Does your family have a traditional way to celebrate Mardi Gras? I don't recall having a real tradition growing up. I am sure my mom took the opportunity to make us a festive treat now and again, but I don't think we had an annual tradition of a certain food or a huge meal or anything crazy. My mother-in-law Polish family always celebrated with paczki. The first year my husband and I were together on "Paczki Day" she showed up with a box of donuts. There are no good places to get authentic paczki in our small mostly German town, but a box of donuts is a good stand-in and you are pretty much never going to get a complaint out of me if there are donuts involved!
Luckily a couple of years ago my coworker Di, who has shared some delicious recipes with us here on the blog, sent me some really authentic paczki. She lives in the Chicago area, which just so happens to be where my mother-in-law grew up. They still have a strong tradition in making them and there are a few places that are famous for them. It seems most places only make them this time of year and people will wait in lines around the block for them. Isn't that fun?
Maybe you are like me and don't have a place to get real paczki. You could celebrate as Shrove Tuesday instead and make a whole heaping pile of pancakes. Again, no complaints here! I happen to love pancakes too. So does my little guy, so there is a decent probability we will be having pancakes for dinner on Tuesday!
Now you can see my dilemma of what to make for my Mardi Gras themed recipe. I've tried making homemade paczki before, but I don't like to fry at home and the baked version just didn't live up to the gold standard. Pancakes, I certainly love but I wanted to do something a bit different. So where did my mind go? Of course baked oatmeal. I can't help it. I just making new flavor combinations for one of our breakfast favorites. It didn't take long to decide that bananas foster was the perfect baked oatmeal to celebrate Mardi Gras. Because in the end, Mardi Gras to me means New Orleans and the two flavors that came to mind were beignets and bananas foster. A beignet baked oatmeal seemed like a pretty far stretch, but bananas foster lend themselves beautifully to this! Oatmeal is the perfect canvas to help soak up a bit of brown sugar, caramelized bananas and possibly a splash of rum.
Make some for breakfast to start your day off right. This would also be a fun way to wrap up a brunch or a healthier way to have dessert.
So if you plan to spend Fat Tuesday living it up with a parade and a few extra drinks, be sure to start your day with a festive an hearty helping of baked oatmeal. Your mom would be so proud! If you are like me and are going to be spending the day at work, this would be a great way to start your day off with a little party for your taste buds. Your mom will still be so proud! If you don't have time to make it on Tuesday, just promise to make some Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal really soon. It's the right thing to do!
Does your family have any Mardi Gras traditions? I'd love to hear all about them!
Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal
For the oatmeal:
3 ripe bananas
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T brown sugar
2 cups rolled oats
For the topping:
2 T butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 bananas, sliced
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
optional 2 T dark rum
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Mash 3 ripe bananas. Stir in eggs until will mixed. Then add yogurt and milk.
- Stir in remaining oatmeal ingredients and pour into greased dish.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 350.
- When there is about 10 minutes of bake time left, prepare your topping. In a skillet over medium heat, melt together butter and brown sugar until incorporated. Stir in the salt and add banana slices and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned on the bottoms. Flip and cook for another minute or two. Add the rum and feel free to flambe it if you'd like, otherwise remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- It is ok if there is still a slight wobble to your oatmeal at this stage, but it should be mostly set. Pour topping over oatmeal and turn the oven up to 375 F. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Allow to cook a bit before trying to cut into slices and serve. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
And now to see what all of these other lovely cooks are making for Mardi Gras. I wish I could try a taste of each!
- Andouille and Crawfish Pimento Cheese Fries by Soulfully Made
- Hot Louisiana Shrimp Dip by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Mardi Gras Muffaletta Dip by For the Love of Food
- Piquant Shrimp Balls by Food Lust People Love
- Trinidadian doubles by Caroline’s Cooking
- Andouille and Chicken Gumbo by Delaware Girl Eats
- Bananas Foster French Toast by A Mind “Full” Mom
- Bananas Foster Baked Oatmeal by Cooking With Carlee
- Blackened Shrimp Pasta by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Cajun Courtbouillon by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cajun Pasta Carnivale by Palatable Pastime
- Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo by The Freshman Cook
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta by Wholistic Woman
- Creole Beef and Rice Bowls by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Easy Shrimp and Grits Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Gluten Free Gumbo by Cricket’s Confections
- Gumbo Z’herbes by Monica’s Table
- Hawaiian Jambalaya by Shockingly Delicious
- Overnight Muffuletta Sandwich by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Slow Cooker Jambalaya by The Crumby Cupcake
- Spicy Jambalaya Flatbread by My Life Cookbook
- Tenderloin Grillades with Cheesy Grits by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Vegetarian Muffaletta Sandwich by Hardly A Goddess
- Creole Potato Salad by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Easy Buttermilk Cornbread by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Muffaletta Wedge Salad by Shaken Together
- New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch by Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Not So Dirty Rice by Simple and Savory
- Red Beans and Rice by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Bananas Foster by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Basic Bread Pudding by What Smells So Good?
- Bourbon Vanilla Cherries Jubilee by Pies and Plots
- Mardi Gras Cheese Ball by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Mini King Cake Bites by Family Around The Table
- New Orleans Mardi Gras Beignets by Big Bear’s Wife
- Pecan Praline Cookies by Sunday Supper Movement
- Traditional Mardi Gras King Cake by Curious Cuisiniere
- White Chocolate-Raspberry Bread Pudding by Gourmet Everyday F