EASTER 2009

MAKE-AHEAD BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

2-1/2 c. seasoned croutons
1 lb. spicy pork sausage
4 eggs
2-1/4 c. milk
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained, squeezed dry
1 (4.5 oz) can mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 sprigs fresh parsley, for garnish

Spread croutons on bottom of greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Crumble sausage into medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off any drippings. Spread sausage over croutons.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended. Stir in soup, spinach, mushrooms, cheeses and mustard. Pour egg mixture over sausage and croutons. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 325°.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until set and lightly browned on top. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve hot.

OVERNIGHT CINNAMON ROLLS

1 c. milk
1/3 c. butter
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1/2 c. white sugar
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs

FILLING:

3/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. raisins

GLAZE:

1 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
2 T. half-and-half cream

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; let cool until lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk mixture. Add the sugar, 3 cups of flour, salt and eggs; stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x 14 inch rectangle. Lightly brush the far edge with water. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and 3/4 cup brown sugar and sprinkle over the rectangles. Then sprinkle the raisins and chopped nuts over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log and seal the seam.

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; place the pieces in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan, or 12 inch deep dish pizza pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 375°. Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, combine the corn syrup with the vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar and enough cream to make a thick glaze; set aside. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls and serve warm.

CHICKEN BROCCOLI CREPES

1 c. plus 2 T. milk
2 eggs
2 T. butter, melted
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

FILLING:

1/4 cup. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 c. sour cream
2 (8 oz) pkgs. frozen broccoli spears, cooked & drained
2-1/2 c. cubed cooked chicken

In a small bowl, beat the milk, eggs and butter. Combine flour and salt; add to egg mixture and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly greased 8-in. nonstick skillet. Stir batter; pour 1/4 cup into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, greasing skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in 2 cups of cheese. Cook and stir for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream until smooth.

Place four broccoli spears and 1/3 cup of chicken down the center of each crepe; top with 1/3 cup cheese sauce. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Pour remaining cheese sauce over crepes; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 crepes.

SWEET EASTER BAKED HAM

1 c. maple syrup
1 c. orange juice
1 c. ginger ale
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, halved
1 (12 lb) fully-cooked, bone-in ham
1 (15.25 oz) can pineapple slices in juice, drained
1 box round wooden toothpicks

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix together the maple syrup, orange juice, ginger ale, brown sugar and honey. Stir in the juice from the maraschino cherries, and half of the cherries. Score the outer edge of the ham with a sharp knife in a diamond pattern. Cuts should be about 1/4 inch deep. This will allow the ham to soak up the juice.

Place the ham into an oven bag, and carefully pour the juice mixture over it, keeping all of the juice in the bag. It may look like there is too much juice, but the ham will soak it up while baking. Place the pineapples onto the top of the ham, and secure with toothpicks. Place cherries into the centers of the rings, and secure with toothpicks also. Tie the end of the bag closed with the ties provided, place in a large roasting pan, and cut a few small slits in the top of the oven bag.

Bake the ham for 2 hours in the preheated oven. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees F (80 degrees C) when done. Be sure not to touch the bone when taking the temperature. Remove ham from bag to a serving plate, and let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

OLD-FASHIONED EGG SALAD

1/2 c. mayonnaise 1 T. lemon juice 2 tsp. dried minced onion 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 T. sugar 12 hard-cooked eggs, chopped 1 c. finely chopped celery

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper. Stir in eggs and celery. Cover and refrigerate. You can also add a little cream cheese to the recipe for an extra-creamy texture. Yield: 6 servings.

SCALLOPED POTATOES

3 lbs. potatoes, thinly sliced
salt to taste
9 T. all-purpose flour
6 T. butter, diced
1 quart milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Arrange one layer of potatoes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt, 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter. Repeat layering 2 more times, until all of potatoes have been used. Slowly pour milk over the potatoes until the dish is 3/4 full of milk.

Bake until the milk comes to a boil (check after 5 minutes), then reduce heat to 375° for another 45 to 60 minutes. Serves 7.

A DIFFERENT GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

2 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white sugar
1/4 c. onion, diced
1 c. sour cream
3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. crumbled buttery round crackers
1 T. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, sugar, onion and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a 2-1/2 quart casserole dish. Spread shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

SUGARY ORANGE PEELS

4 medium navel oranges
2 c. sugar, divided
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. shortening

With a knife, score the peel from each orange into quarters. With fingers, remove peel and white pith attached. Place peel in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Drain and repeat twice. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine 1 cup of sugar, water and salt. Bring to a boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Drain peel and add to syrup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes or until syrup is almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally. (Watch carefully to prevent scorching.) Drain any remaining syrup. Cool orange peel in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet for 1 hour. Cut into 1/8-in. to 1/4-in. strips. Sprinkle remaining sugar on an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Sprinkle strips over sugar; toss to coat. Let stand for 8 hours or overnight, tossing occasionally. If desired, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Dip one end of each orange strip into chocolate; let stand on waxed paper until chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.


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