Welcome Spring Dinner

romaine sugar snap peas pecan dressing

A week ago, I invited my friend “C” over for dinner and Scrabble. I am bad at Scrabble but enjoy playing it as long as my opponent does not mind that I am not tough competition. “C” offered to bring an arrangement and asked about the theme. I did not have a theme in mind and asked her if “Welcome Spring” went along with what she wanted to make. The daffodils were perfect! With snow and temps in the 30’s, it did not feel like Spring but I do live in Rochester, NY.

Romaine and Sugar Snap Peas with Pecan Dressing

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake

Sliced strawberries with a splash of Fragola (Wild Miniature Strawberry Liqueur), a dollop of ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake

I wanted to use my cute individual dishes that I bought at Wegmans awhile ago. Individual Cheesy Quinoa Asparagus bakes were perfect for these dishes.

strawberries with ricotta and honey

I created my own dessert with inspiration from my Easter basket – Strawberry Liqueur.

My critique of the meal: I would not make the pecan dressing again but I do like the idea of roasting and making my own nut butter to make a salad dressing. I enjoy quinoa bakes but probably not with asparagus. I am looking forward to serving fruit with liqueur and ricotta again.

 

 

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Macadamia Nut Lunch

Macadamia Nuts 3 Ways

It has been awhile since I made a featured ingredient lunch. I made this for my companion “D”. He loves macadamia nuts so it inspired this packed meal for him to take to work.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Pasta with Macadamia Nuts – I used ricotta cheese

Top Right: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Energy Balls

Bottom Right: Asparagus & Macadamia Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing – I did not ribbon the asparagus since they were thin

 

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Stuffed Eggplant Dinner

Stuffed Eggplant Dinner Table.jpg

I made this for my friend “C”. I enjoy having her over for dinner since she eats a wide variety of food and the conversation flows.  It was a memorable meal – delicious! I served the dessert from the refrigerator but put it on the table for the photos.

Stuffed Eggplant Dinner.jpg

Greek-Style Stuffed Eggplant – I did not use the mint or parsley and seasoned with salt and pepper. Also I halved the recipe and only used 1 eggplant.

Garlic Bread – I sliced store bought French bread, spread with butter, sprinkled with garlic powder and put in the oven with the eggplant until lightly browned

Individual No-Bake Cheesecake – I used graham cracker crumbs.

This meal was fairly simple but memorable. We keep talking about the stuffed eggplant!

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Mermaid Rice

mermaid rice

I made this meal for my niece. It is healthy and plain but I served chocolate with it. She helped style it and placed all of the almonds for the mermaid’s tail.

Container: Book Bento Box

Contents: Mermaid – hot cooked Nishiki rice pressed in a cookie cutter with plastic wrap, eye – spinach, hair – carrot, tail – almonds, broccoli, carrot sea horses, shells, and starfish

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Wax Resist Dyed Easter Egg Ornaments

Wax Resist Dyed Easter Eggs

My 19 year old niece and I have a tradition of decorating eggs for Easter. I am so pleased that we just finished our 8th year of decorating eggs together! This year we used the Ukrainian wax resist technique. Many years ago we used the same technique but we did not know what we were doing and we used a simplified technique. This year we took a class at a library and decided to try it at home with blue dyes. It was easy to order various blue dyes from The Ukrainian Gift Shop.

We started with blown-out eggs with 2 holes.

I Googled Ukrainian egg patterns and focused on eggs with only blue and white. I printed off some images and patterns. We mostly based our designs on those images and patterns. This technique is fun but takes a long time to complete. My niece made 3 eggs and I made 4 but hers are more detailed.

When we were done, I attached 1/8 inch white ribbon hangers by using a very long needle. Then I used a little bit of hot glue if the hole was large and I was afraid the ribbon would fall through.

Year 8 – Ukrainian

Year 7 – Punched Paper

Year 6 – Diorama

Year 5 – Marble

Year 4 – Ribbons

Year 3 – Quilling

Year 2 – Simplified Ukrainian

Year 1 – Paper Cut-out

removing wax from egg

It is fun playing with fire! But of course we had to be careful and never leave the flame unattended.

Wax on Egg

My niece made this beautiful egg based on an image.

ScallopedSunsEggOrnament

bunny wax resist egg ornament.jpg

I used a coloring book page to make this bunny and flower design.

flower ukranian technique egg

 

not straight but still beautiful easter egg

My lines are not straight but I still think it is pretty.

Ukranian Easter Egg

My niece made this gorgeous egg.

Egg Tree with Punched Paper and Wax Resist

On my new tree this year are some eggs from the past 2 years. It makes me feel peaceful and happy to look at it.

 

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Easter Food Art and Bento Lunch

Rabbit Food Art

I enjoy making food art on a plate but don’t do it very often. Typically making a full meal works better into my plans. I had this idea last year but I was busy starting my new life (job and apartment) before Easter. This year, my 19 year old niece and I enjoyed this.

Rabbit with Carrot Car: Rabbit – cheddar mashed potatoes cut with imprint cookie cutter, eye – red bell pepper, vehicle – whole carrot cooked, broccoli, black olives attached with dry spaghetti

Bunny Mashed Potato Bento

Container: Book Bento Box

Contents: Rabbit – cheddar mashed potatoes cooled then shaped with a cookie cutter, cooked broccoli, asparagus, carrot, mango

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Cinderella Themed Dinner

Cinderella Dinner Collage

Over a week ago, my friend and I went to see the Rochester City Ballet perform Cinderella at Nazareth College. The ballet was amazing, it was my favorite ballet experience. The performance had humor, special effects, visual interest, and skilled performers. We had dinner at my place before the ballet. Of course, it was Cinderella themed. When my friend asked what she could bring, I said an arrangement. She made a beautiful centerpiece.

Cinderella Dinner

The menu was mostly make ahead and easy to prepare.

Cinderella Salad: Assorted lettuce, glass slipper (daikon – Japanese radish cut with a knife around a paper template), pumpkins (carrot cut with mini cookie cutter), stars (yellow bell pepper cut with mini cookie cutter)

Clock Strikes Midnight Roasted Cauliflower and Cheese Hand Pie: Roasted cauliflower, sauteed onion, cheddar cheese in pie crust with pie crust details cut with small cookie cutters. Baked at 375 for about 20 minutes.

Cinderella Coach Orange Sorbet: Orange Sorbet, chocolate wheels (put melted chocolate in a zip-lock plastic bag, use scissors to cut a small corner off of the bag, pipe chocolate onto a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil, refrigerate until firm.

Cinderella Salad with Clock Strike Midnight Roasted Cauliflower Hand Pie

Cinderella Coach Orange Sorbet

Cinderella Floral Arrangement

Cinderella Clock Hand Pie before Baking

This meal was so much fun to plan, make and eat! It reminded me of something that I already knew – Adults Can Eat Cute Food Too!

 

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