Easter has passed for several days now, but I can still taste the memories! This was my first year being the hostess of our own Easter festivities. I am so thankful for the wealth of resources that Martha put together and what a day it turned out to be. For someone like me that is very new to "good things", It felt comforting to have lots of ideas to choose from.
On Easter Sunday, food, fun and family were plentiful and the rain even held back just long enough for the little ones to collect Easter bunny droppings (eggs) from our front yard. It was definitely a good day!
Recipe from marthastewart.com
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 4 ounces (3/4 cup) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces (3/4 cup) golden raisins, coarsely chopped
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into a mixer bowl, and fit mixer with a dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and eggs. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and knead until mixture comes together in a soft, sticky dough. Continue kneading, scraping down hook as needed, until dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.
- Add cherries and raisins, and knead to incorporate. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead to distribute dried fruit. Coat a large bowl with butter. Shape dough into a ball, and place in prepared bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Generously butter a rimmed baking sheet. Turn dough onto a surface, knead briefly, then divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, divide each third into 10 pieces, and shape each into a tight ball. (Keep dough covered with plastic.) Place on prepared sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm spot until buns have doubled in size and are touching, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together egg white and water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg-white wash. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheet on wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/4-inch round tip, and pipe icing on buns in the shape of a cross. (Alternatively, spoon glaze on buns.) Serve immediately.
Cook's NoteThese buns are best eaten the day they are made; if you make them the day before, don't pipe the icing across on the tops. Instead, warm the buns the next day in a 300-degree oven, let cool, and then decorate right before serving.
I was wrong (also not uncommon). From the first bite, I thought, " Darn it! I've discovered yet another must have food item." I must say that this year I've been learning to exercise enormous amounts of self control as plate after plate emerge from both oven and countertop. Yes my friend, this is another must try. Sweet, doughy (but not too much so) and slightly firm at the same time, it's all that wrapped tightly in a little bun. Hey, it even comes sugar coated! At a little larger than bite-size, you will feel like you can just keep popping them into your mouth. Why not? The recipe produces 30 of these bad girls! When I hear the words hot cross buns, I think of some modern band of punk girls rockin' thongs or something. LOL, maybe that's just me, though.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved and thinly sliced, then well washed
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- Ground nutmeg
- Our Favorite Pie Crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate, well chilled
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. Add leek and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese; top with asparagus mixture. Pour egg mixture on top.
- Bake until center of quiche is just set, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. (To store, let cool, then refrigerate, up to 1 day. Reheat at 350 degrees until warm in center, about 30 minutes.)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if needed
- In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overprocess.
- Turn dough out onto a work surface; form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Before baking, unwrap dough; place on a large piece of floured waxed paper. Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Using paper, lift and wrap dough around rolling pin (discarding paper); carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate.
- Trim overhang to 1 inch; fold overhang under itself. Pinch between thumb and forefinger to make a uniform edge around the rim. Crimp edge; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Cook's NoteAlways start with chilled dough and a well-floured work surface. Chilled dough does not soften as quickly as warmer dough; flour absorbs any moisture and prevents sticking.
- Yield Serves 6
- 3 large leeks (1 1/2 pounds), white and light-green parts trimmed
- 1 medium clove garlic minced
- 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), peeled
- 5 carrots (9 ounces), peeled
- 2 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
- Olive-oil cooking spray
- Coarsely chop leeks; place in bowl of cold water. Let stand 5 minutes to rid them of dirt and sand; lift out of water; drain in colander.
- Spray bottom of small stockpot with olive-oil spray; place over low heat. Add leeks and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are wilted, about 12 minutes.
- Cut 2 potatoes into small chunks; add to leeks. Slice 3 carrots into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; add to vegetables along with stock, salt, pepper, and 2 cups water. Cover partially, raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in milk, and puree in blender until smooth. Let stand until cool; refrigerate until cold.
- Meanwhile, finely julienne remaining 2 potatoes and 2 carrots; place in a small pot of boiling water. Boil until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain; transfer to ice-water bath until cool. Drain; add carrots and potatoes to pureed soup. To serve, divide soup among six bowls, and garnish each with snipped chives.
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 Easy Press-In Pie Crust, made with graham crackers
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour into crust and bake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then refrigerate 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. To serve, top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Yield Makes one 9-inch pie crust
- 6 ounces cookies (about 12 graham crackers, 46 vanilla wafers, or 30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.
- Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely
in plate on a wire rack before filling.
Cook's NoteUse a dry, flat-bottomed glass or your fingers to press crumbs into the pie plate, forming a firm layer.
Our bunny garland
Yup, couldn't do it. After several tries, I handed this project over to Ben. THANK YOU, BEN! He found a comment about this project on Martha's website and a woman said that Good Housekeeping had an excellent site for this. I've included the site below for you to check out.
Our family is just like yours; we are merely trying to make our everyday existence into something spectacular. We all want to feel as if our lives are like a treasure, special and important and treated with respect. So, this is what I've set out to do. I hope no experience is necessary...
Thanks for sticking around and who knows where you and I will be at the end of this adventure...ready to find out? Until next time...