I cannot imagine how two and a half weeks has passed since my last post. A lot has gone on, some good and some not always so great, but, oh, how I've missed baking and blogging about it! Life Is Sweets has become such a nice constant amongst unpredictable days.
I wanted to write about Easter. It was such an amazing day! The majority of my family is in Buffalo so I am not able to spend most holidays with them. My Husband's family is from Ukraine and do not celebrate holidays in general. So, once a year I love gathering my in-laws and the rest of my Husband's family together for a Holiday meal. This year we hosted Easter, despite the fact some family members are Jewish and others are Russian Orthodox, so their Easter is a week later. Truthfully, it was my first Easter as a hostess, so I tried some new recipes. Some worked, some didn't. Case in point, the ham:
I was so excited to try a recipe I found for Dijon/Brown Sugar/Gingersnap Crusted Ham. It seemed simple enough to do, BUT, the crust fell off in chunks and bits...basically everywhere but on the ham. HOW DO YOU SUCCESSFULLY MAKE A CRUSTED HAM??!! I still haven't found the answer. The ham was delicious despite my efforts. ;)
Another new recipe I found from Pinterest, Honey/Balsamic Glazed Baby Carrots turned out perfectly delicious:
The recipe, from So Wonderful, So Marvelous, is so easy I highly recommend it!
Balsamic Honey Glazed Roasted Baby Carrots
2 pounds baby carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread carrots on cookie sheet, careful to not pile them on top of eachother. Drizzle with some olive oil adding salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add the two tablespoons of olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar. Roast for 5 more minutes. Eat and enjoy!
My Husband decided our featured Easter drink would be Chocolate Martinis. Yeah, they were super delicious!!
Before everyone arrived I made sure everything was ready in the dining room, which is fairly small. We have a long table with both leaves inserted. As a result, we have to turn the table sideways to fit everyone. For this gathering we needed seating for 10 adults and 4 children. I had ideas on an earthy tablescape, but also wanted a bit of fun for the kids. I found the adorable string bunny and egg decorations and hung them along the curtain rod. I thought they added some Easter cheer without being tacky. Not only did the kids love them, my cat did, too!
I bought some loose flowers and eucalyptus leaves to make floral arrangements in three square glass vases. I loved how they turned out, though I can definitely use some practice at arranging. I also bought egg cups and filled them with some jasmine I snipped from a bush in my yard.
And then there was dessert. I made white cake mini rose cupcakes and a meant-to-be-but-not-really hydrangea cupcake. The icing was a brighter green than I was going for, and I got overzealous with the frosting, but, hey, I tried! At least the roses turned out cute. it was my first time trying the technique and it actually works!
Hold the cupcake in one hand and in the other a piping bag fitted with a 2D tip. Holding the piping bag upright over the cupcake, start piping from the middle of the cupcake and slowly spiral around, ending where you begin. So super simple!
I wish I could say these cupcakes were totally delicious, but they were dry and not very tasty. At all. I was completely embarrassed! However, I made my Lemon Tarts, too, and they were a HUGE hit. They saved the day. :)
I made Easter baskets for my niece and nephews filled with candy, puzzles and other fun stuff. My Secret Service Agent cat Morticia took her job seriously and guarded them closely.
My sisters-in-law brought eggs dyed and designed by the kids and a wonderful collection of pussywillow branches with colorful hanging eggs. So cheerful!
Dinner was totally delicious with great food and tons of laughing. It was such a gorgeous day outside...we played games, egg hunted, scavenger hunted and enjoyed the sunshine.
And then everyone went home happy! Am I the only one who feels a sense of satisfaction of a job well done when I see a table of used dishes stacked up after a gathering? It's not that I love the cleanup, I just enjoy the remnants of a good time had by all. :)
I hope you had a wonderful Easter or Passover!!