How much basketball did you watch last week and weekend? My husband, Scott, took in every possible moment he could. On the top of our television cabinet there are about six tournament brackets from different people that he is keeping up by marking their losses and wins after every game. Game after game for four days was about all our 8-year-old daughter could handle. I think she summed it up best when she finally melted on Sunday and said, "I don't want to watch basketball anymore. I'm tired of it!" Only a few more games left, then it will all be over with for another year for her. But for the moment, I am thrilled to be tied for first in the bracket lineup.
In thinking about the upcoming Easter weekend, I thought you might enjoy some Easter and springtime recipes to add to your collection. We will be together as a family on Easter, and I hope you will be as lucky to spend such a special day with those you love.
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 to 5 cups flour, divided
1/3 cup raisins
Butter or margarine, melted
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand five minutes. Stir in sugar, oil and salt into yeast mixture. Add eggs, lemon rind and 2 cups flour. Beat at low speed of mixer until smooth. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; add raisins, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and divide into thirds. Shape each third into a 16-inch rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet without stretching. Pinch ropes together at one end to seal. Braid ropes together and pinch ends to seal. Tuck ends under; with fingers, gently lift and loosen braids in center to form an oval-shaped loaf. Brush braid with melted butter or spray with a cooking spray. Let rise in a warm place free from drafts about 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden, shielding with foil if necessary. Brush bread with melted butter.
1 package white angel food cake mix
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
Additional strawberries, optional
Prepare angel food cake mix according to package directions, using a 10-inch tube pan. Invert pan on funnel or bottle for 2 hours or until cake is completely cooled. Loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove from pan; cut a 1-inch slice crosswise from top of cake, and set top aside. Cut 1 inch from center hole and outer edge of cake with a sharp knife. Carefully remove center of cake, gently pulling cake pieces out with fingers, leaving a 1-inch layer of cake on bottom. Reserve cake pieces. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add milk; mix well. Stir in lemon juice and almond extract. Fold in cake pieces and strawberries; spoon into tunnel in center of cake. Top with reserved cake slice. Chill 8 hours or overnight. Frost with whipped topping, and garnish with additional strawberries.
What do you do with the leftover ham after Easter dinner? Here are a couple of recipes that might help you.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
1 cup cubed cooked ham
2 cups cooked narrow egg noodles
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Sauté vegetables in butter in a heavy saucepan until tender. Reduce heat to low; add flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and cottage cheese; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in ham, noodles and salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into a greased 1-quart casserole dish, sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Yields 4 servings.
1 pound ground cooked ham
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
For the cherry sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 (16 ounce) can pitted dark sweet cherries, undrained
1/4 cup apple or grape juice or other liquid of choice
Combine first six ingredients of loaf; press into a lightly greased 4-cup ring mold. Combine brown sugar and mustard and crumble over top of ring. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Invert onto platter; serve hot with cherry sauce.
For the sauce, combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Drain cherries, and gradually add juice to sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in cherries and juice, and cook until heated.
Shannon Brady of Millersville, Mo., uses the ham glaze recipe her grandmother used when baking ham for special family gatherings. She recalls her grandmother basting the ham many times during the baking and it made it so delicious.
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple
1 cup apricot jam, divided
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup pineapple juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush ham with 1/2 cup jam. Cover with foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover and put 1/2 of pineapple over ham and brush with 1/4 cup jam. Combine juice, vinegar, honey, cornstarch, and remaining jam in saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook until thickened. Stir in pineapple, cook 1 minute. Pour warm glaze over ham.
I hope you enjoy these recipes with your family and have a wonderful day. Until next time, happy cooking.
Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to email@example.com or to P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63702. Recipes have not been tested by the Southeast Missourian.