Have you decided what to serve for lunch on Easter yet? Make lunch as easy as possible on yourself. Several of the menu items can be made in advance. This year plan to serve:
Ham or fried chicken
Twice-baked potato casserole
Crock-pot string beans
For easy clean up and to produce a juicy ham I always bake mine in a baking bag. (Baking bags can be found on the aisle with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.)
Fried chicken from either Wal-mart or Publix is always a great option. Call on Saturday to reserve a box–they often sell out. If your family will only eat white meat, chicken fingers work great . . . plan on two to three pieces for each person.
1 large can crushed pineapple – include the juice
2 small packages of peach Jello
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans
8 ounce Cool Whip
Heat the pineapple in a medium sauce pan. Add Jello; dissolve and set aside to cool. Mix in buttermilk, Cool Whip and nuts. Pour into a 9×13 glass pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This can be made a day in advance.
Twice Baked Potato Casserole
8 large baking potatoes, 1 cup sour cream, 1 stick butter, 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 6 slices of crumbled crisp bacon, 1/2 cup chopped chives.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place on baking rack. Bake for 1 hour or until very soft.
Peel and mash the potatoes in a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and 1 cup of Cheddar cheese. Blend with a potato masher or electric mixer. Stir in salt and pepper.
Lightly spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with vegetable oil. Place the potatoes into the dish. The casserole may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 40 minutes until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese on top of the casserole and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped chives and crumbled bacon before serving.
1 large can Swanson’s Chicken Broth
2 large cans green beans
1 onion chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
Sauté the chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of oil until tender. Dump all of the ingredients into the Crock-pot and simmer for three hours. Drain the broth and serve. The beans can be cooking while you are at church.
1 large bag of fresh spinach
2 tomatoes, wedged
3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 orange pepper, chopped
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 box croutons
6 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
Layer the ingredients in a large salad bowl according to the way they are listed. To ensure crispness, add the nuts, croutons and bacon just before serving. Fry bacon the day before or with breakfast Easter morning and set aside crumbled slices for salad in the fridge.
1 ½ cup Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoons salad oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
½ cup milk
Whisk all of the ingredients together until well blended. Pour over salad and enjoy.
Mrs. B’s frozen biscuits are fantastic
Pop these in the oven fifteen minutes before you are ready to sit down and eat. Delicious slathered with butter and Peach Preserves.
1 package plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
This can be baked in a 9×13 cake pan or two 9 inch round pans. Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease cake pans with solid vegetable shortening, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set pans aside.
Place the cake mix, milk, melted butter, eggs and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend for 2o more minutes.
Pour batter in cake pan. For round cakes: bake for 27 minutes. For 9×13 cake: bake for 40 minutes
Let cool for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a cooling rack. Ice cake with Quick Caramel Frosting
Quick Caramel Frosting
1 stick butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ whole milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the butter and brown sugars in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth. Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake. If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until the frosting softens up.
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