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Visit with Jerry and Paul, Jen and Chris

After the San Diego Gathering, Jerry and Paul came to visit for a couple of days. Sunday night, I was too tired to walk into my kitchen, so we had a fun, casual meal at "Burgers and Beer" (coffee for me).

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Monday, after a hearty breakfast of "Harry's Eggs" and slow-to-rise cinnamon rolls, the boys went up to Joshua Tree for a couple of hours to "see the real desert". I ran errands and bought some groceries.

That afternoon, we drove by my old neighborhood in La Quinta and met Brad for happy hour. Then we feasted on a variety of fun and high-calorie foods at the Tea House Wine Bar: Duck pizza, salads, risotto, lamb lollipops, crab-stuffed mushrooms, orange shrimp, hot poppers and crab and shrimp cakes were consumed.

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Tuesday, we began the day with Baked Butter-Pecan French Toast with Blueberry Syrup (scroll down for recipe), bacon, fruit and juice.

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The morning "tour" included the Palm Desert Visitor's Center, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Trader Joe's and Bristol Farms (highlights for foodies). After lunch, Super Target, and pool time! Don't you LOVE this photo?

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As you can see the days revolved around the next meal. We had appetizers on the patio, then Brad fixed strawberry-balsamic martinis.

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Dinner included, gorgonzola ravioli for the boys, salad with pears and blue cheese, braised short ribs with figs and honey, cheesy polenta and thyme-carrots. Dessert for the boys included mini vanilla and chocolate cheesecakes. Wine and coffee were consumed until we all dropped.

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One more breakfast for the road...ebleskivers with jam and burrata with prosciutto! I headed to work with green chocolate chip cookies for my staff in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and Jerry and Paul drove through Palm Springs, hit the Cabazon Outlets, and ended their day at Firenze Osteria. I could BARELY make BBQ corned beef panini for dinner.

Thursday was a long, busy work day, but my reward was an evening with Jen and Chris! They came over for a glass of wine, and then we all had dinner at Acqua Pazza. It was so great to have more time to visit and talk about our amazing weekend in San Diego!

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Friday, I SLEPT for 12 hours!

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Baked Butter-Pecan French Toast from Gourmet Today Cookbook

1 24" baguette
6 large eggs
2 c. milk
1 c. packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Butter or spray a 13x9" baking dish. Cut 20 1" slices from the baguette and arrange in one layer in the baking dish. Whisk together eggs, milk, 3/4 c. of the brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Pour over bread and soak for 10 minutes. Turn bread over, pressing down to coat slices, cover, and chill overnight, or at least 8 hours.

Remove baking pan from fridge. Preheat oven to 350 and put rack in center. Combine butter, remaining 1/4 c. brown sugar, and cream in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in pecans and pour evenly over bread. Bake 45 minutes until bread is puffed, and topping is golden brown.

Blueberry Syrup

1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1 T. lemon juice

Combine blueberries and syrup in small saucepan, and cook over moderate heat about 3 minutes until berries burst. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Try it with more fresh berries on top!

This Do-Ahead breakfast is great for company, as most of the work is done the night before. It is also delicious with just maple syrup!

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Comments (3)

Barb Cabot:

After each photo I was saying a continual, "WOW, WOW....Ooooh Wow!" You're in a league of your own. Wonderful fun and you are the Queen of hostesses. I'm keeping the recipes for sometime in the near future. Thank you. Photos were great as always.

Mindy:

LOVE the wineglasses photo with Jerry and Paul... perfetto!!!

Oh my, that French toast looks awesome! I want some!

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