Tag Archives: Easter

Lemon Blueberry Tart

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Lemon and spring are the perfect pairing.

I adore lemon- the tart, bright flavor. And lemon desserts make me swoon. This lemon tart is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EASY! If you’re not a baker, this is your dessert because it is simple.

You simply bake a store bought crust, fill it with a luscious mixture of lemon curd, lemon zest, mascarpone and powdered sugar. Then top it with blueberries. Chill and serve. Yes, it’s that easy.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s a nice addition to the Easter table.

Lemon Blueberry Tart

1 (9-inch) tart pan

1 store bought pie crust or favorite pie recipe

1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 (10-ounce) jar lemon curd

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 pint  fresh blueberries

TIP: If you want a no bake dessert, use a premade graham cracker or shortbread crust. Shortbread crusts are not as easy to find, but I prefer it over the graham cracker.

Directions:

Fill tart pan with store bought pie crust, be sure to overlap the crust around the pan because if you don’t, it will sink down while you bake it.

If you don’t have a tart pan, you could use a shallow pie pan (must be shallow).

Bake pie crust according to package directions, and be sure to pierce it repeatedly with a fork before baking.

Cool completely on the counter before filling.

For the filling, stir together mascarpone and powdered sugar, then stir in lemon curd and zest. Spread into the tart pan. Top with blueberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until time to serve.

blueberry tart

   

The Easiest Ultimate Coconut Cake

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Easter would not be Easter without coconut cake.

What am I saying? Any day is a good day for coconut cake. The problem is most recipes are time consuming or call for multiple layers, which means there’s a higher probability that something can go wrong.

I have the solution. A simple white coconut cake that is delectable! It starts with a boxed white cake and then I make it similar to a tres leches cake but I use coconut based milks instead of cow’s milk.

Tres leches translates into “three milks” and it’s a dessert usually made with sweetened condensed milk, regular milk or cream,  and evaporated milk.  The mixture is poured over a cake and the cake soaks it up. For my coconut version, I use cream of coconut (it comes in a can and is used to create pina coladas);  coconut milk (the refrigerated variety not a can), and then top the cake with homemade whipped cream.

This cake is delectable. It is best made a day in advance which is perfect because you’re not fussing with it on Easter day. It’s a sheet cake so it’s not as pretty as a layered cake, but the flavor makes up for the presentation.

The coconut milks soak into the cake overnight transforming it into a light, fluffy bite of coconut heaven.

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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

1 box vanilla cake

3 eggs

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup water

½ cup canola

1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez cream of coconut

2/3 cup refrigerated coconut milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or coconut extract

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

It is very important you use cream of coconut, not a can of coconut milk. Cream of coconut is thick, very sweet with a strong coconut flavor, whereas coconut milk is thinner and not sweet. Cream of coconut is the goodness that goes into a Pina Colada so sometimes you will find it next to the alcohol mixers or in a liquor store.

The recipe calls for refrigerated coconut milk, not canned. If you cannot find refrigerated variety, you can substitute whole milk or use equal parts milk and coconut coffee creamer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together cake, eggs,  ½ cup shredded coconut, water and oil. Pour into a greased in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake according to package directions.

When it has cooled, poke repeatedly with a fork and poke it all the way to the bottom.

Whisk together cream of coconut with coconut milk or plain milk. Pour over the cake.

Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream on high speed. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vanilla extract. Whip until mixture thickens. Then spread over the cake. Top with 2 cups shredded coconut.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.

 

Transform Boiled Eggs into Five Delicious Appetizers

 

array of toastsI am already up to my ears in boiled eggs.

In my household, we get an early start dying eggs so by the time Easter rolls around, I’ve been through three of four dozen. I have to get creative with ways to use them.

Since small bites, crostini and toast appetizers are so popular, I thought I’d transform my boiled eggs into a variety of those for Easter. You can serve these as appetizers or make them after Easter for a casual dinner.

I have several suggestions because they are so easy.

Most of these recipes were made with a loaf of pre-sliced Italian bread; I simply popped the slices in the toaster instead of using the oven. It was so quick and easy. The serving sizes assume you use an Italian loaf; a baguette would yield more portions.

If you read my column last week, you saw my deviled eggs with Yum Yum sauce. Those were so divine I wanted to transform it into an egg salad. I served it on toasted bread as an appetizer, but you can serve it as  a sandwich, too. For low carb eaters, serve it on a slice of cucumber or daikon.

I love avocado toast so that was a must on the menu. It takes half an avocado for a piece of toast so this recipe only makes two slices. I simply topped the avocado toast with chopped eggs, bacon, diced grape tomatoes and salt and pepper. It was so simple and delicious. This is a great breakfast option.

A very popular choice was the simplest recipe of all: I toasted Italian bread, smeared store bought pimento cheese dip on it, topped it with sliced eggs, salt and pepper and a sweet and spicy pickle. It was a huge hit.

Be sure to add salt and pepper to your eggs once the egg is one the bread.

Another simple recipe was one I topped with onion and chive cream cheese, sliced eggs and tomatoes, salt and pepper and drizzled it in balsamic vinegar.

Lastly, I chopped eggs, bacon and tomatoes and tossed it all in a store bought honey mustard dressing. Then I topped the toasted bread with romaine lettuce and served the egg concoction in the middle. It was fantastic.  You could make it low carb by serving it in lettuce like lettuce wraps.

Hopefully this gives you plenty of options to use your eggs this Easter.

I hope you enjoy the recipes.

egg salad appetizer

Yum Yum Egg Salad

Makes 8-10 pieces

5 large hard boiled eggs

2 green onions, sliced

1/3 cup minced celery

2 tablespoons shredded carrots

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

½ cup Yum Yum sauce

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

¼ cup almond slivers

Mix all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on toasted bread.

 pimento eggs

 

Pimento Toast with Sweet & Spicy Pickle

Makes 4 pieces

4 slices of French or Italian bread

Prepared pimento cheese spread

2 boiled eggs

4-8 slices of sweet and spicy pickles

Toast the bread. Peel and slice the eggs. Spread a generous amount of pimento spread on each piece of toast. Top with eggs. Add salt and pepper. Top with one or two slices of sweet and spicy pickles.

 

avocado toast

Avocado Toast with Bacon, Eggs & Tomato

Makes 2 pieces

2 slices of toasted bread

1 avocado

1/8 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1 boiled egg

2-4 grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon real bacon pieces

Peel avocado and smash it with a fork. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Divide it between two slices of toasted bread. Chop egg and tomatoes. Divide between avocado toast and top with bacon. Serve.

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Honey Mustard Bacon and Egg Spread

Makes 4 pieces

2 boiled eggs

5 grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons real bacon pieces

2 slices Romaine lettuce

Toast or French bread

¼ cup or more honey mustard dressing

Peel and chop eggs. Set aside. Chop tomatoes and toss with eggs and bacon. Add honey mustard dressing and toss to coat. Add more, if desired. Spread a piece of lettuce over the toasted bread. Top with egg filling and serve.

cream cheese eggs

Chive Cream Cheese Crostini with Tomato & Egg

6 slices of toasted bread

Chive & onion cream cheese

Sliced heirloom grape tomatoes

2 boiled eggs

Balsamic vinegar drizzle

Garlic salt and pepper to taste

Toast the bread and then top with a very generous smear of cream cheese. Slice the boiled eggs and divide the slices between the bread. Add sliced tomatoes. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.

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Deviled Eggs with Yum Yum Sauce

eggs on platterI don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner, deviled eggs made with Yum Yum sauce. Yes, you know the delicious pinkish sauce you get at Japanese steakhouses? The one you drown your shrimp in.

I’ve written a food column for more than 15 years, which means 15 years of Easter stories.  After that amount of time it’s easy to get in a rut, so this year I challenged myself to rethink deviled eggs.

And this is one of the results.

I created Asian  inspired deviled eggs that are easy and amazing. I used Yum Yum sauce for the base and skipped mayonnaise or mustard.

I topped it with wonton crisps for crunch (you can find these with salad condiments), and a little green onion. If desired, add some chopped cilantro. These are fantastic. I will definitely serve these again outside of Easter. They were my husband’s favorite, too.

As a side note, after filling the eggs I had leftover yolk mixture and spread it on a piece of toast for breakfast. It was lovely.

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This is the new deviled egg recipe to try. It’s awesome!

Asian inspired Deviled Eggs

6 large  boiled eggs

1/4 heaping cup Yum Yum sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Wontons crisps

1 green onion

Cilantro (optional)

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Slice eggs in half, and place egg yolks in a bowl and smash with a fork until the yolks are crumbs. Then stir in Yum Yum sauce and add salt and pepper to taste.

Take a green onion and slice the green part only- don’t use the white because it will be too strong. Fill the eggs with the yolk mixture, top with wonton strips, green onion and if desired, cilantro. Serve. If you are not serving these immediately, leave off the wontons until the last minute.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

What’s not to love about a deviled egg?

These little snacks are easy to prepare, inexpensive, high in protein, and cool on a hot day. I love to just pop one in my mouth.

 

This deviled egg combines some of my favorite flavors, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and horseradish with a deviled egg.. I put horseradish sauce into the yolk mixture. If you use pure horseradish, then you definitely want to scale it back. I use Woeber’s Horseradish sauce which I find is the perfect balance of heat.

Everyone has their own method for boiling eggs, and if you have one, follow yours.

I like my eggs a little firm so I place eggs in a pot covered with cold water (always use large eggs).  Make sure the eggs are in a single layer and the water is at least 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil and then boil 12-14 minutes (12 will do the job).  Then immediately drain off the water,  place the pot under the tap with cold water running and add 2 cups of ice cubes to the pot. When eggs have cooled down, refrigerate until time to use.

Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon

6 large boiled eggs

3 tablespoons Miracle Whip

1 tablespoon horseradish sauce

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 -2 ounces smoked salmon

18 capers

Slice eggs in half, and place egg yolks in a bowl and smash with a fork until the yolks are crumbs. Add the Miracle Whip, horseradish sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Top each egg with a slice of smoked salmon.  Sprinkle each egg with red onion and add 3 capers to each egg. Serve.

I made these and kept them for myself, served with a side salad for lunch. It was a high protein, low fat dish.

 

Simple Potatoes Au Gratin with Sharp Cheddar

For as far back as I can remember, Easter was special in my family.

I grew up overseas in nine different countries, so our traditions had to be flexible and adapt to what was available locally. For example, one year, we lived in Sudan and we dyed Ostrich eggs and then my mom tied bows around the eggs and used them as centerpiece decorations for the Easter table. That’s one of my favorite Easter memories.

My mother would go all out each year and set a beautiful table; she’d carve grapefruits into baskets and fill them with fruit to start each Easter meal. It was a lot of work, but so beautiful to behold.

A pretty Easter table is a must, in my opinion. It’s spring and flowers are blooming and colors are vibrant, so it doesn’t take much to add some sparkle to your tables. If you need some ideas, here are a few:

Dye Easter eggs and once the eggs are dry, use a glitter pen to write the name of each guest or family member on the egg. Then go to a dollar store and buy candle holders to display the egg and use those as place settings. You can buy candle holders of varying heights for a more dramatic look.

A dollar store is a great place to buy festive ribbon and tie it around a napkin with cutlery. If you’re fortunate enough to have daffodils (or another flower) in your yard, tuck a flower under the ribbon.

Try mason jars filled with candy eggs or jelly beans and chocolate bunnies on top; or mason jars filled with jelly beans and daffodils.

If you have a big Easter celebration and use plastic cutlery, I saw an adorable idea on Pinterest: buy green plastic cutlery, use orange napkins to wrap around the cutlery, and tie it all together with green ribbon, so it looked like a carrot. This is an easy idea and a fun job for kids.

Now, on to the food.  In our house, the ham is the centerpiece, but here’s a wonderful side dish to accompany the ham.

My potatoes au gratin are simple to make, there’s no peeling the potatoes. I make them with extra sharp cheddar cheese. If you like cream, cheddar cheese and potatoes, I think you will enjoy these. This dish goes well with beef or lamb, too.

It’s simply layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cooked in heavy cream that is lightly infused with bay leaves and thyme and loaded with cheese. Does that sound heavenly or what?

I hope you enjoy them.

Simple Potatoes Au Gratin with Sharp Cheddar

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons salted butter

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon thyme leaves

4 large Russet potatoes

2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a heavy bottom pot, add butter, heavy cream, bay leaves and thyme leaves. Heat over medium-low heat. Do not use high heat or your cream will curdle. Bring to a light simmer and stir. Reduce to low.

Wash potatoes and thinly slice them. You want potatoes to be as uniform as possible, so if you have a tool, like a mandolin or cheese grater that has a slicer on it, use those.

Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or baking dish with butter.

Place the first layer of potatoes down and add salt and pepper to the tops. Then sprinkle about 1/3 cup of the cheese over potatoes.

Add the next layer or potatoes being sure to add salt and pepper directly on the potatoes. Add about 1/3 cup of cheese on that layer. Repeat this process until you have four layers. Then pour the cream mixture into the baking dish.

Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove foil and bake 5-10 minutes more (test potatoes to be sure they are done. You can insert a toothpick to determine if they are cooked).

Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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Wasabi and Cucumber Deviled Eggs for Easter

I am still taking a break from my rotisserie chicken recipes to offer up some Easter dishes. Easter is one of my favorite holidays.

Easter would not feel like Easter without deviled eggs. My Wasabi and Cucumber Deviled Eggs are delicious and refreshing. There’s enough wasabi to taste it, but not enough to make your nostrils flare.

Whenever I cook for company, I try to find the middle of the road in terms of flavors. You can add more if you love wasabi or know your guests won’t mind extra heat. I am actually pretty traditional when it comes to deviled eggs, but I love these. It’s a slight twist on a classic.

Whenever I make hard boiled eggs, I always boil two or three extra because there’s always one or two eggs that is deformed or rips when you’re peeling it, so extras are essential. My recipe calls for six, so boil eight or nine. If you’re fortunate enough that they all work out, you can fill extra egg whites with deviled egg mix because there is always leftover yolk mix once everything has been mixed in.

Wasabi and Cucumber Deviled Eggs

Serves 4-6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               *6 large eggs

2 tablespoons finely minced cucumber (be sure it’s minced fine)

3 tablespoons Miracle Whip

1 tablespoon Woeber’s Sandwich Pal Wasabi Sauce, plus ½ teaspoon

Salt and pepper to taste

If you have a favorite boiling method, use it. If not, follow mine.

To boil the eggs: Place eggs in a large pot so they are in a single layer and fill with water that rises 2 inches above eggs. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, boil for 5 minutes. Cover the pot with a lid and turn off the heat. Let rest 15 minutes. Drain water off and then scoop ice over eggs to cool.

When cool, peel eggs and slice in half horizontally. Remove yolks and place in a bowl.

Mash yolks with a fork and then add cucumber, Miracle Whip, wasabi sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined and mostly smooth. Refill egg whites with this mixture and cover and refrigerate until time to serve.