Easter Review

Photo via Martha Stewart

A quick run down of the Easter weekend highlights. (These are too late be to helpful to anyone this year, but may be good to file away for next year.)

I cooked lamb. It was super delicious. (Plus, I got to use my new food processor!) I will definitely make this again next year.

Pete and I made a spring kale salad. Yum! (Recipe posted below.)

We dyed eggs using turmeric, beets and red cabbage. You have to leave them in the dye overnight, but the colors turned out really saturated and cool.

We got to sing to lots of organ music in church. (I love seeing all the kids in their Easter outfits!)

We went to an amazing Easter potluck and drank some lovely Washington whites: CMS Sauvignon Blanc (left over from our wedding) and Maryhill Pinot Gris.

I started reading through Heidi Swanson's new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day.

We watched Winter's Bone, which kept my heart rate elevated for the entire movie. A little stressful, but still a good film. (Also made me more excited to see Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games.)

I had a nice run on Saturday morning, and have finally gotten to the point where I can add a little mileage every Saturday. My goal is to eventually run the 6.2 mile Cheshiahud Loop, which goes right by our house.

I decided to do the Seattle Danskin Triathlon after hearing that a friend is planning to do it. Fun!

I read a book in the sun for hours (and got a sunburn!).

I went through my clothes and took a load to Goodwill. (Therapeutic purging.)

We grilled with friends.

And, finally, I had a bit of a fiasco with hot cross buns. I went with Nigella Lawson's recipe, which is in her Feast cookbook. I mixed and kneaded the dough on Saturday night, and then put it in the fridge as directed so that I could bake them in the morning. The next morning, I had . . . a very cold, hard lump of dough that just didn't look right. So, there were no hot cross buns for Easter brunch. But, I let it raise over the course of the day, and then finished out the recipe last night. And, they're really good. I might try it again next year, but I'm not sure about this "let it rise overnight in the fridge" thing. Any suggestions?

Happy Easter!

Spring Kale Salad
Adapted from this recipe

1 bunch kale (I used curly), washed, dried and cut or torn into bite size pieces
1 lb. strawberries sliced
1 pear cut into bite size pieces
1 cup roasted nuts, I used sesame seeds, slivered almonds and macadamia (I think it's easiest to roast them on the stove top for a few minutes, moving the pan back and forth like you're making Jiffy Pop. I tried doing the macadamia nuts in the oven and burned half of them - hence adding the other nuts.)

For the vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons shallots, minced
2 whole lemons, juice & zest
2 teaspoons dijon mustard 
2-4 teaspoons sugar or honey 
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Put the chopped kale into the a mixing bowl.

Make the vinaigrette. In a medium sized glass or ceramic mixing bowl, add the shallots, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, sugar/honey, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix this well with a wire whisk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to emulsify properly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. You want this to be a little sweet with a good tart background (remember that you’re adding fruit to sweeten it up).

Dress the kale. Pour about half the vinaigrette over the chopped kale – reserve the rest in case you want to add more later and to finish off the salad. You don’t want to over-dress this salad.

Toss the kale. Now for the messy part – “massage” the vinaigrette into the kale. Kale has a water-resistant exterior that needs some coaxing to take hold of the dressing. I work my hands through the kale and massage the leaves for about 1-2 minutes. The kale should feel well-coated with dressing but not drenched. Add more dressing if needed.

If you have time, marinate the kale. This step is not necessary, though, and ours marinated on the table while we were waiting to eat. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it set in a refrigerator or on the counter while you’re preparing the rest of your meal. The time marinating will also help to tenderize the kale a bit.

Assemble the salad in a large bowl. First add the kale, then the strawberries and pears, and then the nuts. Finish off with a little dressing over the top.

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