CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Easter eating was a mostly traditional affair at our house this year, starting with delicious eggs for breakfast.
Courtesy of Cadbury, of course.
Then the extended family came over for an after-church potluck feast of spiral-sliced ham, biscuits, green beans, my famous Brussels sprout hash, pineapple bread pudding (think dressing) and a creamy-cheesy potato casserole with a golden crunchy topping.
We were all fairly certain each bite of the fat-laden potato situation would send us straight to our maker, but that didn't stop us from repeatedly taking the chance. Special occasion and all.
I did balance things out by making a relatively light dessert.
Wanting something fresh and "springy," I baked a simple white cake mix into two rounds, which I sliced to create four thin layers. Meanwhile, I whipped up a bowl of lemon cream (heavy cream whipped and then folded with lemon curd) and opened a can of blueberry pie filling.
On a glass pedestal, I stacked all four layers of cake with alternating layers of the lemon cream and blueberry filling. Then I covered the whole thing with a slathering of lemon cream frosting using the same whipped cream and lemon curd combo, but adding a little confectioner's sugar for kicks.
So when you sliced into this beauty, you saw these alternating layers of white cake, light cream, deep purple blueberries and pale yellow frosting. It was a huge hit, I must say, both in appearance and taste.
And if I had followed a recipe or at least jotted mine down, it would have definitely been a keeper.
After I offered a few suggestions last week on ways to jazz up your traditional grilled cheese sandwich, local reader Joyce Bodine sent in one of her own.
And, man, does it sound good.
"Love your column! Here's a great grilled cheese sandwich," she wrote in a note accompanying a recipe for Grilled Bleu and Brie, featuring bleu cheese, brie, macadamia nuts and hot pepper jelly toasted on buttered slices of rye or pumpernickel.
"Really delicious," she said, "and really not so good for you!"