Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Garden Village at Easter

Once upon a time, there was a lively little village and their inhabitants nestled among the colorful flowers and hearty fruit and vegetable plants of Auntie Franny's garden.  The bustling members of this busy community love to grow flowers, fruits and veggies of their own and spend their entire day tending to their rows and rows of bright and beautiful scented flowers, crunchy, sweet and flavorful veggies and fruits.  Collectively, young and old, they work harmoniously as a team to harvest their crop and spend their day making delectable vegetable soups, savory stews and sweet and wholesome fruit compotes and sauces.  The aromatic scent that permeates from this diligent, hard-working community is a mixture of spicy and savory and, at other times, a sweet fragrance from raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

The little Easter apothecary village was my inspiration for this week's slightly different interpretation of an Easter tablescape.  Lime green and navy were my chosen colors to give Easter more power and punch over the pastels, especially since it was designed mostly with solid colors that did not compete with the details in the village.  This little miniature village filled with adult and baby bunnies, garden equipment and nature's crops was originally the centerpiece for my bright Easter tablescape until a friend came to visit with a pot of orange tulips wrapped in lime green paper as a gift. The potted tulips which I decided to use as a centerpiece instead of the village gave the table the needed pop of orange color along with the orange carrots to break up the two-color scheme of just lime green and navy.  So the miniature village will be moved to the buffet for solitary viewing of its own.

Since the little apothecary village consisted of a bunny community, I used chicks, eggs and flowers in my Easter tablescape as something a little different.  A large yellow chick cookie and light green flower cookie with a buzzing honey bee dresses up each placesetting.  I just love edible decor pieces!  (That is the best part of designing.)

Each cookie was designed with a homemade white chocolate chick or flower using my mother's chocolate molds.  She had quite a collection of molds, but I decided the chick and flower mold would work the best in the white chocolate with the egg and flower shape sugar cookie.

Who is peeking out from these eggs?  A tiny bunny.  I used the egg shells from last week's Spring tablescape that contained a tea light candle and refilled it with iridescent Easter grass and these tiny pastel bunnies that were also placed in the village.

These gorgeous orange tulips bring so much vivid color to the table and room and definitely helps to bring more consolation, fortitude and hope to the Easter holiday.

One item on the brunch menu are these delectable glazed cherry almond muffins.  They have just the right amount of sweetness from the glazed crunchy topping that goes so well with a strong cup of coffee.  Be sure to save the recipe which follows the photos.

Glazed Cherry Almond Muffins

1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 C sour cream
2  tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 C flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 rsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. whipping cream or half and half
2 C dried cherries

In a large bowl, mix butter, sugars, eggs, sour cream, extracts and whipping cream until smooth.  Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until blended.  Stir in cherries.  Spoon into paper or foil-lined muffin tins.  Top with crumb-topping (see recipe below) and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 15-20 minutes more or until toothpick comes out clean when inserting.  Cool and glaze with the following glaze recipe.

Crumb Topping

1/3 C brown sugar
1 T granulated sugar
1/4 C unsalted butter, cubed
2/3 C flour
1/2 C sliced almonds

Cut together with pastry blade until crumbly and top muffins before baking.


1 C powdered sugar
3 - 4 T. whipping cream
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Drizzle over cooled muffins.


I am also happy that this quirky lime green and navy Easter Garden Village tablescape is among the the many other Easter tablescapes designed by the following list of participants in Chloe Crabtree's Easter Tablescape Blog Hop beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  Thank you bunches, Chloe!!!!  It is because of her hard work, many talents and detailed organizational skills that we all can enjoy such a wonderful collection of tablescapes from these many blog hops throughout the year.  So don't miss out on the wonderful decorating ideas and visit each one of the following links below after 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

One last note.......the coronavirus has impacted our lives significantly and we all find our own ways of coping and dealing with the situation and relying more on our faith.  I want to convey to you my own prayers for you and to ask for God's help and guidance.  May you all stay safe and for those who are on the frontlines helping others, may God provide his loving comfort and protection.