Shrove Tuesday AKA Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent.

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This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“.[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Roman Catholics and orthodox,[2] who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”[3]

Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

See More on Wikipedia

Film and Foodie Review: John Wick Chapter 2

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The next chapter in the saga of John Wick is compelling, smart and a surprisingly good follow up to the first film.   Everyone knew that after the success of the sleeper  hit found in the original John Wick that its sequel would be bigger but how could it be better.  I am not in the camp that this film is better or worse.   It is strikingly good for different reasons than the first.

The only thing that didn’t work for me was the horrendously high body count for a  guy who wants to walk away from the assassin’s life.  However,  he is pulled right back in.  No spoiler alert need, who doesn’t know that?

This film is equally as stylish as the first film and it gives us more to the legend of The Continental.   John Wick fans will not be disappointed.  He even has a formidable opponent.

The food:  Duck is eaten by one of the central characters.   So if this is an night out order Duck Confit, duck sliders or at home try your hand at making duck fat fries.  Click to See the recipe or duck confit sliders. (click to see recipe)

We also find out that when John Wick wants a stiff drink, Blanton’s bourbon whiskey is his thing.

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An International Dessert: Rum Balls

Rum balls are a truffle-like confection of sweet, dense cake or biscuit material flavoured rum-ballswith chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa. As their name implies, these cookies contain rum. Because they are not baked, the alcohol flavour and kick are not lost during preparation. This cookie is especially popular during the holiday season.

Typical Danish rum balls with different kinds of sprinkles

Rum balls are a popular Christmas treat in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Denmark (where they are called romkugler and enjoyed all the year round).

There are many different ways to make rum balls, as recipes vary from region to region and family to family. All rum balls must include chocolate and rum, but the rest of the ingredients vary in kind, form, and amount.

To make rum balls, the cake (or biscuit) material is crushed and mixed with cocoa and a moist binding ingredient, such as jam or condensed milk. Other optional ingredients can also be added, such as nuts. When the mixture holds together firmly, it is rolled into balls and then coated.

Click to See Rum Ball Recipe

Van Leewen Ice Cream: NY & LA

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If any thing truly positive has happened culinary-wise in the last decade, it is the advent of gourmet ice cream.  No more of the boring few flavors of my childhood which made always rather blah about ice cream   Now, thanks to companies like Van Leewen we have flavors like Earl Grey Tea, Ginger Small Kettle Candied Ginger,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and more.

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Enjoy Ginger Ice Cream with chunks of Ginger

Van Leewen has more locations in New York than Los Angeles.  However, both cities offer Food Trucks.

Visit the website for locations: http://www.vanleeuwenicecream.com/wbtyqmpq1t3s02f84b97vtf8wb2s7s

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Shop: A Portland and Los Angeles Delight

Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate, Honey Lavendar,  Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese, and  Freckled Woodblock Chocolate are just of the gourmet flavors you can experience at Salt & Straw Ice Cream shops.

Take 1

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To the Left (MCCN Editor having Honey lavender)

My friend who lived in the Portland Area recently moved to LA and asked I wanted to get ice cream.    Now, I don’t love ice cream.  I like it.  I crave it more when it is hot but gourmet ice can change your mind about what you know to be ice cream.  Nothing boring on the menu like plain old chocolate, ice cream or strawberry.  And the title of each flavor at this shop is likely to be more than one word.  Like popular yogurt shops they let you endlessly sample flavors.   Considering that the flavors are so different, it is best than you can before walking on the wild side.

Take 2

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The proof is in the putting when you can bring friends back to enjoy the experience with you.   We’re not selfish like Eddie Murphy’s famous comedy skit, ” I got some ice cream and you ain’t gone none. ”  No, the more the merrier when it comes to sharing in masterful taste experience.

Visit the website for locations:  http://saltandstraw.com/

The Joy of Theme Parties

Theme parties just take parties to another level whether it is choosing a color, a decade, pirates, sports, culture, holiday, red carpet or whatever floats your boat.   And believe or not Dollar and 99 Cent store are making it very affordable to do themes.   If you are crafty then visit craft and fabric stores.

 

Circa 198o’s

So Madonna, expose shoulder with strap> Now as for the Cake isn’t it awesome, seems doable.

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Some hay and a wagon wheel can go a long way:

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Baby Shower

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Pink and Gold

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Thanksgiving

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New Year’s Eve

MCCN Interview with La Nina del Mezcal interview

Interview from 3rd Annual Taste of Mexico:

Dave Miller: How did you get into doing Mezcal?

Cecilia:  Well um, kind of a long story but just to put it short… It was a trip that I took to Oaxaca about four or five years ago and the it was the first time I was there taking in the culture, taking in the people and the taste of Mezcal.  It occurred to me that people in Mexico were not appreciating it as they should so I started going back to Oaxaca and learning about Mezcal.  It is very extensive.  And then I started writing about it.  And that’s how the blog started and people started calling me la nina del Mezcal.  (Watch Interview for more)

 

Fine Dining: The History and Collection of White House China

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George W. Bush Administration

I have been wanting to do an article on White House China for years.   I got a chance to visit the Ronald Reagan Library and they had an exhibit on White House China.   I hope you enjoy exploring this unique history of the United State demonstrated through China.

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Obama Administration

Article from Whitehousemuseum.org The ground floor China Room is where the White House collection of china is kept. Even the earliest presidents received government funds to purchase state china. However, by a special clause in the appropriation bills, “decayed furnishings” could be sold and the proceeds used to buy replacements. Such “furnishings” included state china, and during the 19th century the cupboards were frequently swept clean and the contents carted off to auction. The money could then be used to order a new china service that better suited the president and his family.

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China of Clinton Administration

Even into the 20th century, White House china was often given away if it was chipped or broken. Later, Congress passed a law that required that all presidential china be kept or destroyed.  READ MORE and see More.

The China of the Reagan Administration just screams of the style, class and the red of Nancy Reagan.  It also reintroduce a trend of the prominent gold band by the Woodrow Wilson and Truman Administrations.   – Crystal A. Johnson

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Fine Wine and Dr. King

Three men from different backgrounds and strongly differing beliefs met totally by chance on a rainy evening in Atlanta. While sipping fine wine the wide divide in their beliefs did not disappear, but for a time, Jim Sander’s hospitality and a mutual enjoyment of the wine bound them together in pleasant conversation, and a little known but historic meeting passed into history.

Wine Education & Entertainment with Vince Ferragamo

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WHAT:

Back Bay Bistro is pleased to once again team up with Vince Ferragamo, former Rams Quarterback turned Vintner for Tenuta di Ferragamo, for a special evening of dinner, wine, education and entertainment. Vince will be joined by special guest Jim Collins, former Rams’ Linebacker. The evening’s festivities will feature a five-course menu courtesy of the bistro’s Executive Chef Bruno Massager, paired with Vince’s favorite Caressa J inspired and Italian wines.

MENU DETAILS:

Aperitivo Sul Plaza

Assorted cheese, charcuterie, grilled fruit, vegetables

Prosecco

Aperitivo

Grouper with shrimp almond on a bed of Truffle risotto

Ferragamo Chardonnay

Primo

Polenta cake with smoked salmon and sturgeon caviar

“Caressa J” Ferragamo Super Tuscan 2013

Secondo

Osso buco ala Milanese

2008 Bruno Rocca Coparossa, Barbaresco

Dolce

Pare tore bread pudding garnished with pizelle

Tenimenti Moscato D’ Asti 

WHEN:

Thursday, January 19, 6 p.m.

WHERE:

Back Bay Bistro

1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660