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"There are only two ways to live
your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is, as if everything is a miracle."

--Albert Einstein

Mardi Gras 2011

Carnival, or Carnevale, is Venice's answer to Mardi Gras and Fasching. For eight days before Lent each winter, tourists flood the city for an orgy of pageants, concerts, balls, and masked self-display until Shrove Tuesday signals an end to the party.

New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras this year beginning Tuesday, March 8th through the week-end while the Venice carnival will go on between February 26 - March 8th.

If you are lucky enough to be attending either of these festivities in person, know that we are green with envy. Be sure to take photos and send them to us to post.

But if you are like most of us, staying around town and making merry locally - you may be interested in some of the flavors of the Cajun version - Mardi Gras.

Below please find recipes for the occasion and share them with friends.

* * * * * * * *

Hurricanes for a Large Party

* 1.75l bottle amaretto liqueur
* 1 750ml bottle light rum
* 1 750ml bottle dark rum
* 1 64oz carton orange juice - without pulp
* 1 640z carton ruby red grapefruit juice
* 2 large cans pineapple juice
* 3/4 C grenadine syrup
* oranges and maraschino cherries to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a large 3 gallon beverage jar and chill. Freeze small containers of orange juice to use as ice cubes in the container when serving during the party. Make sure to stir every so often as contents tend to settle.

Cajun Appetizer Meatballs


* 1 pound lean ground beef
* 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
* 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon dried parsley
* 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
* 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
* 1/2 cup peach preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix thoroughly the ground beef, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, onion, bread crumbs, milk, and egg.
3. Form the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until there is no pink left in the middle.
4. In a small bowl, combine the barbecue sauce and peach preserves.
5. When meatballs are done, place in a serving dish and cover with the barbecue sauce mixture. Toss to coat.

Cajun Chicken Pasta


* 4 ounces linguine pasta
* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into thin strips
* 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
* 4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
* 1 green onion, minced
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2. Meanwhile, place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl, and toss to coat.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in butter until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers, sliced mushrooms and green onions; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat, and stir in heavy cream. Season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper, and heat through.
4. In a large bowl, toss linguine with sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cajun Seafood Pasta


* 2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
* 1 cup chopped green onions
* 1 cup chopped parsley
* 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/2 pound scallops
* 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 pound dry fettuccine pasta

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, pour cream into large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just about boiling. Reduce heat, and add herbs, salt, peppers, onions, and parsley. Simmer 7 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.
3. Stir in seafood, cooking until shrimp is no longer transparent. Stir in cheeses, blending well.
4. Drain pasta. Serve sauce over noodles.

**All recipes are from and with complements of:

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The following list of on-line cookie recipes was making the circuits a few years back in Christmas mailers. I was fascinated by it then and still am so I thought I would share it with those of you who love cookies.

Chill the milk and let's begin.