Monday, April 9, 2012

(f)easter dinner

Saturday was the much-anticipated (F)easter dinner with coworkers. We served salad, rosemary olive oil bread, two types of pasta (made by Trader Joe's, not me, sadly, after my failed experiment), bolognese sauce, pesto sauce, tiramisu, and toasted almond gelato with espresso (known as "affogato"). I'm not kidding when I say that every so often, I just need to make a ton of time and labor intensive food! It's an urge that strikes rarely, but when it hits, you're best served to just get out of the path of the oncoming apron-clad little blond girl and just let her go to town.

I'm happy to report that everything turned out well, despite the general haze of exhaustion through which it was all prepared. My pesto succumbed to the horrors of oxidation, so the thin top layer of it was a lovely brown color, but the rest was unscathed, and it all tasted just as pesto should. I highly recommend Ina Garten's pine nut and walnut recipe. As far as I know, I'd never made pesto from scratch before, so that and the gelato were the only two new things I added to my repertoire this weekend. As much as I like to try new recipes, sometimes the classics are just calling your name. 

But I digress. As much as we all enjoyed everything, I have to say my absolute favorite was the affogato. I had gotten in my head about a week ago that yes, yes we did need two desserts, and that gelato + warm espresso just had to be one of them. That was the end of that discussion. The toasted almond gelato recipe came to me entirely by accident, but I'm so, so happy it did. I'm not sure I could imagine a better flavor to meld with the espresso. I must say, Williams-Sonoma has yet to lead me astray, and this recipe was no exception. 

So because I'm sleepy, and have about a million billion jillion house-related things to tackle in the next 2 1/2 weeks, I'll stop rambling, and leave you with a slew of photos from the feast. Recipes appear at the bottom, and on the LKTC-tested recipes page!  



tiramisu sampler (to make sure it tasted ok, and that none of the eggs were bad before I served it to a group of people!)

the pan of tiramisu for the crowd

the espresso for the affogato, percolating away in my stovetop machine, which was saved from the garbage by this trick

since I didn't manage to capture the affogato, I offer Williams-Sonoma's photo instead

We all had a great time stuffing ourselves silly, and given that (F)easter dinner was the night before, you guessed it, Easter, and we are a group of many religious views, we had some amusing discussions on the tenets of (and misconceptions of) different beliefs. Perhaps my favorite was my coworker who asked me to explain the Holy Trinity, and when I did so, said "oh, I thought the holy spirit was Gabriel!" 

Anyways, hope you had as enjoyable of a weekend as I did. And if you're also feeling a strange but prominent desire to spend a day in the kitchen, here are the recipes I used. I promise the day will quickly slip away between whisking and kneading and mincing and simmering. And also that you'll have a meal that is entirely worth it. Enjoy!  

Recipe Roundup:

ps-many thanks to Neha, who remembered at the last minute to photograph everything!

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