The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras, and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs, and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
Carnival & Mardi Gras
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys, and jambalaya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
And while we satisfy our cravings, let’s not forget our beverages. Signature creations from New Orleans hit the spot. Be sure to try the Sazerac made with absinthe or the citrus cocktail Arnaud’s Special. For a smooth drink with some punch mix up a Vieux Carré made with whiskey, cognac, and sweet vermouth. But you don’t have to have a cocktail to enjoy the feast! Fat Tuesday has plenty of beverages full of refreshing flavor. Coffees, sodas, and shakes of every flavor can be found.
HOW TO OBSERVE #FatTuesday
Join in festivals around the country or have your own Fat Tuesday feast! Share your favorite traditions by using #FatTuesday, #MardiGras, #ShroveTuesday
In Pensacola as we are so close to both Mobile, AL and New Orleans, there are lots of pardades, parties, balls, and more. Get ready for beads, dancing, and King Cake.
At the end of the fun try coming home to my Crockpot New England Calm Chowder. As today this dish is celebrated nationwide today too.
FAT TUESDAY HISTORY
The roots of the celebration have been woven together for centuries from medieval spring festivals and feasts that were based on the Christian calendar. Fat Tuesday is celebrated around the world in its various forms all of which harken back to these roots of spring festivals and religious fasting in preparation for the Holy day of Easter.
Credit for bringing Mardi Gras to America goes to French explorers Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville and Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville. In 1699, d’Iberville reached the mouth of the river on Shrove Tuesday near what is now Louisiana and named it Pointe du Mardi Gras.
Thanks to their establishment of Fort Louis de la Mobile, modern-day Mobile, Alabama lays claim to the first Mardi Gras celebration on American soil in 1703.
When de Bienville established Nouvelle Orleans in 1788, Mardi Gras celebrations reportedly began immediately. In 1875, Louisiana declared Fat Tuesday an official holiday
Ingredients2 lbs minced beef or chuck
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 medium bell pepper chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced
Sour cream (we like Daisy in squeezeable application)
Chucky salsa (we like taco bell mild)
1 – 16oz fiesta blend shredded cheese
Guacamole if desired
1 lg bag Tostitos Scoops (you can use any kind of totilla chip you prefer these just make handy cups)
2 pkg McCormick Taco seaoningChopped jalapeno, black olives, melted cheese sauce, are optional.
You can make to many variations to list, including chicken, steak, salsa verde, lime, and anything else you can dream up. I make mine like our family taco night.Farberware 22001 Buena Cocina Deep Nonstick Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Skillet with Lid and Helper Handle – 12 Inch, Black. by Farberware
- In medium pan, brown ground meat.
- Drain excess fat
- Add 1/2 cup water and taco seasoning stirring well to coat meat.
- Continue over medium heat until water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Chop or dice vegetables as needed. I found a few great shortcuts if there is no one around to help. You can get shredded iceberg lettuce like the restaurants use in the produce section at your local Walmart. If I don’t have the time the also have pico de gallo instead of dicing onions and tomatoes yourself. They add cilantro and typically Serano peppers.
- Spread chips or cups on big tray.
- Evenly sprinkle with cooked, seasoned meat, vegetables, cheese and toppings as desired.
- Feeding a diverse crew? Set everything up and let them add their choices as they like them. This concept also works well for parties and game days too.
virgin or real margarita and maybe Tres Leche cake for dessert.
National Blonde Brownie Day on January 22nd recognizes a treat often referred to as blondies.
Blonde brownies are similar to the traditional brownies known almost everyone. In place of cocoa, brown sugar is used, giving it a sweet-tooth-satisfying molasses flavor!
Most people like to add white chocolate or chocolate chips to their blonde brownies or other things like nuts, toffee or butterscotch. Blonde brownies are usually prepared unfrosted as the brown sugar flavor tends to be sweet enough. These blondies are sometimes served in sundaes, often topped with caramel sauce.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBlondeBrownieDay
While enjoying a blonde brownie would count toward celebrating the day, that may be much too simple. Blonde brownies also make a delicious addition to a layered trifle dessert. Add a scoop of ice cream to a freshly baked blonde brownie and top with your favorite syrup. If you prefer the lighter side, serve a blonde brownie with a serving of fresh fruit. Pineapple, cherries or apricots seem appropriate.
Serve your blondies with tea, coffee or hot cocoa. And of course, you can’t enjoy them alone. You must extend an invitation to a friend or two. They’ll happily help you finish off a few blondies while catching up on the new year. You can make them for church, school or work occasions, too.
Use #BlondeBrownieDay to post on social media.
Enjoy combining a blonde brownie with your favorite book in honor of #NationalLibraryShelfieDay and #CelebrationofLifeDay
NATIONAL BLONDE BROWNIE DAY HISTORY
There is no found documentation of the beginning of National Blonde Brownie Day. It is known, however, that this light-colored treat was actually invented in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Recipes for blonde brownies can be found in recipe books dating back into the 1940s and maybe even earlier.
Nothing says Thanksgivin like Pumpkin Pie….unless like us it’s not a favorite. I know pumpkin spice everything is popular this time if year. It’s just not something we love. After many hours of online research and taste testing, this became the show stopper dessert. My brother the chef loves it as well! I found the basic recipe and have added my touches and time savers. The only warning I give is there will not be any leftovers. You may need 2 of these next year.Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish with Red Plastic Lid -13.2 INCH x 8.9inch x 2 inch
1 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup pecans chopped
1 tub Philadelphia Cheesecake filling
3 cups whipped topping divided
2 1/2 cups milk
3 pkg white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding 3.4 oz size
15 oz can Pumkin Puree-Pie filling
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon sugarMcCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice, 1.12 oz by McCormick
- Mix flour, butter and 1/2 c chopped pecans. You can also spice it up with gingersnap cookies. Use 1/2 c flour and 10 gingersnap cookies in food processor then add butter.
- Press crumbs down in bottom of 9 x 13 pan to form crust.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 350°. Cool completely before adding other layers.
- Fold 1 cup whipped topping into cheesecake filling.
- Spread mixture evenly, over cooled crust
- Mix milk and pudding
- Fold pumpkin and pumpkin spice together with 1 cup whipped cream
- Spread remaining whipped topping on top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and 2 tsp cinnamon sugar
- Chill 3 hours or until set.
- Serve chilled and enjoy
NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY
National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18th annually celebrates the sweetness of small chocolate cakes. With a dollop of frosting, one sweet serving satisfying chocolate and dessert lovers!
Cupcakes have also been known to be called:
- Fairy Cakes
- Patty Cakes
- Cup Cakes (different from Cupcakes (one-word))
Cupcakes can be traced back to 1796 when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons. The earliest known documentation of the term cupcake was in 1828 in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.
Bakers initially baked their cupcakes in heavy pottery cups. Today, some still use individual ramekins, small coffee mugs, large teacups, or other small ovenproof pottery-type dishes for baking their cupcakes.
Chocolate cupcakes come in a variety of flavors, too. Of course, there’s always the standard chocolate cupcake. But why stop there on a holiday?
- Chocolate caramel cupcakes satisfy that extra cry for sweetness.
- Peanut butter chocolate cupcakes are the snackers delight.
- Get devilishly good cupcakes with Devil’s Food.
- Cool things off a bit with chocolate mint recipes, too.
- And you can’t forget chocolate orange cupcakes. Citrus brightens the flavor of any chocolate recipe.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateCupcakeDay
Celebrate by trying one of the following tempting recipes while watching an episode of the Food Network reality-based competition show, Cupcake Wars. Remember to invite friends or family over to share. That’s how we like to #CelebrateEveryDay!
Use #ChocolateCupcakeDay to post on social media.
This easy, festive cake will be the highlight of your patriotic party.
1 box white or yellow cake mix
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries or 2 pints rasberries
1 LG container Cool Whipcream
1 can Readiwhip or small container Cool Whip with pastry bag and star tip.
Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13 pan. Cool cake completely. Remove leaf and stem from top of fruit. If using strawberries, slice from top to tip in halves or quarters depending on size. Using whipped cream spread even smooth layer over entire cake. Use toothpick to draw the flag box and red stripes. Star box should be about 4 or inches. A real flag has 13 strips but the cake can only fit about 5. Make sure you leave space between red stripes for white ones. The top and bottom stripes are red.
Place whole blueberries in star box as tightly as possible. This is the blue field for your stars. Gently place rasberries or strawberry strips along red stripes from left to right. Starting at the top next to star field to edge of cake. Place all red stripes. Using readiwhip or pastry bag with star tip, place alternating number rows of stars on blueberry field. (I usually do 5 and 4.)
For fancy look depending on time you may want to pipe stripes in white whipped cream as well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Featured photo belongs to Dricolls.com