Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter Extravaganza

Okay, so I am well aware that this post is long overdue, but it took me a while to find the time to download all over the pictures.  As I said in the previous posts, I went all out this year since usually we are over at friends houses for Easter.  First I'll start with the decorations, then I'll talk about the Easter egg hunt (indoors) and the amazing (mostly) food. 
I went very child-like for the decorations.  I created bunnies and eggs out of foam, and the chick place cards are inspired by something that I saw on Paper Source.  I have no idea what is up with the pinwheel, but I found it in the spring decorations box that's filled with do-dads that we've been collecting over the years and I couldn't resist putting it on the table. 
As for the egg hunt, I filled the eggs with an assortment of gummies and chocolates.  I especially loved those M&M's in the pastel Easter colors.  I often have a hard time remembering exactly where all of the eggs are hidden, especially since I don't hide all of them myself (the rest of my family helps).  So, this year I made a map of the house and gave everyone a sharpie color to match their eggs.  Then, they marked the positions of the hidden eggs to avoid the discovery of one a month later (along with the discovery of an ant problem). 
The above is a lemon meringue pie, which is a recipe I was trying for the first time.  At every holiday I try to bake at least one of my tried and true recipes, but also to switch it up a little.  I got he recipe from my Cook's Illustrated Cookbook and while it wasn't incredibly difficult, the result could have been way better.  First off, I accidentally used sweet cream butter, which has a higher fat content than the regular kind.  So, my usually amazing Martha Stewart pie crust was too soggy (saturated with melted butter).  However, I still have one tip that always makes pie crust better: instead of using a Cuisinart to chop the butter, try using pastry knives, leaving the chunks a little bit larger.  This makes the crust flakier.  As far as the filing goes, I would recommend using Meyer lemons and cutting down on the lemon zest.  I have a lemon tree, but it's of a different breed and so the juice is a little bit more tart, not good in a dessert.  The meringue was the best part of the dish, it was perfectly sweet, but come on, one component does not make a yummy dessert.
The vanilla cupcakes were definitely the highlight of the meal.  You might think that vanilla is over-used and basic, but trust me if you get the cake just right these will be gone in a matter of seconds.  I first found this recipe on and they are now my staple anytime I want to try some new decorating trick because they always come out perfectly (be careful not to overcook though).  I died the frosting mint green, although at first I was aiming a bit darker.  I then rolled the tops in toasted coconut (TIP: rolling the tops in any type of topping will not only add flavor but cover up any mistakes in the frosting) and added the leftover pastel M&M's and gummy bunnies from the egg hunt on top.

The rest of the meal turned out perfectly (ham mashed potatoes and garlic cheese bread) and overall it was a great experience.  I'm definitely looking forward to next years celebration, hopefully I'll  get to host again.  Anyway, hope your holidays were as wonderful as mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment