Happy Mardi Gras! We were fortunate enough to be in New Orleans during the start of Carnival season, so we were able to experience genuine King Cakes from New Orleans.

The King Cake is made of braided Danish pastry dough, and usually has some sort of filling like cream cheese, fruit or nut paste. It’s adorned with colorful sprinkles in green, purple and gold. Traditionally, a plastic baby is hidden in the cake to represent Jesus as well as wealth and prosperity. The person who gets the slice with the baby is obligated to make or bring the King cake the following year.

During our trip, we ended up trying three different ones.

Elvis King Cake from Cochon Butcher

During our visit to Cochon Butcher, we ordered a slice of the Elvis King Cake. It’s filled with bananas and peanut butter.

Mini King Cakes from Cochon Butcher

Cochon Butcher was also selling mini king cakes. We ended up buying three so we could give a few as gifts and keep one for ourselves. Instead of a baby, they put a tiny pig in the center. Most places no longer hide a baby inside because of the potential choking hazard, and instead put the baby in the center of the cake. We ended up keeping the almond paste one.

With Lunar New Year approaching, I thought I’d do an Asian themed recipe week, starting with these orange chicken wings. Crispy baked wings are glazed with a sticky orange sauce.

It’s basically like regular orange chicken, but using wings instead. These were so pretty and bright and they tasted delicious.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I decided to host a Lunar New Year party. It was a little tiring cooking for so many people and being a food blogger, I definitely felt some pressure. But it was so much fun to spend the time with my friends and catch up. I’ll share some of the photos of the dishes I made later this week.

Cochon Butcher

Cochon Butcher is a sandwich and butcher shop, located next to the popular Cochon restaurant in New Orleans. It has received many accolades, so I was eager to go check it out.

Shortly after arriving in New Orleans and dropping our stuff off at the hotel and badly mangling the pronunciation of the name of the street it sits on (Tchoupitoulas Street, pronounced CHOP-ah-TOO-luhs), we made our way over for a quick dinner.

Everything on the menu sounded good, but we decided to limit ourselves and save room for a second dinner later that evening. Once we placed our order at the counter, we grabbed an open table and waited for the food to be brought to us.

Pork Belly

This was our first official bite in New Orleans, and it did not disappoint. Thick slices of seared pork belly, paired with a mint cucumber salad, chili-lime aioli, and served on toasted white bread. If I had one complaint, it was that I wish they served it on something more substantial than plain white bread as it wasn’t quite thick enough to hold the rich pork belly. Still, this was one delicious sandwich and the crisped exterior of the pork belly made my mouth sigh with happiness.