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I have been to New Orleans once before… around this time of year, in fact. Arriving roughly one week prior to the actual Mardi Gras festivities is wonderful. After sleeping in, enjoying chicory coffee and King Cake for breakfast at
The Burgundy, I was able to experience the hustle and bustle as locals prepare for the event that takes months of planning and organization. As I walked along Burgundy, Dauphine, and Royal Street (on my way to the French Quarter, of course), I watched as men carefully assembled made-from-scratch politically-charged floats to later be inaugurated into the Krewe du Vieux parade.

The architecture of New Orleans is unique and, for the most part, constant. Homes and buildings destroyed during Katrina are slowing being rebuilt in their original creole style. Shotgun houses lines the ever-flat and pot-holed streets, where it appears easier to walk or ride a bike than drive a car. Wrought iron balconies and gates either glisten with a fresh coat of paint or rust with time.
As I wandered the streets of New Orleans, I promised myself that I would return one day.

Richard and I have booked our flight to visit New Orleans in December.
I know, it’s far away… but we are departing on a cruise out of NOLA! It will be his first time in New Orleans; and, I cannot wait to share the food, the architecture, and the jazz and creole history (did I mention the food?) with him. I fully intend to visit inside Preservation Hall this time (if I’m lucky enough to scoop up tickets to a show!), eat even more beignets and oysters than last time, and explore some hidden treasures of New Orleans.

As far as King Cake goes (which isn’t very far, considering the one I made last night is almost gone), try your hand at making one homemade! It was a lot of fun, and easier than one would think. I used an Emeril Lagasse recipe that I found on Food Network, but there are PLENTY of King Cake recipes out there. Just find which one looks most appetizing to you!

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Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone!