Easter {Fun}day

I, like many of you, am still recovering from/basking in a weekend of fabulous Easter celebrations. Full of all things wonderful: family, friends, dark chocolate, church, presents, breakfast dates and mashed potatoes, we couldn’t have asked for a more full, refreshing time (or tummies! ;)

(Title~ pun intended)

We started the weekend early with my family’s traditional Passover Seder meal on Thursday evening. Though we are Christians, the symbolism of this night is very special. We do a Messianic version of the readings, and I love reflecting on the history and meaning behind the words. The same ritual has been performed by the Jewish people for thousands of years, and Jesus said the same words at the last supper… amazing to ponder.

{Berry pies, turkey and matzo ball soup… My mother works wonders!}

Good Friday dawned with an intense kickboxing class with my good friend, Steph (and getting Bekah dressed for the a “Cross Walk” event uptown – Isn’t she cute!?) The class. Was. Amazing. And, it totally worked up my appetite for a scrumptious grilled feast that evening. The Husband and the other guys played golf all morning while we hit up Great Harvest (yay for those warm, wonderful samples!), World Market (their little milk frothers make great gifts – I LOVE mine, $2.99!) and the grocery store to get the goodies for dinner. “The Gang” is ALWAYS a blast, and we totally enjoyed their company.

{Sirloin burgers= boys. Homemade ELR black bean burgers = girls. Soooo good!}

On Saturday morning, I had the chance to go to one of my favorite restaurants of all time – Northstar Cafe – with one of my favorite people – Samantha! She and her husband were in town for the holiday, and we managed to carve out some time to catch up (over to-die-for ricotta pancakes, eggs and coffee). Isn’t Sam gorgeous?!

{Wonderful organic, whole foods, wonderful company. Our lives are so fun and crazy right now… We had no idea we’d be ‘here’ when we took Chemistry together 8 years ago!}

The rest of our Saturday was jam-packed with a family Easter-present/candy hunt, and a trip to visit my great-grandma and cousins for yet another great meal, golf in the backyard, baby goat petting, egg hunt and sunny porch sitting. We rounded out the evening back at Samantha’s parents house (her mom, dad and siblings are close friends of my family) for a glass of wine, brie en croute and s’mores… whew!

{Dietsch’s dark chocolate salted caramel, chick cookies, hugs, and hidden surprises…}

Sunday morning was a fun rush of (more) food, the donning of crisp dresses and colorful shirts and a rich celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. The Husband and I we are fortunate enough to have met at church, so both of our families are a part of the same congregation, along with a ton of long-time friends. After church, we headed over to the Husband’s parents’ house to hang out with his siblings, and eat another great meal!

{Fresh strawberry scones, mini-quiche, fruit and bacon for breakfast, and brisket and fixin’s for dinner… along with my sister-in-law’s jaw-dropping cinnamon roll cake *cue angels singing*}

…now see why I’m recovering?

I hope you all had a sweet, fun weekend with your families and friends and favorite dishes :) Did you have any fun eats? Please share!

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Mrs. Eisenhower’s {Apple Pie}

Fall is full of so many wonderful things: The food, the holidays, the desserts, the weather, the food, the clothes….the food.

To celebrate the season, and the fact that we were actually at home for an entire weekend (unheard of!), the Husband and I took a trip a local orchard for their famous cider, and fabulous apples.

Geckle Orchard started as a hobby for owners Gene and Jane , and now is a local favorite for natural, small-batch pressed cider, and a wide variety of apples. They also sell their aged vinegar, and honey from the bees that pollinate their trees.

We got  a mix of Gala, HoneyCrisp (my fav!), Empire, Liberty, Ruby Jonathan, Cortland, Jonagold and McIntosh. Mmmmm…

Well, with all of these apples, what’s a girl to do?

Make a vintage apple pie, that’s what!

My great-grandmother gave me a stack of magazines from the 1950′ and 60’s several years ago. I LOVE looking at the photos, advertisements and reading the stories and editorials from the pages of  “LOOK”, “Modern Bride”, “Women’s Home Companion” and “Ladies Home Journal.”

Well, an issue of Family Circle from September of 1957 (their 25th Anniversary Year) has a wonderful spread on the First Family, “When the Eisenhowers Cook.” And in it, was the perfect, easy apple recipe…

Apparently, the President’s wife, Mamie, didn’t start out being very fabulous in the kitchen. In fact, it was Eisenhower himself that was known for being a “Walking recipe book” and who was “as vain about his dishes as any fussy chef”. As a General, he paid special attention to the Army’s food-service, and it was said that he often used cooking to help him unwind during his time in office.

But, the President passed on some of his skills to wife, and though as a young bride she said she said she could “only make fudge and mayonnaise”, her repertoire expanded with his help (though the fudge did help lure her young second lieutenant). She ended up being very influential in the White House kitchen, and loved to make her husband’s favorite foods.

The dish that caught my eye – nestled between the ads for Hydrox Cookies and Diet Delight Peaches – was Mamie’s Deep Dish Apple Pie. So, I tried it. Unaltered, unhealthified and unmodernized. I wanted to enjoy it just like the First Lady, and it. was. delicious.

Old-Fashioned, and the President’s long-time favorite with cheese, ice cream, or cream

Mamie’s Deep Dish Apple Pie

{Directly from the pages of the magazine}

Ingredients:

  • 10 to 12 tart cooking apples (about 8 cups, cut up – I used Ruby Jonathan)
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

Directions:

  1. Pare apples and cut into small pieces into a bowl; stir in sugar and lemon juice to coat fruit well; spoon into buttered 9-inch shallow baking dish.
  2. Combine flour and brown sugar in same bowl; cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender or 2 knives; sprinkle over apples; pat down.
  3. Bake in moderate oven (350) about 45 minutes, or until juice bubbles around edge and topping is golden-brown. Serve warm with cream, ice cream, or snappy cheese.

I was surprised to see this called a “pie”, when there is no crust involved, but I loved it. It was easy, fast and simple…and I haven’t perfected the whole “crust thing” yet anyway ; ) The only thing that might have made it better, would be a handful of chopped pecans added to the topping…

So, grab some apples and your favorite apron, and channel your inner “American royalty” as you take your first delicious bite…

…let me know if you liked the “snappy cheese”.

Enjoy!