Hye Thyme Cafe: Easter 2012

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012



Hello. Just checking in to see how everyone's Easter was this year. Ours was kind of a bust ... at least in the dessert department. Dinner was great, but non-traditional, as we usually have Braciole. My sister makes an awesome Braciole and usually makes a few with a mushroom filling and a few with an artichoke filling (mostly since I don't like mushrooms). Because it can be labor intensive, and she wasn't really in the mood for making it this week, we punted back to Shish Kebab. Well, really it was beef-kebabs, but close enough when the top dog in the family doesn't eat lamb. She offered to throw in some lamb for us, but I said nah (What was I thinking?) since she was trying to make things easier.

Braciole - YUM!

We were even good about not going crazy with appetizers. She already had a few things planned, so I left that course alone altogether.


Rice Crackers in Back - Jajig in front
Jajig on Cucumber Chips

Mini Grit Cakes
We also decided to grill some prosciutto wrapped asparagus since we were already gearing the grill up for the kebabs. LOVE Love love prosciutto/asparagus! I was too busy eating them to take a picture of them.  :)

As for desserts, I was told the guys wanted something more on the healthy side (What were they thinking?!) My sister was planning on some sort of fruit tart, and I know the guys always ask for cheesecake, so I looked around for some pseudo-healthy cheesecake recipes. I found a Quick Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes recipe on EatingWell.com and thought they were cute, but I didn't want them to be chocolate. Then I saw a few other recipes that used cottage cheese and/or yogurt with cream cheese, so I thought I could combine that with the chocolate concept and make some sort of orange version to go on top of those Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. My plan was to use Neufch√Ętel (couldn't find any!), cottage cheese, and sugar free orange gelatin for a no-bake base. 

I whipped my cream cheese, added a bunch of fresh orange zest and a little honey, strained the liquid out of the cottage cheese and added that while blooming the gelatin in the fresh juice from the orange. Sounds good, huh? The problem ... the cottage cheese wouldn't break down enough when I added it, so it was on the lumpy side, and it didn't set firm enough. Sigh ... that's what I get for experimenting on a holiday! I topped them with more orange zest and/or orange segments and some shaved dark chocolate. Cute, but just ehhh.



Turns out my sister's fruit tart had some sort of a yogurt filling that wasn't setting properly (I never did see it completed to snap a shot of it), and my "cheesecake" wasn't setting properly, so I decided we needed a back-up plan. A healthy back-up plan. Argh! I remembered having made a Quinoa "Rice" Pudding at some point, and although I don't really know how healthy that was, the Quinoa part of it spoke to me, so I checked the pantry to see if I had what I needed. When I originally made it, it was just a small amount, so I needed to double it. I only had one can of Lite Coconut Milk, but I did also have a can of Cream of Coconut. Surely I could omit what sugar would have been in my original recipe in favor of the Cream of Coconut. Right??? Even the pudding turned out a tad on the soupy side, and for some reason, the Quinoa flavor was very strong, but it's the same brand I always use, so I guess it just wasn't my day. Again, cute but ehhh ...


So, instead of having some fun new recipes to share with you all, I pretty much just made a chopped Greek Salad, cooked some Pilaf, decorated some cucumbers, and made a mess out of dessert this year. Oh, and I forgot to take a picture of the Easter Eggs! For some reason, even that wasn't working for us. No matter what we tried, we couldn't get the colors we wanted.



Healthy shmealthy! There wasn't so much as a chocolate bunny or a jelly bean to be found. That's no fun! I had much more fun with dessert last year - this was just one ...



I was in excellent company though, both friends and family, and nobody but me seemed at all concerned about the food, so it's all good.  ;)

How about you guys, any standouts - good or bad??  Any new and/or interesting traditions you'd like to share?


2 comments:

  1. Wow I can't believe you had trouble with all the desserts??!!!! Crazy!! I made a peanut butter cake/bars. It started out on the stove & I kinda freaked when you had to add eggs to it. All I thought of my EPIC FAIL Lemon bars!!! But it came out great!!! YAY!!

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean - when it comes to bars like that, I'm always afraid I'll add the egg too soon and it will scramble. ;)

      As for ours, it's because you're not supposed to make "healthy" desserts on a holiday!!!! LOL

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