Easter Dessert Round Up

I don’t know about you all but when I think of Easter dessert, I always think of fruit and citrus. Those flavors just scream Spring to me. So today I’m bringing you some of my favorite desserts that would be perfect to finish off your Easter feast.

One of my all-time favorite desserts is Lemon Hush and it always, always graces the Easter table.  I mean, a shortbread crust, layers of sweetened cream cheese, lemon pudding and Cool Whip. There isn’t anything wrong with that.
lemon hush
Keeping with the lemon theme, these Lemon Bars would be another refreshing choice. Lemon Cheesecake Pie is another creamy, dreamy dessert that has the perfect pucker.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 2
A perfect make ahead dessert would be Strawberry Lemon Sorbet. It’s bright, zingy and very light. Can’t ask for much more after gorging yourself on ham and potatoes.
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
Everybody loves a theme-y dessert, am I right? Easter Sugar Cookies are so tasty and fun to make. Definitely my favorite cookie hands down.
Easter Sugar Cookies
Brownie Nests are another easy option that would be fun to make with the kiddos. You could even use a brownie mix to make it even easier. Aren’t they cute?
Brownie Nests 3
I made these Almond Joy Eggs a few years back and Joel’s co-workers still talk about them. I have to admit, I haven’t made them in quite awhile because I really despise dipping in chocolate. I just don’t have the patience for it and if I haven’t mentioned, I have a little problem with perfection so it usually doesn’t end well. But they are just so stinking adorable that they are worth it for Easter.
Coconut Cream Eggs 1
Speaking of delicious things in the shape of eggs, there is always these Peanut Butter Eggs. Reese’s Eggs are pretty much the best candy ever and something I look forward to as soon as Valentine’s Day is over and the stores switch over to Easter candy.
peanut butter eggs
I know this isn’t dessert but this citrusy, Spring Sangria would be another perfect way to end your meal this Sunday. Or start it. I don’t judge.
Spring Sangria 4

I hope you guys enjoyed this round up of dessert deliciousness. Would you be interested in one featuring side dishes?

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie 1
Did Easter just sneak up on you guys? I did for me and I’m totally scrambling to get everything we need before heading out of town. I have searched this whole darn city for Cadbury Eggs and I can’t find them anywhere. The caramel or chocolate filled ones are aplenty but the originals have all been snatched up. Joel is going to be pretty disappointed with the bunny this year.
Banana Pudding Pie 4
It wouldn’t be disappointing if the Easter bunny brought this pie for dessert though. Especially considering it can be whipped up in about 30 minutes with very little ingredients. It does use several pre-packaged/pre-made ingredients but they are ones I’m down with so I went for it.
Banana Pudding Pie 3
I have to say I’m not a huge fan of banana pudding but in pie form, yep and yep. I’ll take it. I love me some pie crust. Creamy vanilla pudding, sweet bananas and the crunch of vanilla wafers is something magical when dumped into a crust. This will be the perfect pie for a hot summer night as it requires little baking, quick assembly and is cool and refreshing.
Banana Pudding Pie 2
Need another easy, Springy dessert idea for Easter? My all-time favorite dessert, Lemon Hush is always a hit. Please ignore the horrible lighting, it’s on my list to update soon. Any excuse to make dessert, right?

Banana Pudding Pie
recipe from This Gal Cooks

1 (9 inch) pie crust, prepped, baked and cooled
2 cups chopped vanilla wafers
2 small bananas
juice from one lemon
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, divided
1½ C milk
1 (5.1 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding

1. Slice bananas into thin slices then toss with lemon juice, set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together milk and vanilla pudding mix until thickened. Gently fold in half of the Cool Whip and 1 cup of the vanilla wafers.

2. Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Top with remaining Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining vanilla wafers.

 

Photo Friday

Felt Pasta
This is what I’ve been up to this week. Can you believe this is made of felt??? It looks so freaking real. I still can’t get over it. It’s all going in a mini colander, wrapped in cellophane for Noah’s Easter basket. I decided last year I wanted to have something handmade in the kids Easter basket every year so when I came across this idea on Pinterest, I knew it would be the perfect gift for Noah this year. He loves playing with his kitchen and pretending to be a HuHot chef (his favorite restaurant). I think I’m going to cut some long strips to resemble linguini too.
Felt Pasta
I used this tutorial for the bowties and they were incredibly easy. I did them by hand since the felt was pretty thick after being folded and I didn’t want to break the needle on my sewing machine. The ravioli were made using this tutorial. I just made up the tortellini but there were a lot cuter versions on Pinterest. Noah won’t know, or care, that they don’t look just right so I’m good with them. Hope this inspires you to do a little DIY this weekend.

Sugo Sauce

Sugo Sauce 1
Joel and I went out on a date last month and we ate at one of our favorite Italian restaurants in town. When we go there, I always get the same thing. It’s just so good I can never bring myself to order anything else. But this time I was determined to go out of my comfort zone and get something totally different.

Red sauce is not my favorite, I know, how un-American of me. That combined with not being a huge fan of chocolate should get me thrown out. Anyway, it’s something I have to be in the mood for to really enjoy. Well, when I read the description of a sugo sauce made with cabernet, spicy sausage and pepperoni over penne I was won over. I had never had a sugo sauce before and was intrigued. I’m so glad I tried it and knew right away I would have to try a version at home.
Sugo Sauce 2
For this recipe, I skipped the sausage and pepperoni since I was serving it over homemade ravioli and thought that was decadent enough. This is a really simple recipe using common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Onions and garlic are sautéed then simmered for an hour with whole tomatoes, herbs and a good amount of red wine. The result is a rich, full sauce with a hint of red wine in the background. From what I can find, a chunky sauce seems pretty traditional but that just doesn’t fly around here so after simmering I zapped it in the blender until smooth. Do whatever floats your boat. Or whatever doesn’t elicit complaints.
Sugo Sauce 3
I can’t wait to try this with spicy sausage and diced pepperoni, served over fresh linguini.

Sugo Sauce
recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup red wine

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add remaining ingredients to onions and garlic. Using a potato masher, break up the tomatoes. Simmer on medium low for 1 hour. If you like a chunky sauce, it’s done. If you prefer a smoother sauce, fish out the bay leaf and pour sauce (in batches) into a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. Serve over pasta.

 

Homemade Ricotta Ravioli

Last week I registered Noah for Kindergarten. Yesterday, he had his pre-Kindergarten check up. Is this real life? I know us moms say this constantly, but where has the time gone?

It’s seriously hard for me to comprehend that he will be in elementary school in a few short months. He will be away from me for 6.5 hours on a regular basis. Someone get me a paper bag because I’m having a hard time breathing. My heart feels heavy.

I know it will be nice to have a break. I know I will get to spend quality time with Hannah like I was able to with Noah when it was just him. There are days now that I think Kindergarten just can’t come fast enough. But when you sit down and think about it, when you set it in motion, then it hits and it hurts. My awesome friend sent me this article today and by the end I just couldn’t keep it together. Truth. It was perfect and horrible timing. Gah, the feels.
Homemade Ravioli 1
You know what helps with all those feelings. Homemade pasta. Better yet, homemade pasta stuffed with cheese. My name is Meg and I’m an emotional eater.

These delicious pockets of goodness are started with my homemade pasta and a simple 3 ingredient filling. I swear, I will never purchase store-bought ravioli again. The pasta is so tender and the filling is light and creamy. Carbs and cheese all rolled into one, emotional eating at its finest. Don’t judge.
Homemade Ravioli 2
They do take some time to make but trust me, they are completely worth it. Next time around, I’m going to make a double batch since I will already be taking the time to make them, then freeze half so we have them ready for a busy night.

For now, you can find me with a plate of these. Or a package of frozen thin mints. Or both.

Homemade Ravioli

1 recipe homemade pasta, rolled out into sheets (one setting thinner than recipe states)
1 cup ricotta
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Combine ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

2. Lay out a pasta sheet on a floured surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling about an inch apart on the front half of the pasta sheet. Fold the top of the dough over the filling. Press firmly around filling, ensuring that it is completely sealed and no air bubbles remain. Using a ravioli cutter, press down firmly around ravioli. Lift and place on a floured baking sheet. If you don’t have a ravioli cutter, you can cut squares using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Keep covered with a clean kitchen towel until ready to cook.

3. To cook, place in boiling water and simmer until they start to float (it took 2 minutes for me). If you want to freeze them for future use, place them in the freezer on the floured baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for 4-24 hours. Place in a labeled freezer bag.

 

Recipe Updates

As I make recipes that I’ve shared in the past, I’ve been updating photos to help with the appeal of the posts. These are all great recipes but the photos definitely didn’t do them justice. I asked on Facebook if you all would be interested in seeing what I’ve updated lately and I got some positive reviews so here it is. I’m still learning a lot when it comes to food photography but I think I’ve definitely improved! I’ll randomly share these posts after a few recipes have been updated. For now, I have two yummy updates to share with you.

These Broccoli and Four Cheese Calzones are pretty intense. I mean, four cheeses, you can’t really go wrong with that. I originally made this recipe in June 2011, only months into starting my blog. An oldie, but a goodie.
Broccoli and Four Cheese Calzones 4
If it was up to Noah, he would eat these Mini Corn Dogs all day, every day. This recipe was also written in 2011 and has stood the test of time. We don’t fry often but when we do we savor these little nuggets of goodness. The original photos were seriously awful. They were taken at night with my terrible kitchen lighting and the flash on my camera to illuminate them. Definitely not my greatest work! But now they are shining with natural light and have some fun props to add visual interest. Looks like I’ve learned a little something in four years.
Corn Dogs 3
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Let me know if you would like to see more of these types of posts.

Photo Friday

St. Patrick's Day
Look at my sweet little leprechauns. I’m one lucky mama to have these two although they have given me a run for my money this week. Toddler teething is no joke.

After a little Facebook poll, I’ve decided to update some of my old posts and photos. There are a lot posts from the beginning with less than stellar photos and after making them many times, I have tweaked the ingredients a bit. So keep an eye out for that.

That’s all I’ve got for you today folks. We’re going to have some gorgeous weather this weekend and I hope you all do too! Yay for it finally being Spring.