No soup in this post, but! Our lovely little home had been planning a big Easter Extravaganza for months. Well, since Easter last year, to be honest. Instead of dying eggs the old boring way with kits from the store, we decided to try this!
Here are the ties we used:
Here are our finished eggs:
They did not turn out as vibrant as we had hoped for, but they still look 1000 times better than if we had just done plain old regular egg dying! In addition to these eggs, we made a bunch of decorations such as bunny rabbits and flowers cut out of construction paper, and taped them up around the house. We also made (and ate!) a lot of fantastic food!
Michelle decided that she wanted to make Macaroni and Cheese from scratch. After looking at loads of recipes, the final recipe was modified from Food Network's Paula Deen.
Yummy and Easy Mac 'n' Cheese
4 cups macaroni
4 cups cheese, a mix, your choice of cheese. I used about:
1.5 cup grated Aged White Cheddar
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup grated Fontina
1 cup grated Smoked Gouda
1/3 cup grated Chipotle Cheddar
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
a few dashes of Nutmeg
a few dashes of Cayenne Pepper
1.5 cup milk
breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pot, bring water to boil. Sprinkle a little salt and cook macaroni until al dente. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl and while pasta is still hot add all the cheese and fold it in. In a separate medium bowl, using a whisk, combine the sour cream, butter, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, and milk. When mixed, add to the macaroni
mixture. Spray casserole dish with nonstick and pour macaroni mixture into the dish. Bake for 30 minutes, sprinkle bread crumbs on, and bake for a few more minutes until it looks pretty crispy on top and bubbly around the edges. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
It was delicious and a huge hit with everyone at the party! It was one of the first dishes to disappear! We forgot to take pictures until a lot of the food was already gone, but here is how the
mostly eaten macaroni turned out.
Vanessa made her holiday family tradition, Nut Loaf. A vegetarian dish made just like meat loaf but with nuts and cheese and ground mushrooms. It's a crowd pleaser every time.
Cheese and Nut Loaf
Source: The Tassajara Recipe Book (a great vegetarian resource)
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 small green pepper
1 teaspoon each dried thyme, savory and marjoram (you can use whatever dried spices you like but I stick within these boundaries)
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1/2 cups cashews, chopped
1 cup cottage cheese
3/4 pound grated cheese: cheddar, gruyere, fontina, smoked (whichever you like but I always make sure to use Parm and something smoked)
1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, thyme
If you have a food processor, you're going to make good use of it. If not, make sure to finely chop the onion, mushrooms, garlic and green pepper and skip to heating the butter or oil up.
In food processor finely chop onion. Heat up butter or oil in a large skillet pan. Throw in onion and cook until translucent. While that is cooking put garlic, mushroom and pepper in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. When the onion is cooked, add the chopped mushroom/garlic/pepper mix, dried herbs and salt and pepper, then cook until soft. Let cool slightly and then put into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Check the seasoning but leave a little undersalted because the saltiness of the cheese will come out later while baking. Liberally butter a 9-inch loaf pan. Put mixture into pan and smooth out the top. Bake for an hour in a 350 degree oven. Take out and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
Vanessa also whipped up a Carrot Apple Salad and an Apricot-Mustard Glazed ham (I cheated and bought a pre-cooked ham and just did the glaze/baking part). Oh and deviled eggs.
Hope you all had a lovely Easter!
Love and bunny rabbits,
V and M