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Some Easter Dinner Favorites
Apr 1st, 2015 by

The passing of the stuffed artichokes from Easter dinner 2010 in the RootsLiving dining room.

The passing of the stuffed artichokes from Easter dinner 2010 in the RootsLiving dining room.

These tried and true side dishes show up at the RootsLiving dinner table every Easter. If you’re looking for ideas to wow your guests this year, try these recipes. Nan’s Mashed Potatoes are rich, creamy and flavorful. And there’s no better way to make carrots than to follow French Chef Paul Bocuse’s recipe for carrots in cream.

Here is a list of Easter dinner favorite recipes:

And of course there’s plenty of ham, but ham needs no recipe. Just heat it up, and don’t forget the pineapple.
Find more recipes in the Food section.
I’m Dreaming of a Black Forest Cake
Apr 9th, 2010 by

If you like cherry cordials, you'll love this.

Cherries and chocolate and whipped cream. Oh my!

Here’s the last recipe I’m giving out from our Easter feast. “What no recipe for the ham?” you ask. Sorry, but ham needs no recipe. You simply stick it in the oven.

“Someone defined eternity as a ham and two people.” That’s my favorite quote from the “The Joy of Cooking,” cookbook. And it’s true. We’re still eating ham leftovers.

But the Black Forest cake is long gone: just a distant chocolate, cherry and whipped cream dream.

Here’s how to make your own dreams come true:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

For the Cake:

  • All-purpose flour. (2 cups, plus 2 tbsp.) (I use King Arthur. It’s not bleached, and for me, local. It’s made in Vermont.)
  • Baking powder (1 1/2 tsp.)
  • Baking soda (3/4 tsp.)
  • Salt (3/4 tsp.)
  • Sugar (2 cups)
  • Cocoa (3/4 cup)
  • Eggs (3) (Always use “large” eggs for recipes.)
  • Milk (1 cup)
  • Vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 tbsp.)

For the Cherry Topping:

  • Tart pitted cherries (2 20 oz. cans, drained. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice.)
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Cornstarch (1/4 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 tsp.)

For the Frosting:

  • Whipping cream (3 cups)
  • Powdered sugar (1/3 cup)

What I did:

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans. Cover bottoms with waxed paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.

Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges and remove to racks to cool completely.

While cake is baking prepare cherry topping (see below) and cool.

Split cooled cakes horizontally in half to make 4 layers. Tear 1 layer into crumbs and set aside.

Make frosting (see below) and reserve 1 1/2 cups of it for decorating the cake and set aside.

To assemble, place 1 layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup of frosting. Top with 3/4 cup of cherry topping. Top with second cake layer. Repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer.

Frost sides of cake with remaining frosting. Pat reserved crumbs into frosting on sides of the cake.

Pipe reserved 1 1/2 cups of frosting around the top and bottom edges of the cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake. Refrigerate.

To make the cherry topping:

Combine the reserved juice, cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Cool and set aside.

To make the frosting:

Beat together the whipping cream and powdered sugar in a chilled bowl at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

(This recipe is from “The Treasury of Creative Cooking,” which features award-winning recipes from around the country, all illustrated with full-page color photos. It was given to me as a gift about 18 years ago.)

Find more recipes from the Easter dinner menu.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

Simple Asparagus
Apr 6th, 2010 by

Dan helps himself to some "Simple Asparagus." On Easter Sunday guests are asked to show up to dinner wearing their Easter bonnets and Gabriel complied with a sombrero..

Dan helps himself to some "Simple Asparagus." On Easter Sunday guests are asked to show up to dinner wearing their Easter bonnets and Gabriel complied with a sombrero..

Spring Vegetable Week continues here at RootsLiving.com.

This is a technique I developed from watching chef Jacques Pepin on TV.

The secret to all good vegetable courses is buying fresh vegetables. Asparagus should be a bright green with tightly packed tips.

Ingredients/Shopping List:

  • Fresh asparagus
  • Water
  • Butter/Olive oil (A little dab will do ya.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What I did:

Prepare each stalk by laying it flat on a cutting board and then peeling off the top layer of skin from about half-way down the stalk with a vegetable peeler. Then snap off the end. Pepin shows you how to do this here.

I then pour a little water into a frying pan (just enough to cover the bottom), add the asparagus, a little salt and pepper and then cover and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes over medium low heat. The asparagus should remain crunchy, not mushy.

I shake the pan occasionally as it cooks. The asparagus is steam-cooked in this way.

Add a dab of butter and a little bit of olive oil and cook until melted. Serve hot.

Find more recipes from the Easter dinner menu.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

Spring Vegetable Week at RootsLiving
Apr 5th, 2010 by

Tricia sets the table in the RootsLiving dining room on Easter Sunday.

Tricia sets the table in the RootsLiving dining room on Easter Sunday.

With Easter now over, we’ve declared it “Spring Vegetable Week” here at RootsLiving.com.

For the rest of the week, we’ll share the Easter dinner recipes with an emphasis on the vegetables we served.

Today’s vegetable dish: Carottes a la creme (that’s “Carrots in Cream” for all you Americans). See recipe below.

Coming up later in the week: “Simple Asparagus,” “Stuffed Artichokes,” and “Bloody Mary Cocktails (these baby’s are full of spring nutrition).”

And we’ll end the week, as we ended yesterday’s holiday meal, with Black Forest Cake (no veggies here.)

We hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and are making the best of Monday.

Ciao!

–Mark Micheli
RootsLiving Founder

Carrots in Cream
Apr 5th, 2010 by

Amelia serves the carrots to Nan (of Nan's Mashed Potato fame).

Amelia serves the carrots to Nan (of "Nan's Mashed Potato" fame).

This is one of our favorites and a tradition every Easter.

I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Paul Bocuse: French Home Cooking,” which I purchased in a small shop on the Left Bank many years ago.

In keeping with our RootsLiving philosophy: it’s easy to make and uses simple, fresh ingredients.

Ingredients/Shopping List

  • Butter (3 oz.)
  • Carrots, peeled and cut into thick sticks 2-inches long (2 pounds)
  • Baby onions (5)
  • Salt, to taste.
  • Sugar (1 tsp.)
  • Parsley, chopped (2 tbsp.)
  • Heavy cream (6 tbsp.)

What I did:

Melt butter in a frying pan. Add carrots and onions. Salt lightly. And sprinkle with sugar.

Cover pan and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.

When carrots are done cooking, mix parsley with cream and pour on the carrots. Cook another 5 minutes or until very hot. BUT DON’T LET THE CREAM BOIL.

Find more recipes from the Easter dinner menu.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

(Note: If you’d like to print this recipe, click here or on the headline on this post and then use the print button at the bottom of the post. In other words, print from the “permalink” not from the homepage.)

Easter Dinner Menu / Bottling Wine
Apr 2nd, 2010 by

I bottled about two cases of the home-made zinfandel this morning.

I bottled about two cases of the home-made zinfandel this morning.

I took some time this morning to bottle more of the ‘09 vintage. The grapes were a little sweeter this year and so the wine is a little stronger than last year’s award winner.

I now have plenty of home-made wine to serve at Easter dinner. This year’s feast includes the usual suspects:

Appetizers:

  • Bloody Marys (with garnishes of shrimp, pepperoni & cheese, celery)
  • Shrimp Cocktail
  • Potato Chips with French Onion Dip

First Course:

Main Course

Dessert:

Vino:

  • ‘08 Award-winning Zinfandel from the RootsLiving Wine Cellar
  • ‘09 Zinfandel, freshly bottled from the RootsLiving Wine Cellar

Sorry, but there’s no time to post recipes for all this. I’ll be cooking from now till Easter Sunday. (But I’ll be sure to post recipes next week.)

Find out more about the wine bottling process at MakingVino.com.

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