Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Dinner

Nothing gets me more excited then seeing the bright, festive, colors of spring popping up after a long and dreary winter.  My heart jumps when the snow begins to melt, and the cherry blossoms on the trees start to come in bloom.  For me, spring always brings a new hope to my life. Probably because I turn one year older, and I tend to always reflect on the last year of my life, and hope for whats next to come.
This year, I get to travel along with my family for a beautiful spring vacation.  Since we will be missing Easter, I decided to have it a little early this year.  I did it for my Mother  Birthday dinner which was last month.  I wanted to go with a very natural spring feeling.  I used a canvas table cloth, burlap table runner, beautiful spring plates, and cups,  and fresh greener and flowers to bring on the look of Spring! I added two glittery bunnies at both ends of the table, along with a european chocolate easter egg tucked away in each napkin, and a yummy Lindt chocolate carrot for each table setting.
The chandelier was draped with spring flowers and metallic Easter eggs, that matched the Easter eggs hidden in the napkins.

I served little cupcakes with speckled chocolate eggs, I wanted good tasting chocolate but in the end I think they look like golf balls on putting grass.  i wanted to keep the natural earthy feeling with the cake so I made a cake that looks like dirt and grass in a vase, with foiled eggs on top.  To make this I used a dark chocolate cake mix, followed the instructions on the back and baked it in a cake pan.  Once it cooled, I crumbled it up and  dumped it down for the first layer.  Then I made jello pudding mixed with cool whip for the chocolate mousse layer in-between, then I added another layer of cake crumbs and pipped the green frosting on the top, and finished it off with colored coconut.

Cream Cheese Whip Cream Frosting Recipe:

2 pkg. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
2 C. Heavy Whip Cream
1 t. Vanilla
2 C. Powder Sugar

In a mixing bowl I whipped my whip cream until it formed into soft peaks.  Then I added my cream cheese a little at a time mixing it into the whip cream.  Once it was incorporated I added my vanilla and powder sugar and mixed it into the frosting.  You might not need two cups of powder sugar.  I mixed it until it became a easily spreadable frosting.  It was a little thicker then the mousse, but not much.  I love how it turned out that.  It was an experiment, but it had a great flavor and was very light.

For the grass, I used super fine coconut.  Put it in a plastic bag with some green dye.  Then I sealed the bag, shook it up, and I had my green grass!
I had a lot of leftover cake mix, mousse, and frosting when I was done.  So I made little shot glass samples for each table setting for everyone to sample.  
Here is a close up picture of the chocolate egg.  I just wrapped some paper napkins up, tied them with a string and put the egg inside it.  Very simple and inexpensive.

Green salad with a light mustard vinaigrette and homemade rolls. For the Vinaigrette I used this recipe HERE. Although I do make homemade rolls very similar to this, a good friend of my Mothers made these for her for her Birthday.  They were simply divine!
My friend Andrea made this amazing soup for her Birthday, and I just had to make it for my Moms.  The original recipe is from Ina Garten, and you can find the link to it on my friends page HERE!  I could give you the actual link, but I want you to see my friends amazing woodland birthday party!
 Chicken Cordon Bleu with rice pilaf and steamed veggies. You can find the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe HERE!
To finish off the night we had Creme Brûlée, my Mothers all time favorite dessert! Below is the recipe I used, which I tweaked a tiny bit, but you can find the original recipe HERE!

Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée 

1 extra-large egg

  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean extract

  • Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.
To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.


  1. It is all incredible! So very beautiful and yummy!

  2. Happy Birthday to Mom! What a lovely dinner and table.