1 This year, I wanted my Easter eggs to be colored with beautiful deep tones.
2 The eggs are naturally blue, brown, and chocolate colored and they dye much more vibrantly than white eggs.
3 I colored the eggs by using lots of food coloring - one little bottle of McCormick vegetable food coloring per 1-quart bowl of water.
4 I baked and iced lots of cut-out cookies - bunnies, chicks, and eggs.
5 I set plates of cookies throughout the house. The cookie recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cookies book.
6 The frosting is confectioners sugar - one pound, plus 4 T meringue powder, ¼ C water, and the juice of 1 ½ lemons.
7 I used tinted sanding sugars in the wet icing. I dipped the cookies face-side down in the wet frosting for easy application.
10 Laura Acuna, my longtime housekeeper, sets the most gorgeous tables.
11 For those who couldn't fit at the long table
12 I found these great little plants at Terrain in Westport, CT.
15 I think we used every single Easter decoration that I've collected through the years.
18 My Ukrainian egg collection sat on the mantle.
21 Such fine detail
22 So much to look at here
23 Jude was fascinated.
24 So pretty
25 There were nests and eggs all around.
30 A made a matching pair of pussy willow arrangements for the brown room.
31 These were photographed for the April cover of Living magazine.
33 Many plants were brought from the greenhouse like this Iwanagara Apple Blossom Cattleya and African violet.
34 The clear candy came from Shane Confectionery. http://shanecandies.com/
37 A tower of jelly beans http://www.jellybelly.com/
38 The dining table in the bird room
40 A feathery fern
41 The papier-mâché chicks are great flower holders.
42 A nest of cardboard and tin egg boxes
43 Baby's tears graced this table.
44 A beautiful aeonium succulent
45 Pale blue eggs
46 A lovely orchid complemented this demilune table.
47 The other table
49 In the green parlor
50 An ostrich egg with a bunny sticker
51 Another with gold birds
52 We even had the Easter bunny!
53 Pierce Nathan cozied up to the bunny.
54 The Easter baskets for the egg hunt came from Chelsea Market Baskets, a wonderful source of gift baskets. These were very nice and just the right size. http://www.chelseamarketbasket.com/
55 The snowdrops were in full bloom.
57 Pierce was good at finding eggs, but his brother Euan found the most.
58 Truman, Kevin, and Patsy
59 Another look at that pretty orchid
60 More aeoniums
61 Pedestals with blue fern - Phlebodium pseudoaureum. and begonias
62 In the opposite corner
63 Another wonderful basket
64 Gilded eggs
65 Beautiful green and white parrot tulips
66 Another orchid in a marble urn
67 A matching pair
68 A crafting table was set up in the little tenant house.
69 Martha Stewart Crafts stickers, punches, and paper
77 Kevin's creation
79 Eli Cuti enjoyed the stickers.
80 Grey Lee was good at folding. Grey, by the way, found the golden egg in the hunt!
81 Once again, Chef Pierre Schaedelin helped me prepare the Easter lunch. http://pierreschaedelin.com/
82 Pierre used this egg mold to make butter pats.
84 And garnished
85 Pierre made fresh bread crumbs for stuffed artichokes using a loaf of Balthazar Bakery bread. http://www.balthazarbakery.com/
86 He seasoned and toasted the crumbs in a skillet.
87 The artichoke and asparagus came from Mister Spear Gourmet Produce. http://www.misterspear.com
88 Pierre steamed the artichokes and removed the hairy choke.
89 He then loosened the leaves and stuffed them with those savory crumbs.
90 He then poached eggs.
91 My friend, Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, sent me a succulent ham from his shop. Pierre coated it with grainy mustard. http://www.salumeriarosi.com/
92 Benton's from Tennessee, sent this gorgeous country ham and I baked it exactly how Mr. Benton told me to. http://bentonscountryhams2.com/
93 There were plenty of herbs from the vegetable greenhouse.
94 Pierre made adorable bunny carrot cut-outs for garnish.
95 Braising baby carrots from the greenhouse for the Navarin d`agneau printanier, or spring lamb stew with vegetables
96 The other vegetables - red and white beets, sugar snap peas and yellow pepper
97 Pierre likes to tie the asparagus in little bundles before blanching them.
99 Cooked perfectly
100 He then began to make a hollandaise sauce.
101 Hollandaise is an emulsion of egg yolk and melted butter, seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
103 And so richly delicious!
104 The stuffed artichokes were baked and then the centers were filled with a poached egg and topped with that amazing hollandaise sauce.
105 The buffet
106 A lovely fresh fruit platter of mango, papaya, pineapple, honeydew melon, and kiwi
107 Ravioli stuffed with fresh pea puree with carrot bunny garnish
108 The asparagus
109 The navarin d`agneau printanier
110 Pierre also made a platter of spring vegetables for a vegetarian option.
111 The country ham
112 In addition to a fabulous coconut cake, there were meringue nests filled with lemon curd and topped with egg-shaped lemon ice cream. The "yolks" were blood orange ice cream.