It’s no coincidence that Pancake Day and Fat Tuesday are on the same day. Fat Tuesday is always the day before the beginning of Lent, a period leading up to Easter when many Christians choose to fast from something they love (like a specific food, gossip, or the ultimate modern sacrifice - Facebook). Fat Tuesday is a day of over indulging before the period of fasting.

Other Christians think of the day as Shrove Tuesday. Same idea as Fat Tuesday - it’s a day of celebrating before the fasting. Somewhere along the way, the English began the tradition of serving pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and the day before Lent became known by some as Pancake Day.

What if you want to celebrate both Pancake Day and Fat Tuesday tonight at dinner without making two different menus? Here are two simple, but festive, recipes that incorporate both traditions. Throw a few strands of colorful beads on the table when you serve, and you’ve got yourself a celebration.

King Cake Pancakes

King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday dish. It’s a cake baked in a ring, frosted with different colored frostings and often sprinkled with colored sugars. This recipe for King Cake Pancakes from the Tablespoon recipe website is a twist on that. The pancakes are colored the traditional King Cake colors and then drizzled with a white glaze and sprinkled with colored sugar.

It would be best if you can use an all-natural food dye if making these, or any type of King Cake to celebrate.

Pancake Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is a traditional New Orleans/Mardi Gras recipe. It can be made from many varieties of bread, so why not pancakes? Leftover pancakes are used, but you can whip up some pancakes during the day and put them in the fridge to use tonight for this dessert.

There are several ideas for topping the bread pudding once it’s finished like creating maple syrup whipped cream. Or, you could get very Mardi Gras with it and use the Whiskey Sauce from this New Orleans Bread Pudding recipe to pour over the adults’ portions of the pancake bread pudding.

Do you have any other ideas for incorporating the Fat Tuesday and the Pancake Day foods together?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

It's Pancake Day. It's Fat Tuesday. Celebrate both
Can’t decide whether you want pancakes or Mardi Gras food tonight? Have both without creating two different menus.