“When you eat, I want you to think of God, of the holiness of hands that feed us, of the provision we are given every time we eat. When you eat bread and you drink wine, I want you to think about the body and the blood every time, not just when the bread and wine show up in church, but when they show up anywhere- on a picnic table or a hardwood floor or a beach.”
-Shauna Niequiest, Bread & Wine: Finding Community and Life Around the Table
On Sunday we celebrated Easter with some of our favorite families. Nine adults, three toddlers, a crawler, and an infant made for all kinds of crazy. Our conversation was scattered and hurried at best, but we had a lot of fun. That’s Anna, Me, Ashlee and Sharon. Ashlee took all the pretty photos. Please ignore the weeds in my yard… I can’t bend over anymore to take care of them.
Anna wore a pretty pink dress given to me at her baby shower almost two years ago. At the time I couldn’t imagine having a child big enough to wear a 2T! Oh, how time flies. There’s something so sweet about little girls in dresses, tights and Mary Jane’s. I had to buy her a little headband from Little Lady Accessory on Etsy- the same seller who made her headband last year! Soon after taking the above photo, Anna skinned her knee. Today’s chore? Figure out how to get blood stains out of an Easter dress.
Sunday’s affair was potluck style because it’s more fun that way. Also, I didn’t do the best job budgeting for a big party on the last day of the month. I think Dave Ramsey would be pleased with my frugal potluck choice, although I wish I’d planned a little differently. Live and learn. Let’s move on to cute pictures of kids! (Note: Anna’s outfit change, required by aforementioned blood stains.)
Entertaining with toddlers is a very tricky art. Egg hunting helps. I’m not above bribing with food. Forcing them to eat outside on the ground (while rain threatens) is also key. It’s a very good thing my sweet husband and Shane sat in the backyard with the kiddos so the rest of use could regain our sanity during dinner. While we have plenty of food pictures to share, there are no group shots, or any table pictures. We were too busy chasing, scarfing and eating!
Ashlee and I cooked out of Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes (Check out my other review here.) You definitely need to buy this book. It’s debuting any day and the recipes are fantastic. Here’s what we made:
Mini Macaroni & Cheese (Pictured above, recipe on Ashlee’s blog)
Bacon-Wrapped Dates (Pictured above)
Goat Cheese Biscuits (Pictured below)
Nigella’s Flourless Chocolate Brownies (Go to Ashlee’s blog to see photos)
Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Butter Toffee (Pictured above)
We also got spoiled with Sharon’s stuffed mushrooms, Anna Q’s kale salad and gooey cake, and Zach’s roasted cauliflower. The only thing missing from my day was a good glass of wine. Next year. Next year.
Shauna’s recipes were quick, and many of them can be made ahead, which made entertaining easier than it normally might be. I threw together the toffee on Friday night, prepped the dates on Saturday afternoon, and only had to make the biscuits on Sunday. So nice, right?
My favorite dish were the goat cheese biscuits, so I’m sharing that recipe today. Here’s a tip you musn’t overlook: take the time to make some type of honey butter for these bad boys. Although many guests loved them plain, I think their tartness is balanced perfectly with a bit of sweetness. If honey butter isn’t your thing, try strawberry jam instead. I actually split my honey butter batch in two and mixed strawberries into one half. SO GOOD.
Goat Cheese Biscuits *Adapted from a recipe created by Art Smith, Table Fifty-Two
Makes 12 (I doubled the recipe, and you should too, because everyone eats more than one biscuit!)
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons salt
1 cup plain yogurt
6 tablespoons cold butter, divided
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
Extra butter to grease pan and top biscuits
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (I love Trader Joe’s big bags!)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven while it’s preheating. (I don’t own a cast-iron pan but we borrowed our neighbors’ for the afternoon. They’d made us Southern-style cornbread in it the night before, so I’m convinced their Southern roots somehow added extra magic to my dish. Also, I’ve now added a cast-iron skillet to my “someday soon” list.)
Pour flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and add to the bowl with goat cheese and the yogurt. Stir until the mix is moistened, adding an extra tablespoon of yogurt if needed.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it. When the butter has melted, divid the batter into 12 biscuits (about golf ball size) and drop them into the pan.
Brush the biscuits with one tablespoon of melted butter, then bake for 14-16 minutes. (Mine didn’t brown as nicely as I’d hoped, so I left them in a bit longer.) Remove from oven and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
Don’t forget the honey butter, strawberry honey butter or jam! Then, EAT, EAT, EAT.
Thanks, Ashlee, for co-hosting with me and taking photos!