My brother and his wife brought appetizers: goat cheese-stuffed baby bell peppers, Greek olives, deviled eggs, baked canapés. We chipped in about a third of a pound of pork and chicken liver pate with pistachios.
Honeybaked and the Chinese BBQ store did a lot of the cooking. The haricots verts steamed in their own plastic bag. The salad greens came pre-washed in a box; we just had to prep the celery, baby bell peppers, and radishes to dress them up.
Crunchy Onion Potato Bake
2 ½ C milk
1 ½ C water
¼ C butter
Approx. 8 oz instant mashed potatoes
1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 ½ C shredded cheese
3-4 oz French-fried onions, original flavor
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13×9-inch baking ovenproof glass baking dish.
Heat the milk, water and butter to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, add the instant mashed potatoes and mix until just moistened. Let the mixture stand for one minute, then stir with a fork until smooth. Stir in the corn and mix well.
Place half of the potato mixture in the baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and French-fried onions. Repeat.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and onions are golden. Serve hot.
We often invite “orphans” – friends who have no family in the Bay Area – to our holiday dinners. I remember what it was like to grow up far away from cousins and extended family. Fortunately, everyone who shares our table has gotten along well with the “regulars” – our family members and close friends.
There’s nothing like a happy, relaxed house. Everyone enjoyed the food and wine, and laughed through the samplings of chipotle-infused vodka, single-malt scotch, Japanese whiskey, and Romulan ale (equal parts of 151 rum, Everclear and blue curacao). Everyone left with a smile.
Till next year, Happy Easter!