Hmmm… Pastels? Check. Tulips? Check. Bunnies? Check. Eggs? Check. It must be EASTER! This is how we “rolled” in 2013. We tell you about the table first and how we put it all together, then we get into what served. Suggestion: Eat a snack before you get to the food pics!
Lots of layers going on here. First is the tablecloth. Placemats next, then charger plates. Even the napkins were layered with a solid pale pink napkin folded inside the white one. [Open both napkins up all the way Place the inner one so that its top left corner is slightly down and to the right from center, then gather up the napkins from the center to form a small bunch and place the duo into the napkin ring.]
The table decorations were intentionally kept low to facilitate conversation. Because the table is over 10 feet long, we went with multiple arrangements, rather than just one. The tulips are placed in bright metal “picking buckets,” looking like they came straight out of the garden. Those are real handblown, dyed and decorated eggs in the little ceramic egg cartons. The chicks, bunnies, and sheep came along for the ride. Next time I will remember that the cute little sheep didn’t show up on the white tablecloth and will will rearrange accordingly. Tweak, tweak, tweak.
The napkin rings were egg-shaped, each one a different color. The white raised dots in the dinner plate echoed the polka dots in the pink salad bowl and bread and butter plate. My thought was that with the separate salad bowl and small plate, people wouldn’t have to put everything on the same plate. Champagne for lunch? Oh, why not?!
In retrospect, I decided I should have removed the leaf from the table. The distance between each place setting gave us plenty of elbow room, but it would have been a bit cozier if the table were smaller. Harder, however, to swipe food off a tablemate’s plate. (Not that I would ever do that, of course…)
We spread out the food on the kitchen island and let everyone fill their plates, rather than plating the food for each person or serving family style at the table. With a big meal like this, way too much time is spent on “Have you gotten the salad?” or “Pass the chicken, please. I haven’t had any chicken.”
We adorned the deviled eggs with edible flowers — little violas and marigolds and snapdragons. They sure dressed them up! Prettiest egg platter I’ve ever made!
Baby carrots, cooked to perfection via slow simmering and a hint of cinnamon and Splenda. The orchid goes nicely with the color of the tongs.
One of the entrees was Chicken a la Michael. If no one had been watching, I would have stripped off the skin and microwaved it on paper towels to create crispy chicken skin “chips” — an idea I got from author Dana Carpender. But there were watchful eyes, so I instead garnished the platter with rosemary and orchids and played nice.
I made two batches of George Stella’s Original Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese — one with jalapeno cheddar and one with regular. You know which one I dived into!
Aunt June and my mother love lamb, so Michael smoked some and served it with traditional mint jelly.
Cool and crunchy with oodles of flavor, Becky’s version of Chinese Cabbage Salad. (No ramen noodles!)
Perhaps it was overkill, considering the fact we already had both chicken and lamb, but I also fixed Sweet and Sassy Pork Tenderloin. Variety is the spice of life, you know.
Here is a closeup of one of the pans of cauliflower mac ‘n cheese. I had used small Easter cookie cutters to cut yellow and orange peppers into appropriate shapes. Next time I do it, I would wait until halfway through or more to place the peppers on the cauliflower as it bakes and I would probably use a different color. Sometimes I can find purple peppers. The yellow ones clearly don’t produce the desired effect.
May your Easter be a blessed one!