A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get myself a spot in Darling Magazine's Craft of Coffee evening, hosted at Blacktop Coffee in the Artists' District of Downtown L.A., and today I'm really excited to share some of the pictures from the evening! Blacktop is side by side with one of the District's most distinct landmark shops, Alchemy Works, which made for a gorgeous backdrop for the night's lessons!
We even received some coffee vouchers, along with gorgeously designed study guides and a poster from Alissa Bell Press to help us remember what we learned.
The evening was centered around the idea of being the hostess who can offer her guests not only a cup of coffee, but a delicious one at that. We learned about different preparations and styles, and got to have hands on experience working with the espresso machine, as well as being walked through the process of Chemex brewing.
I absolutely love the method and results of Chemex brewing, and it's definitely something I would recommend trying out if you've been interested! I wish I could explain the whole process to you, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do it justice through text. So, I found this Youtube video which I think does a great job (plus, the dude's beard is incredible). I will pass off a couple tips I learned, though! The recommended ratio of coffee to water is 1:15 (though I'll admit, I like mine a bit stronger). If you're using a light roast and brewing it right, it should have a natural sweetness (because coffee isn't real a bean, it's a fruit!). Also, a goose neck tea kettle is amazingly helpful. Finally, if you're not using one of those fancy shmancy kettles that tell you the water temperature (I'm not), bringing your water to a boil and then allowing the water to cool for about 30 seconds to 1 minute will bring it to the correct temperature.
Happy brewing loves!
As much as I love Pinterest, there's something undeniably wonderful about a real-life, pages and binding cookbook. So when I passed Ceviche while supposedly "window-shopping" at Anthropolgie (like that's even possible), I couldn't resist it's subway tile-esque cover and pages of brilliantly colored photographs showing me all of the delicious Peruvian dishes I could be making. So, I bought the book, picked my recipes, called a couple friends, and got down to cooking.
I had never eaten Peruvian food, let alone cooked it myself, prior to this; what I really fell in love with about it is all of the fresh, beautiful ingredients that are involved in these meals. I'm going to be sharing about the things I cooked and what I learned from the cookbook, but I won't be copying the recipes. This is a really beautiful volume of original recipes from Martin Morales, and one that would be a great addition to your cooking library.
For this evening with my girlfriends, I chose the Don Ceviche (page 19) for a starter, Pollo de Mi Tia Carmela (page 99, now splattered lovingly with oil in my copy) as the entree, and Encanelado de Pisco (page 185) for dessert. I have no complaints about any of these dishes, each with unique bold flavors. One thing I will say, if you are a beginning chef, I might hold off on this book. It makes a great intermediate choice, with clear directions but an assumption you know what you're doing; there are few times given, just what stages to look for. If you're confident with your caramelizing, sautee-ing, and some pan frying skills, you're set.
The chicken was delicious, tender and falling off the bone. I served the sauce over gluten-free corn pasta, but you could easily nix the pasta all together.
The ceviche itself calls for Sea Bass, an amazing fish with a price tag to match. If you're looking for something a bit more economical (like myself), try nice fresh cod instead. However, I recommend you allow the fish to "cook" longer in the lime juice mix than the recipe calls for, in order to allow more thorough marination and tenderizing.
The cake was definitely a crowd pleaser. A delicate sponge cake soaked in a pisco and cinnamon sugar glaze, it's an especially great choice for Indian Summer days since you refrigerate it for at least an hour. This also makes it a great party dessert since you can prepare it ahead of time! We had the leftover for breakfast the next day... and I think it was even better after soaking overnight.
And what would a Peruvian dinner be without a Pisco sour? Certainly not a party, I can tell you that.
I made a few tweaks to the Ceviche recipe, making the proportions better for preparing. I'm going to share my version with you, but the book has a lot more cocktail recipes and has ideas for pisco infusions.
Pisco is a type of brandy produced in South America, commonly tied to Peru (though the brand we're drinking here is Chilean). High end piscos will cost you upwards of $40 and are meant for sipping; for cocktails, a less expensive brand works just fine.
1 1/2 ounces pisco
1 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white (Use fresh eggs that have been properly refrigerated. You can look for pasteurized eggs as well. You can also use powdered egg whites if you prefer)
Dash Angostura bitters
Place pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to a slow count of 10. Pour through a Hawthorne strainer to allow the most foam to pass through. Add dash of bitters.
Make sure you give this one a good hard to shake to create that signature foam!
I know little other way to describe pisco sours besides 'delightful', but that is the opposite of what you're going to feel in the morning if you partake in a few too many of these... so take it easy slugger.
Happy to finally share this fun experience with you guys! Curious to know if anyone else has tried anything from this cookbook, would love to hear about your experience!
It's an insane place where we can all go and hang out, and I love that I have access to so many awesome things that people create, things that I would have never discovered otherwise (or, would never have been created!). So for this hump day, I'm sharing some of my favorite recent discoveries!
The Book Seer
Just finished a book and you're stumped what on to pick up next? The Book Seer gives you a nice list of recommendations based on your last read!
An art installation that sprung up in Las Vegas during the summer of 2012, Candy Chang's Confessions invited people to write their secrets on small wooden plaques in the privacy of voting-esque booths; the plaques were then displayed across one wall, the secrets stacked upon one another. Loved the photos and Chang's inspirations.
This infographic about the good and bad habits of people with high IQs is incredibly interesting and aesthetically pleasing. If you're interested in testing your IQ, this online test is considered to be quite accurate and does not require that you provide an email!
This a whole gallery of knuckle tattoo art, which is actually in print as a book too! I don't have any tattoos and don't expect to get any, but I've always been really fascinated by them, and particularly knuckle art.
Smudge the Bear
If you don't want to watch this video of Smudge the googly-eyed little bear, I'm just going to assume you also don't like rainbows, unicorns, caramel corn, nor walks on the beach at sunset. It also might be safe to assume you might be a little soulless.
I hope that at least one of those things can brighten up your Wednesday!
If you're anything like me, you probably have about 8 recipes you're currently thinking of trying out, and they're each in a different place. There's that one on Pinterest, your favorite food blogger just published a new smoothie you want to try, you want to recreate Nana's famous pot roast, and there's that whole new book you just bought (what page was that salad dressing on again?)... I'm not a real OCD person, but it makes me totally batty when I have things spread out like that. My other neuroticism is my intense desire to have things organized in rainbow order. I had a major meltdown when my mother informed me that it was impolite to use military police style tactics to make my friends put the crayons back in the right order. Fortunately, my hostessing skills have improved considerably since then (even though my bookshelf is still color coded).
Got a little off track there. Anyways, I was looking for a way that I could easily save all of my favorite recipes in one easy place, whether they be printed from blogs, torn from magazines, on recipe cards, or written down from a cooking program. With a few supplies, I made myself an easy to use organizer that catered to all of those needs!
I bought a basic 1 inch three ring binder and used some scrapbooking paper to make it pretty (had to add a Julia Child quote, of course!). I didn't like any of the dividers at the office supply store, so I decided to make my own. I broke my categories down as appetizers, veggies/sides, soups/salads, breads, main dishes, dressings/sauces/rubs, breakfast, desserts, and drinks (pick, choose, and add whatever categories work for you!)
I also added cooking quotes along the way (I'm big on quotes!). And it gave me a chance to use some of the handlettering I've been practicing!
I bought these untabbed dividers to use as bases for the recipes I printed or pulled from magazines. I usually have a couple stuck in folders, on the fridge, or hanging out on the counter, but this makes it much easier to find the one I'm looking for (and less likely to spill something on them!). And really, I just love any excuse to use washi tape. You can also use them to make your category dividers my adding your own tabs if you're feeling especially DIY.
I absolutely love recipe cards, particularly ones penned it a loved one's handwriting. Unfortunately, I often find that recipe cards don't work in my ill-fated recipe card box, whether they be too big/tall/small. The last thing I want to do is rewrite them (for reasons of sentimentality and laziness), so again I was faced with the dilemma of cards all over the place. The perfect answer was 5" x 7" photograph sleeves. Large enough to fit any recipe card (and clear on both sides if the recipe is long), it means I don't have to remove the card while in use, so they won't face batter spills, grease splatters, or fire risk (phew!). When you look to purchase, do make sure that the holes are lined up for standard 3-ring binders!
I also added some sheets of re-enforced notebook paper, so I could jot down recipe ideas or have a place to copy them from cooking shows! This paper is definitely more expensive than your standard college rule, but the heavier weight and the coated holes keep the pages from tearing out while you flip through sections.
Since I'm really bad at remembering which of my favorite recipes come from which book, I cut a half page for each section so I could write in book recipes with their page numbers. So the next time I can't remember where the barbeque wings recipe is, I can just flip to the 'main dish' section of my organizer and consult my notes!
Hope that gives you some ideas to get organized! I really like it because it makes it much easier for me to get those recipes off of Pinterest and into my belly. Now I need to go over to my mom's house and make photocopies of all the old family recipes.
With a recipe book in one hand, and a spatula in the other
(and probably some flour in my hair),
If you remember from a post a few weeks ago, I tried a really awesome drink at the O Hotel's Bar+Kitchen in Downtown LA. The drink was so good, in fact, that I returned for one (but ended up having two. And french fries). Boy were those drinks pricey off the happy hour menu. So I decided to go home and try it out. If I do say so myself, I totally nailed it.
Fernet Branca was developed as a digestive aid in 1845 in Italy, and continues to be consumed in cocktails (the Italians sure seem to like medicinal inspired alcohols). Fernet is hard to describe, but is perhaps best done by Imbibe: " Most liqueurs are gentle, sweet and eager to please, like helpful Boy Scouts. Fernet Branca is no Boy Scout." It is reported to be a blend of around 40 herbs and spices, including things like myrrh, saffron, chamomile, but perhaps most noticeable are the aromas of menthol and eucalyptus. While made for sipping, I think Fernet Branca is much more pleasurable when mixed.
A true Fernet Buck is simply a mixture of the liqueur and ginger beer, but upon trying that, I found it lackluster in comparison to the cocktail that had inspired this foray into mixology. I remembered that the drink listing mentioned thyme, so I added the herb in syrup form to my round two attempt. Voila! That was what I had been looking for!
The thyme syrup is simple... simple syrup! Combine a half cup sugar and a half cup of water with 4 fresh thyme sprigs in a small saucepan over medium low heart. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture clouds, then clears. Bring off the heat and allow it to sit in the pot with the thyme until the mixture is room temperature. Then strain into a glass bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I really like the nice golden hue that it comes out! I would come up with some other drinks to use it in, but for now I'm kinda stuck on the buck (hah).
How To Make a Fernet Buck
1 ounce Fernet Branca
5 ounces ginger beer (I used an alcoholic version, but you can use non-alcoholic as well)
2 teaspoons thyme syrup
Garnish: large lemon wedge
Add all ingredients to an iced filled glass a stir to mix, and squeeze that nice chunk of lemon on top!
I love the frothiness on this drink! If you prefer the ginger-y-ness of the beer to the herbal-y-ness of the Fernet Branca, add more beer. And don't forget the lemon and lots of ice, they're essential (this is not a good beverage to let sit... not as good at room temp)!
Happy Friday! And happy almost three day weekend!
Got any awesome plans (or cocktails) coming up?
I love holidays. I'm fairly unabashed in my exuberance, and quite happy to be almost childlike in my non-jaded-ness of basically all celebrations (except Halloween, I'm kinda over that one). I think some of this comes from the fact that I really just love gift giving. I love shopping, I love creating, I love wrapping...the whole thing is right up my alley.
So for Mothers' Day, of course I was all over it. I mean, my mom did give me life, and she's been pretty rad along the way; plus, she likes awesome stuff and is really easy to shop for. So easy in fact, I actually started months ago collecting all sorts of fun tags, tapes, pens, paper straws, plastic bows, etc. I really loved all the goodies I had collected, but I wasn't really looking forward to wrapping up everything individually (yikes), nor did I relish the idea of dumping them all in a bag (seemed a little lackluster for the co-captain of Team Raise Rachel).
The solution came from an unlikely source: The Dollar Tree. Yes, you're reading that right, I went to the dollar store and decided to wrap my lovely mother's gift in a 99 cent tupperware container.
I didn't leave it in it's original form though, instead transforming it into a container of goodies inspired by bento boxes!
By far the most difficult part of this whole project is actually obtaining the tupperware. Why? Because The Dollar Tree has some dark magic voodoo that puts you into a buying frenzy fugue state as soon as you step through the door (IT'S ONLY A DOLLAR!!!). Many a time I have wandered into its dark clutches for one thing and emerged into the sunlight about twenty-five dollars poorer and not really certain what had taken place over the past 20 minutes. To help you avoid this pitfall, here's a handy guide of what to try to avoid while inside the belly of the whale:
1. First thing you're gonna see is holiday stuff. Right now, it's all 4th of July, my favorite holiday. Whelp. I had about 6 glitterly/metallic/fringed items in my hand before I even realized what I was doing. At this point, you need to embrace your holiday spirit but limit yourself to ONE ITEM ONLY. Trust me, seven firework taple top decorations are going to look a lot tackier in your home than you think.
2. By no means should you go into the party aisle. If you end up there by accident, and retreat is impossible, stay strong in your belief that you are a grown woman who doesn't need Lisa Frank stickers and notepads or a princess button. It's hard to grow up, but I have faith in you.
3. Do not buy the wrapping paper, it is thin and it will rip each and every time you try and wrap something. Do not buy the candles, they never burn properly. Do not buy the socks, they will not fit right and will be unrecognizable after the first wash. I know all this for a fact from very sad real world experiences (I really liked those socks. And that donut candle).
4. Do not buy any food you wouldn't normally buy at the grocery store (I'm looking at you, one dollar knock off Oreos). Always check the expiration dates.
Once you've emerged from the lions' den, it's time to embark on the far easier portion of this project. First step is to spray paint the bottom of your tupperware. I chose gold because gold is awesome, and that's also the only spray paint I own. Since spray paint can be a bit finicky with plastic, I recommend trying a small spray first to get a sense of how it covers. While that's drying, you can start on the lid.
Pick a container with a flat lid to make it easy to decorate. I used my fingernail to trace the size of my lid, and then cut it out and glued it on. The glue is really just to temporarily hold it in place while you cover the remainder of plastic lid with washi tape. Place long strips of washi tape along each side, leaving about an inch at each rounded corner. Use smaller pieces to cover the round parts, since it's much easier to handle. Repeat on the outer edge so the entire lip is covered, like this:
Next, it's time to make the dividers for the inside of the box. I found it best to get an idea of where your largest items need to be first, and then work in the smaller objects.
Measure for the length and the depth of the container. Double the depth and add an inch, so when folded it will make strong divider with little stabilizer feet. Use cardstock since it will be firm enough to hold everything in place.
My container was 2.5 inches deep with about an 8 inch length, so I cut an 8 x 6 piece of cardstock and folded it lengthwise. Then I folded a half inch up on each side for the stabilizer feet. As you continue to sub-divide, tape the dividers together so they stand up.
Arrange all of your cute gifts in there and boom! You have one really fun looking gift! This is great for giving crafty things, since your wrapping becomes a nice storage container.
All that's left to do is put a bow on it and add a nice note! You could wrap it up traditionally or stick on one of those fun already made curly-q bows (or this one, upcycled from vintage story books!); I chose this amazing Scout + Whistle "You are the Bee's Knees" prize ribbon and an Oh! Hello Friend card
Happy gift giving!
With mucho love, Rachel
For May Day, a holiday heralding in the fullness of spring, Creme Yvette has to be the most perfect liqueur since it is made from a distillation of berries, cassis, orange peel, vanilla, and most importantly, the petals of parma violets. Creme Yvette was first produced in Connecticut around 1890, and became very popular throughout the world. However, the popularity of cocktails dwindled during prohibition and subsequently many once popular drinks that used Creme Yvette, like The Aviation, fell out of fashion (and the recipe lost for a time). Several brands ultimately went defunct for reasons like this, with Creme Yvette among them in 1969.
However, in late 2009 the brand was purchased by the owner of St. Germaine and was reproduced using new vendors (since the original providers had long since gone out of business as well). The outcome was a delightful liqueur, welcomed warmly back into the cocktail community, despite its more reddish hue (hence why your Blue Moon doesn't seem very blue!).
After reading this history, I just had to try it. At forty dollars a bottle, it's not an everyday kind of beverage, but I would definitely say its worth the investment. Its similar enough that you could use it in place of Chambord in a sparkling wine, but Creme Yvette's flavor profile is much richer and more complex (not to mention, almost double the proof).
Here are two ways to enjoy Creme Yvette!
How to Make a Blue Moon
1 1/2 ounces Dry Gin (I only had Hendrick's, so I used that)
3/4 ounce Creme Yvette
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
Glass: cocktail or coupe
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain.
This Blue Moon recipe is a variation of the version that was printed on the Creme Yvette bottle in the 1940s. Imagine how pretty it was when it was a little bit blue! But whatever the color, it tastes delightful!
How to Make a Bitter Bike
This petite drink is a perfect digestif, a little something to serve after dinner or dessert. Something like port or brandy is more traditional, but no one can deny that a Bitter Bike is a fine way to end an evening.
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) St. Germaine
1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) Creme Yvette
1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) Angostura Bitters
For this cocktail, you will need a bent spoon so you can layer the alcohols. If you don't want to bend one of your good spoons, head to the local thrift shop and find a nice pliable one. A bent spoon is handy to have around for other drinks as well, like a black and tan!
Add the St. Germaine first, then add the layer of Creme Yvette by pouring it onto the spoon, which should be held just over the St. Germaine. The idea is that the liquid is gently added, so that it doesn't plop in and start mixing. Add the bitters the same way.
The elderflower sweetness of the St. Germaine is counterbalanced by the bold Angostura, while the Creme Yvette provides a floral, berry bite.
Let me know how you like these if you try them out. I think they're perfect for a special occasion...
(like, hmm, Mothers' Day perhaps? I think she's worth it!)
Love and cheers! Rachel
I'm not a big TV watcher; I actually don't own one, and haven't for the majority of the past 5 or so years. I do however have Netflix on my laptop; while I may not be the type to sit down every Monday at 9 to watch a particular show... I am the type to sit down and watch an entire season in one night. It's an embarrassing admission, but everyone's done it... I think? (I hope!)
One of my most recent Netflix binges was "Paradise," a short-lived BBC show based on Emile Zola's Au Bonheur des Dames, about a department store just prior to the turn of the century. It only aired for 2 seasons, and only one is actually on Netflix, but I can't get enough of the gorgeous set design. The store is filled with objects that you just want to reach out and touch through the screen, outfitted with lavish furniture, counters, and wallpaper. All in hues of pale pink and aqua, it's just an absolute dream.
The store is over-the-top lavish, particularly because of the remarkable detail in every set. All of the elements are sumptuous and lovely, and I couldn't help but think how nice it would be to have some of them in your own living space! Here are some of my favorite screen shots from the first episode which really highlight the extravagance, along with some items that can easily recreate some of Paradise's charm in your own home!
The Shop Floor
The Paradise is unique and extraordinary at the time because of it's sheer size, volume, and how the entire space feels so thoroughly thought out and inviting (and makes you want to shop!). I love the architectural features and the heavy, ornate counters paired with the softness of sheer curtains, delicate feathers, and low lighting reflecting off shimmering glass surfaces.
Vintage brass display case: Etsy, $42 // Antique ostrich feathers: Etsy, $79 // Aqua candelabra: Etsy, $65
A lot of what is so charming about the Paradise's set design are the home-like details that are mixed in with the store's glamour. There are tapestries and little shelves lining the stairs, and displays of flowers among the dress forms; it would make it easy to imagine such a lovely item in your own home! Those eclectic combination of elements bring such a lush warmth to the space.
The Ladies' Wear Department
Perhaps the most impressive space of all is the Ladies' Wear department. This is where the show's main character, Denise, goes to work. It takes lovely to a whole new level; a big smattering of Parisian luxury in a small, very not Parisian town. The mix of store and lounge makes it the perfect style inspiration to use for a bedroom; it's easy to recreate with hanging racks to display pretty dresses, tufted furniture, floral prints, and gold detailing. The use of sky and blush is swoon worthy, too.
Mirrored vanity tray: Etsy, $19 // Antique porcelain urn: Etsy, $165 // Button tufted velvet chaise: Target, $425
What television show would you live inside of if you got the chance?
Happy dreaming, Rachel
This is week is National Administrative Assistants Week, and as an admin myself, I felt it was only right to take a moment and commemorate some of the great assistants of pop culture (as well as how to emulate their awesomeness).
No secretarial list would be complete if it didn't include the infamous "Joanie", known for her curves and the red hair that is just as fiery as her attitude. Loved, revered, and never underestimated, Joan puts out office fires like nobody's business, all the while looking her finest in a dress with a boldly cut neckline and her pencil necklace. For all her feminine attributes, she certainly knows how to be one of the boys, and smokes like an absolute chimney (these days, a cigarette case makes a great credit card holder). One of my favorite Joan moments? That time she smashed a vase over the head of her nincompoop of a husband.
Dress: Modcloth "Work the Right Angle Dress" $50 / Pen Necklace: West Coast Jewelry $20 / Cigarette Case: Etsy $64 / Vase: H&M Home $6
While Lucy may not be the most efficient or drama-free admin we've ever been graced with, it's hard to deny her greatness. Whether it be her high pitched squeak of a voice when she gets angry, her scrunchied ponytails, sweaters and lacy collars, or maybe even her baby-daddy drama, there's something undeniably lovable about the girl (which is probably why Officer Harry Truman doesn't fire her). And, there's something to be said for the fact that she always has donuts ready for meetings, and she's one of the few (only) characters to get a happy ending on the show.
Scrunchies: American Apparel $5 / Sweater: H&M Wool-blend $50 / Cotton Lace Collar: Etsy $4 / Mid-Century Serving Tray: Etsy $54
Walter Eugene "Radar" O'Reilly is the only guy to join the list, but his spot is well earned. Nicknamed "Radar" for his uncanny ability to hear "choppers" (helicopters) before everyone else and complete tasks before they are requested, he is perhaps the most universally loved member of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 4077. Always seen in a knit cap and his glasses, the corporal constantly attempts to appear older (all the while sleeping with a teddy bear and adopting all manner of Korean bunnies, cats, dogs, and guinea pigs).
And one could not forget the unforgettable Kitty Sanchez, the cuckoo frizzy-haired and cross-eyed receptionist of the Bluth company. She is much loved my a couple of the Bluth men, often making waves for the rest of the family. While she's not the admin you ever want working for you, it's undeniable that her boob flashing, cooler stealing, turtleneck wearing, blackmailing self is hard to not find entertaining. Just promise me one thing.... don't get an asymmetrical boob job, okay?
Hair waver: BayBliss Pro Triple Barrel Waver $54 / Vintage Cooler: Etsy $29 / Turtleneck: American Apparel $32 / Mesh Bra: Princesse Tam Tam Sublime Underwire Triangle Bra $79
Cheers to all my other admins out there!
Hope you have a great week!
After using orange blossom water for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I have become utterly enamored with the product. It's subtly floral but not sweet, and provides a very refreshing flavor for water, and as I've discovered, cocktails (like the Ramos Gin Fizz I made last Friday).
I started browsing around, looking for more recipes that included orange blossom loveliness, but didn't come across anything I was particularly enthused by... so I decided to try some mixology myself. The outcome? Mermiad gin!
Clear, effervescent, and fragrant with the smell of blossoms it reminded me so much of the Mermaid perfume I've been dying to get my hands on; it also seemed like the choice of drink that the delightfully naughty mermaids in Peter Pan might be caught sipping on.
How To Make a Mermaid Gin
1 ounce Gin
(I used Hendrick's, and loved the rose and cucumber notes it added, though a more citrus-y London dry like Bombay Sapphire would work nicely as well)
1 splash orange blossom water
(available at specialty food stores, Middle Eastern markets, or online)
1 splash simple syrup
1 ounce soda
A few dashes orange bitters
Float of champagne (optional)
Pour gin, orange blossom water, and simple syrup over and few ice cubes in the bottom of a shaker. Stir until mixed and add soda. Strain and pour into glass. Float champagne on top and add dashes of bitters.
Mermaid gin is like an adult Seven-up, light and easy to sip (almost dangerously so, considering that this drink is mostly gin!). It is best enjoyed cold, so serve in small glasses and refresh as needed.
Have a lovely Easter weekend!