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Summer entertainment & entertaining!

July 31, 2008

If you haven’t ever been to the Seaside, Florida area, you should plan an excursion.  I enjoyed visiting last weekend when I went down with some friends to the Ogden Museum‘s reception honoring and showcasing the works of artists Hunt Slonem and photographer Richard Sexton.  Not only was it a beautiful little gem of a museum in the heart of Watercolor, Florida (located right next to Seaside–within walking distance), but the gracious folks there really know how to throw a party.  In addition to the great-looking crowd attending, there were waiters everywhere serving everything from champagne to oysters on the half shell (among many other delectable treats)!  The exhibition contained an interesting mix of Hunt’s angels, saints, birds & other flora and fauna along with beautiful sepia-toned photographs of the area’s landscapes by Richard Sexton. Both artists have new books out.  I’ve mentioned Hunt’s Pleasure Palaces before, but did not realize how many books Richard has, his latest being Terra Incognita:  Photographs of America’s Third Coast.

Although we were wined and dined at length by our charming hosts, we also managed to try out several of the area’s top restaurants and liked Jim Shirley’s “Great Southern” restaurant in Seaside so much, we went back for a second time to eat and purchase his cookbook, Southern Boy Cooks Great Grits (www.goodgritscookbook.com).  Not only does it have the best grits and collard greens recipes we’ve come across, it has his key lime pie recipe which is divine!  I’m going to share it with you.  However, I am substituting the crust we’ve been using for a cheesecake my friend Beverly Walker makes which is also pretty incredible.  I made it for Hunt’s birthday dinner a few weeks ago and both the caterer and renowned Chef Andrea Apuzzo (Andrea’s Restaurant, New Orleans) asked for the recipe!  Speaking of cookbooks, I have all of Chef Andrea’s cookbooks, his latest, My Home is Your Home, is especially great!

KEY LIME PIE:

Crust:  1-1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs,  1 stick melted butter, 1 cup pecans (Put all ingredientsexcept pecans in food processor & blend.  Add pecans and pulse 3-4 times so that pecans are still in large chunks.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.)

Filling: 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 4 egg yolks (Beat yolks ’til smooth. Add condensed milk & mix well.  Then slowly beat in the lime juice.  Pour into cooled crust and bake for 5 minutes.)

Meringue: 3 egg whites @ room temp., 3/4 cup superfine sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (While pie cooks, mix egg whites with cream of tartar, beating on high until soft peaks form.  Then add sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating until peaks get stiffer.  Pop back into the oven and bake for 7 minutes.)

(Alternative topping could be freshly whipped cream with a tad of sugar.)

BEV’S CHEESECAKE RECIPE:

Crust: (same as above)

Filling: 3  8 oz. packages of cream cheese, 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar & 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla (Mix ingredients and pour into baked pie shell & bake at 350 for 25 minutes.)

Topping: 1  8 oz. container of sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla (Blend ingredients and spread on top of filling & bake for 5 more minutes.)

(We also like to top with fresh blueberries and/or strawberries in a simple syrup!)

Okay, back to entertaining and entertainment:  I attended the opening night of “What Alice Saw There” last night (put on by our local St. Francisville Transitory Theatre, where my daughter Alex played the role of “Alice”.  She was also part of the composition team who wrote the play based on Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland.  Now I know I must sound like one of those proud stage mothers (& yes I am), but I have to tell you, it was an outstanding production–everyone was amazing–and, of course, Alex was incredible!  If you are in the area, you can purchase tickets via their website, www.sftheatre.net.  The show runs July 30-August 3 and August 6-9.  I was a bit concerned because I have tickets to see it with other friends and family again August 2nd and August 9th, but I have to say, I’m looking forward to it.  I especially loved that the cast is both gender and color blind, so Robbie Gilmore’s brilliant performance as the Queen of Hearts made it quite the comedy!  We are so fortunate to have so many talented people involved with this theatre group that includes Tulane graduates and students as well as local adults and children.  The play was the local debut of Stephanie Waters who was recently in Project Dance on Broadway!

As is our usual custom, if you mention you’ve enjoyed trying our recipe(s) or enjoyed the play when you place your next order for paint, we’ll give you $5 off per gallon!

Hope you are having as much fun this Summer as we are!  So much so, our Summer Newsletter is running late!

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