Easter Deviled “Robin’s Eggs”

I’ve said it so many times before, and it still stands true, eggs are my favorite food! Or are they considered more of an ingredient? Hmmm. Puzzling. Either way, any holiday that celebrates eggs is a holiday that’s OK in my book. Well, in my case, “OK in my Torah”—if we’re being specific and making Jew-y jokes. No, I don’t celebrate Easter and never quite understood the rabbit obsessed with hiding these vibrantly colored not at all camouflaged eggs that he clearly stole because, well, rabbits don’t lay eggs. But who am I to know, again, playing the Jew card. Either way, I love deviled eggs—so, I’m on board! Helloooo, Easter!

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

Servings: 8 Deviled Egg Halves (with extra filling)
Prep Time: 35 Minutes (once the eggs are already boiled)
Total Time: 35 Minutes

INGREDIENTS 

Colorful Eggs

Eggs (4, hard boiled and de-shelled)
Blue Food Coloring (10 drops)
Yellow Food Coloring (2 drops)
Vinegar (1 tsp)
Water (1/2 cup, boiling hot)

Egg Filling

Eggs (4, hard boiled and de-shelled)
Mayonnaise (3 ½ tbsp)
Lemon (1 tbsp of its juice)
Salt (to taste)

Decoration & Toppings

Cayenne (1 tbsp for decoration + extra for topping)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (1/4 tsp for decoration + extra for topping)
Lemon (1 tbsp of its juice)
Blue Food Coloring (2 drops)

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

KITCHEN ITEMS 

Paring Knife
Heat Resistant Cup
Tablespoon
Pinch Bowl
Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
Rubber Spatula
Ricer (if you don’t have one you can use an extra fine strainer and a spatula, though this will take a bit more energy and time)
Plate
Piping Bag with Small Ridged Tip
Thinly Tipped Fine Paintbrush

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

1. PREPPING YOUR EGGS FOR COLORING: using your paring knife, carefully and evenly cut your egg in half lengthwise. Place your yolks in your mixing bowl.

Use your paring knife to cut the slightest bit off of the tip of the rounded side.

This will allow your eggs to sit flat on a plate without rolling around.

Rinse out your egg whites and place them on your plate.

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

2. BLUE EGGS (NO HAM, THAT’S FOR GREEN ONES): in your heat resistant glass, mix together your boiling hot water, vinegar, 10 drops of blue food coloring and 2 drops of your yellow.

One half at a time, rounded side up, place your egg white in the cup of dye. Let it sit for 90 seconds.

Use your tablespoon to transfer your egg from the dye to your plate.

Yes you can use multiple cups of the food coloring mixture if you’re making a larger batch and want to speed up this process.

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

3. THE DOTS THAT MAKE THEM ROBIN’S EGGS: in your pinch bowl, mix together your 1 tbsp of cayenne, ground pepper, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 2 drops of blue food coloring.

Use your paintbrush to make dots of various sizes in clusters on your blue dyed eggs.

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

4. DEVILED FILLING: place your remaining egg yolks from your mixing bowl into your ricer. Now, place your ricer on top of your mixing bowl.

Add in your four remaining hard-boiled eggs.

Crank your ricer until all of your eggs have gone through smoothly into your mixing bowl.

Using your rubber spatula, fold in your mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt. Continue to fold your mixture until it forms one smooth and even consistency.

Put your egg mixture in your piping bag.

In a circular motion, like with soft serve ice cream, squeeze your egg mixture into the cavity of your, now blue, egg whites.

Easter Deviled "Robin's Eggs"

Sprinkle a little cayenne and then ground black pepper over the top of each one.

Aaaaannnddd, serve away! Happy Easter!

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“Cheers, Spring” Coffee & Champagne’s Very First Event

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Consider this “Cheers, Spring” event, an ode to Spring, life, friends and fun! It’s my way of breaking people free of the endless Winter we’ve been having. I for one have been tired of calling Manhattan a “Winter Wonderland” to try and make myself feel better about the heaps of snow I have to climb over with a puddle soaked shoe filled with gray slush. I’ve heard one or two birds chirp, I’ve seen Spring produce pop up in my local grocery stores, officially, the calendar now reads “Spring”—that’s good enough for me!

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”—Robin Williams 

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Photo Credit: Franklin Williams

So, celebrate we did! The invitations went out, the RSVPs came rolling in, amazing vendors jumped on board. And in two-and-a-half weeks, my event went from an idea to a sold out success! From friends that have supported me in and out while building my company, to the faces behind some of those blogs and Instagram accounts I’ve been avidly following, every person in the room was interesting and exciting to talk to.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

It was immediately clear to me that I wasn’t the only one that has grown accustomed to eating my food at room temperature. Dining with my fellow food lovers who also appreciate the beauty of food, have that same desire to channel their inner artist and capture each dish at it’s most gluttonous angle, and then ultimately go and share their food glamour shot with their social media families—let’s just say, every dish had some serious modeling to do. Of course, I had a feeling this was going to be the case, so, yes,  I made it worse (hehe).

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Photo Credit: Alexis J. Vail

In my toast, I welcomed people to take photos with the bonus that I planned to publish the ones that best highlighted the event in this very article. Really though, this is my fun way of saying, I admire all of your work and want you to be an even bigger part of my Coffee & Champagne community. That said, many of these photos were taken by my party’s guests and are taken directly from the hashtags #CheersSpring and #CoffeeAndChampagne from Instagram.

Let me not get too far ahead of myself. Let’s talk details from behind the scenes that made, well, the in front of the scenes (?!?!) .

My sponsors were absolutely amazing! I’ll paint a picture.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

As you round the corner of to enter the floral clad Hotel Chantelle event space,  you pass what feels like a coffee shop. My friends, Anu and Suyog of Drift Away Coffee set up such a beautiful coffee station with calligraphy signage, paper cups, cozies with their logos stamped on them and pouches of their thoughtfully designed and packaged coffee flavors.

“All our coffee is single-origin, specialty grade, sourced from amazing coffee farms around the world. For every coffee, we go through a rigorous process of selection, sample roasting & tasting to develop the right roast profile.” — Drift Away Coffee

debseeto 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle @ccbymwilliams and @driftawaycoffee know good coffee #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

@debseeto: @ccbymwilliams and @driftawaycoffee know good coffee #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

Suyog stood behind the station, meticulously making pour over coffee to order—each batch was carefully weighed to make sure that it was brewed to absolute perfection. Making certain that every cup of coffee is catered to your personal liking in terms of both flavor and brewing is exactly what Drift Away Coffee is all about!

“We don’t send you any coffee – we only send you coffee you like”—Drift Away Coffee

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

As you, a guest, enter the event, you grab your perfectly brewed coffee “to-go” and begin caffeinating and mingling with other guests.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

As you go to sit down, you are slightly surprised to see a red ballot styled sign on your seat. “Hmm, what is this?” you think to yourself. You need not fear, I explain that in my toast as well. You see, my event’s next wonderful sponsor is Drizly.

emilypugh 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle The best brunch idea ever! When your drink is low, wave this paddle and it will magically get refilled by @drizlyinc -- they deliver to your home too! #CheersSpring #CoffeeAndChampagne #brunch #mimosas

@emilypugh: The best brunch idea ever! When your drink is low, wave this paddle and it will magically get refilled by @drizlyinc — they deliver to your home too! #CheersSpring #CoffeeAndChampagne #brunch #mimosas

“Your favorite beer, wine, or liquor delivered within an hour”—Drizly

debseeto 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle Toasting to spring with endless mimosas @ccbymwilliams @drizlyinc #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

@debseeto: Toasting to spring with endless mimosas @ccbymwilliams @drizlyinc #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

Drizly is the fun-loving company that makes buying your alcohol the simplest possible process with directions like “Tell us where you are”, to “Order and pay”, to “Enjoy.” I mean it doesn’t get much easier than that!

brunchcritic 3 days ago One more drink? Just raise your sign and the drinks will arrive. Thanks @drizzly and @ccbymwilliams #cheersspring #brunchie #brunchdrinks

brunchcritic: One more drink? Just raise your sign and the drinks will arrive. Thanks @drizzlyinc and @ccbymwilliams #cheersspring #brunchie #brunchdrinks

Well, with the motto,

“Get the door. It’s the liquor store” —Drizly

we had to show off the ease of this delivery service. Simply raise that red ballot any time your mimosa topped with grenadine is low and a my friend Doug from Drizly or a Hotel Chantelle server will come and deliver you a refill. Love that! Better yet, cheers to that!

runwaychef 3 days ago · Snapchat>>>>runwaychef Cheersing to spring & @ccbymwilliams's first incredible #CoffeeAndChampagne event at @hotelchantelle #CheersSpring

@runwaychef: Cheersing to spring & @ccbymwilliams’s first incredible #CoffeeAndChampagne event at @hotelchantelle #CheersSpring

With endless coffee and champagne in hand, my gorgeous guests sat down to what felt like endless food served family style. After the appetizers, there were multiple comments like “wait, there’s more food”. Oh yes, Hotel Chantelle, knows how to feed people right! What a fantastic menu!

The first course was comprised of four delicious dishes.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Berry Compote, Yogurt & Granola
macerated fruit conserve, greek plain style yogurt, granola

food 3 days ago Quiche anyone? Brunching with @ccbymwilliams and friends @hotelchantelle to #cheersspring! #food #CoffeeandChampagne #colorsoffood #quiche #spring #havingfun #brunch #meetingfriends #wishyouwerehere #foodisgreat #nyceats

@food: Quiche anyone? Brunching with @ccbymwilliams and friends @hotelchantelle to #cheersspring! #food #CoffeeandChampagne #colorsoffood #quiche #spring #havingfun #brunch #meetingfriends #wishyouwerehere #foodisgreat #nyceats

Egg White Quiche
egg whites, wild mushrooms, white cheddar cheese

"eatingwithminnie

@eatingwithminnie: The Queen of All Quiches

Avocado Toast
toasted brioche topped with avocado purée, diced tomato, sliced avocado, onions, chili flakes

veggiebuzz 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle A fab way to get Spring started! #CheersSpring!

@veggiebuzz: A fab way to get Spring started! #CheersSpring!

Kale Caesar Salad
kale, shaved parmesan, garlic bread croutons, classic caesar dressing

ericisaac 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #EEEEEATS

@ericisaac: #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #EEEEEATS

The second course held the fan favorite dish. *drum roll please* The Stuffed French Toast. (holy wow!)

food 3 days ago This was the highlight - Stuffed French Toast! Have you ever had it? It's incredible! Brunching with @ccbymwilliams #food #frenchtoast #colorsoffood #brunch #sunday #stuffedfrenchtoast #incredible #nyceats #CheersSpring

@food: This was the highlight – Stuffed French Toast! Have you ever had it? It’s incredible! Brunching with @ccbymwilliams #food #frenchtoast #colorsoffood #brunch #sunday #stuffedfrenchtoast #incredible #nyceats #CheersSpring

Stuffed French Toast
stuffed brioche with maple infused mascarpone and ricotta, crusted in frosted flakes, maple syrup

insta_squid 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle Nom nom slider #cheersspring

@insta_squid: Nom nom slider #cheersspring

Burger Bash Sliders
three apple wood smoked bacon crusted burgers, stuffed with maytag blue cheese, topped with tomato & house sauce

veggiebuzz 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle #ScrambledEggs

@veggiebuzz: #ScrambledEggs with crostini, #hollandaise and mushrooms Hold the bacon please, but bring on the #CoffeeandChampagne #CheersSpring @CCbyMwilliams @drizlyinc @bakedbymelissa @driftawaycoffee

Scrambled Egg Crostini
soft french style scrambled eggs served over our toasted crostini, vine ripe tomatoes, hollandaise drizzle

Ooh, and there were sides. Really really yummy sides!

brunchcritic 3 days ago Great #bacon from @hotelchantelle with fellow #brunchie @ccbymwilliams at #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #brunchny #brunch #brunchnyc

@brunchcritic: Great #bacon from @hotelchantelle with fellow #brunchie @ccbymwilliams at #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #brunchny #brunch #brunchnyc

Maple Glazed Applewood Smoked Bacon

debseeto 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle Because bacon. #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

@debseeto: Because bacon. #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne

Truffle Tater Tots

ericisaac 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle Truffle Tots! #brunch #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #EEEEEATS

@ericisaac: Truffle Tots! #brunch #cheersspring #coffeeandchampagne #EEEEEATS

Pomme Frites

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Right at the moment, when even food bloggers felt like there were no more flavors to enjoy, out paraded the servers carrying white trays filled with Baked By Melissa’s new Spring cupcake flavors, Strawberry Cream, Chocolate Graham and Cotton Candy.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

More specifically, their ground breaking, wow-factor “cupcarons”—a combination of their beloved cupcakes aaaannnddd macarons! Knowing they were coming, I was even excited at their entrance!

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Phones in hands, a fury of sound effect smartphone camera snaps filled the room. A minute ago, overly full, somehow, everyone had all the room in the world to gobble these delicious treats up!

readysetchow 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle Got to sample @bakedbymelissa's new spring #cupcaron offerings at @CCbyMwilliams's lovely Coffee & Champagne event at Hotel Chantelle! | #nyc

@readysetchow: Got to sample @bakedbymelissa’s new spring #cupcaron offerings at @CCbyMwilliams’s lovely Coffee & Champagne event at Hotel Chantelle! | #nyc

Let’s just say, by the end of the event, food bloggers and friends alike were happily stuffed,  excited about the idea of my next event,  and content to grab another coffee and roll on home.

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

En route out the door, were goodie bags! Hand stamped and written by moi, goodie bags! I don’t know, perhaps it’s my inner child but any party where I get a present makes it an even better party! So, of course, I couldn’t let my awesome guests leave empty handed—a sentiment my sponsors entirely agreed with!

"Cheers, Spring" Coffee & Champagne's Very First Event

Inside was an extra Baked By Melissa cupcaron, a discount card for future Drizly orders, a postcard where you are gifted and delivered four free bags of coffee from Drift Away Coffee and a thoughtful “thank you” note from lil ol’ me.

emilypugh 3 days ago · Hotel Chantelle The hostess with the mostess! Congratulations @ccbymwilliams on a lovely event! #CheersSpring #CoffeeAndChampagne

@emilypugh: The hostess with the mostess! Congratulations @ccbymwilliams on a lovely event! #CheersSpring #CoffeeAndChampagne

With that, I say, Cheers, Spring! And, I can’t wait to toast Summer with you all! Stay tuned!

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Because You Know I’m All About Those Beets

I don’t put baked beets in evvvveerrryyytttthhhiiinnnggg, but I do love them and since they come up in a lot of my recipes, this will be way helpful!

How-To:Baked Beets

Servings: 3 Beets
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Bake Time: 30 Minutes (varies depending on size of the beet)
Total Time: 40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Beets (3, medium sized)
Unsalted Butter (1 tbsp)

How-To:Baked Beets

KITCHEN ITEMS

Cutting Board
Chef’s Knife
Strainer
Tin Foil
Baking Sheet
Paring Knife

How-To:Baked Beets

1. ‘BOUT THOSE BEETS, ‘BOUT THOSE BEETS: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Use your chef’s knife on your cutting board to remove the leafy greens from your beets. Discard of them.

Thoroughly wash your beets in your strainer.

Tear off a piece of tin foil large enough to fold all of your beets into (like a pouch).

Coat your foil with one tbsp of butter leaving the extra in it’s center.

How-To:Baked Beets

Put your beets in the center of the foil and close the foil around them.

Put your pouch on your baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes.

The cook time will vary for different sized beets. The smaller the beet the shorter the cooking time for a large beet, you will end up baking for close to an hour.

How-To:Baked Beets

Flash forward 30 minutes and carefully take your beets out of the oven. Let them sit for 2 minutes and then cautiously open your pouches (they will be hot so be extra mindful).

You can test to see if your beet is ready by sticking a steak knife into. If the knife slides in with a little resistance, it’s ready. If you have to fight to get the knife in, close your beets back up in their pouch and bake a little longer.

Once ready, one by one, under running water use your hands to push the skin off of your beet.

If you have troublesome spots, use your paring knife to remove the remaining skin.

How-To:Baked Beets

Then either continue on with whichever recipe you are working with or cut into them and snack away! Either way, enjoy!

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Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Since these were such a huge hit at my Super Bowl party, and because it’s now March Madness aaaaaannnnndddd because they are awesome all year round, it would feel wrong not to share the recipe with you! So, here goes!

PS. if you’re all about buffalo chicken right now, you must check out my Buffalo Chicken Pizza recipe!

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Servings: 9-12 pieces
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 18 Minutes
Total Time: 53 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Fingers

Chicken Cutlets (3)
Eggs (6, scrambled)
All Purpose Flour (3 cups)
Panko Bread Crumbs (6 cups)
Salt
Pepper
Vegetable Oil (5 cups)

Buffalo Sauce

Hot Sauce (1 1/3 cup)
Worcestershire Sauce (1/2 tsp)
White Vinegar (1 1/2 tbsp)
Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup, cut into tablespoon sized chunks)
Cayenne (1/2 tsp)
Garlic (1 clove, minced)
Salt (to taste)

KITCHEN ITEMS

8″ Frying Pan
Whisk
Medium Mixing Bowl
Rubber Spatula
Cutting Board
Chef’s Knife
Large Mixing Bowl
Baking Sheet
Dinner Sized Plates (2)
Sauce Pan
Tongs
Thermometer
Cooling Rack

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

1. DREDGE YOUR CHICKENfirst thing’s first, let’s set up your dredging station. Line up your two plates, your mixing bowl between them, and finally your baking sheet. Fill your first plate with flour, your bowl with your scrambled eggs and your next plate with panko.

You don’t have to fill your plates with all of your flour and panko, you can refill them as needed.

Cut each of your chicken cutlets into 3-4 large pieces and season them with salt and pepper.

Now we dredge. One piece at a time, using one hand (in order to keep the other clean for any adjustments you need to make) coat your chicken in flour.

Then, coat it in your egg.

Lastly, coat it in your panko and lay it on your baking sheet.

Once all of your chicken is coated, repeat this dredging process so that your chicken fingers are double dredged.

Yes, to be 100% clear, you are taking your now panko coated chicken fingers and putting them into flour, then egg, then, panko again.

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

2. DEEP FRY YOUR CHICKEN: fill your saucepan with your vegetable oil. Using your thermometer, bring it to 375 degrees (maintain this heat).

Place your cooling rack nearby.

Using your tongs, place 3 pieces of your breaded chicken into your oil. Fry for 6-8 minutes—or until golden brown. Using your tongs, carefully transfer them to your cooling rack.

Repeat this process until all of your chicken is fried.

3. BUFFALO SAUCE: in your frying pan over medium heat, whisk together your hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, butter, cayenne, garlic and salt until you have one smooth even colored sauce.

Remove from heat.

Buffalo Chicken Fingers

4. BUFFALO CHICKEN FINGERS: put 3-4 chicken fingers in your large mixing bowl.

Add in some of your buffalo sauce and use your tongs to move your chicken around until it’s fully coated.

Repeat this process until all of your chicken is coated.

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Beefsteak Tomato Sauce

I made this sauce specifically for my wayyyy baller eggplant veggie balls and I more than highly recommend that you do the same!

Beefsteak Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Beefsteak Tomatoes (2)
Sweet Onion (1/2, thinly sliced)
Fresh Basil (20 large leaves, thinly sliced)
Garlic (2 cloves, finely chopped)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 cup, plus 1 tbsp)
Grape Seed Oil (3 tbsp)
Salt
Pepper
Ice (1 tray)

KITCHEN ITEMS

Saucepan with Lid
Stock Pot
Slotted Spoon
Large Mixing Bowl
Small Mixing Bowl
Cutting Board
Chef’s Knife
Rubber Spatula
Metal Spatula
Paring Knife
Immersion Blender

Beefsteak Tomato Sauce

1. INFUSED OIL: in your small mixing bowl, combine your basil, garlic and olive oil.

Set aside.

Beefsteak Tomato Sauce

2. TOMATOES: we’re going to go ahead and remove the skin on your tomatoes.

Start by filling your stock pot with water high enough that your tomatoes would be fully submerged.

Bring your water to a boil.

Fill your large mixing bowl with ice water and your ice.

Cut the hard core in the center top of your tomato out and discard of it.

Flip your tomato over and slice an X through the skin on the bottom point.

Using your slotted spoon, put your tomatoes into your boiling water for 20 seconds.

Use your slotted spoon to transfer your tomatoes into the ice bath for at least 10 seconds.

Starting from the X that you cut, use your paring knife to peel off the skin.

Once fully peeled, cut your tomatoes into cubes.

Beefsteak Tomato Sauce

3. I’M SAUCY: over medium-high heat, heat up your tbsp of olive oil in your saucepan.

Add in your sliced onions. Using your rubber spatula, move them around allowing them to sweat for 4 minutes.

Add in your tomato chunks and keep moving with your spatula for another 4 minutes.

Mix in your basil oil mixture.

Cover your pot and bring your heat down to a simmer.

Cook for 35 minutes stirring every 5.

Turn off your heat and use your immersion blender to smooth out your sauce into one even consistency.

Pour on something delicious and eat away!

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