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!
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!
* 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
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.
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:
And the other half were tinted with this fun neon food coloring I found, then sprinkled with Swedish coarse sugar.
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?
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!
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!
Before long, Eo was taking the salmon off the grill, and we got ready to eat!
There was a fair share of vegetables, as well as a new favorite for me, onion casserole:
The salmon was perfectly cooked and delicious, as always
A beautiful berry salad accompanied the meal, along with a frisee, apple, and radish 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.
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: