Tuesday, March 17, 2015



This year instead of offering a menu as in previous years I thought I would offer some great recipes to pick and choose from for your own Easter entertaining.  I included several great recipe versions of classic Easter dinner foods from appetizers to desserts.  Enjoy and I hope you have a joyous holiday! 


 These deviled eggs are not the usual bland deviled egg.  They have a nice spice and tang to them that is not too heavy but definitely flavorful.  I originally got this recipe from the blogger Divas can cook. 


 12 eggs hard boiled & peeled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sweet relish

1/4 cup onions, finely diced

½ Tablespoon mustard

1 drop of Tabasco

1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay or Seasoning salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder


Slice the eggs vertically and place yolks in a large bowl.   Mash up the yolks. Stir in the mayo, relish, dill, onions, mustard, Tabasco, seasoning salt, black pepper, & garlic powder.  Pipe or spoon the yolk mixture into the eggs. Sprinkle with paprika.  Chill until cold and serve.


I love dill dip and veggies.  To me this is a perfect classic pairing!  This recipe is easy as you can just use the spices in your spice rack, it makes a classic dill dip that is delicious the more it sits.


1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon minced onion

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon seasoning salt

1 teaspoon Accent seasoning (MSG) (optional)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 dash Tabasco sauce

Mix all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 3 hour

This may sound a bit weird but when I served it at a party my guests couldn't stop raving over it.  It has this salty sweet thing going on that is amazing! 


2 (8 ounce) packages softened cream cheese

1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups finely chopped pecans, divided into two one cup portions

2 tablespoons grated onions or 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

2 teaspoons seasoning salt

½ cup diced fried bacon

crackers, of choice

Mix all the ingredients, using only 1 cup of the pecans listed and form into a ball.  Reserve 2nd cup of pecans for topping.  Refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, roll cheese ball in reserved cup of pecans.  Serve with crackers of choice.



This recipe is the copycat of the Honey Baked Ham store hams.  Of course you don't need to invest in a blow torch, (just think if your blowtorch got too close to the Easter grass!).  I found a nice very quick broil is a good substitute.


0.5 (7 lb) spiral cut smoked ham(about 7 lbs. fully cooked)

1⁄2 cup pear juice

1⁄2 cup orange juice

1⁄2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1⁄2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place ham, cut end down, in a large baking pan.  Mix pear nectar and orange juice in a bowl.  Bake ham for 15 minutes per pound basting frequently with juices.Mix brown sugar and honey together in a small bowl.  Brush mixture over ham and bake for another hour or until internal temperature reads 140°F.  Honey Baked Ham corporation uses a butane torch to caramelize the glaze to a crust.


I am not sure if this is the latest craze on the internet but I just discovered it myself.  This chicken is amazing and to me for some reason lemon means springtime and sunshine.  So hence a great Easter recipe! 


3 lb chicken

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

olive oil

½ stick cinnamon

1 good handful fresh sage, leaves picked

zest of 2 lemons

10 cloves garlic, skin left on

2 ½ cups milk

Preheat the oven to375°F, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.  Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.  To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds.

Want a change from the usual Easter ham?  How about beef?  This dressed up French style pot roast is elegant enough tasting to serve to company and being a pot roast not as expensive as other beef cuts.


1(3 lb) boneless chuck roast

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb baby carrots

6 ounces tomato paste

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh marjoram

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

2 cups dry red wine

3 1⁄2 cups beef stock

Dust meat with flour.  Brown meat in olive oil on high heat.  Set aside meat and turn down to medium heat.  Add potatoes, carrots and garlic and cook gently for 15 minutes.  Add tomato paste and herbs and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add wine and beef stock and mix well. 
Return meat to pan and heat to simmer.  Cover and braise in oven at 350 for 2 hours.  Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender.  Place meat on platter, surround with vegetables and pour some of the gravy over top.  Serve remaining gravy on the side.


My favorite Boston Market item are those delicious dill new potatoes they serve , I could forget the chicken and just eat a plate of those alone!  Here is a copycat recipe to make these wonderful little spuds!

8 medium red potatoes

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons minced garlic ( about 2 cloves)

1/4 teaspoon salt

 Cut the potatoes in half, cut the halves in half, then cut the quarters in half, so that you have eight wedges from each potato.  Steam the sliced potatoes on a steamer rack over boiling water in a large, covered saucepan for 10 minutes, or until the tip of a knife encounters just a little resistance when stuck into the potatoes.  The potatoes will cook a bit more after they come off the heat, so you want to be sure not to overcook them.  Combine the melted butter, dill, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.  When the potatoes are cooked, dump them into a medium bowl.  Pour the garlic butter over the potatoes, then gently toss the potatoes until they are well-coated.  Be careful not to toss the potatoes too much or they may start to fall apart, and you don't want mashed potatoes.

Carrots and Easter go together perfectly probably thanks to the Easter bunny!  This recipe is a copycat recipe of the baby carrot dish that Cracker Barrel restaurant serves.

2 lbs fresh baby carrots

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon bacon grease

1⁄4 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup butter (melted)

1⁄4 cup honey

Melt bacon grease in boiler.  Add carrots and enough water to cover the top of carrots.  Cover with a lid and place on medium heat and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are tender when pricked with a fork.  When carrots become tender pour half of the water off.  Add melted butter,sugar and honey to carrots.  Place lid on pot and cook until completely tender. 

At our house baked macaroni & cheese and holidays go hand in hand.  I am sure there would be a revolt staged if I didn't make macaroni and cheese as a holiday side dish.  This recipe is hands down the very best recipe I have tried and I think I have tried them all! 


10 ounces elbow macaroni 1 (8 ounce) packages shredded sharp cheddar cheese ( 2cups)

1 (8 ounce) packages Velveeta cheese, pasteurized processed cheese, cut up ( 1 cup)

1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk

1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans condensed cheddar cheese soup

1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper ( white if you have it)

 Let cheeses and butter stand at room temperature.  Cook macaroni according to package directions until almost al dente'.Drain macaroni and transfer to a large bowl.  Add 1 cup shredded cheese and Velveeta cubes to hot pasta and stir gently til cheeses start to melt. 
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, butter, milk, soup, salt and pepper.  Stir this mixture into the cooked macaroni mixture.  Transfer half into a 13x9 sprayed baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Top with remaining macaroni mixture.  Bake covered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.  Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more until cheese is melted and bubbly brown.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving to meld flavors.

Classic sweet potatoes, another dish I love making for holidays as it just adds that holiday feel to the meal and I am a sucker for toasted marshmallows!


1 (40 ounce) can bruce cut yams, drained

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 (16 ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

Butter 1 quart baking dish.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mash yams in a large bowl and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, and melted butter.  Mix well.  Place 1/2 mixture in baking dish.  Top with a layer of marshmallows, then add remaining mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with remaining marshmallows.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. 

My mom's friend Bonnie first introduced our family to pineapple stuffing.  Apparently it's an old recipe but up until the day my mom shared the recipe I had never tried it before,  Now I always think of it as Bonnie's Pineapple Stuffing.


1/2 cup margarine

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

5 slices white bread, cubed

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch baking pan.  In a mixing bowl, cream margarine and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the pineapple and bread cubes.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Let sit a few minutes to firm up before serving

I was so proud the day I made my first Jello mold I considered it quite the impressive achievement!  This is the recipe I started out using that very first time and to date it is still my favorite Jello mold recipe!


 1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 (6 ounce) package jell-o brand orange gelatin or 2(3 ounce) packages jell-o brand orange gelatin

1 cup cold water

1 (11 ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained

1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip Topping, thawed, divided

 Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Stir in cold water.  Place orange segments in 6-cup mold, spoon 2 cups gelatin mixture into mold over oranges.  Refrigerate about 30 minute or until set, but not firm (should stick to finger).  Meanwhile, refrigerate remaining gelatin mixture about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites).  Stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping with wire whisk until well blended.  Pour over gelatin layer in mold.  Refrigerater 4 hours or until firm then unmold.  Serve with remaining whipped topping.  Store leftover gelatin mold in refrigerator.

When my mom got remarried she had a beautiful catered wedding.  One of my favorite things the wedding caterer served was this pea salad.  I now think of it as Mom's wedding pea salad.  It is wonderful with holiday meals.


8 slices bacon

1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed and drained

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup chopped cashews

salt and pepper to taste

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine peas, celery, scallions and sour cream. Toss gently to mix. Just before serving, stir in cashews and bacon into salad. Season with salt and pepper.



As I mentioned, lemons for some reason speak spring to me.  Lemon pound cake is a perfect answer to the I don't want carrot cake question.  This recipe is to die for - really delicious!

1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

4 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup lemon, zest of, grated

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided

3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans, lining the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.  Cream, using paddle attachment, butter and 2 C granulated sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.  With mixer on medium speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl.  In another bowl, combine 1/4 C lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla.  Alternately add flour and buttermilk mixtures to batter, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Divide batter evenly between pans, smoothing the tops.  Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour, until tester comes out clean.  When cakes are done, cool 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine 1/2 C granulated sugar and 1/2 C lemon juice in small saucepan, cooking over low heat until sugar dissolves.   Remove cakes from pans and set on wire rack over jelly pan (best to set upside down on rack so that syrup is spooned onto the bottom of the cake as it will absorb better than spooning over the top).  Spoon lemon syrup over cakes.  Allow cakes to cool completely.  Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with whisk until smooth.  Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow to drizzle down the sides.


This cake to me tastes like one of those chocolate marshmallow bunnies I used to get in my Easter basket as a kid.  A great idea for decorating the top of the cake would be a sprinkle of green food colored coconut and then a field of chocolate bunnies with mini marshmallow tails!  Too cute!



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter

1 cup cola, beverage

5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

First Frosting

7 ounces marshmallow cream

Second Frosting

1/2 cup butter

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

9 tablespoons cola, this should be the remaining cola left in a 12oz can

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a 9x13 glass pan with nonstick spray.  Combine flour, granulated sugar and baking soda in mixing bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup butter, 5 tablespoons cocoa and 1 cup cola beverage to boiling. (whisk together as it melts).  Pour over the flour mixture and mix thoroughly. I just use a whisk for this because it comes together so easily.  Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.  Pour into prepared 9x13 pan.  Bake for 40 minutes.  During last 10 minutes of baking prepare frosting.  Prepare Second Frosting:.  Place 5 cups confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 9 tablespoons cola beverage. Whisk together. Heat to boiling.  Remove from heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Pour over 4 cups confectioners' sugar.  Mix well with a whisk. 
Assembly:.  Remove cake from oven.  Immediately frost with marshmallow cream. Go slow. This will prevent tearing the cake. As the fluff warms a bit it will spread easily.  Slowly pour warm coco-cola frosting over marshmallow fluff.  It's best to let this cake cool for about an hour before cutting into it.


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