Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Recipes by Carol Ross and Amy Vastine

The annual Easter sugar fix awaits!
CAROL:
When I was a kid I almost always gave up either candy, chocolate, ice cream, or dessert for Lent. After I got older it was often all of the above! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love sugar and understands what a monumental sacrifice this was (is). My dad did not subscribe to the “It’s okay to indulge on Sundays” camp either. I GAVE IT UP. And for sugar-less me, Lent somehow time-warped into a seemingly six-month long tribulation rather than the traditional 40 days that others adhere to. I think that’s a big reason why I still look so forward to Easter! After many imaginary months of deprivation and daydreaming about chocolate bunnies and coconut cream pie, I would finally get my sugar fix. This banana pudding is still one of my very favorite Easter desserts. It’s a little different than the labor-intensive old-style recipe of my childhood with the lightly browned meringue on top. It may not look quite as pretty, but it’s much easier and I like it even better!


Banana Pudding
photo courtesy of Flickr creative commons

INGREDIENTS:
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
1 ½ cups whipped and sweetened heavy cream (or 12 oz container of cool whip)
6 oz. cream cheese
2 cups whole milk (or 2%)
1 (5 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding
6 to 8 sliced bananas
Nilla wafers or other wafer or shortbread-type cookies
Shredded coconut, optional.
Additional crushed cookies, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:
Line the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan with a layer of cookies. Place a layer of bananas over the cookies. Combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using an electric mixer or blender. In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Stir the cream cheese mixture into the pudding mix and stir until well blended. Pour half the mixture over the cookies and bananas. Add another layer of cookies and bananas. Pour the remaining mixture over all. Top with coconut and crushed cookies if desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


AMY:
For the last dozen years or so, I have hosted Easter dinner at my house. It’s nice to be home after a morning filled with church and egg-hunting. The kids are usually jacked up on sugar from the baskets they found at 6:30 AM (which is much earlier than they ever rise on a typical weekend). Over the years, I’ve cooked hams and turkeys, mashed potatoes and cheesy potatoes, and (of course) my mom’s favorite bunny cake. But this year, we’ve decided to do Easter brunch instead, so bring on the breakfast food! My kids love anything with eggs and bacon, making this meal a piece of cake. I Googled and I searched Pinterest until I found the yummiest-looking egg casserole around, and I think I found it!

Over-Night Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Bake

(Courtesy of Pillsbury.com)

INGREDIENTS:
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup cooked bacon (crumbled)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk; stir in garlic, salt, pepper flakes and cheese. Add broccoli and bacon to baking dish, spreading evenly. Pour egg mixture on top, gently stirring mixture to distribute. Cover and refrigerate about 8 hours or overnight. Uncover; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until just set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


What are you cooking this weekend? Or what did you cook yesterday for Passover? Share, share, share!

22 comments:

  1. I'm cooking a breakfast casserole for church for after sunrise service, and that's the end of my Easter cooking--this one looks great! That banana pudding recipe, though, kind of jumped off the page. Wow!

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    1. We often do brunch, too, Liz. It's nice to get the big meal out of the way and then relax. But this year my mom will be in town for a visit so we decided to have a prime rib dinner. I highly recommend the banana pudding.

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    2. Didn't she pick the best picture for that? I love that your church does food after service. We will be going to 7:30 mass but then home to eat!

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  2. Carol, Amy, thank you for sharing your recipes. I know what I'll be adding to my weekend menus!

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    1. You're welcome, Kate. Hope you have a "sweet" and wonderful weekend!

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  3. Mmmm, hard to read this while eating my oatmeal! Thank you for the recipes- I'm always looking for something new and different. This year though, another family member is making Easter brunch and that's nice, too. Enjoy the weekend!

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    1. Lol, Janice! Yeah oatmeal doesn't really satisfy that sugar fix, does it? But lucky you, being invited over to someone else's for dinner. That's always such a treat for me because I'm usually cooking. With two sisters who live nearby we usually share the duties, which is much more fun!

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    2. I am not a huge fan of cooking but it is nice to be home. Maybe I can convince people to come to my house but do all the cooking for me ...

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  4. Oh my gosh! Those recipes look amazing! I can't wait to them this year. This Easter, my granddaughter will be old enough to look for eggs, so this should be a fun one! I can't wait to see her decked out in her Easter dress. My mother-in-law usually hosts dinner, so the banana pudding and cheesy broccoli bake will be nice side dishes. :)

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    1. LeAnne, you are going to have the best Easter with your granddaughter. My two-year old great niece will be here and I can't wait to see her doing her Easter thing, too. Have a fabulous Easter!

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    2. Have a wonderful Easter with your grandbaby!! So fun.

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  5. Very nice--both recipes sound so rich--they qualify as comfort food, holidays or not!

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    1. The richer the better is my motto, Virginia (: I have a couple egg casserole recipes I like to make but this one of my Amy's looks delicious. Plus, it's healthy because it has broccoli, right?

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    2. The broccoli is my way of justifying that it's ok to indulge in all the cheesy bacon goodness!!

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    3. I was thinking that very thing. That broccoli is a game changer!

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  6. What a fun post!! And what fab recipes! Totally printing these out for the future. You guys just always make me smile. :) Happy almost Easter!

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    1. Thanks, Anna. You can't go wrong with bananas and broccoli, right? Happy Easter to you.

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  7. Yum. My mother always made banana pudding, but I haven't had it in years and years. The casserole looks great, too. Thanks for the recipes. Happy Easter.

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    1. I'm guessing your mom probably made the fancy kind with meringue on top? It's so delicious. But I haven't made that kind since I discovered this "cheater" recipe years ago. Happy Easter to you, Beth!

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  8. Thanks for sharing these delicious recipes, ladies. Anything with cheese is always yummy. Happy Easter!

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    1. I agree, Jill! I can't imagine life without cheese(: Hope you have a fabulous weekend filled with plenty of food and family.

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