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English Creamed Garden Peas with Red & Purple Potatoes

photo source: tigersandstrawberries

photo source: tigersandstrawberries

New red and purple potatoes and peas are treated to a warm, delectable, creamy sauce for this extraordinary, colorful side dish which makes a stunning statement on any table; holiday or everyday. Perfect alongside Easter roasts or ham. Amazingly delicious!

photo source: onehundreddollarsamonth

photo source: onehundreddollarsamonth

Ingredients

2 pounds small red and purple potatoes, quartered

3 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 cup broth or water (for peas)

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

pinch of nutmeg

1 cup milk

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup half-and-half cream

onlyinark

photo source: onlyinark

Directions

  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, place peas and water or broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  3. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper lemon zest and nutmeg until blended; gradually add milk, broth and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in potatoes and peas; heat through. Place in serving bowl and garnish with your favorite herbs; dill, parsley or thyme is suggested. Makes 12 servings.
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Easter Ham, Pepperoni and Cheese Bread

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Easter Ham & Cheese Bread

My Mama always made this tasty bread for every religious holiday and if we begged, sometimes in between. Mom used to buy pounds of aged meats and cheeses, painstakingly cubing every bit. Then she would mix with beaten eggs, grated Parmesan and fill, what seemed like dozens, of loaves. I’ve converted her recipe into a “busy chef” version by using slices instead of cubes and adding Alfredo sauce as the first layer and also for dipping. Most pizzerias will sell pounds of their dough to the public. Find your favorite shop and ask for a couple of pounds. This luscious bread is best served warm or cold. It’s easy, delicious and quite fun to make. Great for picnics and parties too!

Ingredients

2 pounds of good quality pizzeria-style pizza, or bread dough (please email me for my made from scratch version)

½ pound each (all sliced); pepperoni, Swiss cheese, Virginia ham…

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Italy’s Easter Eggs and Italia’s Easter Friday

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

italychocolateeggs-f9913aed11b1300c636f9c6a84f77f3d3da27ce0-s6-c30

06-ItalyEaster-Around-the-World-1

In Italy, there are no Easter egg hunts, no marshmallow Peeps and definitely no jelly beans. Instead, there are chocolate eggs — massive, elaborately decorated, beautifully wrapped chocolate Easter eggs that fill shop windows across the country. The sweet treats are considered Italians’ food gift of choice at this time of year; each one comes with a surprise tucked inside. Each Easter, My Mama Carmela would always secure a gorgeous creme-filled chocolate treat for my siblings and I from a local confectionery shop called “The Sugar Bowl.”  The flavors of the chocolatey, creamy goodness still resonates from the archives of my fond childhood memories.

Also, while Easter mass will be held in every church in Italy, the biggest and most popular mass is held by the Pope at Saint Peter’s Basilica. On Good Friday, the Pope celebrates the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross in Rome near the Coliseum…

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Napolitana e Siciliano Easter Egg Lasagna

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

LasagnaBest

This is a quick and easy version of my Mama Carmela’s famous Easter Lasagna. The addition of hard-boiled eggs and sliced meatballs were influenced by her northern Italian background and make this dish extra delicious and one of a kind! I made this recipe “today” friendly for ease of preparation by using good-quality bottled sauce instead of her traditional homemade. I will share her homemade pasta sauce with meatballs within the coming weeks. For now, this is a wonderful alternative dedicated to today’s busy, weekend, gourmet Italian chefs. Buon Appetito!

Ingredients

2 quarts tomato sauce, homemade or good quality bottled, marinara or meat

2 boxes (16-ounces) no boil lasagna noodles

1 pound of homemade meatballs; cooked or frozen; heated, sliced in 3rds

1 large container of whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 raw egg slightly beaten

1/2 pound grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 pound grated Pecorino Romano

1 bunch parsley, leaves chopped

1 bunch…

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5 Cheese Au Gratin Potatoes: The Ultimate Easter Side Dish

potato-gratin-2

Many cultures celebrate Easter in varying ways and the fare served on this Holy day parallel the traditions. However, in most American households baked ham is most always a culinary focal point accompanied by a cascade of steamy, creamy potatoes. This recipe is much like the conventional scalloped, but with the addition of 5 cheeses to amp up the flavor volume. Savor the flavor overload!

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing

1/2 clove garlic
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/3 cup Swiss cheese

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

potatoes close

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425* Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic. Combine the mozzarella, asiago, cheddar & Swiss in a bowl.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the shredded cheese blend, and pepper to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter; slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes in the skillet.)

Sprinkle the potatoes with the parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese blend. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Discard the bay leaves.

lifeissweetasapeach

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Southwestern Chicken & Cheddar- Pepper Jack Queso Dip

m.kraftcheese

photo source: m.kraftcheese

What better to offer on this National Chip & Dip Day than this ooey gooey, Southwestern cheddar-pepper jack queso dip? The lusciousness is made heartier with the addition of chopped cooked chicken. The chopped chipotle peppers, jalapeños, and chili powder add some heat and intense flavors. Prepare a day ahead, cover and chill in an airtight container; bake just before serving. Delicioso!

Ingredients:

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup shredded colby-Jack

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chiles

4 green onions, finely chopped

2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs Serve with tortilla and sweet potato chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients until blended. Spoon cheese mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Spoon into a serving bowl. Garnish, if desired with sprigs of cilantro. Serve with tortilla and sweet potato chips.

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The Perfect French Bread, Baguette & Roll Recipe

agodlyheritage

photo source: agodlyheritage

A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy crumb make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France. Perfect for molding and shaping into any size rolls or single loaves. This delectable bread is wonderful slathered with butter and jam, toasted, the base for sandwiches, French toast, an accompaniment to soups and stews, garlic bread on and on!

alifewortheating

photo source: alifewortheating

Ingredients:

6 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

imgbuddy

photo source: imgbuddy

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
  4. Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.