Overcooked Easter

Hope you all had a great Easter or Passover.  We had wonderful weather, here in LA, for the holiday weekend.  I spent all day Saturday out and about shopping for food, prepping and getting as much done as possible so I could relax on Sunday, which of course, never happened.  We had our neighbors Gale and David and my friend Maureen over for dinner.  My other neighbor Andy and his girlfriend Kirsten popped over for a glass of wine or in Andy’s case “Miller Lite” after their family dinner.  While hosting Easter is something I have done many times, this was the first time we had a chef come to our house.  My neighbor David, is a chef and partner, at Park Avenue & Il Garage in Stanton, CA.  For all of you who ask, “Where is Stanton?” like I did, it’s located just East of Huntington Beach on Beach Boulevard.  It’s a destination restaurant that has won many accolades and was recently ranked in the Top 10 of OC Restaurants by Orange Coast Magazine.  In the last few years it’s been ranked number one and landing Chef David Slay on the cover. Ok, as if that isn’t pressure.

We have eaten at his restaurant several times, (which is amazing) and Blake and I have been guests at their house on numerous occasions for parties and impromptu dinners.  I wanted to extend an invitation to them for Easter since they graciously hosted us for Christmas and David is always working and never gets to relax.  I am a perfectionist when it comes to entertaining and love everything to look perfect and taste perfect.  While I love to cook, I’d prefer to do the hosting aspect and décor.  I still haven’t gotten the hang of the whole timing thing.  With my girlfriend Nick flying back from Australia (she normally helps me serve), I was on my own.

Well let’s just say it was a disaster.  I’m laughing about it now.    We cooked our ham in their oven (which Gale warned me gets hot) so I could reheat our sides while the ham was finishing up.  You would think we would have checked on the ham, nope!  This is what happens when the wine starts flowing.  Turns out the ham which, is PERFECT every year, was over cooked. The veggies were soggy because I reheated them and forgot to take the tin foil off and everything was a hot mess.  The only thing that was good was the wine, the company, and the table setting.  While they were more than gracious, I’m sure my soggy asparagus was likely  the topic of conversation the next day.  Everyone had plenty of wine to drink thank God!  Food (when painfully overcooked) always tastes better when your drinking wine.  Overall, we had a great time except me, the perfectionist, cringing every time I looked at the food.  Oh well,  I can only go up from here, right?  Now anything I cook will look good.  LOL!

Now on to the positive aspect of the evening, the table setting.  I was pretty happy with how the table turned out considering everything was purchased either on sale or at a thrift store.  See below for details of where everything was purchased.

TABLE ITEMS:  Table cloth from Williams Sonoma purchased last summer.   Plates are Spode Fine Bone China, England, Pattern Y8549-L Chinese Flowers Prunus purchased at a local thrift store.  Glasses are by the Imperial Glass Company in Shoji pattern purchased at a local thrift store along with the brass candle holders and napkin rings (which they threw in for free).  Wine glasses are by Riedel (Vitis Collection).  Chargers are from Cost Plus, vases from One Kings Lane, burlap runner from Pottery Barn (last year), candles from Home Goods, tulips from Whole Foods, and napkins from Target.

The table setting in all it’s glory before it got bombarded by the hot mess of over cooked food.

Easter Table 1

Easter Table2

Easter Table6

Easter Table8

Up close as the sun was going down.



P1040373I couldn’t believe how well the dishes and table cloth matched.


On  a side note, my great friend Nick has an Aunt who we call “Auntie Syl”.  She lives in Salem, Oregon and loves to entertain, just like us.  We are always sharing recipes, ideas for table settings, and swapping pictures of how we decorated our tables for the holidays.  Take a look at her creative table setting that she did for Easter.  She used burlap as the table cloth, stuffed egg shells and urns with wheat grass,  hanging eggs on branches and put chocolate bunnies on the dinner plates.  I love it.Easter Table Syl2

She also sent me this picture of her deviled eggs.  These are no ordinary deviled eggs. They are decorated with real violets, fresh dill, chives and parsley.  Look at the little baby chick in the right corner.  I call her the Martha Stewart of the North West.

Easter Table Syl1



Cheese Platter with Various Cheeses, Crackers and Grapes

Hartford Court, Four Hearts Vineyards, Russian River Chardonnay 2009


Beet, Rhubarb, and Orange Salad (Couldn’t get Rhubarb anywhere)

Gary Farrell, Russian River Chardonnay, 2008


Roasted Asparagus

Tri-Colored Carrots Roasted with Olive Oil

Scallop Potatoes with Gruyere Cheese (Bon Appetit)

Honey Glazed Ham from our Local Market

Calera 35th Anniversary Vintage, Central Coast, Pinot Noir 2010

Regusci Stages Leap District Merlot 2008

Burgess Napa Valley Merlot 2007

Robert Foley Vineyards, The Griffin Red Wine, 2009


Fresh Mixed Berries with Home Made Whip Cream Topped with Fresh Mint


Also, to my parents who’s 45th Anniversary was Sunday.

Happy Anniversary!


Jan, my Aussie friend.  I’m so glad we re-connected! Happy Birthday!


p.s.  I’m too tired to edit!

PHOTO CREDITS:  All photos are taken by me (Peggy & Fritz) except the last two which are taken by Auntie Syl.


Karen said...

You have my complete understanding...this has happened to me. Here's what I've discovered...the guests don't think it was as bad as we (the perfectionists) do. Good friend, good conversation and good wine covers up a multitude of missteps. Your table looks stunning and I loved your Oregon friends deviled eggs. I will keep that on file for next year. Sounds like you had fun, that's what counts.

Designs By Pinky said...

Oh honey, after 44 years of cooking holiday dinners I can say don't even worry about it. Experience helps alot and also the guests, I'm sure, didn't mind at all. Good wine makes everyone happy:):) Your table looked beautiful and I know everyone had a good time. XO, pinky PLEASE tuen off word verification!!!!! YOu will get MORE comments.

Anonymous said...

That menu looks amazing. I'm sure your guests had a lovely time and didn't mind the mishaps at all. The table is so festive and I especially love the flowers. It's always tricky entertaining, but just think about how few people do it. I like the challenge of it all, and the practice of opening up my home (and really my self) to friends. They always appreciate which makes all the work worthwhile. Right?


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