Easter is a holiday I grew up only celebrating the all-American-commercial type of way. It was a day filled with family and close friends, epic Easter baskets carefully crafted and well thought out by my mom, egg painting and plastic egg filling for the big hunt, Easter candy corn binging and Charlie Brown. One year my sister and I even got Furbies for Easter, which was pretty intense. I have random blurry memories of huge fields in the mountains with tons of kids and someone dressed up in a huge bunny costume. I would wear pastels dresses and Keds and feel so delighted to look under rocks and behind trees for the colorful hidden eggs.
Easter now is something still close to my heart. The tradition part of it has stuck with me, despite having never grown up with the true reason for celebrating Easter (oops). Even when far away from actual family, brunches with girlfriends and now my in-laws have always been added to the agenda. An excuse to whip out all things pastel, treats both savory and sweet, and some good company.
This Easter at the in-laws it was a laid back lunch out in the sunshine, which already was a blessing in itself. It was a weekend of relaxing outside of the city. I had needed some family time. And as you know if you’ve been following my blog for some time, this spot if a paradise in itself. With some beer from the region and epic grub, it was a hearty weekend even topped with a game of Monopoly.
On the gloomiest day in the world this house would still be precious as ever to me, but with the sun rays and colorful camellias, daisies, wisteria and nasturtium, it truly felt like Spring. The only things missing in my book aside from my Colorado family were Jell-O and Brach’s Easter Candy Corn. I hope you all had a magical Easter.
Gratin is one of my favorite things. I love casseroles. Basically anything involving heaps of flavors cooked with cheese has always been my calling. I’m pretty sure it all started with discovering broccoli cheddar casserole at Thanksgivings. One weekend for a game night at home with friends, Olivia threw together a casserole with some veggies from the in-law’s garden and it was magic.
Gratins are easy dishes that just require only an oven and all of your favorite ingredients. That’s another reason I love them, they are so simple! For this recipe we went with kale, butternut squash and potato, topped with cheese, obviously.
What you’ll need :
A pan or two
2 handfuls of kale
1 sweet potato
2 medium-sized potatoes
3 cloves of garlic cut up
Grated cheese (I prefer Emmental or Cantal)
Salt & pepper
Spices (Paprika, Herbs)
Cook the butternut squash, zucchini and potatoes prior to baking. Chop the squash, potatoes and kale up. Butter your pan and layer in the ingredients (I always start with potatoes). Throw in your garlic, salt, pepper, and spices in between the layers. You can also put cheese in between layers if you’re a cheese lover. Once approaching the top of the pan, leave at least 1cm to pile on some cheese to bake and add that extra gratin goodness. Bake the gratin until all cheese is melted and the top is golden brown. Serve while hot, and enjoy.
Cooks for 6-8 hungry people, plus leftovers (I’m bad at judging quantity). It’s easy to go overboard, but it saves well for a couple of days.
Last summer when one of my dearest and most inspirational and creative friends was visiting Paris for the first time (Oh dear, I’ve still got so many photos to share), but one of my favorite things that we did was take a stroll through the Dynamo exhibit at the Grand Palais. After reading about it about on Anne’s blog, we knew we had to make the trip to discover this magically created space of light and motion.
On show at the humongous and stunning Grand Palais, the exhibit was subtitled “A century of light and motion in art, 1913-2013″, which already is alluring enough, right? The different sized rooms featured from one to many installations by various contemporary artists, all unique and bright, light and dark, flashy and distant. We went from space to space together, discussing inspirations, ideas and dreams. Considering the time period of some of the installations’ creation, it was simply breathtaking to think about how so early on light and motion in a given space could effect the way we view everything around us as human beings. It was a very interactive expo that permitted visitors to feel a part of the piece, even if that means just wandering through a room with dense fog and colored lights, witnessing the change of shapes and color with the help of seemingly random lights, or standing in the absolute perfect spot of a hall of archades to visualize the truest and most immense of a trompe l’oeil. Long story short, we had a hoot.
Although the exhibition ended last July, I wanted to share the photos from this magical place sa it seems like it was yesterday. If you missed it, I hope this doesn’t make you regret taking a spin through it. If you did go, I hope you found it as enchanting and powerful as I did. See the teaser for Dynamo here, and a video put together by my friend Puxan here.
The Grand Palais often has fantastic expos on, so check out their program here.