Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | April 29, 2011

Easter Adventures and Menus…

My Easter weekend consisted of cooking. A LOT of cooking. Well a lot compared with what I have been doing the last several months (like warming faux chicken patties in the microwave and whipping up the random omelet). I have to say it felt great to let my creative side take over by making new recipes and nothing beats a project where you can eat the end results. Some things came out great, while others… needed a bit of improvisation. In the end I had a very happy taster (Nick) who didn’t have any reason for complaints. The Easter Day menu:

Strawberry & Sweet Cream Stuffed French Toast with Morning Star Farms Breakfast Sausage (not pictured)

My french toast recipe was modified from Sunny Anderson’s recipe for French Toast with Caramelized Pecans, Strawberries and Cream that I found while surfing the Food Network site. I just put the sweet cream in the middle of two slices of the french toast with fresh sliced strawberries. Then I made a simple strawberry sauce from a pound of strawberries, a tablespoon of sugar and squeeze of lemon juice simmered for about 20 minutes to let it thicken a bit. Yuuuummmm…

Potato Petals with Conch Fritters at The Hula Bay Club – (We couldn’t cook all day)

Caribbean Jerk Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a Spinach Citrus Salad with Parmesan Crisps

The kabobs were easy since we basically just marinated the veggies and shelled shrimp all day and roasted them in the oven. The sweet potatoes were boiled until tender and then mashed with a bit of butter and milk, salt and pepper. The salad is a favorite of mine from Giada De Laurentiis (one of my fave TV chefs)Spinach Salad in a Parmesan Frico Cup – that I changed up by not making cups from the melted Parmesan, I just let them crisp up into crackers, crumbling some into the salad as a topping and leaving a couple for a garnish.

Strawberry Shortcake Ice-cream with Pastry Pancakes, Caramelized Almonds & Fresh Strawberry Sauce

(We ate the evidence before I could snap a picture…)

We bought the strawberry shortcake ice-cream though and I took my failed recipe for profiteroles (they didn’t fluff) and turned them into the bottom pastry for my dessert dish. I then caramelized some almonds with butter, brown sugar and a splash of vanilla extract to throw on top of the ice-cream and used the leftover strawberry sauce from breakfast to drizzle over the top. Like I said, it didn’t last long and I couldn’t stop eating it long enough to take a picture!

Thankfully, Nick planned some outside activity between all the eating (or perhaps waddling is more accurate after that breakfast) at Weedon Island Preserve in St. Pete and we spent a couple of hours hiking the pathways, spotting wildlife and watching kayakers get stuck in the mangroves. Yes, that last part was especially entertaining.

Now half way through my work week, which doesn’t end until Saturday evening this week, I am looking forward to sharing some more of my cooking adventures throughout the week. I’ve got my eye on a quinoa, mushroom and spinach salad…

What did you cook up this Easter? Are you still enjoying the leftovers?

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