My son, Tanner, is not able to come home for Easter next week but flew in yesterday from Ukraine (he was a missionary there and went back for a quick visit), so of course we had a CELEBRATION!! This gave me the perfect opportunity to “test-out” all my Easter Brunch ideas!
Glazed Baked Ham!
I have another recipe I love that calls for Dr. Pepper so I wanted to test this one out by The Pioneer Woman! It did not disappoint!! Wow!! The glaze was not too sweet, and it had the perfect tang! I chose to buy a pre-sliced ham because I like to lather the glaze on EVERY slice, not just the outside. I do however, love the effect of the whole cloves pushed into the unsliced ham… SO I just did the whole cloves where I could, and then basted everything with the glaze — several times!
IT IS SO GOOD!
Spring Salad with Balsamic Glaze!
Three of my family members said this was “THE best salad they have ever eaten”; and my vote is it is in the top two I have ever eaten! I have to admit, I have never been a blue cheese fan, but lately, I just can’t get enough of it!! If blue cheese isn’t your first choice, substitute goat cheese (I can’t stand goat cheese… giggle) or feta!! But, this is one recipe you really need to add into your Easter Brunch!! There is just something wonderful that happens when you combine the saltiness of the bacon, the sweetness of the apples and candied pecans, and the boldness of the cheese!!
It is a definite crowd pleaser!!
Easter Deviled Egg Hatchlings!
OH. MY. GOSH. How stinkin cute are these deviled eggs?!!! They take a little more time to assemble than you would think, so give yourself an extra 15 minutes…. BUT THEY ARE SO WORTH THE WOW FACTOR!!
Easter Egg Twice-Baked Potatoes!
I chose to make twice-baked potatoes because if you pick your potatoes carefully, they look like EASTER EGGS! In the recipe (below) I specify which brand I used!
Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls!
I don’t mean to sound boastful, but I would put my cinnamon rolls up against ANY cinnamon roll!! They are just THAT good!! My mother was trained by my grandmother, and I by my mother, and there is just something so delicious about these! I will say however, as with any family recipe passed down for generations, sometimes it is just in the “feel” where the magic happens. But, the fact that I am sharing this recipe with you, I really want you to try it (many a few times) and when you do master it, you will have a recipe you too will pass down to your kids!!!
If you can’t take on the cinnamon bunny challenge, I encourage you to try these easy Pillsbury Crescent Roll Carrots! This takes no skill whatsoever and are super quick and easy!
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Carrots!
Ok… these adorable “carrots” served on a pile of dirt (ground-up Oreos) stole the show!! Everyone LOVED them!! And what a cute and unexpected twist to the classic chocolate strawberries!! I lost count after 4 on how many Tanner ate :)!!
Spring Salad with Balsamic Glaze (#makinglifeblissful):
Ingredients for dressing:
¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup oil (I used avocado oil)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp fresh pepper
pinch celery salt
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Ingredients for Salad:
1 large head green leaf lettuce, chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
6 oz package baby spinach
2 ripe avocados, cubed
1-2 apples, chopped
¼ to ½ cup blue cheese crumbles, or goat cheese clumps (if you don’t like blue cheese use fetta)
½ cup real bacon bits, sautéed to crispy deliciousness
½ cup pecans
¼ cup sugar
In a medium sauce pan, toss in your good quality balsamic
vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic powder, celery salt, fresh pepper, and salt. Cook over medium heat to melt the sugar. Keep stirring. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in Dijon
mustard and boil for 30 more seconds.
Remove from heat and cool. Add
water to produce the preferred consistency.
Easter Egg Twice-Baked Potatoes
4 Large Baking potatoes (I used Russet potatoes because they are shaped like an easter egg)
8 slices of bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced and divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, Place bacon in a large deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
When the potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl; save the skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese and bacon.
Bake for another 15 minutes
Top with remaining green onions and serve!
Easter Deviled Egg Hatchlings
7 large eggs, hard boiled anf peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon mustard
salt and pepper, for taste
carrots cut into small triangles (for hatchling’s beaks)
small pieces of pickles (for hatchling’s eyes)
Cut the large part of the egg at the bottom so that the egg with stand up.
Cut the top third of the egg in a zigzag pattern all the way around the egg.
Take out the inside yolk and place in mixing bowl.
Set eggs aside.
Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and whip until smooth.
Place top part of the egg on the back half at an angle (leave enough room for the face of the hatchling)
Place pickle eyes and carrot beaks.
Easter bunny Cinnamon Rolls:
Cinnamon Roll Dough
4 cups warm (almost hot) water
1 cube butter
1 cup granulated sugar
10 cups flour
4 tablespoons yeast ( I recommend SAF!)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup dry milk
5 teaspoons salt
Cinnamon Roll Filling
3 cups brown sugar
5 tablespoons cinnamon ( I highly recommend saigon cinnamon)
2/3 cup butter – almost melted
Pecans – chopped (if desired)
Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature (ok… if you HAVE to use the 1/3 less fat I guess you can, but I can’t let you use the fat free — it looks like rubber!)
4 – 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract – optional (I love a slight taste of almond)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Place warm water in bottom of mixer. Add yeast and sprinkle with a little sugar to activate (approx. 1 tsp) For your mixer, I think Bosch is by far the best mixer for baking! I bake bread all the time, and I have burned out motors in other brands, but my Bosch has lasted forever!
After yeast looks “soft”, add and mix ingredients in the following order: granulated sugar, melted butter and shortening, 4 cups flour mixed with 5 teaspoons salt — Mix together well
Add 1 generous cup of dry milk (Country Fresh) and 2 eggs — Mix together well
Add 4 more cups of flour and mix until smooth
Add 3 more cups of flour and mix 5 minutes (If you are not using a Bosch you will want to use a dough hook for this kneading process) Dough will be soft
Allow to rise until it doubles in size (about 45-60 minutes)
Roll dough into large rectangle
For the filling: Spread softened butter all over the dough. Don’t skimp! In a small bowl toss brown sugar and cinnamon together until combined and sprinkle all over dough. (Be sure not to miss the edges!) Add chopped pecans if desired.
Roll up tightly jelly-roll style
Tip: Take a piece of thread and double it, thread in under the roll, pull the thread up around the roll, cross and slice right through.
Once you have your rolls, take a layer on the outside of the roll and place on the top of the roll for bunny ears
Allow to rise 1 more time for about 60 minutes or so
Bake at 350 degrees (I have Viking oven and use the TruConvection setting) for approximately 12 minutes (ovens vary so remove when rolls are lightly golden brown)
Make the Icing: In a medium bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer using paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat on low speed for approximately 30 seconds to incorporate the sugar and then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
While still warm, drizzle rolls with cream cheese icing
(The Pioneer Woman) Glazed Baked Ham
1 whole fully cooked bone-in ham (15-18lbs)
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
1 can Dr. Pepper or coke (I used Dr. Pepper)
3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, bake for 2-2 1/2 hours– or longer, depending on the package directions. (some hams may require 3 to 3 3 1/2 hours at a lower temp; just check the package.)
Heat the brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and soda in a small saucepan until bubbly. Cook until reduced and a bit thicker, about 15 minutes.
After about 2 hours of baking time, remove the foil and brush the glaze on the ham in 20 minute intervals (put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, in between) until it’s nice and glossy. Remove from the oven and allow the rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Carrots
White chocolate chips
Orange food coloring
Place white chocolate chips into bowl and heat in microwave until completely melted (stirring about every 30 seconds)
Add orange food coloring until the desired color
Place strawberries in fridge to cool
Take the middle out of the oreos
Crush up oreos and place on platter as the “dirt”
Place strawberries in the oreo dirt once completely dry and enjoy!