Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Happy Hoppin' Easter



My best laid plans for Easter Sunday were a wash when I failed to attend church service Easter morning; I failed to fill Easter baskets the night before; and I failed to do any in-advance cooking or cleaning before family arrived for the day.  Awesome.  But on top of having a friend's daughter over to play, attending a 2 year old's birthday party, and squeezing in a run and coffee with friends
IT ALL GOT DONE.  
AND IT WAS A LOVELY TIME.

First came egg painting, which doubled as pre-Easter toddler fun and table decorations for the next day.

 
 

Second was cookie making.  Thank you Amy for your Ooey Gooey Vanilla Cookie recipe.  We used strawberry cake batter for a festive pink color.


On Sunday we donned our Easter best (Well, kind of...minus the not showering and the pajama pants that stayed on the boys post-nap time and complete with their shoes of choice: rain boots.  Nonetheless, we pulled it together.); the great grandparents arrived, an egg hunt was had with neighbors, Nana and Pops came, good food was shared, the Easter bunny visited, and Bubba Watson won the Masters.

 

 

Our menu this year included honey baked ham, deviled eggs, baked potato salad, roasted asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette (a good alternative sauce is mustard vinaigrette), rolls, and fruit and nut wild rice salad, which was a welcomed new addition.  I'm a stickler for tradition, but I also like a little variation from time to time, which is why I take delight in adding new dishes to holiday meals. 


FRUIT AND NUT WILD RICE SALAD
(thank you to my running girlfriend, Amy, for this recipe!)
long grain wild rice
golden raisins
dried cherries
dried cranberries
unsalted cashews
pistachios
pecans
chopped green onion
walnut oil
salt and pepper

Cook rice according to package directions and cool slightly.  Add handfuls of next 6 ingredients until you think it's a good ratio.  Add green onions.  Add small amounts of walnut oil until everything is lightly coated.  Season as needed.  Serve room temperature.

A few notes:
-Give yourself plenty of time in advance to prepare this...the rice takes an hour (even a little more) to cook.

-Buying all those nuts is expensive!  I recently found Planters NUT-rition Heart Healthy Mix, which has the called for nuts and then some.  It was much more economical and any extra is fabulous for snacking (especially with the dried fruit and/or dark chocolate chips!)

-Instead of chopped green onions I used 1/4-1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion and was pleased.  Add gradually according to personal taste.

-I had a hard time finding a small amount of walnut oil and cringed at the price of a big bottle.  However, it's great on salads.

-Leftover dried fruit, especially the cherries and cranberries, are fabulous in oatmeal or in cookies with white chocolate chips!

And for dessert....oh dessert...


When Mom said she was bringing a Coconut Cake from Costco I was secretly bummed because I'm not a fan of store bought cakes.  I was looking forward to licking the batter making lemon squares, key lime bars, or some other decadent concoction my dad and I came up with.  But when I sampled it ahead of time OH MY GOSH.  It was moist, creamy, dreamy, and delicious.  It also happened to be HUGE, so I cut it in two, froze half, and will pull it out for round 2 on Mothers Day.  Seriously, a dessert that does double duty - ok!

And since we're talking about coconut, have you tried these?  They're coconut Hershey Kisses.  You should run to the seasonal section of Target before they're gone.  Seriously.


Hope your Easter was a hoppy one!

2 comments:

  1. Great picture of the family (with your Mom and Grandma). I enjoy reading about your boys. The picture of you in the floor decorating eggs looks like a 15-year old gymnast doing the split:) Wish you all could come to Tifton some time. Lynne (Uncle Virgil's daughter)

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  2. My son wants to wear his rain boots everywhere. He's obsessed with them... must be a boy thing :)

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