Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tried and True Easter Recipes

I've been looking forward to today's blog. I just love holidays. Being so far away from our extended family takes away a little of the specialness and excitement for me, but I still love the traditions and memories that holidays bring with them.
For me, Easter is a time of remembering my mom making us stand under blossoming trees in our yard to take pictures of our "Easter outfits"(which were simply, new clothes to add to the roster of "church clothes" that we would wear every Sunday during Spring and Summer!) My brother, Greg, was usually in a tie, and Becky and I would have on colorful dresses and new sandals. I recall that one year crocheted ponchos were in style, and "Mammam" did not fail us; there we are (in the faded photos) in our Easter outfits with frilly ponchos over them.
One Easter that I remember fondly (though all are special to me) , is the year Aunt Sis and Uncle Dave came in to visit from Indiana and held an Easter egg hunt for the three of us...in our own yard! It was so well-remembered by my siblings and I, that years later we had one for all of our children in Nana and Pappy's big yard. My Dad would give out hints as to being "hot" or "cold" as they hunted, and then tease the grandchildren about sharing their candy with "Pap". Even though it was Sunday, non of them were very charitable!
Our family was blessed to have plenty to eat, and Easter dinner was no exception. It is my favorite type of holiday meal because I love ham, deviled eggs and sweet potatoes. Today, I'm including some recipes that are some of my favorites. Happy Easter to all!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

3 C mashed sweet potatoes (fresh cooked or canned)
1 C sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 stick butter
1 C canned evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix and pour into greased 13x9 baking dish.

In separate bowl combine:
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C self-rising flour
1 C chopped nuts

Mix in 1 stick of melted butter using pastry cutter (or two forks). This should be crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. May need a little longer depending on your oven.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes (For After Church)

Fix mashed potatoes as you usually would, but a little wetter. Put in greased casserole dish. Cover tightly with foil. When needed, put in oven at 325 degrees for 40 min.

Pickled Easter Eggs (To Use Up Leftover Eggs)

2 C white vinegar
2 TBSP prepared mustard
1/2 C water
1 C sugar
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP mustard seed
2 TBSP celery seed
12 hard-boiled eggs
1 large onion, sliced

Microwave method: Combine all ingredients except eggs and onions and microwave 4 min. on High. Cool completely. Peel eggs and place in 2 Qt. jar with the onion slices. Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar and cover. Refrigerate overnight. For a festive touch, use a few drops of food coloring (I like purple).

Fun to make with the children: Easter Bunny Bags

Cut a V in the middle of a brown paper lunch bag (or any size brown paper bag) to make the ears. Cut out eyes, whiskers, teeth and nose from construction paper and glue on for the face. Let dry and fill with Easter grass. I made these for treat bags at the boys' schools in past years and they were a big hit.

Petite Easter Baskets:

Use the green plastic strawberry baskets from the grocery store. Twist the ends of a long colored pipe-cleaner from the craft store through the plastic on either side to make the handle. Fill with colored Easter grass.

Chrissy Henthorne's Pea Salad

1 can LeSeur peas
1 can French green beans
1 can shoepeg corn
1/2 C each: finely chopped onion, celery, and green pepper

1 C sugar
3/4 C white vinegar
1/2 C vegetable oil
Bring to a rolling boil and then cool. Pour over vegetables. Cover and chill several hours in the refrigerator.

Vivian Boston's Candy Easter Eggs -Tyler County Newspaper

2 lbs. confectioner's sugar
2 sticks margarine (I like butter)
evaporated milk
Flavoring (see variations below)

Work together sugar and margarine with hands until mixture is crumbly. Add a few drops of evaporated milk at a time until right consistency is reached for molding the eggs. Blend in one of the following combinations for flavor:

- 2 tsp vanilla plus a few drops of milk
- 1/2 C maraschino cherries, chopped very fine plus three TBSP juice from the cherries
- 3 tsp nut flavoring plus 1/2 C finely-chopped nuts
- 3 heaping TBSP peanut butter plus a few drops of milk
- 2 tsp peppermint flavoring
- 1/2 C shredded coconut, plus 1 tsp vanilla and a few drops of milk

After the eggs are flavored and molded, dip them in the coating, made by melting two cakes of bittersweet chocolate and one cake paraffin wax over hot water. Let stand until icing sets.

These are the eggs that I used to make for family members as little gifts at Easter-makes them feel special because you can make each one's favorite flavor; peanut butter for Dad and coconut or cherry for Mom! Uncle Dave likes any kind that is available! You can use Royal icing and a decorator bag and make the tops pretty if you have extra time on your hands; if not, wrap each in saran wrap and put a sticker that tells what flavor the filling is inside.

Note on Dipping Chocolate: This was written several years ago, so now there are candy melts (craft stores) you can use, or melt white or chocolate almond bark that you can find in the baking section at Walmart. Dana likes milk chocolate, so I melt Family size Hershey bars with some paraffin to dip mine in.

Sugar Free Fudge (For Those Who Can't Have Easter Eggs with Sugar)

1 6 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
12 pkg. sweetener (2 tsp per pkg,)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding mix
1/2 C chopped pecans

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, melted chocolate, sweetener and vanilla until smooth.
Beat in dry pudding mix. Stir in pecans. Spread in 8" dish lined with foil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Lift out by foil and cut into squares. Makes 16 pieces.

Pet Easter Chick Necklace for Children:

I have made these for Ben's kindergarten class, as well as my little ones in Bible class, and they cherished them.

Plastic colored pull-apart eggs
Little yellow fuzzy chicks (craft store)
Hot glue and glue gun
Thin ribbon or twine
hole punch

Take top off of the egg. Punch a hole in either side of the bottom part of the egg near the top rim. Run a piece of ribbon or twine through each hole and knot it on each side to make the necklace part (measure one child that size so you know how long to make it). Place a drop or two of hot glue in the bottom of the bottom half of the egg and immediately press down the fuzzy chick with it's head sticking upright. Set these in empty egg carton to let them dry completely. Fasten top back onto egg so the child opens it to find their surprise Easter pet! For fun, have them each name their chick.
Note of Caution: These are not for very young children who might get the string tangled around their necks or put the small pieces in their mouths!

Recipe swaps today:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessedwithgrace
Kitchen Tip Tuesday by Tammysrecipes.com



  1. What great Easter recipes, love holiday cooking !
    Thanks so very much for sharing, have a blessed day !

  2. Wow, what great ideas and recipes you have here! Quite a list! :) I enjoyed reading your Easter memories.
    I'm a first-time visitor to your blog! I enjoyed my visit.

  3. Thanks for all the recipes! Great! Thanks for sharing and linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

  4. You have so many neat ideas here. I love the Easter bunny bags -- I'll bet they are a big hit.

  5. What a great collection! Thanks for sharing!