Easter fever…

Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, it’s time to prepare for the next chocolate extravaganza–Easter! Get out your bonnets, think about decorating those eggs (especially the stunning Ukranian ones), and start planning your big dinner party now. Let’s get going girls…

courtesy Penny Richard's Flickr photostream

I came across an excellent Ukrainian easter egg decoration demo on The Artisan Woman. A very dear family friend taught me how to do these eggs when I was a teenager, and I absolutely loved it. Once you have the right materials (e.g., bees wax, wax pen, etc.), it’s really quite straightforward, but it takes a lot of time, so get going.

courtesy of photographer Andy Cripe of Cheap Shots

These are such darling table centerpieces from Martha Stewart Living.

courtesy Martha Stewart Living

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can't talk, eating…

Okay…let me give you a little tip: Do not make profiteroles before dinner, or else you’re going to eat profiteroles for dinner. Wiser words were never spoken. Now let’s revise the original tip to include brownies (yes…I went crazy and made brownies too). And, let’s add an addendum: Do not post a blog on Friday telling everyone that you’re planning to make Ina Garten’s Sole Muniere unless you first check to see if your 13-year-old son is planning a Super Bowl party (unbeknownst to me until 4 hours prior) and wants to serve chili dogs and chips on the same day that you’re making said sole. Needless to say, I’m wearing some very stretchy yoga pants, and I have four lovely sole filets cooling their jets in the fridge!

I’m happy to report that once again, Ina has come through with flying colors! The Barefoot Contessa‘s profiteroles with softened vanilla ice cream and warm velvety chocolate sauce were a big hit with everyone and they were a cinch to make. I’m definitely going to make them again, but next time, I’ll invite a whole bunch of friends over to partake in the glutonous bliss. I usually like to come up with a stand-by dessert every summer, and this could be a contender.

Although I included a fork in the picture, it’s just for looks–the only way to eat these little gems is by shoving them into your mouth with your fingers! Looking at this photo is driving me crazy (…just can’t figure out why I’m not losing weight). You gotta know there’s gonna be an epic tug-o-war between the devil on my left shoulder and the angel on my right shoulder. Hmmmm….who will win? Duh.

weekend menu…

Did I mention I love Fridays? I’m going to treat my family to a home-cooked meal this weekend (don’t fall off your office chair Mark…you’re so dramatic). My first inclination is to pour through my collection of Bon Appetit magazines, but I stop and ask myself, “Why not pull out the tried-and-true, Ina Garten?” I have all of her cook books (my favourite, for obvious reasons, has to be Barefoot in Paris), and I use them regularly–they never disappoint.

Funny how this is the first recipe my eye lingered on..Profiteroles. Yum! Forget the profiteroles, let’s just drink chocolate for dinner (I’ve got the kids’ votes for sure). You can download these recipes on the Barefoot Contessa website.

Ina’s Sole Muniere looks exactly like the dish that Julia Child ate during her first meal in Paris when she and her husband, Paul, first arrived. I just about climbed right into the TV screen to get the fork full of sole that Meryl Streep lifts to her mouth in Julie & Julia. I’m going out on a limb with this dish ’cause my 13-year-old son does not crave fish like the rest of us, but he’s on a health kick (gotta love 13 year olds), so I might just be able to swing it.

Don’t worry, I will whip up a salad too, and maybe even some buttermilk mashed potatoes with loads of garlic and butter. Wish me luck!

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