Hostess with the Mostest

Easter weekend afforded me the chance to finally see my family again as they decided to make the trek up to Mass from Pennsylvania. I was super excited to see them as I hadn’t since Christmas, and I was stoked to plan and make my first Easter dinner for the everyone, along with brunch and a Friday night dinner.

Jumping back a year ago in my mom’s kitchen, you would have found me begrudgingly setting the table instead of helping to chop, bake, and boil vegetables and potatoes. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know how to really even cut a vegetable, and I was proud to say that! I believed that by giving into the desire to cook, I would miraculously turn into the generations of women before me- the designated housewife who cooked, cleaned, and looked after the kids, instead of an independent, successful woman. Needless to say, I have changed quite a bit in the past year.

Jack and I wanted to plan an Easter menu that offered some traditional food options, but also new takes on old recipes. We decided to expose my family to a small variety of dishes they might enjoy, but we knew we were taking a small risk because not everyone has the same taste that we do. We decided to continue our pretty steady Sunday tradition of making a recipe from Julia Child’s famed cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking I-Jambon Braise Morvandelle (The recipe is also found on page 392 in her famed book), and then add some recipes that Jack found online. We decided upon: Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus, Baked Brie, Cauliflower Soup, and Artichoke Mashed Potatoes. For brunch on Saturday we offered Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with bacon and eggs, and on Friday night we served homemade gnocchi and a terrific arrabiata sauce made by Jack who added heavy cream to the original recipe which made it delectable. Needless to say the weekend was completely dominated by site seeing and cooking, and more so on the cooking side. By the time my family left, I headed straight to bed to recover.

Easter lunch was the highlight of the weekend though as far as cooking is concerned. The meal brought the whole family together to cook, well maybe not Ash and Brandon, but my mom and dad very graciously offered to help. My dad actually took the reins and made the Julia Child Ham, and my mom helped to slice and dice veggies, and assemble the baked brie. We ended with only one broken dutch oven which was a success as far as I’m concerned working in a galley kitchen.

The dinner was delicious and I cannot wait to host one again. In the meantime, enjoy some of the “Lovely” pictures of my family (we are not so photogenic we Talisesky’s), but we try hard!

My sister, brother, and I in Newport RI in front of The Breakers mansion.

Same location, but with entire family.

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