The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and Easter is right around the corner. We all have our own traditions with the people we love, especially when it comes to food. Whether you are providing a side dish, bringing a dessert or cooking an entire meal, here are a few ideas for your Easter dinner this year.
(pictures & recipes courtesy of Celeste at CookingCreation.com)
Roasted Rosemary-Garlic Leg of Lamb
• 2 lb boneless leg of lamb roast
• 2 tbsp dried rosemary
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• Salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Remove the leg of lamb from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out for about 20 to 30 minutes, to reach room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Season the lamb with the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.
Roast for 45 minutes per pound, or to 10 degrees below desired temperature (I cooked my lamb to 145 degrees).
Remove the lamb from the oven and cover it with tin foil. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
• 7 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked
• 2 c milk (I use skim milk)
• 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese PLUS 1/4 c for topping
• 1/2 c shredded monterey jack cheese PLUS 1/4 c for topping
• 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
• 3 tbsp butter PLUS 1/4 c melted butter for topping
• 2 tbsp flour
• 1 c Italian-style dried bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan, melt 3 tbsp of butter over low heat. Add flour and salt to the pan and mix well. Cook until bubbly, about 2 minutes.
Add milk gradually, until well-blended. Increase heat to medium and cook until it comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add 1/2 c cheddar, 1/2 c monterey jack and 1/2 c mozzarella and stir until melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni.
Pour into a 1 1/2 qt greased casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/4 c cheddar and 1/4 c monterey jack over all. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over all. Melt 1/4 c butter and drizzle on top of bread crumb.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
• 2 c all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp onion salt
• 3/4 c melted butter, divided
• 1 c milk
• 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/8 tsp dried parsley
• 1/2 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder and onion salt. Stir in 1/2 c of the butter, milk, cheese and parsley and mix until well combined.
Drop the batter onto a greased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 6 minutes.
Add 1/2 tsp garlic salt to the remaining butter. Drizzle half of the garlic butter over each biscuit.
Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes (I left mine in for 6 minutes), until the edges begin to brown.
Drizzle the remaining garlic butter over the biscuits.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Baked Potato Soup
• 4 baking potatoes, peeled, cut in bite-size pieces and partially mashed
• 1/2 onion, diced
• 2 (14-oz) cans chicken broth
• 1 c skim milk
• 1 stick butter
• 1/3 c flour
• 3/4 c heavy cream
• 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 c mozzarella cheese
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• Basil, dash
• sugar, dash
• Sea salt, to taste
• Fresh ground pepper, to taste
• Cheddar cheese
• 3 strips cooked bacon, chopped
• Sour cream (optional)
• Green onions (optional)
Boil potatoes and set aside to cool.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add onion and cook until softened.
Add flour to make a roux, stirring constantly; about 3 minutes
Slowly whisk in the broth and milk. Add salt, pepper, basil, sugar and pepper. Bring to boil, whisking often. Gradually, add the cream.
Stir the potaotes into the soup. Simmer at least 5 minutes, until potatoes are warmed to temperature of soup.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Garnish with bacon and cheese. Add sour cream and green onions, if desired.
Easter Egg Cake Pops
• 1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
• 1 (16 oz) can frosting
• Wax paper
• White candy melts
• Lollipop sticks
• Colored icing
After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
Mix the frosting thoroughly into the crumbled cake. You may not need the entire can of frosting, so start out by using almost the entire can and add more if you need to
Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and form into egg shapes. Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50)
Melt chocolate in the microwave per directions on package. (30 sec intervals, stirring in between.)
Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)
Place them in the freezer for a little while to firm up.
Once firm, carefully insert the cake ball into the candy coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.
Place in a Styrofoam block to dry.
Once dry, decorate with icing and allow to dry!
Easter Bunny Cake
• Betty Crocker Super Moist Carrot Cake
• 8-inch spring form pan
• 9-inch spring form pan
• Water, eggs and oil needed to make box cake
• 2 c flaked coconut, separated
• Whipped frosting
• Pink construction paper
• Green food coloring
• Toothpicks for whiskers
• White construction paper for buck teeth
Bake cake as directed on box.
Cut each cake in half
Put 9-inch halves together with frosting. Put 8-inch halves on the outside of the 9-inch halves.
Cut out a notch about one-third of the way up one end of body to form head. Round the head using a knife. Use the cut out pieces for the tail.
Frost the entire cake. Sprinkle approximately 1 cup of coconut over the entire cake.
Cut ears from construction paper and push into head.
Use gumdrops and jelly beans for eyes and nose.
Shake 1 cup of coconut and 3 drops of food coloring in a tightly-sealed container. Surround bunny with the green coconut. Add additional jelly beans if desired.
Serve and enjoy. Remember to remove the non-edible items before eating!
Apple Pie Cupcakes
Cupcakes (You can use store-bought box mix)
• 3/4 c butter
• 1 3/4 c sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 3 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 2 1/2 all-purpose flour
• 1 1/4 c milk
• Whipped frosting or whipped cream, for topping
Apple Pie Filling
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 2 to 3 tbsp sugar (I used 3)
• 3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used braeburn)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and baking powder.
Add flour and milk in batches, starting with flour and ending with flour. Stir until batter is smooth and silky.
Fill paper-lined muffin tins with the batter.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
Allow to cool for 45 minutes before frosting.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make the apple pie filling.
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples. Cook and stir until the apples are somewhat tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake.
Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture.
Decorate with a dollop of whipped frosting or whipped cream.
Bio: Celeste is a wife to her best friend, mother to their beautiful daughter and a medical transcriptionist. She is a self-taught cook who became a passionate foodie in the process. Her hope is that others will follow along on her journey at CookingCreation.com , have the desire to start cooking more, gain the confidence to try new things, quit dining out so much and remember how important and special it is to sit around the dinner table together as a family. Oh yeah... and eat good food, too!