It’s that time of the year where “The Big Easy” turns into a big party! Planning to bring some of that Cajun celebration back home? Here are some tips for you to recreate one of the world’s biggest parties for you and your friends.
Purple, green and gold are the traditional Mardi Gras colors. No Mardi Gras party is complete without the use of these three special colors. Make sure you have purple, green and gold decorations around to make it look like you are in New Orleans. Research some Mardi Gras music and play it at your party to enhance the Fat Tuesday atmosphere.
Have beads for your guests. We all know that the beads are synonymous with Mardi Gras, so provide your guests with beads to wear as they walk in. Mardi Gras beads are inexpensive, so it will be a good investment for your party.
It’s not a real Mardi Gras party without food! With New Orleans located right by the water, seafood is a staple for almost every Cajun recipe created. Cook some seafood gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee or red beans and rice for your guests. Make sure you do not forget the King Cake for dessert! What is a true Mardi Gras party without one?
Here is a great crawfish etouffee recipe for you and your guests:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 pounds crawfish tails
- 1 cup of crawfish fat , if available or 1 cup butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
Melt the ½ cup of butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven and sauté green onions until tender; about 10 to 15 minutes. Add parsley, crawfish tails, crawfish fat (or butter), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. If thicker gravy is desired, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and add to sauce. Serve over steamed rice and enjoy your Cajun meal!
Valentine’s Day is here and if you’re stuck trying to find an elaborate way to do something with the people you love, just keep it simple. We have a few suggestions to help you keep your Valentine’s Day simple, yet fun at the same time:
Go on a picnic. Prepare a nice meal for you and your date, go to the park and enjoy the scenery. Just spend time together by chatting and having a laugh. You could even go for a stroll in the park after the meal.
Spend the night inside. Celebrate the day by cooking your partner’s favorite meal and have a candlelit dinner. After dinner, cuddle up and watch your favorite movie together with your favorite snacks.
Give your girl flowers. Although it may be cliché, it is still romantic to send your Valentine a box of chocolates and flowers. Don’t forget to make it personal by adding your own silly love note with the gift.
Are you with the kids? Make Valentine’s Day treats with them. Create handmade Valentine’s Day cards and bake some Valentine’s-themed goodies to handout to friends and other family members. The children will surely have fun decorating.
Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch!
Celebrating Thanksgiving at the Pedrotti’s household isn’t just any old holiday dinner, it is a marathon of tastes, smells and delights that will surely be used as leftovers for days to come. For this week’s blog post, I wanted to share one of my dad’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.
- 1 ¾ cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick melted salted butter
- 1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 – 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin
- 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cups of sour cream
- 1 ½ cups of sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
For Crust: In a medium bowl combine crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9 inch pan. Set aside
For Filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin Puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
When we’re young, we all we’re taught to share. We shared our toys, markers, little brothers, etc. But what about giving? The holiday season should serve as a reminder of just how fortunate we are and how much we can give to others. When you learn the importance of giving, your life will be changed forever. Here are just a few reasons why giving is so important.
– You’re making a difference in someone’s life
First and foremost, you’re showing someone or something that you care and that their needs are important to you. Whether you’re volunteering at an animal hospital, cleaning up a park or giving your time to a nursing home, you’re leaving that area better than you found it. Time is an easy thing to spend on a person or place in need.
– When you give, you inspire others to give
Have you ever watched someone give or had someone give to you and you immediately felt the need to pass on that same charity? That’s the idea behind “paying it forward.” The best way to get others on their feet and helping their community is to show them how it’s done.
– It just feels good
Lastly, giving to others just plain feels good. The sense of accomplishment and the feeling one gets after helping others is indescribable. It’s a good feeling putting another’s needs before your own, and it’s something that you can’t buy at a department store on Black Friday.
Every year on November 11, Americans honor all of the soldiers, past and present, and their dedication to our nation’s freedoms and liberties for Veteran’s Day. A simple thank you to a veteran will do, but if you’re looking for some other ways to celebrate Veteran’s Day, we’ve listed some ideas for you and your family:
– Check your areas local event listings to see if there is a Veteran’s Day parade or ceremony. The Veteran’s Day National Committee organizes a number of events throughout the country that are free to attend. A full list of regional locations can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. (http://www.va.gov/)
– Take part in a flag-raising ceremony. Stand and join in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and the singing of the National Anthem. Local veterans’ organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, often participate with military banners and American flags.
– Make a donation. Whether it’s time or money, making a donation to a military charity, veteran’s center or hospital is another way that you can honor veterans. You can find a list of military-related charities on the Reconnect America website. (http://www.military.com/giveback/)
– Make cards with your children thanking veterans or current soldiers and take them to a VA Hospital.
– If you have any veterans in your family, host a celebration in honor of them. Allow them time to tell any stories they have and put together a scrapbook or shadow box with their military memorabilia.
Finally, to all of the veterans, we at Pedrotti’s would like to extend a huge, “Thank You!” for all that you do for our great nation.