The countdown for the Easter Bunny has begun. My little one is so excited. She has an Easter egg hunt at school today and another Saturday. She put on a pretty Easter dress this morning and felt like a princess. She had to show Daddy how pretty she looked and obviously felt. It was so cute. She has her Easter basket out and a spare one. One of the little girls in her class mentioned to her that she did not have an Easter basket anymore. So my little one asked me if we could let her friend borrow one of my little ones. She can be quite generous.
We try not to do a lot of candy at Easter. While my little one likes candy, she doesn’t like to eat a lot of it. We still have Halloween candy in the pantry. I also found some Easter candy from last year that I threw out! Skittles, smarties and peeps are her favorite though. I picked up some small bags of each.
It is hard not to think back to last year. My husband had just gotten out of the hospital after his heart attack. He was not able to go up and down stairs much so we told her the Easter Bunny would hide her eggs and basket in your bedroom so Daddy would be able to see her find them. It didn’t seem to faze her. She was happy as could be the next morning and I guess we did a fairly good job of protecting her from the stress. I am very hopeful that this year will be different, so far so good. My husband is slowly recovering from his heart surgery. Ok, I told myself I was not going to go down that path after last weeks post , so let’s change the subject.
I am very excited about this Easter menu and hope you are too. I took a little help from boxed cake mix to make my Orange Cinnamon Muffins. I amped up the nutrition with fresh oranges, yogurt and cottage cheese. They made a light and fluffy muffin. There are also quite a few veggie options. Spring vegetables are so exciting. I have been depriving myself of asparagus so I could eat them in season. It was worth the wait. My Asparagus Phyllo Tart can be made ahead of time and served as an appetizer or side dish. The phyllo crust is low-fat but still so satisfying.
We cannot forget what is probably my all-time favorite salad, Bread Salad with Grapes and Blue Cheese with a Light Ranch Dressing. I adore bread in a salad. It makes it feel so special and always reminds me of an Italian bread salad, Panzanella. Even my salad hating little one, adored this salad and happily devoured arugula. That leads to my touch of Spring, Orzo with Artichoke Lemon Pesto. Artichokes scream Spring to me and while I like to eat a whole artichoke, I do not want to trim a ton of them to make pesto. So I used a canned artichokes. The lemon freshens up the pesto and makes a great side dish. I had to throw in some carrots for the Easter Bunny. Tarragon Glazed Carrots are a great alternative to roasted carrots. They are ready in about 15 minutes and so flavorful. I also loved the unintended play on licorice provided by the flavor of tarragon, it is like candy and carrots in one bite.
Turning to the main dish, we have my Slow Cooker Greek Cornish Hens. I love that the slow cooker would do all the work for me. If Cornish hens aren’t your thing, I modified the recipe to be used on a roasted chicken. The rub is so good either way. I also mirrored the flavor of anise (tarragon) with Pernod. It is a anise flavored liquor.
Last but not least, Hot Swiss Peach Trifle is the perfect end to this gorgeous meal. A hot trifle is so decadent but still healthy. When you heat a trifle, the flavors mingle even more. Each bite is a luscious mouthful of happiness. I could eat Hot Swiss Peach Trifle morning, noon and night.
Happy Healthy Easter Eating!