Wednesday, April 23, 2014

easter 2014

This Easter was the holiday season all over again:  between three birthdays and the Easter celebration itself, we celebrated until we could celebrate no more.

We started with chocolate-caramel cake for my sister-who-won't-eat-cake-with-icing Mia's twelfth birthday; as the carnivore of the family, she struggled with a Good Friday birthday sans steak.  Saturday, Hannah turned 21, and we celebrated with a rainbow pony cake.  Nothing more traditional for a 21st birthday, right?  More on how Steph, Hannah, and I used to pretend to be the Pony Pals to come some other time--maybe I can even share the fruit salad recipe out of the Pony Pals Cookbook that my mom still has floating around.

We wrapped up our weekend with a big ol' Easter brunch and some New York cheesecake for Nick's birthday.   My mama served the eleven of us a big (9 lb!) Honeybaked Ham this year, accompanied by all our favorite sides, including some 4-minute roasted asparagus with garlic aioli (not pictured):

Berry Salad.  Strawberries + blackberries + raspberries is my mother's reliable "salad" that she serves every year at Easter brunch.  Trust me that this combination is far better than the aforementioned fruit salad recipe from the Pony Pals Cookbook.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits.  Despite Mia wanting Peeta biscuits, which we had last year, Nick took birthday precedence (helped along, perhaps, by his 14 year seniority over her), and we made these homemade copycat Red Lobster biscuits.

True Grits.  Homespun and perfectly natural, these grits are popular every year.  The eleven of us didn't quite make it through the one-and-a-half recipes we made, but a good portion of them disappeared.

New York Cheesecake.  Though perhaps not a typical Easter dessert, this was the birthday boy's request.  I made Smitten Kitchen's NY cheesecake, but I think I'm making it again for Nick's confirmation this weekend with a few modifications (and, when I say I'm making it for his confirmation, what I mean to say is that we had no leftovers from Easter, and everyone wants a second slice).  I made a special dulce de leche sauce per my mother's request, and, since we have no cherries in season, I turned the cherry topping into a raspberry topping per Nick's request.

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