Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Party

I threw an Easter extravaganza/birthday dinner for my Mom on Sunday, which was a blast...great food and great people. I had had grand visions of eating upstairs on my 9 foot farm table, which usually serves as my desk (I sit at one end, little me and my tiny laptop dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of what feels like a very droll piece of furniture). Fortunately for my vision, eleven people can only fit in one place...around a 9 foot farm table.

I bought a piece of linen from Gray Line Linens (an entire blog post will surely be devoted to this store...just wait) to create an earthy, casual feel. Mason jars, new and old, housed tulips and ranunculus which looked beautiful in small bouquets. I mixed-matched plates and silver. My grandmother's old green peacock dessert plates looked so festive and springy underneath my homemade apple and pear crumble.

I committed to keeping the menu simple, learning from past mistakes of cooking too many dishes and using recipes that required last-minute preparation. My new mantra goes something like this - if you're not having any fun, your guests definitely aren't having any fun. Less is more and organization is key. You have to be truly present...in the moment, with your guests and in the kitchen.

Homemade Rosemary Parmesan Crackers

Ham and Biscuits
Shrimp and Creamy Rosemary Polenta
Cold Pesto Pasta Salad
Roasted Carrots and Asparagus

Apple and Pear Crumble over Vanilla Ice Cream
Ginger Cookies

The rosemary parmesan crackers are delicious. Use a fork to combine a stick of softened butter with 2 cups of grated parmesan. Add 1 t of rosemary, 1/4 t salt and a 1/2 t of pepper. Pristinely clean hands can gradually mix in the last ingredient, 1 1/4 cups of flour. Roll into a long log and freeze for 15 minutes. Slice into 1/4 inch crackers and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown. I know what you're thinking, but one cracker with a glass of cabernet never hurt anyone.

Recipe inspired by Ina Garten.

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