The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Browsing Through Cookbooks for an Easter Menu

I am blessed to have all of my immediate family living nearby Frog Hollow Farm.  That means for holidays and other gatherings there are automatically at least 20 people in attendance.  Then, we need to add some cousins, husbands and wives of neices and nephews, and now two sweet little babies, and the number grows to around 30 people!
My family has this tradition of eating appetizers for a few hours before eating the main meal, and no matter how many appetizers are devoured they always manage to have room to fill an entire plate at the buffet table.  So, after several bottles of wine, beer and whatever specialty cocktail I'm featuring for the day, it's off to the buffet table for a delicious dinner.
My two sisters and sister-in-law are bringing the appetizers and desserts.  FHFB and I are in charge of the main courses and side dishes, and of course for setting the various tables and seating areas for everyone to mix and mingle, as well as a bar area (did I mention that this is a large Irish family) so that everything is easily accessible and comfortable. My daughter will be coming in from Brooklyn that morning and is always so helpful with last minute details.  My son won't make it home from North Carolina for Easter, but we'll be seeing him in a few weeks and he'll be home for Mother's Day!

Today is my day to sit down and plan the menu - sometimes trying to put together a menu that isn't full of too many last minute details can be daunting, but I think I've found some recipes that will work well, with a little help from a local caterer. 

I've chosen a Italian cookbook called Italian Immigrant Cooking by Elodia Rigante for a couple of the recipes, and two of my Ina Garten cookbooks for the others - The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Barefoot Contessa Parties!.  Here's my idea for our Easter buffet:

Appetizers:  Various delicious nibbles from Colleen, Laurie and Jan. 

Specialty Cocktail:  still to be determined!

Primi:   Linguini with a Light, Creamy Red Sauce)  my dad said he wanted linguini - so we're having linguini!

Secondi:  Baked, Glazed Honey Ham
                Chicken Francese (catered)

                Scalloped Potatoes (catered)
                Rice Casserole (from Italian Immigrant Cooking)

                Steamed Asparagus
                Roasted Carrots
                Cauliflower with Bacon (from Italian Immigrant Cooking)
                Roasted Tomatoes (Ina Garten)
                Roasted Fennel Bulbs (Ina Garten)

Desserts:  Something delicious and sweet compliments of Colleen, Laurie and Jan

So, off to make the grocery list and organize my next few days.  I've just started back to work as a private educational consultant for 1-2 days per week so I might not be posting as often as I have, although I love sharing my adventures and day-to day activities with everyone as well as keeping up with all of your wonderful blogs! 


  1. Yummy! Can you take a few more guests!?? :)

  2. Sounds delicious - what a wonderful gathering you will have!


  3. i can't wait to follow your doings on your blog. your menu sounds wonderful. will you post some pics? teddy and i love to look at food. i do the looking she does the eating!

  4. I haven't eaten fennel much but it is so pretty growing in my garden. It stays green all winter in my area .

    Your menu sounds great. Happy Easter.

  5. Your mother taught her daughters well! I remember being at your mom and dad's on several occasions and it was always a culinary delight. It's nice to hear that you are keeping up the tradition.


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