Easter Feasting

So, basically this spring rocks. Normally this time of year in the Northwest we are still firmly planted under gray clouds, and now I'm constantly shocked by the fact that I can't wear my jacket! Every time I head over to work the sun halos golden light around the cherry blossoms, and I the parks are full of people basking in the warmth of the unusual season. Easter was equally beautiful this year, to the point where I actually was able to set out a towel and lay out on the freshly cut lawn to soak up some rays while the feast I prepared was roasting.
Speaking of the feast, this was one of my more epic culinary feats (in my opinion anyway.) With five courses, and my 92 year old grandmother in attendance I knew I wanted to make it count. I also have been on a vegan kick again, as part of my "oh-my-goodness is the wedding really only that far away?! I need to really fit into that dress!" thought process. Clearly feasting still needs to be part of my life while I diet to fit in the dress... somehow.
Moving forward!

The first course was a simple charcuterie platter I whipped up thanks to my beloved Trader Joe's and a couple unique recipes I discovered. This course included a simple salami and cheese plate (chianti cured and blueberry vanilla chevre from TJ's) and some thyme, honey and lemon crackers with carrot top pesto* that people seemed thrilled with. Never underestimate a simple set-up for people to pick at -you can make it look beautiful and it keeps people tied over until the rest of the meal starts. The second and third courses included a vegan split pea soup made with coconut milk from the Skinny Bitch cookbook and an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette, shockingly fresh strawberries, and toasted almonds.

With the third course of lemon asparagus risotto covered with duck confit I served some not-so-vegan milk rolls*. However, the true finale was butterscotch whiskey pudding topped with chocolate ganache and sea salt*, which was unfortunately devoured before I could take any photos.
It was a wonderfully spent day, and my fiancé still laughs about how excited I got over the Easter egg hunt my parents set up for us. Yes, I know I'm twenty-three, although I try to the best of my ability to act more like a ten year old. Needless to say, while I still hear people saying "Oh I don't do the Easter 'thing'" I really can't think of a better excuse to spend time with your loved ones and beautiful sunshine.

*For those interested in the recipes I used for my dishes here are links to where I found these delectable selections:
Carrot-top Pesto
Sweet Milk Dinner Rolls
Whiskey Brown-Butterscotch Pudding


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