Menu Ideas week of March 27

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I suck at making easter dinner.

When youngling was really young, we watched an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. His grandmother made him a sweater “with love in every stitch”. Cooking is a little like that. I love cooking and baking at Yuletime. Everybody has holidays that time of year and the whole mishmash cookie loving thing is an expression of joy, light and the human spirit. I’m into it.

Easter is another story. It’s something I do for other people. It has zero meaning to me. Zip, ziltch, nothing. Spring equinox was a week ago. Happy renewal and spring everyone…but easter? It has taken years for me to go from actively disliking it to mere apathy, and it shows. Don’t get me wrong…loves me some ham and chocolates…but cooking mojo goes out the window when you just aren’t feeling it. Today I’m making the exact same meal we had for Christmas (we like it that much) but with twice the mess in the kitchen and the general lacking of some intangible something that I just can’t figure. Hopefully they won’t notice the difference. Maybe it’s my imagination. Don’t know. Doesn’t matter. I’ll get the ham glaze chiseled off of the stove eventually.

For those of you who do celebrate easter, may you have a lovely day, without your ham glaze boiling over.

For those of you who don’t celebrate easter….let’s go have a cup of coffee and a slightly overcooked brownie for tomorrow is another day

Wonderful Weekend to everyone!

 

Monday – Ham & potato soup (leftovers!)

Tuesday – chicken alfredo

Wednesday – veggie lasagne (meatless)

Thursday – Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Friday – beef & bean chimichungas

Low Leches Cake

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I don’t celebrate Easter, but most of my family does. And a lot of them have lactose intolerance. Tres Leches cake is awesome, but not on the menu around here for all the obvious reasons. There is still plenty of milk in this recipe, so it isn’t appropriate for anyone with milk allergy (totally different from lactose intolerance). Cream cheese however, is much lower in lactose than milk….about 1/4 of whole milk. Home made cakes have milk in the recipe, but substituting almond milk works well in my experience. Or, take the easy way out and use a cake mix that doesn’t call for milk in the preparation instructions. Mixes have whey, but not lactose…or at least it is such trace quantities my clan seems to tolerate it. I’m lucky with the lactose and a fan of tres leches cake…this is a hybrid that makes all our tongues and tummies happy.

Just for the record, there is nothing remotely healthy about this recipe by anyone’s measure.

9 x 13 yellow or french vanilla cake baked to package directions or according to your favorite recipe.

1 tub non-dairy whipped topping

1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature

1 small package instant pudding

2 cups (or amount required by pudding mix) almond or soy or rice milk

decorative sprinkles – required

With electric mixer, blend pudding mix and almond milk. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes…pudding will NOT firm to a normal pudding consistency. It’ll stay runny, but that’s ok. Again with electric mixer, add room temperature cream cheese to pudding mix and blend until smooth. Cover surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and return to the refridgerator

Prepare cake according to recipe or package directions. Allow to cool completely to room temperature. With a wooden spoon handle, butter knife handle or similar clean object, poke holes randomly but evenly across the cake. Spread pudding over top of cake. Spread whipped topping over pudding layer. Add sprinkle. Have to have the sprinkles. You just do. Because, sprinkles.

Chill and serve.

multi-coloured-sprinkles

Love an Egg

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egg

I can’t imagine this time of year without eggs. Even though I no longer celebrate Easter per se, I still appreciate the symbolism of new life, renewal, the cycles of nature and so on that eggs have come to symbolize.

And they taste good. Scrambled egg sandwiches have always been a favorite. Who, save the allergic, doesn’t like the peanut butter filled chocolate kind?

Ideas for using those leftover hard boiled eggs is low-hanging fruit for most cooks…tuna, chicken or ham salad on a nice, crusty french bread is a no-brainer, right along with deviled eggs,  Cesar salad, or shred them up into a rice based casserole for extra protein and flavor.

Before you deal with leftovers, you gotta cook the things in the first place. This weekend, that usually means boiling then decorating them. Was thinking about trying natural egg coloring, but once again caved to the puppy face from the youngling who wanted the glittery color kit from the store. Yeah, I’m a sucker for glitter.

Although any recipe from a CHEMISTRY related web post can’t be all bad,  right? Check this out:  http://chemistry.about.com/od/holidayhowtos/a/eastereggdyes.htm

freeKidScience

 

Not all eggs are for eating. Back in the late 80s, I lived in a town with a fairly large Ukrankian community. One year they offered an afternoon class in making those amazing, beautiful, intricate eggs. Needless to say, mine didn’t look anything but egg shaped. Here is a web post I found about another kind of awesome egg.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Pysanky-Ukrainian-Egg-Dying/

 

April is also Earth Day. Combining Easter and Earth Day is a natural. Here is a link to one of my favorite blogs for practical eco-friendly strategies of all kinds! http://ecowomen.net/2014/04/14/ideas-for-an-easy-eco-easter-basket/#more-10175