Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Family Favorites for Easter

Brightly colored clothing, baskets filled with eggs, and families gathering to celebrate Easter. What better time to share many wellloved recipes? The recipes this month are gathered from a variety of sources and are sure to be a hit at a family gathering.

One local favorite, loved by many and surely to be missed this Easter, is the Carrot Soufflé from Bishop’s. Bishop’s Buffet closed due to economic circumstances on January 3 after 40 years of business. The Carrot Soufflé from Bishop’s was said to be so sweet, it could double as a dessert! This recipe would be a great addition to an Easter dinner!

Carrot Soufflé
1 ¾ pounds peeled carrots
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
¼ pound margarine, softened
Powdered Sugar

Steam or boil carrots until extra soft and drain well. While carrots are warm, add sugar, baking powder and vanilla. Whip with a mixer until smooth. Add flour and mix well. Whip eggs separately and add to the mixture, blending well. Pour mixture into a baking dish, about half full, and the soufflé will rise. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until the top is light brown. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving.

Easter baskets are filled with candy and treats. Instead of filling those baskets with store bought, preservative filled marshmallows, try this recipe for Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. These marshmallows are also good torched in the pan for roasted marshmallows. Better yet, make an extra batch and use them for the first campfire under the star-studded sky!

Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
½ cup cold water
Three ¼-ounce packets gelatin
2 cups sugar
¾ cup corn syrup
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 vanilla bean, split,
seeds scraped out and reserved
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil. Line with parchment paper and generously grease the paper. Put ¼ cup of the water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it soften for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup water, the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Insert a candy thermometer in the pan and cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 236 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn the mixer onto low speed and mix to break up the gelatin. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the gelatin, taking care to avoid the spinning whisk. Turn the mixer up to medium and then to high and continue beating until the mixture is very frothy, thick, and cool, about 12 minutes.

Turn the mixture out onto the greased pan. Wet your hands and smooth and spread the marshmallows out in the pan. Cover with a sheet of well-greased plastic wrap or parchment and let stand overnight.

Cut the marshmallows into ½-inch cubes and toss with powdered sugar to coat.

Easter isn’t just about new clothes, a fun hat, and jellybean filled plastic eggs. It is about something much more special, the resurrection of Jesus. This recipe for Resurrection Cookies is a great way to reflect on the meaning of Easter. Be sure to make these the evening before Easter!

Resurrection Cookies
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
A pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1 zipper top baggy
1 wooden spoon
Scotch Tape

These are to be made the evening before Easter. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (This is very important…do not wait until you are half done with the recipe.)

Place pecans in the zipper baggy and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read: John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into the mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read: John 19:28-30 Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read: John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represent the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus dies because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleaned by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read: Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66

Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair, the tomb was sealed. Read: John 16:20, 22

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9

Easter morning can be hectic, trying to get ready for church as well as company coming over! After enjoying your Resurrection Cookies in the morning, pop this wonderful recipe for French Toast Custard into the oven. This will be a dish that is sure to please!

French Toast Custard
12-14 slices white bread
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
5 cups milk
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place the bread slices in a greased 9” x 13” x 2” baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs and yolks. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; mix well. Pour over the bread. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Easter Brunch wouldn’t be complete without sweet rolls. Here is a quick and easy recipe that can be made throughout the year to raise sleepy heads right out of bed!

Sweet Rolls
1 cup pecan pieces
1 (30-ounce) package frozen dinner rolls
1 box butterscotch pudding (NOT
1/3 cup butter (cut into pieces)
2/3 cup brown sugar

Spread nuts in a 9 x 13 inch pan, put rolls over nuts and sprinkle with brown sugar, dry pudding, and butter. Cover with plastic wrap and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Let rise at room temperature 1½ hours. Uncover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before serving.

With springtime comes planting of gardens and the beginning of local farmer’s markets. The local farmer’s market is a great place to buy not only local, but also organic. Look for recipes in May that use the wonderful fresh produce from the farmer’s market to produce a meal that mom would be proud of! If you have a recipe to share, please email it to schusterchef@ gmail.com. Happy cooking my friends and neighbors!

To help hard-boiled eggs peel more easily, add 1-2 teaspoons of salt to the boiling water. To keep the yolk nice and yellow, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to the boiling water. Be sure to store hard-boiled eggs in a sealed container to prevent their odor from permeating the refrigerator.

UD D-Block (August 2015)

Fairground D-Block (November 2015)
Bean S-Block (November 2015)

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