Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Cooking

I love Easter.  It is my favorite holiday. 

I am sure it has something to do with the fact that as a small child I knew my birthday was coming because it was always after Easter. 
My mom had these window decals that she put up for all the different holidays and then special birthday ones for when our birthday came.  I loved them.  It was also a great way for small children to learn when certain events line up with the seasons.  Easter = My Birthday. 
We would always get kites on Easter.  Mom would hide jelly beans around the house, I don't like jelly beans but I appreciated her effort and spirit of the holiday anyway.  We would also get a small basket with treats and little toys.  We always loved the parachuting GI Joes.

As an adult I enjoy the gathering, the meal and wearing your Sunday best (even if you don't do the Sunday thing).  I live to far away from my family to visit on Easter, because really we can't get the Monday off, so I try to make sure I get to do something special for Easter weekend. 

This year I planned an Easter Brunch.  Only I don't have a home big enough to entertain and I forgot to plan ahead.  I called up my friend and low and behold he was not busy on Saturday. Great I said, Easter brunch on Saturday at your house I'll bring most of the food.

I made:
Blueberry Muffins
Orange Blueberry Bread
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Spanakopita pie
Blueberry Scones with Lemon glaze
Quiche with mushrooms, onions, and broccoli

I got the linked recipes from a blog called Mehan's Kitchen.  She has a lot of different cuisines that I enjoy so I think I'll be coming back for more.  I could see myself trying everything she has listed....

The Blueberry Muffins were great.  The recipe calls for sour cream which I think is an excellent addition.  The muffins are still moist several days later.  I added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the top of each muffin. 

The Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake is delicious.  It isn't too sweet and it is hard to call it a cake.  Cakes, in my experience, are fluffy and moist.  This is sort of a cross between a muffin and a cake.  It was perfect.  It came out firm so you could cut a slice and then wander around eating it without a plate. 

I used Mehan's Spanakopita recipe because I couldn't find the one I has used last time I made it.  And why not try something new right?  It was good.  I didn't find it amazing and I don't see any reason to do the time intensive egg separation steps (but I'm not a chief).  I found it a little bland, however, the recipe just says 'salt and pepper' and 'dash' of spices.  I should have added a lot more and tasted.  That is my fault.  I do better when a recipe says "x teaspoon of ingredient" and then I know I can double it based on my tastes. 

The Blueberry Scones were wonderful.  I was worried at first when the dough was really sticky, cause how do you roll out the dough if it is that sticky.  I put a layer of flour down on the table and a layer on top of the dough so I could roll it out.  The extra flour didn't ruin it or anything mostly because I think the flour wasn't incorporated in.  In talking to some of my friends who used to and are pastry chiefs and they have informed me that I can always roll out dough between 2 pieces of wax paper with or without a light dusting of flour on it.  I did make the Lemon glaze to put on the scones.  I think making half the recipe would be fine, it makes a lot and if you poured the whole thing out the scones would be swimming in it.  Tasty though.  Also for me the glaze was to thin, I didn't change it, but next time I would add more sugar to thicken.  Quick and easy to make.

I make Quiche all the time so I don't follow a recipe anymore.  I started using the Joy of Cooking base but it didn't fit my needs so I've adapted it a lot.  I don't separate eggs, I don't like wasting them, so I throw the whole thing in.  If I don't have cream I use milk and who cares the % of milk.  I use nutmeg generously.  I use 2 cups or more of extra sharp Cheddar.  I make my pie dough with less water then it calls for (which makes it hard to roll out and place in pie pan) so when the quiche cooks the dough doesn't get soggy.  I put a light layer of cheese on bottom before I put my veggies in.  I use between 3-4 cups of veggies or whatever will fill in the pie pan to the top of the crust before I pour in my egg mixture (I have a 9.5 inch pan).  Oh, salt and pepper-I am able to eye ball it now but always put more in then you think is necessary particularly pepper. 

Orange Blueberry Bread
It was fun to make and easy.  Smells great.  Makes a decent sized loaf.  Looks appealing.  Half it is gone so I guess people liked it.  Had a slice a couple days later and it was wonderful.  My husband said to be last night, "you have to make this again."

I guess the theme of my Brunch was Blueberries.  Since most of my dishes contains them.  I have a lot of frozen blueberries thanks to my Mother who lives in blueberry country in Maine.  Last summer I asked her to put up some for me.  Apparently 'some' means a 5quart ice cream tub, one of those large Folgers coffee tubs, and a couple sour cream containers full of frozen blueberries.  She asked if I needed more this summer, I politely said 'No'.  lol 

Happy Easter

As Always,

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