Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Lunch with Friends

                                                                                The Kids
Food and Easter have always gone hand in hand, but how about food, Easter and five 2 year olds? Well, Faye and I gave it a try by inviting a few friends with two year olds over for a gourmet Easter lunch.  It was a good opportunity for the parents to enjoy a nice meal while having their children enjoy a Beach Easter Egg Hunt afterwards. I can honestly say we all had a blast! Faye and I were able to try out a few new recipes which will be great for your Easter Sunday next week. 

Lunch began with a few delicious and healthy appetizers: an Assorted Root Vegetable Basket with Baked Cauliflower Dip and Homemade Hummus served in individual clay flower pots. 


For our main dishes, we served Salmon Roasted with Red Potatoes topped with an Herb Citrus Dressing and a Sausage Artichoke and Goat Cheese Frittata



The main dishes were complimented by two side dishes, Roasted Asparagus with Heirloom Tomato Salad and Roasted Spring Squash Bowtie Pasta Salad.  



Finally, dessert featuring seasonal fruit; a super yummy Vanilla Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Meyer Lemon Curd Tartlettes.




All of the dishes were fantastic and most of the items were prepared the day ahead.

In addition to the adult food, we asked our guests to bring a few kid-friendly snacks for the children. On the kids menu, Butterfly Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese and a Fresh Fruit Salad.


After our meal, the kids all had energy to burn so we walked down to the beach for an Easter Egg Hunt where the kids hunted for eggs to fill the personalized Easter baskets Faye made for each child. It was adorable to watch all of the kids at this age. The egg hunt only lasted about 15 minutes but the children loved it!  The parents went home with their tired two-year olds and a homemade Oatmeal Lemon Raspberry Bar as a snack to enjoy later in the evening (oh and another piece of the yummy cake).  

We look forward to this becoming an annual LiveBakeLove event and sincerely hope you'll incorporate some of these dishes into your Easter meal. Happy cooking everyone!



Our adorable cast of characters:

                                                        The Magnificent, Marvelous Matthew
                                                          The Always Adorable Ms. Olivia

                                                             "Racing" Reed (taking a rest)
                                                                 The Vivacious Ms.Vida


                                                          Jovial John (caught deep in thought)


                                                              Let the hunt begin!


                                                          On your mark, get set....GO!




                                                             Special guest Baby Kirra


We are sharing a few of the recipes from our Easter lunch. If you would like the recipes for any of the other dishes mentioned above, please feel free to contact us via email.



Baked Cauliflower Dip
Makes about 5 cups

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz monterey jack cheese
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes, until fork tender. Drain.

Place the cauliflower and garlic cloves in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cream cheese and pulse a few times to combine. Add the monterey jack cheese and pulse until almost smooth. Add the goat cheese and pulse until very smooth. Add the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Stir to combine then pour into a baking dish. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and slightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve warm with veggies, crackers and bread for dipping.



Roasted Asparagus Salad with Citrus Dressing
Serves 6
Ingredients:
2 lbs asparagus, trimmed
1 pint cherry or pear tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 bunches of watercress, tough stemmed removed
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450
Place asparagus and tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil. Make sure the tomatoes are placed between and on top of the asparagus. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Roast until asparagus is crisp-tender and the tomatoes are slightly crinkled. This will take about 15 minutes.
Set aside until ready to serve.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, honey, mustard, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reserve half of the dressing in a small bowl.
To the medium bowl with the dressing, add the watercress and toss to coat. Spread the watercress onto a serving platter, arrange the roasted asparagus and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with the reserved dressing. Sprinkle with dill.
Serve warm or room temp.
Adapted from: Delish
Roasted Salmon & Potatoes with Citrus Herb Viniagrette
Serves 6
Ingredients:
1 lb salmon filet (no skin)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 lb new potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon sliced into rounds
12 pitted black olives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425
Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper
Place the potatoes in a single layer in a casserole or baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and layer half of the lemon slices over the potatoes. Lay the salmon filet over the lemon then top with the remaining lemon slices and the olives. Return to the oven and reduce temperature to 250 degrees. Roast the salmon until flaky and the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, remaining salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in the basil and thyme and drizzle over the warm salmon.
Serve immediately.
Adapted from: Country Living
Baked Sausage Artichoke and Goat Cheese Frittata
Serves 6
Ingredients:
8 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
6 oz frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
1/2 lb sausage, chopped (I used chicken andouille sausage)
1/2 cup goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions:
Heat olive oil in medium size skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until browned. Reduce heat and add onion. Cook onion for a few minutes until transluscent. Add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more until onions are lightly browned. Add the artichoke hearts and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Crumble in the goat cheese and fold in the artichoke mixture. Pour into a greased 8" or 9" casserole dish.
Bake at 350 until eggs are set, approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for approx 15 minutes, then serve warm or room temperature.
Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 2 days and reheat in the microwave.
Meyer Lemon Tartlettes
Makes 18 2 1/2" tarts
Note: The curd must be made a day ahead

Meyer Lemon Curd Ingredients
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
zest from 2 meyer lemons
1/2 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 3-4 lemons)
Lemon Curd Directions:
Place the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine. Add the butter and continue to cook over low heat stirring constantly until thickened and the temperature reaches 160 degrees. This process took about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Cool to room temperature. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refridgerate overnight before using.
  
Crust Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg lightly beaten
Crust Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg and beat just until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
Remove dough from fridge and place on lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8" thickness. Using a glass or round cookie cutter that is slightly larger than your tart pans, cut out 18 circles of dough.
Place the circles of dough on top of each mini tart pan and press gently into the tart pans being careful not to stretch the dough. Make sure the dough is pressed into the bottom and sides of the pans. Trim excess dough. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove from fridge and prick the bottoms of the dough with a fork. Place the baking sheet with the dough lined tart pans in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the shells are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Remove the tart shells from the pans and cool completely.
Once the tart shells have cooled completely, fill with lemon curd and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve: Top each tart with whipped cream.
Note: Since I only had six 2.5" tart pans, I had to repeat the baking process three times. Alternatively, this recipe can make one 8-9" tart. After rolling out the dough, place it over your 8-9" tart pan and press dough into the pan and remove the excess overhang. Refrigerate, then prick the bottom before baking a directed above. Bake as directed but increase baking time as needed. If you are making a single 8-9" tart, I recommend doubling the lemon curd recipe to ensure you have an ample amount of filling. Any excess curd would be delicous with scones for berry pancakes.
Adapted from: Craving Chronicles and Joy of Baking

3 comments:

  1. We had such an amazing time at the event! Vida was so elated that day, she wouldn't even take a nap! And it wasn't becuase of too much sugar ;) The food was on par as usual, you two are seriously amazing in the kitchen (and out!)
    xoxo Rachel at raraseveryday.blogspot.com

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  2. I want to thank you both for such a great day full of fun among friends and amazing food, you too are for real. Everything was delicious and to die for. Rolo

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  3. Glad you all had fun and enjoyed the food!We enjoyed having you over and it was great seeing all the little kiddies.

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