I hosted my first ever holiday this past Easter with my mom and her boyfriend joining me for a culinary feast...and a chance to show off my plates and serving pieces my mom bought me as my Christmas present one year. Since I was attending Mass a few hours before lunch, I had to be a good chef and have my mise en place in place so I could start the oven within minutes of returning home. Everything below is very easy to make and I did not create too many dishes. (The dishwasher did have to run twice that day.) After lunch, the three of us headed off for a light four mile stroll along Lake Michigan to Montrose Harbor, enjoying the beach, protected bird area (never knew we had that in Chicago), and city skyline. Then we headed back home for some gluten free angel food cake topped with pineapple and chocolate ice cream.
It was great fun hostessing the holiday as well as enjoying quintessential spring foods.
Here is what I made for our Easter lunch:
Scalloped potatoes: http://southern.food.com/recipe/scalloped-potatoes-85629
Substitutions: coconut milk, vegan butter, cheddar cheese (I'm only doing small amounts of dairy at a time) with Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour
Ham with Peach and Apricot Glaze: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/classic-glazed-ham-recipe/index.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pineapple-apricot-glaze-recipe/index.html
Substitutions: used crushed pineapple and its juice
Roasted Asparagus: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-asparagus-recipe/index.html
Substitutions: added a side of bacon. Just kidding. I ate all the leftover bacon so had none to spare.
Spring Penne with Bacon: finally, an original recipe! This is my new favorite and I was thrilled to have lots of leftovers for lunches. I am also addicted to the Eating Right Gluten Free Penne pasta from Dominick's (Safeway). It is the best corn based pasta I have had! And it goes on sale frequently!!
Spring Penne with Bacon
2 T olive oil
1/2 lb frozen peas
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 lb cooked bacon cut into small pieces
1 t red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Cook the noodles according to the package's directions.
Cook the frozen peas in the microwave for one or two minutes less than recommended.
Add oil to a pan and saute the shallots until tender. Add the peas, shallots, bacon, and red pepper flakes and cook for another two or three minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with this mixture.
Happy spring from Windy City Cooking! Enjoy the glorious spring days ahead!