Happy Good Friday! Hi babe…I can’t believe Sunday is the B.E.D. (Big Easter Day)…and guess what we’re doing? Something traditional, of course! Leslie just got tickets for a play at the Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch for tomorrow night to see this big stage production of The Passion Play with a cast of hundreds. Hundreds? I can’t imagine any play with over a handful of actors! The last two plays I saw were one-man shows at the La Jolla Playhouse. But 100+ cast members? I wonder where the dressing rooms are?
Luckily, the School for The Rules of Engagement is not in session since we are off this week for Easter Vacation! That’s old school, isn’t it? As far as I’m concerned, Easter Vacation takes place the week before Easter with the last day of vacation being Easter Sunday. Way back when (I’ve always wanted to say that) every school in America closed the week before Easter Sunday and it was simply called Easter Vacation. Period. End of story. As I recall, college students began to travel to warmer, bikini-friendly locations during Easter vacation to drink, party, dance and swim (remember when MTV used to film “Spring Break”) and each year the number of kids grew and the partying got out of hand — they literally turned the town/city upside-down with their wild antics! I remember hearing stories on the news from Palm Springs, Miami, Southern California, Mexico – mostly I heard a lot of complaining. Eventually they (not sure who “they” are) decided to break up Easter Vacation so some schools changed their schedule and the students were off the week after Easter Sunday. Being younger, the idea horrified me – – being that I’m not one for breaking traditions. Eventually, Easter Vacation became known as Spring Break (something about a problem with a religious holiday being linked to a school holiday — sheesh, I hope they don’t change Christmas Vacation). Do you realize that some schools actually have their Spring Break a month before Easter!? Oh brother…
Last weekend was busy for the FBLA (Food Bloggers Los Angeles) members…Saturday was the first ever Figology One Los Angeles Event sponsored by Karla Stockli from the California Fig Advisory Board. Here’s a little trivia you can use on your buddies up there. Did you know that 98% of all figs in America are grown right here in California? Erika from Not Ketchup and Judy Lyness held the event at Erika’s cool mid-century modern designed home in Santa Monica. When we entered her home we handed a yummy California Fig Julep cocktail. We sampled many wonderful and enticing dishes like Lamb with Black Mission Figs, Grilled Cheese on Crustini Bread with California Fig Onion Jam (my favorite); Filet Mignon with Erica’s Spiced Fig Not Ketchup and mini Fig-Topped Sausage Sliders. They even served a Fig Compote paired with Goat Cheese Ice Cream and Candied Pecans. I have to say the entire event was pretty amazing. When the event was over with very happy and satisfied tummies we raced home to make our own personal dish for the next day’s monthly FBLA meeting.
I made Mindspring Deviled Eggs with a Maple Butter Pancetta topper and I also made Mindspring Deviled Eggs with a Maple Butter Pecan topper.
I stayed up really late Saturday night developing the deviled egg recipe and creating and preparing the egg mixture (you can store it covered with a wet e in a air-tight container in the fridge overnight) but I still had to get up early Sunday morning to prepare the eggs for presentation.
The Mindspring Eggs are wickedly delicious deviled eggs made by mixing:
12 large cooked egg yolks (or extra-large eggs)
1 cup of mayonnaise (between 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on your taste)
2 Tablespoons of Vidalia Onion Fig Sauce by Stonewall Kitchen (substitute with Major Grey’s Mango Chutney)
1 teaspoon salt (I used the fabulous “Real Salt” brand of natural salt-what a difference!)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon curry powder (taste the next morning and add another 1/8 t. if needed)
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Use a cake decorator’s pastry bag (with a big star tip) to fill the egg white half-shells.
Chop 2 Tablespoons of a mixture of fresh basil leaves and fresh Italian parsley and sprinkle half onto the serving dish before placing the prepared deviled eggs on the serving platter, then sprinkle the balance of the herbs on the tops of the stuffed eggs.
Garnish each stuffed egg with either Maple Pancetta or a Maple-Glazed Pecan Halves.
Maple Pancetta: Saute 1/4 cup of diced pancetta on low to medium heat. When the pancetta is golden (do not crisp unless you like it this way), add 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, stirring over low to medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Maple Glazed Pecan Halves: Glaze a dozen pecan halves with 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup and 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter over medium heat for about 10 minutes. They will not be hard or candied.
You can make the egg mixture the night before and store it with a wet paper towel directly on top of the egg mixture in an air-tight container or tightly covered with tin foil and stored in the fridge overnight. Store the cooked egg shells the same way in a separate bowl or even laid out on your serving platter if possible.
And by 11 AM (ok, we were a little late) we arrived for my very first FBLA meeting (held monthly) with the food bloggers which was held at Giselle’s house. Giselle made roasted asparagus, which is one of my favorites. Nancy Rose Eisman from Melissa’s Produce made an incredible tofu sandwich and another favorite dish was Christina’s Organic Kale Quinoa Salad (pronounced “keen-wah).
So Giselle is moving this summer to one of my favorite cities where I used to live after college — New Orléans. A friend of hers sent her several cases of this carbonated all-natural drink to try called Zenify. She served it at the meeting and I fell in love. Zenify.. the can reads: Stay calm, Sharp & Focused. On the top it reads: Live Stress Free. I would compare it to…well, nothing frankly. Zenify is pretty much in a class all its own but if I have to compare it to something I guess I’d say a gentle Red Bull. But grown up. I’m not a fan of energy drinks (not like my kids who live on those things) but this drink isn’t like the typical energy drink. As you well-know, I’m a die-hard diet Coke fan (ok, ok, I know, I don’t have a leg to stand on about my kids drinking energy drinks) of many years so for me to rave about another carbonated drink is a big deal. Not only do I drink a can every day, I can’t wait! What’s even better, Zenify is not full of sugar at only 50 calories a pop. Much to our surprise, as we were leaving, Giselle gave us two cases to bring home. So tonight I developed a new cocktail for this summer – introducing the Blue-Zen Summertime Cocktail drink recipe! I can’t wait to make it for you. It’s a wonderfully refreshing drink that may even be good for you (according to the labels!) hahaha…hello Friday night! Woo-hoo!
Blue-Zen Summertime Cocktail
Tall glass with crushed ice (or cubes)
1/4 part Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (I used MinuteMade)
1/2 part Zenify
1/4 part Kettle One Vodka (or any good brand you choose)
1 slice of lemon
So when you think about it, drinking a Blue-Zen Summertime Cocktail will be good for us because it will help us be stress free, calm, sharp and focused — while we support our brains and our bodies. You can’t beat that!
Leslie created a wonderful cake recipe she developed called Easter Angel Cake with Sarah Bernhardt Fruits and Chantilly Cream. Whew, that’s a mouthful. A heavenly mouthful that is melt-in-your mouth goodness. If you want to know the recipe, you can find it on her blog BakethisCake.com…
I saved the best for last in this email because I want to share these lovely, meaningful words with you. You might recognize them because you wrote them in the beautiful email you sent me last week. And I say ditto…ditto baby!
Dear Franny, Dear Gary,
I trust in you constantly. I trust in you to continue to love me while we are apart. I trust in you to know that the strongest love you’ve ever felt is coming from me. I trust in you when there is a short disconnect between us. I trust in you to know, without fail, you are number one in my life. I trust in you to understand that if you are feeling down because of something I’ve said or done, you know you can tell me because I will listen. I trust in you to tell me anything even if it is difficult to bring forth. I trust in you to realize even if we disagree, I am still your guy. I trust in you to trust in me no matter what. I trust in you…
Love, Gary Love, Franny
Gary, I trust that you will have a wonderful Easter, eat lots of chocolate bunnies and scalloped potatoes (Easter traditions) and be sure to watch Joel Osteen. Oh, and think of me and smile, just smile Baby! I’ll be doing the same down here in sunny LA.
HAPPY EASTER BABY!
Sidney pup is getting a little bigger by the day (uh-oh…)…she barks her love to you.
Love, your girls…