For my Easter brunch table, I have the most gorgeous deep robin’s egg blue paper to use as a tablecloth. I’m going to pair it with all shades of yellow, yellow, yellow.
Isn’t it fabulously lucky that mimosas are a light yellow? I think I might make my placecards just be pretty nametags wrapped around the stem of a champagne glass filled with a bubbly mimosa. A lovely way to arrive at a party and find your seat.
Torrey made Monkey Bread this weekend! Look at all that heavenly cinnamon and sugar. I really need to get around to it now :)
I’m working on my menu for Easter Brunch, so maybe I can add it in. Check back tomorrow for menu and decor plans!
Here is my appetizer table from my most recent dinner party! I love presenting apps on a simple wood cutting board.
Click here for the recipe for the puff pastry tarts, adapted from Ina Garten. This is a very Barefoot Contessa-heavy menu because her recipes are just soooo good and I can’t help it.
Instead of the large puff pastry rounds she recommends, I cut smaller squares from the rolled-out puff pastry and tucked them into muffin pan cups that I had sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. I pricked the bottom of the puff pastry with a fork so it wouldn’t rise, and then layered the onions, tomato and cheeses according to the recipe.
Blue Cheese Crackers (adapted from Ina Garten)
Really these are thicker than most store-bought crackers. They have more of a Melba toast crunch to them.
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature – make sure the butter is very soft. Microwave for five seconds if you have to.
- 8 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled (about 12 ounces with rind), at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Using a mixer, cream the butter and Stilton together for 2-3 minutes, or until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it’s in large clumps, under 1 minute. Add a few more tablespoons of flour if it is still extremely creamy (as mine was). Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and mix until it all sticks together (gather it together with your hands to see if it holds).
Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts in a square on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing firmly so the walnuts are pressed into the dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove pan from the oven and flip all the crackers, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature with a quince or fig jam, or cheeses.
Another incredibly gorgeous color palette idea from Martha Stewart, table goddess extraordinaire . . .
This fuchsia and taupe table is just lovely, especially with the sand-colored glassware and monochromatic table. The pink is so heavenly that it would work against any white or neutral tableware, which most of us have. It’s a bit reminiscent of my Rose-Colored Inspiration, and that menu would work equally well with the brighness of this fuchsia table.
I had never heard of Monkey Bread before reading Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, and now I’m OBSESSED. Think about making it all the time. Maybe because of the cream cheese frosting? Entirely because of the cream cheese frosting? Maybe because of the cinnamon roll-esque balls of bready goodness dipped in brown sugar and cinnamon? Entirely because of the cinnamon roll-esque balls of bready goodness dipped in brown sugar and cinnamon?
It’s hard to say.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had a few hours to make Monkey Bread yet, so in lieu of tasting it myself I thought I’d let you all know about it. You know, in case you’re looking for a dessert that takes a lot of rising time and hands-on time. I think I might make it for my happiness group this weekend.
From Martha Stewart, who designs tables like no other:
These colors are just so transcendent together; touches of extremely pale blue paired with lipstick red and stark white. Proof that red, white and blue can be glamorous and gorgeous.
Rhubarb pie is my dad’s favorite dessert, and I made it for his birthday this year. It has to be ONLY rhubarb – none of this hyphenated craziness with strawberries or raspberries – and it has to be only very lightly sweetened, and most importantly, it has to be eaten cold. Not room temp. Cold.
I don’t know where or how my dad discovered the perfect flavor that the cold lends the tart rhubarb, but I have to agree that it works unbelievably well. It’s also impossible to find a cold tart rhubarb pie anywhere, so if you want one, you have to make it yourself.
A note on choosing rhubarb: look for ripe red rhubarb that’s firm. Don’t bother with limp rhubarb. If you can only find greenish rhubarb, that’s fine; just add about a quarter cup more sugar to the pie. Wash the rhubarb stalks with cold water to remove any dirt, and cut off and discard the ends.
Chop the rhubarb so all the pieces are of roughly equal size, about half an inch long.
Now you’re ready to make the pie!
- One double pie crust (I’m still working on my recipe, so I’m afraid I’m no help in this department yet)
- 4-5 cups chopped rhubarb, cut in roughly half-inch pieces
- a little less than 1 cup granulated sugar (just estimate roughly 1/8 cup less)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- zest of a small lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut up into small pats
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out pie crust and place in pie plate.
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in the bottom of the pie plate. Heap rhubarb over this mixture. Zest the lemon evenly over the rhubarb. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and flour mixture. Dot with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust and affix any extra decorations with either an egg wash (one beaten egg mixed with a tablespoon of water) or if you’re lazy like me, just a little water.
Place pie on lowest rack in over. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for at least half an hour (preferably longer), then refrigerate until cold.
Eat standing over the pie plate at the counter because it’s SO good that a fork just seems superfluous.