despite the fact that erik and i are pretty antisocial, i do really enjoy it when we have small dinners at our house with his family. so erik and his sister finally turned 28 today, but we celebrated yesterday, combining Easter dinner and birthday cake. now i don’t celebrate Easter, personally, as a non-christian, but i grew up in a family that did and of course erik’s family celebrates the holiday. i had an urge to bake a traditional Easter ham (i used Tyler Florence’s recipe for Orange Glazed Ham minus the carrots), then quickly sauteed some leftover frozen peas from my mother in law’s (eilene) garden with some asparagus, enlisted eilene to make the infamous Mormon funeral potatoes (which i friggin’ love with all of my heart), and baked up some of Pioneer Woman’s buttered rosemary rolls (my heart also beats mightily hard for these beautiful little buttery babies).
because i don’t like to serve water at my dinners and because my in laws are mormon and don’t drink tea or coffee, i picked up a Paula Deen recipe for sparkling cherry lemonade. it reminds me of summer and even if the weather isn’t cooperating with me in making my dreams of summer come true, i’m going to drink something feels like it.
Sparkling Cherry Lemonade
recipe from Paula Deen
10 oz. package of frozen, pitted cherries
1 cup lemon juice (it takes like 6 lemons to make this much juice)
1 cup sugar
5 cups seltzer
puree the cherries, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender. pour into a pitcher. slowly pour the seltzer into the pitcher and serve the drink over ice. (just a note: i ended up not using the correct amounts on this. i dumped and stirred. i used a 16 ounce package of cherries, about one and a half cups of of lemon juice, and a scant 1 cup of sugar. i ended up with a nice mostly cherry with a splash of lemonade that wasn’t too sweet and was nicely fizzy). you can make it however you want. just keep tasting as you experiment with your amounts and remember: you can add sugar, but you can’t take it away so play with your sugar amounts depending on the levels of sweetness you like.
and to top everything off, the birthday cakes:
Laci’s cake was six layers of Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake with thinned apricot jam filling, iced with a new frosting recipe i tried (which is pretty tasty and decent for covering cupcakes – i used it as a crumb coat before i covered the cake in fondant. i wouldn’t try to pipe elaborate things with this frosting. it’s very soft and whipped cream-like in texture. but it is buttery and yummy). i used Satin Ice brand fondant that i colored myself with gel pastes. i have to say, Satin Ice is leaps and bounds better than Wilton brand fondant. it doesn’t taste like chemicals and melted plastic. it tastes like marshmallows. Erik decorated his own cake this year – i baked a dark chocolate cake and made my usual decorator icing (the shortening based one) and he went to town with it. the little ax sticking out of the tree is actually a lighter that my mother in law brought over.
* the recipes for most of what we cooked/baked are provided in the links throughout the post. give them a try – they all turned out wonderfully.