Happy Sunday – and happy Easter!
I’ve been on a technology break since Friday afternoon. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things after you get back from vacation, you know?!
Since we last spoke, Ben tried his first Green Monster! We went on a 4+ mile walk on a greenbelt trail near our home yesterday, and came home wanting something light, yet really refreshing. I suggested we whip up a batch of GMs, and he agreed – whee! The verdict? He loved it! Could not taste the spinach at all.
I was talking to my father and brother-in-law last night (during my FIL’s birthday dinner – whoop!) and we all make our Green Monsters differently. I blend all the ingredients, except the frozen banana, until it’s super smooth. Then I add in the banana, hit the “ice crusher” button a few times to get it broken down a little, then blend until smooth again. Works every time!
I also got my hair cut since the last time we chatted! I went in for a trim and came out with the shortest haircut I’ve ever gotten…! Still not sure how it happened, but I’m digging it more and more everyday. It’s good for summer, you know? Today Ben and I went to early Easter service, then headed over to my parents house for breakfast and lunch. I brought stuff for a salad!
Ben brought himself and an ATF hat. Straight THUG.
My Mom had a gorgeous spread of fresh fruit,
and bagels from Panera to munch on while our Easter ham cooked away in the oven.
Oh, she also had my Easter candy kryptonite out… Starburst Jelly Beans. I literally cannot control myself around these delicious, delicious jewels and ate about a million. D’OH!
Soooo, here’s the thing. My brothers and I are all in our mid-late twenties…but we still require Easter baskets! Like our Christmas stockings, we still have the same ones we’ve had since we were little.
This year my parents totally hooked us up. Starburst Jelly Beans, Peanut M&Ms, Reese’s Eggs, Turtle Chex Mix and Black Forest Gummy Bears. Awesome!!
Ben got a basket too.
He was pumped!!
Finally, the ham was ready, the sides were hot and we were ready to eat. Here’s the woman behind the magic.
Let’s see, what have we got here…
Amana Ham (cooked in a paper bag)
Spinach, Strawberry, Feta & Toasted Almond Salad (my contribution)
Grandma’s Holiday Salad
Green Beans with Bacon & Onion
What a spread!
I got a little bit of everything…
The salty, Amana Ham is truly the star of the plate. The Amana Colonies were founded by German immigrents in Eastern Iowa, in the 1850s, and the area still produces specialty foods, art & furniture. Bomb.
I made a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette for my salad, by combining:
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Agave Nectar
- Salt & pepper
If you don’t have agave nectar, just add a little bit of white sugar. I didn’t measure anything so I don’t have a recipe, but it’s approximately 1 part vinegar to 4 parts oil + the honey/agave and seasonings to taste!
Party Potatoes are perhaps my most beloved holiday side dish. We have them every Christmas, New Years and Thanksgiving! Creamy, cheesy potatoes with a crunchy, buttery corn flake crust. What’s not to love?!
For sweets we had the other must-have holiday side dish in our family – Grandma’s Holiday Salad, which combines fresh fruit and cool whip with an egg/sugar/pineapple juice custard. I’ll get the recipe for you guys – it is DYNAMITE!!! My sister-in-law also brought some sticky buns. Oh. Yum!
I had seconds of Grandma’s Holiday Salad & Party Potatoes, natch.
Then…the piece de resistance…Peanut Butter Pie!!!!
I actually made this when I was over at my parent’s house yesterday, starting with a homemade oreo crust – which is so easy! Just crush 20 Oreos (with the cream) in a food processor, stir in 3 Tablespoons melted butter. Press into a pie pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes!
It was super chocolaty and crunchy. And so easy! Who knew?!
The filling was wickedly, sinfully good!
Peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and cool whip.
Top with hot fudge sauce and cool whip. THEN drizzle more hot fudge and caramel sauce on top. O.M.G.!!!!!!!!!!! Rich. Decadent. Only need a sliver. You’ll melt.
We were all very pleased.
Happy Easter from the IGE family!!!
Did you have any Easter traditions when you were little?
My parents always hid eggs filled with M&Ms and jelly beans all around the house. We color coded them, so I always knew to look for the pink and purple colored plastic eggs. My older brother got blue and orange and my younger brother got green and yellow. Our Easter baskets were always hid somewhere SUPER hard to find (or so it seemed) like in the dryer or under the sink!