Where to recycle Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans

Hope you survived Mardi Gras. You probably have a house full of glitter and beads now. We sure do. Before you throw away your loot, consider your other options, such as DIY projects and recycling.

Looks for these purple and gold bead recycling bins around the metro area.  Arc of New Orleans will recycle your Mardi Gras beads and throws.  (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Looks for these purple and gold bead recycling bins around the metro area. Arc of New Orleans will recycle your Mardi Gras beads and throws. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/New in NOLA)

Mardi Gras beads are a good way to add some flair to your house. One of our favorite DIY bead projects – medallion magnets. See that idea plus 23 other creative things to do with Mardi Gras beads here.

Just want all your Mardi Gras stuff gone fast? Consider donating it to Arc of New Orleans. This nonprofit uses your beads to help employ people intellectual disabilities and delays in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.

Look for the purple and gold Arc bins at these locations:

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Christmas 2014 in New Orleans (photo highlights)

Happy New Year! Tonight (Jan. 5) wraps up the Christmas season in New Orleans. Tomorrow (Jan. 6) is the twelfth night of Christmas and officially starts the carnival season, which ends with Mardi Gras. There are two parades Tuesday – Joan of Arc and the Phunny Phorty Fellows.

It’s a nice tradition – extending Christmas and taking more time to enjoy the festivities. Towns, businesses and residents leave their trees and lights up until Jan. 6. Then, the Mardi Gras decor comes out. Some people even transition their Christmas trees to Mardi Gras trees.

Santa visited the fish at Audubon Aquarium. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

Santa visited the fish at Audubon Aquarium. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells/NewinNOLA.com)

Before we dive into the carnival season, we wanted to take a moment to say farewell to Christmas and New Year’s. New Orleans, you sure do know how to do the holidays.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite holiday events and moments below. What were your favorite holidays moments in New Orleans? Suggestions for what we should do next year?

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How to make chocolate-dipped buttercrunch candy (recipe)

I don’t claim to be original, especially when it comes to candy. My grandmother, the willful and beautiful Rosalie Dial, made divinity and fudge, but that’s about it.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Recently on NPR, I heard this recipe by Andrea Gunst and had to try it. Here’s the original recipe. I’ve added a little salt, which Andrea didn’t. I wrapped the candy in small plastic bags and put it in pretty holiday tins for gifts. Here are two NPR segments about the candy:

//embed.wbur.org/player/hereandnow/2014/12/10/buttercrunch-ham-recipes

//embed.wbur.org/player/hereandnow/2012/12/17/gunst-holiday-gifts

Advice from NPR: You can double the recipe, but if you want to make more you shouldn’t try to multiply the recipe by three or four — simply keep doubling the recipe. One cookie sheet makes one batch. Continue reading

Caroling in Jackson Square – what you need to know

We’re caroling in Jackson Square tonight (Dec. 21) with a thousand or so of our closest friends.  It’s a free, magical event in New Orleans. Open to everyone. And again, 100 percent free.

The event starts at 7. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

French Quarter Festivals Inc. hosts Caroling in Jackson Square. (photo via FQF Inc.)

French Quarter Festivals Inc. hosts Caroling in Jackson Square. (photo via FQF Inc.)

Song sheets and lights are provided. Arrive early because this is a popular event and you want to get inside the gates. Christmas attire is encouraged. Think sweaters, Santa hats, bells, etc.

You stand while you carol so wear comfortable shoes. Don’t bring chairs unless you physically need one.

If it is raining, the event will be moved inside the cathedral. Seats/pews are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Plenty of places to park:
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Thanksgiving in New Orleans

Happy Thanksgiving! Will this be your first Turkey Day in New Orleans? You are in for a treat. Here are some options from our Instagram friends and other people we’ve asked.

• Grab your friends and cook a meal for Friendsgiving. Here are our foolproof recipes for a Southern Thanksgiving, including cornbread dressing.

• Head to a restaurant. These 5 places are cooking a classic spread. Don’t want turkey? All of these other restaurants are open.

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Happy 4th of July (meetup info)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! Hope you are making the most of this three-day weekend. Want to watch fireworks tonight? Our Meetup friends are having a watch party tonight in the French Quarter. The group is meeting at 8:45 p.m. Click here for more info.

Happy 4th of July, y'all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen's?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

Happy 4th of July, y’all! How about this tasty snoball from Hansen’s?! Yum. (photo via @NewinNOLA on Instagram)

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St. Patrick’s Day in the Irish Channel (photos)

We ventured to the Irish Channel for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities earlier this month. We caught cabbage, kissed strangers for flowers and danced a jig in the streets. Good times.

Thank goodness for these parade-going tips from Kim Smelter of New Girl in NOLA.

 

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New Orleans shopping mall guide

With the holiday shopping season upon us, new-to-NOLA residents might be wondering where the best places are to get all of their shopping done. While I’m big into shopping locally at the unique New Orleans boutiques that call Magazine Street and the French Quarter home, sometimes you just have to make a trip to … the mall! Here’s an overview of the shopping malls around New Orleans, and what makes each one special.

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How to brine a turkey for a Thanksgiving feast

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

A few years ago, I watched food guru Alton Brown propound the virtues of brining a turkey. He explained that the salt water brine changes the turkey’s cellular structure so that it holds more moisture, while seasoning the meat.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Boy, was he right! This has been my favorite way to roast a turkey ever since, and I’ve got a least one friend who insists it saved his family holiday meal. Amen, brother.

Of course, this recipe and approach can be used with other meats, especially chicken. For example, if you’d like to roast a whole, fresh chicken, half the recipe below.

You also should change your perspective on how long to cook the bird. Buy yourself a meat thermometer and cook by the internal temps, not how long it’s been cooking. You’ll be amazed at how much more flavorful the meat will be.

Header image is from christmasstockimages.com and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 unported license.

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How to make turkey giblet gravy like a real Southerner

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Gravy sometimes is overlooked during the cooking process but it is the unsung hero of holiday meals. You do it right and no one thinks about it. You do it wrong and everyone is disappointed. This smooth giblet gravy makes everything better, from the turkey to the cornbread dressing (recipe) to the mashed potatoes.

This is a recipe that was passed down from my wonderful mother, Betty. Hope you enjoy. And make sure to check out my other Thanksgiving recipes.

Header image via Angie’s Southern Kitchen and used in accordance with the Creative Common license agreement.

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