Monday, April 5, 2010

Weekend Highlights: Easter Treats and Local Sights

My parents came for a visit this weekend—which was both timed for Easter and because they brought a truck load of furniture/household things/mementos for us as they are moving out of the house that I grew up in—and we had a very packed, fun and delicious weekend.

Above is the Ricotta pie that we always have for Easter breakfast. I made two this year and shared one with friends on Friday morning, and am parsing out leftovers to make the second one last as long as possible. It's funny to me that we all like this pie so much, but yet we only have it on Easter. That's tradition for you!

On Saturday we took a ride out to Lake Red Rock and had a lovely picnic lunch, then stopped by the Peacetree Brewery in Knoxville for a glass of their Hefe. And got a big bottle filled to take home. I was so happy to see that flowers have started to bloom here!

Next on the tour was Pella, which is a Dutch town about an hour from Des Moines. We took a tour of the windmill, the replica village and spotted all of the tulips getting ready to bloom for the big festival there in a few weeks. We of course had to have some Dutch letters from Jaarsma, which are flakey pastries filled with almond filling.

And I have to say that while this might sound like bragging, I made the most amazing lasagna for dinner on Sunday. We (I) started a tradition of making homemade pasta on Easter last year and since the pasta machine was one of the things that my parents brought me, I decided to make noodles for lasagna. I am always a little nervous when making pasta but I've made it enough now that I know how to do it—it's mostly about taking my time and not rushing through the steps. My mom helped me through the actual lasagna construction (I couldn't find a recipe that I liked) and I used pesto in the ricotta layer and had a layer of sauteed veggies including yellow and green peppers, mushrooms and kale. The texture of the noodles (which I precooked, just slightly) was fantastic and I'm so excited that I made enough to have a tray to put into the freezer to enjoy at a later date.

Of course, it's not Easter without chocolate, which in our house, that tends to mean dark chocolate filled with some sort of coconut and Italian cookies. Yum!


  1. Yum!!! Making homemade pasta is high on my "want to do soon" list. This is inspiring. And VERY happy to spy an edible publication in the mix!

  2. That is really nice a dutch town al the way in the usa. It was a suprise to see the little dutch clogs and the almond filled letter (which we love)
    Are there a lot of dutch people living there?
    Warm greetings Erica de Groot, now living in Spain but originally from Holland.

  3. I'm here to say the lasagna was more than amazing. Stunning, truly.

  4. Hi Erica- There are people of Dutch heritage in Pella and there's even a windmill that was mostly built (and then shipped) in Holland. There's also a tulip festival each May, which I'm planning to go to, so I'll be sure to post more pictures for you to see!