Spring Holiday Round-Up

I’ve never done a “round-up” post before, but since so many of you are new to my page, I thought I’d reintroduce some of my older recipes that might inspire you as you begin to plan your Easter or Passover menus. Some dishes, obviously are not appropriate for Passover, but I’ve tried  to include several that would be. Let’s start with breakfast or brunch. This light and fluffy, sweet cheese Blintz Souffle can be made the night before, and baked while you’re preparing the rest of the meal. Serve it with a warm blueberry sauce.

Lox and Bagels is our go-to special occasion breakfast brunch meal.

Asparagus, and Mushroom Crustless Quiche can also be made the day before and is perfect for those with gluten sensitivities.

Lamb is a classic Spring/Easter dish. I roast it with slivers of garlic and fresh herbs and serve it with a fresh English mint sauce, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Baby Carrots with Fresh Dill or Mint.  Crispy Greek Style Potatoes would go well with lamb too!

Once you’ve tried the tangy-sweet fresh mint sauce, it’s hard to go back to mint jelly.  Of course, there’s Prime Rib with Creamed Horseradish.

Cornish Game Hen with Orange Sauce and Wild Rice with Cranberries and Pecans.

For a smaller group, Cornish Game Hen with Grand Marnier Sauce, is elegant and best of all, the birds are cooked in the crockpot! I serve the Wild Rice with Cranberries and Pecans is a great accompaniment to the hens.

Pollo al Limone or Lemon Roasted Chicken is perfect for a Passover meal. Some of my favorite holiday side dishes are,

Lawry’s Famous Creamed Spinach,   Brussels Sprouts, Pommes Anna(herb and butter potato cake). Click here for a selection of Gluten Free Side Dishes.
For dessert, I’ve chosen a variety of desserts, including some that are gluten free. Strawberry Fool is super easy, looks elegant, requires no cooking and takes just a few minutes! It’s also naturally gluten free.

These Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Marzipan Carrots can be made either gluten free as shown, or with all-purpose flour.

Lemon Bars are great for a large group as well as Summer Pudding, a classic British Dessert consisting of fresh berries and whipped cream. Orange Cream Angel Food Cake is light and fluffy and would be the perfect cake to serve a large group. This flour less Chocolate Cake would be work well for Passover.

For more ideas, look under the recipe index for appetizers. If there’s something special you’re interested in, please feel free to email me or message me on Facebook and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Have a wonderful and blessed Easter or Passover.

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Orange Cream Angel Food Cake

Have you ever had a Creamsicle ice cream bar? Here it is in cake form! This Orange Cream Angel Food Cake was my dad’s favorite cake. Every year, mom would make it for his birthday, and after my parent’s got divorced, I’d make it for him. I hadn’t made it in years, but memories of how delicious it is, have been filling my head with orange flavored dreams! A cloud of angel food cake, with layers of orange whipped cream, topped with orange buttercream.

Angel Food Cake If you love orange, you’ll really love this cake! I thought it would be the perfect dessert for an Easter meal, so when my mom visited this past weekend, she agreed to make it. The recipe comes from her 1957 Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places Cookbook.

These little cookbooks were given away by the Ford Motor Company, maybe as a promotion? It featured recipes from restaurants all over the country. This Orange Cream Angel Food Cake was from Port’s Tea Room & Coffee Shop in St. Paul, Minnesota.  While I’ll be giving you an Angel Food Cake recipe, you could cheat and purchase a pre-made cake, (I won’t tell!) since the filling and frosting are what really make this cake fantastic!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Orange Cream Angel Food Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
 

Angel food cake with layers of orange flavored whipped cream and orange buttercream.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1½ cups white sugar, divided
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, and ¾ cup of the sugar, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites, until soft peaks form.
  4. Add the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, and continue whipping until medium stiff peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, while continuing to whip whites to stiff peaks.
  5. After stiff peaks form, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Put the batter into at 10″ tube pan.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Flip the tube pan upside down and allow to cool completely. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate.
  7. To assemble cake, cut into thirds. Divide Orange Whipped Cream between layers, filling center hole and smoothing excess around cake.
  8. Frost with Orange Buttercream.

Mom uses her own angel food cake and orange buttercream recipes. While I usually don’t sift flour when I bake, it’s important with an angel food cake in order to keep it feather-light.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Orange Cream Filling
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • Juice and grated rind of two oranges
  • 1 pint heavy cream

Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. When thick, remove and cool. Place curd in an ice bath to speed up the process.
  4. Meanwhile in a standing mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form.
  5. When cool, gently fold into whipped cream.

Make the orange curd in a double boiler. If you don’t own a double boiler, place a slightly smaller saucepan inside a larger one filled with boiling water.

Carefully fold the orange curd into the whipped cream.

IMG_4307Cut the cake into thirds.

Divide the filling between the layers.

Angel food cakeFill the center hole with remaining orange cream. Smooth any filling around the cake.

Angel food cake

Frost with Orange Buttercream.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Orange Buttercream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons grated rind

Instructions
  1. Beat butter in a mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add sugar, vanilla, juice and rind and continue mixing until blended.

 

 

 

 

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Beef Stroganoff

My husband had a craving for Beef Stroganoff last week, so I poured over a few recipes to find the “easiest” and “best” recipe I could find. “Easiest” and “Best” are not necessarily two words that go together.  Sometimes cooking something good just requires time. Cook’s Illustrated is always my first stop when looking for the “perfect” recipe. Nice, but looong! I wanted to develop a recipe that would be good, but that a home cook could pull together in under an hour, (less if possible!).

So I took a few of the Cook’s Illustrated short-cuts and worked them in to this version. Traditional Beef Stroganoff doesn’t have mushrooms, but I love mushrooms, and this version has plenty. I omitted the flour and substituted cornstarch to thicken the sauce slightly and keep it gluten free. Serve it with gluten free noodles or over mashed potatoes if you like.

IMG_4105I make a nice vegetarian version of Mushroom Stroganoff, that I found years ago in Diet for a Small Planet.

Beef Stroganoff
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 pound top round or sirloin, cut into strips
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • ¾ pound cremini or brown mushrooms, sliced, or quartered depending on how large they are
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard, (I use Coleman’s)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1½ cups beef broth
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions
  1. In a bowl, marinate steak pieces in soy sauce.
  2. Meanwhile in a microwaveable bowl, cook mushrooms on high until they have decreased in volume by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain mushrooms and set aside. Discard liquid.
  3. Combine water, dry mustard, sugar, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms; set aside.
  4. Pat steak pieces dry. Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place steak pieces in skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to large plate and set aside.
  5. If necessary, add a bit more oil. Sauté mushrooms and onion until they begin to brown, scraping up browned bits on bottom of the pan, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Mix cornstarch and beef broth together in a small bowl.
  7. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic, stir a minute or two, add tomato paste, ⅓ cup wine, mustard paste, broth and cornstarch mixture to skillet and continue cooking until sauce begins to thicken slightly.
  8. Add steak back to pan and continue cooking until meat is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened.
  9. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Remove from heat allow to cool just a couple of minutes. Stir in sour cream. Garnish with parsley
  10. Serve over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes.

 

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Egg Salad With Bacon

Bacon and eggs. A pretty classic paring. I’d never thought of putting bacon in my egg salad until this past weekend when I was tinkering around with a few different egg salad recipes in preparation for Easter. I added some of the morning’s bacon to my egg salad recipe, then  put a scoop in a half an avocado for the perfect light lunch.  Click here for how to make the perfect hard boiled egg. Egg, Hard BoiledUse a pastry blender to make uniform pieces.Chopped eggs

Egg Salad with Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Egg Salad with Bacon served in an avocado.
Ingredients
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 2 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados (optional)

Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop eggs.
  2. Mix eggs, with seasonings and mayonnaise
  3. Add onions and bacon.
  4. Adjust seasonings.
  5. Serve on a half of an avocado

 

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Berry Good!

The first time I went to Knott’s Berry Farm was 1964. We went a couple times a year when I was a kid. Every time the out-of-town cousins would visit, my dad would pile us into his Cadillac and drive us to Buena Park. I remember panning for gold and riding the mules.

There were always miners in costume. Or, at least the miner’s bench for a photo opportunity!

We’d finish up the day with a chicken dinner. I confess, that I haven’t been to Knott’s since my oldest daughter, (now 19) was 6 months old! When Knott’s contacted me and asked if I wanted to participate in their Knott’s Berry Bloom Festival, I got pretty excited. I started digging through my photo albums for pictures of  my family, and back rushed a flood of memories of my brother and me panning for gold, riding mules and sitting on the miner’s laps for a photo “op”.

I’m looking forward to showing my 13 year old, the same things I saw when I was her age, and discovering new adventures with her. I can’t wait to sit on the lap of the same miner, whose lap I sat when I was 4 or 8 and 12, and 34.

I’m also looking forward to all the Boysenberry inspired gourmet food and wine tastings that will be offered and a visit to the Original Roadside Boysenberry Stand that I remember from my youth. I know Sophie will be excited about the special demonstrations of making homemade jam and glazes, but the tom-boy in her can’t wait to see the blacksmithing workshop!  The whole family is excited to see the new Boardwalk attractions, and of course the roller coasters. Please join me at Knott’s on Saturday, April 12. I hope to see you there! I’ll be tweeting, so if you are there, please tweet me! @whatagirleats_.
Here are some of my favorite berry desserts.

Lemon Posset with Fresh Raspberries,

Summer Pudding,

 

Raspberry Trifle,

Berry CrumbleGluten Free Berry Crumbles, 

 

Strawberry Fool.

 

Knott’s Berry Bloom will run from April 12th to April 27th with extended hours from 10 am to 10 pm.

 

Disclaimer, the opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content. 

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