Hi everyone! I wanted to pop in before our busy weekend and Easter Sunday. I am so low key this year that it doesn't even feel like me, much less the Jane you know. I was doing a little blog visiting the other day, admiring some spring vignettes and then it hit me like a smack in the face...I didn't have one single piece anywhere celebrating spring or Easter. I absolutely spaced out on bringing anything up from the hoarding room. I have so many bunnies in all shapes and sizes; platters, dishes, banners...way overboard amounts of stuff, and I simply put off bringing anything out. I was thinking that I'd bring up a few decorations...favorite rabbits or hares or lambs the next time I did laundry. Nope. I think the late Easter had a few us off kilter. I really need to make some signs of spring all around tomorrow. After all, I have little kiddos that I need to impress. A year or two ago when I brought up way too many cartons and bins, many of my Easter guests were weirded out. The Husband remarked, "It was something about all those beady eyes everywhere you looked."
I really am going simple this year and I'm already ahead of the game. I'm feeling better physically, I think I finally beat the virus. A big Yay here. You may never hear me complain about my health EVER, but then again, I'm Calamity Jane.
I believe we are going to have just the kids for dinner. That's nice as we can all fit around the table. Last year (and many years before), we had so many that we were all spread out with plates balanced on our laps. I don't like that. I would love to have a big dining room, but after thirty years at this house, I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. Still, it's all about family, friends, love and gratefulness. Before I tallied this up, I had planned to have a buffet and not actually set the table. Now I think I can and I'll have a real tablescape picture for you next week. The first in a long time. I've fallen out of the thrill of playing with my dishes, but sometimes I feel like, I have a ton...use them. Be creative. Push myself to try out new ideas. Maybe even invite people over for dinner! ;-D
My curtains arrived as well as the new coffee table I found at Hayneedle. If you've never been to this website, hop on over. Ahem. Cool stuff and great prices. The curtains were found at Overstock as I mentioned in my last post. They are super heavy and lined. Maybe I missed that in the description online. I was so, so impressed with the quality. The way they were folded over cardboard pieces and sealed in plastic bags, I didn't have to press them at all. I love the colors and pattern and I'm shopping the house for more blue/green/aqua pieces.
I can't always vouch for what you get online since you can't touch, feel, or really see what you are going to get, but I've been lucky. I remain positive that the options online for any store is phenomenal. I feel that the most important thing you can do is check the reviews. Buyers opinions that range anywhere from the quality to color and more, is a deal maker or breaker.
Sorry that this looks more like a picture of My Milo (it is) but it was also the best shot I had of the window on short notice. Man, he needs to shed a few pounds before lake season. My last post has a better shot of the curtains.
And this is the coffee table. It's planked style, reclaimed wood. It has a dark stain and oddly, it matches my side tables bought a few years ago from another place. I love that it has that lower shelf to store books, magazines, and the everyday clutter you hide away when you're too lazy to toss it out or find a better spot. Again, it's from Hayneedle, my new love. And they have no idea who I am in case you're wondering. :)
I hope all of you are ready, or at least calm if you are hosting a big get together or have plans for Easter Sunday. And if you've followed me for awhile, you know I am a scatterbrained, over~achiever, who spends more time fretting over details than enjoying herself. I think after being so terribly sick and worn out over the past few months, I'm so grateful to have some energy and drive back and I just want to pace it.
My menu is much the same:
Baked Mashed Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
I've left out two dishes that will be new this year. I always have two veggies, my boys will only eat corn and many love to pile that up on top of their potatoes. This grosses me out but I personally don't like any of my food to touch. Usually I have asparagus as a second vegetable since it's so 'spring~like'. This year I decided to do the carrots that I wrote about recently. I couldn't find a picture but they are a hit. Simple sliced carrots, cooked up in a skillet with a little water, then boiled down with a sprinkle of sugar to caramelize them to a slight char. Such a hit and I can do these ahead of time and reheat in the oven.
The other dish I'm adding is risotto, or Italian arborio rice. It's rich and creamy, more like pasta than your ordinary rice. You can add any additions; veggies, meat, cheese, herbs or spices, for example, that you wish. The downside is that it's normally cooked on your stove top and involves gradual additions of broth as the rice soaks it up. Many times it has taken me a good 20 minutes standing there to make it. Who has the time? I found a recipe for oven baked risotto and I was thrilled because it really is worthy of a holiday dish or even having guests over. I actually test drove it tonight and it was a hit with The Husband and I. Here is the recipe...I forgot to take a picture tonight. This is also something you can make ahead and pop in the oven to reheat for dinner.
I have a few selections of cheese, meats and crackers for an appetizer along with my new found love, peach Bellinis. I found a mix near the champagne in a huge liquor store nearby. It's called Just Peachy, and you simply serve it with a splash of orange juice.
Homemade Almond Bark Candy, 2015
We have a crowd coming for dessert and everyone brings something. I'm rounding it out with my favorite springtime almond bark, angel food cupcakes topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, and pound cake with lemon curd and berries. I read an article about Ina Garten and her way of taking shortcuts. She says that she often buys a plain cake from her bakery and adds a topping of her own. So I was able to get a pound cake from the bakery section of my store, frozen, and I can keep it that way until Sunday. Just before serving I'll pour over some lemon curd, also store bought, and top it with raspberries. I have never been this savvy!!!!!
The almond bark is simple. Heat it up in your microwave, spread it out on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then sprinkle on your toppings. Store it in an airtight container and it lasts for days. Mmmmmm...
I hope you find some of these ideas helpful. If you have any questions about the recipes, send me an email.
I wish all of you a wonderful and blessed Easter. See you next week!