Easter 2014

Finally getting my Easter recap posted today. This year’s Easter was low-key and such a fun day! My parents, Yaya, sister, her boyfriend, and my mother-in-law joined us for dinner. I love having people over and entertaining on holidays. Yes, it is more work because I feel the need to deep clean the house from top to bottom before the event and make way more food than our crowd could ever eat. I was watching an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County (guilty pleasure, I’m not ashamed) the other night and realized those ladies really know how to entertain. They have a team of people: someone to clean the house, someone to cook the food, someone to serve. I am beginning to think I am doing this whole entertaining thing all wrong.

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Anyway, last Sunday was the most beautiful, perfect, wonderful, gorgeous Spring day to date. The sun was shining without a cloud in the sky and the breeze was just warm enough to wear short sleeves. As soon as the sun hit the patio I grabbed my sunglasses and went to soak up some sunshine.

The Easter menu was inspired by Spring foods and included…

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Ham; an Easter classic. I plan to use the leftover ham bone to make Crock-pot split pea soup very soon.

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Cheesy potatoes casserole; a seriously decadent indulgence. I mixed one package of frozen hash browns with 1 container organic cream of chicken soup, 1 c. light sour cream, 1 medium diced onion, and 2 c. 2% milk cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour. Using the “light” versions of sour cream and cheese does not lessen the flavor, but it does make me feel better about eating seconds!

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Garlic Asparagus and Snap peas; yum yum yum! For this Spring themed side dish I sauteed 1 slice bacon and then added 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 sliced leek, 2 bunches asparagus, and 2 c. sugar snap peas. Saute until tender; ~8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the veggies to a serving dish and top them with 1/4  c. sliced almonds for extra crunch. A little bit of bacon goes a long way with this dish; the flavor permeates the veggies but they stay really crisp and fresh.

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Spinach, strawberry and goat cheese salad; incredibly beautiful and delicious. It reminds me of spring in a bowl and I simply cannot get enough of it!

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For dessert, as promised, I made Ina’s coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. My family’s tradition is to add a few jelly beans on top for an added spring touch. The cupcakes remind me of a bird’s nest (shredded coconut) with eggs (jelly beans) and are almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

Big shout out to my husband and mother-in-law who did the dishes after dinner; my most hated chore of cooking. You two are awesome (and apparently missed the camera session outside, sorry)! After dinner everyone migrated to the patio to enjoy the weather.

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It was a great day filled with good food and good company; I’m already looking forward to our next get together!

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