Sweet and Bright

Every year, as long as I can remember, my family has gone to Eo's (my mom's best friend) house for Easter. I know I wrote about it last year, and this year is no different! Ok, that's not the truth. I did something different this year since apparently, the cupcake baking bug has bitten me. I spent yesterday afternoon looking up cupcake recipes, icing recipes, places to buy decorations and cool paper liners for cupcakes... this may turn into a bit of a hobby which I'm sure my coworkers will enjoy! I settled on a simple white cake for the cupcake part, which I enhanced with some lovely Madagascar vanilla beans that the people at Marx Foods sent me to try out. I've never tasted better vanilla in my life! P.S. You can get these amazing vanilla beans in my OpenSky shop!
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The cake recipe came from Country Living, and I honestly wouldn't change a thing! The process is a bit different than other cakes I've made, but it worked, so I'm not objecting! Ingredients * 1 1/2 cup(s) sifted cake flour * 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder * 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt * 1/2 cup(s) (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened * 1 cup(s) sugar * 2 large eggs, room temperature * 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped * 1/2 cup buttermilk Directions 1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. 2. Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not overbeat. 3. Pour or scoop mixture into prepared cupcake tins. Bake about 15 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. 4. Allow to cool completely, then frost.
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I found this icing recipe on FoodTV.com and knew it was perfect for the festive Easter holiday. It was simple: 1 and a half cups of powdered sugar mixed with 3 Tbsp. champagne. Mixed until smooth, it made a perfect textured icing for dipping the tops of cupcakes. I went a little crazy. (Me? Crazy? NEVER!) Half the cupcakes were iced with the white icing and pink, green, yellow, and blue sparkling sugar, like this:
Sparkling Easter cupcakes
Sparkling Easter cupcakes
And the other half were tinted with this fun neon food coloring I found, then sprinkled with Swedish coarse sugar.
Bright Easter cupcakes
Bright Easter cupcakes
I arrived at Eo's with cupcakes in hand, and the festivities had already begun! As usual, the grill was smoking with the cognac and lemon-cured salmon that has become tradition to eat on Easter. Before dinner though, a very important event had to occur: the Easter egg hunt! Now, I'm sure once we have kids of our own, the tradition will shift a bit, but as of now, all us "kids" still get to search for eggs. They're very well-hidden... can you find the 4 in this picture?
hidden eggs
We all found a good number of eggs full of change, candy, toys, and we were lucky and found the $10 egg! My sister found a bunch too!
easter eggs
I thoroughly enjoyed some Starburst jelly beans. They're my favorite and I won't buy them, as I'll eat however many there are!
jelly beans
Before long, Eo was taking the salmon off the grill, and we got ready to eat!
grilling salmon
easter dining room
There was a fair share of vegetables, as well as a new favorite for me, onion casserole:
green beans
roast potatoes
onion casserole
asparagus
The salmon was perfectly cooked and delicious, as always
lemon salmon
A beautiful berry salad accompanied the meal, along with a frisee, apple, and radish salad
frisee and radish salad
spring fruit salad
THEN was dessert. There were my cupcakes of course, my sister made a sinfully delicious pecan cake, Aunt Dori made a flourless chocolate cake, and the platter of chocolates was to die for! Also on my plate was some rhubarb crunch made by my mom and a chocolate chip cookie.
dessert plate
pecan cake
plate of chocolates
In all, it was a perfectly lovely Easter Sunday, full of family, friends, and food... I love how Spring has all these opportunities to celebrate! Thank you for yet another memorable Easter! And, to all my readers:
happy_easter
This entry was posted in Baking, family, fish or seafood, friends, grilling and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sweet and Bright

  1. axor says:

    great cupcakes!! great pix!

  2. Lauren says:

    Aw, dinner at Eo’s sounds so lovely!

    Okay, your cupcakes are perfection!!!!

    Glad you had a wonderful Easter hun!
    .-= Lauren´s last blog ..Easter Weekend =-.

  3. Donna says:

    That salmon looks FAB.U.LOUS! Mmmmm …
    .-= Donna´s last blog ..It’s official! =-.

  4. FLG says:

    Shucks that all just looks amazing! I’m always jealous of people/families with traditions.

    Excellent looking cupcakes that I’m sure tasted just as good 🙂
    .-= FLG´s last blog ..Weekly Weigh-in: Sickness =-.

  5. Ashley says:

    Love, love, love your cupcakes! I have that same neon food coloring. 🙂
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Our first Easter =-.

  6. The salmon looks delicious! I’m glad that the warm weather is here for more grilling

  7. Yourr cupcakes look AMAZING! I wish I could bake ;D
    -Mary
    .-= Mary @ What’s Cookin’ with Mary´s last blog ..Creamy Oven Roasted Vegetables with Whole Wheat Pasta for One =-.

  8. Everything looks wonderful! All of my favorite foods, in fact. I love salmon and frisee. Your cupcakes are super cute, too! 🙂 Looks like a perfect Easter dinner.

    Jenn
    .-= Jenn (www.j3nn.net)´s last blog ..Taking a Breather =-.

  9. kate says:

    I love the idea of having something besides ham on Easter! Im telling my fam to bring on the salmon next year!

  10. Jen says:

    Your photos are FABULOUS!

    I am on a total cupcake kick too, and highly recommend Martha Stewart’s Cupcake Cookbook. Everything I have made from there so far has been delicious. She also gives you great ideas/themes to decorate the cupcakes. I’m not much into cookbooks, but this one is really cool! Love reading your blog!

  11. Awww – such lovely pics, Maya!
    Thanks for the amazing recipe 🙂
    Have a wondeful week, girl!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    Gabriela

  12. How fun Mara…and I LOVE Eco’s house…that chandalier is amazing!!
    .-= Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly´s last blog ..Tuesday Trooper =-.

  13. Katie says:

    That spread looks straight out of Martha! What a fun day, made all the more special by an egg hunt (!) and gorgeous cupcakes!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Back in Shorts =-.

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