This week seemed like a no-brainer. It's Easter weekend. Time to meditate core beliefs. Time to celebrate hope and new life. Time, also, to eat. Time to eat a lot. I guess one upside here is that, opposed to Christmas Season which runs a month complete, Easter feasting generally only lasts the weekend. That's a little easier on the waistline.
The past few years, however, I have tried to lighten up our Easter dinner, mostly to lessen the guilt of eating my weight in jelly beans, m&ms, and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. I have given up some of the traditional foods that I grew up on and adore, but I have found the replacements to be quite elegant.
- Cheese Potatoes (funeral-style)
- Several Desserts
- Roasted Pork Loin
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Fresh Fruit Salad
- Orange Rolls (This one is worse.)
- Green Salad
- Carrot Cake bunnies
I got a recipe from Kelly a few years ago for a spiced maple marinade that gives the slightest sweet crust to the pork loin. The sweet potatoes I peel, cube, and toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and allspice before roasting. The asparagus is only better than the artichokes because of the dipping factor. I saute´ them in a little olive oil and freshly pressed garlic. Now the rolls. Regular rolls are healthier than these orange rolls of my grandma's that are an unglazed cinnamon-style roll. They are scrumptious, though, and remind me of my grandma. So they stay.
The carrot cake I make is pretty good, if I do say so myself. It is my mother's recipe, lightened up just a touch. It gets rave reviews. I use applesauce in place of the oil, and I use neufchatel
cheese in the frosting. Still not a diet food, by any stretch, but I like to pretend it's healthier. I need to try it sometime with wheat flour to see what that does to the recipe. But not on Easter. I make the bunnies by baking two 9" round cakes. Each round makes one bunny. Cut the round in half across the diameter and frost together taco-style. It will sit on it's cut ends. You then carve out a little chunk to create a neck and stick that on the other end of the cake for a tail. You end up with a three-humped cake. Frost that. Add jellybean eyes and nose to the head. The ears you can cut from construction paper and insert into the head. I often surround the little guys with green tinted coconut and more jelly beans. (The photo I got on-line. I don't cover my bunny with coconut, because some of my kids don't like it. I also make a slightly smaller head by cutting the notch further down the arc. I think it's a little cuter that way.)
Have a blessed Easter weekend! And bon apetit!