The remaining items from our Easter brunch — champagne punch and mixed fruit — are so simple and straightforward that they don’t warrant their own blog entries. I also have a few other items from the Easter holiday I want to share, but once again, with one exception, they aren’t something I could build a full blog entry on, so consider this post to be a kind of Easter round-up. 😉
To help round out our Easter brunch, I thought a bowl of seasonal mixed fruit would be festive and healthy. I didn’t want to make a fruit salad; I just wanted a mixture of fruits that would keep well once they’re cut. And I only wanted fruits that are in season here and relatively reasonably priced. After perusing the produce departments at my local stores, I settled on a cantaloupe, a couple of Ruby grapefruits, an orange, strawberries, and green grapes. I just prepared the fruit (cut the cantaloupe into pieces, hulled and sliced the strawberries, peeled and sliced the grapefruits and oranges) and tossed them all together in my festive Star of David cut glass bowl. That’s it! No sweeteners of any kind — just fruit and their natural juices. The sweetness of the other fruits counterbalance the delicious tartness of the grapefruit naturally. (I suggest to take it from the ‘fridge a bit before serving so it can lose some of it’s chill, as chilled fruit isn’t as quite as flavorful, I don’t think.) Positively yummy by itself or with some plain, fat-free Greek yogurt or light Cool Whip.
I thought our festive brunch was worthy of some champagne or champagne punch! My challenge is that most champagne punches are difficult to make sugar-free or reduced sugar. Also, many punch recipes make a huge amount — I didn’t need gallons of punch, just some. I was excited when I found this recipe for Red Champagne Punch. It was so easy to make: I poured one liter of light Cranberry Juice cocktail in a pitcher, then poured in one 750 ml bottle of dry champagne. In each champagne glass, I placed some diced fresh strawberries. Festive — and the cranberry juice is good for you! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉 )
In addition to our Easter brunch at home, I also had some assignments from my mother-in-law for the family shindig: (Go on, watch it — you know you want to! It’ll bring back some fun memories.)
My assignments? Yeast rolls, deviled eggs, and a vegetable salad. The Bunny Cake I took upon myself just for fun.
When there is a large family meal at my in-laws, my mother-in-law nearly always asks me to make some of my yeast rolls. In honor of Easter, I felt inspired by these Easter Bunny Rolls and decided to shape some of my roll dough the same way! After some trial and error, I learned that the easiest way to roll the dough into a long (approximately 20″ long) rope was to roll and stretch it out on my pastry board.
Once it’s rolled into a rope, divide in half (two 10″ sections). Roll one section in a spiral to form the body. Divide the other section in half again (two 5″ sections). Roll the 5″ section in a spiral to form the head. Pinch a bit off the remaing section to form the tail; divide what is left in half for the ears. Let rise and bake at 425F. Et voila — Easter Bunny Rolls!
The vegetable salad I made was super easy — I thawed 1 bag (16 ounces) of frozen cauliflower and one 1bag (16 ounces) frozen broccoli florets. I mixed them together in a large bowl, along with some cherub tomatoes and sliced red onion. I drizzled it all with some light Italian dressing and returned it to the ‘fridge to let the flavors all mingle. Delicious! (I suggest to take it out of the ‘fridge a bit before serving to let it lose some of the cold from the ‘fridge.)
And last, but certainly not least, the deviled eggs. I love, love, LOVE deviled eggs. I like mine to be tart and vinegary. And while you can add in bits to the egg filling if you like (such as some baby shrimp or a bit of flaked salmon or some dill — dill is quite tasty in deviled eggs), I generally keep it pretty basic.
To my mind, most folks put far and away too much mayonnaise or salad dressing (Miracle Whip) in their deviled eggs. It honestly doesn’t take much. Start off slow — no matter how many eggs you’re deviling, start with just a dollop of reduced-fat mayo or light salad dressing. Remember, you can add more in if you need but you can’t take it back out! Because I focus more on the tart, vinegary flavor of the deviled eggs, it only takes a bit of dressing.
Deviled Eggs (Each egg makes 2 deviled egg halves; number of servings depend upon number of eggs)
- Desired number of hard-boiled eggs
- Salt or seasoned salt (I used reduced-sodium seasoned salt) to taste
- Coarse ground black pepper to taste
- Dill (if desired)
- A sprinkling of a favorite seasoning (such as Trader Joe’s), if desired
- Vinegar (suggest red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar; white vinegar will also work)
- Reduced-fat mayonnaise or reduced-fat salad dressing (such as Miracle Whip)
- Squirt of yellow mustard
- Sliced green olives with pimento, if desired
- Peel hard-boiled eggs. Slice in half lengthwise. Set aside yolks in a medium-sized bowl.
- Mash up yolks with a fork until they are small crumbs. Sprinkle in vinegar and mix with fork. I keep adding vinegar until I can smell the vinegar in with the yolks and the consistency is slightly mushy and fluffy (NOT runny or loose).
- Sprinkle in some seasoned salt, coarse ground black pepper, dill (if desired), and/or other favorite seasoning (such as Trader Joe’s), and a squirt of yellow mustard. Mix together with fork.
- Stir in light mayo or salad dressing a dollop at a time — seriously, it’s going to take much less than you think!
- When filling has desired flavor (give it a wee taste test, remembering that the tartness from the vinegar will develop more as the eggs chill out in the ‘fridge), spoon or pipe into egg halves. If desired, place a sliced green olive with pimento on the filled egg. Sprinkle with paprika.
- Keep refrigerated.
It all smelled — and tasted — yummy! And unlike on Mission: Impossible!, nothing self-destructed or exploded. 😉