I wanted to follow up a little bit on Easter -- what better way to start Sunday than to see the real-life Easter bunny, my neighbor Frank, plant eggs for his grandchildren's hunt!
My "Cooking by the Books" challenge continued this month -- and what better time to try a new recipe than for Easter?! (I mean, you can only eat so much bunny chocolate!)
I did two new ones -- from Ina Garten, her frozen Key Lime pie from her cookbook "Barefoot Contessa: Family Style."
This is how it turned out! And it tasted even better!
I remember this episode on TV -- she made this pie for Jeffrey, her husband. I love watching Ina and Jeffrey. They're so wonderful together! You can find the recipe online here.
This was easy to make -- the most time consuming thing is juicing the limes. I confess, I cheated, though. My food processor is broken, so I just used a store-bought graham cracker crust. I didn't hear complaints.
This was a big hit -- if you like key lime pie, I suggest you give it a try. And perhaps the best thing about it is that you can make it a day or two in advance! Always a plus for a big cooking day.
The other was Julia Child's artichaux au naturel from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Sounds so much better than boiled artichokes, doesn't it?
Really, the only complicated thing about these complicated looking veggies is tearing off the bottom leaves and clipping the tips of the remaining leaves. Rick has made them before and not done that, and I think he though it was much ado about nothing. Truth be told, it probably doesn't affect the taste, but it does make the presentation nice!
I served it with Julia's Buerre au Citroen, or lemon butter sauce. I doubled the recipe (without a measuring cup) and may have had a tad too much lemon juice. It was pretty much a load of flavor -- maybe too much. But being a lemon lover, I adored it. (I will say the artichokes drew mixed reviews from the kids, with Kevin a tad dubious and Greg finishing Molly's!)
And it was just as good poured over steamed asparagus on Sunday! The recipe: Boil 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice down to 1 tablespoon or so. Add 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, cut in 8 pieces and whisked in one at a time). Right before serving add up to 3T hot water or fish sauce. (I used the water from the artichokes). This would be wonderful on any number of thingss.
We had two Easter dinners and Sunday's was pretty darned turn-key. Steamed salmon with dill sauce (put the salmon in the oven at 200 for an hour with just salt and pepper. Make sure it's on a tray over a cookie sheet filled with water. I bump up the heat the last five minutes of cooking just to warm it through. Gives you a whole hour to do your stovetop stuff and get the table set.
My flowers include pansies in duck egg shells (thank you, Anne!), sitting in cute little bunny egg cups!
I loved these cute bunnies -- silver toned, rather heavy, and looking like they were made from shortbread molds.
The rest of the menu included asparagus, deviled eggs and in honor of the famed Easter Bunny carrots.
For dessert, another new one. Pavlova with Mixed Berries from the "America's Test Kitchen Baking Book." I think the meringues might have been a bit moist due to forgetting to put them in an airtight container before starting to make the cranberry glaze for the Saturday pork roast, but the still worked for me!
The only little down bit with all this challenge-meeting was that I cooked from three books I like! But they were all new recipes!
Of course, when all is said and done, there is always room for chocolate!
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