I usually do an Easter dinner. Not that I am particularly Christian these days but at the very least I recognize that these holidays are a chance for friends and family to come together to reconnect and maybe even reflect.
I always do an art project at my dinner parties. Christmas was making paper snowflakes; Easter was going to be Panoramic Easter eggs. My mom had one when I was a kid and it was so magical to look into the little hole of that sugar egg and see the scene inside. If you’re trying to imagine what I am talking about, here’s a visual:
With a quick Google search, I found the recipe and directions on the Internet. Here’s the link: http://scribbit.blogspot.com/2007/03/sugar-easter-eggs.html.
Making the molds was a bit messy but not too arduous. And I had such a great time watching everyone make their own egg creation.
First, you create your ‘scene’ inside the bottom half but to my surprise many of my guests decorated the ceilings too – starry, starry night on a vaulted ceiling. I couldn’t find any tiny toys on short notice so I ended up with pigs, trains and airplanes.
The royal icing is for decorating and for gluing the 2 halves together. After the egg is glued together, the egg is decorated.
I never dreamed it would be so fun. And we hadn’t even started on the food. The menu was based on a color theme of springtime yellow and green and fresh spring ingredients of asparagus and herbs like tarragon and parsley. After all it was the vernal equinox too
- Appetizer: Curried deviled eggs and edamame hummus
- Amuse bouche: Asparagus lasagna
- First course: Chilled pea and tarragon soup
- Main course: Make your pot pies, salad and roasted asparagus.
- Dessert: Lemon Curd layer cake
Everyone helped contribute with ingredients and wine and champagne and one of my friends making the fabulous cake. Here are the link to the recipes:
Edamame hummus: http://www.mealsmatter.org/recipes-meals/recipe/37317
Asparagus Lasagna: http://www.completerecipes.com/4963.htm
Chilled pea and tarragon soup: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/1812
With a couple vegetarians among my friends, I decided to assemble the ingredients separately and let everyone put their own together. 1. frozen peas, thawed. 2. carrots, small dice. 3. roughly using Nigella’s recipe, I sauteed the chicken pieces separately and made the gravy with the broth. 4. I skipped the bacon and sauteed some onion and garlic, added the flour and then vegetable broth and some white wine. We cut out the puff pastry (no the same as phyllo dough, btw) to fit the top of the cutest little footed soup bowls that I found at Crate and Barrel. It’s all in the presentation:
By the way, when I do a dinner party, I usually try to set the table a day or 2 before. It gets me in the mood and I feel like if the table is set, no matter what has happened in the kitchen, it still appears you’re ready to entertain. In keeping with the yellow and green theme, there’s nothing fresher looking than a granny smith apple. I love that color.