Book Club Night for Engagingly Dead

To get this book club rocking and rolling…

  1. Play from Spotify the Engagingly Dead list.  
  2. Ella loves to cook as we know. You can go two ways here…if you’re doing a brunch book club, she’d be pouring mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and Mojito cocktails for her guests. She’d also make her famous quichant sans Jay in the mix! For your perfect quichant here is what you need. This recipe is for 8!


12 eggs
1/2 cup cream or whole milk
1 cup cheese of your choice (I’m a fan of cheddar)
3 cups of your choice of veggies or any filling (I like mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and bacon)
Tablespoon of olive oil
Garnish with basil or cilantro
Salt & Pepper
Italian herbs or herbs Provence

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Add your dairy of choice and the salt. Whisk just until the egg yolks and whites are blended. Whisk in all or half of the cheese (you can reserve the other half for topping the frittata before baking, if desired). Set the mixture aside.
  3. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or any other large skillet that’s oven safe), warm the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. If using bacon or pancetta fry those up first, then set aside. Wipe out your pan and add more olive oil. Add the vegetables, starting with chopped onions or other dense vegetables. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add any softer vegetables such as zucchini. Cook until those vegetables are tender, then add any garlic or greens, and cook until fragrant or wilted. Season with salt, to taste.
  4. Set your veggies to cool for a few moments. In the meantime, grease a 9 by 13-inch pan with butter, which works better than cooking spray. Stir the lightly cooled veggies and your meat protein into the egg mixture, then pour it all into the pan. If you reserved any cheese, sprinkle it on top of the frittata now.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (keep an eye on it), until the eggs are puffed and appear cooked, and the center of the frittata jiggles just a bit when you give it a gentle shimmy. Remove the frittata from the oven and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with herbs. Cut into squares and place inside your croissants.

    Ella would also mix up an easy fruit salad for the Brunch Book Club…

Now, if this is an evening soiree…
Ella and Noelle would nee pouring a nice California Chardonnay. I think Sonoma Cutrer or a Hess Select will work! For the red wine drinkers, if you can find a bottle of Conundrum in honor of Jay that would be fun! The Prisoner is a good choice, too, but honestly any red will work as well as any white!
San Francisco has some amazing Italian eateries and I think Ella would go that route for a book club get together. She’d make two pastas and a green salad!
She did borrow this one from but it’s because it is delicious, easy and you can do a lot of variations with it!

Lemon Basil Pasta Ingredients

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted, your preference.
  • Minced Garlic – Freshly minced or from a jar in the produce section of your grocer.
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed or store bought (in produce section and juice aisle, will say 100% lemon juice).
  • White Wine – Use your favorite, whatever you have on hand or white cooking wine. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio all work well.
  • Basil – Fresh, sliced in thin strips.
  • Parmesan – Fresh shavings of parmesan.

How to Make Lemon Basil Pasta

  1. Make Pasta – Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and prepare pasta al dente. Strain.
  2. Make the Sauce – In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add garlic. Reduce to medium low heat. Add lemon juice and wine. Stir until warm.
  3. Toss – Toss pasta with sauce.
  4. Garnish – Top with fresh grated parmesan and basil. 

Now for our red pasta. Ella took this one, too, from another chef who she loves to follow at
This penne pomodoro is a light pasta dish prepared with tomatoes, garlic and fresh herbs, finished with a creamy dollop of lemon herb ricotta!

Lemon Herb Ricotta


  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch black pepper

Ella would add spicy Italian sausage to this recipe!

Penne Pasta Pomodoro

Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 405 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Penne Pomodoro Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon julienned basil
  • 8 ounces (roughly half a package) dry penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions, warm
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish 

For Book Club to ENJOY! Have some fun talking about the book, listening to good tunes and eating yummy food! If you want to go all out with decor consider some Golden Gate Bridge decor and party favors. Found some cute things here:
You could stuff little bags with Ghirardelli Chocolates…which Ella and Noelle would eat all of!
Or check out this Pinterest site for some great SF party themed ideas!
I hope you loved the book as much loved writing it and I would really love to hear from you. If you are interested in having me chime in via zoom or are in The Bay Area, drop me a line at and let’s get together and book club!

Songs from Engagingly Dead:

  1. Just Like Starting Over by John Lennon
  2. Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
  3. Holiday by Madonna
  4. Na Na Hey Hey by Bananarama
  5. Hungry Like a Wolf by Duran Duran
  6. White Wedding by Billy Idol
  7. Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith
  8. Don’t Stop Believen by Journey
  9. I will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
  10. Can’t Help falling in Love by UB40
  11. That’s the Way Love Goes by Janet Jackson
  12. Jolene by Dolly Parton
  13. Lies by The Thompson Twins
  14. Creep by TLC
  15. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
  16. The Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
  17. Bomboleo by The Gypsy Kings
  18. Crystal Visions by Stevie Nicks
  19. Black Magic Woman by Santana
  20. Work by Rihanna
  21. We are Family by Sister Sledge
  22. Get Down Tonight by Kacee and The Sunshine Band
  23. Brick House by The Commodores
  24. Save the Best for Last by Vanessa Williams
  25. Single Ladies by Beyonce
  26. Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads
  27. Nobody Does it Better by Carly Simon
  28. As Good as I Once Was by Toby Keith
  29. Magic Man by Heart
  30. Free Fallin by Tom Petty
  31. What Doesn’t Kill You by Kelly Clarkson
  32. Orinoco Flow by Enya
  33. It’s My Life by Talk Talk
  34. The Next Episode by Dr. Dre