Monday, April 26, 2010

Easter Modgepodge of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner--Annika & Michelle--March 2010

 Our Hostesses, Annika & Michelle!
Thank you for all your hard work. It was such a perfect night! They hosted the event at Annika's mom's home, which is incredible.  I'm so envious of that beautiful kitchen--the granite, custom cabinets, double oven....I'm drooling as we speak! ;)

Seriously, who  looks this good after cooking, cleaning and decorating all day/night!?? Oh, Michelle and Annika do. My bad. :)

Back: Heather, Michelle, Sunny, Stacie, Judith, Lindsay
Front: Holly, Kim, Annika, Shelly, Amber

Aren't we a good looking crowd?!  We seriously laugh so much and SO hard when we are together. (Missed you, Kristy!)

The theme was "An Easter Mod Podge of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner"
It was great  to get new recipe ideas for different meals for Easter day.
I love the crisp, clean color palate they chose.  Gerbera daisies are my favorite, and I love any kind of Spring flower bouquet.  The "grass" is actually a couple of grassy-type garlands just wrapped around the centerpiece.  LOVE this idea and will definitely be using it. 

Each place setting was simple and classy, yet each with a flair of Spring!  
The nametags were super cute--hung from rickrack tied around their glass.

Puffed French Toast with homemade Coconut and Butter Syrup
Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche
Strawberry Orange Julius

The puffed french toast are such a fun way to eat french toast. Really yummy, and adults and kids alike will love it (since it's a finger food and let's be honest, kids love dipping any kind of food in syrup!)

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Muffin with
Spinach, Strawberry, and candied Almond Salad.
Everything was soooo tasty, but I will say that the Sour Cream Poppy Seed muffin was definitely a favorite of the night--so flavorful and light and fluffy!

The main dish was Pineapple and Brown Sugar glazed Ham. This recipe was from Michelle's Great Aunt.  THIS IS AMAZING!!! The hostesses (with the mostess...) explained the process as simple, but time consuming.  Beautiful, huh!?  It pretty much melted in your mouth...

Pineapple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Scalloped Mixed Potatoes with Red Onions
Creamed Corn

I'm not usually a sweet potato fan, but I LOVED the scalloped potatoes--it was mix or regular potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Homemade Sour Cream Raspberry Ice Cream
Lemonhead Cookies
Michelle and Annika always make incredible homemade ice cream, and this was no different.  I'm an icecreamaholic and this definitely hit the spot.  Such a good flavor! 

The girls take home gifts were a bag of the Lemonhead cookies (yummy!).  Also, a big thanks to Annika for making us these cute binders to put all our gourmet recipes in.  I love mine already!  (And I've nearly forgiven Annika for the fabulous photo of me that she included on the front cover!)

Here are all the fabulous recipes for you to try for ourselves! 

Mini Breakfast Quiches
4 eggs
1 C egg substitute*
3/4 C shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 C cottage cheese
5 oz frozen spinach (that's half a standard frozen box)
1/3 C roasted red peppers, diced
1 oz finely diced ham, Canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (about 1/4-1/3 C)
1/4 C finely diced onions
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
1/2 t hot sauce

foil muffin tin liners

*1/4 egg substitute = 1 whole egg, so if you're using all eggs, or some eggs and some egg whites, you can adjust accordingly.

Preheat oven to 350

Thaw spinach (you can nuke it in the microwave) and squeeze out all the liquid. Putting it in a clean kitchen towel and ringing the heck out of it works well. After it's drained of all the liquid, give it a rough chop.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.

Place foil cupcake liners in the muffin tins and spray with cooking spray. Don't forget this step! And yes, they really do need to be the foil ones. If you have a silicone muffin pan, those work great and you don't need to line them. My silicone pan makes them taste like soap, so I don't go there. As you're dividing the egg mixture into the muffin cups make sure to keep stirring it so all of the ingredients are well-dispersed. My pan takes about 1/4 C in each hole and it fills them up perfectly. You want them to fill right up to the top.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be just barely set on top. Over-baked eggs get tough and spongy so don't do that! They'll puff up while baking and then sink down when cooled. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, I try to take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be just barely set on top. Over-baked eggs get tough and spongy so don't do that! They'll puff up while baking and then sink down when cooled. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them. When reheating in the microwave, make sure to take off the foil liner! And if you're reheating from frozen, I try to take them out the night before so they can thaw in the fridge. Then when you microwave them, set them on a folded paper towel to drain excess moisture.

Eat them alone, or for a well-rounded breakfast crumble on top of a piece of whole grain toast along with a glass of milk and a piece of fruit. Makes 12.

Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites

Butter Syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Melt together whipping cream, butter, and sugar over low heat.  Slowly increase heat until the mixture barely comes to a boil.  Add vanilla and baking soda.  Turn off heat while whisking continually until ready to serve.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Recipe courtesy of Becky Higgins
Coconut Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup light Karo Syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canned milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. butter extract

Stir sugar, Karo and water together in saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes.  Take off heat and let sit a minute.  Add milk, coconut extract and butter extract.

Puffed French Toast – Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites

1 egg
1 1/4 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
6 slices Texas style toast, cut in half diagonally

In a large skillet, heat about 1/4” of vegetable oil over medium heat.  In a shallow bowl or pie dish, whisk together all ingredients.  Test oil heat by flicking some water into the frying pan.  If it pops, reduce the heat.  If it sizzles, it’s just right.  Working quickly, take each 1/2 slice of bread and soak both sides in the egg mixture.  If you leave it too long, it will get soggy, but you want to make sure enough of the egg mixture has soaked            into the bread.   Gently shake to remove excess batter     and place in hot oil.  Cook until puffed, golden brown, and a nice crispy crust has formed on each side (probably 3 – 5 minutes per side).  Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.  While cooking remaining French toast, keep cooked pieces warm in a 200 degree oven.  

When ready to serve, roll each piece in:
            1/3 cup sugar
            2 tsp. cinnamon
Slice the bread into strips for great French toast dippers.  Serve with fresh raspberry jam and powdered sugar. 

Sour Cream Poppy Seed Streusel Muffins  - Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 8-oz. container sour cream (light works great)
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare streusel by combining streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To prepare muffins, combine sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk and remaining muffin ingredients in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups or 24-36 mini muffin cups, either lined or sprayed. Sprinkle evenly    with streusel mixture.  Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on a wire rack to cool.

Strawberry and Feta Salad with Cinnamon Candied Almonds
sliced strawberries
thinly sliced red onion

1/2 sup sugar
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/4 cup milk
Combine all ingredients in blender and mix well.

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
1 egg white
1 tsp cold water
4 cups whole almonds or slivered
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lightly grease a 10x15 jellyroll pan
2. Lightly beat the egg white: add water, and beat until frothy but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir until well coated. Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon and sprinkle over the nuts.  Toss to coat and spread evenly on the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until golden.  Allow to cool, then store nuts in airtight containers. 
Scalloped Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, & Red Onions

1 yam, peeled and sliced
3 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 red onion, sliced
1 Tbs. thyme
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups cream or half and half
2 cups grated Swiss cheese

Slice yams, potatoes and onion about 1/8-1/4” thick.  Mandolin works great for this.  Mix and put in a greased 9x13 pan.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour on top.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes.  I like to uncover it for     the last 15 minutes to brown.

Pineapple Baked Ham

Buy a ham, either the butt end (more meat) or shank (less meat), that has not been sliced or seasoned (honey baked).  Cooks or John Morrell are the best brands.

Cut off the rind and fat from ham.  Place in large pan and cover as much ham as possible with water. Boil for 2 hours on stove top.  Drain water off and keep cool till ready to bake.  Pour at least  2 cups of pineapple juice over ham and bake for 2 hours with lid on or tinfoil covering at 325˚.  Remove ham from oven and score the ham in diamond shape as deep as possible.  Make a paste of brown sugar (1 cup) and prepared mustard (3 - 4Tbsp).  Spread paste over the ham.  Place rings of pineapple on ham and hold in place with toothpicks.  Return to oven and bake at 350˚ uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.   

Creamed Corn

2 pkgs. of frozen white corn (at least one package)
8 oz. whipping cream
8 oz. whole milk
1 tsp. salt
3 – 4 tsp. sugar (depending on how sweet of corn you use)
pinch of white pepper or cayenne pepper
3 Tbs. butter, melted
3 Tbs. flour

Mix together all ingredients in a sauté pan except flour and butter.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Mix the butter and flour together and add to the corn mixture. 

Lemon Drop Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups Butter Flavor Crisco
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 - 2 large lemons zest of and juice
1 (6 oz.) package of lemon heads, crushed
1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl cream sugar, shortening, and eggs; add extracts.  Stir in dry ingredients, lemon zest, and crushed lemon heads.  Roll into 1 inch balls, flatten slightly and bake on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet or 9-11 minutes.  Let cool 1 to 2 minutes.  Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice to make glaze.  Brush over cookie tops.  Let cool completely. 

Sour Cream Raspberry Ice Cream

1 (10oz) pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed & mashed
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 beaten eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream


In a mixing bowl, combine berries, sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Mix it really well. Combine the berry mixture, eggs, evaporated milk and cream in freezer bowl.  Mix thoroughly; freeze.  Makes: 2 quarts.

Strawberry Orange Julius

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup sliced strawberries
3 Tbs. sugar
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tray of ice cubes

Put all ingredients in blender.  Mix until ice is all crushed.