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Easter Recap 2014 (And Mother’s Day Ideas to Spoil Your Momma!)

May 3, 2014

I know it’s kind of late to post an Easter recap of my menu, but I wanted to give some general entertaining ideas that you can make all year round (Mother’s Day is just around the corner folks!). I always get a little nervous when I have vegans coming over–but enjoy the challenge of making fancy vegan dishes that even meat lovers enjoy. Let’s start with the appetizer. I love Indian naan bread because it’s so versatile, and toasts up really nicely. I topped the bread with a light spread of fig jam, some thinly sliced pear, smoked gouda cheese (can use almond cheese for a vegan version). I toasted it in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. Then topped them with fresh arugula, some balsamic vinegar I cooked down in a sauce pan to enhance the sweetness, and fresh pepper.  I then chopped these up into four pieces each: 





Next up, a vegan dish I made up on the fly, farro salad with roasted vegetables. Cook the farro in veggie or chicken broth according to package directions. I got the quick cooking kind from Trader Joes. Meanwhile, chop up some eggplant, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, and coat with  2 tbs of olive oil, and 6 minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Add the veggies to the farro, along with 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil. You can add goat or parmesan cheese if you like. Then add a dressing of 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar, with 1/3 cup olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. I was ecstatic I had leftovers of this, because I ate it for lunch the next two days! Nom nom nom.




Don’t you love dishes that look like you spent hours sweating it out in the kitchen, but are so simple to prepare that you had spare time to drink some tea and read a book?!  Mussakhan is one of these dishes. Mussakhan is a regional Palestinian dish of roasted chicken, caramelized onions, and bread. Actually my very first video focused on this dish, and I got a little bit too excited–the video turned into a 5 part series!   For subscribers that have been with me for a while you know what I am talking about, but for newcomers, here is my first video–a step by step explanation you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else:





For my vegan friends, I made a meatless version if kibbeh. Kibbeh is a dish that usually features ground meat (like beef or lamb) combined with onions, garlic, spices, and bulgur wheat. It’s then served casserole style, or rolled into football shapes and deep fried. As kids we would get into wrestling matches over the deep fried ones they are ridiculously delicious. I made a more figure-friendly version. Can you guess what I used instead of meat for this dish?  




Finally…DESSERT! I made the lemon labnah cheesecake with almond ginger crust that I posted on this blog before, but I used a cherry topping, more New York cheesecake style. That cake was inhaled in less than 10 minutes…some comments I heard “This is the best cheescake I have ever had!” “So light and creamy” “Love that tangy flavor!”  This is the lonely last piece that was left.

Camera 360

After all the guests left and I finished washing dishes, mopping the floor, wiping the countertops and vacuuming (cause I am OCD like that) I treated myself to this last piece, eating it slowly and savoring every bite. In case you want to refresh your memory, here is the video:

That’s all for my Easter my next blog, I will give you a breakfast idea that will make excellent use of upcoming sweet summery tomatoes! 

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