chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter, Happy Spring

I just love Easter. No matter what the temperature is, the day feels like the real beginning of spring to me. We were lucky this year and had a few days of nice warm weather that made the daffodils bloom. I think I could actually see the leaves erupting from the trees and bushes these past few days and the grass is so green. It was truly a wonderful spring day.

I especially like Easter dinner. The food is so light and refreshing compared to the holiday meals during the fall and winter season. My sister hosts Easter dinner every year. We’ve fine-tuned our menu over the years, adjusting for the number of people who will be attending. She cooks the ham, twice-baked potatoes, bread and broccoli casserole and I bring the hors d’oeurvres, devilled eggs, pineapple stuffing and dessert. Out comes the old recipe box as I plan what to bring as my contribution.

After all these years, there are still cooking techniques for me to learn. I thought I had making devilled eggs down to a science. Enter Rachael Ray with a new technique: cover the eggs with cold water, bring the eggs to a boil, cover and remove them from the heat. After 10 minutes you have perfectly cooked eggs. In the past, I boiled the eggs for about 10 minutes and there was always at least one that would crack and run. Who knew? Filling the eggs is always fun. I am lucky enough to own a Super Shooter Cookie Press that has a star attachment just for fancy fillings. This cookie press is electric and is no longer in production. I’d better take care of it. I may learn new cooking techniques, but it just would feel right if I couldn’t fill the eggs with my Super Shooter.

My dessert recipe is one I haven’t made in quite a while: lemon bars. As I was shopping for the ingredients, I found a box mix and was very tempted to use it instead of baking the squares from scratch. I’ll have to try them some day, but didn’t want to take a chance at a holiday dinner. I used real lemon juice and added lemon zest to the original recipe. After baking, cooling and cutting, I melted some chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the squares. They were very yummy and disappeared pretty quickly.

The entire meal was delicious and the company was wonderful. I have to admit, though, I much prefer having dinner at someone else’s house. No house to clean, no extra dishes to wash, no table linens to coordinate. Dinner at Julie’s house, it’s a good thing!

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