Some Easter Ideas…

If you’re as big a fan of Easter food as I am, chances are you’ve had your Easter Sunday meal planned for a month or so now.  However, I know that there are some people out there who don’t typically plan out their menus quite so early; or maybe don’t need a menu at all- just a side dish to take to mom’s house for lunch. Whatever your situation, this post is for you. I’ve compiled a bunch of my favorite “Easter-y” type dishes for those of you still looking for ideas.

If you’re hosting/attending an Easter brunch, these are some super easy, delicious ideas:

Asparagus, Mushroom and Bacon Quiche

Juicy Strawberry Scones

Blueberry Streusel Muffins or Blueberry Crumb Cake

Some of my favorite Easter side dishes:

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Creamy Pea Salad

Creamy Macaroni Salad

And of course, dessert (because she who brings dessert is always the most popular), my favorite category:

Coconut Cake – this is one of the top searched for items on my site!

Banana Cream Pie

Toasted Coconut Cream Tart

Boozy Strawberry Tart

Lemon Cake

So there you have it- some of my best Spring-inspired, Easter-friendly recipes. I hope I’ve given you some good ideas, whether you’re hosting your first Easter, going to mom’s house, or even if it’s just the two of you- any of these are perfect! Enjoy!

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Goodbye Tuesdays with Dorie….

Unfortunately, this will be the last time I post anything for/about Tuesdays With Dorie. That’s right- I’m leaving the group. It’s super sad- I’ve been a member for about 2 years now! I can’t possibly tell you just how much I’ve grown and learned since joining TWD back in April 2008…I’ve become more knowledgeable in the kitchen, as well as discovering one of my greatest passions – baking. Being a member of Tuesdays With Dorie has shown me just how much I love being in my kitchen and baking (and just how much I adore Dorie Greenspan!) – so much so, that I hope to be able to do it for a living someday (hopefully sooner, rather than later!). Our group leader, Laurie, never dreamed her idea of baking something from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours once a week would take off and inspire 300+ other food bloggers to join in…the group is awesome and I am honored to have been a part of it for 2 years.

I’ve taken all of my Tuesdays With Dorie posts (starting all the way back with my first ever TWD post- homemade marshmallows!) and put them in a special category so they’ll be easier to find from now on. Take a look – there are some DARN good recipes in there, let me tell ya! My absolute favorite TWD recipes are the World Peace Cookies (to this day, my favorite cookie of all time), the Honey Peach Ice Cream, the Banana Cream Pie (and no, not just because it was my pick!), the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake and who can forget…the Gooey Chocolate Cakes; this one changed my life…seriously, the most amazing, satisfying dessert I’ve ever made. The pictures are crap, but the cakes…ohhhh the cakes….sheer bliss. If you haven’t tried any of these recipes- give them a try this week, you’ll be really, really glad you did. These are the best of the best, in my opinion!

So, I guess now it’s time to say goodbye, Tuesdays With Dorie – thanks for a fantastic 2 years!

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A Little Late…

The Toasted Coconut Custard Tart for Tuesdays With Dorie will be a little late this week. I want to make it for my mother’s birthday (Thursday, yay!), because she loves coconut cream pie. So check back around Friday or so – I’ll post all about it then!

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Happy Things…

I realize that there’s really only so much you can learn about a person through their food blog – what kind of foods they like best, their general age, marital status, kids vs. no kids…basic stuff like that. But is that really enough? I guess it may be for some people, but I want my readers to know me a little better than that, ya know? We’ll have plenty of time along the way for all the details, so for now, let me just share with you a few things that make me happy. Really happy. I realize some of you are just here for the recipes, so by all means, scroll down to the bottom….you won’t hurt my feelings.

The King Arthur Flour website. Not only do I love digging through their recipes (which always turn out great), the site in general is just a fun place to be, in my opinion. Fun things to order, fun things to look at…it’s a happy place.

Pearls. I love pearls – they make me very happy. I wore pearls on my wedding day, I wear them with day-to-day outfits, and I always, always wear them when I’m auditioning (opera stuff).  And for good reason – they never go out of style, they’re ever-so-classy, and they always seem to make me feel happy. Which is why they’re on my happy list. :-)

Izzy. Our sweet, hyper, and always entertaining Cairn Terrier/Schnauzer. Sure, she eats my Girl Scout cookies and occasionally waits until we’re gone then poops upstairs; but by golly, if she isn’t the sweetest, funniest, most lovable dog in the whole wide world. It’s been just about a year since we adopted her, and we both agree that we couldn’t have possibly found a more perfect dog.

Cheese. Any kind. Anywhere. Heck, I love the stuff so much, my (sweet, adorable) hubby put cheese in my stocking this Christmas! Imagine waking up to a big ‘ol hunk of Manchego under the tree! Perfection. Really.

My piano. When I was getting ready to graduate from college (and soon after, get married), my grandparents gave me some money as a gift. I took that money and bought myself a beautiful upright piano (second hand) – it was the very first piece of furniture I ever bought and I love it (even though my piano skills barely go beyond “chopsticks”…).

My Great-Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler. Very few things in life make me as happy. When my sister and I were little, one year for our birthdays (or possibly Christmas…I can’t quite remember), Baba, our Great-Grandmother, made us our very own dish of peach cobbler – an entire 9×9 dish ALL to myself!! I didn’t share with anybody, and it was blissful. I still have the dish she gave me and I use it all the time.

Funny socks. I can’t wear plain ‘ol white socks. I like colorful socks – ones with hearts or cupcakes or Santa Claus. In my opinion, one can never own too many funny socks. My personal favorites are my Nightmare Before Christmas Jack and Sally socks….perfect for Christmas or Halloween!

And finally….Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have made probably, 10 different recipes or more. Not just because I’ve been on a 3 year quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but because one of my very favorite things on the entire planet is a warm chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk. I ask you, is there anything better??? I’ll take just about any kind – I’m an equal opportunity chocolate chip cookie eater. Maybe even an addict, but hey, I can stop anytime I want, ok?

But here’s something big. I mean really big. Are you ready? I’ve found it. The perfect chocolate chip cookie. Yep. It does exist. In fact, it exists in a little plastic baggie in my kitchen right now. Beckoning me. Calling out to me. Sure, I’ve already had 17 ½, but when you’ve found the perfect chocolate chip cookie, all rules and etiquette go out the window. I bet you’re wondering which recipe it is…well, chances are, you won’t be a bit surprised. Yep, the NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies. Last July, the New York Times published this recipe, and since then just about every food blogger on the planet has tried them and declared them to be the best. I’m officially joining the bandwagon. They make me very, very happy.

THE NYTimes Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips (I threw in some milk chocolate chips too)
Sea salt

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

*I didn’t make huge cookies – I used a small cookie scoop and got somewhere around 40. I baked them for about 9 minutes and they were perfectly crisp on the edges and gooey and chewy in the center. Perfect, in my opinion.

So, there you have it. A few silly things that make me happy. And one step closer to getting to know a little more about the weird lady who’s blog you read. Thanks for humoring me! And obviously, my husband, Joel makes me extremely happy. The most happy I could ever hope to be. But I figured you all probably knew that, so I didn’t list him. :-) Plus, I was trying to keep the list “non-human”.

Oh and by the way, if you’ll look over to your right (and up a ways), on my sidebar, you’ll notice now you have the option of “Becoming a Fan” of Sing For Your Supper on Facebook. Just a little fun thing those of you Facebookers can do if you want! Happy baking!

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