I’m feeling emotionally torn right now.
Usually, I’m super excited to be in the month of April. The snow finally melts away, and we can start to see little buds on trees and plants. But April also means that Easter is almost here.
For the past three years I celebrated Easter with a group of kids at the daycare. We would spend weeks making egg or bunny-themed crafts and, of course, we would do an Easter egg hunt.
I would find the cutest little party favours that I could get my hands on, and fill 20 of those colourful plastic eggs from the dollar store. Then I would strategically hide each egg behind the school, and pray that they’d still be there once we got the kids dressed to play outside.
The older kids always seemed a bit bored with the hunt (is there anything that impresses an 11-year-old??) but the kindergarten kids loved it! Their eyes would light up when they found their egg and, unlike the older kids, they didn’t care what was inside. It was theirs, it was colourful, and they found it all by themselves (with some sneaky guidance from me).
This year I don’t have any little ones to spoil with Easter treats, and it kind of sucks. Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad that I left that job. It was mentally and physically exhausting, and while I loved working with the kids, it just was never what it was supposed to be. But I do miss it from time to time.
But life goes on, and instead of wiping noses now I get to wipe up kitchen spills. That’s not a bad trade-off right? So, here’s my Easter treat for myself this year: Smoked Salmon Canapés with Asparagus.
These little bites are based off a tea sandwich that I made a few years ago. I love them because they look impressive, but are not very difficult to make. The only thing you have to be careful of is to not overcook the asparagus, or it will lose its fresh green flavour.
If you want to make these for a party, you can do some of the prep work ahead of time. I actually had to prep everything in advance and then assemble these at the last-minute, because I didn’t think the would last long under my photography lamps.
You can blanch the asparagus, zest the lemon, cut the smoked salmon into bite-sized pieces and mix the cream cheese spread. Keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready, and then assemble everything on the serving dish that you’re going to use. These little guys don’t like to be moved around too much, so moving them from plate to plate isn’t a great idea.
- 1 cup plain cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup finely chopped capers
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 10 spears of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 large package of smoked salmon (keep cold until ready to use)
- 1 package of Paris Toasts (or you can use Melba Toasts)
- zest of one lemon
- freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- Fill a large saucepan with water, add 1 tsp of salt, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cream cheese, capers, lemon juice and dill. Set aside for later.
- Add ice to a large bowl of cold water, and place it next to your stove. You will need this to blanch the asparagus.
- Add the asparagus to the boiling water. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until bright green and tender.
- Use tongs to take the asparagus out of the boiling water and into the bowl of ice water. The asparagus will take about a minute to cool down, and then you can drain them. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut each spear into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Find the serving tray or dish that you want to use, you will be assembling the canapés directly onto this dish.
- Set out the toasts, and spread some of the cream cheese mixture on each one. Next, wrap a piece of smoked salmon around each piece of asparagus. I just ripped the smoked salmon with my fingers, it doesn't have to be neat.
- Place each salmon/asparagus bundle on top of the toasts, and top with the lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.