So let’s talk Easter. If you recall, I have been trying to decide between a more traditional Easter dinner à la Easter Dinner on Two Sheet Pans, or go the small plates route like we did for Christmas. And after a lot of hemming and hawing, we decided to go non-traditional again. I know that classics are classics for a reason, but there are so many more foods that we would rather be eating than ham and potatoes right now. As an added bonus, this most of this menu can be made ahead of time, and that means more family time on Easter.
1. Crudités and fruit
I usually do sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry or grape tomatoes, and olives for my crudités. I might throw in some baby carrots or celery – we will see what they have at the store. For fruit, my kids are partial to blueberries and strawberries, so I will try to get those and maybe a melon.
2. Roasted eggplant dip
I still have eggplant on the brain from last month, and saw recipes for a roasted eggplant dip in a few cookbooks when I was flipping through looking for ideas. This will be a new recipe for me. Really I’m going to try a mashup of two recipes – I will use the seasonings suggested in How to Cook Everything but the cooking method from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Consensus is that this dip is good with crackers or bread, but I am kind of curious to try it with some of my veggies too.
3. Good cheese and crackers
It’s time to put away your Kraft singles and pick out something from the fancy cheese section! Same goes for the crackers 😀 And in that same vein…
4. Good bread and butter
No further explanation needed.
I’ll be making the same meatballs I talked about in My Postpartum Menu Plan. Start with the sauce – this recipe takes 6 hours to cook, so I will be doing this on Saturday. Once the sauce is going, prepare the meatballs. I ignore the instructions for sauce in the meatball recipe and make all of the meat into meatballs, and add them to the 6-hour sauce after broiling. This recipe yields me about 32 meatballs and a bunch of sauce, surely more than we will eat on Easter, so some of these are going into the freezer.
6. Kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters) with tzatziki
I’ve not tried these before but they look good! Always nice to have a veggie recipe in the mix, and the tzatziki will also go well with the crudités.
And now for dessert…
A lamb cake! I made this for the first time last year, and while my piping job is definitely not professional-quality, we all really enjoyed how it turned out. My kids are particularly excited to have another lamb cake this year. If you are interested, this is the cake mold I used. The mold needs 3 cups of batter. Unfortunately I do not remember the exact recipe I used last year, but this year I am going with the Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake from The Cake Bible. (As an aside, if you have an early edition of this book and measure by volume, know that you will need 16 tablespoons of butter, not 12! If you measure by weight then the recipe is fine as written.) If you don’t have a copy of The Cake Bible handy, you can find the cake recipe here.
For the frosting I used this recipe for coconut frosting. Actually, the frosting plus that cupcake recipe is really good, but I digress… I really like the flavor of it and it was just the right color for the lamb’s wool, even if it did get a bit melty in my warm kitchen at the end of piping. And speaking of piping, applying the frosting with piping tips uses A LOT of frosting, so I’m going to go ahead and make 1.5 or 2x the original recipe. If you read the whole recipe before you begin, you’ll realize that you do NOT need to make double the amount of reduced coconut milk in order to make a double batch of frosting. Learn from my mistake!
Really the lamb cake should be enough dessert for our little family, but we had a lot of fun making sugar cookies with the kids at Christmas, so I might put together a batch of cookie dough too. Maybe.