(CNN) - Laissez les bons temps rouler! It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and to us that means an excuse to down as many muffulettas, oysters, bowls of etouffee and gumbo, and glasses of brandy milk punch as we can fit in our mouths.
It's also a time for New Orleans' residents (and many fans) to celebrate the resilient spirit of a city that refused to give up, despite a series of tragedies that threatened to destroy their way of life forever.
Fill up a Hurricane glass, grab a beignet and get a taste of life in America's most delicious city.
What NOT to Do During Mardi Gras - Lu Brow advises not to bargain for beads and shares the importance of a Popeye's run with strangers
Five Cocktails I Enjoy Creating and CONSUMING During Mardi Gras - but Lu certainly knows how to cut loose, too
What we ate in New Orleans - and you should, too.
iReport: The best bites in New Orleans - We asked, and you shared your must-try foods all over town.
The food that got them through - New Orleanians love to talk...and argue...and educate...and opine about food. It's who they are, and what has kept them going, even when their very way of life was in danger of being swept away forever.
A Secret Supper - N'awlins style - join us at the table, won't you?
Mardi in the USA! - Can't make it to New Orleans? These restaurants have you covered.
Oysters stage a comeback after BP disaster - the region rallies after a man-made disaster
A toast to Leah Chase - raise a glass to the Queen of Creole Cuisine
Mardi Gras: Milk that packs a brandy punch - a recipe from New Orleans bar chef Lu Brow
Beyond Bourbon Street - the real fun is on Frenchmen St.
Alligator to z'herbes: NOLA food 101 - beignets, boudin and Ramos gin fizzes
Five Pig Parts You Should Be Eating - Chef Chris Lusk, the King of Louisiana Seafood steps ashore and goes whole hog
Daytime drinking in New Orleans - do the right thing and dive into a Brandy Milk Punch or a Pimms Cup
The great gumbo debate - okra or file? How dark is your roux?
Shrimp etouffee for the New Orleans soul - New Orleans food expert Poppy Tooker shares how this dish feeds your soul and your stomach
Beyond Raw: How New Orleans serves up oysters - charbroiled, Rockefeller and po' boys abound
Making gumbo with John Besh and James Carville - celebrating Gulf seafood with a family recipe
Five Reasons to Eat in Louisiana - gumbo runs deep when you're from the Pelican State
Whooooo boy! - po boy, poor boy, po-boy, po' boy or peaux boy? How do you spell this sandwich?
Muffuletta madness - if it's not cold from Central Grocery, is it still a muffuletta? (We vote YES!)
How to peel a head-on shrimp - a little lagniappe from a visit with Poppy Tooker
Five Tips on Making Homemade Sausage - the executive chef of New Orleans restaurant Sylvain shares his sausage secrets
Fear of not eating something - share your ultimate New Orleans restaurant crawl
Cooking with Carville - the Ragin' Cajun talks about the food that fuels him
Of Mardi Gras Krewes and King Cakes - we look at the sweet history of King Cake