Hoppy, hoppy Easter

I’ve always enjoyed celebrating holidays, and really, any excuse to eat jelly beans and color eggs continues to appeal to the child in me. Aside from Easter’s traditional meaning, the holiday also makes me feel excited because it often arrives with Spring in tow.

Easter is early this year and thankfully, it brought the spring weather with it. Despite our big blizzard in January, overall D.C. had a pretty mild winter, so spring is in full swing and many of the flowers and plants around the city are blooming, including the cherry blossom trees, which are very close to peak bloom.

To celebrate the arrival of Spring and the Easter holiday, I wanted to share our dinner menu below. You can check out our previous Easter dinner menus here and here.

Signature cocktail

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Appetizers

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  • An easy and tasty starter of goat cheese, pesto and sun dried tomato served with garlic crostini (from one of my cookbooks; recipe is below)

Main course

  • Maple mustard glazed pork loin with roasted fennel and apple. (We dined on traditional ham last year so we wanted something different this year; you can’t go wrong with a glazed pork loin.)

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  • Classic lemon bars (there is a bowl of lemons ready for Nick-the-baker to squeeze fresh)
Just as no holiday celebration is complete without a signature cocktail, neither is one without place cards. I rolled napkins around craft eggs to create these super simple and cute bunny ears napkin place holders.

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Recipe for the Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pesto Torta:

  • Line a small ramekin withe plastic wrap.
  • Combine 4 ounces goat cheese and 1 package of cream cheese (at room temperature).
  • Take 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture and combine with 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (finely chopped) and 3 TB tomato paste.
  • Press half of the goat cheese-cream cheese into the ramekin. Cover with 2/3 cup pesto, then the cheese-tomato mixture. Top with the remaining cheese mixture.
  • Cover and chill for several hours. Serve with toasted baguette slices that have been drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a head of garlic.

I hope our menu provides some inspiration for a lovely Easter holiday. Enjoy!

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Merry Trees

Two winters ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Inspired by Charm, DIY’d the cutest little wooden forest for the holidays. As soon as I saw it, I added this to my list of must-do projects.

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While it took awhile, I finally have my colorful holiday forest. Michael’s blog post includes all the instructions you’ll need to complete this simple project, so I’ll skip quickly through the details of how Nick and I tackled it.

A few weeks back Nick and I bought a 1 x 10-inch pine board at the hardware store. Our board was only half as thick as the one used in the tutorial, because our cutting tool (a Dremel Saw-Max) only has the capacity to cut through a 1-inch board. Even though the wood is considerably thinner, the 1-inch boards stand stable and still work well for this project.

As usual, no project gets done around here without my trusty partner. Nick set up a cutting station outside with saw horses  and after lots of math and measuring, he cut the board down into eight varying sized triangles.

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Triangles
Nick said our Dremel worked fine for this project, but a circular saw would probably work best. Here are all of the cut, but unfinished, trees.

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Following the tutorial, after Nick cut the trees, I sanded and painted them with craft paint, which I cut slightly with water so the wood grain was still visible through the paint. Once the trees were dried, I used the handle tip of a craft brush to dot on the white paint snowflakes.

I love how the trees turned out – festive, modern and so colorful!
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We currently have the forest set up in the kitchen, along our window sills, and I can’t help but smile every time I walk past them. These will definitely be making an appearance in our home for many holidays to come.

Anyone else tackling any holiday projects?

Hoppy Easter and Spring to You!

One of my favorite parts of preparing for a holiday is developing the menu. Since I shared our Easter/Spring menu last year, I thought I’d share our planned dishes for the holiday again this year.

For most holidays, Nick and I typically eat appetizers around lunchtime and then spend the afternoon   enjoying ourselves, relaxing or playing games. We usually wait to eat our traditional meal until dinnertime, since my holiday menus always include a signature cocktail 🙂

Beverages

  • I like a light, fresh cocktail for spring, so this Easter my signature cocktail is the Cherry beer margarita.

Appetizers

Main course

  • In recent years we’ve dined on pork loin, lamb chops and prime rib, so to mix it up once again, for our main course this year we’ll be having a traditional Sweet and smokey Spanish style ham.

Sides

  • Nick and I love fennel, so this citrus, fennel and avocado salad sounded light and fresh.
  • We always love to have a small side of soup, which is usually asparagus soup or roasted tomato, so this year we’ll change it up and make Carrot leek soup.
  • I have a couple of leftover small new potatoes, so I plan to make these simple Baked new potatoes.
  • Deviled eggs (no recipe, just toss egg yolks with a teaspoon of mayo and a dash of mustard powder).

Nick and I dyed our eggs earlier this evening, so they are ready to be prepared Sunday morning!

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Dessert

  • Poundcake strawberry shortcake. Nick (our in-house baker prepared pound cake tonight), which we’ll slice and top with macerated strawberries and creme.

I also made some simple bird nest name cards with some natural Easter basket grass and faux eggs, which I wrote our names on with a gold Sharpie pen.

Namecards

We have a few more preparations to make, but I’m excited to celebrate the Easter holiday and the coming of Spring. Wishing you all a blessed and Happy Easter!

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