Spring-Time Cocktail And More From Our Easter Dinner!

We had such a fabulous Easter feast. One of my favorite holidays; a relaxing afternoon of good conversation, wonderful food and the love of friends and family.

The theme this year was:


and we began the festivities with a…

Jack and Paula toasting to our Easter celebration!

I found this lovely concoction online. It consists of Basil, Mint, Citron Vodka, Elderflower liqueur and I used pansy’s from my garden as a garnish.

Jack carefully concocting as Paula looks on approvingly.
Here’s my friend Deb, only 3 days out of MAJOR oral surgery enjoying a good time,
but also helping with the cooking. What a trooper and what a good friend!
The toast: Here’s to Us; None Better and Damn Few of Us Left!
Thank you Aggie!

Here’s how to make it:
Muddle the basil and mint (use a big handful of both) and crush either in a mortar and pestle or use a bowl and big wooden spoon to gently bruise the herbs bringing out their oils and flavor; add a little citron vodka to aid the muddling. We used 2 to 1 Citron Vodka to Elderflower liqueur, but found it a little sweet so added a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add the vodka and Elderflower to the muddled herbs and shake vigorously in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into martini glasses. Completely refreshing and a wonderful way to start any spring or summer celebration!
Here are a couple shots of dinner prep, where once again, everyone pitched in (It is COOK WITH CINDY after all!)…

Steve stirring the Butternut Squash soup which he made served with Cinnamon Croutons. Delicious!
Hors’ Doeurves!

For these big gala dinners I like to serve a palate cleansing course after the beginning course(s) before the main event begins. You can make Granita with any combination of fruit and/or vegetable, but the key is to make it refreshing and not too sweet. This combination was one of my favorites and the lavender kept it in the Garden Party theme!

Blood Orange, Cucumber and Lavender Granita
topped with Fleur de Sel

1/2 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
3 peeled and roughly chopped English cucumbers

Simple syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
6 big sprigs lavender
Zest of Blood Orange

To make the simple syrup: Heat 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, add lavender; reduce heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool. I let this sugar water with lavender cool overnight in the refrigerator, which I believe enhanced the lavender flavor.
Cut the peeled cuke into chunks and blend with freshly squeezed Blood Orange juice. Strain the simple syrup to remove lavender and add to blender. Blend until completely smooth. You want it to be a little slushy, but not too thick. If it seems too thick add a spec more water.
Put in an 8″ metal cake pan and place in freezer. Stir with a fork every half hour for 1 1/2 hours or until the mixture freezers into a fine grain. I served with a sprinkling of fleur de sel and a lavender blossom.


Jack and Diana savoring their last bite of Blood Orange, cucumber and lavender Granita!

Everyone seemed to enjoy it! My favorite Easter dish was the Scallop and Sole Mouselline with Beurre Blanc Sauce, Fresh Dill and Watercress which we’ll talk about next time…really quite fantastic, but my second favorite was the Granita.

I am so blessed to be married to such a loving, humble, thoughtful and generous man. Jerry is my support, my best friend, and my trusted soul-mate. How fabulous to celebrate another beautiful Easter with my husband and very good friends. Thank you all!




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