This year my family and I were lucky enough to be invited out for Easter. For once I didn’t have to clean the house, plan a meal, set up, or cook. It was a wonderful day. My family accompanied me to church which always makes me happy, the speakers were good and we all were able to fit on a pew together. The weather was beautiful for April and when we got home, my daughters and I took the dogs on a walk – our two labs and the neighbors three. When we returned, I started on the appetizers I was to bring. I made onion dip – a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa that I love. A baked Brie which my husband asked for, and then some guacamole. The recipes will follow.

Our niece and her husband are wonderful hosts. They live in a beautiful old home in Portsmouth, NH that they have painstakingly restored. It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids were out enjoying their Easter gifts while the adults munched on the appetizers and caught up. Dinner was quite a spread. They had roasted a pork loin and a ham the night before, sliced them and presented them in large buffet pans. The ham was served with a delicious pineapple and brown sugar sauce that they poured over the ham and covered in foil. A pearl onion sauce was poured over the pork loin, covered as well then both were refrigerated over night. A whole lamb leg was roasted on Easter as were the sides: oven roasted Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and asparagus. The refrigerated pans were brought out to warm to room temperature then placed over the hot water heated with sterno. The meat was reheated to perfection without drying out or over cooking. The lamb was sliced and served on a large platter and the veggies were lined up in a third buffet pan.

There was plenty of food, perfectly presented and obviously, delicious.

Guacamole Dip

Mash up 2 to 3 Ripe avocados
Add 1/2 to 1 chopped medium onion
(I like Bermuda onion for added color)
Add chili powder,cumin, and garlic flakes to taste
3 to 4 drops of tobasco sauce
Chopped tomato, no seeds

Mix it all up and serve with tortilla chips

Pan fried Onion Dip
(Barefoot Contessa)

2 large yellow onions
4 tbls. butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
4 oz. Cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayo

Cut onions in half lengthwise and slice 1/8 inches. Heat butter and oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and salt. Sauté for ten minutes then reduce heat and Cook onions, stirring occasionally, for another twenty minutes until onions and caramelized. Cool to room temp. In Food processor fitted with metal blade combine sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo. Add onion mixture, mix thoroughly. Transfer to container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with chips.

Baked Brie

This recipe, like the Guacamole, I just wing it, no measurements.

I scrape the white coating off of a small Brie. On an ovenproof pan I sprinkle a layer of brown sugar and place the Brie on top. I sprinkle additional brown sugar on top and around the cheese, add a handful of chopped pecans or walnuts and dried cranberries. I bake it in a 300 degree oven for twenty minutes until the cheese so fens and begins to spread out. If bringing it to a party, cover in foil and reheat uncovered in your host’s oven for five minutes more, otherwise bake five minutes longer. Serve with crackers.