Author Archives: margot

An Amazing Season Comes to a Close

Ju Young Lee

Ju Young Lee

Kevin Melendez

Kevin Melendez

Another fall season of Core Ensemble touring has come to a close. We celebrated diversity and multiculturalism  from Florida to California,  from Minnesota to Texas, and just about everywhere in between. A  fine season, with much to be grateful for!

We’re grateful for wonderful new personnel.  Our cellist , JY Lee, is a delight –  a charming colleague and a musician of consummate artistry! Actor/Singer Kevin Melendez, featured in the  “Los Valientes”,  Hispanic Heritage tour, brought an amazing  intensity to his portrayals of Diego Rivera, Archbishop Romero, and Joaquin Murietta. Audiences loved him!

We’re grateful to all our presenters around the country, but especially to those of longstanding: Marty Wheeler Burnett at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Karen Burdette at Tennessee Tech, Kelly Thomas at Georgia Regents University, and Ellie Meyer at San Jacinto College in Houston. We love working with you!

We’re grateful for our supporters – private individuals who have stepped up to the plate during these difficult times of reduced funding for the arts. As it turns out we have been “entertaining angels unawares” for some time!

We’re grateful to be alive and well in sunny South Florida for the holidays – the most beautiful time of year hereabouts!  The garden is in and the holidays are in full swing. Here's the Pecan Pie recipe I made for Thanksgiving Dinner. I used the recipe on the bottle of Karo Dark Corn Syrup, with a couple of innovations: instead of white sugar I use brown sugar. Along with the tsp. of vanilla, I put in a tsp. of Myers Dark Rum.  This recipe goes together fast – 5 minutes prep time! So good I may make it again for Christmas dinner!

Pecan Pie

  • 1 cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. Myers Dark Rum
  • 1 ½ cups pecans
  • 1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Stir the first 5 ingredients thoroughly.  Mix in pecans. Pour into pie crust. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 – 70 minutes Cool for 2 hours. Store the pie in the refrigerator. Serve with whipped cream.

Another highpoint of the season – a Christmas Cookie Extravaganza that I hosted with some of my friends – the dearest people and BEST BAKERS in South Florida.

Cookie Elves

Cookie Elves

…and a quick visual resume of our fabulous cookies and voluptuous eggnog:

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Holiday Cheer

Holiday Cheer

One of my favorites from the cookie event is from a blog called The Novice Chef. What sets it apart, I think, is the almond extract:

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Yield: 24 Cookies

I used a 2” biscuit cutter


4 sticks unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Zest of one large lemon, grated

2 T. lemon juice

1 t. almond extract

3 T. chopped rosemary

Additional flour to knead


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add zest, juice, almond extract, and rosemary. On medium-low speed mix in flour until just incorporated. Flour a work surface. Transfer dough –  it will be very soft – to work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, adding up to 1 cup of flour a little at a time to create a soft dough that stays together. Roll out the dough and cut with biscuit cutter or other shape of your choice. Bake at 325 for 20 – 25 minutes.