February 21, 2012



Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.


Laissez les bons temps rouler:  Let the good times roll!

I had the opportunity to go to Mardi Gras in 2004 with a bunch of teammates/friends, one of which was a ‘Nawlins local.  My friend Meagan is such a sweetheart and she and her family, who are just as awesome as she is, opened their home to all of us. 

We had a great time and I loved experiencing the essence of the carnival celebration.  From parade watching on St. Charles Avenue to special seating at the Bacchus Ball, we were definitely immersed in the culture and loved every minute.  Here are some oldies but goodies to remember our fun time in “The Big Easy”.







Meagan, Kamrin and me on Bourbon Street.



The crew after one of the many parades on St. Charles Avenue.



All dressed up and ready to go to Bacchus!



Good times were had by all!


In honor of this fun and crazy celebration, here is a relatively quick and easy Jambalaya recipe.  I even used turkey kielbasa make this comforting dish a little lower in fat, and good news, it was still absolutely delicious!




Easy Creole Jambalaya

Print this recipe!

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces kielbasa, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sauté chicken and kielbasa until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and tomatoes. Season with cayenne, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent. Add rice, then stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Serves six.  Enjoy!






Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It is also a close cousin to the saffron colored paella found in Spanish culture. There are two primary versions of jambalaya.

The  most common is Creole jambalaya (also called "red jambalaya") and contains tomatoes along with the other ingredients while, the second style, more characteristic of southwestern and south-central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya, and contains no tomatoes (the idea being the closer to New Orleans one gets, the more common tomatoes are in dishes).

Many people also add different types of seafood to their Jamba.  I chose to leave out that component since I am not a big seafood fan. 

Happy Mardi Gras!

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