Hello Monday! I am back in Charlotte and back to the normal routine after an amazing weekend with my family. I love visiting my grandmother’s house. It was basically my second home growing up and it feels so good to have our family together there, especially on holidays. Whenever I visit I feel like I can totally relax with no expectations to do anything or be anywhere. There’s something about crossing the state line into Georgia that just brings me a huge sense of let go.
Here’s a (very photo-heavy…hang on!) look at the rest of my Easter weekend. (Part one is here.)
Saturday night dinner was prime rib that my dad grilled on the Big Green Egg with rice, asparagus and ciabatta rolls. My dad usually makes a point to feed me red meat when I’m visiting since I never eat it. I think the last time I had it was when I last visited in January. The prime rib was so delicious and there’s something about steak and asparagus that just goes together so well. Loved this dinner.
I passed out reading around 11 p.m. on Saturday and could not drag myself out of bed until 8:30 Sunday morning. I felt like I could have slept even longer but there was a cake that needed to be baked and a run to get in before all the family came over so I got up and made a bowl of oatmeal.
The oatmeal was perfect fuel for a 4-mile run and cake baking.
I baked Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake for Easter dessert and my grandmother’s birthday. It’s a lemon white cake with raspberry preserves and a whipped meringue buttercream. I had really high hopes for this cake but was disappointed to find that my layers did not rise the way they were supposed to. The instructions are to horizontally slice the two layers so that you end up with four but there was no way that was happening so we had a two-layer cake rather than four. It still tasted great but I’m determined to make it again in all of its four-layer glory!
In true “Jen form” everyone arrived while I was running and I had to quickly ice the cake in my sweaty running clothes while taking more than my fair share of samples from the frosting bowl! (Perfect post-run recovery food, right?) Luckily, I had a helper. 😉
The finished cake! Pretty and Easter-y!
An easter egg hunt was a must before we could sit down for our meal. So much fun.
And here’s a look at our fabulous spread! My dedicated father got up at 1 a.m. to put our ham in to bake so that I would have access to the oven to bake my cake in the morning. How sweet is that? What you see here is baked ham, deviled eggs, baked beans, salad and potato salad…all homemade.
I volunteered to be in charge of vegetables and ended up just doing a big salad. I tossed mixed greens with a homemade honey dijon balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper and then topped it with toasted pecans, avocados, dried cranberries, strawberries and feta. Everyone enjoyed it.
I requested that my dad make his homemade buttermilk biscuits to go with our meal and it was the best request I’ve made in a long time! I turned my ham into ham biscuits and ate two of them. Mmm….
My plate. A Southern feast!
After we ate it was time for my grandmother’s birthday celebration and dessert. Today is my grandmother’s birthday and it is truly a day to celebrate. For those of you who are newer to the blog, my grandmother had open heart surgery in June and has made an amazing recovery from it. I am in tears as I write this because I am so grateful to have her in my life. We have been incredibly close my entire life and I really value the relationship that I have with her.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEMA! She is PBRs #1 fan and reads the blog religiously. Wish her happy birthday!
I had a slice of cake and then said my goodbyes to make the long trip back to Charlotte. It was such a good weekend full of family time and delicious food and I’m still smiling from it.
What was the best thing about your weekend? Something you did? Something you ate? An awesome workout?