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Here are Some Great Easter Recipes!

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Fresh Asparagus and Chicken Casserole

This is great in the spring when asparagus first comes in and you can get it fresh. This makes 4 servings.

8 ounces egg noodles
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken, red bell pepper, celery and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and oregano.

Spread half of the chicken mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the asparagus over the top. Add the cooked noodles and top with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Ziti Chicken and Broccoli

Makes 6 servings.

1 pound Ziti pasta, uncooked
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint heavy cream
1 (10.75 ounce) can chicken broth OR 1 chicken bouillon cube melted in 1 cup water
Grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 heads broccoli, steamed
1 (13.5 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, breaded and fried, cut into bite size pieces.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, place pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until pasta is al dente. Drain. In a large skillet, sauté garlic in butter/margarine over medium heat. Add the heavy cream, broth, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Add cornstarch (adjust amount to thicken sauce to your liking). Simmer all together for about 20 minutes. Once sauce is cooked and thickens, add broccoli and artichoke hearts, stir all together and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once sauce is done, put cooked Ziti pasta in a large bowl, pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat and mix. Then add the chicken pieces and mix all together. Serve. Delicious!

Italian Chicken Bow Tie Pasta

This is a great tasting recipe. It's good served warm or chilled. Serves 4.

3 to 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian style salad dressing
1 medium tomato, chopped

Add 2/3 cup salad dressing to the cubed chicken and stir together. Cook pasta per package directions. Drain and rinse. Add the pasta to the chicken and dressing and toss. Pour enough dressing on to coat everything (or to your taste) and add the chopped tomato. Toss to coat. Ready to serve!

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Makes 6 servings.

2 bunches fresh spinach - chopped, washed and dried
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, combine the spinach and strawberries. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Pour over salad, toss until well mixed and serve.

Charlotte's Tortellini Salad

This is a Greek style salad that is delicious! It is hearty enough to serve as the main course. Makes 6 servings. I wonder if Charlotte is Greek?

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 small red onion, julienned
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 (8 ounce) chicken breast, cooked and sliced into strips
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground walnuts
1 tablespoon honey

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and cool under cold water. Refrigerate until chilled. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts, and honey. Refrigerate until chilled. In a salad bowl, combine pasta, peppers, red onion, olives, and chicken. Add lemon dressing and feta cheese, toss and serve.

French Shrimp Salad

A cool shrimp salad with asparagus and artichokes. Makes 6 servings.

1 pound asparagus
3/4 pound fresh shrimp, cooked and peeled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 artichoke hearts, fresh cooked or canned
1 (16 ounce) bottle French dressing
1 hard cooked egg, peeled and pressed through a sieve
6 sprigs parsley

Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender. Remove and cool under cold water. Reserve six stalks and cut remaining asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Cook and clean shrimp. Again reserve the best six and dice the remainder. In a bowl, combine shrimp and asparagus, mix gently with mayonnaise and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl, marinate the artichoke hearts in 1 cup French dressing. Place shrimp and asparagus in an attractive shallow bowl. Garnish with sieved egg and arrange reserved asparagus on top to resemble the spokes of a wheel. Drain the artichoke bottoms and garnish each with a dollop of mayonnaise, 1 whole shrimp and 1 parsley sprig. Arrange them around the salad.

Leg of Lamb

Makes 8 -10 servings

1 leg of lamb
Salt
Ground black pepper
6 ounces jar prepared mustard
Worcestershire sauce
all-purpose flour
4 cloves of garlic, sliced (optional

Preheat oven to 325º. Generously salt and pepper lamb. Smear the mustard all over the lamb and sprinkle it with a fine coating of flour. Place lamb in a roasting pan and place slices of garlic over top. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce to taste. Roast uncovered at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) until desired doneness. About 20 minutes per pound for a pink roast. Remove from pan to a heated platter. Use the drippings to make gravy by a little flour and water. Season with salt and pepper.

Spruced Up Mashed Potatoes

This recipe includes cauliflower, garlic and a carrot mashed with the potatoes. Makes 6 to 8 servings

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cups cauliflower florets
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup skim milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, cauliflower, garlic and carrots. Cook until potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain. Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat until smooth. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Spinach and Mushroom Salad

This salad has a warm and slightly tangy bacon dressing. Makes 4 servings

4 slices bacon
2 eggs
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound spinach
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon fat. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Bring water to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and cut in wedges. Return 2 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet, stir in sugar, vinegar, water and salt. Keep warm.

Wash and remove stems from spinach, dry thoroughly and break into pieces in salad bowl. Pour warm dressing over and toss until coated. Top salad with mushrooms and bacon, garnish with egg. Boiled eggs are evil, by the way.

Roasted Asparagus and Garlic

Roasted garlic and asparagus prepared in a neat packet. Preparation time: 10 minutes. (Note: you can omit the wine and decrease the garlic and oil if desired.) This recipe is from The WEBB Cooks, articles and recipes by Robyn Webb, courtesy of the American Diabetes Association. Makes 6 servings/ serving size: 1/2 cup

12 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups sliced fresh asparagus
6 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 350º. Tear off 6 large pieces of foil. Divide garlic, olive oil, wine, asparagus, and thyme and arrange them on each piece of foil. Fold over each foil packet to seal. Place the packets on a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the asparagus is tender, but still a little crisp. Carefully open packets and serve asparagus with juices poured on top.

Easter Party Cake

Makes 15-20 servings.

5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
A few drops of red food coloring
candy eggs

Cream butter or margarine and shortening. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until mixture resembles whipped cream. Sift flour and baking powder together 3 times; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and almond extract. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites carefully. Pour batter into two greased 8 inch round pans.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Cool layers on wire racks.

To Make Boiled Icing: Place 1 cup sugar, water, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, cream of tartar, 2 egg whites, and red food coloring in top of double boiler. Cook, beating constantly, until frosting is thick and creamy. Frost cake with icing. Make a nest of green coconut on top of cake, and fill nest with candy eggs. Sprinkle a border of coconut around base of cake.

Honey Glazed Ham

This ham tastes very much like the famous Honey Baked Ham but costs much less and there's no need to fight the crowds at holiday time. You can even buy the ham pre-sliced to make it easier and more like the original. It is very good. (I do this while preparing the rest of the meal in the kitchen so that I don't forget to baste!) Makes 12 servings

5 pounds ready-to-eat ham
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 pound honey
2/3 cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 325º. Score ham and stud with it with the whole cloves. (Yuck, I don't like cloves, so I skip this.) Place ham, cut side down, in foil-lined pan. In the top half of a double boiler heat the corn syrup, honey and butter or margarine. Keep glaze warm while baking ham. Brush glaze over ham and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Baste ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the honey glaze. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking turn broiler on to caramelize the glaze. Remove from oven let sit a few minutes and slice, serve and enjoy!

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Makes 4 servings

4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400º. Butter a 1 quart casserole dish. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices. Add the remaining potatoes on top and salt and pepper to taste.

To make the cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium-size saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and salt. Stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Add milk, stirring with a whisk to remove any lumps. Cook over medium heat until it is thickened and hot. Add cheese all at once, stir until melted; about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese sauce over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in a 400º oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Green Beans with Hazelnuts and Lemon

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook beans 3 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add olive oil, lemon zest, hazelnuts, salt and pepper. Beans may be made 1 day ahead, chilled and covered. Reheat beans, preferably in a microwave.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch

3 cups diced rhubarb

1 cup sliced strawberries, unsweetened
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup rolled oats

Mix together 1 cup white sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Mix in the strawberries and rhubarb until well mixed. Place mixture in a 9 x 13 inch baking or casserole pan. Mix together brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, butter or margarine and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of rhubarb/strawberry mixture. Bake in a preheated 375º oven for 45 minutes. Yummy!

Babka

Makes 3 - 8 inch babkas. Traditional Polish Easter bread. Serve as a coffee cake for breakfast or with tea. When I saw this recipe, I immediately thought of Jerry Seinfeld.

1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, softened
2 cups milk
1 cake yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
5 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur, optional
Grated zest of 2 oranges
Grated zest of 1 lemon
9 - 10 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups currants
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 cup chopped slivered almonds
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour

Place yeast in a small bowl, and pour warm water over it. Stir with a spoon to break up the yeast. Set aside for 2 to 3 minutes. In a small saucepan, scald milk. Add 1 cup butter or margarine, and stir until melted. Remove from heat, and let cool until lukewarm.

In a mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs and egg yolks with an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and salt, and continue to beat until mixture is thick and pale. Add vanilla, orange-flavored liqueur, zests, and yeast mixture. Combine. Beat in 4 cups flour gradually. Add milk mixture alternately with remaining 4 cups flour while beating on medium speed. Add up to an additional 1 cup flour if the dough is sticky. Mix in currants, raisins, golden raisins, and almonds. Transfer dough to a clean large bowl. Knead using a large wooden spoon until the dough pulls away and doesn't stick to the spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until dough reaches the top of the bowl, about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down, re-cover the bowl, and allow to rise again.

Butter 3 angel food cake pans. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon to form crumb topping. Sprinkle evenly among the 3 pans. Preheat oven to 350º. Punch the dough down again. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Cut into thirds, and transfer dough to prepared pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise to the top of pan. Beat remaining egg, and brush the top of the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped, about 30 to 45 minutes. Immediately turn out onto a cooling rack so bread does not stick to the pan. Cool.

Easter Bread Ring

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 1/2 -3.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup mixed candied fruit
1/3 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
2 tablespoons shortening, melted
5 large uncooked eggs colored with Easter egg dye
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored sprinkles

In a large mixing bowl, blend the white sugar, salt, and yeast well with 1 cup of the flour. In a saucepan, combine 2/3 cup milk and butter, heating slowly until liquid is warm and butter is melted. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and beat 125 strokes with a wooden spoon. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a ball of dough that draws away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, working in additional flour to overcome stickiness. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the fruit, nuts, and anise seed. Punch down the dough and return it to a lightly floured board. Knead in the fruit mixture, keeping the syrupy pieces dusted with flour until they are worked into the dough. Divide the dough in half.

Carefully roll each piece into a 24-inch rope--the fruit and nuts will make this slightly difficult. Loosely twist the two ropes together and form a ring on a greased baking sheet. Pinch the ends together well. Brush the dough with melted shortening. Push aside the twist to make a place for each egg. Push eggs down carefully as far as possible. Cover the bread with wax paper and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350º oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a twist comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. Once the bread is cool, drizzle the icing on top between the eggs, and decorate with colored sprinkles.

To make icing: mix together confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon whole milk, and vanilla.

Carolyn's Orange Rolls

Orange rolls - very soft white flour dough with grated orange rind, butter and sugar filling. Excellent recipe for parties, always a crowd pleaser! Makes 4 dozen.

3 tablespoons active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups milk, scalded
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
14 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
Grated peel of 2 oranges

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a small bowl. Combine the chopped butter, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the hot milk and mix to dissolve the butter. Let stand until lukewarm. Add the yeast, eggs and flour and mix well to form a sticky dough. Let rise, covered, in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 to 2 1/2 hours before baking. Divide the dough into halves and roll each on a floured surface. Mix the softened butter, one cup sugar and orange peel in a bowl. Spread on the dough. Roll up to enclose the filling. Cut into one inch pieces with dental floss. Place in greased muffin cups. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake at 400º for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sticky Buns

This delicious recipe is quick and easy when you are pressed for time. I bet you can't eat just one of them! Makes one dozen (that's 12 for you rednecks out there).

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease one 12-cup muffin pan. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the 1/4 cup of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk. Mix until blended. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Roll dough out into a rectangle 12 inches long and 1 inch thick, trim off any uneven edges. Cream the 1/3 cup butter and the brown sugar, stir in the raisins and ground cinnamon. Drop small amounts into the greased muffin pan. Spread the remainder over evenly over the dough. Starting at the short end roll the dough up (jelly roll style) and cut into 12 pieces. Place 1 each in the muffin pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit in pans for 10 minutes then invert to remove. Glaze with milk and powdered sugar mixture, if desired.

Pineapple-Carrot Cake

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 1/4 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Drain pineapple and reserve the juice, set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Fold in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple. Pour into a 10 inch Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes, or until cake pulls away from pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice. Beat until smooth, then drizzle over cake.

Easter Lamb Cake

Boy, what an appetizing name this cake has! (Not) Makes 20 servings.

1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar; add water. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; fold into creamed mixture. Mix well; stir in vanilla. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into batter. Spread batter evenly in a greased and floured lamb mold (cast iron if you have one or tin). Bake at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes.

Italian Rice Pie

9 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup cooked rice (not instant)
1 (16 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

Beat eggs in very large bowl. Add sugar, mixing well. Stir in cheese and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add heavy cream and stir. Fold in cooked rice and crushed pineapple. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch buttered pan. Bake at 325º for one hour. Check by inserting clean knife into center. If the pie is done, knife will come out clean. Top should be golden brown. Refrigerate until thoroughly cooled.

Cream Cheese Mints

2 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese - softened
1/2 teaspoon oil of peppermint or other flavor of your choice

Mix well and roll into small balls. Dip into sugar and press into a rubber mold. You can color these before rolling into balls. Try not dipping in the sugar, but using powdered Jell-O; it isn't as sweet this way. If you tint the mints red, then you will want to use the red Jell-O.


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