Happy Monday, everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.
I cantored at my church’s 12:15 mass and then the Mister and I headed over to my parents for brunch.
It’ s funny because what started as a brunch quickly grew into quite an interesting meal, as certain people brought different things and my mom received multiple requests. I give my mom a ton of credit. Not only is she a fantastic cook, but she tries to take everyone’s preferences into account IN ADDITION to remaining clam and collected while cooking (something I’m still working on ).
Here was the final spread:
- Oatmeal pancakes
- Egg fritatta (so DELISH! – egg beaters w/ asparagus, spinach, turkey sausage and mushrooms)
- Fruit salad
- Homemade muffins
- Strawberry and walnut mixed greens salad
Here’s where it starts to get a lil weird:
- Pierogies (we’re polish — gotta have ‘em!)
- Sauerkraut and kielbasa
- Mashed potatoes
Ha! Weird combo, huh? I guess some people wanted more of a LUNCH than a brunch, so that’s why the second half of the menu was added.
Anyway, on today’s ‘Make it’ Monday, I’ll be featuring two of the desserts that were served yesterday.
The Mister and I whipped up Ashley’s (Sweet and Natural) Honey Yogurt Cheesecake Bars with Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crusts
Instead of traditional Neufchatel cheese (which I believe is the American cream cheese), we used fat free cream cheese.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find whole wheat graham cracker crumbs, so we just used organic graham cracker crumbs.
The Mister was in charge of making the crust, while I whipped together the filling. All of the preparation only took about 30 minutes, much shorter than I had thought it would. We didn’t have a 8 x 8 pan, so we used a 9.5 x 9.5. It’s too bad, because I love how thick Ashley’s bars looked in her photos. But our bars turned out great, they weren’t as thick, but each square was much larger. They tasted fantastic! So decadent. No one could believe how healthy they were. The final nutrition stats (made 9 servings):
- 178 Calories
- 5g Fat
- 0g Saturated Fat
- 29g Carbs
- 1g Fiber
- 6g Protein
Now get excited, because I saved the best dessert for last
My Grandpa, who has been on quite a baking kick lately, made a DELICIOUS cake. It was so light and refreshing that I shared two pieces with the Mister. We both loved it. EVERYONE loved this cake. I knew that it would be a great addition to today’s ‘Make it’ post.
First, a bit about the chef:
My Grandpa is honestly the coolest grandpa EVER. Known for his many collections (hats, sports paraphernalia, coins, the list goes on!) boisterous laughter and green thumb (his garden is amazing!), my grandpa is the kinda man that always keeps you smiling. He would also want you to know that he is an amazing bowler (one of the leaders in his league!) and golfer. I’m so impressed with how active he is, too. Seriously, my grandpa and grandma’s activity and social calendar put me and the Mister to shame! Whether it’s dinners with Knights of Columbus, dancing the polka, volunteering at the senior center, or attending luncheons, they are always up to something. I only hope that me and the Mister stay just as active when we get older. I love you, Grandpa and Grandma!
Quote from the chef:
This recipe has been in my wife’s collection since 1955 (thinks it was originally published in a newspaper). It is one of our favorites. It can be done with orange zest, too. But lemon is our favorite.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs separated
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl making a well.
Add oil, egg yolks, water, lemon rind and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tarter, until stiff peaks are formed (do not under beat)
Pour egg yolk mixture over beaten whites and gently fold in with rubber spatula.
Pour into un-greased tube pan and bake until top springs back when lightly touched about 1.25 to 1.5 hours
Invert pan on funnel or bottle.
Let cake hang until cold
Frost if desired or sprinkle with powdered sugar.
The finished product:
Like I said, we all loved this cake. I think the lemon flavoring makes it a fantastic choice for a springtime or summer brunch. It is so refreshing! It would be a great choice for a baby or wedding shower or a springtime birthday. Enjoy! Hat’s off to the chef!
As I said earlier, my family heritage means that peirogies and sweet bread (my mom didn’t have time to make it this Easter though — the horror!) are normally served at every holiday meal.
What dishes have become a tradition in your family? What was your favorite Easter (or passover) dish you enjoyed?