Pick a few up to go on your way home tonight -- they're open until 9:30 p.m.

King Cake

King Cake is basically a round cinnamon danish ring, topped with icing

and purple, gold, and green colored sugar.  Other flavors are available

at New Orleans bakeries, where King Cake is an industry unto itself. 

The colors on the cake are a Mardi Gras tradition and have specific

meanings - purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. Watch

out for the baby baked inside each King Cake. A small plastic baby is

hidden inside each cake. The person who gets the baby is said to have a

year of good luck. They also have to pay for next year's cake. Pick up a

King Cake at Publix ($9.99), Whole Foods ($12.99) or Fresh Market ($12.99).

Beads

It's not Mardi Gras without beads.  Party City has a large assortment of

them.  And remember -- you have to work for your beads (usually by

flashing someone). So don't just give them away.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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