Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Zatarain's Mardi Gras House Party and Review

I had the chance to host a Zatarain's® Mardi Gras House Party ™ sponsored by Zatarain's on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010. I had fun putting the whole thing together and since I was already a big fan of Zatarain's I knew our party was gonna be a big hit with my family and friends. It turned out great and we had a lot of fun!

Zatarain's, for those of you who are not familiar makes zesty boxed meals and other products that are New Orleans based. They have been around for more than 100 years and their wonderful products are definitely part of the New Orleans tradition of distinctive flavorful cuisine. I love New Orleans food! Even though I didn't make any at this party one of my favorite New Orleans dishes is gumbo because I absolutely love soups, stews, and chowders and can't get enough okra! I love that Zatarain's has a recipe section. They also have cooking tips that will make your authentic New Orleans meal a success! New Orleans definitely has a rich cultural heritage and when my family and I were living in Florida we were saddened to hear about Hurricane Katrina that had past through there and caused so much damage and loss of life in 2005. We were hopeful that Zatarain's would be along with the survivors of Katrina because we love their food. We were very glad to find out that they overcome the struggle that was put before them and still prosper regardless of the trials they had to face during that time.

Before I received the party kit I was only aware of the Zatarain's boxed mixes that Zatarain's made. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the kit and it had Zatarain's Creole Mustard, Zatarain's Creole Seasoning and Zatarain's Root Beer Extract along with the Red Beans and Rice and the Jambalaya Mix. I was also surprised to see that the Red Beans and Rice was the Reduced Sodium variety. The reduced sodium mixes are new to Zatarain's and contain 25% less sodium than their regular counterpart. They also have a number of other very yummy products.

My FREE festive party pack included:

For me:
* 5 Zatarain’s Products to try:
Jambalaya Mix (we dressed this up with Italian sausage and pineapple for a different zing)
Reduced Sodium Red Beans & Rice (I really love the new reduced sodium varieties...they taste just as yummy!)
Creole Mustard (yummy! We are going to enjoy this later on Brats!)
Root Beer Extract (my Sodastream soda maker came in real handy and we enjoyed the root beer floats!)
Creole Seasoning (very good in a lot of dishes...just jazz it up!)

* 1 Zatarain’s Apron (I love it! See me wearing it in the first picture?)
* 1 Mardi Gras Party Guide
* 1 Sample Mardi Gras Menu
* 5 Mardi Gras Masks (sweet feather masks! My kids especially had fun trying these on!)
* 6 Mardi Gras Recipe Cards (yum! I am going to have to try these later)

Stuff I shared with my guests:

* 15 sets of Mardi Gras Beads (nice set of gold, green, and purple beads with a Zatarain's logo hanging from them)
* 15 sets of 3 Doubloons (also the royal jewel colors of Mardi Gras and stamped with the logo of Zatarain's and Mardi Gras 2010)
* 15 Money Saving Coupons for Zatarain’s Products (manufacturer's coupons for 50 cents off any one (1) Zatarain's rice or pasta mix)
* 75 Gift Cards for 35 Free MP3 Songs from E-Music (I didn't give these out because unfortunately you have to sign up and then if you don't cancel the service you are obligated to pay money...bogus!! I did listen to some righteous jazzy tunes though through Radio Free New Orleans.)
* And other downloadable party favors.

Here is a Fun Fact:
*What is the difference between Cajun and Creole?
Cajun is the robust country-style cooking of the descendants of the French Acadians (now known as Cajuns). Cajun cooking uses a dark roux as the base of many dishes. It relies on the culinary “trinity” –equal parts of chopped green bell peppers, onions and celery. Many Cajun dishes are spicier than Creole dishes. The most famous dish of Cajun origin is Jambalaya (a rice dish that contains the trinity, tomatoes and various meats, poultry and/or seafood).
Creole is a full-flavored cuisine of refined European settlers of New Orleans -- the best of the French, Spanish and African cuisines. Creole cooking also relies on the culinary “trinity”– chopped green bell peppers, onions and celery. Creole dishes typically use more butter, cream and tomatoes than Cajun dishes. A famous dish of Creole origin is Etouffee (a spicy and delicious stew traditionally made with crawfish or shrimp, vegetables and a dark roux). The word Etouffee means "Smothered."

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So, Jazz it up with Zatarain's!

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to House Party ™ for providing me with this opportunity to host a Zatarain's® Mardi Gras House Party ™. I received the above samples and coupons to hand out to hand out to guests and test and review myself. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. House Party connects people through parties. You too can use the helpful tools to plan your party, create invites, join sponsored events, share pictures and video, and explore thousands of parties being held in homes around the country.

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