Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter, Scallop Sliders and Apple Pie.

I was going to write last night.  I like to recap a weekend on a Sunday night while it's still fresh in my mind.  Last night, however, I was coming down from a giant sugar high and couldn't pull myself from the couch. I know all holidays get a little candy heavy, but Easter is right up there with Halloween as far as sweets are concerned.  The sugar consumption began on Saturday...licking frosting from the knives as we decorated cookies, continuing as I snagged jelly beans while filling plastic eggs to be hidden.  It didn't end there.  Sunday, as eggs were being found and opened, candy was being eaten.  We topped Easter off with apple pie and ice cream and by the time we got home, I crashed.  Too.  Much.  Sugar.  

Anyways...before the Easter festivities began we had a most wonderful date night.  Like any of our date nights, they revolve around good food.  I had been wanting to create this meal for a couple weeks now and Friday I got to test my creativity in the kitchen.  Unlike my home improvement projects, my creativity in the kitchen usually turns out well.  
Scallop sliders with Asian slaw and chipolte sauce...

When we were in Naples, Matt's dad was talking about these scallop sliders he had one night at a restaurant there.  This man knows a thing or two about food and this one caught my attention.  He described it as scallops, topped with crunchy onions, some cole-slaw and some sort of sauce served as sliders.  Friday I created my version and they were so, so good!  Only bummer was, the store I buy my seafood only had four sea scallops left.  So...I improvised.  I bought those four as well as a tuna steak and thought it would be a seafood slider melody.  I think both worked well.  Matt favored the scallops.  I tend to like the texture of a tuna steak better.  Both were delicious.  I'll put the recipe at the bottom.  These will be made again and again.  Great for a meal, or would be an impressive appetizer.  

Saturday was Easter kick-off for us.  Starting with the dyeing of the eggs...



Each year these traditions with the girls change.  Dyeing eggs with a toddler and baby is much more chaotic, but I am grateful for all those hard years of creating these traditions.  It was messy then, usually ending with a tantrum.  Now, it is smiles and a lot of creative energy from these girls.  Those early days of instilling the traditions have paid off.  The need for assistance has dropped dramatically and I am simply an observer of the events.  I get to actually decorate an egg or two instead of cleaning spills, wiping faces and finishing up when everyone else has lost interest.  Instead of wondering why I am doing this, I am enjoying it.  I may get a baby craving here or there...the desire to snuggle a newborn and just smell their delicious smell, but I also love where we are.  The independence and watching them grow...it's pretty cool.  
"Painting" with the extra egg dye.  
We kept our creative juices flowing with decorating Easter cookies.  A whole lotta them.
Our spring shapes...bunnies, butterflies, tulips and of course to stick with our tropical longings-palm trees
We usually make our maple sugar cookies for Valentines Day or Christmas.  They are the best sugar cookies ever...soft and sweet.  At Christmas I tried a different recipe and they totally fell apart.  For Valentine's day we just forgot to make them, so I was craving them.  After decorating around 4 dozen of them, the craving was kicked.  Luckily, I have eager little helpers.

The day could not have been nicer, so in between all our activity we made sure to get outside and soak up some sun.  And, to leave a "hoppy" little message for the Easter bunny.  (Sorry couldn't help myself)

I love playing the Easter bunny.  I mean, Santa Claus is fun and all, but hiding eggs is so much better than stuffing stockings.  Matt and I divide them up and each hide half.  His are hidden within five minutes.  I take a little more time...trying to find the perfect spots...


All eggs were found in about ten minutes.  These girls are getting good...we may have to get sneakier next year.  

Easter was an absolutely glorious day.  There was not a cloud in our bright blue sky.  The egg hunts that took place outside were not searching through snow.  We actually ate dinner out on my parents deck, something I don't think we have EVER done on any Easter.  I put sunscreen on my kids.  It was just a perfect day of family and holiday.  A look at our day...

A note from the bunny along with magic beans to plant and some fur (the fur may or may not have been snipped off the cat)-

Easter baskets and the first hunt-
Not sure what she's saying, but I love Ava's face


"I see it, but I can't reach it!!!"
Outside egg hunt.  (Note the lack of coats...that's an Easter first!)-

We don't generally let our kids play in the fire pit.
 Easter festivities continued with my sisters and all the cousins at my parents house.  Best bonus this year (besides the beautiful day) was having my little sister and her family here...another Easter first!
Baskets from Grandma!


Big cousin Jae explaining the rules of the Easter egg hunt.  All listening attentively, waiting to go.

And, they were off!

Little Mokie really wanted to help with finding the eggs.
And, our magic beans did sprout...

I am well aware we are reaching the end of this make believe world with Ava.  I hope she continues to believe for a couple more, but just in case I am taking full advantage now.  Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all believed beans placed in a bowl covered with colorful grass confetti could actually turn into chocolate carrots?  

Then there are those things that take no magic.  Just some patience and a bit of work and you turn a bowl full of this...

Into this...

I have made a lot of crappy looking pies.  The crusts usually frustrate me to no end.  I had resigned myself to the fact that I can bake, but I can't make things look pretty.  I then decided this was an unfair judgment of myself and with a little more patience and a bit of encouragement (from myself, the best kind right?) I could actually make it look good.  That, and I believe there is something to the  practice makes perfect idea.  Whatever it was, the pie looked good and tasted even better...especially topped with some homemade vanilla ice cream.  (I'll put this recipe at the bottom as well).

Today all the Easter decorations came down and all the candy is in one big jar that should last us for months.  Or until I've had enough and toss it.  Just last week I threw out candy canes and Valentines hearts...we can't even eat all the freakin holiday candy we get.  Now, it is April and officially birthday month around here.  I like the girls sharing a birthday month...I get to fully immerse myself in birthday festivity and then it's done.  I always think birthdays are something to be celebrated and when it comes to my own girls that celebration gets escalated.  They are my babies and the days they were born were the happiest two days of my life...something to be celebrated for sure.  A special day for each special girl.  A day to reminisce about holding them for the very first time and think about each year since.  I definitely get a little emotional about them because each year goes so fast.  A birthday is a chance to stop and really enjoy each baby girl.  Wow.  They are going to be 6 and 8.  That is craziness.  Where does the time go?

Hope your holiday was "hoppy".  
Okay, okay, I'll stop.

Scallop Sliders with Asian Slaw
-For the Scallops:  Big sea scallops (the small bay scallops will not work as well).  Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, sea salt and some pepper.  Let marinate for at least 1/2 hour.  
-Rolls or mini buns for the sliders
-Caramelized onions
-For the chipolte sauce:  Mix around 1 cup mayo, 1 tsp chives, minced garlic, juice from half a lime, 2 tsp chipolte hot sauce and some s&p.  Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour so flavors can blend
-For the Asian Slaw:  Shred some cabbage, carrots and 1/2 onion.  In a bowl, whisk around 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, fresh chopped ginger, 1 tbls rice vinegar, 1 tbls brown sugar and s&p.  (All measurements are to taste...I didn't really measure...so adjust as needed).  Mix with the cabbage, carrots and onion.  Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
-For assembly:  Sear the scallops in a pan of hot oil until done.  (A couple minutes per side.  They should have a nice brown, caramelized color).  On the bottom of the roll, spread the chipolte sauce, then scallops, then top with Asian slaw and top roll.

Apple Pie with Butter Crust
-2 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tsp salt
-2 sticks of very cold, unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
-4 tbls ice cold water mixed with 2 tbls vinegar
In a food processor combine flour, sugar and salt and pulse a couple times.
Add 1/2 the butter and pulse a few times.  Add the rest and pulse until crumbly.  Add the water/vinegar mix one tbls at a time, mixing between until mixture just starts to cling together.  Place crumbly mixture onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into two disks (It will be crumbly...that's okay, don't get frustrated with it, just carefully shape it)  wrap them up separately in parchment paper or cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least a hour.  Remove around 15 minutes before you are ready to roll.

For the Filling:  
-5 to 6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (I use Granny Smiths)  sprinkled with some fresh lemon juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 tbls flour
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp nutmeg
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss with apples to coat.
-Roll out half the dough on a floured surface and place in pie pan.  This is where I tend to get frustrated with it falling apart.  Just roll out slow, be patient and gently fix holes or tears by pressing back together.  Pour apple mix in to pie pan and roll out the other dough and place on top.  Crimp the sides and put a few slices with a knife on the top so steam can escape as it bakes.  Cover the edges with foil so they won't overcook.  Bake at 375-degrees for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 25 minutes more.  Let cool.  Top with ice cream!

Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. We didn't hear about the Easter performance the girls were practicing:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it was quite a performance, let me tell you! I was videoing it so I didn't have any photos to include for the blog. It is a looooong video!

      Delete