Tuesday, April 10, 2007

easter weekend


What a food-packed weekend...I'm embarrassed to say this was my first ever Easter celebration in my whole 24 years of heathen upbringing. If I'd known Easter revolved around this much good food, I would've done this more often.

So we drove up to K's godparents log cabin in Gettysburg, PA. Not as primitive as it may sound; a beautifully designed log home within acres and acres of dense quiet forest.

Aunt Pat is such a character - talkative, boisterous, possesses an insane love of pigs(!), and a great cook. Here was her menu:
assorted cheeses (including an unimaginably humongous block of Cabot aged cheddar)
and crackers
mixed greens salad (with canned Mandarin oranges, which I secretly looove)
roast lamb with Herbes de Provence
roasted Portabellas
baked sweet potatoes
steamed broccoli
fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream, whip

I'm usually not so fond of lamb; I can't help but taste the gaminess of the meat, which is a real turnoff. However this was the first time I actually enjoyed it. Perhaps it was the way it was cooked, or maybe it was the wine, the company, or even 2 of the most beautiful German Sheps that were weaving in and out of our feet under the table.

This is Ruari:


To me, one of the best parts of being out of the city is being able to see all the stars at night. Makes you realize how small and seemingly insignificant we all are, yet still connected to each other and to something much greater. Alright enough of waxing poetic. Back to the food..*drool


I whipped up a tiramisu cake for Easter dinner on Sunday. Traditionally tiramisu is a trifle-like dessert - layers of ladyfingers soaked in rum and espresso and creamy mascarpone custard. I was inspired by the tiramisu cake from Cenan's Bakery and decided to make a tiramisu with more standing power. Here's the order of the layers from bottom up: white cake soaked in espresso, cream, ladyfingers soaked in espresso, cream, white cake and yes...yet more cream! Mmmmm... (I'll post my recipe later this week.)

Easter dinner was a throwback to old Baltimore cooking, influenced by French and German cuisine, with a punch of Southern flair. Mr. S's mom made a ham covered with orange slices and studded with maraschinos. Also on the menu was warm German potato salad with bacon dressing, steamed asparagus with Hollandaise, candied sweet potatoes, spiced apple rings, and a pineapple cheese casserole! This is a very southern dish which translates to a heart attack prettily disguised in a casserole dish. Regardless it was delicious. S's mom made it from a recipe she found in the Blue Willow Inn Cookbook. It's simple and quick - crushed pineapple, cheddar cheese, and the ever-versatile Ritz crackers. The savory-sweet flavor combo is my favorite.

The Blue Willow Inn Pineapple and Cheese Casserole

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks, drain and keep juice
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup crushed Ritz (or any buttery type) crackers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 1 quart casserole dish combine, flour, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the pineapple juice. Add cheese and pineapple and stir. Mix cracker crumbs with melted butter. Cover casserole with crumbs. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Great with ham or pork chops.

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