Anatomy of an Easter Table.

Setting the perfect Easter table requires no science, but instead allows an artful balance of creativity and fun. A special religious occasion providing cause for celebration, rebirth + renewal, but also a holiday the kids look forward to enjoying more and more as the years go by. For this reason, I love pairing a mix of “fancy” elements + whimsical details to celebrate the Easter holiday.  

When planning for the festivities this year, here are a few of my favorite elements to include on your own Easter table…

Tips for setting the perfect Easter table / heirloomed

The Foundations

A base layer of foundational pieces on your tablescape will help set the proper tone for your Easter gathering. Because we are often enjoying our spread in a brunch-life fashion after church and the egg hunt festivities, I love keeping things light and easy. 

Our oatmeal tabletop linens are perfect for spring, providing both a functional, effortless look but also the warmth and special-occasion feel that real table linens bring to any event. I often set the feast on our dining room table, taking a family style approach because as you know anytime we can enjoy a sit-down meal gathered around the table together is good in my book!

I also love being able to use some of our more special tableware and serving pieces, because if you’re not going to use them for everyday then you should certainly try to at least incorporate them for holidays and special occasions. I so love not holding out on these special pieces. Sure, they can be broken and chipped but it’s certainly better to loose a piece than never using them at all. Easter is a special time to break out the china, silver and crystal, and to mix and match these pieces liberally. 

There is just something about that shabby chic look that still screams spring to me. Picking up a few mis-matched china pieces from a local thrift store is always a welcomed addition at the table and usually a really cost effective way to grow your collection o these special pieces. A sweet floral pattern or pastel rimmed platter provides the perfect touch.

spring and easter tabletop brunch setting / heirloomed

Seasonal Fare

In keeping with the spring season, there are always a few staples that must be included for it to truly feel like an Easter meal to me. While I don’t even eat it, ham is one of those main stains for the holiday and oh-so-beautiful when set upon a large platter right in the middle of the table. The spiral cut ham also makes for easy grab-and-go sandwiches when paired with rolls, especially great for the kids who might not sit still at the table. 

Fresh veggies and fruits from the local neighborhood farmers market makes a wonderful addition to the table. I love scouring the farmstead the day before to see what looks especially fresh + yummy. Great picks are always green beans, radishes, a spring mix, sweet peas or asparagus for a vibrant pop of color on the table. 

I also love a good berry mixture, like blackberries + blueberries, both of which we have growing in our edible garden but are never quite ready for the Easter meal so it gives a nice nod for what’s to come. 

And of course, what Easter feast would be complete without eggs! Because we are traditional and have so much fun hard boiling and dying Easter eggs, these are one of my favorite foods year-round. A beautiful platter of Deviled Eggs are always a staple when entertaining in the South, but most especially on your Easter table. 

deviled eggs for your easter brunch / tips for setting your easter table / heirloomed

Sweets + Treats

Because I just spent the last 40 days of Lent foregoing sweets, this is a particularly special area of importance on my table this year. A Classic Carrot Cake is a favorite crowing dessert for Easter, not to mention a great way to utilize all those beautiful green-top carrots you just stocked up on for the Easter bunny! I love presenting these tall, skinny little cakes to the family and adorned ours with my go-to recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting and chopped pecans from our family farm.

One trick I love stealing from my Grandmother’s table is to mix Easter candy elements into the tables cape or centerpiece. You know my muted, neutral-loving heart adores the soft pastels of the little chocolate robins eggs or marshmallow treats. You can’t beat a giant chocolate Easter bunny at the heart of the table, or even smaller little chocolate bunnies at each place setting  - always such a hit with the kiddos! Pastel macaroons also give nod to my French heritage on my Mother’s side and add the prettiest of pastel hues to the table.

classic carrot cake for your easter brunch / heirloomed

Nature-Inspired Elements

I love bringing the beauty of the blooming outdoors inside for my Easter brunch and try to utilize anything and everything that happens to be fresh and blooming in my own garden at the time. 

I have a pretty hearty supply of large, white hydrangeas nearly all spring + summer, adding that pop of white and green. I love mixing in some of our fresh herbs - like rosemary, mint and lavender - for a fragrant touch, too. And, if I can pick up a white or blush teacup rose somewhere, I love this subtle nod to my Nana who always had the prettiest rose garden around. My mom has continued this tradition in her own garden and it’s one I’d love to as well in time. 

I also love mixing touches of natural wooden elements onto our Easter tablescape, like the Wood Slice Platter for the cake or a small wooden garnish dish to soften and warm the look of the table against the fine chine and crystal. And by adding an unexpected quilted jam jar for use as a drinking glass, it adds the perfect juxtaposition to take down the tone of the more refined elements and adds back in that picnic-like feel. 

Easter Traditions

One thing I always try to incorporate into my holiday tables capes are the elements of tradition that I grew up with from my own childhood. My grandmother always had an “Easter Tree” made up of a large, spindly branch from her yard adorned with delicate decoupage eggs that she had made over the years. I remember her spending hours carefully poking and blowing out the insides of the egg to preserve the real-egg exterior shell just long enough to cover it in bits + pieces of old floral wrapping paper and tissue papers she had amassed from our school fundraising drives and gifting occasions. 

This year I am also looking to add a touch of religious celebration to our Easter holiday, with tiny bible verses at our place settings or our palm leaf crosses from Palm Sunday mass the weekend before. I love having these element and this important element for the holiday be a part of our Easter tradition for the kids to remember and reflect on. 

I’d love to see how you are setting your own table this Easter and how you’re using your heirloomed pieces to create family traditions of your very own. #HEIRLOOMED

Tips for setting the perfect Easter table / heirloomed

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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

 

A Classic Carrot Cake.

Anytime we can get away with “eating our vegetables” and having a dessert at the same time is a win/win for any mom, right?

Classic Carrot Cake ingredients / heirloomed

Because we are all stocked up on fresh carrots for the Easter Bunny this time of year, I thought it would be fun to share this Easter dessert staple that is sure to become a tradition on your Sunday table if it isn’t already. 

Made from scratch carrot cake / heirloomed
Shredding fresh carrots for carrot cake / heirloomed
Shredded carrots / Classic Carrot Cake / heirloomed

CLASSIC CARROT CAKE

3/4 cups coconut oil, melted

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

4 eggs, whole

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2  1/2 cups freshly grated carrots

1  1/4 cup chopped pecans (1/4 cup reserved for topping)

1/2 cup plump raisins

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Click here for the full recipe for our basic Cream Cheese Frosting


RECIPE :

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two (2) 9" cake pans and set aside. Wash and shred 2 1/2 cups of carrots with a hand grater or shred using a food processor. Next, roughly chop pecans. Set each aside. 

Using a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, granulated and brown sugar together until well mixed. Beat in eggs and add vanilla until smooth. Slowly begin adding dry ingredients to your mixing bowl on medium speed adding flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg + salt to your mixer and combine.  

Fold your freshly grated carrots, pecans and raisins into your cake mixture by hand until mixed thoroughly. Pour cake batter evenly into your floured cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of your cakes comes out clean. Allow your cakes to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the pan or begin frosting them. 

When completely cool, remove cakes from pans and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with remaining pecans and enjoy!

Classic Carrot Cake components / heirloomed
cream cheese frosting and classic carrot cake recipe / heirloomed
hand carved wooden spreader by polders old world market / heirloomed
chopped pecans to top classic carrot cake / heirloomed
chopped pecan topping classic carrot cake recipe / heirloomed

I love a little variation on the classic carrot cake by adding in a variety of other dried fruits. Aside from the traditional raisins, adding tiny pieces of dried apricots or golden raisins, which are both yummy but also beautiful, even if just for garnish. You can also play with the level of spice in your recipe by adding a few shakes of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and the likes for a slightly different take on the treat. 

Classic Carrot Cake recipe / heirloomed

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Wood Slice serving board : WoodKith

Hand-carved Wooden Spreader : Polder's Old World Market

Linen Waist Apron : heirloomed

 

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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

The Best Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe.

Everyone has their favorites treats when it comes to the classics but a good old basic Cream Cheese Frosting is certainly at the top of my list. 

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe / heirloomed

It’s an easy staple and a must-have recipe you should know how to master if you’re going to make some of the truly classic desserts like Red Velvet Cake, Carrot Cake or those little meltaway Thumbprint Cookies at the holidays. On each of these treats you’ll find this tangy treat to top them off and balance their sugary sweetness.

There really is just something about the balance of the flavors with the sourness of the cream cheese and the sweet elements of the cake that provides a really deep flavor profile. I think this particular frosting is one that’s an acquired taste for children, one that perhaps isn’t an instant hit but that becomes so slowly over the years. 

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting with Philadelphia Cream Cheese / heirloomed

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz Cream Cheese

1/2 cup unsalted Butter (1 stick)

2 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

4 cups Powdered Sugar (xxx)

Add cream cheese, butter + vanilla extract and beat together with a mixer until well blended. Add powdered sugar gradually,  a 1/2 cup at a time, and continue to beat until well mixed.

ingredients for the best cream cheese frosting recipe / heirloomed
mixing cream cheese frosting / heirloomed
classic cream cheese frosting recipe / heirloomed

You can always mix up this classic a tad too by adding a drizzle of maple syrup or a swig of bourbon to even further the depth of this tasty treat. Hope you'll give this go-to recipe classic a try.  I’d love to know what else other desserts you use your Cream Cheese Frosting on! #HEIRLOOMED

Classic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe / heirloomed

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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

 

MEET THE ARTIST : Maggie Mathews.

Maggie Mathews fell in love with art at a young age -- so young she can't even remember when it all started. She can however remember painting all of the furniture in her room at age 11, to which she says, "sorry mom."

There was no question that art would always be a part of her life. She says, "It was magic to me then and still is to this day!"

Coming from a family full of creatives, she had quite a few sources from which to learn and draw inspiration. Her dad, who is inspired by architecture, her grandmother and aunt, both painters, and her mom, with a passion for interiors and florals.. "Needless to say, I have always felt very supported in my love for art and am so grateful for that," Maggie says.

Maggie spent much of her life by the coast, and it's those seaside landscapes that she first painted before discovering her love of abstraction in art school. Her works are inspired by an endless list of things, from places she's visited to textiles, organic lines, nature and "even the paint splatter on the wood floors" in her studio. This year, though, her biggest inspiration is collage. "You have to take things apart and trust that they can be put back together in a totally new way, it is thrilling!" 

The media she uses range from acrylic to oil, gauche, ink, charcoal, gold and silver leaf and watercolor. Currently, she's working on an Airstream trailer, morphing it into a space for collaboration and a mobile gallery. "The possibilities and destinations are endless," she says. Also in the works is a children's book, which Maggie is writing and illustrating. The project is a lifelong dream for her, and recently her collage work opened her mind to illustration possibilities that she hadn't previously considered. 

The studio where all this magic happens is marked by its large, old windows and the light they provide. Washed brick walls and antique floors cover the space and serve as another source of inspiration for Maggie, who has always been drawn to old things. She spreads out her materials without worrying about the cleanup. It's all about the "method in the madness" and "organized chaos." 

Sitting in her studio is a small dish of seashells, again speaking to her childhood by the shore. The shells belonged to her grandmother Martha Lee Mathews, who collected them from the family's most loved spots on Dog Island and St. Georgia Island, Florida. As a painter, her grandmother capture many of those coastal scenes, especially in the last years of her life. The Mathews family treasures each and every painting, and Maggie finds that keeping the dish of shells close by helps her keep her grandmother's legacy alive in her own work. To make the connection even more special, Maggie and her grandmother share the same initials: MLM, with which both of their paintings are signed. Maggie says that as a child, her grandmother's work was the first that she "truly connected with." 

The shells will stay with her wherever she paints, until she can pass them on. 

a collection of shells in the studio of artist Maggie Mathews / heirloomed
Her grandmother's dish of collected shells. 

When it comes to heirlooms and the preservation of stories, there's nothing more important than hearing the narratives and inspirations of the makers and collaborators in your communities. We believe firmly in those people who work with their hands and master their craft, keeping it alive for another generation.

So, we reached out to artists in our community who we look to for inspiration ourselves. We asked them for insight into their creative processes, the legacy of their artwork, the importance of learning fundamental skills of a craft, and the role that their most special heirloom plays in their day-to-day. We also talked to them about our newest Studio Apron and received their design feedback. We wanted to ensure that the Studio Apron would be for artists and by artists. 

heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com

A Recipe for Southern Deviled Eggs.

For some reason I’m always the one that seems to be in charge of making the deviled eggs at our family gatherings and I sure don’t mind a bit. It’s one dish that’s always a staple on our Easter table but honestly there are few family gatherings that don’t include this staple around our parts. 

The best recipe for Southern Deviled Eggs / heirloomed

About two years ago with teamed up with Atlanta ceramics artist Devanie Schillip to create our Deviled Egg Crate Platter, inspired but the simplicity of the farm stand paper egg containers, and to fulfill my quest of being able to find a Deviled Egg platter that wasn’t large and round (and hard to fit in your fridge or on your dining room table!). The result has become of our best-sellers in the collection, and the beautiful deep grey glaze is the perfect pairing for showcasing your next batch of Deviled Eggs.

The best Southern Deviled Egg recipe / heirloomed
slicing Deviled Eggs / recipe / heirloomed

As part of my Southern Kitchen Bucket List (and one that I actually have already mastered for once!), I love sharing my recipe for Deviled Eggs because when people enjoy them it makes me think it’s because that’s the way they remember the recipe tasting in their own home. The fact that they will get the chance to recreate a family recipe just makes my heart full. And that’s just the thing about learning to make really great Deviled Eggs, it’s a practice-makes-perfect kind of recipe that you have to just sit in the kitchen and make with your Mom over and over again to get just the right taste and texture. 

It was actually kind of hard for me to put this one into a recipe format for sharing because I’ve made these so many times that it is truly a splash of this and a scoop of that when I actually make them in my own kitchen. But if you’re the measuring type then the below recipe will get you pretty close!

Southern Deviled Eggs recipe with Dukes mayonnaise / heirloomed
Classic Deviled Eggs recipe / Dukes Mayo / heirloomed

Southern Deviled Eggs

6 whole Organic Eggs, hardboiled + halved vertically 

4 TBSP Dukes Mayonnaise 

2 TBSP pickled relish

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Coleman's Dry Mustard Powder

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Cracked Pepper

1 bundle Green Onions

Begin by hard boiling a dozen eggs for approximately 10 minutes, then allowing them to cool completely in an ice water bath. Peel, wash and pat dry, slicing each egg vertically. In a medium-sized glass bowl spoon out the yolk from each egg, setting aside the egg whites. To the bowl of egg yolks add mayonnaise, pickled relish, apple cider vinegar and dry mustard. Mash and mix with a fork until the appropriate texture is achieved. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Coleman's Dry Mustard Powder / Deviled Eggs Recipe / heirloomed
How to make the best Deviled Eggs / recipe / heirloomed

At this point it’s great to stop and taste your mixture to see if you can get it just like you remember from your childhood. Play with it by adding just a tad more mayo, relish or apple cider vinegar until you get it just right but go slowly so you can make adjustments along the way. Once you have it just right, scoop a generous spoonful of your yolk mixture into the “bowl” of each halved egg white and set each in your Deviled Egg Platter.

I prefer to just scoop mine in there instead of getting to fancy with the pastry bag but feel free to go with your presentation preference. Once each filled egg has been added to your platter, add a generous sprinkling of kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper and little round snips of your green onions over the top of the eggs for a beautiful and fresh presentation on your table. 

Southern Deviled Eggs recipe / heirloomed
Cracked pepper over classic Deviled Eggs / heirloomed

There are SO many variations on Deviled Eggs out there these days, so feel free to take this classic recipe and adapt to spice it up a little with a dab of olive tapenade on top, mix in a little mound of fresh crab or add a generous piece of salty bacon on top. However you take your Deviled Eggs, these are sure to become a staple for your Easter table and far beyond!

green onions garnish Deviled Eggs / heirloomed

I’d love to know the secret to your own family recipe for Deviled Eggs. #HEIRLOOMED And, if you love deviled eggs too, I'd appreciate if you share or pin this recipe!

Southern Deviled Egg / pin it Pinterest / heirloomed

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To learn more or to tackle the Southern Kitchen Bucket List, click here!


heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of "keeping heirlooms around for another generation." Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of "goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy" with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen apronstabletop linensartceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com