This Easter Holiday BLOG is a guest BLOG from one of my very bestest friends, Martha M. You definitely never leave Marthas table hungry. She is one of the best cooks I know. Her meals are always delicious and flavourful. I’ve learned many a thing or two from Martha when it comes to the kitchen.
Somebunny has some Easter ideas
When I was a little girl I loved Easter mostly because of the hunt for our Easter baskets filled with chocolate treats. As well I always looked forward to my NEW Sunday Dress and hat to wear to church. Too be honest I don’t remember the meal we ate at all! Because when you’re a kid it’s all about the chocolate and how many eggs you find to fill your basket.
Now having a family of my own I have incorporated my own twist on Easter traditions. We always did our hunt first thing in the morning because chocolate is okay for breakfast right? Just kidding…well sorta! But seriously, I always put a lot of thought into planning the table arrangement to all the tasty main dishes and lastly if you have saved enough room for all the decadent desserts. Yes, we always have more than one dessert in our house.
By the time Easter comes around I am very much anticipating warmer, longer days, the colour and new growth slowly making their debut all around us. Being outdoors breathing in the clean fresh air. When you live in Canada where you have -30 degree weather and an accumulation of up to 10 ft. of snow or more over the winter you tend to feel like you have been unleashed from hibernation when spring comes and can’t wait for the next season.
So, to welcome Spring and cooking lighter meals I wanted to share a few of my favourite dishes my family enjoys at Easter! Happy Cooking friends & Bon Appetite! by Martha M.
Two Potato Au Gratin
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled & finely sliced with mandolin
- 5 russet potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced with mandolin
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for top)
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for top)
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary & thyme, minced
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shred cheeses & set aside.
Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion & garlic, saute for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Add flour & whisk to a paste. Place back on heat and gradually add some milk while stirring quickly as it will slowly thicken. Continue to do this with the milk. Follow by adding the broth, cheeses & seasonings. Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally but not to a boil (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat & set aside.
Peel Potatoes & thinly slice with mandolin. Grease a 9×9 casserole dish. Place a layer of russet potatoes on the bottom of dish. Pour some of the cheese sauce over to coat. Then layer with the sweet potato. Pour some of the cheese sauce over to coat. Repeat until you end with the sauce on top. Then cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes covered.
In a small bowl combine the both reserved cheeses & panko crumbs. After 30 minutes is up pull out the dish and sprinkle the top with the cheese/panko mixture. Bake another 30 minutes until golden and cheese is melted.
I always use an already cooked ham to save time and warm up in the oven the same time I cook my Two Potato Au Gratin. More time to spend with family.
Baked Ham with Sweet Pineapple Glaze
The brand I love to use is the PC Vermont ham. Baked for 1 hour in a covered casserole dish with the juice from a 14 oz. can of Pineapple Slices or tidbits. (Reserve Pineapple for garnish and 2 tbsp. of juice for the glaze).
Sweet Pineapple Glaze
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. reserved Pineapple juice
Mix all together and 20 minutes before ham is done pour glaze over ham and put back in oven. Sliced ham and serve on platter, arranging Pineapple slices or tidbits for garnish!
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 english cucumber, quartered
- 1 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 small red onion, halved & thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. EVO
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- freshly ground pepper
Prepare salad ingredients in a bowl & set aside. Mix dressing & set aside. Toss dressing with salad right before serving!
Berrylicious Vanilla Trifle
- 1 Sara Lee Pound Cake (Found in the frozen section of the grocery store)
- Assorted Fruit; Strawberries (halved), Blueberries, Raspberries, Banana
- 1 small tub of Cool Whip, thawed in refrigerator
- 2 pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
Cube the pound cake. Prepare the vanilla pudding mix. Wash & prepare fruit if needed. Layer starting with the pound cake, vanilla pudding, fruit. Repeat until you’ve used everything except the cool whip & reserve some fruit for the top. You can also do individual mini parfaits using the same method. Be creative you can vary this dessert but changing the flavour of pudding, cake & fruit! NOTE: Can also be prepared the night before & refrigerated.
“Easter is the only time it’s okay to put all of your EGGS in one basket!” ~Kurt Avish