Traditional Easter treats

By Dr. Linda Mitchell

Easter is a time to celebrate and most traditional celebrations involve food. Every holiday seems to have its traditional and then we have the family dishes that go with each holiday as well. Try a few of these Easter ideas, they’ll brighten up your table for spring and sweeten your taste buds for celebrating this important holiday. Pressed for time? The slow cooker can be a forgotten life saver. Try these great recipes that practically cook themselves.

 

Classic Easter Ham

1 nice size (5-6 pound) ham, cut in half

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon horseradish (optional)

2 tablespoons cola drink

1/4 cup cola drink

 

Combine the brown sugar, mustard, horseradish and 2 tablespoons cola. Rub over ham. Transfer to a slow cooker and add remaining cola to bottom of cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until ham is tender. (Thermometer should read 140 degrees). Serve with fruit relish.

 

Pineapple Bacon Relish

1/4 pound bacon

1/2 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cups pineapple, chopped

1/4 cup sweet pickle, chopped

1 Tablespoon sweet pickle juice

 

Cook bacon and onion in a skillet. Drain. Add additional ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Really steps up the flavor of any pork or chicken dish.

 

Secret Ingredient Deviled Eggs

(cream cheese gives these eggs a super creamy texture and melt in your mouth taste)

12 eggs

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons cream cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnish with ¼ cup chopped chives and

1 red jalapeno pepper sliced into thin rings

 

Place eggs in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then remove from heat and let set for 20 minutes. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the warm sugar syrup over the pepper rings in a small bowl. Set aside. Drain the eggs and fill the pan with cold water. Let the eggs sit in the water until they are cool enough to peel. Peel eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a separate bowl. Cover the egg white halves with a damp towel while you prepare the filling. Mash together the egg yolks, cream cheese, mayonnaise, mustard. Stir in rice vinegar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff egg whites with filling and top with a ring of candied pepper and chopped chives.

 

 

Classic Carrot Cake

(the crushed pineapple and buttermilk glaze take this cake from good to great)

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated carrots

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (optional) drained

1 (3 ½ ounce) can flaked coconut (optional)

1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

 

Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) cake pans. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture, beating after each addition. Fold in carrot and pineapple, coconut, and nuts. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze over layers and cool before frosting.

 

Buttermilk Glaze

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

In a large Dutch oven mix together flour, baking powder, buttermilk, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring often, for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over cake layers.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup butter

1 ( 8 oz) package cream cheese

1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

 

Sweet Carrot Look Alikes

12 strawberries with stem intact

2 cups white chocolate chips or white chocolate candy coating

1 tablespoon olive oil

Orange food coloring

 

Place white chocolate in microwave safe bowl and microwave on high until melted, about 2 minutes. Stop and stir every 30 seconds since chocolate will be melted but still seem to retain its shape until you stir it. Add orange food coloring until the color resembles a carrot. Dip strawberries completely, leaving only stems visible.

 

Cadbury Egg Easter Cupcakes

(Don’t be fooled, these moist and rich cupcakes are good any time, not just for Easter)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 package instant pudding, chocolate flavored

1 1/4 cup water

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

24 Cadbury eggs

 

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Add remaining ingredients except for Cadbury eggs. Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full and place in a Cadbury egg (thick side down first) in the middle of the batter. Top eggs with another spoon of batter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until done. If you use a toothpick to test for doneness remember the Cadbury egg is in the center and you need to insert toothpick to the side.

 

Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter

6 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons milk

(Add more sugar for a thicker frosting)

 

Beat all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Optional: For a pretty spring look, divide frosting into separate bowls and add different food colors to each bowl. Top cupcakes with frosting and enjoy!