Can you feel the stirring in the air? Spring is here and Easter is near.
Easter is definitely one of the most joyful holidays where it lifts our spirits and represents hope, purity, and celebration of new life. And what better way to celebrate than to love on people and share special moments over a meal?
I designed a pure and simple Easter brunch setting that captures the essence of the holiday in a different light, and I enlisted one of my best friends, Christine Lee to cook up something special.
As much as I love the bright colors and pastels that you traditionally see around this holiday, I wanted to create something very simple yet stunning using only one color – white; the color that comes to mind when thinking of the symbolism mentioned which happens to be my favorite color as well.
It also serves as a clean slate for the delectable food spread and all the lovely colors that people usually wear. When it came time to select the glassybaby, I was pleasantly surprised to find white ones that were aptly named “hope” and “celebrate” which made it even more meaningful. Since Easter brunch is during bright daytime, instead of lighting up the glassybaby, I chose to put seasonal white floral (Lily, Tulips, Ranunculus, Hyacinth) in matching clusters in each glassybaby.
(gracenote: you don’t have to be a florist; you can find all these flowers at your local grocery store or farmers market)
For an unfussy and simplistic place setting, I used standard white plates, silverware, and glassbaby drinkers in “fizz”. To give it more of an Easter feel, I made little nests out of natural excelsior and placed three white Cadbury Mini Eggs (aka addicting little morsels of goodness!) in each nest. (gracenote: I picked out the white eggs from the bag but if you want to make it even easier, you can get the Cadbury Mini Eggs White Chocolate)
The setup is so simple, we did an indoor version and an outdoor version. Ask me for the backstory on the outdoor version. 😉 And for a special touch of love, I tucked some baby’s breath into all the girls’ hair.
To top it all off, Christine made the most delicious brunch spread that looked beautiful on the table along with the glassybaby (recipes at bottom).
Here’s to wishing you a delightful Easter filled with lots of love and a fresh new outlook on life.
Love and carpe diem,
Grace is dedicated to creating, capturing, and carpe dieming while helping people love life to the fullest. With a keen eye and creative approach, she is constantly finding ways to narrow the gap between what is admirable and what is accessible. Her resume is deep and diverse and currently owns a photography business, GH Kim Photography with her husband where her job is to capture clients in the best light. But her biggest passion has always been to shine a light on others and help them realize their “inner spark” which sparked the idea for her other company, Carpe Diem Collective. Her work is featured in The New York Times Style Magazine, Design*Sponge, BuzzFeed and various lifestyle and wedding print/online publications, and you can find more of her day to day on Instagram: @graceperdiem
Born in Miami, raised in Seattle, and now living in Scottsdale, Christine has a deep appreciation for diversity and culture, nature and simplicity. And she channels all that through food. She’s relatable, real, and raw and one of the greatest ways she shows love is by creating and feeding the ones close to her heart, especially her husband and her two girls. You can find her blog at Eat and Love Simply and Instagram: @eatandlovesimply.
glassybaby votives – hope and celebrate
glassybaby drinkers – fizz
Cadbury Easter Mini Eggs – Regular Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate
Natural excelsior *link http://www.worldmarket.com/product/natural-excelsior.do?&from=Search*
White flowers from the grocery store or farmers market – one kind or a mix of different types
White serving platters
Hot Cross Buns (makes 18)
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
2 cups whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup (additional) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (scant) baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of cardamom and nutmeg (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
1 whole egg white
Splash of milk
1 whole egg white
Splash of milk
For the buns: Combine the milk, vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until the mixture is still warm but not hot, about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Add 4 cups of the flour and stir to combine; the mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.
Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour to the dough. Stir until combined. (Can refrigerate overnight at this point.)
Combine the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl with the cinnamon and other spices.
Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the dough onto it. Press to slightly flatten the dough. Sprinkle a third of the sugar/cinnamon mixture over it. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Pinch off Ping-Pong- or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll them into balls, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes….an hour plus is better.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the glaze: Mix the egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto the balls of dough.
Bake until the tops of the buns have turned nice and golden brown, 15-20 minutes give or take. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
For the icing: Mix the egg white with enough powdered sugar for the icing to be very thick. Splash in the milk as needed for consistency.
When the buns are completely cool, add the icing to a small ziptop bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each bun.
Linguine and Prosciutto Frittatas (serves 6)
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1/3 pound linguine pasta
7 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
4 ounces diced prosciutto
5 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (1 cup diced)
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
Special equipment: 1 regular-sized muffin tin for 12 muffins
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander. While the pasta is still in the colander, use kitchen sheers to cut the linguine into smaller pieces. The pasta should measure about 3 cups.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease the muffin tin.
In a blender combine the eggs, milk, cream, and mascarpone cheese. Blend until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cut pasta, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, asiago cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the ingredients are combined.
Using a 1/3 cup measure, fill each of the muffin tins until both the pasta and liquid are at the top. Bake until firm and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from the tin. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.
Asparagus and Cheese Tart (serves 4-6)
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
4 ounces (1-1 ½ cups) asiago cheese, shredded (gruyere works well also)
1 ½ pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degress. On a floured surface, roll the thawed puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2 –inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 12-15 minutes.
Remove pastry shell from oven and sprinkle with asiago. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over asiago, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 15-25 minutes (depending on thickness of asparagus).