Tuesday, April 15, 2014


a quick snapshot of busy days and special moments
chubby toddler hands
French braids 
surprise 90th birthday party
kids and grandkids visiting
fun with cousins
 longtime friends
convo with pop-pop

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beet pickled eggs

To assemble this colorful salad, lay a bed of lettuce on a plate. Top with sliced pickled eggs, pickled beets and some of the onions from the pickling jar. Add crisp bacon, crumbled cheese and drizzle on the dressing.

Beet pickled eggs


1 can sliced beets
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 onion, sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar

a few peppercorns (optional)
several cloves (optional)
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled

Place eggs in the bottom of a quart size glass jar.

In a medium saucepan, add the vinegar, beets with juice, onion, sugar, and spices (if using). Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the sugar has dissolved and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs in the jar, covering completely. Close jar and refrigerate 1-3 days. The longer the eggs sit in the pickling juice, the more the pickling juice will penetrate the eggs.

Beet Pickled Eggs Salad
with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

Serves 2

For the salad:
lettuce (I used butter lettuce and radicchio) 
2 beet pickled eggs, sliced
pickled beets and onions from the pickled beets mixture
2 cooked, crisp bacon strips
small amount of Gorgonzola, feta or favorite cheese 

For the dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. seedless raspberry preserves
salt and pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil or other light oil

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, raspberry preserves, salt and pepper.  While whisking, drizzle oil until incorporated.
Pickled Egg Salad
Everyone has their preference for making egg salad.  Some like it simple with just mayo, salt and pepper and others like to add things like celery, onion or chives, dill, parsley and maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Sometimes I toss in a little relish. Some like the eggs mashed while others like a large chunk. Light dressing or extra creamy - you decide.  One thing for sure, egg salad made with pickled eggs are so flavorful!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vintage Chic Easter Brunch for Two

Gather together some olden linens, treasured Easter decorations and a couple of recipes your grandma probably made long ago, for a vintage brunch that mostly can be prepared ahead.


Pickled Egg Salad
(recipe coming)

Cinnamon Swirl Mini Bread Loaves
(recipe below)

Pickled Beet and Egg Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Dressing
(recipe coming)

 Pickled Egg Salad served in a ceramic Easter egg-shaped candy dish made for me by my mother-in-law while my husband and I were just dating.
 Cinnamon Swirl Bread Mini Loaves and Easter egg-shaped butter pats (made in same silicone mold as peanut butter eggs)
 Pickled Beet and Egg Salad
Raspberry Balsamic Dressing

In the Easter Tablescape Parade
 Little wooden crosses to remind us of the greatest gift ever
 Ceramic Easter eggs painted years ago.The top right egg was painted by our oldest daughter, Erin, when she was just a wee one. 
 A collection of crocheted animals made by myself and my mom when I was expecting our oldest daughter.
 a crocheted diorama chocolate Easter egg
 similar pattern but created to open to hide treats
 Remember L'eggs pantyhose containers?  They were used to give this nesting hen her body. 
 A chocolate ceramic bunny made when I was just married with more recent purchased decorations
 A pair of aqua bunny napkin rings picked up this year at cts hold vintage linen napkins.
 all on a softly faded vintage tablecloth found at a garage sale
Swirls of cinnamon and sugar (you could also add raisins) with a sweet frosting and festive sprinkles are just the right size for two.  The loaves can be made ahead; wrapped well and frozen.  Add the frosting after thawing.  If planning to toast, omit frosting as most of it melts off.
Cinnamon Swirl Mini Bread Loaves


1 large egg plus enough very warm water to measure 1 cup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups bread flour
3 Tbs. Nonfat dry Milk
3 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. Bread Machine Yeast

2 tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter, softened

Add all of the bread ingredients in the order recommended by manufacturer of your bread machine (usually wet ingredients followed by dry ingredients and ending with the yeast).  Set the machine to dough setting. When complete, remove dough from machine and allow to rest, covered for 5 minutes.

Spray three 3-inch x 5-inch mini loaf pans.  Divide dough into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each piece to 5-inches x 10-inches. Spread about 2 tsp. butter onto each.  Sprinkle each with  third of the sugar mixture.  Beginning at the short side, roll up tightly; pinch edge to seal and place into prepared pan.  Cover lightly and place in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise for another 30-60 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Tent with foil if browning too quickly.

Remove from pans to cooling rack.

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. melted butter
1-2 Tbs. cream or milk
tiny pinch salt (optional)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until smooth adding the cream little by little to achieve the right constancy. Spoon/spread over bread; sprinkle with jimmies, if desired.

NOTE: If you want your frosting to be thinner and be more of a glaze, frost when the bread has cooled just a bit.  If you prefer the frosting to be thicker and whiter, allow the loaves to be just a little warm before spreading on the frosting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs

Oh, peanut butter and chocolate!

Many years ago, my friend taught me to make candy. We spent many hours making so many, very delicious varieties.  It has been a long time since I made any.

When I saw a silicone baking mold in the shape of little Easter eggs at Christmas Tree Shop, I thought it would be fun to make some again. The mold is meant for baking but it works great for candy.

Aren't they cute. You can still make chocolate peanut butter cups if you don't have a mold by using a mini muffin tin lined with paper cups.

I began by melting colored candy melts in squeeze bottles and followed the design on the mold. After setting in the fridge, I then used a new, clean paint brush to coat the sides and make a chocolate shell.

When the shells were chilled and firm, I added a peanut butter and confectioners' sugar mixture. Finally I filled the mold to the top with additional chocolate to seal. 

Back in the fridge to wait patiently for everything to firm completely.  Then I flipped the mold over onto the counter and gently popped each one out.
Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

What you need:
Candy melts in your choice of colors for decorating (optional)
Candy Melts in milk or dark chocolate OR Chocolate chips
equal parts creamy peanut butter and confectioners' sugar (if you like the center softer, add a little more peanut butter and a little less sugar)
silicone mold or mini muffin tins lined with paper liners

What to do:
In small bowl, stir peanut butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. 
Melt candy melts (or chocolate chips) per package directions.
Make chocolate shell by painting melted chocolate on bottom and sides of mold.
Chill in fridge until firm.
Using a small spoon or pastry bag, pipe peanut butter mixture in each chocolate shell. (I used a piping tube but had to apply a lot of pressure) Tap down, if needed, with your finger dipped in confectioners' sugar.
Spoon additional melted chocolate into each shell to top edge, tapping the mold gently to level.
Chill in fridge until firm; pop peanut butter eggs out of mold.

To store:
I keep them in a covered tin or plastic container between layers of waxed paper in the fridge.  

NOTE: I read, if using paper liners, to lightly mist them with cooking spray. I haven't tried it but sounds like a good idea. 


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