5 Little Secrets and a Canal House-inspired Lunch

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Canal House Cookbook - Easter 2011

I am going to let you in on five little secrets.

First, (secret #1) it’s tough to put these words out there but I have totally over-extended myself. Sometimes, I feel like I have 10 different jobs.

Eat Boutique is my passion, my heart, really. But it certainly battles for my free time, up against taking care of my house and family, getting my garden to grow (seedlings below), making sure I take a walk now and again, supporting my friends and my other big priority, seeing the world.

Easter 2011

I traveled all last year, living in Paris for four months. If you don’t know, (secret #2) I’m actually a member of the Haven in Paris team and write for Hip Paris too. I’m one of the lucky ones; I love my gig. I talk to other passionate travelers all day, and help them live the Paris dream. We’re actually looking for a bit of help over there: maybe you’d like to join our team?

(Brief pause for a Paris photo interlude…)

Paris - Easter 2011

Paris - Easter 2011

Still, between all of these projects and commitments, the holidays regrettably take a back seat. I’m often whipping up menus and designing a day of festivities at the very last moment. It always works out in a fairly imperfect way, which is all right by me, I suppose. I’ve never heard a complaint.

But about two weeks ago, I decided to host an Easter lunch. Knowing I’d be in the midst of sending these pretty Spring gift boxes to your family and friends, I decided to continue to over-extend myself and host a little party for my out-of-town family. I’m nuts. But really, it’s worth it.

You see, (secret #3) my Mom’s been sick for a while and is finally on the mend. She demanded a bit of Champagne to celebrate her recovery and, as Easter is all about new beginnings, I agreed it was a very perfect time to drink 10 bottles of the good stuff in her honor.

Champagne - Easter 2011

For this Sunday lunch, I forced myself to do a little planning. (Who wants to waste 10 bottles of Champagne on bad food?)

Thank goodness this planning coincided with a flurry of new cookbooks. I’m in love with each new one that comes in the mail, but am, as ever, most in love with the latest gorgeousness that is the Canal House Cookbook.

My dear friends (in my head anyway), Melissa and Christopher, have produced an inspiring tome that makes me want to spend all day in the kitchen with them. While (secret #4) I am a fellow Jersey girl, I haven’t received any invitations in the mail yet. (Though I did get a card with their pretty signatures… What? Everyone gets those? Sigh…)

Canal House Cookbook - Easter 2011

I’m not counting any chickens, but have still planned an Easter meal (secret #5) completely inspired by the spring batch of Canal House recipes. With a little preparation and few of my own adjustments thrown in to keep it real, I’m certain these very easy recipes will make my event effortless. So in lieu of detailed recipes, I’m sharing my menu for the day. And, thanks to my fellow Jersey ladies, I can go on living under the guise that I’ve got it all together.

It’ll just be our little secret.

I’m raising a glass of bubbly to you all for continuing to read this site (thank you!), and hoping my family doesn’t. And now… onto the best part: the food!

Canal House Cookbook - Easter 2011

Easter Lunch 2011

Starters

Boiled Local Eggs, Halved
Topped with Maine shrimp and a pesto of local greens

Handmade Local Fish Cakes (p. 76)
With a lemon-egg yolk sauce (p. 40)

Asparagus Tart
Puff pastry baked with asparagus, salt, olive oil and not much else

Main Course

Fresh Escarole Salad (p. 49)
With preserved lemon and black pepper

Easter Ham (p. 104)
With apple cider, brown sugar, mustard and bread crumbs

Green Lentils (p. 67)
With roasted beets and chopped fresh herbs

Dessert

Meringues (p. 105)
With rhubarb roasted in red wine and whip cream

Looking for the perfect gift for Easter or Mother’s Day? Eat Boutique offers a gift box filled with handmade sweet and savory treats. Send food that hugs you back today.

Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.

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