Happy Easter 2016

2016-03-26 22.28.13 - INTRO

(Click on PHOTO to enlarge and then hit the back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone, 

I hope you are all having a beautiful beginning of Spring, even though here in the Northeast we had a little snow on the first day of Spring to say our final good bye to Winter.

Holy Week is such a busy time, we were all getting ready for Easter and baking our traditional breads and pies. I have posted my family recipes for Pizza Dolce (sweet pie) and Pizza Rustica (meat and cheese pie) at the end of the post.

Easter is a little early this year and Palm Sunday seemed to sneak up on us right after we celebrated St. Joseph’s Day.

Still having a very busy month of March, so my Easter table is a lot simpler for me   than last year.

2016-03-26 22.26.19- EXTRA 2

I am starting out with the cutest tablecloth; it is a white bunny and pastel floral printed design on a natural beige background.

2016-03-26 21.47.13 - TABLECLOTH

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Now for the dishes. I loved the combination from last year of the white dinner plate and the star of our show, “Sofie the Bunny” salad plates from Pier 1. The plates have soft shades of yellow, blue, red, orange and brown surrounding “Sofie the Bunny” along with flowers and butterflies with a beautiful scalloped edge to the plate.

2016-03-26 22.20.19-  EASTER DISHES

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While shopping for a few table accents, I saw bunny napkins that I thought would add to my “bunny theme” perfectly.

2016-03-26 20.29.25 NAPKIN

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 I also spotted sisal grass “bunny” napkin rings. Originally, I wanted the napkin rings to match the sisal grass basket from last year (pictured below) and at the last minute decided not to use the basket for this years table. I am keeping this year pastel.

But of course, I bought the napkins rings anyway.

2015-03-29 01.06.58 - BUNNY BASKET

2016-03-26 21.52.45 - NAPKIN WITH RING

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I am using pastel blue woven placemats since I wanted to keep everything very soft while still picking up a color from the salad plate.

2016-03-26 21.49.49- PLACEMAT

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I chose glass chargers so the chargers wouldn’t interfere with any of the colors on the plate.

2016-03-26 21.50.02 CHARGER

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 I added to my “Sophie the Bunny” collection this year and purchased two cake plates in the Sophie the Bunny pattern. I am using one to display Easter eggs and chocolate and the second one will be for the traditional Easter bread, “Colomba Di Pasqua”.

2016-03-26 20.58.41 - CAKE PLATE

2016-03-26 20.59.27- CAKE PLATE WITH CANDY

Colomba Di Pasqua is a yeast bread shaped like a dove (colomba in Italian), the symbol of peace and resurrection. It is similar to a Panettone and filled with raisins and candied orange peel. Topped off with almonds, sugar and baked on almond icing to give it a sweet crust.

In my family, we would always have Colomba for breakfast on Easter. My mother would buy the traditional classic flavor but I have branched out into buying the Colomba with chocolate chunks added.

I find that the Colomba from the Bonifanti company is by far the best.

March 2013 - Easter Cakes 002  WITH FRAME

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The flatware is my favorite everyday set in gold and silver.

2016-03-26 21.54.00 - FLATWARE

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I am using light lime goblets to add to the pastel theme and pick up yet another color in the salad plate.

2016-03-26 22.21.19 - GLASSWARE

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Every year on my table, no matter what the theme I choose, dishes or tablecloth I use, my two white ceramic rabbits will always be added to my tablescape.

It has become somewhat of a tradition for me to include them.

2016-03-26 22.00.19- CERAMIC BUNNIES

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Last year I bought more ceramic bunnies for the table, and they are little “love bunnies”. I think I will add them every year as well; they are just too cute.

2016-03-26 21.55.49- LOVE BUNNIES

Here is the description and card that came with them.

2016-03-26 22.03.51- CARD

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Since there are so many bunnies on the table this year, I thought that it would be cute to add a few table accents of carrots. I bought these cloth carrots tied in small bundles and placed each trio near my white ceramic bunnies.

2016-03-26 21.58.57 CARROTS

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Adding to the pastel color scheme, I chose pastel egg cups that pick up even more of the colors in the salad plate. My husband bought me these egg cups as a no special occasion gift and I just love them (and my husband too of course).

He has become quite the shopper over the years when it comes to tableware.

Each cup has a delicate flower painted inside. I am using artificial speckled foam eggs for each place setting.

2016-03-26 20.39.02- EGG CUPS

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My centerpiece is very basic; a large bunch of assorted colored tulips. Nice, bright and it just says Easter and Spring. I have displayed them in my favorite Waterford vase.

2016-03-26 22.26.34  EXTRA 1

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And for me, Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without my favorite confection, ” PEEPS”.

 Peeps was the “first” candy I looked for in my Easter basket as a child and I have to buy them each year.

Have to admit, I enjoy them more when they are a little stale.

I am displaying Peeps around the table this year on a different set of white ceramic salad plates that are shaped like, what else? A white bunny.

2016-03-26 20.59.51 BUNNY PLATE

Peeps on display

2016-03-26 21.56.13 PEEPS

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 The last addition to my table is a white ceramic bunny candy dish. I made a promise to myself not to fill the candy dish with jelly beans until Easter Sunday.

There are too many goodies in the house for this holiday.

2016-03-26 21.56.53 - CANDY DISH

And that is my tablescape for Easter 2016.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I wish you many blessings always.

Happy Easter !

(Don’t forget the recipes at the end of the post)

2016-03-26 22.29.22 - BUFFET

Place Setting

2016-03-26 21.06.58 PLACE SETTING

Table Details

Bunny Tablecloth from Amazon

Bunny napkins from Pier 1

Sisal grass bunny napkin rings from Pier 1

Pastel blue placemats from Homegoods

Glass charger plates from Crate and Barrel

White Gibson dinner plate from Homegoods

“Sophie the Bunny” salad plate from Pier 1

Cake plate from Pier 1

Flatware from everyday set

Glassware from the Dollar Store

White ceramic bunnies from Pottery Barn

White ceramic “love bunnies” from Pier 1

Cloth carrot trios from Pier 1

Pastel egg cups from Homegoods

White bunny salad plates from Pottery Barn

White ceramic bunny candy dish from Target

Foam speckled eggs from Pier 1

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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And please continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

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The first pie is Pizza Dolce, (Italian sweet pie).

2016-03-14 16.41.40- pizza dolce

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts. It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.

INGREDIENTS:

24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)

 DIRECTIONS

 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)            This recipe makes 2 pans

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Pizza Rustica

2016-03-15 13.24.37 - pizza rustica ingred..use this

2016-03-15 22.21.40- pizza rustica 2016

2016-03-16 02.28.44- pizza rustica close

The second pie is Pizza Rustica and my absolute favorite.

It is a classic Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

Ingredients:

¼ lb prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

1 basket fresh cheese…….NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)

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13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb balls of pizza dough ( either homemade, or from a pizzeria)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr to 1 hr /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil.For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes –then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.

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4 thoughts on “Happy Easter 2016

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