Hoppy Easter!

When I was in college, one afternoon, close to Easter, my roommate Jenny & I walked down to CVS, presumably to get cigarettes or hair dye (or both), and passed by the Easter display that was on an end-cap at the front of the store. For some reason, I picked up this bunny that, when you pushed its paw or something, it yelled out “Hoppy Easter!” then giggled like crazy. I don’t know why, but it made me laugh until I cried, right there in the store. Jenny told me later that she’d gone back after Easter to see if it was still there, and if it had been, she would’ve gotten it for my graduation present. I still laugh whenever I think of the Giggle Bunny.

It’s been a fairly quiet Easter Sunday, which as far as I’m concerned, is just fine. The bambino noticed on Friday, that we had a purple flower pop up in our front yard, and today when we were outside, I noticed a few more had popped up:

I think the previous owners of our house had planted some stuff around, and tried to spruce up the place a bit. Jay commented that it’s almost too bad that he’s going to be digging up that bed in a few weeks, since that’s where his peppers are going.

I got it in my head last night that I needed to make a coffee cake this morning…A yeast coffee cake. It has a chocolate swirl, and while it tastes really yummy, it was a huge pain in my butt. For one, it would be REALLY handy to have a stand mixer, because I had to rely on my wooden spoon, and my trusty Cuisinart hand-held:

It works well, don’t get me wrong. But I’d give up my right arm for one of these babies (in black, natch, to match the rest of my appliances, except for my microwave, although one of these days, I’m getting a new one). Have you tried making a yeast dough by hand?

At this point, it’s not so bad, since it’s still more batter-like than dough-like. But here’s where it gets a little tougher:

Shortly after I took this picture, I gave up on the wooden spoon, got my hands floured, then emptied the bowl and started kneading. The dough itself looked okay after the first rise, but once I assembled the coffee cake, it didn’t look so pretty:

It’s kind of hard to tell in that picture, but one side of the coffee cake is a LOT larger than the other. It didn’t get any better once the cake was out of the oven:

There you can really tell how much of a bubble there was in the middle after I rolled it up. Funny thing, though, once I flipped it over, you couldn’t tell that the bubble was there:

It’s not the best-looking, but it tasted pretty good.

I think the only change I’d make is to add just a bit more sugar. Or I could use different chocolate chips–For this I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips. Maybe next time I’ll use regular semi-sweet chips instead.

I’d planned on making some fish cakes & homemade fries/chips for dinner this evening, but I checked my fillet, and it was still a bit on the frozen side. We’ll have them tomorrow instead. We swung through the store, and picked up some ground sirloin so that we could grill:

Jay’s eyes were a little bigger than his stomach, as only one of those hot dogs was for the bambino. I have to admit, I was tempted to eat one myself:

That one closest to the malt vinegar is the one I’d’ve chosen for myself, had I the room. I did eat a burger & a half, and a bunch of shoestrings doused in vinegar & some salt. Yum! It was a perfect way to cap off a really great weekend!

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