Easter Cooking *hangs head in shame*

April 29, 2008

This is quite embarrassing, but I am going to ‘push on’ anyway.

I never blogged about my Easter cooking.

*gasp*

I could have ignored that fact and gone on without coming forth with my shame, but I have pretty pictures to share (what? Yes the pics are of food–food is pretty!), so here I go…and besides, it’s still the Easter season!

Devin’s Delight

Mom and I wanted to bring something fruity and light and spring-y…and what better encompasses those attributes than one out of the veritable cornucopia of fruit molds? Hehe. We had never made a fruit mold/salad thing before…but we decided on this recipe. I was very happy with how this recipe turned out, and so (to my knowledge) was everyone else.

INGREDIENTS
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
1 (6 ounce) package apricot or peach flavored gelatin mix
2 cups buttermilk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

DIRECTIONS
Place the pineapple in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir in the gelatin mix until completely dissolved. Remove to a bowl, and chill until partially set, about 1 hour. Stir in buttermilk, and chill again until thickened. Fold in whipped topping, and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours.

(I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, and molded it in a bundt cake pan.)

Why, you ask, is the name at the website ‘Buttermilk Salad’ and the name I use in this post ‘Devin’s Delight’? Well, those at the Easter celebration decided that ‘Buttermilk Salad’ wasn’t a fitting descriptive title and so they took it upon themselves to create a better one. After much conversation and laughter and silly name ideas (Fluffy Devin?! Cloud of Devin?!) they decided on ‘Devin’s Delight.’ Alright, could have been worse. πŸ˜€
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Baked Beans

These Baked Beans are straight from allrecipes.com…I didn’t make any major modifications, and they were awesome. Really. And I’m not a huge baked beans fan, so if I like them…they’ve got to be good.

INGREDIENTS
6 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans
1 (16 ounce) can great Northern beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can baked beans
1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings, crumble and set aside in a large bowl. Cook the onion and garlic in the reserved drippings until onion is tender; drain excess grease and transfer to the bowl with the bacon.
To the bacon and onions add pinto beans, northern beans, baked beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Stir in ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and black pepper. Mix well and transfer to a 9×12 inch casserole dish.
Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
(after the beans were finished baking, I moved them to a crock pot on warm.)
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Banana Pudding

This Banana Pudding is yet again straight from allrecipes.com…good, homestyle cookin.’ The joke was that this recipe had EVERYthing in it ever used to make a ‘comfort food’ desert…whipped topping, sweetened condensed milk…anything with the word ‘cream’ in it…you get my meaning.

INGREDIENTS
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 bananas, sliced
1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
Line the bottom of a 9×13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.

*Note* Do not store this dish on a slant. Ahem. Not that I would know from experience or anything. πŸ˜›

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Lemon Curd Tarts and Key Lime Curd Tarts

These babies were my pride and joy this Easter…the loving labor of my toiling hands….well, maybe I exaggerate. Still, I was very happy with how they turned out.

I blogged about Easter food preparations here and wrote about a recipe I might use for the tarts. I did end up using that recipe, and they came out great. One thing, I think the biggest change I made, was that I only cooked these cookies for about 5 minutes in mini-muffin tins.
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I love the recipe that I use for citrus curd, I’ve used it multiple times now and every time it has worked wonderfully. The recipe is from Sherry Yard’s book The Secrets of Baking. Fabulous book, I reccomend you pick it up.

Master Lemon Curd

2/3 cup sugar
2 T finely chopped or grated lemon zest
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (any fresh citrus juice can be substituted for the lemon and lime juice used here)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1. Prepare an ice bath, using a large bowl to hold the ice. Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until the sugar is yellow and very fragrant, about 1 minute. The friction of the machine heats up the zest, releasing its oils into the sugar.

3. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium heat proof bowl and whisk together for 30 seconds, to distribute the sugar evenly, which prevents premature coagulation. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin whisking. Whisk continuously for 15 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved. To see if the sugar has dissolved, place a finger in the mixture. If you feel the grains, continue to whisk.

4. Add the lemon and lime juices and cook, whisking continuously, for about 5 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl from time to time. INsert a thermometer and check the curd’s temperature. The curd is done when it has the consistency of sour cream and a temperature of 160 degrees F. Rinse and dry the food processor.

5. Transfer the curd to the food processor or a large bowl. Pulse while you add the butter, piece by piece, or whisk it in by hand. Once all of the butter has been added, pulse or whisk for 10 seconds, or until the texture is homogenous. Rinse and dry the heatproof bowl.

6. Strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer back into the bowl and set it in the ice bath to cool. Cover with plastic film, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Stir the curd occaisonally until it has cooled completely. At this point, the curd can be used or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Yay! Oh, that was fun…but now I’m craving, well, everything up *points* there. Sigh…well, for the days that you can’t make any of the above for lack of time or ingredients, here is a recipe that will be a ray of sunshine….


Microwave Lemon Curd

Yes, you read that aright. While the real lemon curd is still the best, this one still packs a wonderful lemon-y punch.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter. Cook in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the microwave, and pour into small sterile jars. Store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

Tip
If you over cook the mixture a little, or forget to stir, you can pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the bits of cooked egg.

Now, back to the real world…i.e. Algebra.

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3 Responses to “Easter Cooking *hangs head in shame*”

  1. Aisa Says:

    FINALLY!!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    the fault is now mine for checking in days late. i am SO making those tarts for the next big CFC event… they will LOVE you. lol.

  2. Aisa Says:

    not that they don’t already, btw πŸ™‚

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Oh, yes! Microwave lemon curd! That’s seems my speed. I will be trying that soon.

    Now the banana pudding….I live in the banana pudding state! I just said to hubby last night, “I need to make some banana pudding. I feel I need to since it’s such a staple in NC.” NOT KIDDING! Nilla Wafers are at the end of every isle in the grocery store. I may try the recipie you posted.

    YUMMY!!!


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