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No, these were not our Halloween costumes this year. Jason’s carrot from 2009 was so brilliant we didn’t even try to beat that and come up with a new Halloween theme. Though, now that I think of it, Pumpkin Scar Face & Candy Monster would have been a great idea. Instead, since I have too much time on my hands, I spent it by putting together a SCARY MOVIE that will bring you to tears and make you run to your mama. That’s my Halloween TRAET for you, Kids!

Wait, are you here for the recipe? That’s a TRICKY one, because I’ll have to come clean and admit I cheated my way through the PUMPKIN RAVIOLI, or Butternut Squash rather… Ooops! Who’s got the time to kneed the dough, and all that mess, when paper-thin wonton wrappers are readily available at any grocery store these days. All one needs to do is to throw into a food processor the following:

- ricotta cheese,

- roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash if you will) in proportion to the amount of ricotta

- sautéed shallot

- salt & pepper

- green herb like parsley.

Bring it all into a coherent mass, season to taste, and scoop half a teaspoon each onto your wonton wrappers. Brush the edges with water, seal your ravioli, and toss into a boiling salted water for a minute or two, till they float to the surface. Do just a few at a time, and keep them from sticking one to another.

For that extra blush, I like to toss these faux ravioli onto a hot pan with a touch of melted butter, let them sizzle for a minute, and then off tip them into a serving dish. Garnish with greens of your choice, whether chopped scallions, chives, parsley, cilantro, or better–crispy sage leaves.

Voila! That’s a 30 minute dinner, or less. Bon Appetit!

With the above set of PISANKI, or what you call here in the U.S. EASTER EGGS, I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with too much food, never enough laughter, and monkey tricks with your friends and other kids in the family.

I haven’t made pisanki in maybe two decades, and so I had a lot of fun boiling the eggs first in a pot filled with water and lots of onion skins (for the color). Then I looked around the house for a sharp tool to etch the pattern (my meat thermometer did the trick) on my Easter Eggs. To finish the job, I needed to find a little basket lined with a white, crocheted napkin. The closest to such a thing in this household were my Halloween panties I wore once with my Naughty Santa Helper outfit about three years ago. I’m glad I’ve found a use for them one more time.

I bet you’re thinking of my Panty Christmas Tree, aren’t you? Yes, my panties are quite versatile and flexible, and poses an artistic inkling.

Happy Easter Everybody! A basket of love and fuzzy thoughts to you :-) I’m going to eat my eggs now.

I eat Pisanki while Jason gets his Easter Scramble w/Avocado & Microgreens.

By the time you read these words, we’ll have been to our Halloween Party, gotten stupid drunk, laughed our asses off just by looking at each other and the other CRAZIES surrounding us, schlepped back home, scared the hell out of Cosmo and homeless cats, had sex, sobered up, taken wigs and fake eyelashes off, had sex, and flipped a few pancakes up under the kitchen ceiling.

Right now, however, I’m lounging on our bed and looking pretty. That’s all I’m doing in the anticipation of THE NIGHT OF THE UNHINGED. Jason, on the other hand, is fulfilling his New Year’s resolution a little prematurely by organizing all the crap in our “office”.

The costumes are resting in the closet, their elements perfectly matched and hand picked during our Insane Halloween Spree last weekend. Many ideas were brought to life as we brainstormed costume options. One thing was clear – we were going as a couple and our outfits were to indicate as such. To spice things up, we excluded famous characters, and instead focused on two-word phrases, like:

-       Whipped Cream

-       Pocket Knife

-       Double Door

-       Body Lotion

-       Plastic Surgery

-       Good-Bye, etc.

We settled on Jason’s PEAS & CARROTS, as not only this idea was REALISTIC to execute, but also the phrase itself was charged with happiness and a promise of lasting forever.

Peas&Carrots

Time to put the wig back in the closet and leave Halloween behind. One thing that may still remind you of the weekend festivities is the lingering hangover, or sugar rush, and/or heartburn spasms from those “juicy” and perfectly greasy grilled sausages from street vendors that one just must have at 3 AM when leaving a party. Thank god for my Carrot who steered me away from those. Instead, we devoured a homemade breakfast at 4 AM consisting of scrambled eggs with sausage, tomatoes and basil + a turkey mustard sandwich with pickles and CARROTS. Going to bed at 4:30 AM with my stomach FULL is a dream I wish to live out more often… NOT.

To let your intestines breathe (and I mean it literally), I propose a fresh salad that not only has the ability to wipe all food debris from the previous night out of your system, but shockingly also tastes delicious! Let’s make some LEEK SALAD, shall we.

The VIP list of ingredients should read:

-       2 medium to large leeks

-       4 small to medium carrots

-       2 ripe avocados

-       1 cup of fresh dill, chopped

-       1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff)

-       2 tbsp of lemon juice (the fresh stuff, from the actual fruit)

-       sea salt, 1-2 tsp – ish

-       black pepper, freshly ground, lots of it

The leeks are tricky, especially if you haven’t used them before. They grow in dirt, they like it, and so they carry it along wherever they go. When you hold your leek, cut off the roots and the dark leaf tops. Those are hard and bitter. However, the light green and white part contains all the flavors you want to preserve. Grab a sharp paring knife and cut the leek length wise, opening it like a fan. Don’t make the mistake of cutting it through. You want to be able to keep it all together while letting cold running water wash out all the residual dirt from between the leaves. Does that make sense?

I hope you’ll find THIS helpful – a quick tutorial I’ve found on youtube on how to prepare leeks. You’re welcome.

Once you’re past the dirty job, cut the leek all the way though, yes, length wise, then each half  – again in half. Hold the bunch together (that thick ponytail of leek strips) and chop it as finely as your talent allows. Drop the shreds into a large bowl and move on to the carrots.

Jason Carrot

You want them peeled clean and grated. Into the bowl they go. Chop the dill and fedex it into the same ol’ bowl. Avocados – same story: cube them finely and scoop out on top of the veggie pile. Add salt, black pepper (lots of it), lemon juice, olive oil, and swirl around the dish letting everybody mingle and show off what they do best.

The LEEK SALAD, as is the case with other hard vegetables salads (see the CELERY ROOT SALAD for example), benefits and really reaches its potential only after it sits for an hour or so in a closed container, in the back corner of your refrigerator, away from all the gossip and commotion. The salt and acid from the lemon help break the fiber enough to soften the leek, and help it release a few tears of juice.

Leek Salad

The avocado serves as a binder in this salad. However, you could use sour cream instead, add 1 tsp of sugar, and make it a completely different foodie experience. Try it with grated green apples, or slivers of red bell pepper to add some blush to your dish.

LET ME NOT limit your creative flow. And LET ME hear back from you once you’ve tested and tasted your masterpiece!

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