Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 1st this year.  I believe it always falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, signifying the end of Carnival season and the start of Lenten season, but please correct me if you are more knowledgeable on these details than I am 😊  Tuesdays aren’t usually something people get excited over, unless it’s Taco Tuesday, but Mardi Gras gives you something to look forward to.  Each city celebrates differently, and I admittedly don’t know of any raging parties happening in the Twin Cities (yet) but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at home with a few close friends and family.

We typically enjoy a themed meal or some apps and cocktails at home.  This year, we’ll be starting with Sausage Bites with Spicy Cajun Dipping Sauce as an appetizer, then moving on to Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Remoulade as our main course with King Cake Cream Cheese Bites and King Cake Shots for dessert.  It’s a small way to celebrate and participate in the festivities and it gives us something fun to do as winter dies down.  Let’s talk through how to make each recipe!

Sausage Bites with Spicy Cajun Dipping Sauce are bite-sized morsels of andouille or chicken sausage (really any kind of sausage you want) that are wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked until warm and crispy.  The sausage has tender and a bit spicy, the crescent rolls make the perfect breading, and the dipping sauce is good enough to put on everything!  I could eat these as a meal and not an appetizer – they are that good!  One suggestion I have is to make sure you are using pre-cooked sausage because it will not bake long enough to cook through.  The sausage will only be warmed through.  If you want to use sausage that is not pre-cooked, I recommend cooking the sausage before proceeding with the recipe.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by making the dipping sauce.  Combine the mayonnaise, Dijon, Worcestershire, hot sauce, ketchup, Cajun seasoning, and parsley in a small bowl.  Taste and adjust the recipe as needed.  We like spice in our house, so I tend to add more hot sauce than most and I like to beef up the Cajun flavor.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unroll the crescent roll dough on a lightly floured surface.  You don’t need a lot of flour, just enough so that dough doesn’t stick to the counter.  Separate each triangle and cut each triangle into 3 small triangles.

Slice the sausage into 1-inch pieces.  I used 4 chicken sausage links and was able to get about 6 pieces per link for a total of 24.

Place a piece of sausage on the wide end of the dough and roll until the dough is wrapped around the outside of the sausage.  Place on the baking sheet and repeat until all sausage pieces have been wrapped.

Whisk the egg and water in a bowl and brush over the top and down the sides of each wrapped sausage.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the sausage is heated through.

Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm with the dipping sauce on the side.  Yum!

The recipe can be found here.

Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Remoulade are packed with flavor! The turkey burgers are perfectly seasoned and incredibly moist.  The spicy remoulade sauce is tangy and the perfect sauce for a burger…if you like relish!  I’m not a fan of relish so I opted to leave the remoulade off my burger, but others loved it.  My favorite was the sautéed onions and peppers you put on top of the burger – do not skip these!  One thing I would do differently is toast the buns before assembling and maybe add a slice of cheddar cheese.  Otherwise, these burgers were fantastic!  If you are feeding a crowd or looking for a smaller meal, make these into sliders instead of burger patties.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by making the spicy remoulade.  In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, relish, capers, mustard, parsley, hot sauce, and lemon juice.  Stir well.  I recommend tasting and adjusting the seasoning as needed.  Then, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Next, slice the bell peppers and onions and set aside.

Prepare the turkey burgers.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, green onion, Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Form into 4 patties and season both sides with Old Bay Seasoning.  Alternately, this is where you could form the mixture into 12 smaller size patties to create sliders.

Add oil to 2 SEPARATE skillets and heat over medium heat.

Add the bell peppers and onions to one skillet.  Add the turkey patties to the other skillet.

Cook the bell peppers and onions for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and tender.  Remove from the heat.

Cook the turkey patties for about 14 minutes, flipping halfway, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.  Remove from the heat.

You are ready to assemble.  Spread a heaping spoonful of the remoulade on the bottom half of each bun (or skip it if it’s not your thing).  Add a turkey patty to each bun and top with the pepper/onion mixture.  Place the top half of the bun on top and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

King Cake Cream Cheese Bites are the star of the show!  Seriously.  I could eat every last one of these and not feel bad about it.  The cream cheese is warm, the dough is soft and melts in your mouth, and the icing adds the perfect amount of sweetness.  Heavenly.  Maybe make 2 batches of these because they will go quick!

The recipe can be found here.

Start by preheating the oven and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the cream cheese, ½ cup powdered sugar, and lemon juice to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until well combined.  Set aside.

Unroll the crescent roll rough and separate into rectangles (there should be 2 triangles making up each rectangle).  Pinch the seams together to there are no holes in the dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over each rectangle.  Use more or less to taste.  It adds really nice flavor and isn’t overpowering, in my opinion.

Spread the cream cheese mixture down the center of each rectangle.  Fold the bottom half of the dough up and the bottom half of the dough down, to create a roll.  You are essentially folding the dough in thirds.

Cut each roll into 4 pieces and place on the baking sheet, seam side down.

Bake for 14-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Do not over bake!  You want these to be light and fluffy.

Remove to a cooling rack to cool.  These don’t have to be completely cool, but you don’t want them to be hot while you add the glaze, or it will all run off the sides.  Slice a piece of parchment paper or wax paper under the cooling rack.  This will be used to catch any of the glaze that drips down.  Easier cleanup!

In a small bowl, mix the remaining powdered sugar and milk.  Spoon the glaze on top of each cream cheese bite.  The glaze should drip down the sides slightly.  If the cream cheese bites are too warm, you can always wait for them to finish cooling and add a second coat of the glaze.

Sprinkle the purple, green, and yellow sprinkles on top and devour!

The recipe can be found here.

King Cake Shots about knocked me on my a$$!  First off, they are delicious, but boy are they strong!  It’s a like a spiced cake….the RumChata is smooth, and the Fireball brings the heat.  My favorite part is the frosting coated rim.  It adds the sweetness to this shot that I needed.  And you can decorate the rim with sprinkles to match the Mardi Gras theme.


The recipe can be found here.

***This recipe makes one double sized shot***

Start by using a knife or offset spatula to add vanilla frosting to the rim of the shot glass (or glasses).  Make sure to get frosting on the outside and inner rim.

Add the sanding sugar to 3 separate bowls, one for each color.  Dip the shot glass (or glasses) into the sanding sugar to coat the frosting.

Add the RumChata and Fireball to the shot glass (or glasses).  Top with whipped cream and enjoy.  Cheers!

The recipe can be found here.

Now that I’ve talked you through the recipes, I hope you are inspired to plan your own Mardi Gras celebration.  If you aren’t interested in making your own food or want to try some of the popular Mardi Gras items without putting in a lot of effort, you should check out your local Festival Foods.  You can preorder a King Cake or Paczki Donuts (pronounced Poonch Key) for a limited time or shop in-stores for these items.  Again, they are available for a limited time and are available while supplies last.

Click here to order a King Cake

Click here to order Paczki Donuts (4 per pack)

Everywhere else, it’s just Tuesday.  But here, it’s Mardi Gras!

Happy Cooking!

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