We humans are incredibly fickle about the weather, aren’t we? I include myself in this category (as a human) and will admit I am the first to complain about it being too cold, too hot, too cloudy, too humid, or too rainy. Basically, if I could have 70 degrees and brilliant sunshine every day, I would be good. Maybe.

Last winter, we basically had a fall that turned into spring. We had only one snowfall that was in big shoveling territory and the daffodils were coming up in January. But we still complained. “It’s weird. It’s not natural. I can’t believe the kids haven’t had one snow day.” And they didn’t all winter.

I have no formal meteorological training, but because we got off light last year, I knew this winter was going to be a pain in the ass (I’m amazing with easy predictions, BTW). And it has been. On April 3, it’s still freezing out there. The weather people say that is going to change and our spring is going to start soon, but I think they lie to us just so we won’t go postal with 10 day forecasts full of clouds and cold.

So, I’ve been trying to cook with springtime in mind, even if I’m still waiting for spring to actually show up. Easter is a good excuse to pretend we’ve made it through the winter, even if my asparagus were bought from our local Giant, rather than our local farmer. But I’m sorry if I’m not going to make an Easter side dish with shriveled, stored turnips. I’ve had it.

Here are some links to good dishes I’ve made recently or plan to make soon.

Sauce Gribiche

This sauce is an amazing homemade herbed and caper mayonnaise. I like the first version better and served it with roasted asparagus, carrots, and snap peas as a side for Easter dinner. I also had the leftover sauce mixed with hard boiled, leftover Easter eggs for a fantastic egg salad. It’s a winner with veggies, grilled meat/seafood, potatoes — you name it. (BTW, if you have never roasted carrots, do it. Whole carrots tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper, cooked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes or until tender and caramelized. Turn a few times to encourage that. Delicious and like candy.)

Tangerine Semifreddo with Salted Almond Brittle

This was Easter dinner dessert and it is a wonderful frozen mousse with crunchy bits of brittle layered inside. Of course with our nut allergies, we used pumpkin seeds in the brittle, but it was still wonderful. Very light, fluffy, and refreshing after a big meal — and I think I might start doing semifreddos instead of much of my homemade ice cream. So easy, no ice cream freezer required, and I love the texture.

Sautéed Bacon and Blue Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate

This was my second choice for an Easter side dish, but I decided to go the first route. I still think it sounds great and plan to try it very soon.

Grilled Lobster Caesar Salads

This is dinner tonight, except I plan to use frozen lobster tails (on major sale at Giant one day, so I stocked up) and grill them before putting on top of salad. Caesar salad is one of the kids’ favorites, so it should be a hit for everyone.

Island Pork Tenderloin Salad

This is one of our favorite warmer weather salads. My friend, Beth, introduced me to it and I think I’ve made it every year (multiple times a year) since she did. Delicious flavor combinations, great for entertaining, and kid friendly if you make a separate pork tenderloin without the spice rub.

Goat Cheese with Chile Morita and Piloncillo Sauce (AKA Double Dip)

This one was introduced to me by my friend, Jenn. It is another one that I always come back to for entertaining (any time of the year). It is basically a garlicky, chipotley cheese mixture (dip one) with a chipotley caramel (dip two). It is a show stopper and everyone will beg you for the recipe. I generally use regular sugar and serve with tortilla chips.

Napa Valley Cabernet Burgers

This is one of my favorite burger recipes. I often make homemade garlic/rosemary focaccia if I have time and it is another fantastic warm weather entertaining dish for meat lovers.

Garlic Shrimp

This is a classic, Tapas-style garlic shrimp dish. It is best served in a big bowl with good, crusty bread. I think I’ll skip the grill and make this for dinner on Friday night since it might snow. Argh.



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